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greatfood ISSUE # 6



Leicestershire & Rutland

Local asparagus

SUN, SHORTS, BEER Beautiful pub walk in Charnwood

Meet the region’s growers Try delicious recipes by local chefs

Taste of an English summer


City centre’s finest Indian eatery named

Make elderflower cordial & vinegar

GREAT FOOD HOME & KITCHEN Helping you to find domestic bliss... locally P77



Local makers all set for British championships


A cuppa with the Rutland Tea Co 20 seasonal recipes from local chefs


New section!


How to craft placemats Locally available out of vintage fabrics antiques for kitchens

Guide to making Build a veg patch and herb garden from scratch your own bacon


School of Artisan Food competition

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Contents NIBBLES

Welcome to your biggest and best Great Food yet. We’ve got a massively varied feast for you in this issue – a quick flick through will reveal just how much is going on out there in terms of local food and drink. And the best thing is it’s all happening right on your doorstep. I’m sure you don’t need reminding, but asparagus season is in full swing, so we met up with one of our most experienced growers and hounded a local chef, seller and producer for a few recipes. Elsewhere, we’ve been testing some of Leicester’s best-known Indian restaurants, watching Melton pork pies being made, planning a batch of elderflower cordial and making our own bacon. It really is a packed issue, and there’s even a brand new Home & Kitchen section. Do let me know what you think of the mag. Enjoy! PIC NIC WEATHER ! Get kitted out – read the Foodie Gift Hunter’s tips, p40

Editor WRITE TO: Great Food, 7 Victoria Street, Melton Mowbray, Leics LE13 0AR.

Twitter: @greatfoodleics EDITOR: Matthew Wright ADVERTISING: BPG Ltd Julie Cousins – j.cousins@ 01780 766199 SUBSCRIPTIONS: 01664 853341 PUBLISHED BY: Rocco Media PRINTED & DISTRIBUTED BY: Warners Midlands plc CONTRIBUTORS: Matt Gregory, Emma Ansell, Jan McCourt,

Rosemary Jameson, Sarah Lyon, Sallie Hooper, Sean Hope, Lucy Cufflin, Duncan Murray, Tim Brown, Andrew Brackenbury, Rachel Quine, Tim Burke, Phillip Sharpe, Mark Tetlow, Helen Tarver, Helen Chantrey, Jo Grew, Matt Cox, Mark Hamilton, Graham and Jill, Philippa, Jane and Enzo, and... Rocco the Jack Russell WEBSITE: @paulbunkham Full Ts & Cs are on our website.

COVER WATERCOLOUR: Asparagus by Graham Wright.

GREAT FOOD LEICESTERSHIRE & RUTLAND IS BI-MONTHLY: NEXT ISSUE OUT JULY 6, 2011 Great Food has been shortlisted for a Media Pioneer Award by the Specialist Media Show –

4 6 8 10 13 15

Your letters Pies! News Leicester Market update Local foodie events Subscribe!


17 School of Artisan Food competition 18 Meet the asparagus growers 20 Asparagus recipes

MAIN COURSE 22 26 28 31 32 33 34

Long Clawson Dairy centenary Rutland Tea Company Curry houses tested Great Food Club Restaurant reviews Assiette profile Entropy rare breeds

BACK FOR SECONDS 36 38 40 42

Lucy Cufflin Foodie wedding venues Foodie Gift Hunter Stamford Garden Centre

PUDDING 44 46 48 50 54 56

Pub walk Red Lion day planner Recipes with local links Elderflower cordial and vinegar Your Dream Dish DIY bacon

PETIT FOURS & COFFEE 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 68

Guide to cuts of beef Britain’s best wine list Lincolnshire Poacher cheese Everards Tiger Local Hero Matching beer with food The Insider Leicestershire Food Links La Dolce Vita Farm Shop Map

NEW: HOME & KITCHEN 72 75 77 78 80 82

Buy this! Antiques for dining areas Make vintage placemats Build a veg patch from scratch Foodie homes Show us your kitchen!

Great Food Leicestershire & Rutland 3


Your letters

How to contact us

Thoughts on this magazine and the local food scene What about my area?

Love your magazine but it would be nice to see more about my side of the county – Charnwood and North West Leicestershire. So much seems to centre around the Melton and Oakham area. Having said that it has made me go and visit places on that side. Rosemary James King, Loughborough

Editor's comment: Thanks for your

feedback, Rosemary. We do try to get an even geographical spread into the magazine but sometimes don’t get it quite right. Over time the aim is to cover all parts of Leicestershire and Rutland equally.

Hi from Warwickshire

Really enjoying the magazine. Because of Great Food we paid a visit to Rutland Water – and were very impressed. On our return to Napton we went to Rockingham and called in for a 3pm Sunday lunch at the Sondes Arms [pictured]. We were made to feel very welcome by owners Leigh and Sharon and hope to return. Dawn and Phil Griffin, Napton, Warwickshire

'Much-needed' magazine

I have been totally absorbed reading Great Food magazine. It’s really excellent, and a much-needed publication. I find it interesting, packed with useful information, fascinating

facts and extremely well presented. It’s difficult to put down. Well done to you and your team! Colin Brown, Stoughton

Go to the Garden Barn!

Don’t know if you’re interested in the public’s reviews but you really must visit the Garden Barn at Cotesbach near Lutterworth. My mother and I went recently and were amazed to find a very quaint coffee shop nestled among the lovely home and garden decorations. There was David [the owner] standing behind a counter laden with the most gorgeous array of old-fashioned cakes on fabulous cake stands. All the cakes are baked by his obviously very talented sister Liz. These cakes and coffee are worth travelling any distance for! Anne Davis, Rothley

Editor's comment:

We certainly are interested in readers’ reviews, so if anyone out there has enjoyed an amazing meal or would like to recommend somewhere, please get in touch (contact details above). You never know, you might win a meal for two.

Recognition for producers For a long time I’ve been embarrassed by Melton’s claim to be ‘The Rural Capital of Food‘ when outwardly we appeared to be doing little to substantiate that claim. Yes, we have pies and Stilton, but it seemed that we

I just want to say how impressed I am that we now have such a fantastic publication here in Leicestershire. Great Food is a fantastic idea, and it is so good to see our local food heroes being given the publicity they deserve. This is an area that I feel very passionate about – everyone should be informed just how great the food in this area actually is. Claire Ellis, by email

4 Great Food Leicestershire & Rutland

Write to the editor: matthew.wright@ or to Great Food Letters, 7 Victoria St, Melton Mowbray, Leics LE13 0AR



I visited Assiette in Stamford for Sunday lunch today. What can I say but wow! The location is ideal and the quaint premises very pleasant – and having kept his team together I can only see Dameon Clarke [head chef] going from strength to strength. The food was as good as ever, beautifully presented, cooked with passion, and tasted wonderful. I can only recommend you try it – he has not advertised the place yet but on speaking with him he claims that most of his clientele have followed him and his footfall is well up on his old pub [Collyweston Slater] already. Can’t wait to go for an evening meal or midweek lunch when the full, very inventive à la carte menu is on offer. His wine list is very wide ranging as well. I would put Assiette on a par or better than many of the meals my wife and I have enjoyed at Stamford’s George Hotel in recent years – and something different for local people to enjoy. James Hartje, Bretton, Peterborough

Editor's comment We appreciate your tip, James. One free meal at Entropy coming up. Enjoy!

were resting on our laurels compared to our county neighbours. Until now. Great Food has brought into the public domain a raft of people who really care about the food they grow and the animals they rear – it’s exciting and inspirational. Good luck and thank you. Sue Wall, Wycomb, Melton Mowbray

Issue 1 of Great Food at the printers


The writer of each issue’s Star Letter wins a free meal for two at awardwinning Entropy restaurant in Leicester. For more on Entropy, see p34




Ye Olde Pork Pie Shoppe,

10 Nottingham Street, Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire LE13 1NW

Tel: 01664 562341

ALSO AVAILABLE IN MAJOR SUPERMARKETS dickinson and morris.indd 2

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Life of pie BAILEY’S PHOTOS:

With the British Pie Awards approaching, Great Food visits one of our ten registered Melton Mowbray pork pie makers – Bailey’s butchers


t’s Tuesday morning and pie-making at F Bailey & Son Butchers, Upper Broughton is in full swing. The all-female team form a quietly efficient production line and create a cavalcade of Melton Mowbray pork pies, politely walking around Great Food’s camera kit. Anne Copley, who’s worked at Bailey’s for 17 years and lives yards away, takes a sip of tea from her highly appropriate mug (see above). “These pies will be on sale throughout the region in the next day or two,” she says. “Each pie is handmade in the traditional way. Tuesday is our big piemaking day so they’re ready to be sold in shops on Thursday and beyond.” Bailey’s is one of ten businesses in the world registered to make genuine

6 Great Food Leicestershire & Rutland

Melton Mowbray pork pies. Created in 1905 and run by Scott Bailey – grandson of the first owner – you couldn’t hope to find a friendlier, more traditional butchers. Cliché it may be, but in these days of fast-paced, hyperefficient food production and huge supermarkets, it’s a pleasure to see a village butcher operating in much the same way as he would have done before the First World War. Having sampled some delicious pie, we move to the shop front. There, Scott and freelance butcher Rich Summers chop beef reared by a farmer in the nearby village of Buckminster. The beast was killed in Bailey’s own slaughterhouse. “Business is up and down,” says Scott, “but things have picked up and

I’m hopeful they’ll get better. We’re up against supermarkets but we will keep trying to make higher quality products and hope customers continue to care by supporting artisan, independent producers.

Scott Bailey (right) and Rich Summers at Bailey’s, Upper Broughton

British Pie Awards

“Tuesday is our big pie-making day so they’re ready to be sold in local shops on Thursday and beyond”

THE WORLD’S ONLY 10 REGISTERED MAKERS OF GENUINE MELTON MOWBRAY PORK PIES 1. F Bailey & Son, Upper Broughton 2. Dickinson & Morris, Melton Mowbray 3. Walkers Charnwood Bakery, Leicester 4. Mrs Elizabeth King, Cotgrave 5. Chappell’s Fine Foods, Wigston 6. Leeson’s of Oakham 7. Northfield Farm of Cold Overton 8. Brockleby’s, Melton Mowbray 9. Mark Patrick Butchers, Birstall, Leicestershire 10. Nelson’s, Stamford

Melton – natural home for British Pie Awards Over 700 entries to descend on town

There are other Meltons, Constable springs to mind, but only one Melton Mowbray. The name evokes three activities: fox hunting, cheese making and, of course, pie making. The last two were in some sense examples of early farm diversification, the demand for them created by the first. Pigs, Stilton cheese and pies were interlinked and all came together in near-perfect harmony in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, in and around Melton Mowbray. It’s fitting, then, that Melton, Rural Capital of Food and home of Great Food magazine, is hosting the Third Annual British Pie Awards on June 8 at St Mary’s Church. It is a trade event (so no public entry) that draws hundreds of entries from all over Britain, with classes for a huge range of pies. However, it will be the Melton Mowbray Pork Pie class that will be most hotly contested by the pie men of Melton and beyond, within the now legally restricted area, created under the auspices and protection of the EU. A far cry indeed from the days of a marketing opportunity for local farmers. Jan McCourt, Northfield Farm


Five of last year’s champions Above, from left: pie makers Joan Swain, Anne Copley and Liz Hourd

“Melton Mowbray pork pies are hugely important to us – they form a big part of our business and making them is a privilege. Our pies are known for their crispy pastry and chunky, well seasoned meat.”

Scott will be entering his pies in the British Pie Awards held in Melton Mowbray on June 8 and hoping for a prize. If they handed out awards for professional, amiable butchers then Bailey’s would win them all.

1. Supreme Champion: Pork, Chicken and Ham Pie produced by Walker’s Charnwood Bakery for Waitrose 2. Melton Mowbray Pork Pie: Produced by Walker’s Charnwood Bakery for Tesco 3. Savoury Pie (hot): Steak and Ale Pie produced by Devilish Desserts 4. British Apple Pie: Bramley and Cox Apple Pie produced by Northfield Farm 5. Vegetarian Pie: Vegetarian Haggis Pie produced by Boghall Butchers

Champ pie maker Ian Heircock of Walkers (left) with Matthew O’Callaghan of the Melton Mowbray Pork Pie Association

Great Food Leicestershire & Rutland 7



Small UFFORD TO STAMFORD Microbrewery Ufford Ales is set to move from Ufford to Stamford. The beer producer will be renamed Stamford Brewing Company.

CRICKETERS’ TEA Local tea business, Tea Box has launched Cricketer’s Tea in support of The Broad Appeal, a charity set up by England fast bowler and Leicestershire lad Stuart Broad to raise awareness of motor neurone disease. Tea Box is run by Kirsty Munro of Sheffield and Ann Fugler of Scalford, Leicestershire.

TASTIEST CHICKENS Fosse Meadows Farm of Frolesworth produces some of the tastiest chickens in Britain, according to The Independent. The broadsheet awarded the Leicestershire poultry farm nine out of ten in a taste test in March. Only Poulet De Bresse of France recorded a higher score.

Jo and David Clarke of the Leicestershire Handmade Cheese Co


Event bolsters Melton’s ‘Rural Food Capital’ claim


new cheese event to take place in Melton Mowbray on June 11-12 will further solidify Leicestershire and Rutland’s reputation as a UK food hotspot. The Artisan Cheese Fair, to be held at the town’s famous cattle market and organised by Melton’s first Stilton fair, 1883

HAMBLETON BAKERY Rutland baker Hambleton – part of local hotelier Tim Hart’s business, with existing shops in Oakham and Stamford – is opening a franchise outlet in Oundle. The new shop will be located just off Market Place.

GREAT FOOD SUCCESS Great Food Leicestershire & Rutland magazine and website have been shortlisted for a 2011 Media Pioneer Award by the Specialist Media Show. The nomination is for “innovative distribution strategy combined with top-quality editorial”. www.thespecialist

8 Great Food Leicestershire & Rutland

the Melton Mowbray Food Partnership, will add to a regional foodie events portfolio that already includes the British Pie Awards and the East Midlands Food Festival. A significant number of UK cheese makers will attend the cheese fair, including Long Clawson Dairy, Leicestershire Handmade Cheese, Exmoor Blue, Ferndale Norfolk, Swaledale Cheese Co., and Staffs Cheese Co. Cheese fairs have been held in Melton – known as Britain’s Rural Capital of Food – since 1883 but this will be the first for at least 50 years. With Stilton, regarded as the King of Cheeses, and Leicestershire Red production focused around Melton, the event fills a gap. “We want it to become the largest national events for artisan cheesemakers in the country within five years,” said Matthew O’Callaghan, chairman of the Melton Food Partnership.


School is cooking on gas The region’s newest cookery school is up and running. Run by French chef Thierry Daugeron, who has worked in hospitality for more than 25 years, Stamford Cookery School holds courses for as few as six or as many as 24 participants. Fully kitted out with highquality ovens, utensils and

marble work surfaces, the School offers short, sharp day and evening courses such as Totally Vegetarian (Sunday, 9.30am-1.30pm, £65), Journey Around the World (Wednesdays, 6pm8.30pm, £25 per evening) and Bread Making (Sunday, 10.30am-2.30pm, £65).

Partnering the School are an array of local producers including Chater Valley, Jollydale and Amphora Wines.

Local food news



Local spirits producer joins the Northfield Farm party


e know that fame makes you do funny things, but Northfield Farm is turning to gin after appearing on BBC2’s Great British Food Revival. The Cold Overton rare-breed meat producer, whose British Lop pork was praised by Clarissa Dickson Wright on the TV series in March, is set to be joined on the farm by Hedgerow Spirits. Hedgerow, maker of Melton Mowbray Sloe Gin (pictured), plus a damson whisky and blackberry

vodka, will take a unit at Northfield Farm next door to Amphora Wines and Northfield’s very own farm shop and new Gastro Tea Room (see p33). The arrival of Hedgerow Spirits adds to Northfield’s artisan, foodie set-up. “It’s brilliant that they’re are coming,” said Northfield Farm proprietor Jan McCourt. “Their drinks are high-quality and made with local ingredients, which fits perfectly with the Northfield ethos.”

“Excellent pubs that let me in”

GRANT’S, BURROUGH “While you were watching the Royal Wedding, I was quaffing beer at Grant’s Free House and whispering sweet nothings to Maddie the pub terrier [pictured]. She is my Kate Middleton. After lunch and ale from the brewery next door, I simply couldn’t help myself. Next thing I knew I was being romantic among the sheep on Burrough Hill. By the way, I’m now on Twitter – @roccorecommends.” Grant’s Free House, 4 Main St, Burrough on the Hill, Leics, 01664 452141

British Lop and Jan McCourt, with sons Leo (left) and Dominic

Still growing strong!

Tended by 84-year-old Ruth and 82-year-old John Daltry for the past 37 years, organic Chevelswarde Vineyard near South Kilworth is a remarkable local food and drink institution. With English Wine Week running from May 28 to June 5, why not enjoy a few bottles of their incredibly local wine?

Chevelswarde Organics, 01858 575309,

Brilliant beer garde ns FOX & HOUNDS, EXTON

The large walled beer garden to the rear of the ivy-clad Fox & Hounds in Exton, Rutland, is a perfect place to while away summer days. However, if you’re there on July 9 your peace will be shattered (in a good way) when Extonbury Rock and Folk Festival kicks off in the adjacent paddock (which is basically an extension of the pub garden). The festival is in aid of Derbys, Rutland and Leics air ambulance and makes full use of the pub’s external bar. Fox & Hounds, 19 The Green, Exton,

Chevelswarde’s 1997 vintage won a Mercian Vineyards’ Association award

Ruth and John Daltry with last year’s harvest of Rondo vines

Great Food Leicestershire & Rutland 9


Bobby’s head chef Dipak Kumar Modak from Calcutta

Leicester: food city

Leicester Market’s revamp is set to put city on culinary map WORDS: TIM BURKE PHOTOS: MATT WRIGHT


ay 13 sees the launch of Market Corner. Based on the success of recent city centre food festivals, this exciting, newly kittedout zone within Leicester Market provides a showcase for some of the area’s top food producers and traders. Every Friday and Saturday there will be up to 20 stalls positioned around a central seating area, offering a diverse mix of food and drink. Watch out too for Sunday and early evening trading, and for guest slots offering live cooking from top chefs. Here are some of the people you’ll find there... LEICESTER MARKET Market Place, Leicester LE1 5HQ,, 0116 2232372. Left: Joe Harkin, market development manager and man behind Market Corner.

