A Foodie Adventure in Malton
One of the things I love most about living in Leeds is that there are so many ace places to visit nearby. In less than an hour on the train you can be stood at the top of Ilkley Moor or retracing the steps of the Brontë sisters in Haworth - you can even get to some pretty beautiful beaches without too much trouble.
A place that has long been on my list that I hadn't got around to visiting was Malton. It's hailed as Yorkshire's foodie capital and I'd only heard great things about it, so when Inntravel invited me along for a day of adventuring round the town last Sunday I couldn't say YES PLEASE fast enough.
I jumped on the train at Leeds with a gaggle of other bloggers and we chatted away for the 50 minute journey (which was SO gorgeous by the way - I played "find my dream house" out of the window pretty much the entire way!).
Our first stop for the day was Malton Cookery School where we had a four hour lesson, whipping up 5 dishes from around Europe. The cookery school was like all of my dreams come true - beautiful wooden floors, amazingly styled shelves, filled to the brim with top notch equipment, and the sort of ovens I dream of one day owning.
All of the dishes that we made were from places that you can visit on an Inntravel holiday, including France, Scandinavia, Germany and Italy. Their whole concept is around "slow holidaying" - truly soaking up the cultures of the places you visit, enjoying the local scenery and food, so spending the day cooking and eating our way around the continent (with a Yorkshire twist, of course) felt very fitting.
We donned our aprons and partnered up, while the wonderful teachers Gilly and Sue dished out our tasks. Emma and I set to work with making soda bread for the Swedish mackerel starter and I was so proud with how it turned out (even if Emma did do most of the hard work... shhhhh!)
The great thing about how the morning at the cookery school was organised was that we all got to have a stab at everything (quite literally!) and everyone was involved in making an element of each dish. We learnt how to fillet fish, butcher meat, bake bread, make gnocchi and knead dough - it was ace and I can't wait to have our friends round for dinner so I can try out my new skills!
The best bit of course though was tasting all of the dishes! The coq a la biere (coq au vin with a Yorkshire brewery twist!) was my favourite, closely followed by the pork fillet, but honestly, everything was amazing - I even enjoyed the pickled mackerel which is a pretty bold statement for someone who usually balks at any fish!
Sharing the dishes we had all prepared together was definitely one of the most fun bits of the day - especially as the guys at the cookery school had selected some pretty ace wines and spirits to match the meals we had cooked. I love getting the chance to meet and chat to other bloggers at events, and everyone got on so well that it made for such a lovely atmosphere.
Once we were all suitably fed and feeling proud of our efforts it was time to embark on the second part of our day - a foodie adventure around the village of Malton.
We kicked it off with a visit to Brass Castle Brewery, one of two independent breweries in Malton, where we got to learn all about the brewing process and sample some of their wares (it's a hard life being a blogger sometimes!)
From there we headed up to Talbot's Yard, home to 5 independent food and drink producers, including a bakery, a butcher, an artisan ice creamery, a local coffee roaster and a pasta maker.
It was so much fun to go in and chat to all of the producers and learn more about what it really means to "buy local" - it definitely made me feel more passionate about opting to support our independent producers instead of relying on the convenience of supermarkets. With the food and drink scene so stong in Yorkshire at the moment, there is really very little that isn't grown or produced locally, so there is no excuse!
After the guys had all picked up an ice cream from Groovy Moo while I looked on with envy (damn my sugar free life!), it was time to head for our train back to Leeds, with us all vowing to visit Malton again soon. I honestly fell completely in love with the place - the views are stunning, the shops are gorgeous and the food is great and plentiful, what's not to love?! (I may have spent the journey home Googling houses for sale in the area...)
HUGE thank you to Inntravel and Malton Cookery School for organising such a great event, and for all the other lovely bloggers for making it such a lovely day. And if you're based near Yorkshire and fancy making a little Malton visit yourself, they have a Food Lovers Festival on next month - thank me later!