The Wild Boar Whisky Club introduces its Master of Malt!

Introducing George Hutton, Receptionist at The Wild Boar and our new Master of Malt…

George Hutton

George Hutton

I have been part of The Wild Boar family for almost 9 Years now. Having a real interest in whisky, it now falls my responsibility, and a task that I relish, to write a monthly whisky blog for our guests, our Whisky Club members and all those out there who have an interest in, or taste for, the amber liquid. So, with my new title Master of Malt, affectionately bestowed upon me, lets begin…

In 2010 The Wild Boar was treated to an extensive refurbishment. At that time we introduced the relatively new concept for the Lake District – a Whisky Bar. Our Wild Boar Whisky Club developed very naturally as a result. Continue reading

6 Nations Whisky & Rugby Dinner in association with Wooden Spoon

On Thursday 27th February The Wild Boar welcomed whisky and rugby enthusiasts to our 6 Nations Charity Dinner.

The event was held in association with the UK’s rugby charity, Wooden Spoon, who celebrated their 30th Anniversary last year and was hosted by John Cunningham – Wooden Spoon Cumbria Chairman, and Anthony Sutcliffe – The Wild Boar Operations Manager and Wooden Spoon Committee Member.

Anthony, Ian Robertson and John Cunningham

Anthony Sutcliffe, Ian Robertson and John Cunningham

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A Whisky Collection that Deserves to be Celebrated

edits-15-LThe following guest post has been written by Gavin and Penny. Both are hoteliers and Whisky experts, Penny being the Director of Speyside Whisky Festival…

It was a damp Tuesday in November a couple of years ago and we stumbled into the bar of the Wild Boar Inn at Crook.

It was warm, had a welcoming log fire, a good range of real Ales and an impressive collection of Malt Whisky. On that basis alone it was considered the place to stay that night!

We settled in and made our way back to the bar only to discover that Tuesday night was Malt Whisky night!

This was going to be interesting, on so many fronts! Continue reading

Veggie Victory at The Wild Boar!

1175184_648547675155344_1695589003_nLaura Ticehurst, Receptionist at The Wild Boar found herself donning wellies and taking to the Inn’s new and freshly dug vegetable patch earlier this year. A novice gardener, Laura shares her successes, failures and one or two tips for getting rid of those pesky slugs …

At the beginning of spring 2013 I knew nothing about gardening and had no particular desire to know anything about it either……..that was until it was suggested that as a Green Champion it would be great if I could become involved and “help out” with the vegetable patch at The Wild Boar. Little did I know that the word “help” would be interpreted as “be solely responsible for”.  So being thrown head first into the world of home grown vegetables has made for an interesting year with many successes and one or two failures. I’ve learnt what to do and what not to do and have also created and refined my own gardening tips!

At the start of spring I eagerly planted peas, carrots, beetroot, different varieties of lettuce and rocket, courgettes, French beans, shallots, red onions, spring onions and radishes as well as sweet potatoes and marrows. The radishes were first to grow and after I had completed the back breaking work of thinning them out once they had grown into seedlings; they soon grew to be big juicy tasty accompaniments to the salads chef put on the specials menu. This success though was met by a failure with the beetroot crop. After I had thinned the beetroot out they didn’t take too kindly to the extremely hot weather we had over the summer and therefore didn’t grow much bigger than the size of a marble. The rocket was growing by the bucketful and we had so much that chef dreaded my daily visits to the kitchen with the days harvest so the staff ended up taking some of it home too!

Slug

Slug (Photo credit: Marj Joly)

My biggest battle this year though has been with the gardeners arch nemesis; The Common Garden Slug! Not wanting to use the toxic slug pellets in the garden for fear a poor dog might eat one I was left with nothing but the more alternative methods of deterring these pesky creatures. I used tubs of beer in the hope the slugs would be happily distracted as well as wool on the soil which they are supposed to dislike crawling across. My dear mother also shared one of her old wives tips with me, which was to put slices of cucumber on a tray of aluminium foil and dot these about the vegetable patch. Surprisingly I think it worked as they weren’t too much trouble after this. Although it may also have been the combined effort of all my strange slug repelling methods including mixing used coffee granules in amongst the soil and strips of copper along the bottom of plants which is supposed to give off an electrical charge when the slugs crawl across it!

My biggest success of the year; of which I am quite proud has to be my Marrows. I have tenderly cared for them through out the year, feeding them according to a strict timescale, watering them at a particular time of day, on certain days of the week and gently placing straw under the growing marrows to stop them rotting upon contact with the soil. (This is no easy feat, the leaves and stalks of marrows are covered in thick sharp thistles which cut and scratch you) My dedication was rewarded with a plentiful bounty of the biggest marrows I have ever seen. For several weeks I would have a generous harvest of marrows to provide the kitchen with and chef created several delightful dishes from them which featured on our daily specials.

Overall I would say this years crop has been a success and we hope to be a bit more adventurous with what we grow next year as well as planting vegetables that are ready at different times of year so that the kitchen are not overwhelmed with vegetables. I’m also determined to continue my marrow success and grow one bigger and better than this year’s 90 lb marrow winner at the Hawkshead Show. Green Fingers Crossed!

