Slightly Peckish: Castle Howard in Yorkshire (UK)
Yorkshire, two and half hours by train up north from London, is where one of my dear friends lives with her family. Although her family are originally from India, she's a proper Yorkshire lass, born and raised there before coming down to London for university, where we met as very green 18 year olds in halls, her a medic and me an astrophysicist. She always made me laugh with her Yorkshire accent (they say foonay instead of funny and moonay instead of money), one I'd never heard before but now a firm favourite. So I toodled up north a few weekends ago, taking the rain and thunderstorms with me, to spend some much needed time with her and her kids.
Yorkshire is also Brontë country and we visited Haworth where the Brontë Parsonage is situated a few years ago. This time, we decided to do a trip to Castle Howard where both the tv series and film of Brideshead Revisited, Evelyn Waugh's most famous novel of the decline of an aristocratic Catholic family in interwar Britain, was filmed. One of the Great Houses of England, Castle Howard is grand and beautiful and although we were stuck in traffic and it poured down with rain, I couldn't stop gasping at how stunning everything was, from the stables and carriage house (below), where we had had our lunch, to the main house and extensive grounds.
We stumbled into the café, wet and hungry, and waited patiently to be seated. It was busy with tourists and locals--especially since the skies opened and it was pouring with rain. But the staff was friendly and service, prompt. See the gray clouds? We never quite escaped them.
Being in Yorkshire, I of course ordered the fish and chips for which the region is famous.
The batter was light, the fish fresh and the chips were moreish. The accompanying minted mushy peas could have been mushier but the tartar sauce was lovely.
My friend had the gardener's lunch which turned out to be quite substantial.
A large hunk of bread, pork pie, a wedge of cheese, coleslaw, thick cut ham and some salad and pickles.
We were too stuffed for any tea and scones, which most of the other customers were happily devouring.
After spending two wonderful days with my friend gossiping, playing with her kids, eating lots of Indian food and drinking homemade chai, I was sent off home with some goodies.
Namak paray, a savoury Indian snack you can eat anytime of the day.
Some vegetable samosas which I LOVE.
Samosas must be one of my favourite snacks of ALL TIME. Growing up, I loved visiting my Indian friends because their mum's always gave me samosas.
And some runner beans and tomatoes (red and yellow) from my friend's dad's garden.
They normally cook it with spices to make a dry curry-like dish, but I turned it into pasta which was perfect as the beans were sweet and juicy.