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Visiting Yeadon Tarn

Yeadon is a town located 8 miles from Leeds, and is situated right next to Leeds Bradford Airport.

Visiting The Micropubs of Skipton

There are many pubs in Skipton, but there are technically only two micropubs. A micropub is a small pub serving beer made in a microbrewery. Below you can see a guest post from my dad, highlighting his thoughts on Skipton’s micropubs; Early Doors & The Beer Engine. 

“Life aint all beer and skittles, and more’s the pity” – George du Maurier

One man, his daughter, and a small fluffy long-eared dog visit the micropubs of Skipton.

Visiting only two pubs could hardly be described as a pub crawl, more of a pub amble. None of the three of us had been to either of these pubs before, but after looking them up, we were expecting small, independent, dog-friendly pubs selling good beer – and we were not disappointed.

Early Doors Micropub

Our first destination was Early Doors, a small pub which is situated on New Market Street in Skipton. We guessed that it is called Early Doors because it shuts early; 8pm Tuesday to Saturday and 6pm on Sundays.

early doors pub

Upon entering, we got a warm reception from the locals at the bar, who all seemed to like the dog.

 dog in pub

The pub is small and has beer from various microbreweries. I tried a pint of Doghouse UPA which was quite light and hoppy and easy to drink. Looking at the beer everyone else was drinking, all of it looked well kept and was being consumed with enjoyment by the other customers.

early doors beers

The pub has no tv, or music, just the ebb and flow of conversation. The bar staff know their stuff, and obviously, have a good relationship with all their regular customers.

There are some bottles of spirits behind the bar, and some wine, but really this is a beer pub. It reminded me of how pubs used to be before many of them became more like restaurants than pubs and started playing loud music all the time, whether the customers want it or not.

All in all, I very much liked this pub, it’s the sort of place where you could drop in for a drink after work or go to read the paper and have a quiet pint.

Moving on from Early Doors, we enjoyed a stroll through the middle of Skipton in the direction of the canal, to check out the second micropub.

skipton canal

The Beer Engine Micropub

the beer engine skipton

This is also quite a small pub, and like Early Doors, it has no music or TV. It has a slightly trendier & more modern feel to it, and has been quite tastefully decorated inside; there is a bookcase full of Real Ale Guides and books on brewing and that sort of thing.

dog friendly micropub skipton

They are a very dog-friendly pub, and upon arrival, Fifi the dog happily accepted a dog biscuit, and a water bowl was provided. They have a good and reasonably large range of beers, including a line in Belgian beer, some of which seems to be served with matching glasses, as it always is in Belgium.

micropub skipton beers

I had a pint of Black Moor from the Goose Eye Brewery. It’s a dark beer, was quite light, but really delicious.

As far as I could see, neither of these pubs serve food, apart from crisps, pork scratchings, and the usual bar snacks, but there are plenty of places in Skipton to get something to eat for all tastes and budgets. Just across the road from the Beer Engine, is Skipton Pie and Mash Shop, which I have tried on several occasions and always found it to be consistently good.

If you want a visit to the pub, without being deafened by music, or watching sporting events you don’t necessarily want to see, then I’d recommend you give these places a go. The bar staff at both pubs were very helpful and friendly, and you can try small samples of the beer if you want to make your mind up as to what to drink.

Thank you to my Dad for sharing his thoughts on the micropubs of Skipton. If you’re looking for other interesting places to go in the area, have a look at my review of the Ilkley Cinema here

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Standon Calling – Dog Friendly?

Is Standon Calling Dog-Friendly?

Standon Calling claims to be “the most dog-friendly festival in the UK”. I was looking forward to it for weeks, hoping for it to be a really memorable weekend spent with my boyfriend and our dog. Well, it certainly was memorable.. but for none of the right reasons.

We were planning on setting off on Friday, but due to some hold ups and bad weather, we decided that it would be better to set off on Saturday morning. We woke bright and early ready to hit the road, It was 198 miles to get to Standon, and took about 4 hours including breaks for the dog to stretch her legs. So by the time we got there it was around midday, we had paid for the upgrade to the “Lavish Lands” which was a total mistake because there were no benefits to it, and it was just loads further away from the parking area than the other camping areas.

Camping at Standon Calling

When we got to the “Lavish Lands” the first thing we noticed was the annoying noise of the drum and bass area which it was situated directly next to. Now, let me just make this clear, I love festivals, I’ve been to loads and I’ve always had a great time, so I’m used to camping in noisy situations, but this really was awful. It is supposed to be family friendly yet all you could hear were the thuds of the bass reverberating around in your skull, it was like being a student again, having to listen to pounding music coming from the rave going on next door. God only knows how awful it must have been for the dogs, as their hearing is super-sensitive.

