Cibare 29

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Cibare Food and Drinks Magazine Issue 29 Summer 2023 @cibaremagazine
RECIPE FEATURES GARDENING BOOZE Cibare Magazine 2 BOOK REVIEW Contents Chocolate Marquise 18 Summer Berry Cheesecake 20 Lemon and Barley Shortbread 22 Sweetcorn Pudding 24 Vegan Fruit Tartlets 26 Baked Passionfruit Cheesecake 32 One Star Döner Bar 8 Raspberry Drop Pancakes 28 Mini Meringue & Pansy Pies 30 Chocolate, Cherry & Raspberry Tart 34 Cucumber and Gin Sorbet 40 A Sweet and Cheesy Visit 42 Summer In The Garden 48 Sweet Enough by Alison Roman 4 Cherry Reds Café Bar 12 Summer Bevvies 52 Adriatico Advertorial 56

Summer is here. Well, I think so! But whilst we wait for that sunshine to come back here are some delicious, sweet ways for you to enjoy amazing seasonal deserts and fun places to go too!

Remember you are always summer ready! Don’t deny yourself something that makes you feel good. There really is something here for everyone. So bask in the sun and dance in the rain, enjoy this time of the year.

Sending love and light till our next issue xx

PS. Always leave space for cheese!

Cibare Editor’s Note

Sweet Enough by Alison Roman

It’s all about the sweet treats in this edition of Cibare and perfectly timed it is too, as Alison Roman has just released her third book, ‘Sweet Enough’. Although she’s a trained pastry chef, this is her first cookbook focussing on the sweet stuff and the tag line is “Desserts for people who don’t do desserts’. Hello? This is me. Well sort of. I’m that person who always says, I can cook, but I can’t bake. It’s important to know that my success rate with baking is at 50%. I have made a babka that made my toes curl with pleasure from every mouthful. Ricotta and date filled atayefs that were all snapped up before I could count to ten. I’ve made my own ricotta for a delicious cheesecake, but I’ve also had several attempts at sourdough bread that burnt the bottom of my Le Crueset and made me want to throw it out the window. I baked a cake that had the appearance of success, but as soon as I removed it from the tin it collapsed in a puddle with

one spectator saying “Christ, it looks like vomit!”. So yeah, 50/50…

With this in mind, never let it be said that I don’t love a challenge - after taking a leisurely flick through the book, I land on cinnamon rolls and bring out my old Kenwood mixer. It’s a two-day event; making the dough and leaving it to rise for up to 24 hours in the fridge, rolling the dough into cinnamon roll shapes and proofing again before baking. The first issue I had was that it didn’t rise like I’d expected it to, I wasn’t even sure how much it was supposed to rise! I also didn’t notice much of a rise on the second proof - alarm bells started ringing, was this going to be yet another of my epic fails? I’ve come this far, can’t turn back now. The instructions tell me to pour maple syrup in the base of the tin and then sit the raw rolls on top so that when they’re cooking, they get all sticky and delicious. I pop them in the

PICTURE CREDITS: Despina Mina BOOK REVIEW Cibare Magazine 4

oven and wait with bated breath. 10 minutes in and I see the syrup seeping out of the base of my tin and the rolls are starting to get a tan. 20 minutes in and the syrup is dripping off the baking tray and the rolls are starting to fill out and touch each other. 30 minutes in and the rolls start to actually look like something I could be proud of. At 40 minutes, I remove them from the oven and brush more syrup over the top of the rolls to glaze. I then spend the next 40 minutes on my hands and knees with my head in the oven, trying to scrub off the burnt syrup. The joy.

So, how did they taste? Because the dough didn’t rise very much, the texture remained quite heavy. The maple syrup not only provides the rolls with a delicious sticky base, it also creates an irresistible light crust over the surface. The flavour of the rolls was excellent and despite the lack of rise, it was still a great treat to have with my cup of tea. Would I try this again? I would if I knew how to rectify the mistakes.

Score: 7/10

To counterbalance my go hard or go home philosophy above, I also wanted to try the absolutely simplest of recipes and it’s one I can always get on board with - the fruit cocktail. Alison makes many suggestions for good combinations but also recommends picking anywhere between two to five different fruits in one drink and rather than pouring in a plethora of booze, just pick one. As a Negroni fan, I have a bottle of red vermouth stashed away so I mixed this in with blackberries and raspberries.

How did it taste? Lip-smackingly gorgeous!

