We told you ages ago about Yorkshire Food Finder; the company run by the irrepressible Sue and Aidan Nelson, who lead trails around Yorkshire sampling the best produce the county has to offer. Well they’ve expanded. Not only are there more trails: York – with a visit to the wonderful Haxby Bakehouse – the Yorkshire Dales, Thixendale for Ryedale Vinyard and to the Holderness coast with fisherman Andrew Sanderson then on to Justin Staal’s smokehouse.
Sue Nelson’s cookery book collection
They’ve now added ‘Kitchen Socials’ to their repertoire and last week Squidbeak were guests to enjoy one at their Wheldrake home. We sat down to five superior courses, cooked by Sue in her fabulously equipped kitchen surrounded by her extraordinary 1,600+ cookery book library.
Every course, from the gin cured salmon Carpaccio, through to Bridlington lobster, chocolate dessert and a very fine cheeseboard (special mention for Botton cheeses), showcased Yorkshire produce. Just this one dinner made use of 27 different Yorkshire sourced ingredients which they reckoned was a record. Proof if it were needed that the county is a source of great food.
Both trails and dinners would make a gift with a difference or for a group of food loving friends. Yorkshire Food Finder
Every day for the last month my in-box has been stuffed with Valentine’s Day offers ranging from a ‘speed date with one of our hot cars’ from a hire car company, to a graphologist in a London hotel to analyse a couple’s handwriting, an aphrodisiac menu from an Asian restaurant and a Romeo and Juliet package at a Best Western. All of which I can happily turn down without FOMO*.
Rather less bizarre from Yorkshire come: ‘Liquor your libido’ with Raisthorpe Manor liqueurs; Café No 8 in York will deliver a three course Valentines dinner to your door and the Courtyard Dairy from Settle are offering heart shaped cheeses.
Call me a humbug but quite honestly I find the whole thing a bit desperate. By all means cook a meal for your loved one, take him/her out for dinner, but a graphologist … really?
There are only two invitations I have come across that I might seriously consider: if I were single, then a place at the communal table for singles at the amazing ‘Man Behind the Curtain’ in Leeds, for an un-Valentine’s night special dinner of five Michael O’Hare courses (£50 a head) – on the un-Valentine’s day of Wednesday 11th February. To book call: 0113 243 2376
The second is Not-the-Valentine’s dinner with the Flat Cap Cook, Sue Nelson who created Yorkshire Food Finder tours and also runs events from her home near York. Book now for a four course dinner £40 bring your own booze . Call 01904 448439.
*Keep up: Fear Of Missing Out