Happy Thursday! I hope the week so far is treating you well and you have achieved your goals so far. Who else makes a list of goals at the beginning of the week? I try my hardest to do this but sometimes, life takes over and I become a walking to-do list… Anyone else feel the same? Anyway, let’s not digress! Today’s post is all about my date with my dad. Yes, romantic, loving and an afternoon full of laughter and smiles. The perfect date with the perfect person: my hero, my inspiration and my right-hand man. Meet my dad, he’s called Sidney and he is one of the main reasons I write this blog. He inspires me every day and he always says that my writing uplifts him and drives him to his goals. So, because of this, I write for a purpose and I write because I love helping other people.
Have you ever felt so spirituality connected to someone? Have you ever felt completely secure and safe around someone? Is there someone you can be yourself around? Cry hysterically, freak out and be yourself and they won’t judge? Well, if you have that one person, you’re very lucky and if you have more than one… I’m jealous. The past few months have been so incredibly challenging for me (check out my previous post for more information: One Door Closes, Another One Opens – My Graduation ) and these challenges have brought me and my dad closer than ever. I truly appreciate my struggle at the moment because it has brought the important people close to me and it has allowed me to meet new friends. I and my dad have a very unique but strong bond. We are unbreakable and we will stand by each other no matter what. When I say he’s my spiritual guidance and hero, I truly mean it from the bottom of my heart. We argue, we laugh, we cry and we get angry together. I believe I am the female version of him – he is a little bit crazier than me though!
On this particular day, my dad wanted to surprise me – it was so incredibly thoughtful and I couldn’t help but feel guilty for his kindness. He had planned for us to eat some delicious food in the Lake District – we are both true foodies and we love anything that involves picturesque views and good pub grub! We adventured out to the countryside; away from social media and wifi, away from his work, away from my work and away from the craziness of our everyday lives. It was absolutely perfect. We arrived at The Inn at Whitewell, a small cottage-esque looking Inn situated on the banks of the River Hodder, with spectacular views down the valley into the heart of the Forest of Bowland. This rural area is a true hidden gem and I would love to explore more of the area soon. Freshness filled the air, birds sang melodies around us and the smell of fresh vegetables and comfort food lingered in the air. We sat on the terrace overlooking the river. I have never seen trees so rich in colour before, I have never eaten my lunch with little birds and I have never felt so relaxed – I felt truly loved. L O V E D.
“The Inn at Whitewell is an old fashioned rural Inn, welcoming to all, providing 23 bedrooms of some glamour, seriously good local ingredients cooked well and a noteworthy selection of drinks. We aim to offer a relaxed and friendly service, avoiding too much frippery, devoid of snobbery but hopefully providing an experience that is relevant, very enjoyable and not too expensive”.
When we arrived we were greeted by some wonderful waiters who paid attention to every detail. They selected the best table and helped us choose the best rosé on the menu. I felt comfortable, I felt excited and I felt part of the Whitewell family at the Inn. It was wonderful and I couldn’t wait to explore more of the menu and delve deeper into the heritage of the Inn. A huge shout out goes to Jamie, the head chef. What a true talent he has. Combining the freshest ingredients with a little sparkle, he allows the food to do the talking and truly has an eye for selecting the best produce.
“Seasonal grouse from Lancashire Moor, pheasant and partridge from Dunsop shoot, Bowland beef and Lonk lamb from Burholme Farm are staples on the menu, all easily seen from the Inn’s windows. We carefully source a range of fabulous drinks from local cask conditioned ales to organic ginger beers. With our in house vintners, we are able to offer an extensive and interesting range of wines, with up to twenty available by the glass”.
I can officially say that The Inn at Whitewell is the best ‘resting spot’ if you’re on your way through Lancaster or Clitheroe. It is the perfect place to re-energize, relax and be comforted in the homely environment. Let’s have a look at what I chose to eat…
To cleanse my palate prior to eating, I chose the fresh green tea. Earthy, energising and fresh. I am also a lover of hot lemon water; it aids in digestion and is also a wonderful palate cleanser if you’re eating a variety of foods with exotic flavours. Make the most of the flavour sensations and embrace every moment. Food is to be enjoyed and appreciated; with such a talented chef preparing the food, I had to embrace the moment and savour every mouthful.
Smoked Salmon with homemade bread, a small side salad and pickled cucumber.