Dessert Island

John Foster gets icing

Puddings and cakes from a top chef This stall is a new venture from Leicester-based firm Simphilly and will sell tarts, cakes, patisserie and traditional puds such as spotted dick in pots to take to the office or home. Until now Simphilly has mainly served the hospitality sector but has been looking to move into retail. Head chef John Foster trained in patisserie at Michelin-starred restaurants in Paris. “What people will get is handmade, fresh products made by pastry chefs using the finest ingredients,” says MD Geoff Yeowart. “We aim to provide the kind of patisserie people expect to find on the continent but rarely get in the UK.” A range of cakes will be on sale

MD Geoff Yeowart (left)

“This will boost the market, but it’s bigger than that. This will put Leicester on 10 Great Food Leicestershire & Rutland

Leicester Market


Leicester’s Indian institution

Sweet delicacies on sale at Bobby’s, Belgrave Road

Below, centre: Co-owners Arminder Banger (left) and Andy Ritchie with Jasmyn Mears

Deli Flavour

Fine coffee, terrific antipasti

This laidback, friendly deli has graced the Allandale Road area of Stoneygate for six years and focuses on local produce. It’s taking a twin stall at Market Corner, one offering coffee and tea, another offering snacks, cakes and antipasti. “Our coffee will offer something a bit different from the chains,” says co-owner Andy Ritchie. “It’s triple-certified organic, fair trade and rainforest friendly, but mainly it’s about the taste. We also use Lubcloud organic milk from Charnwood.” Andy says he’s looking forward to meeting new customers at the market and drawing some out to Stoneygate. “We think we’ll add something and we’re looking forward to working with other high quality traders – let’s hope the people of Leicester respond.”

Launched on Valentine’s Day, 1976 Bobby’s restaurant on Belgrave Road, Leicester has established an international reputation for its Asian vegetarian food. A trail-blazer for Leicester, the mainly Gujarati offering has expanded to take in a rich variety of Indian cuisine from Mumbai-style Bhel Puri to Masala Dosa from the South. Manager Dharmesh Lakhani says: “For me, wherever you are in the world, the word ‘market’ suggests fresh produce, so we’re really happy and excited to have this opportunity to show our talents. We’ll be doing live cooking, offering samosas, pakoras, fresh curry and rice of the day, and popular Indo-Chinese dishes like chilli paneer or hakka noodles.” There will also be paneer wraps aimed at hungry office workers looking for something different. “In the city centre at lunch time you’ve got to offer something quick, affordable and it’s got to be better than the rest – that’s what we’ll be aiming for,” says Dharmesh.

Nicky Chambers and Tim Pick

Pick’s Organic Farm

Local meat, eggs and more... with provenance The inviting waft from organic meats sizzling on Pick’s grill is familiar at local farmers’ markets. Market Corner gives Pick’s, who have a farm shop at Barkby Thorpe, an exciting opportunity for a regular presence in the city. “We’re really looking forward to building relationships with customers,” says Nicky Chambers, who runs the business with her farmer cousin Tim Pick. They will be serving up breakfast buns filled with eggs, bacon and sausages, all from their own farm. Also on offer will be organic meat from their own cows and pigs, plus wild game and lamb from local farms. “We can’t compete with supermarkets on price but we can talk to customers about what they’re eating and how it is produced,” says Nicky. “When I was little, Leicester Market was the place to be. This will help it move with the times.” Butchery at Pick’s Organic Farm, Barkby Thorpe

the map in terms of food culture” – Joe Harkin, market development manager” Great Food Leicestershire & Rutland 11

To celebrate its centenary Long Clawson Dairy has enlisted Michelin chef Tom Aikens to bring a magic touch to a book which blends together the social history of a century with some mouth watering recipes. The Book takes the reader on a journey through the decades, starting from the 1910’s. It uncovers Long Clawson Dairy’s history piece by piece in each chapter whilst also offering a delicious selection of cheesy recipes of each decade.

Available to order now from and in stock at

The Melton Cheeseboard

8 Windsor Street, Melton Mowbray Tel: 01664 562257 Long Clawson Dairy Ltd., Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire LE14 4PJ Tel: 01664 822332

We are now specialising in steak – we have four different cuts of beef, cut to three different sizes. The meat is very special, from Blackberry Farm, Clipston on the Wolds


Special lunch menu Monday to Saturday 12-2 and early Dinner Monday to Friday 6-7pm Two courses for just £15


Giles Coren from the Times said

“in my top ten restaurants” 8.5/10 Becky Jones from the Leicester Mercury said “culinary

perfection” +++++

Tim Burke of the metro said

“currently among the best places to eat the East Midlands” +++++ Hardens restaurant guide said

Contact us... 01509 880 735, email hammerpincers@yahoo. k

“Innovative way with local ingredients” 1 star out of a maximum 2 with a special note m on the ambience

Open Monday – Saturday 12-2 & 6-9.30, Sunday 12-6

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Do this...

The best local food events for your diary

May 13

Where’s your nearest?



When? Third Saturday of the month, 9am-2pm Where? Manor House School, LE65 1BR

The revamp of Leicester Market concludes with the unveiling of Market Corner (see p10). The new space, which will be full of new food and drink traders, represents a new chapter for the market. Free. All day., 0116 2232372

May 29

STAMFORD FEAST & LEICESTER MARKET SUMMER FOOD & DRINK FESTIVAL A busy day! Stamford’s exciting inaugural food festival takes place on market town’s meadows, while at Leicester Market local producers gather for the summer festival. Both events are free and take place all day.


June 10 & 11

CLARISSA AT NORTHFIELD Clarissa Dickson Wright hosts two evenings at Northfield Farm’s new Gastro Tea Room. There will be a talk, food and wine each night. Places limited. Call for details and to book., 01664 474271

June 11-12



June 12


June 19: Father’s day

Brilliant scheme where farms fling open their five-bar gates to invite the public in. Local farms taking part include Gorse Hill City Farm, Whetstone Pastures, Little Markfield, Northfield and Stanford Hall. Free.

Exciting new event for the region that will take place at the Cattle Market, Melton Mowbray. The fair will be attended by artisan cheesemakers from around the UK including Quenby Hall, Exmoor Blue, and the Swaledale Cheese Company. Entry £1. 10am-4pm both days., 01664 565419

When? Fourth Sat of month, 9am-1pm (third Sat in Dec) Where? Blaby Social Centre, LE8 4GG

BURBAGE When? First Sat of month, 9am-1pm Where? Windsor St, LE10 2EF

CASTLE DONINGTON When? Second Sat of month, 9am-12.30pm Where? St Edward’s School, DE74 2LH

EARL SHILTON When? Third Sat of month, 9am-1pm Where? Wood St, LE9 7NF

HINCKLEY When? Third Thurs of month, 9am-2pm Where? The Market Place, LE10 1NT

KIBWORTH BEAUCHAMP When? Third Sat of month, 9am-1pm Where? Grammar School Hall, LE8 0EW

LEICESTER When? First Thurs of the month, 10am-4pm Where? Humberstone Gate, LE1 1WA


June 23-26

When? Second Weds of month, 9am-4pm Where? Market Place, LE11 3EB



The very first Rutland Multum in Parvo Beer Festival. Location will be the Rutland Museum, Oakham. Expect 50 beers, ciders and perries with some specials from local breweries. Free. CAMRA Rutland branch: 07780 923439


MELTON COUNTRY FAIR A fantastic family event that’s also very foodie. Alongside the livestock and traditional crafts (and even some Victorian dancing), there are all sorts of tasty attractions, including a baking competition and a ‘Have Fun with Food’ marquee. Held on the town parks, 10am to 5pm. Adults £2.50, children free. 01509 881386

When? Fourth Sun of month, 9am-2pm Where? Market Place, CV13 0LE


MELTON MOWBRAY When? Every Tuesday and Friday, 9am-2pm Where? Cattle Market, Scalford Road, LE13 1JY

OAKHAM When? Third Sat of month, 8am-2pm Where? Gaol Street, LE15 6AQ

Foodie diary dates… MORE LOCAL EVENTS... JUNE 5: Rutland County Show, Burley-on-the-Hill JUNE 26-27: Food Festival, Loughborough Market AUGUST 6: Leicester Caribbean Carnival AUGUST 27: Food Gusto Food &

When? Second Sat of month, 9am-1.30pm Where? Lutterworth Town Hall Car Park, LE17 4EH

When? First Thursday of month, 8am-3.30pm Where? The Square, LE16 7PA

June 26

MAY 2: St George’s Day & early May Bank Holiday MAY 30: Spring Bank Holiday JUNE 19: Fathers’ Day JUNE 21: Summer Solstice (longest day)

rs’ ts F ar me marke

Drink Festival, Appleby Magna SEPTEMBER 17: Rutland Food Festival, Rutland Water SEPTEMBER 18-19: Melton Mowbray Beer Festival OCTOBER 1-2: East Midlands Food Festival, Melton Mowbray

STAMFORD When? Every other Friday, 8.30am-3pm Where? Red Lion Square, PE9 1PA

UPPINGHAM When? Third Fri of month, 8am-1pm. Where? Mercers Yard, LE15 9PZ

NB. Always check with the organisers before setting off

Great Food Leicestershire & Rutland 13


WINE SHOP 10b Northgate, Oakham, Rutland. LE15 6QS 01572759735 Open Fridays 10am-7.30pm Saturdays 10am-2pm Every bottle is selected with care Find us at the ‘‘Real Food Festival’’ 5-8 May, Earls Court (Bat & Bottle)

e would like to welcome you to our shop in the heart of Melton Mowbray. Our aim is to bring you the finest cheese and dairy produce, much of it sourced in Leicestershire and surrounding counties; as well as the best from the UK, and a growing variety of continental cheeses. Our cheeses from the local area include the complete Long Stilton is our speciality, ours Clawson range, Quenby Hall Stilton, is sourced directly from Long Lincolnshire Poacher, Godminster Clawson Dairy, based just five Organic Vintage Cheddar, Stafford miles outside Melton Mowbray. Cheese from Bertelin Cheese, and nd e Sparkenhoe For a taste of th e th Farm Red om best cheese fr Leicester. t no y wh , ea

Melton ar ? come and visit us

8 Windsor Street Melton Mowbray Leicestershire LE13 1BU Tel/Fax 01664 562257

Opening Hours Mon 9.00 – 3.00 3.0 00 Tues 8.30 – 5.00 5.0 00 Wed & Thurs 9.00 – 4.0 4.00 00 Fri & Sat 8.30 – 4.0 4.00 00 oard d co uk k melton cheeseboard.indd 1

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Enter our free prize draw to win an inspiring educational experience at The School of Artisan Food. Simply fill in the form or enter online...


he School of Artisan Food in Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire is an educational mecca for food lovers. The School exists to teach and preserve traditional techniques of food and drink production. Up for grabs in this free prize draw is a place on their Italian baking course, where the winner will learn how to bake his or her own authentic Italian breads and pizza. Master Baker Emmanuel Hadjiandreou will guide the winner as they produce a selection of loaves and hand-made pizza, and learn why hand-crafted bread is the cornerstone of Italian cuisine. This is a one-day course scheduled to take place on September 18, 2011. You’ll head home from the course inspired, having baked authentic ciabatta, focaccia and pizza dough. The course includes light refreshments and lunch, and all ingredients, equipment and recipes are provided by the School.

Learn how to make your own focaccia and ciabatta

The School of Artisan Food Located on rural Welbeck Estate, the School’s courses concentrate on foods that ferment and include bakery and patisserie, brewing, butchery and charcuterie, cheese and dairy, and chocolate. The School offers short courses at all levels and a diploma in artisan food production:


Go to and follow the link, or fill in this form and send it to Artisan Competition, Great Food, 7 Victoria St, Melton Mowbray, Leics LE13 0AR. Closing date: June 30, 2011

Mr/Mrs/Miss/Ms First name............................................................................................................................. Surname ........................................................................................................................................................................ Address .......................................................................................................................................................................... Postcode........................................................................................................................................................................ Tel no. .............................................................................................................................................................................. Email address............................................................................................................................................................. By sending/entering your address/email/phone number, you are choosing to be contacted occasionally by Great Food Leicestershire & Rutland with news of relevant, food-related offers. You can unsubscribe at any time and your details will never be passed to other organisations. Please tick if you DO NOT wish to be contacted by Great Food [ ] Terms and conditions: Closing date June 30, 2011. First name pulled out of the hat on July 1, 2011 will win the prize. This prize is non-transferable and non-refundable, and has no cash equivalent. This prize cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer or promotion. The prize is scheduled to take place on September 18, 2011, and you must be able to attend the course on this date. Winners must be aged 16 years or over. This competition is not open to the employees of the School of Artisan Food or Great Food Leicestershire & Rutland or their family members.

Great Food Leicestershire & Rutland 17


’Tis the season to sauté spears! We all know what it’s like to eat asparagus, but what’s it like to grow springtime’s most famous vegetable?

Local asparagus “I

’d recommend growing asparagus to anyone,” says 61-year-old Jon Slee (pictured) of Abbey Farm near Hinckley, who is one of Leicestershire and Rutland’s few commercial asparagus growers. “If you’re a young farmer starting out, or if you want to grow it for fun on your allotment, it’s a brilliant crop. But there are two issues. First, it can be bloody backbreaking.

bought 25 acres of his old farm, plus some buildings, one of which is now his home, connecting to a bed and breakfast that he runs with his wife. Jon decided to grow crops with a potentially high value. “Asparagus is a pretty profitable crop if you grow it right,” says Jon. “It yields up to two tons per acre and if you sell directly to customers, you can get up to £3.50 per

Second, it can be a nightmare if you get a hot spell at the wrong time. Thing is, temperature drives the speed of growth and you’ve got to cut asparagus when it reaches a certain point. If your labour isn’t in place when that point arrives, you’d better get ready for some long days! Heatwaves can be very hectic. My earliest asparagus harvest so far was April 12, my latest May 5.” Jon came to the area in 1978 from Oxfordshire to run a mixed farm for the Co-Op. In 1996, the Co-Op decided to sell the land and he was made redundant. After a bit of thought, Jon

pound. In the UK, growing hotspots are around Evesham and East Anglia where the soil is ideal – light and sandy. But I knew it would grow well here and I planted my first acre in 1997. It cost a grand to embed the crop but the first year doesn’t yield anything – it’s just to prepare the ground. In year two I took a very light crop. I didn’t have a clue at first but you learn!” So what’s it like selling directly to customers? “If everyone’s sodded off to Skeggie for Bank Hols it can be tough! But you’ve got to hang in there. Farmers markets are really good.”

“I’d recommend growing asparagus to anyone”

Machine designed for harvesting asparagus

18 Great Food Leicestershire & Rutland


Grow it yourself “THERE ARE NO DARK ARTS INVOLVED,” says Jon. “If a plonker like me can grow it, anyone can. In fact, I think there’s room in Leicestershire and Rutland for more farmers to make a go of it commercially. I’d say there’s an opportunity. But if you’re thinking of growing, do speak to the people behind the British Asparagus website []. They’re knowledgeable and helpful. You definitely need to get in touch with them well before you start growing.” But what about growing it for fun in your garden or allotment? According to Jon and the chaps at, you don’t need acres of land or experience, just passion, commitment, a few essential gardening items and, most importantly, patience. Starting from scratch, it takes three years of growing and prep before you can harvest a full crop. Ideally, you need a 1.5m bed of well-drained, fertile soil with a pH of 6.4 to 6.8. Once your asparagus bed is established, it can carry on producing for up to 20 years, and the promise of being able to cut and cook within minutes every spring has got to be worth the effort. The taste of asparagus you’ve grown yourself is unbeatable. Full, detailed growing instructions can be found on the British Asparagus website.

“I’d say there was an opportunity for more local farmers to start growing asparagus” This is how spears are harvested


It takes three years of growing before you can harvest asparagus


“We’re in danger of devaluing our asparagus crop in England”

Our local growers ABBEY FARM Hinckley Rd, Wolvey, Hinckley, Leics LE10 3HQ, 01455 220322, www.abbey

ABBEY PARKS OF Heckington, Lincolnshire, is one of the UK’s most renowned asparagus growers, supplying a range of top restaurants. Abbey’s Harry Loweth (pictured below) is concerned asparagus is set to lose its ‘special’ feel. “Asparagus is becoming more fashionable and supermarkets are intent on meeting demand as cheaply as possible, all year round. If we lose sight of the fact that fresh English asparagus grown locally is vastly superior to, say, Peruvian spears, then asparagus will soon be regarded as ‘just another crop’. It’s important that people buy from local, independent growers otherwise we’re in danger of losing something special.”

ABBEY PARKS FARM East Heckington, Boston PE20 3QG, 01205 820722, CATTOWS FARM Heather, Leics LE67 2RF, 01530 264200,


For something a little different, try combining local asparagus with any of the following: oily fish, almonds, tarragon or lemon


LODGE FARM Manton Rd, Edith Weston, Rutland LE15 8HB 01572 737525

Great Food Leicestershire & Rutland 19


Cook those spears Three local food

heroes share their favourite asparagus recipes

James Goss’s Heckington asparagus with local quails’ eggs and ham Serves one as a lunch or two as a hearty starter

* Bunch fresh asparagus * 6 slices of air-dried ham (“We use our homemade ham from Rutland’s Chater Valley,” says James – * 6 quails eggs (“I recommend eggs from Bob Jeynes in Wing” – * 12 pickled red onion slivers (see below) * 100ml Cheat’s Hollandaise (see below) * 50ml Welland Valley rapeseed oil * Lemon * Shavings of Lincolnshire Poacher

All delicious, all grown or reared locally

For the pickled red onions 1 Combine 200ml red wine vinegar, 100ml water and 50g sugar in a pan and heat until all the sugar is dissolved. Leave to cool. 2 Peel two red onions and slice into bite-size pieces. 3 Add onion slivers to brine and pickle for at least 24 hours before use. These will keep for at least 10 days.

For Cheat’s Hollandaise 1 Combine 350ml whole milk, 250ml cream, 25g cornflour, pinch of white pepper, teaspoon of salt and 60ml lemon juice. Cook till slightly thickened. 2 Pour the above over seven egg yolks – then whisk these in off the heat. 3 Finish with 80g butter and 20ml of white wine vinegar. Set aside and reheat gently when required. This is a stable sauce but because it includes eggs will have to be reheated

woody bit at the end is removed. Wrap six of the spears in the ham of your choice – we use our own but any Italian or Spanish air-dried hams are ideal. Put them in a pan and oil lightly. Place under a preheated grill, turning continuously to crisp up the fat on the ham and get a rich char flavour. 2 Place remaining spears in a simmering pan of water with a generous pinch of salt and large knob of butter. Cook the asparagus for about 45 seconds.

Duncan Murray’s wine tip

James (left) with fellow chef Thomas Nielson

“We use our own air-dried local ham at the King’s Arms” thoroughly if served hot. If there are signs of it splitting just add a dash of cream or water and stir in until emulsified again.

For the oil dressing Combine the rapeseed oil and juice of the lemon, whisk and season, set aside till later.

Main dish method 1 Hold asparagus at tip end and snap each spear so the

20 Great Food Leicestershire & Rutland

The eggs


Lightly poach the quails eggs in water with a dash of vinegar. They should be soft poached – this takes about 45 seconds. Remove and put them straight into cold water to stop the cooking process. If you want, take three of the eggs, roll them in flour, then egg, then Panko (or just dried) bread crumbs for extra crunch. Once breaded, set aside for frying (deep or shallow).

