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Full Steam Ahead!

Latest News

The North York Moors Railway is one of the most iconic heritage railways in the country.  Popular with steam enthusiasts, families, film location experts and more importantly - our customers!  Indeed this year our treasured railway will be featured in two blockbuster films - Indiana Jones And The Dial of Destiny and Mission Impossible Dead Reckoning Part One as well as being featured in a future show with 'Piglet', John Sergeant and Peter Davidson on Chanel 5!


Incredibly for the first time ever NYMR are offering UNLIMITED adult annual passes for just £40 which means after you stay with us, you'll have even more reason to come back soon! Children can also travel for free, so this makes for one of the best value family activities around!

For more details please visit  North York Moors Railway.

#NYMR #Steam Railway #heritage railway

Malton's Monthly Food Market

Cawthorne House

Its easy to see why Malton has set its stall out as one of the most progressive Town Centre's in the Country;

2 hours free parking is a genius way of stimulating the local economy.   Food is of the essence in Malton and when many a high street is suffering, Malton is thriving, having set its stall out as Yorkshire's Food Capital with some very shrewd and astute marketing and organisation, the highlight each month is the monthly food Market. Only 10 minutes from Cawthorne House by car.

Whilst you are there be sure to visit Talbot Food Yard, frequented by Royalty!


Malton Monthly Food Market

Bed and Breakfast in Pickering

Cawthorne House

Why did we choose to run a bed and breakfast, and why Pickering?

The truth is I'd wanted to run a bed and breakfast for many years. Before moving to Pickering, with the help of my mother I ran the iconic Angel Inn at Hetton  since my father died in 2004. The Angel is reported to be the first gastropub in the country after the trade press hailed Dad as the Godfather of the Gastropub when he died. In September 2018 Mum and I decided to sell The Angel to a partnership fronting Michelin Star Chef Michael Wignall . At the time it was a hard thing to do, the business had been in our hands for 35 years and it was very painful to let it go. 

However looking back now I feel it was the best thing we've ever done! No more worrying about trying to find Chefs and no more worrying about staff letting you down! 

Pickering Bed and Breakfast Heaven

I'm in my 50th year and I think its fair to say that I've found my own 'Nirvana' in Cawthorne House. Its as if everything I've done before was leading to this, and to achieve peace and contentment in any line of work is a rare commodity.

By making our own sourdough, canapés, cookies, jam and marmalade we aim to offer the best luxury bed and breakfast experience at an affordable price and we are very grateful for so many incredible reviews.

When we moved in I just knew that the wonderful Victorian kitchen would be perfect for a Sourdough Cookery School and in October we opened our doors to our cookery course customers. 

Since then we have achieved recognition in the following publications;

Pickering Station

So why did we choose Pickering? Well Sarah lived in Pickering 20 years ago when she took up her first teaching post at St Mary's in Malton and our main criteria was trying to find a bed and breakfast that also had 3 bedroom owners accommodation. We came to look round Cawthorne House and fell in love with it.

What makes Pickering so special is the fact that it is home to the iconic North York Moors Railway, before we moved in we had no idea how much impact the railway has on the town and how many people coming to Pickering, were coming specifically for the Steam Trains.

However, Pickering is also a really good strategic base for visiting the whole of the North York Moors; the coastal gems such as Staithes, Whitby and Robin Hoods Bay. We are only half an hour from Scarborough and York, 25 minutes from Helmsley and Rievaulx Abbey and only 4 miles from Dalby Forest and its 70km of mountain bike trails. So we couldn't have picked a better place to start our Bed and Breakfast adventure!

Bed and Breakfast Pickering Sourdough School

Pork Pie to Die For!

Cawthorne House

Some of you may have read that we did a sausage bake off when we first took over Cawthorne House! We went to every butchers in town and bought their standard sausages and cooked them all at the same time, and decided which we preferred. As it happens Noah was our chief sausage taster, this being his staple diet, especially when we eat out, (although he is starting to be quite good at trying new things, like mussels, the last time we were at the Star Inn the Harbour!), and Noah was the first to proclaim "that one!" We all agreed of course, but I was disappointed that it wasn't the sausage from Horsley's on the top of the high st. Instead it was the 'no frills' butchers from the bottom of the street, Hann's. Over the following weeks I would only purchase lovely thick cut, smoked back bacon and golden yolk eggs from Horsley's and my sausages from Hann's. After a couple of weeks the lads in Horsley's must got to thinking 'why doesn't he ask for any sausages?', so they started asking.... "No, no sausages!" I replied in a shrill sheepish voice. The kept asking and after a few more weeks, confident that I had built up enough of a relationship with them not to offend them, I came clean and told them about the bake off!  "What? We didn't win?", "No" I replied, "they did down the road", "You mean Hann's?" "Yeah" I replied, "they won Hann's down!"

They still rib me about not taking their sausages but I tell them, I'm spreading the love!

Meanwhile back at the foot of Smiddy Hill, I noticed workmen sometimes queuing for Pork Pies. Nothing is better testimony to a good pork pie than tradesmen's vans outside a butchers, they tend to be rather discerning when it comes to a good pie!

As you know from my other article, the current Mrs Watkins isn't too keen on pies, so it took my all season before I found out.

Hazel, told me her pork pies had won competitions, and coming from Skipton we know all about award winning pork pies. Well, it's like this, after I tasted one, pure, pie heaven, light and crispy hot water pastry, crumbly pork meat, perfectly seasoned, I've told her that every morning I now wake up thinking about her Pork Pies!

To quote the film "Gladiator"; To those about to Pie! We Salute You!

#porkpie #bestpie #foodporn #localbutchers

The Pursuit of Breadiness

Sourdough School

I started my Sourdough life with the guidance of an excellent methodology transformed by Chad Robertson solely for people to be able to replicate the steam and oven intensity of a French oven the kind of which he learnt to make bread in, in the Alps. Chad spent his apprenticeship learning about natural Levain, what we know in the UK as Sourdough, and then moved back to San Francisco and opened Tartine. (If you follow the link you may never come back to me but like a parent with a child, I'll let you go with enough love, confident you'll return).  His book is a thing of wonder and beauty and the bread method is based around baking your dough in a 'Dutch Oven' or in my case 'Le Creuset' casserole dish - cast iron, enamelled. The dough mixture is about 80% hydration and therefore very wet, but that provides the steam needed for the final rise, the crust is immense, but it can be rather chewy, a no no for dentures  and the crumb can remain a little moist.

After 5 years my dream has been to replicate the flavours of a 'Pain' that you can buy daily from a boulangerie in any village in France, and I think I've pretty much achieved this. The end product is more like a 'batard',but the crumb is fluffy and the crust full of flavour. One guest recently said, "Pascal, your bread is out of this world!" I know I have achieved my own bread Nirvana, but you don't stop learning and with temperature fluctuations, not unlike wine, every daily vintage of bread is different, if only ever so slightly.

I believe my recipe is easier for budding Sourdough enthusiasts and first timers alike.

The first image is from my earlier Tartine followed methodology, the other two are from my adjusted recipe and method.

The bread is still 100% authentic Levain, flour, salt and water.

#sourdough #cookeryschool #breadporn



01751 269339

Sarah & Pascal Watkins

Cawthorne House

42 Eastgate, Pickering, YO18 7DU

01751 269339