Sykehouse Cottage

A beautiful C17th Holiday Cottage in the Lake District

Bluebird, Cat Nap, Foxfield Sands

Barngates Cat NapWhy not stay at Sykehouse Cottage in early October and sample the wonderful selection of beer on offer at the same time?  The Lake District has many small independent breweries and every October there’s a beer festival centring on Broughton town mini buses taking people further afield.  There are usually over 90 real ales available during the event and the pubs will be open all day.  Cumberland sausage tends to feature quite heavily in the festival as well.

Broughton’s Festival of Beer runs from Friday 4 to Sunday 6 October 2013 and includes:

The Manor Arms in Broughton’s town square which always has a great selection of local beer

The Prince of Wales, Foxfield : a pub with its own brewery

The High Cross Inn : there’ll be live music on Saturday night

and up the Duddon Valley at Seathwaite, The Newfield Inn.

More details can be found on the local website here.

Cat Nap is a favourite local ale of mine.  From Barngates Brewery, Ambleside.  They describe it as: “A straw coloured hoppy beer with a hint of grapefruit. Well balanced bitterness leads to a long dry finish. A fruity, zesty character.”

Cumberland Sausage

Local man and ex chef, Gary McClure, caused quite a stir last August when his 11ft wide coiled sausage arrived in Broughton’s market square.  The Cumberland Sausage was cooked on portable barbecues and held by a specially made skillet in a successful attempt to break the World Record for the biggest ever continuous sausage ring.  This was filmed by Channel 5 and broadcast in January 2013.

Cumberland sausage ring

Cumberland sausage is a local speciality and each butcher has their own recipe.  No one knows how the sausage got its distinctive rope shape and spiced taste.  Though there are several speculations.  The spices maybe because of the spice ships sailing into Whitehaven during the 18th century when the town was the third largest port in the country.  It has been suggested that the coiled loops were just more practical but I prefer the possibility that they were first made by the German miners who came to Cumbria during Elizabeth 1’s reign as a reminder of their Bregenwurst from home.  Whatever the true provenance, the Cumberland sausage, it soon became a well established feature on the household menu in Cumbria.

Since 2011 the sausage has Protected Geographical Indication status under EU law and so, like Cornish clotted cream and Stilton cheese, it can only be made in Cumbria and be sold in a long coil.

So when you come and stay at Sykehouse Cottage, you should pop into Melville Tyson’s, the butchers in Broughton in Furness and buy a length of their own delicious Cumberland Sausage – a perfect teatime treat after a long walk.