Stack asparagus onto a board or plate and drizzle with oil dressing. Fry the three eggs and place around the asparagus. Add softly poached eggs. Garnish with slivers of pickled red onion, shavings of Lincolnshire Poacher and the Hollandaisestyle dressing. CONTACT James Goss is head chef and owner of the King’s Arms, Wing, Rutland. 01572 737634,

Boas Vinhas Branco Zesty-fresh citrus and apple flavours abound, complemented by a mineral, almost savoury character. The fruity notes will work well with asparagus, the freshness will create a perfect counterbalance to the richness of the egg, and the mineral quality will accompany the air-dried ham beautifully. Price: £8.50 Contact: Duncan Murray Wines, Market Harborough, 01858 464935, www.duncanmurray

Kerry Walton’s asparagus with purple sprouting broccoli

Who wouldn’t be pleased to find this on their dining room table?

Serves 6

* 1 tbsp capers, rinsed * 2 tbsp flat-leaf parsley * 75g butter, slightly softened * 1 small garlic clove, crushed * 2 bundles local asparagus * 200g purple sprouting broccoli * Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 1 Roughly chop capers with the parsley and add to a bowl with the butter, crushed garlic and seasoning. Mix together with a fork. 2 Steam or boil the asparagus and purple sprouting for about five minutes or until tender, drain and place in a warmed serving dish. Dot the surface with a little more butter and serve immediately.

British Asparagus Growers’ website:

British Asparagus Growers’ website:


The Cattows’ nice and easy asparagus and ham tart Serves 4

* 500g Jus-Rol shortcrust pastry * 6 large free-range eggs * 300ml double cream * 100g grated Parmesan * Salt and cracked black pepper * 2 bundles of Cattows trimmed asparagus * 150g smoked ham 1 Preheat oven to Gas Mark 6 (200C). 2 Line a 9-inch tart case. Roll out the pastry and put into the tart case. Prick the base of the pastry and chill. 3 Remove from the fridge after 30 minutes. Place parchment paper on top of the pastry and add baking beans (dried peas or chick peas will do), then place in the oven for approximately 15 minutes until the pastry starts to firm up, or follow packet instructions. 4 Beat the eggs, cream and Parmesan together in a bowl, then season with salt and pepper. 5 Take pastry case out of the oven and remove the parchment paper and beans. 6 Arrange the asparagus and ham randomly in the pastry case and pour the egg mixture into the case. 7 Bake in the middle of the oven for 25 minutes or until set. Serve warm with salad. CONTACT The Cattows Farm Shop grows asparagus in Heather, West Leics: 01530 264200,

You can pick your own at Cattows Farm Shop every summer


CONTACT Kerry Walton (right) is proprietor of new Market Bosworth shop the Veg Plot, located in Market Place, 01455 290413

Great Food Leicestershire & Rutland 21


The BIG 100

Long Clawson Dairy is 100! Great Food looks back at the local co-operative’s illustrious history WORDS: MATT WRIGHT & JOANNE GREW


hen 12 dairy farmers got together at a house in Long Clawson, Leicestershire in 1911, they could never in their wildest dreams have imagined that 100 years later the co-operative they were forming would be worth millions and exporting cheeses all over the world. You can imagine the scene that day as the men, possibly sitting around a large oak table supping ale from tankards through bushy beards, signed a document agreeing to pool resources to embrace a more commercial way of producing Blue Stilton. One hundred years on, the farmhouse table has been replaced by one from an office furniture catalogue, frothing beer swapped for vending machine tea, and pen and ink exchanged for smartphones. But the co-operative is still based in Long Clawson and its aim remains the same as it was a century ago: to work together to produce and market exceptional Blue Stilton (and other cheeses) as efficiently as possible using milk from local farms. It says a great deal that while many British food firms have foundered or been taken over, a group of local farmers from the Vale of Belvoir have navigated good times and bad to reach 2011 with a flourishing business. So what’s Clawson’s secret? It seems that by working together, by having farmers at the top making knowledgeable, sensible decisions, and by using a local resource to produce a high-quality product, they’ve found a winning formula. Maybe that should be a lesson to all businesses. MW

Clawson sees red One of Clawson’s latest ventures is Red Leicester, or to give the cheese the preferred title, Aged Leicestershire Red (pictured). When the dairy spotted the potential for a Leicester cheese that, unlike most on the market, was actually made in Leicestershire, it took action. Four years on, the dairy is not only representing Leicestershire across the UK with a traditional, caramelly, lemony and nutty Leicestershire Red, it’s also satisfying the cravings of Europeans and Americans who want a true taste of the county. Named after one of Long Clawson Dairy’s 12 founders, Thomas Hoe Stevenson Aged Leicestershire Red (that’s its full name) boasts an 18-strong collection of awards and most recently won Super Gold at The World Cheese Awards. “We wanted to develop a Leicestershire cheese that was made in Leicestershire − there are very few at present,” says Martin Taylor, who became chief executive of Long Clawson Dairy in the year the Aged Leicestershire Red was launched. Despite the arrival of Thomas Hoe Stevenson Aged Leicestershire Red, most cheeses with the word ‘Leicester’ in their names are still made outside Leicestershire because, unlike Stilton, Red Leicester is not a geographically protected moniker. However, Clawson’s Aged Leicestershire Red, along with Leicestershire Handmade Cheese Company’s Sparkenhoe, is redressing the balance. JG Q

“With farmers at the top making the decisions, Clawson has found success”

Stilton’s protected status

Royal Visit

In 1936 the Stilton Cheesemakers’ Association was formed to represent the interests of Stilton producers. In 1996, this organisation convinced the EU to award Stilton Protected Designation of Origin status. This was massive news for both Long Clawson Dairy and its suppliers. In ruling by law that Stilton could only be made in Leics, Derbys or Notts using milk from those three counties, the EU protected the King of Cheeses from imitation across Europe. This has undoubtedly boosted Clawson and local dairy farmers’ businesses.

On January 25, 2011, Prince Charles and Camilla visited Long Clawson Dairy. “Working at Clawson during the dairy’s 100th birthday is really exciting – there’s a real sense of celebration and occasion,” says marketing manager Janice Breedon. “The royal visit added to it.”

22 Great Food Leicestershire & Rutland

CLAWSON HISTORY 1911 Long Clawson

co-operative is formed by 12 local farmers

1924 First telephone installed at Dairy

1936 Stilton

Cheesemakers’ Association formed

1939 Stilton production stops and Clawson converts to Cheddar – the chosen cheese for rationing

1948 Making of Stilton resumes 1965 Dairy moves into blended cheese market with Cotswold (Double Gloucester with chives)

1966 Stilton Cheesemakers’

Association wins certification trademark for Stilton

1970 Windsor Red launches – a

creamy Cheddar-style cheese with port and elderflower wine

1979 Bottesford Site opens,

dedicated to White Stilton and blended cheeses

1984 Celebration – one of a new

breed of dairy products designed for the dessert market – wins first prize at Nantwich Show. Una Stubbs tucks in (see left)

1991 Clawson diversifies into Paneer to serve the growing Asian market PHOTOS: FROM LONG CLAWSON DAIRY ARCHIVE

1996 Stilton Cheesemakers’

Association wins a PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) for Blue Stilton. From now on, Blue Stilton can only be made in traditional ways using milk produced in Leics, Notts and Derbys

2003 Thomas Hoe

Stevenson Aged Leicestershire Red launches and wins 15 awards

2007 Clawson changes policy to

become 90% self sufficient in milk from its own direct supply farms

Great Food Leicestershire & Rutland 23


Cook a Clawson birthday meal!

To celebrate the Dairy’s centenary, here are three recipes using Long Clawson cheeses Starter

Pakora Paneer

Serves four as a starter, with dips

* 100g plain

flour * 1 egg * 250ml milk * 225g Paneer

1 Sift the flour into a mixing bowl and blend with the egg and milk until a smooth batter forms. Add a small amount of water if the batter mix is too thick. Put the mixing bowl to one side and allow the batter to rest for half an hour. 2 Meanwhile, cut the Paneer into thick strips. 3 Coat the Paneer pieces in the batter and place in a pre-heated deep fat fryer, or large pan containing hot oil. 4 Cook for 3-5 minutes or until the battered Paneer is golden brown. 5 Drain the Paneer pieces on kitchen towel and serve immediately with dips.


Businesses need to move with the times to survive and Long Clawson Dairy’s diversification into Paneer is a perfect example. To meet growing demand from the Asian market, Clawson started making this Indian cheese in 1991 and it’s been a highly successful move. Paneer is used in cooking – it retains its shape when heated and absorbs flavours.

Shepherd’s Pie topped with Aged Leicestershire Red Serves 4 as a main

* 1 tbsp olive oil * 1 large onion, chopped * 1 medium carrot, chopped * 560g minced lamb * 400g canned tomatoes * 2 tbsp tomato purée * 290ml beef stock * 1 bay leaf * 1 sprig fresh thyme (leaves only) * 4 large King Edward potatoes, peeled * 50g Thomas Hoe Stevenson Aged Leicestershire Red, grated * Large knob butter (to taste) * Salt and freshly ground black pepper

“Bake for 30 minutes until the potato is crisp and golden” 24 Great Food Leicestershire & Rutland

1 Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the onion and carrot and fry over a medium heat until soft. Add the minced lamb to the pan and fry for a few minutes to brown the mince all over. Add the tomatoes, tomato purée, beef stock, bay leaf and thyme to the pan. Simmer for 30 minutes and season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper. 2 Chop the potatoes into quarters and boil in a pan of boiling water for about 10-15 minutes, until tender. When the potatoes are cooked, drain the water and mash the potatoes well. Add butter, salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. 3 Transfer the meat into an ovenproof dish and arrange spoonfuls of the mash on top of the meat. Use a spatula to smooth out the edges and sprinkle the grated Aged Leicestershire Red on top. Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes, until the potato is crisp and golden around the edges.

Main course


Afternoon lemon cakes Makes 6 cakes

* 100g margarine * 100g sugar * 2 medium eggs * 100g self-raising flour * 50g lemon curd * 40g crème fraiche * 50g Clawson White Stilton with


“Blend crème fraiche with Clawson White Stilton & Lemon”

Lemon, crumbled

* Icing sugar for dusting 1 Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 4 (180C). Place baking cases in cake tin. 2 Place the margarine and sugar into a mixing bowl and using a hand whisk mix until mixture is pale and creamy. 3 Gradually add eggs, one at a time, beating mixture together with a small amount of flour after each addition. 4 Fold in the remaining flour. 5 Divide the mixture between the cake cases and bake in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes until golden brown. 6 Remove the cakes from the oven and allow to cool for 5-10 mins. 7 Blend crème fraiche and Clawson White Stilton with Lemon. Set aside. 8 Once the cakes have cooled, remove from cases and leave on a baking wire. 9 Take a cake and on base side add a spoonful of crème fraiche and cheese mix and spread evenly. Top with a spoonful of lemon curd. Top the cake with another cake (the right way up). Dust with icing sugar.

Long Clawson Dairy in numbers Today, Clawson, the largest producer of Stilton in the UK, employs more than 200 staff, produces 6,700 tonnes of cheese per year, of which 1,000 tonnes is exported to 36 countries. Every single member of Clawson’s board is a farmer. Long Clawson relies on local milk – 36 suppliers are within 12 miles of the dairy, the six remaining farms are within 25 miles. Together they supply 58 million litres a year. That follows a change of policy in 2007 to become 90% self-sufficient in milk from their own direct supply farms.

Cooking Creatively with Cheese

Cooking Creatively with CHEESE

To mark the centenary, Long Clawson Dairy has worked with Michelin-starred chef Tom Aitkens to publish a new book, Cooking Creatively with Cheese. It contains 45 beautifully photographed recipes. The hardback focuses on the successive decades that Long Clawson has been churning out the cheese, telling the dairy’s fascinating story and offering a selection of cheese-inspired recipes typical of each ten year chunk. You can even learn how to make a retro party buffet! Essential for Leicestershire and Rutland cheese lovers, it’s available on Amazon, priced £7.95

Tom Aikens celebrates 100 years of Long Clawson Dairy

Great Food Leicestershire & Rutland 25

ANYONE FOR TEA? Hidden away in a department store in Englandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s smallest county is a Ukrainian importer of some of the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s finest teas


Five teas imported by Rutland Tea Company... TROPICAL GARDEN





A blend of Sencha and White teas perfumed with papaya, pineapple, strawberries, raspberries and flower blossoms. Delicate, mellow, fruity. £2.30 for 50g

Classic blend of Golden Broken Orange Pekoe Darjeeling and Ceylon tea leaves with lots of golden tips. Makes a strong, full-bodied cup. £2.80 for 100g

Very refreshing and soothing flavoured green tea with added natural mint oils. This is great hot or served as an iced drink – ideal for summer days. £1.90 for 50g

Blend of Rooibos, Honeybush, Tulsi herb, orange peel and orange blossom. Exotic flavour. No caffeine and rich in vitamin C. £3.25 for 100g

Smooth and flowery with a hint of spice, grown in Taiwan. After plucking, the leaves are fermented in the sun. £2.30 for 50g



ith Brits drinking 165 million cups of tea every day, setting up a tea business makes a lot of sense. However, 96% of tea quaffed in the UK is made using supermarket teabags, so the challenge for Anna and Richard Wench, founders of Rutland Tea Company, is to convert more of us to the joys of loose leaf. Teas like their Finest Tippy Golden Orange Pekoe Darjeeling. Grantham-born Richard and Ukrainian Anna settled in Oakham after meeting on the internet, and they set up Rutland Tea Company in October 2009. Anna came to Britain expecting to find a nation of tea lovers and was taken aback by what she found. “I was surprised to see a nation of teabag users,” says Anna. “This was a shock because in Ukraine there are tea shops on every corner selling loose leaf teas.” Richard understands his wife’s initial surprise. “Britain has a reputation as a great tea-drinking nation and Anna, as a tea lover, was looking forward to finding out why,” he says. “Seeing things through her eyes it’s almost like we’ve lost our way with tea.” Anna decided to see our tea bag addiction as an opportunity. She was confident she could import exceptional loose-leaf teas and find a customer base. “Setting up Rutland Tea Company seemed like a natural step,” says Anna, whose command of English is as impressive as her knowledge of world teas. Initially spreading the loose leaf gospel at farmers’ markets, local events and through the internet, Richard and Anna found that their customer base quickly grew. And so did the need for a permanent home. They eventually found space in Fords department store in Church Street, Oakham, where they now have a permanent display. Share a cuppa and a chat with Anna and Richard in Fords and you will be converted to loose leaf forever. The aroma of their various

Anna’s tea tips

1 Always use a pot or infuser and a timer as every tea has a specific brewing time. 2 Tea absorbs smells so is best stored in a ceramic or metal container that allows air exchange, and should be kept out of sunlight. 3 Black tea (a mature, oxidised tea) must be made with boiling water poured directly onto the leaves. Brew as specified for the particular tea. 4 For green and white teas (younger leaves than those used for black teas) your water must be 60-90C (never boiling) and should not be poured directly onto the leaves. teas has to be smelt to be believed – it’s pungent and intense, far removed from the smell of a box of supermarket teabags.

English tea One of Anna’s favourite trips since moving to Britain was visiting our only tea garden in Cornwall, and she believes the tea grown on Tregothnan Estate is up there with the best. “The microclimate in Cornwall and the history of their camellia bushes make it really great,” says Anna.

But Tregothnan tea is just one of hundreds to choose from. Luckily for us, Anna and Richard’s extensive sampling of teas from the foothills of the Himalayas to Sri Lanka, China, India, Japan, South Africa and Cornwall has cut down the work for us and we just have to decide which to try, pop the kettle on, sit back and enjoy the best drink of the day. RUTLAND TEA COMPANY Fords of Oakham, 8 Church Street, Oakham, Rutland LE15 6AA, 01572 724784,

NEXT STEP… COFFEE Rutland Tea Co has joined forces with Coffee Real (pictured, top left), who buy coffee from single growers and hand-roast it themselves. They will soon be selling this, too

Great GreatFood FoodLeicestershire Leicestershire&&Rutland Rutland 27 19



ultimate curry What’s the best Indian restaurant in Leicestershire and Rutland? Over the next few issues we’ll try to find out…


eicester is widely regarded as one of Britain’s curry capitals. But which restaurant is best? In this and future issues we will visit some of the city’s (and counties’) most highly-regarded Indian eateries and try to find the ultimate curry house. We're kicking off with reviews of Leicester city centre's highest-profile venues.

SCORING CRITERIA: Food............................ ++++++++++ Service ....................... ++++++++++ Environment ............ ++++++++++ Overall ...................... ++++++++++

KAYAL Granby St, Leicester PRICE PER HEAD: £20-£25 (for three courses and drinks) CUSTOMER PARKING: On street TIMES: Mon-Fri: noon-3pm & 6pm-11pm; Sat & Bank Hols: noon-11pm; Sun: noon-10pm

28 Great Food Leicestershire & Rutland


ocusing on the distinctive cuisine of south Indian state Kerala, Kayal has a laid-back vibe and a great reputation. The interior is a symphony of wood, giving the feel of a beach hut, and there are TVs on the walls, beaming out images of Kerala. The restaurant was busy on the Tuesday evening of our visit and this could have impacted on the quality of service. After being left for 10 minutes pondering the delicious-sounding but hard-tofathom menu, we attracted a waiter’s attention and ordered drinks. Throughout the meal, service was below par – never rude, just inattentive. A meat Thali was delivered to where a vegetarian one should have gone

and we had to remind a waiter that we still needed our desserts. OK, so what about the food? Our Thalis, starting with delicious coconut milk-infused soups, were varied, tasty and substantial, consisting of small pots of curry served with breads and rice. The Mair Masala Dosa – a pancake of rice and lentil with potato in the middle – was huge and bland. Dessert, Semiya Payasam, was excellent – cardamom packed and creamy. A mixed bag.

greatfood SCORES Food .................++++++++++ Service.............++++++++++ Environment .. ++++++++++ Overall .............++++++++++



De Montfort Street, Leicester PRICE PER HEAD: £30-35 (for three courses and drinks) CUSTOMER PARKING: On street TIMES: Mon-Fri: noon-2pm; Mon-Sat: 6pm-11pm


arvin Parmar is the ever-present, friendly face of this excellent Indian restaurant and has been in the business for over 30 years. Previously he ran the Curry Pot on Leicester’s Melton Road. Within an hour of our early arrival at this spacious and recently refurbished restaurant it was vibrant, with people of all ages coming in to eat traditional Indian food. The staff were friendly and helpful. The menu, which is quite complex, contains a wide variety of options at reasonable prices. We chose vegetable and chicken chats as starters followed by the ever popular Chicken Bhuna, Dal Murg and a vegetable curry. The total bill for two people, including a service charge, was £65. Our only reservation was the cost of four small glasses of white wine which came to £15.40. We wish we had bought a bottle! Nevertheless, a happy experience.

