Christmas is such a wonderful time, seeing excitement build and build right up until Christmas Eve, with pretty lights and decorations displayed across town centres, and plenty of events to get you in the festive spirit. This year, there has been lots of fantastic festivities to enjoy across North East Lincolnshire, and I have been blogging about them over on the DiscoverNEL website. Here’s a super quick look at Christmas in North East Lincolnshire 2015….
North East Lincolnshire
Within North East Lincolnshire, there is quite a variety of networking groups; formal chapters of international organisations, sector-specific membership groups, early-morning breakfast meetings and those that are a little more informal and friendly, such as Work Wise Women.
Work Wise Women is a group for business women within North East Lincolnshire and the surrounding area, organised by Lindsay Henson, Independent Tax Specialist, and Sarah Bratton.
Hello everybody, and welcome to the Purple Swirl Blog! Here is where I’ll be writing all about my little freelance copywriting business, what’s happening in and around North East Lincolnshire, and sharing my favourite content creation and online sharing tips and tricks.
If there is one thing I have learned since becoming freelance it is that networking can be a lot of fun, and this is certainly the case when it comes to Work Wise Women.
Work Wise Women is a group of business women within North East Lincolnshire and the surrounding area who come together to talk business and catch up over something to eat and drink. Last week, the group held their first Annual Summer Dinner at the lovely Abbys Bistro and Wine Bar in Grimsby.
The Annual Summer Dinner, organised by WWW founders Sarah Bratton and Lindsay Henson, celebrated another year of success over good food and drink, live music and business tales.
As the guests arrived, a jazz band of students from Franklin College, Sound Departure, played a selection of songs before a fellow talented student and mezzo soprano, Emily Stevenson, began to sing.
Then came the food; a delicious three course meal created by the team at Abbys.
To start was a creamy garlic mushroom basket topped with a blue cheese crumb basket…
… or grilled halloumi and vine tomatoes with a pesto and olive dip.
For the mains, the choice was between a ricotta and vegetable strudel with a port wine sauce, or chicken breast stuffed with tomato and mozarella with a basil sauce.
And the dessert, what a choice! A minted chocolate creme brulee topped with a layer of crisp caramel, or the classic strawberry pavlova.
Crunchy, chewy meringue with lots of thick cream, topped with super sweet strawberries, perfect!
Next came the raffle. Throughout the night, donations had been collected to help the future careers of the student performers and to fundraise for a Parkinsons charity. In return, lucky attendees won a prize kindly supplied by some of the WWW members – and there were some fabulous prizes to be won. Beauty products, candles, a hamper, bouquets of flowers and beautiful plants for the garden, and for lucky me a luxury facial from the lovely Jayne Stevenson of Courtyard Beauty Salon in Cleethorpes!
Finally, came the night’s entertainment, tales of trouble with the taxman from Lindsay, an expert tax specialist.
And trust me, we couldn’t believe some of the things we were hearing!
It was a brilliant night, and it as fantastic to see so many successful local business women from all sectors chatting and having a wonderful night, from beauty and therapy to finance and marketing, all self-employed, part of companies or social enterprises. This was the first Annual Summer Dinner for the group, and plans for next year’s event, with some exciting new ideas, is already underway.
Work Wise Women meet once a month for the Last Tuesday Tea Time Club and host other events throughout the year. For more details abut membership, visit the WWW website.
Last weekend was glorious! Not only was the sun shining, but Cleethorpes threw a cracking Armed Forces Day celebration.
So good on fact, it lasted the whole weekend!
It seemed as though the whole of North East Lincolnshire came out to support our armed forces, and people were certainly in the party spirit.
People lined the streets with their Union Flags ready to cheer on the parade.
Which concluded with a display of tanks, very popular with the local children.
Next, the Mayor gave a presentation and made a pretty incredible announcement – North East Lincolnshire is to be the official host of Armed Forces Day 2016! The crowds cheered and it was a wonderful moment, and it really set the tone for the rest of the weekend.
Local bars and restaurants were joining in the celebrations and provided outdoor areas for patrons to sit and drink in the sunshine.
The boutiques of Sea View Street, Cleethorpes’ oldest shopping street, and the pop up market were lined with bunting, going all out with the red, white and blue.
Crowds gathered to watch the Pipe Band.
And there was an abundance of street food to choose from!
But for me, it had to be a classic Lincolnshire pork sausage burger from renowned butchers John Pettit…
Followed by a classic ’99 whippy on the beach.
