This extraordinary place is famous for its amazing wildlife, stunning scenery, and superb walks. From the simple beauty of the Lady's-slipper Orchid to the shining sands of Morecambe Bay, the area is simply awe-inspiring - full of natural spectacles and a surprise around every corner.
The Wolfhouse Kitchen, Silverdale
Nestling between shady Woodwell and Jenny Brown’s Point is The Wolfhouse – a popular attraction in Silverdale for many years. Since September 2012, the Wolfhouse Kitchen has been run by Katey Mack and Kenny Cottam.
Katey and Kenny originally come from nearby Bentham and Tunstall respectively, and met, aged 13, while working in the kitchens at the Lunesdale Arms in Tunstall – where they also met colleague Francis.
The team developed a passion for working in kitchens, gaining experience running cafes in France, and eventually catering for the Paris Fashion Weeks, before returning to Lancashire and taking over the Wolfhouse Kitchen.
Passion for local produce is obvious in the Wolfhouse Kitchen, with vegetables supplied by Veg2U of Halton, coffee from Lancaster’s Atkinsons, meat from nearby Burrow’s Butchers, and bread from Lovingly Artisan of Oxenholme.
Says Kenny: ‘We’re conscious of the pride our suppliers have in their products and we want to do justice to our whole supply chain and offer the best possible experience for our customers.
‘We’re passionate about food, constantly looking for healthier or more creative alternatives – for instance we make our pizza bases using sourdough. Even holidays are research trips – we make regular visits to London to see what our favourite cafes down there are doing, and brought back lots of ideas from our recent break in New York.’
Francis adds: ‘I’m always talking to our suppliers, brainstorming and sharing ideas. When I place my veg order, our supplier will often add in anything extra he’s grown that he thinks I might find interesting. I love finding ways of using new ingredients, and experimenting with different foods. Having something new in the kitchen sparks my imagination and forces me to come up with new ideas. I picked up some pale beer and used it to make a really light samosa pastry. We got some rabbit from Carnforth and made an amazing slow cooked ragu, and we love to use the abundant local wild garlic on our pizzas.’
This creative approach also supports the team’s commitment to sustainability – when using meat, they work with the butchers to use as much of the animal as possible, with delicious offerings like pigs’ trotter gravy and bone marrow burgers.
The inspiration is clear to see on the counter too – with around 20 different varieties of cake available on busy days – and never the same selection, the customer is spoilt for choice.
Katey says: ‘We didn’t want to be boxed in by the traditional ‘tea room’ image. There’s always something for everyone, but we don’t want our customers knowing what they’re going to order before they walk in the door!’
The team’s strong collaborative relationship with suppliers opened up an unexpected opportunity in 2014. The manager of Altrincham Marketplace was looking for a new café team. He asked trusted suppliers for a recommendation, and the Wolfhouse Kitchen was the clear favourite. He visited the café and couldn’t help agreeing, so now Kenny and Katey split their time between Altrincham and Silverdale, with Francis and colleague Mark managing the Silverdale branch – and using many of the same suppliers for both branches. Reassuring that if you’re in South Manchester, you can still get your Wolfhouse Kitchen fix!