ROUND 1 High-profile city centre restaurants

MEMSAAB, Highcross St, Leicester PRICE PER HEAD: £25-30 (for three courses and drinks) CUSTOMER PARKING: Highcross car park TIMES: 11.30am-5pm; 6pm-11pm (10.30pm Sunday)


greatfood SCORES Food .................++++++++++ Service.............++++++++++ Environment .. ++++++++++ Overall .............++++++++++


he gleaming Highcross Centre needed a restaurant with swagger, and Memsaab fits the bill. Downstairs, a champagne bar does a good job of creating an aura of sophistication. Elsewhere, the restaurant blends private rooms in an old building with stylish new extension. The menu, in the restaurant’s own words, offers “traditional home cooking in the grand style”. It holds few surprises but over several visits we’ve had consistently good food such as lively-spiced Chicken Shashlick, lightly cooked chilli tiger prawns with real bite, and a restaurant version of the traditional breakfast dish Lamb Nihari with a thick clove and coriander sauce.

Vegetarians are well catered for – vegetable dhaalcha is an excellent curry based on lentils and chickpeas – and rice and breads are superior, though for dessert rather dull Gulabjamun lacked cardamom and disappointed for the price. But generally, false notes are few and service is excellent – professional rather than over-matey. Crucially standards are maintained even on the busiest nights. A classy venue: great for a big night out.

greatfood SCORES Food .................++++++++++ Service.............++++++++++ Environment ... ++++++++++ Overall ..............++++++++++

Great Food Leicestershire & Rutland 29


CHUTNEY IVY, Halford St, Leicester

PRICE PER HEAD: £25-£30 (for three courses and drinks) CUSTOMER PARKING: NCP opposite TIMES: Mon-Fri: noon-2.30pm; Mon-Sat: 5.30pm-11pm


n entering Chutney Ivy you are immediately impressed by the large, spacious dining and lounge area. It is stylish and comfortable with a hint of warehouse about it, with high ceilings and suspended light gantries. This makes it feel slightly different to the usual Asian dining experience. The menu is simple but the chef is clearly focused on providing an experience that makes you feel comfortable and able to experiment. We were also very impressed with the attentiveness of the staff, who were welcoming, well informed and intent on ensuring that we enjoyed ourselves. There are a wide range of dishes on offer that are made with high-quality ingredients. We chose the ’Ivy Feast’ at £19.95 per head. There are less expensive options available,

including a pre-theatre menu. Starters comprised a very generous helping of mixed vegetable bhajias, Aloo Tiki (Indian potato cakes) shish kebabs and chicken Tikka served with poppadoms and various chutneys. The main course was equally diverse offering for example Chicken Tikka Masala, Karahi Gosht (braised lamb), Subzee Milloni (spiced vegetables) and lots of Basmati rice. The sweets, as an extra, were well presented. The total bill for two people including a bottle of wine, soft drinks and coffee came to around £60, which we thought was very good value.

greatfood SCORES Food .................++++++++++ Service.............++++++++++ Environment ... ++++++++++ Overall ..............++++++++++

"The chef is focused on offering an experience that makes you feel able to experiment"

ANJUNA, Highcross St, Leicester PRICE PER HEAD: £22-£26 (for three courses and drinks) CUSTOMER PARKING: Highcross car park TIMES: Tue-Thur: Noon-2.30pm & 6-10.30pm; Fri-Sat: Noon-2.30pm & 6pm-11.30pm


amed after a village in Goa, this restaurant has a light, uncluttered air. While its menu contains a range of familiar dishes, it stands out due to its range of Goan specialities. Goan food features much fish, but it also bears the influence of Portuguese colonists who introduced ingredients such as cashews and a love for pork. The welcome was extremely friendly and we started with Goan potato chops, patties of mashed potato wrapped around minced lamb and lightly fried. These were well-made and wellcooked but maybe a little dull. Main courses offered contrasting, distinctive dishes. Pork vindaloo is a Portugueseinfluenced dish a long way from the debased version that emerged from the first wave of UK Indian restaurants. Yes it’s hot, but the smoky heat has a



ew kid on the block Chutney Ivy takes first place. The reviewers were impressed by its excellent service, creative menus, top-notch food and because they were made to feel comfortable. Elsewhere, The Tiffin is still doing things well, new arrival Anjuna offers something different with its great Goan food and friendly atmosphere, and Memsaab brings a touch of glitz. Highly rated Kayal can clearly do better and was let down by poor service and hit-and-miss food on the night of our anonymous review.

30 Great Food Leicestershire & Rutland

tang from roasted chillies and a vinegar and garlic marinade. Shark Ambotik is another Goan classic and the rustic chunks of shark here came in a thin but potent broth, given a sweetness with a sour edge from tamarind and featuring a spice mix with plenty of cloves. High points: super service and honest food.

greatfood SCORES Food .................++++++++++ Service.............++++++++++ Environment .. ++++++++++ Overall ..............++++++++++




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Black Horse, Market Bosworth CUISINE: Modern European with international influences PRICE PER HEAD: Set lunch 17.95 for three courses; £35-£40 (for three courses à la carte and drinks) KIDS WELCOME: Yes DOGS: No CUSTOMER CAR PARKING: Car park to rear TIMES: Mon-Sat, noon-2.30pm & 6pm9.30pm; Sun, noon-4pm


ooking out over one of the prettiest market squares in the Midlands, the Black Horse has thrived since it was converted to a 90-cover restaurant around five years ago. It’s nicely done out, although tying a price tag to each of the many artworks feels a little, erm, insistent. The food on offer ranges from pie and wine nights on Mondays to an ambitious evening à la carte. On a busy Thursday, I picked from the three-course set lunch and was very happy with a starter of grilled mackerel, skin suitably crisp, served with some excellent, tangy sweet pepper relish on a lightly toasted sourdough bun. I thought the dabs of pesto dressing might be a flavour too much but actually this was a well conceived and well executed dish.


DESSERT Raspberry panna cotta, raspberry champagne jelly, iced lemon curd parfait, sable biscuit, £6

A main course of beef rump rolled and stuffed with leeks, bacon and Stilton was slightly less successful. The dish was full of nice flavours, but there wasn’t much evidence of Stilton and the beef had been cooked off in the pan so while the centre of the rolled rump slices was just about right, parts of the outside were burnt and had turned a little black and leathery. A real shame because a sweetish claret jus and smooth mash suggested the kitchen was much better than that. So did my friend’s main course of fat, juicy seared scallops served with spring onion potato cake and spicy charmoula dressing (think Moroccan

CUISINE: British PRICE PER HEAD: £25-£35 (for three courses and drinks) KIDS WELCOME: Positively encouraged (there’s a petting zoo and a farm walk) DOGS: Jan the owner has three CUSTOMER CAR PARKING: Plenty FOOD TIMES: Mon-Sun, 9.30am-4pm f Clarissa Dickson Wright tells me the best thing I can do to protect the rare breeds that Northfield Farm near Oakham specialises in is to eat them, then who am I to disagree? So I headed to their new Gastro Tea Room for Sunday lunch to see how I could help. Mrs H started with some melt-in-the-mouth Riverford Farm smoked salmon; the fresh, light-pink flesh was delicately smoked. My British Lop pork paté was course and intensely flavoured – delicious smeared on the thick white toast and smothered with sweet onion chutney. Then to the main event: roast leg of Saddleback pork for my wife and roast Dexter beef for me, both bred on the farm. My beef was tender with an intense savouriness. The pork was moist with a deep flavour and was served with some top-notch crackling. The potatoes, which had been roasted in goose

32 Great Food Leicestershire & Rutland

STARTER Thai risotto, pan-fried king prawns, mango and chilli dressing, £7.95 Roasted breast of Barbary duck, sour cherry jam, ruby port jus, confit leg pastilla, £18.95 Pan-fried sea bass with king prawn, lemon and coriander risotto, £18.95

Northfield Farm, Cold Overton


Menu samples (evening menu)

flavours of parsley, cumin, pimentón, lemon juice and olive oil). We shared a heavenly dessert of banana and butterscotch Eton mess, simple but well done, with a delightful mixture of crunchy and chewy meringue, soft fruit and sweet caramel. Coffee was excellent too, some of the best we’ve encountered at this type of venue. Service was pleasant if a little inconsistent – so a bit like the food then. Tim Burke THE BLACK HORSE 17 Market Place, Market Bosworth, Leics CV13 0LF, 01455 290278,

Menu samples STARTERS Creamy mushroom soup served with bread and butter, £3.95 British Lop pork paté with dressed salad and toast, £4.50

MAINS Roast Dexter beef from Northfield Farm, £11.95 Roast free-range corn-fed chicken from north Leicestershire, £10.95


fat, were a highlight, and the selection of fresh, local veg was perfectly cooked. The meat was absolutely delicious and testament to owner Jan McCourt’s passion for rare breeds, which are grown slowly to full maturity for flavour. But it was the luscious gravy, with a hint of red wine, that brought the food together (I even caught Mrs H dipping into the gravy boat with the teaspoon from her apple sauce). Our attentive and efficient waiter recommended a peppery Grenache/Syrah Côte du Rhône, which went well with the beef, and a perfectly matched fruity and honeyed white from Seppi Landmann of Alsace. Full by this stage, we still couldn’t resist rounding off with a generous slice of Northfield Farm’s award-winning apple pie

Award-winning apple pie with custard or cream, £3.95 Chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream, £3.95

and custard. We followed this with a quick spin round the farm and a chat with the passionate and dedicated Jan, who told us he’s planning to start doing dinner in the charming Tea Room. If this is how good his rare breed meat tastes, I’ll be back time and again for lunch (and hopefully dinner too) to do my bit to protect these endangered species (and the fine gravy they provide) – it’s the least I can do. Mark Hamilton NORTHFIELD FARM GASTRO TEA ROOM Whissendine Lane, Cold Overton, Rutland LE15 7QF 01664 474271,



Well-travelled chef Dameon Clarke has brought his own unique style to his new Stamford venue


ordon Ramsay famously turned to cheffing after a spell with Glasgow Rangers. So perhaps we could have guessed Dameon Clarke’s future. This Coalville boy was on the books of Leicester City alongside the likes of Emile Heskey until injury put paid to his dreams. Fast forward to 2011 and after working in top kitchens around the world he has opened Assiette, a showcase for his spectacular cooking in the middle of Stamford. Having built a strong local following at the now closed Nick’s restaurant in Oakham and at the Collyweston Slater pub, Clarke’s new venue is drawing in people from all over the region. At 16, Clarke started a catering course at Coalville Tech. He lasted six months, not because he was put off cooking but because he was learning more in his part-time job at a restaurant in Markfield. “It was long hours but fun – we worked hard, played hard,” he says.

Dameon Clarke’s ham hock terrine

Assiette menu samples Terrine of ham hock and foie gras with a carrot salad, roasted pistachios and deepfried mustard ice-cream (£7.95); pan-fried turbot with crab vierge, leek fondue and chive gnocchi (£18.50); crème brûlée with apple sorbet, vanilla jelly (£5.95)

“People will love or hate the idea of deep-fried mustard ice-cream... that’s the way I want it” He moved to a commis chef job at a venue in Jersey, which turned out to be the first step in a global journey. A junior role at Albert Roux’s Le Gavroche followed and he was in at the beginning of Pascal Proyart’s stellar fish venue, Restaurant 101 in Knightsbridge. Spells came with Gary Rhodes in Edinburgh and Michelin-starred venues in Dublin and back in Jersey. “Moving around goes with the job,” says Dameon. “You stay in one place, you only learn one way. I was learning everything”.

Dameon Clarke (left) with fellow chef Ben Poulton

He would eventually head off on an Asian odyssey, studying the food cultures of South East Asia before settling in Australia. It was on his return to the UK that locals had the chance to see what he had become. At Nick’s, diners initially didn’t know what to make of his cuisine: “But they grew to love it and I loved the area – I’ve never looked back.” When a customer offered to support him in setting up on his own he took on the Collyweston Slater. He gained critical plaudits

but running a pub with rooms as well as an ambitious restaurant turned out a step too far – “I wouldn’t do it again,” he says. “I’d be up at 6am doing breakfasts instead of prepping.” In February he moved to Assiette. The low-beamed, 17th century building has been rewired and replumbed and there’s a new kitchen. The menu will be familiar to his fans – complex, innovative stuff that shows his influences. Currently flying out of the kitchen is a starter of pan-fried scallops, curried pork, spicy shallots and ginger bhaji: “We sent out 42 on Saturday night,” he beams. “People are going to love or hate the idea of deep-fried mustard ice-cream but they won’t be unmoved by it – and that’s the way I want it,” says Clarke with a mischievous grin. He’s willing to admit that his aim is a Michelin star but, as no doubt most chefs would say, he wants to do it his way: “Ultimately it’s up to them – I’m not going to change. This is what we do and I know we’re good enough.” TB ASSIETTE 8-9 St Paul’s St, Stamford, PE9 2BH, 01780 489071

Great Food Leicestershire & Rutland 33


Entropy; British Lops at Northfield Farm (left); Quenby Longhorns (right)

A breed apart Why award-winning restaurant Entropy insists on sourcing locally-reared, native breeds


WHERE TO BUY Tom Cockerill sources meat for Entropy from Archers butchers in Clarendon Park, Leicester (0116 2707876), Northfield Farm in Cold Overton, Rutland (www. and from his mum


n these days of celebrity, there’s a tendency to focus on the individual genius that a chef brings to a dish. But restaurants can only produce fine food if they use fine ingredients. And when it comes to meat, chefs are paying more attention to the breeds they are using – and choosing animals that have not been bred simply to put on weight, but traditional breeds that are renowned for the quality of their meat. Tom Cockerill, chef patron Lid on, ready of Leicester’s Entropy, is an for the oven enthusiastic user of such rare breeds. “As a chef, the key thing from the start is the marked difference in quality before we even do anything to it. Well-produced, properly hung meat is obvious just from the colour. It’s not that ruby red shade you see in supermarkets, it’s much darker. Our pork is from big hairy beasts – they have much more flavour.” Featuring on the Entropy menu is the creamy, well-marbled South Devon beef supplied by Archers butchers in Leicester’s Clarendon Park,

34 Great Food Leicestershire & Rutland

who in turn get it from Leicester Tigers star Julian White’s farm near Market Harborough. Tom also uses leaner Dexter and Longhorn beef supplied by Northfield Farm, which includes meat from the Quenby Hall herd of Longhorns, and pork from Northfield’s Gloucester Old Spot and British Lop pigs. Coming later in the year will be Dexter beef and Southdown lamb reared exclusively for the restaurant by Tom’s mother Pam. The quality of meat available in Leicestershire is influencing Entropy’s menu – pig cheeks are a relatively Locally farmed South Devon beef recent addition, and it’s a two-day process to prepare them from those big hairy pig heads arriving in his kitchen. Onglet from South Devon cattle is another favourite – a cut from near the diaphragm, it’s sometimes known as the ‘butcher’s take’ because they’d keep it for themselves. “It’s not hung in the same way as most beef,” says Tom. “Onglet is taken out at the same time as the offal, and it takes on some great flavour from the kidney fat that’s around it.”


Entropy’s South Devon steak & oyster pie * 2kg thickly cut braising steak * 6 banana shallots, finely chopped * 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped * 1 bouquet garni * 1 pint Guinness * 1 pint fresh beef stock * 100g plain white flour * 100g butter * Salt & pepper

* 12 oysters * 150g oak chippings (these can be

purchased online:

* 500g puff pastry * 2 eggs (lightly beaten)

Tom Cockerill in the kitchen at Entropy

1 Sieve the flour over the diced braising steak and mix together until evenly coated. Add a little vegetable oil to a large, heavy-based saucepan and heat until very hot. 2 Brown the meat, then remove and set aside. Fry shallots and garlic for 2-3 minutes, return the meat and add the Guinness, stock and bouquet garni. 3 Bring to a gentle simmer, then cover and place in an oven on Gas 3 (160C) for 2 1/2 hours.

To smoke the oysters 1 You don’t need specialist equipment to smoke oysters. A large saucepan, a wire cooling rack (that will sit well on top of

the saucepan) and a roll of tinfoil will do. 2 First, carefully shuck the oysters, retaining the juice and oyster in the larger half of the shell. Place the oysters in their shells onto the wire rack. Meanwhile, heat the saucepan with wood chips spread evenly across the base over a very high heat until the wood chips begin to smoke well. 3 Turn down to a medium-low heat. Place the rack with the oysters on top of the pan and cover with tin foil, making sure it is tight to the top of the pan but leaving it domed above the oysters for the smoke to

Animal welfare But it’s not just the genetic inheritance of the animals that’s influencing a renaissance in use of meat from rare breeds. Other factors in play here include traceability, animal welfare and sustainable communities. “Farmers like my mum and Jan McCourt at Northfield Farm provide a level of care that you just won’t find at industrial farming level,” explains Tom. “I know that Jan has a Z-bed and when necessary he sleeps out with his animals to make sure they get looked after.” Buying locally from small producers has spin-off benefits, too. Says Tom: “It means you are supporting small abbatoirs, local butchers and a whole local framework, which has to be a good thing.”

circulate. Make a few holes in the foil with a pair of kitchen scissors and smoke for 20 minutes.

To assemble the pies 1 Divide the beef filling between six individual earthenware dishes, or place into one large pie dish. Add the smoked oysters and juice from shells. 2 Roll out the pastry to 0.5cm thickness, cut the lid(s) to size, carefully cover the dish(es) and brush with beaten egg. Bake at Gas 4 (180C) for 30 minutes until the pastry is risen and golden. Serve immediately.

Longhorn steak: renowned for its excellent flavour

{ }

Using rare breeds Food fact doesn’t come cheaply, so Leicester Tigers how does Tom deal with prop and Market the impact on his bottom Harborough farmer line? “It’s important that Julian White, who customers are educated so supplies Entropy with South Devon beef, they know what they are also keeps sheep paying for. So we make a point of it on our menus. When you describe something as ‘Lop’ [referring to rare-breed British Lop pigs], customers ask about it – which means they are getting the message that not all animals are the same. “As a local restaurant, we are pricier than our competition, but ENTROPY 42 Hinckley generally our customers are Road, receptive to what we are trying to Leicester do,” says Tom. “We’ve stuck with LE3 0RB 0116 2259650, it and our persistence is paying www.entropy off,” he adds, with a final nod in the direction of the restaurant’s gratifyingly full bookings sheet.