There was plenty for the children to do too, with a mini zip wire, assault course, mini tanks, mini water boats and even a Frozen train! It was wonderful to see so many people out in force, celebrating and having a fantastic time. The day finished perfectly with a firework display, which I heard was absolutely spectacular! Take a look at this gallery from the Grimsby Telegraph.
Then came MAD Sunday. Military Air Displays.
Air shows are always popular in Cleethorpes, and this was no exception. People arrived early to grab the best spots by the beach or along the embankment, and wondered along the promenade to indulge in some more food or along Sea View Street for a little shopping.
Then the air displays began. A range of air craft flew by, vintage bombers and the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight alongside performance teams.
It was a brilliant weekend, and there is no doubt that next year’s official celebrations are going to be incredible.
PS. Be sure to follow Discover NEL on Twitter who live tweeted the event all weekend!
Other links you may like…
- Find out more about Armed Forces Day Cleethorpes
- Armed Forces Day 2016 in the Grimsby Telegraph
- Find out more about Discover NEL.
The Comfy Duck has to be one of North East Lincolnshire’s most respected restaurants. Since opening its doors in 2012, the restaurant has become renowned for its use of fresh, local, quality produce, and dishes which are not only delicious and give an interesting twist to the food, but look beautiful too.
Located within Oaklands Hall Hotel, The Comfy Duck is run by Executive Head Chef Steven Bennett, or The Lincolnshire Chef as you may know him, and has won numerous awards within just three years, including an AA rosette. If this isn’t enough to tempt you, then perhaps you should carry on reading.
Having not visited The Comfy Duck in a while, I met Charlotte of The Creative Larder for a catch up over some good food, fine wine and a cocktail.
To begin, you can enjoy an amuse bouche as you mull over the menu. On this particular night, we had a creamy carrot soup full of flavour, and then a taste of the cauliflower and blue cheese soup too, which was thick, salty and lovely.
Because The Comfy Duck’s menu is full of wonderful ingredients, making your choices can be difficult! I heard fantastic things about the Asparagus and Carpaccio of Lincolnshire Red Beef appetisers, and I very almost chose the Traditional Farmhouse Pate with Oaklands Garden Herbs (grown on site) and Toasted Lincolnshire Plumb Bread, but in the end I decided to go for Seared Scallops (a first for me!) seasoned in Nutmeg and served with Apple Fondant, Apple Purée, Pickled Walnuts and Micro Celery.
I had never heard of serving apple with seafood, but this was delicious! The apple fondant was lovely and soft, and still had a strong, sweet taste which I liked. And luckily, Charlotte chose the Farmhouse Pate, it certainly looked a treat!
A rustic, chunky pate decorated with delicate flowers – and served with gluten-free bread too. The Comfy Duck has many options for those requiring gluten-free, and you can discuss any dietary requirements with the team when booking.
Then came the Mains. After some thinking, Charlotte chose the Confit Shoulder and Roasted Rack of Lamb with Sour Cream and Chive Potato, Spinach Purée, Confit Peppers and Olive Dust.
While I decided to go for a good, trusty chicken from the Grill menu, topped with a blue cheese glaze and a little red wine jus (thanks to Charlotte’s recommendation), served with dauphinoise potatoes and a selection of seasonal greens.
Chicken is certainly a go-to choice for me in most restaurants, but I really wanted to try Steven’s version as I knew it would be cooked exceptionally well – and I was right! Very succulent and super tasty, especially with the salty blue cheese glaze. Also on the menu is a Roasted Duck Breast, Line Caught Sea Bass and of course, a selection of fine steaks which, a fellow diner of mine once described as “the best steak ever”.
Finally came the dish we had been waiting for, the dessert! There was only one option we both had to choose, the White Chocolate and Strawberry Pavlova with Vanilla Mousse and Cardamom.
It really was something quite special, with a crunchy meringue, tangy sorbet and what is like a thick block of gooey white chocolate ganache, my absolute favourite! However it was a difficult choice between this, a mojito parfait, steamed sticky toffee pudding and a smoked chocolate mousse – doesn’t that sound interesting? And of course, we had to finish with a drink from the new cocktail menu created by the Strait & Narrow, a cocktail bar in Lincoln – a mojito and, for me, a fruity raspberry daiquiri. The perfect way to finish a wonderful evening.
Oaklands Hall Hotel and The Comfy Duck have some fantastic events lined up, including an Outdoor Movie Night, Beauty Lunches with the likes of YSL, and His & Her Afternoon Teas, which are being greatly anticipated. Take a look at upcoming events, menus and the VIP Card on The Comfy Duck’s website.