Would I try this again? I already have. Score: 10/10

I’m really enjoying this book; the range of recipes means that you can pick something to suit any level of skill. The photography shows off the dishes in a way that makes them look playful and mouth-wateringly delicious, but not intimidatingly refined. Because of this, I felt encouraged to just give it all a go. I’m planning on making the tomato tart next... I’ll keep you posted on my 50/50 success rate.

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CREDITS: Despina Mina


What do you get when you mix a Michelin-starred chef with old school rave music? A one-star döner kebab shop!!!

From the depths of Birmingham, Chef Brad Carter rose up from the grill flames to establish his restaurant along with his partner, and achieve a stunning Michelin star very quickly - and he’s kept it!! Bringing affordable, accoladed food to the Birmingham masses. From there he’s taking his love of British produce to the next level.

Having gone on holiday to Germany and found himself in a very long queue for a chicken shawarma, thinking that it was a joke, he found himself demolishing the best thing he’d ever eaten in his life, which was forever changed.

Back home the cogs turned, and he trialled ideas of making this amazing

food his own. Mixing his memories of nights out, and the endless need for dirty but delicious food at the end of a rave, and of course, high end restaurants with their ethos of using quality, locally sourced food, the party started.

So, from the humble beginnings of eating potato smiley faces he has gone on to incorporate them into a really good Döner Kebab plate, and to open up his first One Star Döner Bar in Manchester in 2021. He’s now opened his Birmingham branch in the famous live music pub, The Hare & Hounds, just down the road from his multiple award-winning restaurant Carters of Moseley.

They hit the ground running with this amazing site and they are already looking for a London location - and I for one can’t wait. Although The Hare & Hounds is an amazing venue for exactly the crowd that Chef Brad is looking to feed. Happy

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ravers and music lovers having had an amazing local night out, that just want something f**king delicious to eat! Be it after or before the party gets started.

His dedication to locally sourced food and only using the best produce, is one that is so unshakeable that he even has an allotment where he grows some of his own produce himself, ensuring that he has the smallest carbon footprint possible for all his restaurants. This makes him as ethical and as aware of his food and cooking as he possibly can be and it is an underlying foundation of his ethos and his businesses. It’s also probably why this chef has so many awards and is quite simply making exceptional food for everyone to enjoy!

But hey, you really need to try this yourself…

One Star Döner Bar, Freight Island, 11 Baring Street, Manchester, M1 2PY

One Star Döner Bar at The Hare & Hounds, High Street, Kings Heath, B14 7JZ

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Given the steady stream of customers who bobbed in and out of Cherry Reds during my visit, I can’t call this airy café bar a hidden gem. Locals already have it pegged as a firm favourite and it’s not hard to understand why. The cafe is eclectically decorated, inviting and welcoming.

Vocally inclusive, Cherry Reds on John Bright Street is LGBTQ+ friendly and serves up a great selection of home cooked foods to suit any dietary requirements. I picked the beef brisket hash, but there are lots of other mains, breakfast and sandwich choices, alongside a counter full of homemade sweet treats.

My heart was gladdened by the hearty portion of steaming goodness that was set before me. It’s so hard to find a decent café option that is fresh and full of wholesome veggies. Some days you just don’t want chips on the side. This

dish really nailed it for me on a cold but bright Spring day.

A mountain of tender beef and smoky, paprika vegetables was topped with an oozy fried egg. It was all resting on crisp fried potatoes - many carefully nestled around the edge of the deep bowl so that the crispy wasn’t disturbed by the rich tomato sauce. Real soul food in my opinion. I was utterly stuffed and totally happy when I ran the final potato around the dish, mopping up the very last morsels.

The venue offers live entertainment, comedy and such, on a regular basis. From the posters and flyers placed around I could see that a number of groups meet there too. Set over two floors, there’s plenty of room to make yourself comfortable, but do expect a bit of a wait at peak times. Now the weather is improving, the sunny terrace is also a viable seating option. Barriered off

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CREDITS: Laura Hadland

from the road, it makes a great peoplewatching spot where you can gently mock anyone who chooses to visit the over-hyped craft beer bar across the road to pay twice the price for half the quality.

And speaking of beer, for those in the know, it’s the quality of Cherry Reds’ beer list that really sets it apart. They have a huge selection of cask and keg beers on tap, kept in mint condition. Favouring local breweries, it’s a great place to familiarise yourself with Birmingham’s finest. The draughts are complemented by an enviable range of Belgian beers, lined up like ready soldiers in the fridge.

I paired my lunch with a bottle of Maredsous Blond. The Tripel poured with a rich, tight foam and was full of delicate sweet and smoky ester notes that picked up on the perfume of the sauce enveloping my brisket hash. I think I will be joining the throng of people who make Cherry Reds their regular lunchtime haunt...