“Farmers like my mum provide a level of care that you just won’t find at industrial farming level”

Great Food Leicestershire & Rutland 35

HOME COOKING Lucy Cufflin Local chef Lucy is author of acclaimed cookbook Lucy’s Food. She has recently opened a food and kitchenware shop in Leicester’s Stoneygate

Orange delight A versatile fruit is perfect for a versatile cake, says Lucy Cufflin


here’s something hugely pleasurable about a slice of cake. Earlier in the year, we started ‘Fresh Cake Friday’ at Lucy’s Food in Stoneygate, Leicester and it was an instant success. Maybe it was the financial gloom emanating from TV and radio, but the opportunity of a nice bit of cake really did seem to cheer folk up! As summer gets into full swing, a slice of something light and delicious also stirs up memories of sitting outside a café in some farflung foreign city. There’s nothing that covers all the seasons as well as oranges. Anyone who has strolled through a Spanish village will testify to the sensory wonder of passing trees laden with ripening fruit while catching the wonderful scent of orange blossom. And be careful if you visit Seville as the streets are paved with the gold of oranges fallen from the trees! The orange is so very versatile, from rind used to flavour tea to the dried fruits used to make aromatic decorations; the sweet flesh of satsumas loved by children to the bitterness of Sevilles admired by marmalade fans. And the beauty of anything orangey is its ability to match every season: satsumas then clems over late autumn, Christmas and New Year; navels and Spanish blood oranges in early spring; Valencias in summer. For us, this cake with its continental, ground almond texture

and luxurious white chocolate icing is a perfect cross-seasonal recipe. The orange juice not only provides a lovely flavour and great contrast to the ground almonds and white chocolate, but the acid reacts with the raising agent to give the cake a moist and springy texture. Also, we like it when our food does a bit of multi-tasking – vegetable curries that double up as sauces, starters masquerading as luncheon dishes – and this cake is also a delicious pudding. And, because of this, it is excellent for a celebration. To be able to offer a pudding that’s a cake and a cake that’s a pudding is perfect!

Lucy’s kitchen tip

I have to confess to being a pepper fiend, so a good grinder is important to me. I’ve learned that you don’t need to spend a fortune – all you have to do is look out for ceramic internal workings – they stay sharp and will happily grind for many years. Buy one where you can alter the size of the grind so you can do coarse and fine in the same mill. 36 Great Food Leicestershire & Rutland

Orange and white chocolate cake Serves 12

* 250g butter * 250g caster sugar * Finely grated zest of 3 oranges, juice of just 1 * 125g self-raising flour * 1 tsp baking powder * 125g ground almonds * 4 eggs separated

For the icing

* 200g white chocolate melted

* 250g mascarpone * Finely grated zest 1 orange

1 Cream butter/sugar/orange zest of three oranges till fluffy, then add egg yolks and beat well. 2 Add flour, baking powder and almonds with orange juice. 3 Whisk egg whites until stiff in another bowl and then fold into mixture. Turn into 20cm diameter cake tin lined with baking parchment. 4 Bake for 35-40 minutes at Gas 4 (180C) or until risen and springy to the touch. 5 Allow to be completely cold before adding topping, so make ahead. 6 Mix the cooled melted chocolate and mascarpone with remaining zest until thick and then pile on top of the cake. LUCY’S FOOD Lucy’s new cookbook contains more than 350 tested recipes to suit all tastes. Published by Hardie Grant, you can buy it from Amazon, Waterstones or Lucy’s Food on 6 Francis Street, Stoneygate, Leicester.


belmont HOTEL

Wonderful weddings at The Belmont! We match great service with superb food and drinks for wonderful weddings and parties. Licensed for civil ceremonies, we can welcome 150+ guests or design smaller, more intimate occasions.

Contact Caroline for a brochure on 0116 252 9607 Wonderful weddings at the Belmont!

belmont.indd 2

6/4/11 09:54:00


Foodie wedding venues An overview of four of the region’s tastiest wedding venues. If you’re planning a delicious wedding, consider these, says Rachel Quine


f we had the chance to do it all again, tell me, would we? Could we?” Barbara Streisand once sang. If I had the chance to do my wedding again I’d definitely leave out the meringue (dress, not dessert), ditch the lengthy photos but, happily, keep the bridegroom. Instead of fuss and frills, I’d focus on creating a relaxed, enjoyable day with lovely, local food in one of these fabulous venues for food-lovers.

Barnsdale Lodge

Maiyango & St Martin’s House


ontemporary boutique Hotel Maiyango in central Leicester offers a cosmopolitan setting for a chic wedding. Its restaurant is highly regarded, winning rave reviews and awards. Maiyango also caters for weddings in a larger, more traditional venue – St Martin’s House (pictured), where the centrepiece is the Grand Hall. A superb selection of wedding menus incorporate local,

traceable ingredients. Canapés could feature spicy mini hot dogs or oysters, while main dishes are imaginative – spiced belly of pork, herbed fillet, parsnip puree and tamarind jus, for example.


CAPACITY: Maiyango: 10-110; St Martin’s House: up to 150 PRICE GUIDE: From £29.25 a head for three-course wedding breakfast CONTACT: Joanne McGoldrick, 0116 2518898,, The Grand Hall, St Martin’s House Courtyard at Barnsdale is a great setting for Champers


arnsdale Lodge, right next to Rutland Water is surrounded by pretty gardens and has a courtyard with ancient stonework, which makes a lovely backdrop for wedding photos. Planning a happy day is made smoother by personal events co-ordinator Jane Hales, who has a wealth of contacts. Reception drinks, maybe Pimm’s, Champagne or Bucks Fizz, are served with canapés such as Rare Roast Beef and Horseradish on a Mini Yorkshire Pudding, and Stilton and Celery Sticks filled with Quince Jelly. A bespoke wedding breakfast


might feature salmon and dill terrine with citrus crème fraiche followed by fillet beef stroganoff, then vanilla panna cotta with summer berries. In the evening, choose from a finger buffet, BBQ or the perfect treat after the dance floor – bacon baps! A Barnsdale pud

CAPACITY: Up to 200 PRICE GUIDE: From £70 per head for three-course wedding breakfast and drinks package CONTACT: Jane Hales, 01572 724678,

38 Great Food Leicestershire & Rutland




The Belmont Hotel


he award-winning Belmont is an independent hotel situated on leafy New Walk in Leicester city centre. The Victorian building has a handsome frontage; the interior is sumptuously decorated. They offer a full wedding package including civil ceremony, reception, accommodation and car parking.

New head chef Alex Ballard has recently joined the team from Risley Hall in Derbyshire. He has cooked for many fine restaurants including the Lace Market Hotel in Nottingham. The Belmont’s style of cooking is a blend of English and Continental. Wedding menus are tailored to requirements and canapés might include beef

tartare with a truffle emulsion and manchego cheese with balsamic syrup. Lunch could start with roasted field mushrooms with grilled goat’s cheese and basil pesto. For a main, choose from traditional roast beef and Yorkshires, loin of pork with crackling and apple sauce, or perhaps monkfish in Parma ham.


CAPACITY: Up to 130 PRICE GUIDE: From £27.50 to £39.50 per head for three-course wedding breakfast plus coffee CONTACT: 0116 2544773,,

Scalford Hall

Where Colonel Colman used to hang out


calford Hall is a country house hotel set in 12 acres. The former Edwardian hunting lodge has a romantic history, regularly visited by Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson during their courtship and later owned by Colonel Colman of Colman’s mustard. It has four rooms licensed for civil ceremonies and a range of

wedding breakfasts. My choice would be Scalford smokie – smoked haddock in a herb cream finished with puff pastry – followed by turkey paupiette. A less formal buffet menu is also available, featuring a range of hot and cold dishes. An evening buffet, BBQ or hog roast can be arranged, from £16 per head.

Although Scalford Hall offers a range of deals including late availability all-inclusive packages from £1,595, they aim to “create a tailor made event for every wedding reception”.


VENUE CAPACITY: Up to 150 PRICE GUIDE: From £46 per head for three-course wedding breakfast followed by coffee CONTACT: Emily Johnson, 01664 443823,

Great Food Leicestershire & Rutland 39



Foodie Gift Hunter’s May & June tips Leicestershire lass Helen Tarver, aka The Foodie Gift Hunter, blogs almost daily about fabulous gifts for food lovers at www. thefoodiegifthunter. If you’re hungry for a gift, the Foodie Gift Hunter can help.

Ginger beer

Whole Stilton If dad’s a Stilton lover then pop into Cropwell Bishop shop and buy him a whole organic Stilton – it should keep him going for a bit! Contact:, 0115 9892350

Fancy a picnic? Then there surely has to be lashings of ginger beer! Try Ginger Beer Pressé from Belvoir Fruit Farms. Made with organic ginger and lemon juice, this will add some inner warmth to any picnic, even when the sun keeps his hat firmly in his back pocket! Contact:, 01476 870286

love this...


The days are lengthening, the temperature is rising, and so thoughts turn to picnics and Fathers’ Day TOURS PRICES Belvoir Coffee FROM FROM: £5.95 £3 Brewery Maybe dad needs something stronger than Stilton? How about a trip to Belvoir Brewery? For a true local flavour he should try The Blue Brew, which includes Stilton whey in the brewing process. Enjoy the tour and then send him on his way with a polypin of beer. Contact:, 01664 823455

If dad’s going to need something to tempt him out of bed on Fathers’ Day, how about coffee from Cherizena? Based in Wartnaby, you could treat him to the Emperor blend, or even the Melton Mowbray. Contact:, 01664 820111

Joules hamper The county’s fashion gurus, Joules are bringing their country style onto our plates now with this fabulous picnic hamper. Everything that four of you will need to picnic in style, except the food, the drink and the guaranteed sunshine. Contact:, 0845 2507170

PRICES £4.70 FOR 320g PIE

Pork pie Across the county we have brilliant producers of one of the original great picnic foods: pork pie. It’s come a long way from its origins of having to survive a day’s hunting, but great taste remains. Treat your picnic crowd to a pork and Stilton pie from Mrs King’s and celebrate a local tradition. Contact:, 0115 9894101

40 Great Food Leicestershire & Rutland



2011 Events Calendar

Fresh, local and seasonal food at Barnsdale Lodge S TA P L E F O R D E V E N T S 2 0 1 1

Barnsdale Lodge Hotel is set in a unique rural location in the heart of the glorious Rutland countryside with views of undulating hills and Rutland Water.

Champagne and Shellfish Evening Friday 20th May £99 per person Includes a six course dinner, all selected Champagnes and coffee.

ISPS Handa Senior Masters 3rd to 5th June 2011 The European Senior Tour will return to Stapleford Park for the second edition of the ISPS Handa Senior Masters presented by the Stapleford Forum. Free entry. Father’s Day Sunday Lunch Sunday 19th June £27.50 per person Includes a three course lunch and coffee. Great British Menu Evening Friday 24th June 2011 £99 per person Includes Champagne on arrival, a six course dinner, all selected wines and coffee. To make a reservation or for further information, contact us on 01572 787000 or visit

• Morning coffee, lunch, afternoon tea & dinner • Delicious food prepared with fresh locally sourced, seasonal ingredients including beef from Hambleton Farm, berries and asparagus from Manton Farm and Rutland Water trout • Private dining • Weddings • Conferences • Exclusive hire of the whole hotel possible • Vicienté Beauty treatment & therapy room

The Avenue, Rutland Water, Nr Oakham, Rutland LE15 8AH

p40_GF_MayJune11.indd Sec1:40

18/4/11 15:54:39


Evolution How a Rutland sheep farm diversified to become a garden centre, then added a farm shop, butchery and restaurant



ames Lamb, owner of Stamford Farm Shop, Garden Kitchen and Garden Store, grew up helping to farm sheep and arable on 80 acres of family land in Casterton, a corner of land near Stamford that borders Lincolnshire and Rutland. “It was my job to keep the animals in order,” explains James. “I was a sort of surrogate sheep dog. “My late father looked at diversification before most. He was forward thinking and always one for going his own way, so when he decided to diversify by opening a garden centre in 1985, other farmers were asking, ‘What are you doing? We’re farmers.’ “The Garden Centre was built on an exposed plot of farm land and because of this, the plants we sold were hardy. Customers knew that if they bought plants here they would

Organic allotment “A project we are really excited about at the moment is the development of our organic allotment. We already have a herb garden but this new plot will supply the restaurant with vegetables.” James is keen to coordinate school visits to the allotment and Garden Centre. “I want to encourage school kids to think about seasonality, growing and where food comes from,” says James. “We are involved in the Plant for Life Program and would like to build links with the Soil Association’s Food for Life initiative.”

The Garden Kitchen “The focus of the Garden Kitchen is to use our butchery and herb garden along with local, seasonal ingredients to

‘‘ T his is basically a farm diversification helping other local farms survive anywhere. This, combined with great growing advice, made for a very sound business,” explains James. James, who went on to study and work as an accountant in London, returned home in 2006 to help with the business and it wasn’t long before he put “that forward thinking gene into play”. With a desire to innovate and expand, James initiated the building of the Garden Kitchen restaurant and farm shop. James’ entrepreneurial spirit has shone through and to his credit he’s grown a sustainable business, supporting small cottage industries and creating local employment in the process. James adds: “This business is basically a farm diversification helping other farms locally by promoting and selling their produce in our farm shop and restaurant. And they are truly behind us.”

“Our new organic allotment will supply the kitchen with veg” – James Lamb (right) 42 Great Food Leicestershire & Rutland

Stamford Garden Centre


Apprenticeships Stamford Garden Centre runs an apprenticeship scheme. Contact James Lamb for further details.

Butcher Barry Cole serves a customer in the farm shop

produce homemade breakfasts, lunches and dinners. We make our own cakes and desserts and prepare a daily changing à la carte menu featuring the best local produce. “Our chefs Sarah and Michael prepare Sunday lunches using produce from the farm shop. A roast of Lincoln Red beef from Walk Farm, a new herd based a few yards away in Little Casterton, is exclusive here. We take great pleasure in supporting this new local herd. Other roasts of Lincoln pork, Stamford lamb and Rutland game are also popular choices.” This used to be fields... inside the Garden Kitchen

The Garden Farm Shop The farm shop features an integrated butchery that provides over 100 different cuts and locally sourced meat, including free-range Norfolk chicken, Grantham pork and game. Venison, rabbit, guinea fowl, wood pigeon and partridge are available from the freezer all year round. Also on sale are free-range eggs from Ryhall, homemade haslet, venison scotch eggs and sausage rolls made on site.

by selling their produce”

The integrated butchery sells a range of local meat

COMING UP AT STAMFORD GARDEN CENTRE… 1st Friday of month: Evening Dining Club at Garden Kitchen. Sunday, May 15: Butchery Course at Garden Farm Shop. Learn to butcher a hind quarter of Lincoln Red Beef, followed by a Sunday roast. Cost: £15 For more details, contact Stamford Garden Centre (below). CONTACT Stamford Garden Centre Casterton Road, Stamford, Rutland PE9 4BB 01780 765656,

Great Food Leicestershire & Rutland 43

PUB WALK Woods and crags on the way up to Bucks Hill

The walk

STARTING FROM THE Curzon Arms car park, Woodhouse Eaves, leave the pub and turn right uphill to Mill Road on right. Turn up Mill Road and continue straight uphill past some white cottages on left. This leads to a footpath ahead.



Woodhouse Eaves, Beacon Hill, pubs and a box of cakes This six-mile circuit offers some of the best views in Leicestershire and beautiful, lush wooded areas. Plus cupcakes and beer...

Ordnance Survey mapping © Crown copyright. AM44/10.


oodhouse Eaves in the heart but in Woodhouse Eaves you’ve also got the of Charnwood Forest has a Wheatsheaf, Kandy Cupcakes (opposite distinctive atmosphere. The page), the Woodhouse restaurant, the Old village somehow still feels Bull’s Head and Johnsons Butchers. like it belongs to the ancient woods that once covered the area, and its granite OVERVIEW OF AREA buildings topped with Swithland Slate have rustic charm. To the west and north, craggy volcanic outcrops give this part of Leicestershire a very different look and feel to the rest of the county. This walk, starting at Woodhouse Eaves (at a pub, naturally), gives you a real taste of Charnwood. It takes in several atmospheric woods, plenty of craggy rocks (formed during volcanic activity 600 million years ago) and some relatively steep climbs. There are stiles and you’ll need your boots if Here you’ll find the remains of a Bronze there’s any mud around. Of course, you can’t enjoy Age hill fort but first you’ll have to climb fine views, interesting wildlife 248m – Beacon Hill is the second highest and fascinating geology on an point in Leics (after Bardon Hill). So called empty stomach, so we’ve because a beacon was lit here to warn of deliberately chosen a route that takes you past or close to a variety the incoming Spanish Armada. Also the of eateries. The Curzon Arms (see inspiration for Everards’ Beacon Bitter opposite page) is our tip this issue,

44 Great Food Leicestershire & Rutland

CONTINUE PAST A wooden gate, through a metal gate, then through a third gate. Immediately bear left through another gate and continue up incline through another gate and head diagonally right to a gate by a wood. Follow the path through wood (signposted with red arrows) over a footbridge to a private drive.


Beacon Hill


TURN RIGHT AND cross main road into woodland through a staggered gate and cross first path to another staggered gate. Here, turn left up the hill towards Beacon Hill (signposted Beacon Upper Car Park). Walk to the very top of hill but just before the metal farm gate turn left through the second gap in the wall and go straight ahead and down to a track by the side of a stone wall.


TURN RIGHT at the wall and walk until you come to staggered gate and immediately through a second staggered gate. Continue along a short path, bearing right through another gate and continue down to Deans Lane along a rocky path – there are no markings so follow your nose downhill.


CROSS DEANS LANE and go through a gate. You are now on a permissive path (a route which the landowner permits the public to use). Continue down the hill to a stream with stepping stones. Cross over, go through the gate and turn right. Continue through two further gates, keeping the stream to your right. In the third field you will see a footbridge.


CROSS THE BRIDGE and continue along the path, bearing left and uphill. Eventually you will see a solitary silver birch on the right of the path. At this point bear slightly left through a gap in the stone wall and into the wood, keeping the stone wall on your left for a few yards.


Woodhouse Eaves

Detailed walk map

Ordnance Survey mapping © Crown copyright. AM44/10.

Curzon Arms

CONTINUE ALONG the path and head up higher to Bucks Hill. Enjoy the view but take care. Continue on the narrow footpath bearing slightly right and then continue downhill. The path is tricky at this point.

stream and then over a small concrete ramp and uphill ahead.


CONTINUE DOWN a steep slope to a gate on your right. Go straight ahead to another gate in front of a short slope. Note the heart-shaped piece of metal on the post (pictured). Turn right along path to the road.


AT THE ROAD turn right and continue for 150 yards. Enter Jubilee Wood on left, walking for a few yards along a path. Ignore first path to your right but take the second path on your right a few yards later.


CONTINUE ALONG this path, bearing left and right around holly bushes. You soon see an information board. At board turn right and then take first left turn and walk along a straight path. Continue over a


AS YOU SEE a wire fence, bear right and continue with the fence on your left to the toilet block, which you will just about see ahead of you. You will now enter a parking area.


Bridge in Step 6 NOTES: We’ve done this walk and believe that the instructions are clear and accurate. It’s steep in places and might be muddy. Take a map – OS Explorer 246 – and allow enough time.

WALK DIAGONALLY right to a footpath in the corner of parking area. Bearing right, continue down this footpath back to the road on your right, through a gate.

