The light after the rain 27/07/2017

Isn’t this country simply divine? We are met with angry rumbling black skies and torrential rain but just the other side of the darkness is piercing sunlight, golden and glorious.

This week has been quite busy…let’s see, Monday night was my local pub’s Steak Night so I went along to that with one of my housemates; a Spanish chap called George. Tuesday was a catch up evening with a very old (in time not in age) friend of mine, Chels at a lovely local pub called The Tobie Norris. Wednesday saw the return of Burghley Film Festival with the gorgeous Kate who was kind enough to take the photos for this blog post.

The Northwick Arms is my local, they cook a fantastic steak and the wine list is quite exciting too. I chose the sirloin (rare of course) and a large glass of Malbec, got to make the most of it being in stumbling distance. Sandra and Kiernan took the pub on a couple of years ago and it’s doing really well. Sandra is great at the front of house chat, and I must say very good at putting up with grumpy old men. You’ll also see Kiernan poking his head out of the steamy kitchen for a good natter if he has time. In addition to this pleasant pair, there are two adorable Basset hounds who keep the drunk and disorderly under control with a firm woof in the later hours of the evening.

Sottano Malbec 14%, Argentina, 2015

The steaks are sourced locally at the Northwick, and although the wines are not local, Sandra and Kiernan’s wine list has been created by Amps Wine Merchants who are just down the road in Oundle.

I have to say, I chose well for the steak because the two went together beautifully. This is a spicy, fruity, with-essences-of-clove Malbec that marries red meat. It’s ruby red with some great legs on it, a proper big Argentinean red.

The Tobie Norris is a very well-known pub in Stamford serving unusual pub food and great pizzas. Chels and I sat outside with my two doggies, I think only Chunky has featured so far, the sausage dog, but I have the most beautiful border in the world too called Olive. We both had the seabass salad and I’m ashamed to say, gin. This blog won’t be reviewing spirits just yet but the Two Birds gin was refreshing and crisp nonetheless.

We stopped by The Wine Bar on our way home where I sampled the Chianti – I didn’t jot down what it was but I will no doubt be back so expect a review on that in the future.

Finally, the stunning Burghley Film Festival on Wednesday evening…

After a day of very mixed weather, the sun somehow thought we deserved her presence and appeared over the top of the voluptuous clouds to create a magical evening.

I’d whizzed into Collyweston village shop on my way there to stock up on picnic supplies and buy a chilled bottle of wine. Collyweston shop is no ordinary shop, they have a secret wine supplier and stock everything from The Pickled Village condiments to local restaurant The Mad Turk’s hummus which is probably the best hummus in the world. You can get bread and stuff too, you know, the essentials.

The Wednesday night films were both of Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes adaptations. They’re up there with my all time favourite films and Hans Zimmer’s score is exceptional, my hair is actually standing on end just thinking about it. I don’t care what other people say, Robert Downey Jr is the best Sherlock, don’t give me any of that Cumberbatch nonsense.

I suggest that if you can get away for a weekend, or during the week (even better) then take yourself to The Burghley Film festival. There are lots of places to stay on Airbnb and of course the luxury hotels too if you’re treating yourself.

Le Chapeau Qui Rit Blanc 11.5%, Côtes de Gascogne (France) 2015

This is a zingy zing zing refreshing white wine so it suited all our picnic nibbles really well. It’s produced from predominantly Colombard grapes making it quite dry and there is also a touch of Ugni Blanc according to the website which I can’t tell you about because it will reveal Collyweston Shop’s finest secret. I’d definitely have it again!

Massive thank you to Katie Ingram Photography for the photos.


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