November 25, 2014

Chef from Swinton Park Wins Best Tutor at Top Industry Awards

Stephen Bulmer, Michelin-trained Chef Director, at Swinton Park Cookery School won the title of Best Tutor at the British Cookery School Awards 2014 at Porchester Hall in London.

Nigel Barden, head judge of the British Cookery School Awards, which is headline sponsored by Kenwood, said: “The overall winner of the Best Tutor category had to be a sublime all-rounder. We were looking for an individual that stands out as a top tutor by how they engage with students to get first class results and feedback. The winner also needed to provide evidence of new services, systems and innovations that they have spearheaded, as well as showing why they are simply the best in terms of continually delivering unrivalled service. Being a chef is one thing, being a tutor is another. Our winner is most definitely a rare breed. One who manages to bridge very separate worlds with ease.”

Following catering training at Rotherham College, Stephen started his career in local Yorkshire hotels before entering into the Young Chef of the Year competition. He got to the regional final, where Michel Roux and Paul Gayler noticed his talent and advised him to move to Michelin-starred restaurants to progress his career.

Stephen then worked his way up through the Box Tree, Ilkley; Marco Pierre-White’s Harveys and the three-star Georges Blanc in Burgundy. In 1990 he came home to join Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, where he spent 10 years cooking on every section of the kitchen. While working at Le Manoir, Stephen was a national finalist in Young Chef of the Year 1992 and 1993 and a finalist in the Roux Brothers Scholarship 1992. After several years in London followed by six years running the Raymond Blanc Cookery School at Le Manoir, Stephen joined Swinton Park in 2013 to run the cookery school.

Stephen has only been at Swinton Park just over a year but his presence has made a great difference to the school and his irrepressible personality has led to a significant expansion in the external activity undertaken by the cookery school where his demonstrating skills are now in high demand. Stephen has also been instrumental in bringing the unique benefits of Swinton Park into the cookery school. Foraging trips on the Swinton Estate are now a regular part of most cookery courses. Similarly, the abundance of fruit, vegetables and wild ingredients growing on the Estate has inspired Stephen to create a range of jams and chutneys.

November 12, 2014


Planners have approved Swinton Park’s application for a major 2,700m2 extension to comprise a full-service Country Club and Spa. The only of its kind in the area, the £5.5 million project will create 25 new full-time jobs and will include an indoor swimming pool and full spa and fitness facilities. The spa and health club will be open to Swinton Park and Swinton Bivouac guests, treatment and spa day visitors and club members.
The development combines the sympathetic restoration of traditional workshops and garden buildings that are adjacent to the Grade 2 listed castle, along with the creation of a new, contemporary wing to be built within the walled garden. Carbon neutral wood chip boilers, using redundant timber from the estate, will generate heat and hot water for the whole site.
In addition, there will be a 40-seat conservatory restaurant, coffee shop and Swinton Estate shop, whose patrons can also enjoy the 200 acres of surrounding parkland, lakes and gardens. The Country Club will afford access to activities on the wider 20,000 acre Swinton Estate including cycling, walking, fishing, clay pigeon shooting, golf, falconry and riding.
Felicity Cunliffe-Lister, Proprietor of Swinton Park says, “We are thrilled to be able to move forward with this project, which will be a valuable asset to local businesses, communities and visitors alike. We hope it will enable Swinton Park to realise its full potential within the tourism industry.”

October 22, 2014

Introducing the Beautiful Game at Samuel’s

Hot on the heels of its inclusion in The Sunday Times’ Top 100 UK Restaurants, Samuel’s at Swinton Park is launching a lunch menu dedicated to two culinary stars of the season – pheasant and partridge. Head Chef Simon Crannage’s three-course menu celebrates the flavoursome game birds, together with other Autumnal produce, all sourced from Swinton Park’s 20,000-acre estate, which includes one of the UK’s largest walled gardens. Signature dishes include Butter Roasted Swinton Pheasant with Truffle Jus, Heritage Carrots and Black Cabbage and Roasted Swinton Partridge, Smoked Celeriac Puree, Woodland Mushrooms and Madeira Jus.
Simon Crannage, Head Chef, says, “The arrival of the shooting season provides a rich seam of inspiration where robust meaty flavours are complemented by wine-based sauces and root vegetables and fungi foraged on the Estate. To know that the game on my menu has been reared just a few miles from the kitchen really takes “gate to plate” to a new level.”
Available from Tuesday to Saturday throughout the month of November, The Estate Produce lunch menu costs £25.95 per person, including three courses and a gourmet gift from the estate. Advanced booking is required.
For bookings please call 01765 680 900 or visit:

