Sue and Martin above Zermatt - 2018

Sue and Martin above Zermatt - 2018
Showing posts with label Menu. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Menu. Show all posts

Saturday, 25 November 2017

Aspire Restaurant, Trafford College


It’s while since we went to the that’s only a few minutes walk from our house. So a little odd that we chose to go after visiting a posh restaurant the previous night and after lunch at the , my mum’s favourite eatery. Thanks for the treat, mum.

Anyway, we managed only a light lunch, which was just as well, and we joined eight other lucky folk at Aspire at seven o’clock. The 20/20 club is supposed to be for 20 people at £20 a head for a cocktail followed by five ‘taster’ courses. We were very full by the end, although on the face of it the tasty courses looked modest in quantity. They didn’t get the 20 people they aspire to attract. That’s a shame. If you live within reach we do commend a visit to this establishment, where trainee chefs and hospitality students managed to match or even surpass what we had enjoyed at Mr Cooper’s the previous night.

Here’s this week’s menu:


The college’s website gives details of opening times, and if you call or email them they’ll send you the relevant menu. Special dietary requirements are not a problem for them – in fact this provides good experience for the students. We chatted to some tutors afterwards, and it was clear that they are very experienced and push the students to very high standards.

Here are the current opening times. In the evenings you may have to walk all the way around the college building to get in as the college reception may be closed.

20/20 Club
Dinner from 6.45pm

Lunch from 12 noon
Dinner from 6.45pm

Lunch from 12 noon

Christmas Dinner

Christmas dinner will be served on Thursday 30th November, then 7th and 14th December


Christmas Lunch will served on the following days

Thursday 30th November
7th, 14th and 21st December
Friday 1st, 8th and 15th December

It sounds delicious (see the extract from their website below); let us know if you’d like to join us for lunch on one of the above dates.

  • Christmas Lunch Menu

  • Chestnut Mushroom velouté (v)
    Selection of home made breads
  • Or
  • Ham Hock & parsley terrine
    Home made piccalilli, toasted brioche
  • Or
  • Home-cured fillet of mackerel
    Heritage beetroot salad
  • Or
  • Caramelised shallot tart tatin (v)
    Goats cheese, endive & walnut
  • Roast Cheshire bronze turkey
    Goose fat roast potatoes, organic vegetables, apricot stuffing
  • Or
  • Baked supreme of Hake
    Roast tomatoes, olives, tarragon mash, herb oil
  • Or
  • Slow cooked belly of middle white pork
    Champ cake, caramelised shallots, braised cabbage & roasting gravy
  • Or
  • Spiced Roast squash risotto (v)
    Wilted spinach, cumin & fennel seeds, tomato fondue
  • Lemon Trio
    of limoncello drizzle cake, crème brulée & citrus sorbet
  • Or
  • Christmas pudding
    With brandy sauce and spiced clementine jam
  • Or
  • Rich chocolate tart
    Vanilla cream, chocolate ganache and accompanying sauces
    Coffee and Mince Pies
  • £17.50
  • includes VAT at standard rate
  • The staff and students of Aspire Restaurant wish you a Merry Christmas

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 March 2010 – RentaHostel at Fellside, near Caldbeck

Fellside Centre

This was home to the 26 attendees of this weekend – the YHA’s Fellside Centre, near Caldbeck.  A ‘virtual tour’ of this Georgian shooting lodge is here.

As is customary on weekends organised by Sue W, we woke on Saturday morning to rain, so whilst one group chose to head into the cloud that cloaked the fells to the north of Skiddaw, eleven of us set off on a 21 km circuit contrived by Notchy to pass by a number of hostelries.

It was ‘dreich’ as we observed various becklets heading down the slopes to give Caldbeck a good wash.

Gill Beck, for Caldbeck

Farm tracks, bridleways, and this flooded road led us on the anticlockwise circuit towards the fleshpot of Hesket Newmarket.

The road to Hesket Newmarket The Old Crown, a micro-brewery

The Old Crown pronounced itself ‘open’, but not for us, as we trailed past in the wake of our over-enthusiastic leader.  This was all too much for Sue and Martin S, who elected to amble back along the riverside via Caldbeck.

Hesket Newmarket, with hikers

Notchy led the remaining nine of us past boxing hares into this quagmire at Hall Field, before taking us alongside a quarry, beside which dire warnings encouraged us to keep to the path.

A bedraggled group in the mud by Hall Field (a farm)

As we approached another haven from the rain, coal tits twittered in the hedge, and a small tsunami just missed us as a vehicle tore past on the flooded road.

Sour Nook Inn - another pub we walked on past

The Sour Nook Inn didn’t suit Notchy, who dragged us on to a church yard in Sebergham, where he could hold court without fear of repercussions, though Ken and Anne rebelled.

Lunching in the church yard at Sebergham

The gentle route of the Cumbria Way drew us through a pleasant wooded valley beside Cald Beck, in improving weather, leading to yet another hostelry.

Another pub, another 'walk past'

“We went there last night”, asserted the Boss, who led us instead into The Old Smithy, for pots of tea and coffee for 92p each.  It turned out that various members of our party occupied this place continuously for over four hours in a sort of relay!