Makes 4 individual desserts of 90g each Prep time: 20 minutes


100 g unsalted butter

50 g dark chocolate (minimum 55% cocoa solids)

25 g unsweetened cocoa powder

2 egg yolks

20 g icing sugar

125 ml cold double cream

50 g caster sugar

To serve:

Crème fraiche and mixed red berries

Method: Whisk the egg yolks and caster sugar to a light pale consistency and set aside. On a bain-marie melt the butter and chocolate and whisk in the cocoa powder.

Once the chocolate mixture has cooled down slightly, add to the egg mixture.

Finally, whisk the icing sugar and cream to soft peaks and fold into the chocolate and egg mixture.

Divide the marquises between your chosen containers and let them set in the fridge for 3 hours or overnight.

Serve with crème fraiche and mixed red berries for a pretty and decadent dessert!

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2 packets of ginger nut biscuits

150g melted unsalted butter

Punnet of strawberries

Punnet of raspberries

Punnet of blueberries

500g mascarpone cheese or cream


75g icing sugar

1 tbsp vanilla extract

Small pot of double cream


Bash up the biscuits, mix in the melted butter and press down into the cheesecake tin (9” / 23cm springform tin).

Prepare the fruit and roughly chop it.

Whisk the mascarpone or cream cheese, icing sugar and vanilla until smooth.

Add in the cream and whisk again until thick, being careful not to over-whisk the mixture. Then add in the fruit and fold it all through.

Pour onto the base and chill overnight. You can decorate your cheesecake with fresh fruit, mint leaves or fresh cream.

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A classic British summertime drink, reimagined as a crisp, buttery biscuit? Don’t mind if I do! Citrus cuts through the earthy notes of barley so well, and with only five ingredients this recipe is an easy win. You can press some edible flowers to the tops of your biscuits before baking, but they’re just as lovely with no adornment.


225g softened butter

110g caster sugar

Zest of one lemon

225g barley flour

110g cornflour


Put the softened butter and sugar into a mixing bowl, and cream until fluffy and pale. Grate in the lemon zest and beat into the sugar mixture.

Sift in the barley flour and cornflour, and mix. This may take a little effort, but you’ll know you’re done when your

floury mixture turns into a smooth ball of dough.

Squeeze the mixture into a ball, then clingfilm tightly and leave to rest in the fridge for an hour.

Preheat the oven to 170°C and retrieve the dough from the fridge.

Roll the dough out on a floured surface, beneath a layer of clingfilm or baking paper to stop it crumbling everywhere. Roll out to about 5mm thick and stamp out rounds with a biscuit cutter.

Place biscuit rounds onto a lined baking tray and bake for fifteen minutes. Keep an eye on them, as this dough is a shade darker than standard shortbread dough!

Once baked, remove from the oven and allow to cool on the baking tray for five minutes. Then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely and enjoy.





For the sweet corn pudding:

1 small tin of sweet corn (250g)

100g caster sugar

65g rice flour

10g corn flour

450ml water

For the coconut cream topping:

500ml coconut milk

50g caster sugar

25g rice flour

7g corn flour

½ tsp salt

2 tbps sweet corn for decoration


For the sweet corn pudding:

Blend sugar, rice flour and corn flour together in a mixing bowl then slowly add water and mix well together.

Transfer into a saucepan, cook on medium heat and keep stirring for 2 minutes then add sweet corn and

continue stirring until the mixture thickens a bit then turn off the heat.

Pour the mixture into small cups, preferably foil cupcake liners or small pudding bowls, and leave it to cool. While waiting for the pudding to cool down, make the coconut cream for the topping.

For the coconut cream: Put all the ingredients together and mix well and then transfer into a saucepan and cook on medium heat, stirring continuously until the mixture gets a bit thick and creamy.

Pour it evenly over the top of the sweet corn pudding.

Sprinkle a bit of sweet corn on top to decorate the puddings and leave them to cool at room temperature or in the fridge.

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These quick and easy fruit tartlets are really impressive for an afternoon summer tea - and you won’t believe they are vegan! The pastry is light and buttery and totally delicious. A little but naughty but very, very nice!


115g vegan butter (Naturli block is good)

70g icing sugar (half for the pastry and half for the cream cheese)

120g all-purpose (plain) flour

Zest of half a lemon

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

225g vegan cream cheese (you can buy this in all leading supermarkets - ensure you get the unflavoured variety)

1 tin coconut milk (use solid part only and discard the water)

Fresh fruit and berries

Sprig of fresh mint to garnish

Icing sugar to dust


Beat the butter in a bowl until light and fluffy (or with a mixer). Add in the icing sugar and mix well. Add the flour and lemon zest and mix until just combined but do not over mix.