When we left the camping area I looked down and saw that my dog had a chicken bone in her mouth which I had to quickly pull out, as everyone knows that if a dog eats a cooked chicken bone it can splinter and cause life-threatening injuries. To my dismay, there were chicken bones scattered around the grass everywhere. Not just in the food area, but literally everywhere, as people were walking around they were just chucking the bones on the ground. Why on earth would “the most dog-friendly festival in the UK” allow in a stand selling chicken wings? Luckily my dog is small enough to carry, but there were plenty of larger dogs there who could easily have been badly injured or worse. How are dog owners supposed to relax and have a good time if they have to be constantly checking around for chicken bones?

Standon Calling Festival

It was raining pretty heavily by this time, however, there was nowhere to sit which was under shelter, and as I couldn’t put the dog down on the ground due to the chicken bones we either had the choice of standing in the rain or going back to the tent. In a normal situation sitting in the tent waiting for the rain to pass would have been fine, but with the awful noise going on it was impossible to relax, especially when the dog looked so upset about it all. So I went to the welfare tent to see if they had any ear plugs, and fortunately, they did. To my horror, they then informed me that the drum and bass would be going on until 4am, and they agreed with me that they didn’t know why they would put the camping area right next to it.

The ear plugs made absolutely no difference. The child-friendly lawn area probably would have had some quiet sheltered areas we could have sat in, but we wouldn’t know, because dogs aren’t allowed in there. So the only other option was just to sit in the car. We tried our best to have a good time, but even my usually optimistic attitude was pushed to the limit. After a bit of deliberation, we realised that the prospect of having to listen to the dreadful thumping noises all night was unbearable, and unfair on the dog. So we had to admit defeat, put down the tent and carry everything all the way back up the muddy slope. It took about 2 hours to get everything unassembled and back in the car (because the Lavish Lands was the furthest away camping area). By this time it was 10pm, and we were planning on at least seeing Clean Bandit before we set off, but what with being exhausted, and knowing that we had a 4 hour drive through torrential rain to get home, we decided to just set off. We finally got home at 2am, after having to stop a few times down the M1 for coffee breaks.

Standon Calling Ticket Costs

This has to be the worst festival I have ever has the displeasure of attending. The most soul-crushing thing is that with the amount I spent on the tickets, we could have had a romantic weekend away somewhere, or just put it into our savings for the future. The tickets were £156.56 each, and the Lavish Lands was £49.50 each. Including the transaction fee, this was a grand total of £417.86. Then when you think about the cost of petrol for a 400-mile round trip, and also that I took the Friday off work to get everything ready, it all really starts to add up. After excitedly telling everyone about the festival before we went, I then had to tell everyone that it was actually awful.

Contact Standon Calling

I emailed Standon Calling, asking for a refund, and today I received their response.

“We’re sorry to hear that you had a disappointing time at Standon Calling this year. We do try to advise people in advance that Lavish lands is closer to the main arena and as a result, being closer to the action can mean that it can be noisy on occasion. Unfortunately we will not be able to refund your festival tickets.”

I’m not usually one to complain, but seriously, to be so excited about something, spend so much money, and then just have the worst time ever is so sad, and I want to warn anyone thinking of going to Standon Calling, don’t do it!
If you are looking for a dog friendly festival, then keep looking!

Real Food Market Ilkley

Real Food Ilkley

The first ever Real Food Ilkley Market was on Sunday 6th March 2016, and since then it has grown in both size and popularity. It takes place on the first Sunday of every month (excluding January) and is located on South Hawkesworth Street next to Ilkley’s main car park and behind the Black Hat. It’s only a couple of minutes walk from the train station, or if you’re visiting by car you should be able to find a free parking spot if you drive around a bit, or you can just park in the Ilkley car park. The car park is 20p for 30 minutes, 60p for an hour, or £1.20 for 2 hours.

The market is open from 10am-3pm, but I’d recommend getting there early! Below you can see a selection of some of the produce on offer at the market.

Giuliano’s of Sicily

Award-winning organic olive oil from Sicily. Try some of the bread and olive oil samples – so tasty!