To start, me and my dad shared the Smoked Salmon. This salmon was fresh with a subtle but distinct smooth flavour. The salmon had been smoked for 24 hours by Giles their fishmonger using a blend of oak and alder chippings. The homemade bread went perfectly with the salmon, comfort food at its finest. A side of salad and pickled cucumber added tang and earthy goodness. The perfect elements were combined in one dish, leaving me wanting more. I love salmon and it’s my favourite fish to eat… Trust me, I have eaten my fair share of salmon and this was perfect. Delicate and mouth watering (literally!). I and my dad closed our eyes as we ate this to concentrate on the flavours, my goodness, it was wonderful and I would definitely order this again.
Whitewell Fish Pie and Pan Fried Monkfish – cous-cous, chorizo and aubergine and smoky peppers.
Wow. Have I ever tasted monkfish this good – no. Meaty, sweet in flavour but mild in nature. Wholesome, flavoursome and taste bud tingling. The smoky peppers were juicy, vibrant and were the perfect accompaniment for the monkfish – providing warmth and richness. The grilled aubergine added depth to the dish and again, added a diverse texture to the mix. The chorizo added spice and a deep smokiness to the dish. The cous-cous pulled the whole dish together, with a subtle hint of cheese, red onion and spinach. The flavours were perfectly paired. The dish told a story of local produce and the hand selected ingredients shined through. The food wasn’t overworked, it was delicious and nothing was at fault. Again, another dish I would totally order again. This was selected from their specials board – however, they have a dish which is very similar – PAN FRIED FILLET OF SEA BASS – Warm cous-cous with spinach and goat’s cheese, crushed tomato on toast, Harissa.
“Perhaps the dish we are best known for, poached haddock flaked into a creamy sauce with prawns, topped with mashed potato and finished under the grill with a cheddar cheese topping. Delicious, rich and served solo, no one would want to put tomato ketchup on this, would they?”
Whitewell has claimed this British classic and made it their own with hand selected fresh produce, a little magic and extra cheese for good measure. Creamy, indulgent and extremely comforting. Need something that will give your tummy a hug from the inside? This is the dish for you! The fish was mouth watering and melted in the mouth, subtle in flavour and a true taste sensation. No bread was required for dipping, however, their homemade bread is something worth talking about – gooey, soft goodness. This is the best fish pie I have ever eaten. Homemade, raw in heritage and British spirit and absolutely beautiful. The cheese and the creamy mash potato take your taste buds on a journey through mash potato clouds (could you imagine if that was real?! – clouds made from tummy hugging mash potato!) Beautiful food through and through.
This day was very special for me and my dad, it allowed our relationship to become even stronger; which I didn’t think was possible. The food and the surroundings were perfect and my dad couldn’t have chosen a better place for lunch. We can’t wait to visit again and Tuesday’s will now become our ‘date day’ for catch ups and laughs.
Without my dad, I would feel lost and alone. He completes my soul and completes that part of my heart no one else can fill. He is a wonderful human being and deserves to be loved deeply. Every moment I have with him, I savour. I thank the universe every day for blessing me with incredible parents, I truly am the luckiest girl ever. I want to thank The Whitewell Inn for providing the most perfect location and for treating me and my dad in such a kind and generous way. This post is not sponsored, I just wanted to share one of my new favourites with you, in hope to inspire your future foodie adventures. This place deserves recognition and deserves publicity. For more information and to check out their culinary delights, check out The Inn at Whitewell website.
What did I learn from my date? – to say yes to more opportunities and to prioritise my dads time off. I want to become more closely connected to my dad and make memories with him. I want to cherish every moment we have together and I want to make our adventures fun, delicious and exciting. I have realised that ‘family time’ is crucial for mental well-being and for feeling fulfilled at home. I will now schedule ‘family time’ into my working week, just like I would the gym, a meeting or work. ‘Family time’ is a priority and shouldn’t be wasted or ignored. If you are lucky enough to have a wonderful family, cherish them. Tell them you love them and create memories. Remember, gifts and souvenirs break, get lost and fade… Memories are forever. Thank you, dad, for treating me like a princess. Thank you for being there and thank you for never giving up on me. I love you. Love from your daughter, Jessica.
Happy mid-week everyone! I hope the rest of your week is filled with goodness and positive vibes.
Want to read more about me and what I have been up to? Check out my previous posts:
Thank you for reading, it means the world.