The Apple Core, Lucker

Our next foray into exploring the eateries of the area took us roughly ten miles up the road to the small village of Lucker. I’d heard good things about a newly reopened restaurant and pub in this tiny village and felt it was time to try it out for ourselves.

On arriving at the Apple Core I was suitably impressed by the ‘kerb appeal’ of the Apple Core eatery situated opposite it’s sister pub The Apple Inn, clearly newly renovated and and clean modern feel to the building which extended to the interior on entering the building. A large open plan restaurant with open kitchen and small bar area. Advertised as a Pizzeria and Creperie although it was clear from the menu that they offered much more besides. I was particularly tempted by the Mixed Seafood Burger-Hake, Coley & Salmon Burger, Chilli Tempura King Prawn, Avocado & Spiced Tomato Relish, Fresh Leaf Salad and Fries, or indeed the Pan Roast Duck Breast Sweet Potato Fondant, Trilogy of Baby Vegetables, Caramelised Baby Apples,Bretagne Cider Reduction. But it was the Pizza which I had been looking forward to, my initial choice was the FORMAG

GIO di CAPRA-Mozzarella Base, Spinach, Red Onion, Sun-dried Tomatoes & Goats Cheese,topped with Balsamic Glaze but as this was also Ian’s choice, and I have a personal rule that I can’t have the same option as him so I went for my other personal favourite the PICANTE-Tomato, Mozzarella, Pepperoni, Jalapeños, Chilli Flakes & Fresh Chillies which didn’t disappoint, but I must admit Ian’s choice did look fantastic and his unwillingness to share did lead me to believe he had got the best option on this occasion, maybe I’ll have to change my unwritten rule if he keeps this good choice habit up!

Now we couldn’t leave the Apple Core without sampling one of their wonderful crepes, our table was situated right beside the open kitchen and all evening these delightful creations had been being prepared and passed before us. I opted for the Caramelised Banana and Alnwick Rum crepe which was served with a small jug of pouring cream and Ian went for the Raspberry and White Chocolate option, suffice to say neither of us was left disappointed.

Reflecting back on our overall meal experience I have to say the decor and quality of food really made the evening for me. However I did feel slightly let down in the hosting. The table next to us had a blond female waitress and eves dropping on their conversation left me a little jealous, she, I felt had it just right lively chats and a real warmth in their table chat, for us however although the man serving us was absolutely polite and efficient I did feel a complete lack of interaction whatsoever other than asking our menu choices was little unsociable.

In conclusion I would very much recommend the Apple Core but if you get the option see if you can get the slightly older blond waitress as I think it will make your evening a far more relaxed and enjoyable one.

Strawberry lounge cafe

Continuing in my mini series  of cafe/ restaurant reviews yesterday  I tried out the Strawberry Lounge on Narrowgate in Alnwick. Finding myself in the rare situation of only having one of my children and myself at home I decided it was  perfect timing to take him out for a quick treat. The Strawberry Lounge has long been Adam’s cafe of choice although must admit that since the arrival in Alnwick of Costas I have found myself opting for a posher coffee when not in his company. Now, one of the Strawberry Lounges key selling points for me I must admit is the value for money, not sure I know anywhere else where you can take your child have a drink and scone each and still walk out with change from a fiver- and a very happy child to boot!

Now when you first walk into the Strawberry Lounge just feast your eyes upon their wide array of homemade scones, for this is what they are most famous (at least in my household). Flavours on the day of our visit included Strawberry meringue and white chocolate, Camembert and Tomato and Rhubarb and Custard, to name just 3 of the dozen or so on offer and at a price of just £1.40 including butter and jam then really what’s not to like?

Decor has been updated since my last visit making for a lovely cosy feel to the place  and the fridges and counters were brim full of what looked to be tasty treats.  Can’t comment on the rest of their food currently but feel in my role of advisor to Bog Mill visitors it would be sensible to return again in the near future, purely for research  obviously! And if you do make it along yourselves during your stay please let me know how you get on.

Leave me any recommendations you suggest in the guest books in the cottages and I’ll feed that info back for others to benefit, and obviously I’ll have to test them out myself too if they sound really good, it’s a hard job but someone has to do it! Rx

Surf Northumberland

A friend’s birthday gave us the perfect opportunity to try out a sport I’ve always wanted to give a go. Although a regular swimmer in the sea around our beautiful Northumberland coast, surfing was something I had never really tried beyond body boarding with my kids. So it was on Saturday that myself and four other friends- who really were old enough to know better took to the waves.

And what a fantastic time we had! Our teacher, Sally is an old colleague of mine from when I worked as a swimming teacher has opened a brand new surf school.  Surf Northumberland is in its first season and she’s so in her element that I can’t imagine a better job for her. The passion she has for the sea and surfing couldn’t be clearer, from the moment we arrived her stated aim of ‘just wanting everyone to enjoy themselves as much as she does’ is clear and she certainly managed it with our group of feisty forty somethings. I just can’t wait to get back out there again and should you wish to give it a go too Sally offers adult lessons for £30 an afternoon and kids for £25. More details on her website www.surfnorthumberland.co.uk.

I’d highly recommend it .

A family of Oyster Catchers

 

Admit I had to consult the bird book to identify these beautiful birds but their distinctive long red beaks and black and white markings mean a family of Oyster Catchers have joined us to enjoy their holidays at Bog Mill.

Walk too close and a very protective parent calls to his family until the danger has passed, so photos are a bit distant but what lovely birds, I hope they stay around for a while.

A weekend of great music in Alnwick

Nile Rodgers and Chic Wed 11 July

Tom Jones Friday 13th July

Madness and the Lightning Seeds join us Sat 14th July

Il Divo play Sun 15th July

More details on the Alnwick Castle website

https://www.alnwickcastle.com/whats-on#filter=.wo-highlight

 

 

Roughting Linn

Family day out and found somewhere I’ve never actually been before, Roughting Linn near Lowick. A bit tricky to find but if you want to give it a go when staying at Bog Mill make sure you let me know and I’ll talk you through the directions.

Also there is the largest rock covered in cup and ring marks in Northern England. Just want to know what all those markings mean?

A bath from the past

Chatting this morning with the Byre’s current guests they commented on the fantastic bath in the Byre and it reminded me of this photo. Taken more years ago than I care to remember as that is me probably about 3 years old with my brothers. This is the bath that occupied the original farmhouse when my parents first moved in to Bog  Mill. The main farmhouse needed complete renovation and so during these works we camped out in what are now the cottages but were then very much still farm buildings as you can see in the photo.

Although the bath was removed from the house I am so glad my parents kept it, as a re-enamelling later and what a spectacular centrepiece we have for the Byre’s bathroom, large enough for even the tallest bathers.

If only baths could talk this one would certainly have quite a story to tell, hopefully it’s now rightfully proud to have pride of place in the beautiful Byre.

 

Visit England Star Rating Award

Am absolutely over the moon to have just been told that BOTH the Byre and the Granary have not only been awarded 4 stars but they have also achieved the Gold Award for excellence in the self catering category. What a day, together with being reawarded my Super host status for a second time in a row on Airbnb it really has been an amazing day for Bog Mill Cottages. 🥇🥇🥇🥇