Giulianos

Wharfedale Fine Cheeses

Artisan cheese from Yorkshire and further afield – perfect if you’re crackers about cheese!

wharfedale fine cheese

Carthy & Black

Delicious cream liqueurs, made from the finest Yorkshire ingredients.
carthy black

Edward Street Bakery

Brilliant independent craft bakery in Saltaire.

edward st bakery

The Ilkley Kitchen

Freshly made treats, perfect for taking on a picnic.

the ilkley kitchen

Mak Tok

Flavoursome Malaysian chilli paste, certain to liven up any dish.

mak tok

Made With Ananda

Handmade organic and raw 100% cacao chocolate.

made with ananda

Leeds Bread Co-op

This Leeds based artisan bakery provides the most excellent sourdough bread.

leeds bread co-op

Secret Truffles

Mouth-wateringly good truffles, perfect to give as a gift (to yourself).

secret truffles

Green Hut Co. 

Recently taken over by Ilkley Community Enterprise Ltd, you’ll be able to get these lovely chutneys and jams in the Outside the Box Cafe.

green hut co

The Organic Pantry

Organic veg from North Yorkshire- they also have a delivery service of veg boxes! Fifi was more interested in the Tyler James dog biscuits!

the organic pantry

Tyler James

This lovely pet shop in Ilkley provided a bowl of treats and water for the day! 🙂

tyler james pet shop

So, there we have it! The Ilkley Real Food Market is on the first Sunday of the month, and I go most months so you may see me there. This page is just an example of some of the produce which may be on offer, there are often new and exiting stall-holders attending the market, so be sure to take some shopping bags with you as you’re going to want to stock up!

See you at the market!

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Salami & Co Review

Salami & Co.

10 Market Place, Otley,  LS21 3AQ

I visited Salami & Co. in July, it was a bright sunny day and the lovely town of Otley in West Yorkshire was busy as it was the day of the annual Otley Food and Drink Festival. The market place was closed to traffic and the traders were setting up their stalls and beginning to sell food of all descriptions to the early morning crowd. Having heard great things about Salami & Co. I was pleased to finally get a chance to visit! It is, in fact, a dog-friendly coffee house and not as its name may suggest, a delicatessen. It is called Salami & Co as Salami is the name of one of the owner’s dachshunds.

salami&co

I visited with my parents, and their dog, Dolly the Greyhound and Fifi my Romanian Rescue dog. Fifi is small enough to not cause much of a ruckus when we go to cafes, but Dolly with her long limbs and lack of understanding of the word ‘sit’ is a bit more difficult, and if you take her to a small cafe then everyone has to climb over her when she sprawls out all over the floor. So taking both of these dogs out somewhere is a real test of whether a place really is dog-friendly, and I’m pleased to say that Salami & Co. certainly is.

dining dogs

The place has a relaxing atmosphere and friendly, attentive staff and is easy to find being on the Main Street. The tables are quite high, perhaps intentionally so that your four-legged friends can lie comfortably underneath, which Dolly and Fifi both did for a brief moment! There are dog bowls, blankets and mats provided, and there is also a variety of drinks and treats which look good enough for human consumption!

hound menu  dog treats

The food that was being brought out to the other customers looked good and was well presented (very instagrammable!) and portion sizes seemed about right. There is an excellent selection of good quality coffee, which, by around ten on a Sunday morning is always a welcome sight!

salami&co coffee

For my breakfast order, I predictably chose the smashed avocado with a poached egg on sourdough, with feta cheese, roasted red peppers and chilli. It was absolutely delicious and sustained me throughout the rest of the day. I loved the little flower on top – it’s attention to detail like that which really makes a place special. You can tell that the husband and wife team running this operation really care about making their customers happy.

Also, can we just take a moment to appreciate how gorgeous this crockery is!

smashed avocado toast

The service was fairly fast as it was quite early and the place just had a few customers but I imagine it could get busy at peak times. The prices are what you might expect from a trendy coffee-house, a little on the expensive side, however, the food is all good quality and most definitely worth it. If you own a dog, or just like dogs, this is certainly the place for you! Some places just claim to be dog-friendly, but Salami & Co. really is, and they cater to every need your dog could have! If you feel like treating your dog to even more than just a Puppuccino, then they have a whole variety of lovely collars and leads in the little shop area near the front door.

dog-shop   dog things

Enlivened by our coffee we gathered up the dogs and left the delights of Salami & Co to head to Wetherby Racecourse so Dolly could hang out with her pals at the Northern Greyhound Gathering, a review of which can be read here.

If you enjoyed this post, you can find out about our day at the Yorkshire Coast here.