The Grove

Is it possible to do a pub crawl just based at one pub?

07 - The Grove smThe Grove is a singular kind of drinking house in that it has huge menus of the various types of ales and beers that it has for sale; guest beers.

For our ‘pub crawl’ I stuck with the cider menu (of which there were five different types), but I could have opted for twenty plus different ales (or indeed thirty plus different types of gin, or four types of absinthe)

Accompanied by an array of weird and wonderful snacks; crispy salt and vinegar locusts, ghost pepper peanuts and cheese and onion beef jerky.

So we spent a quiet afternoon chewing over ridiculous ideas and reminiscing about long forgotten events.

The pub also does take away – providing 1 pint, 2 pint and 5 pint containers to take a favourite beverage away. Yummy!

Lightwater Valley – Ultimate Burger

Hmm. Theme Parks – take or picnic or buy food in the park. Discuss.

Lightwater Valley - Ultimate Burger smIt’s always a risk, because there are some particularly dire cafes and restaurants in some theme parks. Well, they’ve got you over a barrel, for a start. Where else are you going to go? Out of the park, and leave all the fun behind? I don’t think so!

We had a fun day out a a little theme park called Lightwater Valley, in the north of England. Caroline, Lucy and I had fun on the rides – but we were going to risk it for lunch.

The main restaurant area, that we found, had the usual potatoes, pizzas and fish and chips. But, I’m afraid I fancied a burger, or at least wanted to look at the burger options ; which were elsewhere in the park.

So I had to wander up the path a little to get to The Conservatory where the burger restaurant was located.

Massive queue.

In a conservatory. In the heat.

But the burgers didn’t look half bad.

After queueing for a little time I picked THE ULTIMATE BURGER. And whilst it wasn’t particularly Ultimate, it was particularly tasty.

Now, I know that burgers are wrong in all kinds of ways … but … sometimes. It just has to happen.

And, hey! If your going to drift to the dark side, one at least needs to feel a little satisfied that it was a justifiable choice. At least in terms of the tastes and flavours.


Cafe Whiteleys – Breakfast

In preparation for my breakfast this morning I’m posting this older breakfast.

Now I have to admit I don’t drink an awful lot of coffee at all nowadays. Okay, okay, you got me there! I don’t drink coffee at all anymore, and I drink tea like there’s no tomorrow.

But, anyhoo … Lovely slap-up breakfast – a full english, I think. Or, would it need black pudding to be a full english? Yes, I think it would.

Black Pudding, a fried tomato and a pipe.

And a red telephone box.


Cafe Whiteleys - Breakfast sm

Sunnyhills Farm Shop

Sunnyhills - Kipper sm

Wow! It’s, like, some time since I last posted.

Hey, what can I say? I’ve been busy.

But it does mean that I’m way behind on my postings – I may have taken a bit of a hiatus from posting but I’ve been a busy beaver drawing my meals out.

Sunnyhills Farm Shop is located in Northumberland. Just off the main road, it has a little gift shop, a large array of local produce and a cafe .

We’ve been here before. In fact Sunnyhills was my first meal drawing, way back when.

This time I plumped to have some locally sourced kippers; which were delicious, thank you very much.

Now, you might be thinking, why bother with kippers – they’ll stink up the place, not to mention leave me with a lingering after taste. Well, I suppose they did hang around a little longer on the palette than some of the menu items would have done. But, oily fish, and freshly cooked oily fish at that, is so mouthwatering. I can forgive it if it wants to hang around for a while.

The salad dressing was home made too and complemented the fish well; honey, white wine and vinegar.


The Golden Sea

Golden Sea smAs part of Brighouse Arts Festival I’ve got twelve meals drawings on display at The Pot Spot.

So, twelve meals at various restaurants and cafes in and around Brighouse. Well, actually they’re pretty much all in the centre of Brighouse.

The Golden Sea restaurant is located on what, I suppose is, the main ring road round Brighouse.

I was given and warm welcome and the food was delicious. (I really need to find a thesaurus to cook up some fresh adjectives. Caroline jokes that she can tell when I’ve enjoyed a meal out; if the waiter or waitress asks if we are enjoying our meal and I say that’s it’s delicious, then I am enjoying the food. If, however, I simple nod, or say that it is nice, then I am not.) This meal was delicious. And the portions were quite substantial too.

I could have dined out on the Salt and Pepper Ribs alone; succulent ribs with a sprinkling of chilli.

I’ve not had Popo Chicken before and it reminded me a little of sweet and sour chicken (which it was not), the sauce was mildly spicy and garlicky.

The Special Fried Rice was packed with colour and tastes and again I could have quite easily picked that one dish as a meal on it’s own.

I have to admit I had to ask for the remains of the Popo Chicken and the Special Fried rice to be boxed up and I enjoyed them all over again for my tea the following day.

More Magazine Work

Since February of this year I’ve been illustrating a second article for Camping and Caravanning Club magazine.
Up until this point I’ve just been doing illustrations of various different foods for the Eat Local article but this second article was rather more complicated/interesting.
The Pitch and Go article is a double spread near the beginning of the magazine and highlights coming attractions around the country of interest to club members.

O&A June 2013


I get sent a PDF of a mock-up using old illustrations and photos, which I can use to get a handle on where the text is to be placed. Sometimes some of the areas can be quite a tight fit, but it’s fun trying to figure out how to get the different elements to work together.

It’s always exciting getting the email with this PDF attached. I’ve been required to illustrate objects and events that I otherwise, perhaps, would not have considered tackling. There is some leeway from the magazine regarding what is illustrated, but I generally try to stick with what they request as it’s a good opportunity to flex my drawing skills to draw a dog or figures in various positions.

One issue that I try to stick to is that the drawings appear to be from about a 45 degree angle, as if the viewer is looking down onto the map from above.

The illustration is produced as a whole work each month, rather than individual elements being layered in Photoshop. This allows me to have the individual elements on the map somehow interacting with the map itself, whether it be bite-marks taken out or parts of the map being scrunched up.

Here is the original work that I sent to the magazine.

Feb02 sm

Mods and Rockers at The Cricket Inn

Had a lovely afternoon lazing about in the summer sun watching a Mods versus Rockers cricket match over in Sheffield.
Of course I foolishly expected them all to be dressed in their 50s costumes. Which they weren’t! But we did have music from the period being played.

I couldn’t resist drawing my lunch at the pub, which has quite a good reputation for it’s food.


Some of the dishes featured on the menu were also featured in a book published by the brewery.


I was very tempted to buy this as the recipes all sounded delicious and all had the beers and ales either in the recipe of as suggested accompaniments to the meal.


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