Deb's Digest
Debbie Atkinson’s family life column, as featured in the Southport Visiter.

Sunday, 27 January 2008

Usually when we visit Skipton it's en-route for the Yorkshire Dales but on Friday we decided just to make a day out of Skipton. Although we knew the route off by heart my husband set the Tom Tom. We got as far as the bottom of our road and then she sent us left instead of right. "Well, you've set it so just go the way she says," I told my husband. We were taken all through the countryside and over Parbold Hill and much to my husband's satisfaction, arrived at our destination a full ten minutes later than if we'd followed his route.
A friend had recommended The Royal Shepherd for lunch. We've never ventured off Skipton's main street so it was all new territory, trying to locate the pub. It's on Canal Street, overlooking the canal and its barges, and you pass some trendy little boutiques on the way. The wind was bitterly cold so it was a real pleasure to step inside this no-frills Yorkshire pub and to smell the home-made food. I've been on salads for so long that the pie, mushy peas and gravy (£3.50)was like heaven. It was brought in a bowl with a knife and spoon. The elderly waitress was so caring that it wouldn't have surprised me if she'd asked if I needed a bib. Instead, she asked if I wanted mint sauce (must be a local custom).
My husband's steak pie was enormous and the plate was overflowing with mashed potato, roast potatoes, veg and there was even a Yorkshire pudd on top.

Afterwards we visited Skipton Church and had a coffee in the refectory - resisting all the beautiful home-made cakes. If you're after a cheaper pie, peas and gravy, you'll find it here at £2.50.
We'd left our daughter at home, studying so I bought a pie in the butchers and she had it for tea - with, guess what - mushy peas and gravy (and a spoon).

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