Roll out the pastry and cut out ‘rounds’ and press firmly into the pastry tray. Prick the tartlet bottoms with a fork and place in the freezer for 15 to 20 minutes to chill.

While that’s chilling, take the solids from the can of coconut milk and mix it in a bowl with the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla extract until smooth. Place the bowl in the fridge.

After the pastry dough has chilled sufficiently, bake in the oven for 15 minutes or until golden (but not too brown) at 165°C, then remove from the oven and let them cool.

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Fill the tartlets with the cooled cream cheese mixture and top with fresh berries/fruit to taste. Place a fresh mint sprig on each tartlet to garnish, sprinkle with icing sugar and serve. Keep refrigerated until use but note that they are best eaten the same day. Enjoy.

You have got to couple this with a cool and refreshing Mojito cocktail. Most

spirits are totally vegan so if you choose to consume alcohol you are pretty safe choosing pure spirits. Other alcoholic drinks are not always vegan including wines and Prosecco unless labelled so. This is so simple to make and totally delicious and refreshing on a summer’s day.


My favourite pancakes are the stacks of slightly risen ‘crempog’, which are a Welsh tradition. If you aren’t familiar, think of American pancakes and you are on the right lines – but these are distinctly smaller and lighter. Mighty tempting for an indulgent breakfast, afternoon tea or dessert with some cream or yoghurt on the side. Buttermilk is the traditional ingredient for these because of its acidity, which reacts with the bicarbonate of soda to give a characteristic bubble and rise. Here, that is replicated with a mix of milk and infused vinegar (try Fitz Fine Foods for a selection of options). The quick cooking in the hot griddle or frying pan gets the raspberries going just enough to release their flavour, without them losing their shape. Their sweetness marries gorgeously with the gentle acidity of the pseudo-buttermilk.

Makes 16


200ml whole milk

1 tbsp herb- or flower-infused vinegar

25g butter, plus extra for cooking and serving

180g plain flour

1 egg, beaten

¾ tsp bicarbonate of soda

90g raspberries

Honey, golden syrup or maple syrup, for drizzling

Method: Stir together the milk and vinegar in a bowl or jug and set aside. Melt the butter and leave to cool.

Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl, then use a hand whisk to mix in the melted butter and the milk and vinegar mixture until you have a smooth batter. Whisk in the egg. The batter can be made to this point 2 hours before using.

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Just before you’re ready to start cooking, whisk in the bicarbonate of soda then gently fold through 70g raspberries, keeping the rest for serving.

Grease a frying pan or griddle with a small knob of butter and heat it until good and hot. Make each pancake by dropping 1 tbsp batter into the pan. I would make 4-5 pancakes at a time. Allow to cook for 2 mins until bubbly and puffed up and the underside is golden brown. Flip them over and repeat on the other

side. Keep the pancakes warm while you finish the rest (adding more butter to the pan as necessary), building up stacks of pancakes as you go with a little butter, a few raspberries and a drizzle of honey or syrup between each layer.

Thank you and credit belongs to Borough Market for their recipes and images.


If you’re growing pansies then these are delightful bite-sized treats for a lazy Sunday.


24 ready-made mini pastry cases

Lemon or orange curd

50g egg whites

110g caster sugar

2 tbsp water

Pansies to decorate


Simply dollop a teaspoon or so of curd into each pastry case and set aside. To make the Italian meringue topping, whisk the egg white until you get soft peaks.

Put the caster sugar and water in a small saucepan and heat gently until you have a syrupy, bubbly texture - this will be 115°C to 118°C on a sugar thermometer. Slowly pour the sugar syrup into the egg whites while whisking all the time and keep on whisking until it forms stiff, satiny peaks.

Pipe a swirl of meringue on top of each of the pastry cases with curd.

Finally, lightly blow torch the meringue to crisp up the edges and then add your pansy for decoration.

The perfect dainty, delicious and colourful treat.

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500g old fashioned cream cheese (NOT Philadelphia!! – treat yourself and get cream cheese from a deli counter or buy a brand like Paysan Breton. It may cost you a bit more, but the luxurious flavour of your cheesecake will make it worthwhile.)

