Introducing The Herdwick

 


The Herdwick

We are pleased to announce the opening of our first brand new apartment, The Herdwick!

This Luxurious apartment is fitted out to a very high standard. features a large open plan Kitchen/Living Room with a Log Fire, You can enjoy some of the amazing views of the Coniston Old Man from the balcony or in the hot tub.

This apartment is now available for bookings via the Sykes Cottages website at the link below.

http://www.sykescottages.co.uk/cottage/Lake-District-Cumbria-The-Lake-District-Scar-Head/Herdwick-921822.html

Spring Special Offer

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New Years Eve at The Wilsons

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Come and celebrate the new year with us by enjoying a night of guaranteed fun and festivity.

Champagne on arrival with full buffet available.

£35 per person, bookings now being taken.

Terms and Conditions with Exclusions may apply.

Winter at The Wilson’s

Wilson's winter Warmers

 

The weather has turned and the days are shorter, we are now well into winter and there’s no better place to escape from the cold than the Wilson’s.

Especially now that we are starting to serve our seasonal winter menu with our section of specially chosen winter warmer meals which can be seen here.

Dont forget that our winter special offer of only £19.99 for bed and breakfast per person is also still available until the 30th of this month!

Terms and Conditions with Exclusions may apply when booking your stay.

 

The Wilsons “Pannage” Pigs…

Pannage is the practice of releasing Domestic Pigs to eat wild, fallen acorns.  This is an historic event, which was a right or a privilage for local people to let their pigs feed on the common.  Customarily a pig was given to the Lord of the manor depending on the number of pigs loosed de herbagio, as the right of pannage was entered.

Pannage is still done today, in the New Forest, where the pigs are released for 60 days to eat the fallen acorns, which could be harmful to ponies and cattle that also graze on the land.  The duration of the “pannage” is decided each year, by the court of Verderers, and varies from season to season.  Prior to the pigs been released they have nose rings fitted to prevent them from creating too much damage and rooting in the grounds.

The practice of “pannage” is ancient and has been practised in Spain (as here) for centuries, where they are known for creating the worlds’ finest Ham.  The Jamon iberico de bellota are Black Iberico pigs (the original swine of Spain) which immediately after weaning, the piglets are fattened on barley and maize for several weeks. They are then allowed to roam in pasture and oak groves to feed naturally on grass, herbs, acorns, and roots. At the time of slaughter, the diet may be limited to olives or acorns for the best quality jamón ibérico.  The hams will then go through a very long curing process, from 12 – 48 months to produce a prized ham with a smooth texture and rich and savoury taste.  This ham sells for an average of £42/kg.

So bearing all of the above in mind….. We have let our saddleback pigs out into the woodlands for the last month or two and now, as Autumn is here and the acorns are falling, our Annie and her not-so-little-piglets are having a feast!  While we are not going down the road of curing and producing a fine ham, we are going to be preparing our pigs for a Hog Roast (or two).

We have a stand at the Ulverston Dickensian weekend at the end of November, where we aim to serve our Pigs, which will be slow roasted, and served with hot slices in a large soft roll, with spoonful’s of homemade stuffing, lashings of apple sauce and crackling!  Its guaranteed to warm you up – a must for hungry shoppers and passers’ by.

The Wilsons Hog Roast

Last weekend we hosted our first Hog Roast!  It is our latest venture to cater for events and large groups.    It went down very well and we were scraping the last remnants of pork off the bones (after serving 130 portions).  The pork was absolutely delicious!  The roast was switched on at 5am, and it cooked slowly all day, which resulted in a perfect round of crackling, melt in your mouth slices of pork, served in a large white roll, topped with a spoon of stuffing and a big dollop of apple sauce.   Perfect with a pint of local Ale.

Hog roasts have been cooked for centuries and are performed around the world as celebratory events and traditional occasions.