Any hostelry that offers two marked ‘parking’ spaces for horses is definitely a country pub. However, far from being stuck in the rural dark ages, this Woodhouse Eaves boozer is up to date inside and has been stylishly refurbished. There’s a traditional bar area plus a dining room, while outside the beer garden’s very pleasant. Expect a friendly welcome, a selection of real ales, a decent wine list and a menu that focuses on pub classics made with fresh, local ingredients. There’s a good number of snacks and sandwiches. Dogs are welcome. As are horses. Curzon Arms, 44 Maplewell Road, Woodhouse Eaves, LE12 8QZ, 01509 890377,


TURN LEFT AT the gate and continue 100 yards before turning left along a metalled road (golf course on your right). Eventually you will see a signpost on your right. Ignore this but immediately afterwards, bear right up a track.


CONTINUE STRAIGHT along this track (Brook Lane) for three-quarters of a mile. At the main road, cross over and walk along Main Street ahead, until you come to Maplewell Road on your right and walk up to the Curzon Arms.


Woodhouse Eaves

Kandy Cupcakes Next to the Wheatsheaf Inn on Brand Hill, Woodhouse Eaves, is Kandy Cottage. Inside you’ll find an imaginative, fantastical world of delicate, beautiful cakes baked on-site by Sarah Thomas, proprietor of Kandy Cupcakes. A cake shop is the last thing you’d expect to find here – until recently the building was derelict – and walking through the door is a bit like stumbling upon the Ginger Bread Cottage (minus the witch, of course). There’s a pink fridge in the corner and a counter full of wonderfully decorated, iced delights. Why not phone Sarah and stock up for a mid-walk picnic? Kandy Cottage, 96 Brand Hill, Woodhouse Eaves, LE12 8SS,

Great Food Leicestershire & Rutland 45

Red Lion’s delicious day planner Whether it’s a Bank Holiday or the weekend, plan a chilled 24 hours with inspiration from the gang at Stathern’s Red Lion


day spent relaxing with friends and family enjoying delicious food and drink is a day enjoyed to the full. This feature is designed to give you a few ideas for a perfect day off. The recipes and suggestions here are all in the spirit of Stathern’s Red Lion, a pub that has relaxation and good food and drink at its heart. So invite a few mates round and enjoy...

12 noon

Pre-lunch drinks

To kick the day off in the right way you’ll need a bevvy to get you in the mood. Here’s a soft drink and a boozier one, both highly refreshing.


* 11 bottle Pimm’s * /4 bottle gin * 100ml cassis * 100ml grenadine * Lemonade * Ginger ale


* 100ml sugar syrup * Lemon zest * 100ml freshly squeezed lemon and lime juice Soda water *

To make sugar syrup, add equal quantities of caster sugar and water to a pan and heat until dissolved. Allow to cool. Then fill a half-pint tumbler with ice and add syrup. Add lemon zest and freshly squeezed lemon and lime juice. Top up with soda water and garnish with lemon. Easy.

Mix ingredients. Add fresh apple strawberries, raspberries. Steep in kilner jar/s for 3-4 days. Remove and bottle. To serve, pour punch into an ice-laden glass and top up with lemonade and ginger ale. Garnish with mint, cucumber and fruit.

1pm Lunch

This family dish by Sean Hope, head chef at the Red Lion’s sister pub The Olive Branch, is beautifully rustic and packed with interesting flavours.

Slow-roast pork belly, fennel, sweet potatoes & baby spinach Serves 4

* 1.2kg pork belly strips, sealed

in hot pan * 3 bulbs fennel, quartered * 4 long shallots, halved and fried * 2 garlic cloves, crushed * 2 bay leaves

Rustic and filling – a perfect pre-walk dish

46 Great Food Leicestershire & Rutland

1 Place all ingredients except sweet potatoes into a roasting tin and lay pork belly strips on top, using vegetables as a trivet. 2 Cook in a pre-heated oven at Gas Mark 1-2 (145C) for 3-4 hours (until pork is really tender). 3 Halfway through the cooking, place four sweet potatoes on a layer of rock salt in a baking tin, then sprinkle with more rock salt, a drizzle of Welland Valley rapeseed oil and a sprig of thyme.

* 1/4 stick cinnamon * 1 slice lime * 1 bottle of Jollydale Cyder * 2 dessert apples, quartered, cores removed

* 4 sweet potatoes 4 Bake the potatoes. 5 When all cooked, remove from oven and serve with a side dish of fresh spinach, washed and drizzled with rapeseed oil and lemon juice.

CINNAMON Not just a pudding spice – adds depth and warmth to savoury dishes, too

Home cooking

2.30pm Pudding

Quick, easy and tastes absolutely stunning (we know because we ate the one in this picture). Rich, refreshing, succulent and wonderfully sweet.

Quick and easy pudding: mango tarte tatin Serves 4

* 2 mangos (ideally Alphonso variety) * Knob of butter * Generous sprinkling of soft brown sugar * Puff pastry (Jus-Rol or similar) * Crème fraiche * Lime zest 1 Skin mangoes and cut each into two large pieces. 2 In a thick-bottomed, cast-iron frying pan (12cm to 14cm in diameter), melt a knob of butter over a medium heat and sprinkle generously with soft brown sugar. 3 Place mango pieces round-side down in the pan. 4 Roll out your puff pastry to 2mm to 3mm thick, 14cm in diameter. 5 Lay pastry over top of fruit and tuck pastry in, inside edges of pan. 5 Put the pan into an oven and bake at Gas Mark 7 (220C) for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown. 6 Remove and turn out onto plate. 7 Divide into four and serve with crème fraiche and finely grated lime zest.

BEER WITH YOUR LUNCH? Brewster’s used to be based Stathern village but now brews its cask ales in Grantham. Head brewer is Sara Barton (‘brewster’ is the Old English word for a female brewer). Sara’s beers are regularly on tap at the Red Lion, including Marquis (pictured). At 3.8% ABV, Brewster’s describes Marquis as a “classic session beer with a light juicy maltiness, balanced by a delicate hoppy finish”. WHERE TO BUY YOUR INGREDIENTS ”At the Red Lion and Olive Branch we source our pork from Northfield Farm, Cold Overton, and Grasmere Farm, Market Deeping,” says joint-owner Sean Hope. “For the cider marinade, I recommend Jollydale of Stamford.” As always, check the farm shop map (p68) for places to buy fruit and veg.

Ready to quarter and serve with crème fraiche

MANGOES Alphonso mangoes, which have yellowish skin, are regarded as the best and are in season April to May.

Tatin looks like this after being baked

3.30pm Walk to Belvoir Castle

If you need some fresh air after dinner, why not walk to Belvoir Castle along the Jubilee Way? OS EXPLORER MAPS 260 and 247 cover this walk, or there’s a good free downloadable pdf at From the Red Lion, it’s a pleasant wooded stroll of about three miles along the Jubilee Way to Belvoir Castle. If you’re not up for walking six or seven miles you could always get a taxi back! It can be muddy along the Jubilee Way so take your boots. On the way to Belvoir Castle you’ll see a monument marking the position of the Belvoir Beacon – part of England’s early warning system against the Spanish Armada (there’s another at Beacon Hill, see p44).

This is a perfect dog walk, and four-legged friends are welcomed at the Red Lion when you finally get back to Stathern for a pint of Brewster’s.

Coming up at the Red Lion… JUNE 11, STATHERN PARTY IN THE PARK Part of Stathern Festival and held to the rear of the Red Lion, starting at 11.30am. Expect bands throughout the day and evening, plus market stalls, children’s entertainment and a bar. Bring a picnic or eat at the pub.

RED LION INN, Red Lion Street, Stathern, Leicestershire LE14 4HS, 01949 860868,

Great Food Leicestershire & Rutland 43

RECIPES WITH LOCAL LINKS “The phrase ‘what grows together, goes together’ certainly rings true with this dish,” says Stuart Mead, head chef at Lake Isle Hotel and Restaurant of Uppingham. “All ingredients share the same season and naturally complement each other. It’s a dish of depth with light, aromatic touches. The peashoots give a fresh burst of flavour and the lavender in the honey adds sweet, floral notes. “At the Lake Isle we like to use Colsterworth honey – made by a company that’s been producing it since the ‘40s. Our asparagus is grown near Rutland Water golf course and we get our lamb from Empingham.”

Stuart Mead’s Lamb Loin with Jersey Royals, Asparagus & Lavender Honey Serves 2

* 2 x 200g local lamb loins * 250g Jersey Royals, boiled * ô bunch asparagus * 2 slices Parma ham * Olive oil 1 Start by blanching asparagus for two minutes; remove the spears then wrap in Parma ham and trim. 2 In a hot pan, sear the lamb loins and cook for approximately seven minutes if you want a lovely pink centre, or a little longer for more well done. Remove and rest. 3 Meanwhile, warm the crushed potatoes in a pan over a gentle heat with a little olive oil and salt and pepper.

* Lavender honey from Colsterworth

* Pea shoots, to garnish * Salt and pepper to season

4 Reheat asparagus bundles over a high heat for a minute either side in the pan used to cook the lamb. 5 Place crushed potatoes on a plate, carve lamb and place over. 6 Top with asparagus bundle, pea shoots and finish with a drizzle of honey and olive oil. LAKE ISLE 16 High Street East Uppingham, Rutland LE15 9PZ, 01572 822951,

{ } Where to buy?

Get lamb from your local butcher and why not take an interest in where it’s farmed? Your local farm shop (p68) or farmers’ market (p13) are also good places for ingredients

48 Great Food Leicestershire & Rutland

David Graveling and wife Laura (pictured) have run Rutland pub the Jackson Stops on a day-to-day basis since January 1, 2011. On that date the beautiful country pub, located in the village of Stretton, changed hands, and is now under the ownership of Robert Reid, who used to run the Orangery restaurant at Stamford’s Burghley House. This delicious salmon dish is typical of the fresh, seasonal food now available at the Stops.

David Graveling’s Pan-Fried Salmon with Spring Vegetable Risotto Serves 1

* 1 salmon fillet, skin on, pin boned * 1 portion (roughly 150g) risotto * 100g mixed vegetables (courgettes, broad beans, sugar snap peas)

1 Gently sweat a diced onion and chopped garlic clove in butter. Once softened, add risotto rice and a dash of olive oil. Still on a low heat, gradually add stock 100ml at a time, stirring from time to time. Allow rice to absorb stock, then add more and repeat. Cook the risotto until there is still bite in the rice (probably for 25 mins). Remove from heat. 2 Cut courgettes into 2cm dice, chop beans and halve peas. 3 Place a metal-handled pan on a medium heat and warm through. Add a splash of olive oil and place the salmon in the pan skin side down. After a minute, turn the salmon over and season the skin side. Place the pan in an oven at Gas Mark 4 (180C). Cook for eight minutes. Meanwhile, the risotto can be finished. 4 Add vegetables to risotto and cook through. Stir in a spoonful

* 1 small bunch rocket leaves * 1 small bunch watercress * Knob butter and dash olive oil * 500ml vegetable stock * Garlic clove of mascarpone and parmesan if desired, season to taste. 5 Blend rocket, watercress, oil, salt and pepper in a liquidiser, and use as a herb dressing around the dish. Garnish with sun-blushed tomatoes and serve. JACKSON STOPS INN Rookery Lane, Stretton, Rutland LE15 7RA, 01780 410237,

Duncan Murray’s wine recommendation P-L & J-F Bersan Bourgogne Aligoté A fiesta of limes, lemons and apples! This vibrant dry white has the right balance of roundness and acidity to match the rich salmon and risotto. Price: £9.99 Contact: Duncan Murray Wines, Market Harborough, 01858 464935,

To tie in with the British Pie Awards (see p7), here’s a fascinating recipe from Clarissa Dickson Wright, who will be one of the judges at the event. It’s also fitting to include this pie because in March the former Fat Lady appeared on BBC2’s Great British Food Revival talking about British Lop pigs and, as you’ll see, this pie has pork links! The recipe contains damsons, which won’t be ready till autumn, so you could try it with cherries or gooseberries. Note the pastry is made with pork lard. “This pie illustrates the use of lard in pastry making and shows the versatility of the pig,” says Clarissa.

Clarissa’s fruit pie Serves 4

* 450g plain flour * 1 tsp fine salt * 200g pork lard * 175ml water

GOT A RECIPE? Email it to recipes@great If it’s published you’ll win a subscription

* 250g damsons, stoned * 150g caster sugar * 2 slices membrillo * Clotted cream or crème fraiche, to serve

You will need a half-pound pie dolly for two pies. 1 Sift flour and salt together into a bowl. In a pan, heat the lard and water until lard has melted. Pour water and lard mix onto flour and stir with a wooden spoon until it becomes a smooth and malleable pastry. 2 Once cool enough to handle, place the pastry on a flat surface and put the dolly in the middle. Mould the pastry up the dolly until you have an even thickness, saving enough pastry for the lid. Repeat the method for either one or three more pies and place in the fridge to set. 3 Meanwhile, heat damsons with sugar over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved but fruit retains some shape. Remove from the heat.

4 Preheat oven to Gas 7 (220C). Once the pastry is set, place on a baking tray, remove dolly and place a slice of membrillo in the bottom. Pour in the damsons and then lay another slice of membrillo on top. 5 For each pie, shape the lid to fit, with a small amount extra, and place on top. Press the lid and the base together then neatly fold the seam over to create a crust. Put a small slit in the lid to allow steam to escape, and place in the oven for 45 minutes. Serve with clotted cream or crème fraiche. BUY THE BOOK Recipe from Great British Food Revival. Try www.

The King’s Arms

Top Street, Wing, Rutland LE15 8SE Tel. 01572 737634 email: A 17th Century Country Inn set in the idyllic village of wing in rutland. Full Asparagus Menu available soon. Sweetbreads to Quails Eggs, Wing Ham to Smoked Rutland Trout.


Home to Jimmy’s Smokehouse. Smokers and Curers of Meat and Fish

Light Bites and Main Courses. Prices from £5.50

Come and Taste the Difference

JAM & PRESERVES Rosemary Jameson Rosemary is passionate about jam. She makes preserves under her Jam on the Hill label and runs, the UK’s leading online retailer of jam-making equipment

Elderflower – the taste of an English summer Put all those beautiful hedgerow blooms to good use by making your own fragrant cordial and salad dressing


round this time of year, our hedgerows are transformed by a magical, fragrant dusting of lacy blooms that herald the start of summer. When you look closely at some of the flowerheads – some as big as dinner plates – their tiny, perfectly formed individual flowers contain an impossible amount of pollen that helps to explain their extraordinary ability to make yeasty Elderflower ‘Champagne’ with only the addition of lemon juice and sugar. At Jam on the Hill we make large amounts of elderflower cordial, which is really simple to produce (see below), although you’ve got to keep it in the fridge and it will only keep for three to four weeks at most. Alternatively, you can add a crushed Campden tablet (available from homebrew shops – try, which will help the cordial to keep for a few months unrefrigerated. Elderflower is also the perfect partner for the first fruit of spring – the gorgeous gooseberry – and together they make a great jam. Or why not try infusing a whole flower head

Jam on the Hill elderflower cordial * 900g granulated sugar * 50g citric acid * 2 lemons, sliced * 25 large elderflower heads


1 Put the sugar into a large mixing bowl and pour three litres of boiling water over. Stir to dissolve the sugar and then leave to cool. 2 Add the citric acid, which acts as a preservative, along with the lemons. 3 Shake the flower heads gently to get rid of any bugs and rinse carefully. Add to the contents of the bowl, stirring to combine. 4 Cover with a clean tea towel and leave for 24 hours to infuse. Stir from time to time. 5 Pour through a muslin-lined sieve into a jug, then decant into sterilised glass bottles and seal. 6 Cordial can be diluted to taste with iced sparkling mineral water or soda water.

50 Great Food Leicestershire & Rutland

(minus any creepy crawlies) in a large bowl of caster sugar? Leave it there for a few weeks, then sieve the sugar and store it for use in baking or to sprinkle onto fruit puree. If you are lucky enough to have a source of whitecurrants you can use them to make a beautiful jelly infused with elderflowers – strain the flowers out before pouring the jelly into pretty jars. Try dropping a string of whitecurrants into the jar before sealing tightly. A jar makes a charming gift accompanied by a few homemade shortbread biscuits – try serving with good quality vanilla ice-cream.

Superstar rhubarb I recently visited the famous rhubarb farm of E Oldroyd & Sons in West Yorkshire,

Rosemary Jameson Elderflower vinegar

This is easy but it’ll liven up your summer salads no end! * 10-15 elderflower heads * 1 pint/600ml white wine vinegar 1 Pick the heads when in full bloom and snip flowers from the stalks. Discard any insects! 2 Pack flowers into a clean jar then pour the vinegar over. Close, and leave in a sunny place for 2-3 weeks. 3 When ready, strain through muslin and decant vinegar into bottles. Seal, and store in a dry, dark cupboard.

Elderflower vinegar is delicious as a salad dressing mixed with a light oil, or try it as a drink – use like cordial diluted with sparkling, iced mineral water. Stupendous! and fulfilled a long-held ambition to visit the forcing sheds, those cathedrals of rhubarbian excellence. It was an almost mystical experience, the slightly eerie sight of bright pink sticks topped with an acid-green spear of leaf growing out of the bare roots in serried rows lit by candlelight. I loved the whole visit, which was enhanced by the amazing history of this farm, still owned and run by the same family stretching back over five generations. Janet Oldroyd Hulme gave a fascinating talk describing the background of rhubarb growing in this area, which is known as ‘The Rhubarb Triangle’. She described its rise and fall, and then brought us up to date with a jolt. Many of us have been raised being told that rhubarb is good for you, and many children were almost force-fed it during the Second World War (and consequently learned to hate it for the rest of their lives!). Latterly though, the humble stick of rhubarb (a vegetable, by the way) has been under the scientific microscope with rather exciting results. Rhubarb really is even better for us than we already suspected. The presence of powerful polyphenols – natural chemicals produced by the plant – help to prevent over-growth of cells and have been used alongside conventional drugs for cancers that have been resistant to regular treatment. Because the strength of the polyphenols, uniquely, is increased during the cooking process, patients are being prescribed a rhubarb crumble alongside their chemo treatment. Rhubarb freezes beautifully, so many patients are travelling to Oldroyd’s farm to collect boxes at a time to freeze for regular use. This discovery has brought an unexpected welcome renaissance in rhubarb growing to the area and new forcing sheds are being built. Of course, I managed to stow three 6kg boxes away in the boot of the coach and we now have many lovely rhubarby preserves ready for our discerning customers. The visits to E Oldroyd & Sons are over now for another year because the forced rhubarb season is a short one (running from January to March), but do take a trip there next year if you can. You won’t be disappointed. For more information, visit

British Mustard Festival...

OK – so it’s not until next year but you won’t want to miss it. The UK’s first Mustard Festival will be held right here in Leicestershire at the impressive Scalford Hall, which was the former home of Colonel Colman, founder of Colman’s mustard. It will be held over the weekend of March 10-11, 2012. More details later.

Sweet, spicy and special with sausages

Rhubarb’s health properties mean it’s undergoing a renaissance

Sweet chilli jam Summer barbeque season is here. This vibrant jam has a hot, sweet flavour that’s perfect with sausages.