4 eggs, separated

200g caster sugar

150g soured cream or crème fraiche

60g cornflour

Pulp and juice of two large (three small), ripe passionfruit

200g crushed Digestive biscuits

80g butter

2 tbsps light Muscovado sugar


Preheat oven to 150°C, 140°C fan, Gas Mark 2

Prepare a 9” (22cm) or 10” (25cm) springform tin – depending on how deep you like your cheesecake! - by lining the base and sides with baking parchment.

Place the cream cheese, egg yolks, sugar, soured cream (or crème fraiche), cornflour and passionfruit pulp and juice into the bowl of your mixer and set it going at a medium to high pace (avoiding splashing!). Leave it happily churning away while you complete the next steps.

Add the butter, sugar and crushed biscuits to a saucepan and allow the butter to melt and the mixture to combine. It should still be slightly ‘sandy’. Pour the crumb mixture into the prepared tin and pat down, but don’t

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let the base become too tight. Ideally it should be a little higher round the edge than in the middle.

Now beat up the egg whites till they form soft peaks, and fold them gently into the cheese mixture, making sure you don’t have any clumps of pulp stuck to the beaters or any unfolded egg white. Pour into the prepared tin then bake for 45/50 minutes, till it looks set but still has a bit of a wobble. Don’t worry if the top cracks a little bit, this is perfectly normal! At the end of the baking time, turn the oven off and leave the cake to finish cooking and cooling with the door closed for another hour.

The cake can be refrigerated or frozen if made in advance, but in fact it’s better eaten the day it’s made before being refrigerated, as it retains a consistency that is almost like that of a soufflé. The slightly tart flavour of the passionfruit against the creamy texture of the cake itself is an absolute joy. If you choose, you can also decorate the cake with raspberries and / or strawberries, or make a berry coulis to pour over it when serving. A perfect summer dessert.

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Crisp pastry filled with chocolate ganache and dotted with juicy summer fruits.

Serves 8

Prep time 45 minutes

Cooking time 30 minutes


For the pastry:

30g icing sugar

1 egg yolk, plus enough water to make up to 60ml

240g ‘00’ flour

200g cold, unsalted butter, cut into small cubes

For the poached cherries:

700g fresh cherries, pitted

100ml red wine

140g golden caster sugar

1 star anise

1 cinnamon stick

3 cloves

Thinly peeled rind of 1 orange

For the chocolate ganache:

200g dark chocolate, at least 75% cocoa solids

80g unsalted butter

3 tbsp double cream

For the cream:

200ml double cream

30g caster sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste

50g toasted flaked almonds

200g raspberries

Icing sugar for dusting


For the sweet pastry, mix the icing sugar and egg yolk in a small bowl until smooth. Pulse the flour, butter and a pinch of salt in a food processor until blended, ensuring that the butter is still lumpy.

Turn out onto a work surface and bring the crumbs together in a heap. Make

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CREDITS: John Holdship

a rabbit hole in the centre and pour in the egg mixture. Lightly mix with your hands, kneading gently. Wrap in clingfilm and rest for 30 minutes.

Knead the pastry very gently, roll out to line a 28cm tart tin, trim the edge and prick all over with a fork. Freeze for 15 minutes until you are ready to bake. Line tart shell with parchment paper and place baking beans / weights inside. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Blind bake the tart shell for 12 to 15 minutes, until lightly golden. Remove the paper and beans / weights and bake for a further 10 minutes. Set aside on a wire rack to cool.

For the poached cherries, combine all the ingredients in a saucepan over a medium heat. Simmer for at least 20 minutes until the cherries are tender. Set aside to cool, then chill. This can be done the day before or while the pastry is chilling, but the longer the better.

For the chocolate ganache, melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Add the butter and cream, stirring until you have a smooth mixture. Pour into the cooled tart shell, spread evenly over the base and chill.

For the cream, whisk the cream in a bowl until you have soft peaks, then add the sugar and vanilla. Spoon over the chilled chocolate. Top with drained cherries, raspberries and flaked almonds. Dust with icing sugar.

ALTERNATIVE: Other fruits may be used, for example, blueberries, strawberries, peaches and nectarines.

Thank you and credit belongs to Borough Market for their recipes and images. uk/

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John Holdship


Serves 8


300g caster sugar

40g liquid glucose

½ lemon, juiced

3 large cucumbers (600g in weight)

140ml gin


Put the sugar and glucose in a saucepan with 300ml of water. Set the pan over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Do not let it boil. Remove from the heat and add the lemon juice.

Juice the cucumbers. If you have one, you can do this in a juicer. If not, roughly chop them then whizz in a blender to make a watery puree. Line a sieve with muslin and set it over a bowl, then tip the purée into the sieve and leave for a few minutes so the juice drips through to the bowl below. You can gather the muslin

into a bag and give it a gentle squeeze to encourage any last drops. Either process should result in approximately 500ml of juice.

Mix the sugary liquid and the cucumber juice together. Add the gin and put it in the fridge to chill. Once chilled, churn in an ice cream maker then transfer to the freezer to set completely.

Thank you and credit belongs to Borough Market for their recipes and images. PICTURE CREDITS: Kathy Slack

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We’ve been living in France for some time now but make regular trips back to the UK to see family and friends. On our last journey, we took time out to visit a good friend who lives near Bath and enjoyed a day trip to nearby Cheddar and its famous gorge, a place I’ve never visited. Now coming from a cheese lover, that may sound weird, but I just never got there. This time I did – and it was well worth the detours we had to take to avoid the bits of road where they were ensuring the integrity of the Gorge, as they do every year just before the season gets underway.

Okay, hand on heart I have to say that yes, Cheddar is definitely catering for its many visitors and tourists, but at the same time it’s a really pretty village, the Gorge is spectacular and the caves are just breath-taking. And the cheese…well that’s quite wonderful too.

Before we did anything else, we stopped off at The Cheddar Gorge Cheese Company, where we were able to sample a variety of their delicious Cheddar, billed as ‘the only Cheddar made in Cheddar’, and it is scrumptious. Whether you choose classic cave-matured, Vintage, oak-smoked or any other variant on the Cheddar theme, these cheeses, with their nutty, creamy flavour will have you demanding more! They add port, or Somerset cider with garlic and chives, or sun-dried tomato and red onion, or herbs and garlic and even chilli – there’s a Cheddar to suit every palate. Then there are the Cheddar Cheese Straws they make with their yummy cheese –not so much straws as battens. Light and flaky and truly Cheddary.

We also popped ‘round the back’ to watch a bit of cheese-making. The wheels of Cheddar each weigh around 28kg and they’re made in the traditional PICTURE CREDITS:

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Gilly Balcombe

way using fresh, unpasteurised milk from cows that live on local farms, that’s delivered every day. The process itself is no secret: the milk is separated into curds and whey, the whey is drained off and the curd, which is already the fresh cheese, remains. It is then strained, pressed, salted or brine washed. A part of their production is matured in the Cheddar caves themselves, Gough’s Cave being the original historical cheese larder. They’re packed on to metal cages and left for a year or more to mature in an environment where constant temperature and high humidity ensure that the resultant cheese has a unique and complex character. A world apart from the industrially produced Cheddars that are so common nowadays.

By now we were hungry to sample more of this deliciousness and a short walk through the village, alongside the river that runs through it, brought us to The Cheese Cottage Tea Rooms. It was most definitely late elevenses time, we’d had an early (but excellent) breakfast at the lovely Hunters’ Rest pub in Clutton Hill where we were staying, and so we wolfed down warm cheese scones made that morning by Coral, the owner of the Tea Rooms, with vintage Cheddar and tangy chutney. The coffee was good too and everything was beautifully presented using traditional blue and white china. Sublime and not to be missed if you ever go to Cheddar. They also have a gift shop adjacent to the Tea Rooms where they sell a huge variety of local products. More of Coral’s skills and goodies later…

Thus fortified, we headed for Gough’s Cave, the first one to have been excavated in Cheddar, following its discovery by

retired sea captain Richard Cox Gough in 1892. All the work was done by hand, from opening up the cave to hauling out the debris. In 1899 electric light was installed in what’s become known as the show cave, the first 820m of Gough’s Cave which is open to the public and which is the only part that’s accessible if you’re not a diver. It contains spectacular rock formations, stalactites and stalagmites, and stunning rock chambers and chimneys. Most of the cave’s length is made up of the Cheddar Yeo river passage, which is only accessible to cave divers. The geology and the scenery inside the caves are fascinating and one can only marvel at the dedication, tenacity and sheer determination of the brave men who pitted themselves against the elements to enable the caves to be seen and enjoyed.

We paid a short visit to Cox’s Cave, which has been turned into a multimedia Son et Lumiere (Sound and Light) experience entitled ‘Dreamhunters: The Adventures of Early Man’. Other attractions are the Museum of Prehistory, a three-mile cliff top walk and Jacob’s Ladder and the Lookout Tower to climb, both providing marvellous views of Somerset and The Mendips. You can wander through the forest walk alongside the village, enjoying the local architecture and some really cute shops. There’s a shop selling beautiful high-quality sheepskin and leather goods (a true family business, with mother and daughter making gorgeous jackets while dad mans the till!), one that specialises in Christmas (quite literally), another that sells nothing but teddy bears and plush toys and at the entrance to the village, stores selling fudge and sweet treats.

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Which brought us conveniently back to Coral’s wonderful emporium. A decision had been made not to have lunch, as we’d pigged out on scones and cheese at elevenses, but just to move on to high tea towards the end of the day. More of Coral’s super baking, plain and fruit scones with butter, clotted cream and really fruity jam, as well as tasty freshly made sandwiches. They were just about to close, but Coral’s husband welcomed us anyway and we were very well fed and looked after. She bakes cakes too but we didn’t have any room for those, although they looked fab.

We’d been so keen to drive through the Gorge itself on our way into Cheddar, but were thwarted by the diversion mentioned earlier. What good luck it

was that, just as we were about to make our way to the car park by the village duck pond and head back to the pub, the maintenance team finished for the day and removed all the diversion signs. And wow, it is truly magnificent and it was well worth the wait - a wonderful end to a beautiful day.

The Cheddar Gorge Cheese Company, The Cliffs, Cheddar, BS27 3QA

The Cheese Cottage Tea Room & Gift Shop, 1 Daghole, Cheddar, BS27 3QJ

Moorcraft Sheepskin & Leather, Daghole, Cheddar, BS27 3QJ

Old Rowlands Christmas Shop, The Cliffs, Cheddar, BS27 3QE

The Gorge Bear Co, Lakeview, The Cliffs, Cheddar, BS27 3QE



Summer is the perfect time if you are a gardening enthusiast, when you can get your hands dirty and watch all your hard work come to fruition. The warm temperatures, long days and lots of summer sunshine provide the perfect conditions for many plants to thrive. With a little bit of planning and effort, you can create a productive garden that will flourish throughout the summer months with a bit of time and effort from yourself.

With the increasing temperatures we have been experiencing over the last few years, it may be time to adapt to more heat-loving varieties, and I would also highly recommend that you put in place as many water harvesting tools as you possibly can. Water butts are a cheap and easy way to collect water during the wetter months and you could even consider using grey water from bathroom and kitchen water waste. A simple system can easily be put in place to make use of something that otherwise

goes back into the water system - you have already paid for it so you may as well make use of it!

One of the first things you need to do when planning your summer garden is to choose the right plants. Summer is the season for vibrant colours and bold, bright blooms. Some popular summer flowers include sunflowers, zinnias, marigolds and dahlias. These colourful flowers not only add beauty to your garden but also attract beneficial insects, such as bees and butterflies, which help to pollinate your other plants.

In addition to flowers, summer is also a great time to grow vegetables and herbs. Tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and beans are just a few examples of vegetables that thrive in the summer heat. Herbs such as basil, thyme, oregano and parsley are also perfect for growing in the summer, as they love the warm temperatures and sunshine.


Once you have chosen the plants you want to grow, it is time to prepare your soil (or hopefully you have already planned for this, and your beds are all ready to go). Summer gardens require fertile, well-drained soil with plenty of organic matter, especially when the days are dry and hot. Adding compost to your soil will help to enrich it with nutrients and improve its ability to retain moisture which is super important. You should also mulch your garden beds to help conserve water and prevent weeds from taking root. The more organic matter you add, the better your soil will be. I garden on London clay but over the years have added lots of home-made compost which has made the soil much easier to work with and the plants certainly appreciate it. If you don’t have a compost system in place, set one up and reap the rewards later on down the line.

Watering your garden is one of the most important jobs during the summer months and although it can seem like an endless task, in order for things to thrive and survive, it’s a crucial part of your summer routine. The hot temperatures and long days can quickly dry out your soil, so it is important to water your plants regularly. It is always best to water your plants early in the morning or late in the evening when temperatures are cooler and the water is less likely to evaporate - I prefer in the evening so they have a full night to drink it all up while it stays cooler for longer.

. Another important thing to consider during the warmer months is pest control. The warm temperatures and humid conditions can attract a variety of pests, including aphids, caterpillars and whiteflies to name a few. Also

be warned, if you grow dahlias, of earwigs which tend to love burrowing in their flowers and can decimate them overnight. To prevent these pests from damaging your plants, it is important to inspect your garden regularly and remove any infested leaves or stems. Use natural pest control methods, such as encouraging beneficial insects like ladybugs and lacewings or spraying your plants with a home-made solution of soap and water. Companion planting is also a great method not only for attracting beneficial predators but also to deter the pesky ones. Nasturtiums and the allium family are brilliant for deterring carrot root fly for example. Garlic and onions are great planted with peas and beans as is mint. Do grow mint in a container though because it has a habit of becoming slightly invasive –and don’t forget, mint is also great for making mint tea, Pimm’s and Mojitos!

If you are lucky enough to have a greenhouse, try your hand at growing chillis, peppers, aubergines and tomatoes: I grow tomatoes both indoors and outdoors and have good results with both. Also don’t forget to grow your micro greens on your kitchen window ledge – they are packed full of nutrients and so easy to grow time and the again.

So, get growing and make the most of this rewarding and enjoyable time of year. By choosing the right plants, preparing your soil, watering regularly, and controlling pests, you can create a beautiful and productive garden that will thrive throughout the season. With a little bit of effort and care, you can enjoy fresh flowers, vegetables, and herbs all summer long and create a little haven in your back garden. Enjoy!

Thirst Quenching Summer Bevvies

As we greet longer days with (occasional) warm sunshine on our faces, our thoughts turn to entertaining friends and family. I think that serving cool drinks in the garden is one of the great joys in life. I’m always keen to make sure that everyone feels included, so here are my top picks of vibrant Spring and Summer drinks that are free of alcohol but laden with flavour.

Blurred Vines - Sharp

For many years I have been cynical about alcohol free wine, so this vibrant wine alternative from the experts at Three Spirit came as a pleasant surprise. Light, but intense in flavour it has been created by winemakers and plant scientists. This complex and lightly carbonated drink is great to serve with food or enjoyed on its own.

It has a fruity, floral taste. Notes of gooseberry, honeydew melon and crisp

green apple are punctuated by a complex botanical bouquet. The addition of adaptogenic plants like California poppy and clary sage make this drink a true livener. I noticed a subtle tingle on my lips as I drank, and later spied the culprit - jalapeño makes an appearance on the formidably long ingredient list!


Cocktail Recipe - Sailor’s Blush

I have to recommend Fever-Tree’s latest selection of fruity tonics and sodas for truly seasonal flavours. They are fantastic on their own or as the base for a tasty cocktail. Mix up my bright Sailor’s Blush by the glass or in a pitcher to share. It is great simply stirred with ice and fresh raspberries.

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PICTURE CREDITS: shutterstock_Khumthong

Serves 4

200ml ANON Drinks Spiced Cane Spirit

500ml bottle of Fever-Tree Rhubarb & Raspberry Tonic Water

A squeeze of fresh lime juice to taste

William Bros. Brewing Co - Alien Form


William Bros. are one of the established breweries leading the way in the use of thiolised yeast to add an extra fruity punch to their alcohol-free beers. Alien Form is full of citrus, peach and tropical fruit flavours, and has a great pineedged bitterness. A delightful ale for easy sipping alongside zesty dressed salads or with spiced dishes like Thai green curry or koftas.


Vilarnau - Zero Alcohol Sparkling

Made by an established cava producer using traditional wine-making methods, these delightful bubbles will add a note of elegance to any gathering. Vilarnau’s cool, crisp and refreshing sparkling wine has good acidity and flavours of lemon, green apple and a subtle floral aroma. The small, fast-moving bubbles add vibrancy to the flavour. Serve straight from the fridge as an aperitif and enjoy!


Cibare Magazine 54 PICTURE CREDITS: shutterstock_bonder.olka



Bianco Amaretto Over Strawberries

Pour ADRIATICO Bianco Amaretto generously over strawberries



Bianco Amaretto Margarita

50ml ADRIATICO Bianco Amaretto | 20ml Tequila | 30ml Fresh Lemon Juice | 10ml

Triple Sec

Dry shake all ingredients. Pour into a rocks glass over ice. Garnish with a dried lemon wheel

Team Links

Simon Carlo - @meatandtoneveg

Despina Mina - @forkedldn

Emma Sousa - @theurbanflowerfarmer

Ying Bower - @yingenough

Dani Gavriel - @dani_gavriel

Roz Lishak - @yourpupparazzi

Gilly Balcombe - @gillianbalcombe

Eve Tudor - @iameditoroffood

Anthony Raffo - @anthonyraffo

Urvashi Roe - @urvashiroe

David Rickett - @davidrickett

George Fredenham - @flavourfred

Ellie Cook - @ellie_croissant

Sofia Gallo - @in_cucinacon_sofia

Katy Truss - @katytruss - @fabulousfoodfinds

Laura Hadland - @morrighani

Eve Tudor - @editoroffood

Cibare Magazine 58
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