Private dinner at Leeds Met Headingley Campus

Attended a private business dinner for 8 ‘movers and shakers’ (god knows what I was doing there) on Wednesday evening. Although the food was of a high standard and fairly unremarkable, the setting wasn’t . The campus at Headingley is out of town and the site of the original Carnegie college. The dinner was held in a private ‘villa’ in the Edwardian style. Private caterers and very civilised indeed.

Pies, Peas, Poetry at the Priestleys


The inaugural Globe Troffers Poetry Evening was held at Pat and Tony’s on Saturday 21st March. And what a great evening it was.

Our first foray into a cultural event (theatre trips aside) was a resounding literary success with more culture being thrown around than an evening with Melvyn Bragg.

The prose was nobly accompanied by rustic pie and pea fare which soothed our collective, fevered, poetic brows. The pie was Aberdeen Angus beef from the local farm in Northowram and it hit the mark. Peas, mint sauce etc all did their jobs splendidly. 

In between rounds of poetry we tucked into a few tarts that John had brought with him (from Betty’s – curd, custard and a Betty’s Special) and  D&G’s cheese selection (from Anthony’s Fromagerie) all were excellent, in particular the Roquefort.

There was a lot of poetry kicking off – for the record, here’s the running order – which poems were chosen, read and by whom…

Albert and the Lion by Marriott Edgar — Read by Tony and Jess

A day at the seaside by Pete Postlethwaite (unpublished) — Read by Tony

A slice of wedding cake by Robert Graves — Read by Tess

Annus Mirabilis and  This be the verse by Philip Larkin —  Read by Phil

Beverley’s Bedroom by Georgia Dean (Age 8) — Read by Julie

Despatches from the heart (excerpt) — Read by Gurdev

When the sun goes down by Alex Turner — Read by Pat

‘Anthology of verse’ featuring ‘1-3 Gifts for my son’ (author unknown), ‘How do I love thee?’ by Browning and ‘Goodnight then’ by Churchill  — Read by John from his mother’s personal notebook

The owl and the pussycat by Edward Lear — Read by Julia

Jaberwocky by Lewis Carroll — Read by Tony

Bathtime by Judith Nichols — Read by Tess

Interlude —  pies and peas

The Shropshire Lad and The Licorice fields of Pontefract by John Betjemen — Read by Phil

A busy day (Author unknown) — Read by Jess

Night Mail by WH Auden — Read by Gurdev

Epitaph for an ordinary man by Tony Priestley (age 18, unpublished) — Read by Pat

Half way down by AA Milne and The Tiger by William Blake — Read by John

A selection of verse from ‘Macbeth’, ‘Waiting for Godot’ and ‘Let me die a young man’s death’ — Read by Tony

The dog ate my homework by Dave Crowley — Read by Tess

Interlude for desserts, cheese and port in cheeky little glasses like pipes

The Tyre by Simon Armitage — Read by Phil

The Dog by Rudyard Kipling and Dog by Simon Armitage — Read by Gurdev

A final ‘open’ selection of poems were read (I may not have captured them all here, so apologies if some are omitted):

Do not stand at my grave and weep (author unknown, voted number 1 poem in BBC poll)

If by  Kipling

The daffodils by Wordsworth

Jenny kissed me by Leigh Hunt

Stop the clocks and Death by Auden

A lover mourning the loss of life by Yeats


And finally to round off a perfect evening, we were treated to a brilliant recital of ‘The Battle of Hastings’ by Marriott Edgar by Tony.

A hood down Dales day out. 15th March 2009

The sun was playing out good style this moning so we decided that we should get Chester into the back of  the car, get the hood down, sunglasses on and set off. We decided to go over the moors past the Cow and Calf, scenic route to Burnsall. Burnsall was packed as everyone else must have decided to take advantage of  the glorious weather so we ended up at  The Craven Arms,  Appletreewick again.  Sat outside, G had a couple of pints of Hetton Pale ale(yummy), Roast beef  lunch was spot on. D decided on the Steak and Ale pie which was delicious(broke her Lent abstinence of alcohol but we decided it didn’t count…). Suitably fueled we walked along the riverside path to Burnsall, Chester was very brave and had a swim, guess what we ended up at another pub….yes, the Red Lion. We sat outside overlooking the river and D had tea, coffee and cognac  for G. The other diners meals looked pretty good. We strolled back to Appletreewick, it was still warm enough to drive to Betty’s in Ilkley with the hood down, a box of  fancies to take home for the kids.

Home to a fire in the garden(kids had had a BBQ), finished off  the day with a little nightcap. A beautiful day!!

G, D and Chester.



Film club last night. We opted to discuss the film over a curry. Appropriately enough, the film we were discussing was Slumdog Millionaire. I know, obvious.

One of the guys suggested Hansa’s and it’s been some time since I was last there and I have to say that it’s not a place I would have chosen for a curry. On top of this, my rather meaty outlook on life is decidedly iffy about the lack of a lamb chop to chew on.

I needn’t have worried. We shared the Hansa’s Surprise – a set meal for four that includes starters, mains and desserts for £60. The food really was very good, considering there wasn’t any meat in sight. I couldn’t really tell you what we had because as quick as he brought it and told us about it, we scoffed if pretty fast! Highlight was a new dish that’s not on the menu yet – a kind of lentil version of a balti dish, very hot and good. The puffed up naan bread things were excellent too (they would be perfect with a lamb and spinach balti). The spices were delicately and accurately used and it all tasted very fresh and not cloying as it sometimes can be after a down market ruby.

The George

img_0098Feeling particularly parched after a long day of back to back meetings, I came upon The George Inn just off Borough High Street in London. On recommendation by my good friend Ian Street, I partook of a pint of the local George ale brew – which for a southern beer was remarkably smooth displaying a full, frothy head.

As you can probably tell, it’s a proper old London ale house and was frequented by Dickens and Shakespeare before him. Apparently Churchill drank there and although he brought his own vintage, they charged him 1s 6d corkage!
Worth calling in for if you’re in the Bankside vicinity, a reminder how good a proper English boozer can be.
Pic to follow, apologies if you’ve been trying to get pics on the site for some reason it’s not working.

Curry and Culture with Lenny Henry’s Othello 9th March 2009

A full Globe Troffers team outing started with a pre theatre curry at the Aagrah which was super particularly as the price was £20 per head including a couple of three drinks! Linda and John shared a particularly good mixed seafood starter with Dawn and Phil’s Lamb Chops hitting the spot. Mains included Keema Makhani, Chicken Hyderabadi, Chicken Rogan Josh but we think Phil and Gurdev’s Jingha Kaas(massive prawns) served grilled with  grilled spiced vegetables and rice were really special.

Suitably smelling of curry we all trotted up to the West Yorkshire Playhouse to see Lenny Henry as Shakespeares Othello in a Northern Broadside Production. The production was very good with Lenny rising to the challenge admirably. A great night out.

Next scheduled Globe Troffer event is the Poetry Evening…………….