Laura 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 (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!
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…
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
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This weekend Low Wood Bay hosted the first ever Sine Dubio Lake District art festival. The Free festival championed the work of 15 artists from across northern England (including nine local Cumbrian artists).
Andy Levy, Wood Sculptor creates beautiful wood sculptures and tree carvings using traditional tools and chainsaws, and over the two day’s he created a carving of a Wild Boar, live on the lawns of Low Wood Bay with an audience. The finished Wild Boar will soon be place at The Wild Boar Inn to greet guests.
Marc Sanders Head Chef at The Wild Boar Grill & Smokehouse
As most of our followers have a keen interest in food and many are accomplished cooks, I hope the Chefs of English Lakes can help inspire you to be even more creative and try new recipe ideas.
When we run our smoking courses in conjunction with Jo and Georgina from Smoky Jo’s, the hot Smoked Salmon is always one of the first things our ‘students’ get to taste. A great introduction to smoking food for the first time which can be done without having to buy expensive equipment; just use an old biscuit tin or a deep metal tray with a cooling rack covered with tin foil. We use a Cameron stove top smoker which can easily be purchased from good garden centres or online. It is very important that the sawdust you use for smoking food does not contain any oil that may have come from a chainsaw. Oak is one of the most popular sawdust’s used for smoking. Continue reading
Basil, Polly and Dirk from After Dark
I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect when our party of seven arrived at The Wild Boar Inn for a Fawlty Towers meets Murder Mystery evening on Friday! Yes, it was everything that has just come to mind … Manuel in full slapstick style, Sybil’s soul shivering shrieks, Polly lending a note of sanity to the madness, a murder, a few red herrings and of course, Basil’s bumptious buffoonery! All this, plus a chorus or two of operatic singing, a bowl of salad being let loose across the room, a mysterious German guest but ‘don’t mention the war’, a cleverly crafted plot to keep you guessing ‘who dunnit?’, champagne, canapés and a three-course meal from The Wild Boar Inn, Grill and Smokehouse. Continue reading
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Highlights from our Burns Night Celebration at The Wild Boar in 2012.
Our Next Burns Night Celebrations for 2013 are to be held on Wednesday 23rd January 2013
We begin the evening with a drinks reception followed by a 4 course dinner being served whilst the evening unfolds, including specialty steak and a wee dram of Macallan Whisky. Price: £35.00 per person. Time: 7.00pm.
We host Burns Night at The Wild boar to celebrate the life and poetry of the poet Robert Burns, author of many Scots poems. We cannot claim to have many Scottish links at the Inn, other than George on reception! Our very popular Whisky club often features many Scottish tipples and the Chef often looks to traditional Scottish cuisine for inspiration on the menu; plus it is an excuse to celebrate all these things we love!
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The Inn prides itself on stocking over 50 varieties of Whisky
My father, who recently retired, was looking for a hobby for this time of year when the weather makes playing golf a little more difficult. That was when I suggested another famous Scottish creation …whisky, and where better to begin our new pastime than at The Wild Boar Whisky Club.
There was a time when I didn’t much like the taste of whisky but that was probably because, as an ale drinker, I didn’t appreciated the huge variety of whisky available. Having recently attended two whisky clubs at The Wild Boar my point of view has been transformed.
Matt and his Dad at The Wild Boar