October 6, 2014

Swinton Park Cookery School Named Finalist in British Cookery School Awards for Third Year Running

Swinton Park Cookery School has been shortlisted as a finalist in the Best Tutor category of the 2014 British Cookery School Awards, sponsored by Kenwood.

Headed-up by Chef Director Stephen Bulmer, Swinton Park Cookery School has fought off tough competition from over 400 cookery schools nationwide for the third year in a row. With 20 years’ experience at Michelin-level restaurants throughout Europe and a former Chef Director of the Raymond Blanc Cookery School, Stephen is a highly respected figure in the industry, combining top-level cookery skills with a gregarious personality that engages and inspires his pupils.

The judging panel is led by foodie aficionado and BBC food and drink broadcaster Nigel Barden and also includes Delicious Magazine Editor, Karen Barnes, Kenwood’s Developmental Chef Martin Johns, Premier Foods Developmental Chef Anthony Warner as well as Guy Lincoln, Senior Lecturer at Leeds Metropolitan University’s Centre of Hospitality and Retailing Management.

Stephen Bulmer says, “It is truly an honour to be shortlisted as ‘Best Tutor’ amongst so much talent in the UK. Let’s hope I can bring the award home to Swinton Park.”

Votes for the People’s Choice Award can still be submitted until midnight on October 8th 2014 via email or Twitter using #bcsapeopleschoice.

The winners will be revealed in a London awards ceremony on Monday 17th November at Porchester Hall, Bayswater.

Stephen runs Two Day, One Day and Half Day Courses, along with the Chef’s Tables, Mini Demonstrations and Pre-Dinner Wine Tasting & Canapé Experiences.

September 24, 2014

Masham purchases 65 ceramic poppies

The Tower of London’s famous dry moat has been filled with 888,246 ceramic poppies – one for each British and Colonial fatality during the war, to create a powerful visual
commemoration of the First World War Centenary. 65 of those poppies have been
purchased by the Masham branch of the Royal British Legion, to honour the men that fell in the conflict from the Mashamshire area. They will be placed in St Mary’s Church, Masham as a permanent reminder to us all. Each Poppy costs £25 Plus P&P.
Local businesses have already generously contributed to the appeal, but we are looking for even more help towards purchasing these poppies.
Please lend your support and give generously. To donate please give either cash or cheques made payable to “Royal British Legion, Masham Branch” to the Community Office,
7 Little Market Place, Masham, HG4 4DY, or you can transfer money to the Branch. Sort code 40-32-09. Account No. 90183059.
The Legion is proud to be one of the selected charities along with the Confederation of Service Charities (COBSEO), Combat Stress, Coming Home, Help for Heroes and SSAFA (formerly the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association).
For more information, please contact Edward Theakston on 07710 635 990 or Tessa Klemz on 01765 680 200.

September 16, 2014

First World War is focus of Heritage Forum

The Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is holding its annual Heritage Forum on Friday 10th October at Fearby & Healey Village Hall from 10am to 4pm. It is open to everyone with an interest in the heritage of the area.

The theme of this year’s event will be ‘the First World War and Nidderdale AONB’ and will explore the First World War and its effect on the landscape and communities of the AONB. We will be joined in the morning by Roger Thomas of English Heritage who will talk about First World War Archaeological sites, and Professor Alison Fell from the University of Leeds who will talk about women and war in Yorkshire. They will be followed by a series of presentations on local First World War projects.

The afternoon workshops session will give participants a chance to see first-hand the site of the Leeds Pals training camp at Breary Banks in Colsterdale or discover the industrial heritage of Roundhill Reservoir. Alternatively participants can take part in an indoor session on researching their WW1 family history.

