This is going to be the second week of having the hearty Homity pie on the specials board, as it has been soooo very popular.... thats the way we roll at the Rattle Gill.... After all Alec is from the mighty Wigan... Pie eating capital of the world!

Homity pie is a traditional British open topped pie. Full of potatoes, mature cheddar, spinach, sautéed onion, garlic and some splendid cream!!! According to my sources it is thought to have been made by the Land Girls during the second world war and could have originated in the West Country. There are lots of variations of what to put in, so have a play about with what works for you! 

We had a go at making some coconut macaroons at the weekend...ready for any hungry Fred Whiton Challenges cyclists or their support crews!! We figured they got a battering out there on the 112 mile route around the lakes. Fair play and well done to anyone that finished it. We're afraid to say though that the Macaroons are all gone!

Ambleside's surrounding woodlands are starting to produce that stunning purple and blue carpet of Bluebells. We headed out for a walk past the Brathay church the other day and found that 'Bluebell wood' (our creative name for the woods!!) is almost in full bloom!! Once the wild garlic is almost finished then the bluebells appear and spring carries on. Love it.

Hearty Homity Pie recipe


250g/4oz Plain flour plus extra for rolling

150g/5oz butter

1 free-range egg, beaten


850g/1lb 14oz floury potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters

25g/1oz butter

1 tbsp sunflower oil

3 onions, halved and sliced

2 crushed garlic cloves

100g/3½oz spinach

175g/6oz grated cheddar

2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

250ml/9fl oz double cream

pinch of nutmeg

Salt and pepper.


  • Preheat the oven to 170’C
  • Put the flour and butter in a food processor and blend until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the egg and pulse until the mixture just comes together as dough. Bring the dough together and flatten into a round. Roll the pastry out and line a 20cm/8in spring form tin and carefully ease it over the base and up the sides of the tin. Wrap with cling film and chill in the fridge until the next stages are complete.
  • Cook the potatoes in boiling water for 15 minutes, or until just tender. Drain and cut into 3cm/1¼in pieces.
  • Melt the butter and oil in a frying pan and fry the onions gently for 15 minutes, until pale golden-brown. Add the garlic and cook for two minutes, stirring regularly.
  •  Add the onions and garlic to the slightly cooled potatoes and sprinkle with 100g/3½oz of the cheese and the parsley. Add the spinach leaves and season with nutmeg, salt and freshly ground pepper. Mix everything together.
  • Spoon the mixture into the pastry case. Pour over the cream and allow it to drizzle down between the layers. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top. Place the tin on a baking tray and bake in the oven for 45-50 minutes, or until the pastry is crisp and pale golden-brown.
  •  Leave the pie to cool in the tin for 20 minutes. Remove from the tin, cut into wedges and serve with lots of salad – YUM!

Remember folks...get out there and enjoy this magical time of year...with so much life and colour coming back, it's a shame not to make the most of it. Talking of which, we're off to the Duddon valley for a picnic in the van...Oh and Alec's doing a running race!! Happy spring time...see you soon Claire & Alec.