Saturday, 26 December 2009

Road Conditions

Just a quick update about roads in the area. After several days with snow lying in the valley the road upto Boot is now clear of snow, a few spots of ice remain but it is passable in any type of vehicle.
Hardknott pass is closed, do not enter the valley from that direction!
The Ulpha-Birker Fell road should also be avoided, adventurous people have come over in proper 4x4's but as the snow melts there is the danger of sheet ice forming especially at night and in the mornings.
The best route into the valley is via Holmrook then Irton and on to the Bower House, this avoids the hill from Santon Bridge although it is raining at present and I expect that most low lying roads will be clear by lunchtime today.

Merry Christmas

Friday, 4 December 2009

Seasons Greetings

Well the decorations and Santas have been in the shops for a month now so I feel happy to pass on some Christmas cheer! This week has seen the first snow of the winter only on the fells, but that is the best place for it. Monday dawned cold and clear, a trip up Scafell Pike was already organised with the possibility of a winter route. Just to be clear "winter route" to me means a grade 1 gully filled with snow not an ice smeared precipice! So I was a bit perturbed when my mate Ben turned up with a boot full of shiny climbing gear and even a spare helmet for me. Not wanting to seem rude I offered to carry the helmet and let him carry the expensive climbing gear.

It really was a great day, we were at Hollowstones at the foot of Pikes crag by about 11.30am and the sun would have been shining if it wasn't on the other side of the mountain. That is the beauty of this crag, no sun in the morning to melt the snow! With about 6 inches of snow lying and more in small drifts we chose to ascend via Long Gully, this is the obvious line up the face that can be seen from the lake and turned out to be an enjoyable easy grade 1 climb.
Looking down from the top with the temp at -5c we were glad to be up there and not diving in the lake!

Back at Brook House Inn, the decorations will be going up soon, the damson vodka is maturing nicely and New Years eve menu is finally written

New Years Eve Dinner 2009
North Atlantic seared Scallops with cauliflower puree & pancetta foam
Goat’s cheese Rarebit with beetroot chutney
Smoked Salmon tartare with fennel crackers & red pepper salsa
Rabbit & pistachio terrine with salad leaves & piccalilli
Black vodka martini sorbet
Tomato soup
Halibut fillet with home smoked brown trout mousse,
lime hollandaise, garlic potato cake and wrapped greens.
Roasted partridge with an air-dried ham coat, pheasant stuffing and duck leg confit jus, celeriac potato cake and honey parsnips.
Venison medallion with girole mushrooms, balsamic berry reduction, celeriac potato cake and honey parsnips.
Lightly smoked tofu marinated in Islay malt, served on a bed of spiced red cabbage with potato and almond tarts.
Clementine Syllabub with Ginger Tuille crisps & shot of orange Muscat
Mille-feuille of Chocolate cream & crème patisserie with a raspberry coulis
Egg Nog Trifle with boozy berries, Chantilly cream & toasted almonds
Maderia Poached Pear tarte tatin with vanilla ice cream & espresso syrup
Cumbrian cheese board
Champagne at midnight
Please arrive 7 for 7.30pm
£47.50 per person

If you would like to come please remember booking and pre-ordering is required.

On another note the King George appears to have closed its doors for the time being and the Woolpack is closed until next season. Brook House is open all day every day except Christmas Day and The Boot Inn is open from 4pm daily.