Amanda Walters, WW1 Project Officer, said: “This year’s Heritage Forum will form part of our three year, Heritage Lottery Funded WW1 Centenary Project. The AONB has an amazing First World War heritage and the project is uncovering some fascinating information. This is a great opportunity for people to find out more, as well as share ideas for the future.”

Tickets are priced at £5, to include a buffet lunch and refreshments. The full programme is available on the AONB website at
You can book online at or by contacting the AONB office on 01423 712950 or

September 11, 2014

Masham Treasure Hunt

Mashamshire Community Office’s Treasure Hunts are proving very popular with visitors and locals alike. The trail takes you around all the shops, cafés and points of interest around Masham and should take a maximum of a couple of hours, depending how many times you stop at a cafe or shop! If you have a friend, need to entertain the children or just want to explore Masham, pop into the office and pick up a leaflet for £1. Answers on completion!
Mashamshire Community Office, 7 Little Market Place, Masham, HG4 4JW. Tel: 01765 680 200.

September 9, 2014

Before & After School Club

Acorns Pre-School is offering extended provision for any child attending Masham School.
Breakfast Club will run – to include breakfast. 7am-9am
After School Club will run – to include snack. 3.30pm-5.30pm
The cost is £4 per hour. Each session is run by 2 members of our highly qualified staff team, who will take to/collect from school each day. Age appropriate activities will be offered at each session taking into account the interests of each child, spending time both inside and out. For additional information and booking forms please contact Val on 01765 680 203 or e-mail: or pop into Acorns.
Acorns Pre-School, The Old Police House, 7 Little Market Place, Masham, Ripon HG4 4DY.

September 8, 2014

Harcourt Almshouse Charities Retirement Homes to Let

Retirement homes will be shortly available to let in Masham. In walking distance of all village amenities, self contained, centrally heated, garden area.
1 Living Room, 2 bedroomed, 2 storey property
2 Living Rooms, 2 bedroomed, 2 storey property
Applicants should normally be 65 or over, retired from full-time employment, have a strong connection with or are resident in the Ancient Parish of Masham and are in housing need.
Further details and application forms from The Administrator, The Harcourt Almshouse Charities, Ellington Hall Farmhouse, High Ellington, Masham, Ripon, North Yorkshire HG4 4PR. Tel: 01677 460 366.

July 29, 2014

Masham School’s Giant Sheep Seen Around the World

With the Tour de France passing through on Saturday 5th July, the historic market town of Masham was going to be one of the best places to watch the race – in person or on the television. So the idea was hatched of painting a temporary 1000m² sheep on a bicycle, visible from the Tour’s helicopters, to emphasise Yorkshire’s largest market place.

The staff at Masham Primary School embraced the idea enthusiastically, and a gorgeous sheep design was created by local artist Robert Blades, whose child attends the school. The sheep was painted by all 97 of the school’s pupils on Friday morning, using poster paints. (Every tube of yellow paint from every school for ten miles around was also used!)

Even when the elements intervened and the rains came on Friday night, a volunteer army of parents and teachers came out to retouch the washed-out sheep on Saturday morning.

And then the Tour came through, and for 33 seconds a billion people around the world were treated to pictures of the sheep looking resplendent in its historic market-place setting. Eurosport commentator Carlton Kirby described it live on air as “one of the most beautiful artworks we’ve seen today. Or on any Tour.”

Masham Parish Councillor Flo Grainger said, “What could be more appropriate on the largest market place in England, used for sheep sales for centuries, than this inspired design!? The enthusiastic children from Masham Primary School all had a hand in creating this masterpiece – the best ground art feature of the Grand Départ. Well done Masham School, we’re all very proud of you!”

Ruth Davies, Headteacher of Masham Primary School, said, “Everybody at the school came together to make, and then to save, Robert Blades’s beautiful work. Parents, staff and above all pupils will all remember this weekend for as long as they live.”

Nick Reed, Co-ordinator of the Masham Grand Départ Steering Group, said, “When I first suggested this idea to Mrs Davies and the Parish Council, I thought they would laugh it off. But Masham is a very special town, and everyone has come together to bring this ambitious plan to reality. Robert Blades’s work is accessible, technically skilled, and just lovely to look at; everyone in Masham is very proud of it.”

Copies of the photograph are now available from Mashamshire Community Office. Tel: 01765 680 200 or e-mail: