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PERFECT PICNIC TIPPLES Make the most of the outdoors by pairing the perfect tipple with your picnic. Resident wine expert Pip Gale from Gale’s Wine Bar in Llangollen shares her handy hints


l fresco dining can take many forms, but one of the purest is a good, old-fashioned picnic. When a picnic is all about fun, sangria is a refreshing and playful way to enjoy your outside company; it’s also lower in alcohol than wine and a great crowd-pleaser. To make your own, mix equal parts Spanish red wine (I prefer a garnacha) and orange juice, and add cognac to taste. A touch of Grand Marnier doesn’t go amiss, and you’ll also need lots of fruit and ice, and a big jug to serve. If you’d prefer something a little purer, a bottle of fizz works great. It adds a little sophistication and has the added benefit of being almost a palate cleanser, ideal for a picky meal with lots of flavours. Prosecco works, but I’d always go for champagne. For ultimate refreshment and A great palate cleanser versatility with food, seek out a clean


Dragon Sea Salt Cheddar on the banks of the Menai Strait


nglesey sea salt brand Halen Môn and Wales’s oldest dairy cooperative, South Caernarfon Creameries (SCC), have joined together to launch the first cheese made with Welsh sea salt. Sea Salt Cheddar is made with 100 per cent milk from Welsh cows at SCC’s factory in Chwilog near Pwllheli, and uses pure Halen Môn sea salt that is made by pumping seawater from the Menai Strait of Anglesey each day. The new cheddar was created thanks to a £13.5m investment in the SCC cheesemaking plant on the Llyn Peninsula, and is part of a new Handcrafted range of speciality cheeses sold under SCC’s Dragon label. The cheese has been in development for two years, thanks to Linda Lewis Williams, product development manager at SCC, and Halen

Môn’s owners, husbandand-wife team Alison and David Lea-Wilson. ‘It’s a marriage made in heaven,’ says Linda. ‘We’ve taken two brands both rooted in high-quality Welsh provenance and created a cheese for Wales to truly be proud of. Salt has always been used in cheese as it’s the ultimate preservative, and it also brings out the depth of flavour in the cheese.’ ‘The quality of the ingredients are what sets this cheese apart,’ says David. ‘We have harnessed the fantastic raw materials we have here in the clean seawater of the Menai Strait, and the milk from the cows fed by the lush grass of north and mid Wales. ‘You can taste the minerals of the salt in the cheese and it is just a wonderful, delicious product.’

Linda Lewis Williams from South Caernarfon Creameries (centre) with Halen Môn’s owners, David and Alison Lea-Wilson

Are you a local producer? Would like to see your foodie treats reviewed on these pages? Get in touch by emailing or calling 01691 661270

one, such as Pol Roger or Lanson. If you are Reds can work outdoors too! really going for it food-wise, with lobster, caviar or other rich DID YOU foods, a lovely white Burgundy is a great KNOW? option – refreshing and rich, and fantastic The averag to drink in its own right. If you’d rather take e person in a red wine, a lighter version that is very the U K picnics thre slightly chilled is great. A beaujolais, such e times a ye as a fleurie or brouilly, would work well, as ar would any of the bourguignon pinot noirs. No picnic drinks list is complete without mention of rosé. A Provence or similar style is the business, but other styles can work too. Spanish rosados are great when chilled and, if you must, a white zinfandel can be worked into any outside meal. Enjoy the outdoors – and don’t forget your corkscrew!

FESTIVAL FEVER FOR BREWERS AND DRINKERS A beer festival is a great way to treat your beer-loving tastebuds. Here are a few of the best that are taking place in the region over the coming months Conwy Real Ale Trail, local businesses too. Entry North Wales is free and glass hire for the This is a bit festival is a returnable £2. different See the group’s Facebook from a page for more information. traditional festival as Chester Beer & Wine you need Festival, Hoole, Cheshire Supping in Conwy to travel to This modern craft beer appreciate the ales on offer. festival features groundThere are least 50 different breaking and innovative beers available, and tickets breweries from the UK, include the bus to transport Europe and beyond. you between venues. This From 2nd to 4th August relatively new event in the historic Hoole has already secured Community Centre ‘Festivals a firm following from visitors can enjoy over are a way all over Wales and 50 beers. As well as to support further afield, and a fantastic selection local takes place twice of artisan beers, from breweries’ a year. The next local to global brewers, event is on 28th there will also be September. more than 20 fruit, pear and traditional ciders. There will be live music Shifnal Beer during the whole event in Festival, Shropshire the outside area, leaving Telford & East Shropshire the beer hall quiet so CAMRA holds its fifth beer customers can discuss festival, sponsored by their favourite beers. The Joules Brewery, at the War Saturday afternoon is child Memorial Club from 17th to friendly, with age appropriate 19th October. Featuring a entertainment, and there wide variety of ales including is ample Oakham, Wilde Child, Hop street food Back, Dowton, Finney’s, available Ludlow Brewing Co, Wye throughout, Valley, Joules, Rowton and including more, this festival is well Powell’s Pork worth a visit if you appreciate Pies and Dim Cheers! the drinks and like to support Sum Su. July/August 2019 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 87

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Profile for Superstar Publishing

Shire Magazine July-August 2019  

North Wales, Mid Wales, Shropshire, Cheshire, Wirral, Whats on, magazine, days out, events, restaurants, reviews, homes, gardens, arts, craf...

Shire Magazine July-August 2019  

North Wales, Mid Wales, Shropshire, Cheshire, Wirral, Whats on, magazine, days out, events, restaurants, reviews, homes, gardens, arts, craf...