One of the benefits of staying in the country, even for a short time, is getting a great night’s sleep. I’m not a good sleeper at home and sometimes lie awake for hours watching ridiculous programmes – one of the side effects of having Sky TV in the bedroom.

Out in the Yorkshire countryside, there’s not even much sound during the day – the occasional tractor grumbling past, the pheasants having a family squabble or the wind whistling through the barn.

At night there really is nothing to disturb you at all. and it’s so unbelievably dark. The birds head for their nests around 7pm and after that it’s just you and your thoughts.

On our first night, we lay there in pitch black feeling a little weird that there was no outside light – no street lights, no building lights, no overhead glow. Just pitch black …. and silence.

When you’ve got used to both these things and embraced them as blessings, it makes for a great nights sleep.

So after 3 chapters of John Grisham’s latest legal thriller, I was sound asleep and 8 hours later – wide awake and able to enjoy the early morning hours, something I rarely enjoy at home!

Our enforced digital fast due to the malfunctioning wifi is actually proving quite a tonic. It’s nice to be able to clear our brains of all the ‘clutter’ that social media often brings and think deeply about things that really matter.

Anyway, I know you’re eager to hear of the latest thrills and spills of our holiday.

Let me just say that bargains were had at a brand new branch of our favourite store, Fat Face, in Helmsley this morning. Mr Bond has himself a brand new autumn outfit and he looks very dapper in it too.

Beadlam Grange was our coffee stop this morning – an award winning Farm Shop and Tearoom with very nice attached gift shop where we purchased our most essential 2017 kitchen calendar.


A spot of lunch at Cedar Barn Cafe sitting in the sunny courtyard surrounded by apple trees heavy with fruit, was followed by a delightful drive around Dalby Forest.

If you like walking, cycling, running, segwaying or swinging from high ropes – then this is a grand place to spend the day. There’s a charge of £8 to drive around the forest road but it’s well worth it.

Even if you’re not at all energetic, or you have Little Legs with you, there is plenty to see and enjoy without breaking into a sweat.


We were very happy to bump into ‘Stick Man’ who has his own guided tour of the forest complete with adventure pack for kids, and to discover that Gruffalo and all his friends live deep in the forest and come out occasionally to lead orienteering expeditions.

Tonight we headed out to Scawby, on the edge of Sutton Bank, for a really foodie extravaganza. ‘The Hare Inn’ won Best Restaurant last year and continues to win awards every year for it’s unique take on fine dining.

The menu is a series of tasting menus at different price points and includes wine matching if you fancy it. You have to be open minded and willing to try new flavours and combinations, but it made for an extraordinary evening. We were treated to 7 tasting courses all visually delightful and tastefully spectacular. I’ll tell you more about the Hare Inn in my review but here’s the delicious Black Forest dessert to whet your appetite.


It’s a little bit breezier tonight as the sun dips behind the trees so I’ll call it a day and hope to catch up with you again tomorrow.

So long ….

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