Dick adjusts his corset outside the cafe in Caldbeck

With tea sloshing around his interior, and his predilection to cramping up on the top of ladder stiles, Notchy took to the easy roads for his return to Fellside.  He retained just two disciples, letting the remaining six off the leash.  We strode purposely towards the heights of High Pike, steaming in the afternoon sun. 

Racing towards High Pike

Leaving that particular summit for the morrow, we soon turned west towards our destination, pausing frequently to look back across the pleasantly sunlit landscape.

Near Moor House

This was a gentle 21km, 6.5 hour stroll, including numerous halts and less than 500 metres ascent, along the thin blue line shown below.

Saturday's route - 21km, 475 metres ascent, 6.5 hours

Sunday dawned clear and sunny.  Whilst others embarked on a longer traverse of the peaks at the back of Skiddaw, six of us chose a short morning stroll up High Pike, which at 658 metres towers high above Fellside.

Various groups of children were embarking on their D of E Award training.  Jenny was keen to follow them as (she said) our leader, pictured in the distance below, seemed unable to haul his vast bulk up the gentle slope extreme incline at anything like a reasonable pace.  Anyway, as it turned out, the children couldn’t keep up with either Notchy’s blistering speed, or our supersonic pace.

It was quite cool and breezy, so elevenses were taken in the lee of the summit.  We probably needed to stop anyway, to draw breath and for Notchy to attend to his blisters.

Waiting for our leader on the ascent of High Pike

A sign at the summit tried to tell us that London was visible, over 200 miles away, but all we could see was Carrock Fell, with the Peak District beyond that blocking any chance of seeing London in today’s atmospheric conditions.

Carrock Fell, from the summit of High Pike

Richard and Jenny tried their x-ray specs, but they couldn’t even see Carrock Fell.  We look happy enough, though…

A mottley crew huddle on the spiky 1658 metre summit

We descended by a similar route under hungry buzzards, observing groups of milling children, lolloping lurchers and sunny vistas.

The view to Dale Beck and beyond

And finally to Fellside, where, locked out after our sojourn had ended on Sunday morning, we enjoyed a picnic lunch on the….picnic bench.

Returning to Fellside

Here’s our 7km route, taking just over 2 hours and involving an energy sapping 385 metres of ascent according to Mr Anquet.

Our route up High Pike - 7 km, 385 metres ascent, 2.2 hours

There’s a short captioned slide show (37 images) here for anyone interested.

As in some previous years (latterly in 2007) Sue and I catered for this weekend, the Saturday evening menu for which, for record purposes, is shown below.  I’ll upload any recipes that anyone may like to have – in fact I may upload them anyway when I have the time.  The links will be indicated by the usual underlining.

Caldbeck Menu - 20 March 2010

Crisps and dips

To Start (7.30pm)
Winter vegetable soup (V), or
Crab cakes with chilli sauce, or
Baked artichoke and Parma ham gallettes

Main Courses
Salmon and fennel fish pie, or
Lentil and tomato moussaka (V), or
Venison and beef with port and apricots*, or
Coq au vin*
accompanied by Great British Mash* and Petit Pois

Fruit salad, or
Strawberry cheesecake, or
Lime and lemon meringue, or
Chocolate bread and butter pudding

Coffee and After Eight Mints

All washed down with Cape Chardonnay and Cape Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon

Thank you to all who helped with kitchen duties, and especially to Ken, who cooked the breakfasts.  As usual, one of the hardest jobs was that of returning various implements and containers to their places in our own kitchen, and so far all that seems to have gone missing is our large Teflon cooking mat.  A mystery, as we searched Fellside for it.  Ah well! 
Also for the record, the luxury ingredients for two breakfasts and Saturday dinner worked out at £18 a head for the 26 strong group.

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Friday 7 August 2009 – An Italian Meal

It is a tradition that the Famous Five (including very much alive and well ‘Notchy’/Andrew) enjoy a meal subsequent to our adventures, based on the cuisine of the adventure (in this instance our fare in the Maritime Alps).  Rosemary joins us in order to adjudicate on any disagreements and snooze through the slide show, and Lucy (asleep upstairs) is our current mascot.

Here, I am being rebuked for flippant behaviour with a camera whilst I should have been recharging glasses.


Tut Tut

The meal was largely courtesy of Jamie Oliver’s ‘How to Cook an Italian Meal in Ten Minutes’ tome, and some may say the Menu looked more impressive than the actual dishes.

However, we learnt how to skin squid, and the tuna was absolutely delicious.

And the glasses were frequently replenished – they just seemed to empty themselves very quickly.

Here’s the published (but not exhaustive) Menu:

Un pasto delle alpi marittime

7 agosto 2009

19,30 per 20,00 alla Via Balmoral


peperoni cotti al forno con aglio
calamari alla griglia
frittata di spinaci

le migliori polpette di tonno
linguine con olio di oliva

ricotta tipica per verdure verdi


caffè e cioccolatini

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You may detect that this posting is via Windows Live Writer, for which I have to thank a Weird genius of the IT industry.  Thanks, WD.