* 8 red peppers, deseeded and roughly chopped * 1 0 red chillies, not deseeded, roughly chopped * 10cm length of fresh root ginger, peeled and roughly chopped * 8 garlic cloves, peeled * 400g tomatoes * 750g sugar * 250ml red wine vinegar * Juice of two lemons 1 Prepare everything – no need to chop finely as you next need to put all through a food processor and reduce down. 2 Put resulting ‘soup’ in a pan with vinegar and lemon juice. 3 Bring to the boil and then simmer for about 30 mins until reduced by approximately a third, stirring from time to time. 4 Add the sugar off the heat, stir until dissolved. 5 Return to the heat and cook for around 30 mins until thick. Stir frequently and do not leave the pan unattended as this preserve burns onto the pan very easily. 6 Although called a jam, this preserve won’t set like jam – it just needs to be thick, of a spreadable consistency. 7 Pot into small jars, use within six months, refrigerate once opened. Yummy!

Great Food Leicestershire & Rutland 51


Coming up in Great Food Leicestershire & Rutland...

Guarantee the next issue by subscribing for just £15 – see p15

Cool down with our local ice cream producers Meet the counties’ cornet-filling supremos


* Home & Kitchen section * Make your own lollies * Local chilli grower * Summer pub walk * More curry houses tested * Results from British Pie Awards

High Summer issue goes on sale July 6, 2011 Keep up to date with Great Food at



The Jam Jar Shop Strawberry Club Card gives 10% off all purchases at for one year, plus special offers.

To apply for a free card, just fill out the form… YOUR DETAILS



RRP £10. Mr/Mrs/Miss/Ms First name......................................................................................... Surname .................................................................................................................................... Address ...................................................................................................................................... Postcode.................................................................................................................................... Tel no ........................................................................................................................................... Email address.........................................................................................................................

PLEASE SEND YOUR COMPLETED FORM TO: Great Food, 7 Victoria St, Melton Mowbray, Leics LE13 0AR. Terms & conditions: The first 20 people drawn will receive a free Strawberry Club Card. Closing date June 29, 2011. Draw will take place on June 30. Opt-out option: Great Food Leicestershire & Rutland and Jam Jar Shop would like to contact you with details of offers that we feel might be of interest to you. Please tick here if you do not want to receive information by post [ ] phone [ ] email [ ]. 52 G reat Food Leicestershire & Rutland

The Peacock Inn at Redmile

Robert Reid @

The Jackson Stops

Weddings and events catered for in our two function rooms. Whether in the Rookery or the Garden Room, we have the perfect venue for your private function.


The Peacock Inn Church Corner, Redmile Nottingham NG13 0GA Telephone 01949 842554



“Booze and Snooze” offer

Any night of the week, 2 people sharing can enjoy Dinner, Bed & Full English Breakfast for £112.50 (£56.25 per person)



Steeped in history and nestling in the beautiful Vale of Belvoir, The Peacock Inn is a local country pub, restaurant and hotel and offers the perfect destination for both business and pleasure.

Robert Reid, along with Dave and Laura, welcome you to the Jackson Stops Country Inn. Our experienced team welcome old and new friends to enjoy our fine food with a warm and friendly atmosphere.


Rookery Lane, Stretton, Rutland, LE15 7RA

01780 410 237

Award Winning Pub ‘Where potions stir emotions’ Chocolate making workshops for 2 people £70

Truffle making parties/hen parties £20 per person T: 01509 238113 E: W: 5 Churchgate Mews, Loughborough, LE11 1TZ

p53_GF_MayJune11.indd Sec1:53

A charming building with 7 unique rooms over 3 floors and a large enclosed patio We have 5 real ales including our own White Hart Ale and an expansive wine list that we import ourselves from around the world. We specialise in stone baked, handmade pizzas, plus a wide range of other dishes. 12 St Pauls Street, Stamford, PE9 2BE Tel: 01780 753800

18/4/11 12:04:46


Taste of Thailand... Joanne squeezes lime juice over sea bass

Adding the mussel stock


Thai fish broth

“I’d like an aromatic seafood soup,” said Joanne Grew. “Your dish is my command,” replied Maiyango’s Phillip Sharpe


oconut milk, aromatic spices and fresh seafood – ingredients that transport you straight to South East Asia. Heated gently, their smell whisks you to a beach hut restaurant on the Thai island of Koh Pha Ngan, watching the sun set with a bottle of Singha beer, sand between your toes. Having travelled in South East Asia, those are exactly the sort of memories that Great Food reader Joanne Grew was keen for Maiyango head chef Phillip Sharpe to stir up. “I love seafood and adore Thai food, so asking Phil to cook this was a must,” says Joanne. “I’m always amazed how distinctive cooking smells can take you back instantly to the place you last breathed them in.”

54 Great Food Leicestershire & Rutland

Phil has also travelled in South East Asia and is a fan of Thai cuisine, so was very happy when Joanne asked him to cook his finest Thai fish broth. “Creating someone’s dream dish is always a pleasure,” says Phil. “This is one of my favourite recipes – it’s so vibrant and fresh-tasting.” READER’S PROFILE

Joanne Grew, 24, was brought up in Kenilworth and now lives in Peterborough. She is the assistant editor of a healthcare publication. “I adore cooking and like to create fish dishes when other seafood lovers are around.” You can read Joanne’s blog at

Did you know...?

Hotel Maiyango was one of six venues in England to be shortlisted for Small Hotel of the Year 2011 by Enjoy England (

Seafood “Some people seem to be scared of cooking fish but it pays to be confident with it and just get stuck in,” says Phil. “Most seafood is actually very simple to prepare and as with so many things in the kitchen, less is usually more.” Being a lover of scallops, Phil always has them on the menu at Maiyango and makes sure they’re hand-dived rather than dredged. “You definitely get what you pay for with scallops. Spending a bit more on them is worthwhile.” HOTEL MAIYANGO 13-21 St Nicholas Place, Leicester LE1 4LD 0116 2518898,

Thai fish curry

Phil’s essential cooking tips








”You must be careful with mussels as they can cause of food poisoning. Before you do anything else, go through them and pick out and discard any open ones – they are likely to be bad. Wash the remainder in fresh water, which causes some to open. Firmly tap on the worktop any mussels that have opened. The good ones’ shells will close. Get rid of ones that don’t. Those that didn’t open in the first place are OK to use.”


“I never peel ginger because there are so many nutrients in the peel. Just give it a good wash before chopping.”


“Instead of peeling and finely chopping garlic, which is fiddly, try crushing your clove with the flat knife blade, discard the peel, then use the blunt edge of your knife to cut/ crush before using the flat blade again to smooth into a paste.”


“Don’t eat seafood on a Monday as fishermen don’t work on Sundays! By Monday, fish served in some restaurants is days old.”


& 6 “My OXO Good Grip peeler is the best I’ve ever used, while TK Maxx is great for getting hold of pots and pans. This saucepan only cost about £6 and it will last forever.”


Get involved


Each issue, Phil Sharpe, head chef at Maiyango, creates a reader’s dream dish. If you’d like him to cook yours, email editorial@

Thai fish broth

Making the Thai broth

Serves 4

* 500g mussels * Whole filleted sea bass

* 200g halibut * 4 scallops * 1 stick lemon grass * 1 chilli & 1 clove garlic * 1 diced onion

* 1 diced carrot * 1 tbsp curry powder * 1 tin coconut milk * 1 lime * Fresh coriander & mint

* 20g diced ginger * 100ml milk

Mussel stock 1 De-beard mussels, clean, select eight of the biggest and set aside. 2 Gently sweat half the onion and carrot, add remaining mussels and cover with cold water before simmering for 10 minutes. Pass stock through conical strainer (or sieve) and reserve. Thai broth 1 Sweat the chilli, ginger, garlic and remaining carrots and onions. Smash lemon grass and chop before adding to the rest of the mix. When softened, add curry powder and a

teaspoon of vegetable oil before dry-roasting for 4-5 minutes. 2 Add the mussel stock, reduce by half, then add the coconut milk and cow’s milk and reduce by half again. 3 Remove from the heat and add the coriander and mint, before covering with cling film and leaving to rest for as long as possible to allow the flavours to infuse (minimum of 20 minutes). Cooking the fish 1 Cut both the halibut and sea bass into four

or five pieces. In a very hot pan, place sea bass skin side down and allow edges to colour before adding lime juice and butter. Cook for another minute or so and then remove fish pieces from the pan (don’t turn the fish). 2 Repeat process for halibut, then place the scallops in a clean, extremely hot pan and cook for a minute or until golden brown and remove. 3 Pass the broth through a sieve, and then pour into a clean pan. 4 Add the uncooked mussels, and when they have opened add the remainder of the fish. Remove from the heat and serve.

Great Food Leicestershire & Rutland 55



Bringing home the bacon

Making your own bacon not only saves money and tastes great, but is better for pig welfare. By Matt Gregory


acon is the great leveller: Achilles’ heel of vegetarians, fuel of White Van Man, hobby horse of princes and English Breakfast staple. The beauty of bacon is its convenience, versatility and great taste. Sadly, the last bit is slowly being eroded in favour of price. Great bacon, however, does not have to be expensive. In fact, the tastiest bacon can be the cheapest, because making your own is simple. Although I’ve gone the whole, or rather the half hog here, you can just as easily buy a belly or middle of pork ready to cure.

What you’ll need If you do decide to buy a half pig like I’ve done here (see panel on right for details), to cut it up yourself you’ll need a big sharp knife, a small sharp knife and a hacksaw. Make sure your table and all your tools are scrupulously clean and the room is as cool as possible. Have everything ready before the pig arrives. You only have to make three cuts to divide the half pig into its main joints, and for bacon we need the middle section. It is important to only use the saw to cut bone, and to wipe bone dust off the meat after sawing.

BLADE Packed with flavour and fatty, so ideal for slow cooking

JOWL Gelatinous and good for sausages

PICNIC SHOULDER A perfect cut for braised pork and chorizo in red wine

PORKY CUTS 56 Great Food Leicestershire & Rutland

LOIN This section supplies the back bacon

BELLY Streaky bacon comes from here

Want to know more?

Oakham-based bacon maker Matt Gregory has his own blog where he shares foodie ideas, recipes and more. Check it out at www.mattgregory.


DIY BACON V SUPERMARKET BACON 5.5kg homemade bacon: £30 5.5kg premium supermarket bacon: £60.75

LEG End fillet, middle fillet and shank end come from the leg

HOCK & TROTTERS Two flavoursome and cheap cuts of pork





Cut between the first and second vertebrae – the last straight joint before the tail starts. Saw through the cartilage, then use the big knife to cut the meat – it should just miss the tip of the hip bone.

Saw through the spine at cartilage between vertebrae, leaving as much meat on the shoulder as possible. Stop sawing as soon as you are cutting meat. Complete the cut with the big knife.

To make this cut, use the gap between the fourth and fifth ribs – counting down from the head – as your cutting mark. Use the hacksaw to cut the ribs and spine, finish with the big knife.


For the bacon you will need about 2kg of salt (ordinary table salt is fine), 500g of sugar (the sugar is optional – brown sugar will produce darker bacon), a non-metallic tub that the bacon will fit in and itself will fit in your fridge. Herbs, in this case bay, are also optional.



Trim mid-section of excess fat. Using the small knife, cut the ribs off and remove spine. The ribs should be left with very little meat on. You can get your butcher (or producer) to get your pork to this stage – trimmed, boned and ready to be cut to size to fit in your curing tub.



Cut the belly longways, removing the “eye” of meat that is the back bacon. I had to cut it in half to fit in the curing tub. The belly piece will be bigger than the back piece, but should still only need halving to get in the fridge.


Happy pigs are tasty pigs, and the happiest pigs live outside. Only “free range” on the label means this. The equation is simple: the higher the welfare standard the more expensive, and tasty, the pork, but the trend is slowed if you can buy directly from the producer, and the more you buy the cheaper it gets: the half pig for this project cost under £5/kg.


Chris and Penny of Saxby Rare Breeds raise English Saddleback pigs, Jacob sheep, turkeys and geese. They diversified from livery after the hunting ban. They can joint pork and lamb to your needs, so you don’t have to embark on home butchery, but why not give it a go? A half pig weighing 20-25kg costs £120. Whole Jacob lambs (up to 20kg) are £95, and hoggets (up to 28kg) £120. They do a terrific hog roast too! Saxby Rare Breeds: 01572 724317, 07753 658846,




Mix the dry cure ingredients together and rub thoroughly into the pork. Store in the fridge for four days, rotating the pieces every day and pouring off excess water.



Hang the bacon to drip dry for several hours, ensure that it is free from flies and high temperatures. When dry, wrap loosely in muslin or cotton, and store in the fridge.

After drying, the bacon takes several days in the fridge to mature. Three to five days will get it tasting fantastic. It will keep this way for several weeks, but for longer storage it freezes well. Slice your back bacon as thickly as you like and fry gently in a dry pan until it’s just the way you like it, place between bread and eat. The streaky is exceptionally good for cooking in chunks when a recipe calls for lardons or pancetta, but makes a great sandwich too.

We produced 2.5kg of back bacon and 3kg of streaky. All of it was unsmoked, dry cured, free range, rare breed and local. The half Saddleback pig cost £120. Broken down, the back and belly cost £30, the ham £50 and the shoulder £40 (head was free). Premium supermarket unsmoked dry cure back bacon costs around £12.95/kg, with premium streaky costing £9.46/kg.

Great Food Leicestershire & Rutland 57

Northeld Farm Shop OPEN 7 DAYS

AS SEEN ON THE GREAT BRITISH FOOD REVIVAL ON BBC2! O Rare and Traditional Breed British Beef, Pork, Lamb, Poultry and Game. O Melton Mowbray Pork Pies and Award Winning Apple Pies, plus other pastries all handmade here O Fresh Local Vegetables, Bakery, Cheeses and MUCH more O Tea Room and Restaurant open 7 days for meals, snacks, teas and coffees O Fabulous Amphora Wine Workshop on site

OPEN FARM SUNDAY HERE ON JUNE 12TH FAMILY FRIENDLY – ALL WELCOME! WHISSENDINE LANE, COLD OVERTON, NR. OAKHAM, LEICESTERSHIRE LE15 7QF 01664 474271 email: In 2010 we have received many accolades including Farmer’s Weekly Local Food Farmer National Finalist Top 10 Farm Shops – The Times Best British Apple Pie – British Pie Awards Gold Great Taste Award – Rutland Panther Bacon Best Pork Sausages - Melton Christmas Fat Stock Show

The award-winning wine merchant on your doorstep An extensive, often exclusive, selection of fantasticallyflavoursome yet affordable wines and expert advice - come and see for yourself. • Free Saturday tastings from 12-3pm • Bespoke wine tastings available • Wines from small producers • Sale or return and glass hire for special events • Local and nationwide delivery 10 Adam & Eve Street, Market Harborough, Leicestershire, LE16 7LT Tel: 01858 464935

at Lowerfields Mushroom Farm, Packington, Leics we grow Maitake, Enoki, Buna Shimeji, Shiro Shimeji, Shiitake, Golden Enoki & Oyster Mushrooms - all picked daily on our farm.

Also on sale is our award winning Pedigree Hereford Beef, hung on the bone for a minimum of 7 weeks, again 100% home produced and butchered in our own on farm butchery. OPENING HOURS: Mon-Fri 0800hrs-1700hrs, Sat 0800hrs-1230hrs

Visit our website:

Wines, beers and spirits with personality

p58_GF_MayJune11.indd Sec1:58

18/4/11 12:06:58


A cut above

Sick of sirloin? Fed up with fillet? Here are three less familiar but flavoursome cuts of beef that are making a comeback


n most Sunday lunch or steak menus it’s the same. Rib, sirloin, topside, rump… and that’s usually your lot. You might see brisket, or the occasional chuck steak in a beef stew, but rarely anything to make you raise your eyebrows. But there’s more to beef than those common cuts and Hambleton Farms Fine Foods of Oakham contacted Great Food eager to show off some more interesting segments. “For flavour, you’re better off with a hard-working part of the beast,” says Lindsay Cottrell, shop manager at Hambletons. “Fillet is tender because it comes from a muscle that’s hardly used. Because of that, some people think fillet lacks a little taste. Compare it with a slowcooked flat rib, for example [see below], and you’ll see what I mean. “At Hambletons we’re keen for our customers to experiment with more unusual cuts and we’re happy to point them in different directions. Russell [Hudson, head butcher] has 26 years of butchery experience so knows every bit of cow under the sun!” So next time you’re buying beef, why not try something a little different? You might have to cook it longer but it’ll be worth it. Left: Oakham Hambleton head butcher Russell Hudson. Below: shop boss Lindsay Cottrell.













Three traditional cuts you should try

These cuts used to be favourites in our grandparents’ day but went out of fashion. Now, with more interest in slow-cooking and ‘nose to tail’ butchery, they’re back on our food agendas...


Also known as a Butler’s or Top Blade steak, this cut comes from the shoulder or chuck. Making its way onto a growing number menus – including that of the Marquess of Exeter, Lyddington – flat iron steaks need ‘seaming’ by the butcher to remove a tough layer of sinew. Once seamed, this cut is very tender indeed and great chargrilled. Beautifully marbled and flat iron steaks also absorb flavours well. “Great with teriyaki sauce,” says Lindsay.


This cut is part of a section of rib called the Jacob’s ladder and is known as short rib in the US. “Braising is the only way to cook flat rib in my opinion,” says Lindsay. “If you slow cook it on the bone for eight hours you’ll get the most amazing flavour. That’s because this cut contains lots of fat, which melts throughout the meat during slow cooking. There are some stunning American recipes for flat rib if you search the internet.”


“This is a large slow-roasting joint that comes from an area of the cow that’s part forerib, part chuck,” says Russell. “It doesn’t require quite so much cooking as brisket but you’ll need to give it a good amount of time in the oven to tenderise. Again, it’s all about flavour with this joint – cooked well it will taste superb.” A King Arthur’s roast is good value for money, too – and the name makes it perfect for St George’s Day!