Drinkable and Delicious – The New Smoked Porter

As the seasons change so too does the seasonal beer on tap at The Wild Boar Brewhouse. Mad Pig Ale, our 4.0% ABV house ale, will be ever present but Hogshead 54, a 5.5% imperial pale ale, will go into hibernation for the winter. With longer nights and colder days something altogether more hardy and warming will be needed to step in and take its place for a season.

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Max’s Doggy Holiday

English Lakes is proud of it’s pets welcome policy and guests have been bringing their pets to our hotels in the Lake District and Lancashire for many years. Today we have received a special guest blog from a four legged friend, Max who recently visited The Wild Boar…

Max the Dog

Me! Max the Dog

I was so excited to be going on my first holiday, as only being six months old I had only ever slept in my bed at home, so to be going away and sleeping somewhere else, what an adventure!

We arrived at The Wild Boar in the lovely sunshine (my favourite type of weather as I find that the rain spoils my beautiful curly ears) and at Reception all the staff made a fuss of me and said how cute I was, which of course is the truth but I never get tired of hearing it!  We were shown to our room by Adam, and it was a doggy dream!  There was plenty of room for my bed on the floor, and even French windows leading straight outside so I could be let out quickly when there was a call of nature and didn’t have to cross my paws at all!  And I know mummy and daddy were delighted with their huge comfy sleigh bed, but I wasn’t allowed on there!  Continue reading

Smoking Delights at The Wild Boar Inn

This is a guest blog post written by Denise Barnes in Central Reservations at English Lakes Support Office.

I was lucky enough to be invited to The Wild Boar to experience the Smoking Course which they run each month. I’m quite a foodie, so this was ‘right up my street’.

Smoking experts, Georgina Perkins and Jo Hampson from Smoky Jo’s, met our group at reception and we had a brief on what the course entailed. We learned the difference between hot smoking, cold smoking and how to make food safe through smoking.

Denise opens The Wild Boars smoker with the rest of the smoking course group

Denise opens The Wild Boars smoker with the rest of the smoking course group

Jo told us we were going to prepare certain foods, smoke them and get to taste them throughout the day. We were shown different types of smokers that any amateur smoker could purchase or adapt, like the infamous filing cabinet. These range from a few pounds to a few hundred pounds. Everyone  was really impressed by the cardboard box smoker called the Eco Smoker. It’s ingenious. Such a simple idea that anyone with an interest in smoking food can use. I think I have someone’s Christmas present earmarked.

Jo with the cardboard Eco Smoker

Jo with the cardboard Eco Smoker

The outside area where the Smokehouse is situated is a lovely area in the grounds of The Wild Boar next to the vegetable plot. Jo showed us which apparatus we were going to smoke our food on throughout the day.  We went back and forth between the Smoke House and the restaurant where we prepared the food.

We were given a piece of chicken to prepare for smoking. Given the choice of every type of herb and spice to flavour our chicken, I chose Chinese five spice, ginger and garlic. Outside again and the chicken fillets were put into the large oil drum smoker to cold smoke throughout the afternoon. Other vegetables, mushrooms and peppers were also put into the smoker.

Next, a piece of Salmon to prepare for our lunch. To flavour my piece of salmon I chose dill, honey and white wine.  After sufficient time for the flavours to penetrate the salmon, they were placed into a stove top smoker by Marc Sanders, Head Chef at The Wild Boar and hot smoked.

Mark Sanders smoking salmon on the hob

Mark Sanders smoking salmon on the hob

We all settled down in the restaurant for lunch.  Bread, dipping oils and sausages which had been smoked earlier outside were already on the table for us to enjoy.

Our salmon was served as our main course. Jo has a unique way of marking and remembering which piece of food belongs to whom by snipping different shapes from the fin and tail of the salmon.  We also got to sample some cheeses which had spent over night in the smoke house. Brie, usually my least favourite cheese but after sampling smoked brie, it is now a new favourite!

smokerAfter lunch we went back to Chef’s table in the restaurant  for our final product awaiting flavour. A whole trout – with eyes!! This was a challenge. Without catching its gaze, I flavoured mine with white wine and garlic. Back outside we went to see how our produce was getting on in the cold smoker. Lifting the lid up from the smoker caused great big puffs of smoke to bellow out.

The trout was experimented with. Some were put into the oil drum smoker and some put into a table top smoker to see how different flavours were achieved by the different smokers By this time it was late afternoon and all of our food was left in the capable hand of Georgina where they would continue to smoke and then be cooked and served up for our evening banquet.

The Wild Boar RestaurantWe returned to The Wild Boar in the evening with partners and family, I took my son who is a chef. The kitchen served up everything we had smoked along with other regular smoked delights produced by the Inn.

We had a tapas style starter followed by a fish course of scallops in a creamy sauce. The main course was also served tapas style, a mixture of smoked steaks fillet, sirloin and wild boar chop were placed on our table along with side orders of chips and onion rings. If anyone had space they could chose a dessert from the menu. What a fantastic evening!

Only a few hours earlier we had been a bunch of strangers but here we were reminiscing about a fun day and enjoying the fruits of our labour.

Next Smoking Course Dates

2013 Dates

  • Wednesday 18th September
  • Saturday 2nd November
  • Saturday 23rd November (Christmas Theme)
2014 Dates

  • Saturday 25th January
  • Saturday 8th February
  • Saturday 1st March

For more infromation and bookings telephone: 015394 45225

  • Written by: Denise Barnes