A Spit/Rotisserie is a method of cooking slowly, over hot coals or a flame over a long period of time.  The meat is skewered on a long solid rod and is supported at each end.  This is then turned slowly, to ensure an even cooking.  In the medieval times, this was done manually, usually a boy, known as a “spit boy” or “spit jack”.  Methods of turning the animal on the spit have improved over the years.  Dog treadmills, steam power and mechanical clockwork are some of the methods that have been used.  Ours is very modern and uses Gas!

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Summer at The Wilsons

Well, it is safe to say Summer is here!  The temperatures have been soaring and we have been kept busy with visitors and guests alike.  Andrew has been keeping the bar well stocked to help quench the thirst of our weary travelers,while Kirsty and her team have been cooking up a storm, ensuring everyone gets a good plateful of Wilson’s Food and keeping the Torver Deli stocked up.

With the weather being so kind to us the back field is in more use than ever.  Annie and her piglets have settled down well and are enjoying their new home.  The Pygmy goat and her Kid (named Jack) have arrived to join Annie and the Herdwick Lambs.  The bouncy castle is up and the new tables and benches have been assembled. So we look forward to the start of the summer holidays and welcoming you all here: whether its for a plate of Wilsons food, a cold drink, or a room for the night  we will be ready and happy to see you.010

The Wilsons Saddlebacks

The Wilsons has been busy gearing up for the Summer holidays!   We have a lot of new benches and umbrellas (for those hot summer days to come) and the back field has been mowed, the Lamb pens are built and we have also built a couple of Pig Arks, for Annie and her piglets.

Annie is a Saddleback pig.  The saddlebacks which came about when Lord Western was travelling in Italy and decided that the Neapolitan pigs would be ideal  to improve the breed of Essex pigs.  He crossed the Neapolitan with the Essex Sows to create the Neapolitan-Essex.  Overtime one of his tenants, used the Neapolitan-Essex boars, belonging to Lord Western, and crossed them with his coarse Essex sows and therefore established the Improved Essex.  The Essex pig originally had a black head and neck, as well as a clearly defined belt of white  over the shoulders and continuing over the forelegs. The rest of the body was black with the tip of the tail and feet being white.

The Essex pig was then crossed with the Wessex (a cross between two indigenous old English bacon pigs which was black all over, with a continuous belt of white hair over the forelegs and shoulder),    to  “make a feature of the chief colouration marking?…”.  So the respective breed societies amalgamated in 1918, in 1967 the British Saddleback breed was established.

British Saddlebacks are hardy breed and are noted for their mothering ability. The breed is known for its grazing ability and has secured a place in organic production.

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The Wilsons CAMRA Award!

The Wilsons has won the Furness CAMRA Pub of The Season Spring 2013!  We are very proud of our award and appreciate all the hard work Andrew puts into choosing the Ales and looking after them so well, ensuring you all get the perfect Pint.

CAMRA campaigns for real ale, real pubs and consumer rights. It is a independent and voluntary organisation  and has been described as the most successful consumer group in Europe. CAMRA promotes good-quality real ale and pubs.  Their aim is to:

Protect and improve consumer rights

Promote quality, choice and value for money

Support the public house as a focus of community life

Campaign for greater appreciation of traditional beers, ciders and perries as part of our national heritage and culture

Seek improvements in all licensed premises and throughout the brewing industry

The Furness Branch covers the area of Lancashire, North of the Sands,  plus a bit of South Cumberland, as far north as Bootle,

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An Update

We have, without doubt , had an industrious couple of weeks at the Wilsons.  To begin with, some of our Herdwick Lambs have been sent to Aireys Abattoir and Farm Shop to be prepared.  The meat has been hanging for two weeks and is now in the pub and on the Menu!  (Hanging the meat for a period of time helps to improve and enhance its flavour).  Our Chefs are preparing the Lamb in various ways to compliment all the different cuts.  We are very proud to be serving our own products and having them enjoyed so much.

The work on the Deli is also coming along smoothly and we are very excited to get it finished and open.  The shelves have been built, the pizza oven is fitted, the doors are in place, the floor has been laid, the Butchers block has arrived, the wood burner is on the way and we are finalizing the last minute touches, signs and lists.  The team involved in the building work has done a fantastic job and we are looking forward to seeing the end result.

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