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Walking the Food Walk at Burghley Horse Trials 31 August – 3 September 2017

Right in the centre of the trade-stand area of the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials, the Burghley Food Walk offers a vibrant atmosphere, with wonderful cooking aromas and a plethora of ingredients to satisfy even the most ardent foodie. Deborah Pennell relishes the chance to profile three local businesses who bring something extra to the Burghley Food Walk experience, and lists some other businesses that are definitely worth a visit.

FEN FARM VENISON Contact: Jane Wesley “We take pride and delight in producing our venison, all year round, to an extraordinary standard.” How many years have you had a stand on the Food Walk at Burghley Horse Trials? We have been on the Food Walk at Burghley since 2013. Is Fen Farm Venison a family-run business? We are very much a family-run business – there is myself, Jane Wesley, my husband Peter and father-in-law Brian who are all partners, and my mother-in-law Janet is also a member of the team. Our children, Alice and Tom, can frequently be found helping on our stall at farmers’ markets and shows. What percentage of your business is online sales, compared to farmers’ markets and shows? Online business is a small percentage of what we do at present, but it is an area we are keen to expand. We updated our website last year and that has helped us see a steady increase in sales. Otherwise we can be found at a huge number of farmers’ markets around the area, and also at many shows. Burghley Horse Trials is by far the largest event we take part in.


What hours do you tend to work during Burghley week? We work exceptionally long hours during Burghley, arriving on site by 7am, and it can be 6pm before we leave. Once we are home, we clean down, wash up and restock for the next day. The amount of product we take is based on the previous year, so hopefully we do not need to set to and make more burgers when we get home in the evening! Having four consecutive days makes it tough, and you are certainly ready to put your feet up at the end of the show! What products do you take to Burghley Horse Trials? We bring our complete range of fresh meat – burgers and sausages, casserole, mince, steaks, joints and fillets. On site, we cook our own home-cured bacon, venison burgers and venison steaks, offered in a white or wholemeal roll made for us by Pocklington’s, and we use the tasty, local Cote Hill “Yellow Belly” cheese – no Kraft slices here! We also cook wild boar sausages, purchased from a local game dealer. Our wild boar sausage and home-cured bacon breakfast bap is delicious, exceptional value and extremely popular. An interesting fact about your product. Venison is high in iron, low in cholesterol and lower in fat than skinned chicken, making it incredibly healthy. What is your favourite thing about Burghley Horse Trials? We just love everything about Burghley – it is such a prestigious event and we have built up quite a following over the years. We love to see all our customers year after year. The shopping is fantastic too! Have you a favourite event rider? It has to be William Fox-Pitt.


THE BROWNIE COMPANY Contact: Amanda Hamblin “Simply the gooiest, moistest, chocciest, yummiest Brownie you’ll find!” How many years have you had a stand on the Food Walk at Burghley Horse Trials? This will be our seventh year at Burghley, and I cannot believe how quickly that time has gone! We love Burghley, as customers come back to see us year after year. Is The Brownie Company a family-run business? The team is myself, Amanda Hamblin – I make all the brownies – and my husband, son and two daughters, and anyone else I can rope in to lend a hand on the stand! What hours do you work during Burghley? I’ve been known to be baking until 4am during past Burghleys. Although this is exhausting at the time, it does mean customers are choosing us, and that really keeps me going. Have you an interesting statistic about The Brownie Company relating to Burghley? I use roughly 1,000 free-range eggs and about 50kg of premium-quality Belgian dark chocolate for the four days at Burghley. Which is your most popular brownie? I will have eight flavours of brownie on the stand this year. As for a favourite type, you just never know from one show to the next which ones are going to sell out first, but personally I have a real soft spot for the Sour Cherry Brownie. I soak cherries in cherry brandy overnight to create an amazingly intense flavour. Any great memories of previous Burghley Horse Trials? I always wish we managed to see more horses and riders at Burghley, but we do not usually get the chance. As a family we are huge Leicester Tigers rugby fans, and one year two of our favourite players happened to be sitting in the seating area near our stand; I couldn’t resist giving them a free brownie each to give me a reason to say “hello”. To my delight, later that day they came back and bought a whole batch of brownies, as they said they had enjoyed them so much! That was a highlight.

Rutland Living Sept 2017  
Rutland Living Sept 2017