HAMBLETON FARMS Gaol Street, Oakham, Rutland LE15 8AQ, 01572 724455,

Great Food Leicestershire & Rutland 59


Britain’s best wine list Love wine? Then Hambleton’s a must


he AA’s hospitality awards have been running for 13 years, and its wine list award is highly respected within the industry. From the regional winners, an overall “best wine list” prize is bestowed on an establishment that offers an “outstanding contribution to promoting the understanding and appreciation of wine”. In other words this award is not for the longest and most expensive list with the most famous châteaux on it. Hambleton Hall’s wine list is overall winner for England, Scotland and Wales for 2010/2011 and as proprietor Tim Hart commented at the awards dinner, “this award brings welcome recognition for 30 years of effort and enthusiasm”. Dominique Baduel, the sommelier is clear that as with many things “size is not important, but breadth is”. Concentrating on smaller producers and less wellknown regions, the list constantly evolves, and strives to offer variety and value. The ‘Wines of the Moment’ section of the list epitomises this, with seasonal bottles to match the menu as well as new and exciting discoveries and wines that are drinking especially well. This section tends to be under £35 a bottle, too. The list offers, in this arena, extra special value in the £50 to £70 per bottle range. The hotel is able to buy up parcels of wine on release and will cellar them for up to 10 years (and sometimes longer) before they find their way on to the list. These wines are often then unavailable to buy from wine merchants, and if they were would be a similar price to that offered on the wine list. My personal pick of these particular gems would be the 1990 Domaine Henri Gouges Nuits St Georges 1er Cru Les St Georges, which is now long gone from the

60 Great Food Leicestershire & Rutland

Left: Tim Hart and Dominique Baduel (right) receive the AA award Hotel proprietor Tim in Hambleton’s wine cellar

shops, perfectly mature and possibly underpriced at £105. The Burgundy and Rhone sections make up the core of the wine offering, with Bordeaux refreshingly playing second fiddle. The new world is well represented too. Dominique, who has been at the hotel for 12 years, is particularly excited by the likes of the 2005 Domaine de la Grange des Peres, Vin de Pays de l’Hérault at £76, a Cabernet-based blend from the South of France that offers “the structure of a Rhone wine but the aromatic quality of a burgundy, a steel fist in a velvet glove”. Sounds terrific to me too. MG

Coming up at Hambleton Hall... Saturday, May 14

Tutored tasting and light lunch

12 noon, lunch served at 1.15pm, £70. Sommelier Dominique Baduel’s (below) early summer tasting will compare and contrast light and fruity summer wines from different areas.

Tuesday, June 7

Visiting gardens with horticulture expert Neil Hewerston

10am to 4pm, £75, including morning coffee and a threecourse lunch with wine. A visit to three exceptional local gardens with Neil, head gardener at Stowell Park.

Thursday, June 23

Birds, views, supper, booze

6.30pm to 10pm from Whitwell Creek, £90 including a £10 donation to Rutland Water Nature Reserve, supper and wine. Tim Appleton, Nature Reserve manager and Tim Mackrill, osprey team officer, will be on board to discuss the flora and fauna of the reservoir.

HAMBLETON HALL Hambleton, Oakham, Rutland LE15 8TH, 01572 756991,

Local cheese

Lincolnshire Poacher

An award-winning modern classic, says Tim Brown


o far, all my columns have been about local cheeses with heritage. The nearest thing to tradition for my subject in this issue is an old English folk song. Named after the ditty, Lincolnshire Poacher cheese was developed by Simon Jones and made with his brother Tim at their farm in Alford near Market Rasen. Faced with abundant supplies of good quality spring milk from their herd of 230 Holsteins, the family turned to cheese making in 1992, and Lincolnshire Poacher was born. For a long time it was

unpasteurised milk and traditional animal rennet, it is similar to mature Cheddar, and aged for around 14 months. It has a hard, waxy and quite chewy texture, with a lively, complex, rich flavour and lingering finish. Tim and Simon describe Poacher as a cross between Comté and traditional West Country Cheddar, which sounds like a great combination. It’s very versatile – great for the cheeseboard, eat with a ploughmans, or simply grate. For a treat, it can be baked with onions, bacon and potatoes for a

the only cheese made in Lincolnshire. It became a much loved modern British cheese and was named Supreme Champion at the British Cheese Awards in 1996. At the 2010 Awards, it was awarded Best Modern British Cheese. Lincolnshire Poacher has become one of the best selling cheeses at my shop, The Melton Cheeseboard, and we source it straight from the farm. Made with

heartwarming winter meal. We find it’s very popular as the bottom tier for a cheese wedding cake – it makes a great foundation! As well as straight Poacher, there’s also a smoked version. Mature cheeses are sent to a smokehouse close to the farm, where they are cold smoked over oak chippings. This process gives Poacher a golden brown colour and strong smoked aroma and

Lincolnshire Poachers Simon (left) and Tim Jones

“We find it’s very popular as the bottom tier for a cheese wedding cake”

Above: Poacher ready to eat Below: The full Poacher team




Making Poacher at Alford, Lincs



• FO O D

Lincolnshire Poacher

flavour, although you can still taste the cheese. Full of character, it won the title of Best FlavourAdded Cheese at last year’s British Cheese Awards. The boys have continued to expand their product range, and have just launched Lincolnshire Red. It’s available in limited quantities, and is based on a traditional Red Leicester recipe but given a modern twist. Matured for six months – much less than Poacher but more than most Red Leicesters (especially supermarket ‘rubbery block’ versions), the traditional colouring, annatto, is added to differentiate it from Poacher, and it’s also made using vegetarian rennet. It has a moist, creamy texture with a delicate buttery flavour, and a nice clean finish that lingers on the palate. As you’d expect from a cheese shop recently listed by Alex James [formerly of Blur, now a cheese maker] in The Times as being one of the top 18 in the UK, we stock all these fine cheeses and, as usual, the challenge is thrown to you – come and try them!


CONTACT Tim Brown runs The Melton Cheeseboard 8 Windsor Street, Melton, Leics LE13 1BU,, 01664 562257

Great Food Leicestershire & Rutland 61



Everards’ Tiger Local Hero competition is hotting up. One nominee is Glynn Attiwell, so Great Food went to find out why


verards’ Tiger Local Hero initiative aims to find people who contribute to good local causes but don’t often win recognition. It recognises unsung champions of the local community who deserve praise. Last year’s Tiger Local Hero was Patrick Thurlby from Over Haddon, Derbyshire, a 73-yearold former pub landlord who was involved in charity work and who delivered prescriptions to people who couldn’t leave the house. After receiving the most votes among the 16 finalists, Patrick won £1000 from the familyowned Leicester brewery – £500 for himself and £500 going to his chosen charity. Nominations are now closed in this year’s search for a Tiger Local Hero, but voting is open. Keen to publicise a foodie candidate for the 2011 crown, Great Food trawled the list of nominations and found 36-year-old Glynn Attiwell from Colsterworth, just outside Rutland...

Community minded Glynn works for Rutland County Council as an employment development co-ordinator. Part of his role is to work with people who need help to find employment. He also works closely with social enterprise Out


WHO? Glynn Attiwell FROM Colsterworth WHY NOMINATED? For helping adults with learning difficulties and mental health issues; for raising money for charity; for running bike doctor sessions in his own free time. HIS LOCAL PUB The Wheatsheaf, 2-4 Northgate, Oakham, where Glynn has been known to enjoy a pint of Everards’ Tiger. VOTING DETAILS To vote for Glynn or to see the other Tiger Local Hero nominees, go to

of the Rut (see box), and as a result regularly gives up time to work in the social enterprise’s Oakham fruit and veg shop, selling produce grown and prepared locally by adults with learning difficulties. “We’re planting more veg at an allotment in Oakham and will be selling that in the shop as soon as it’s ready,” he says. The point of the exercise is to educate and inspire people with disabilities by involving them in a commercial project, acting as a stepping stone to real employment. “Being able to make a difference to someone’s life is great,” says Glynn. “But it’s getting

OUT OF THE RUT Oakham-based Out of the Rut is a shop selling fruit and veg grown locally by people with disabilities and mental health issues. It’s a joint project run by Rutland County Council and a social enterprise, also called Out of the Rut. The latter, based in Lyndon, Rutland, exists to help people with disabilities get back into work and society by providing training and experience. Not only can you buy local fruit and veg from the greengrocer in Church Passage, Oakham – also on sale are a range of pickles, local honey and handmade greetings cards. Out of the Rut in Oakham is open Monday to Saturday, 9am-4.30pm. tougher – there are now fewer incentives for employers to take on staff with learning difficulties.”

Bicycle hero Not content with all that, Glynn has been cycling 28 miles to work and back for four days a week from Colsterworth to Oakham, raising £400 for Macmillan Cancer Support. He’s also doing it

to encourage people to use their bikes as a more environmentally friendly, healthy way of travelling. “I hope it will make people think about their journeys a bit more,” he says. The Local Hero nominee has been helping out at bike doctor days, too, sacrificing his time to offer basic safety checks to people’s bicycles and give maintenance advice.


Voting is live for Tiger Local Hero 2011. To see all 16 candidates and cast your vote, go to Stephen Gould, Everards managing director, says: “We want to recognise the efforts of unsung heroes. The Tiger Local Hero campaign is an opportunity for people to recognise and reward the selfless individuals who are the heartbeat of our communities.”

Out of the Rut sells veg grown locally by people with learning difficulties

62 Great Food Leicestershire & Rutland

Matching beer with food

Fire extinguishers

In most Indian restaurants you’ll be offered fizzy lager with your Jalfrezi, but the perfect beer for spicy food is IPA. By Mark Tetlow


ndia. 1615. You’ve been Mark Tetlow is head of away from Leicestershire quality control for Leicester for a year. The local Indian brewer Everards and has a brewery has just released its Master Brewer diploma. He’s got a gallon of ale knowledge new beer, based on an English recipe. Imagine your excitement as you raise the tankard to your lips. Imagine the crushing disappointment as you find the beer is sour and undrinkable. This happened quite a bit during the early 17th century because the ale brewed locally in India was often spoiled due to the heat and poor-quality materials and ingredients. However, all was not lost. The answer came from back home in Blighty. One of the local breweries to the docks, Hodgson’s Bow Brewery, produced a beer that was strong (7%ABV or more), made from pale roasted malts and with large amounts of hops. It seemed to thrive on the long

voyage to India. Happily, the higher alcohol content helped it to stabilise, plus lots of hops acted as an antiseptic and preservative. No more disappointment for Brits in India, and this style of beer eventually became known as India Pale Ale. Ultimately demand for this style of beer was so great that other breweries, particularly in Burton-on-Trent, were commissioned to brew similar ales to keep up with demand abroad, and IPA became increasingly popular on the domestic market. The legacy we have today, some 400 years later, is a pale, hoppy beer that tends to hover around the 5%ABV mark. Coincidentally, it seems to go remarkably well with spicy food, so next time you’re in an Indian restaurant, see if you can convince the proprietor to stock up.

“Coincidentally, IPA seems to go remarkably well with spicy food”

Mark’s tips for curry-friendly beers Everards Original 5.2%

Golden, coppery pint that has surprising and pleasant fruity overtones combining with a gentle malty aroma. On the palate the fruitiness comes through again, but a more vinous character emerges. The overall effect is one of eminent drinkability that at this strength is perilous!

Robinsons Old Tom Original 8.5%

Very dark in the glass with red flashes, warming notes of cherry brandy and port. These combine with dark chocolate and roast chestnut flavours to produce a smokily rich pint that is balanced by the bitterness of the hops.

Theakston Old Peculiar

5.7% Needing little introduction, this very dark amber ale from Yorkshire brewer Theakston has a distinct dried fruit nose leading to a full-bodied pint. It has a tangy hop edge with pleasant bitterness to the finish.

Oakham Ales JHB

3.8% Pale golden beer that looks more like a lager than an ale. Tangerine peel aromatics lead to a substantially hoppy, bitter palate that is both enlivening and very refreshing. A very good ale for summer beer gardens.

Meantime IPA 7.5%

Possibly the nearest we are going to get to a 17th century IPA in its original form. Hugely hoppy using only English hops. Golden amber in the glass with complex aromas of ginger, marzipan and marmalade. The palate is full and complex too, with toffee and honey underlying the hop structure.

Great Food Leicestershire & Rutland 63

LEICESTERSHIRE FOOD LINKS Sallie Hooper Sallie is co-ordinator for Leicestershire Food Links, a group set up to promote local food and drink. When it comes to food made on your doorstep, Sallie knows her onions.

Love your loaf! There are few things more delicious than genuine bread made with local ingredients. Get baking, urges Sallie Hooper


have a secret love. I am passionate about bread – Real Bread – not pappy white sliced or mass manufactured puffs of wheat but loaves with character, taste and provenance. My heart sang when I saw Michel Roux Jnr. extolling its virtues on BBC2’s Great British Food Revival earlier in the year. I want to get floury with him and give him a big ‘well done’ hug. So what is Real Bread? According to the Real Bread Campaign, Real Bread has four ingredients: flour, water, salt and yeast. Rather than “nowt taken out” it’s more a case of nowt put in that’s not necessary. Not a whiff of processing aids, artificial additives, flour improvers or the rest. What’s not to love about a loaf that has been made with care and great ingredients and tastes like a slice of heaven? Great ingredients are not far away from us in Leicestershire and Rutland, either – hiding in Whissendine is one of my favourite food heroes, Nigel Moon of Whissendine Windmill (pictured). A visit to the mill – you really should go – will instantly suck you back into the 19th century, as will a trip to the Ullesthorpe Windmill, where there are guided tours (enjoy the story of its lucky escape from a World War II German bomber). For those further to the west, drop in on the Cravens at Claybrooke Water Mill for their extensive range of flours and cereals.

Melton Big Bake competition In stark contrast, it’s a bit of a shocker to know that only 3% of our daily bread is made by craft bakers.

Melton Mowbray Country Fair Taking place on June 26 on the town parks, the Country Fair is a great family day out. The Big Bake competition is just a small part of an eclectic event that will see food stalls, bands, classic cars, Victorian dancers and more. Great Food will be there too. 64 Great Food Leicestershire & Rutland

Above: Big Bake at last year’s Melton Show. Below: local miller Nigel Moon.

Bearing this in mind and the horrible thought of the possible demise of the decent loaf, last year Leicestershire Food Links decided to back the Campaign by holding the Melton BIG BAKE competition. It was time to wave the flag for the brilliant bakers in the Midlands by holding the only Real Bread contest outside the capital. Competition from professional bakers was fierce and local entrants – including Hambleton, Manor Oven and Paul’s Organic Bakeries – fired up their ovens to compete for the title of ‘Upper Crust 2010’. This year’s competition is hotting up and bakers are getting floured up and ready for the event, which will be held at the Melton Country Fair on Sunday June 26. So if you feel passionate about baking, compete with a loaf or a cake. Or just come along and eat Real Bread.

Bread-making resurgence The baking revival is long overdue. I am currently overwhelmed with info on baking clubs, courses, school projects, homemade clay ovens, county shows with bake-offs and best of all – the development of community bakeries offering bread baked by local people. Real Bread that’s right up your street! I think American TV chef Julia Child summed it up when she said: “How can a nation be great if its bread tastes like Kleenex?” So in true campaign style, I throw down the gauntlet – get involved with Real Bread locally and love your loaf! CONTACT For more information see and or contact Sallie at

Food business THE INSIDER

Tweeting pies

How social media can help your business, by Helen Chantrey


t’s glorious outside. I’m almost tempted to write while sipping Pimm’s, though that might be a touch decadent considering it’s Monday morning. Back to the grindstone then… This issue I want to focus on digital and social media – mainly Twitter and Facebook. I’ve picked out four things that local food businesses should consider using social media for. I’ve also been chatting to Olivia Scrimshaw from local food business Scrimshaw’s pork pies. She’s recently set up her business and has a super story.


Showcase your story

Social and digital media is a dream as it’s inexpensive. Use the free online space to tell your story visually through photos and videos (remember to load them on to YouTube and tag them to help with search engine optimisation). This is a sure way to get close to your customers.


Get feedback

Once you’ve got a following on Facebook or Twitter, you have a ready-made panel of researchers, and plenty will be willing to give feedback. Some national brands have done this brilliantly. Marmite, a firm favourite of mine, set up an exclusive Facebook group called the Marmarati whose fans helped design a new type of spread called Marmite XO. Why not ask your followers how you could improve?


Get more fans

Social media is only useful if you have a big enough following. There are smart ways of getting more fans. On Twitter or Facebook, why not give away freebies to your 100th follower, for example. I was enticed to follow Wensleydale Creamery on Twitter because of their offer to give away a selection of cheeses to their 100th follower. I missed out on the freebie but I’ve become a fan of their cheeses and now take interest in their news. Something else to consider is paid-for Facebook ads. These can be cost-effective and a handy way to boost your fan base.


Give each medium a role and connect them

The clearer you are on what you want to get from each medium, the easier it is to write suitable content and judge each one’s success. For example, Twitter can be good for connecting with bloggers and journalists. Research who you want as an advocate and follow them, inviting them to follow you and sending them tasty treats and info. Facebook is a good place to showcase a brand’s story and can help direct people to your website, which needs to be a hub of activity, information and ideally a place to sell your product directly. Collect data about your consumers, particularly email addresses: you don’t need to bombard people with email marketing, but select offers could really help to drive sales.

The Insider’s top three… As summer is flirting with us, here are my favourite summery products: HEART OF GOLD RAPESEED OIL. It’s made in Vale of Belvoir and is delicious on light salads: www.heartofgold DELI-CIOUS FIG OR RASPBERRY VINEGAR is the perfect accompaniment to the rapeseed oil for a tasty vinaigrette: HEDGEROW SPIRITS VODKA & BLACKBERRY Add a dash to a glass of prosecco for a refreshing sundowner (also see p9). If you need help with developing the communication or innovation strategy for your business, please visit my website www.hownow or give me a call on 07900 212204/ 01476 879173

Case study:

Scrimshaw’s Pork Pies, a local food company that’s recently been revived by the founder’s granddaughter. THE HISTORY: Olivia’s (Liv) Scrimshaw’s grandparents, Thomas and Winifred Scrimshaw, grew up as bakers and opened Scrimshaw’s Ltd, a butcher specialising in pork pies and sausages. Thomas died at 42 with no adult family successors, so the company was sold a few years later. Two generations on, Liv was taught about her pork pie heritage by her father and after much research and plenty of pork pie sampling, was inspired to revive the family business. THE PRODUCT: Premium pork pies encased in black wrapping paper with a label of her grandfather’s signature trolley bus. The pies are made locally near Melton Mowbray, with an adapted recipe for today’s tastes. The pastry is buttery but not too heavy, the meat is well seasoned and doesn’t have too much jelly. I’ve tried them and can wholeheartedly recommend Scrimshaw’s pies. ROLE OF SOCIAL MEDIA: It has enabled Liv to showcase her story and the heritage of the product to her fans and to potential stockists. Facebook keeps up to date with new stockists and has plenty of photos to bring the brand to life. It’s an effective and inexpensive way to get a food brand up and running. Liv uses Twitter to follow people in the industry and get their input on trends so she can tailor messages and products to suit her Scrimshaw’s fans. WHERE TO BUY: Scrimshaw’s are getting new listings each week but local stockists include The CakeHole, Barrowby, and The Old Volunteer, Nottingham. They are also stocked exclusively in Harvey Nicholls, London. CONTACT: 07734 330927,,

HELEN CHANTREY On Twitter as @Scrimshaws

Helen runs How Now Marketing and previously worked for Unilever. She’s managed the growth of a range of brands including Marmite, Peperami and Charlie Bigham’s.

Great Food Leicestershire & Rutland 65


La dolce vita

San Carlo’s buzzing Giro D’Italia nights are bringing Italy’s varied regional cuisine to Leicestershire


eicestershire has pork pie and Stilton; Somerset has Cheddar cheese; the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy has balsamic vinegar and Parmigiano Reggiano. It seems that we’re only just starting to appreciate our regional food here in the UK while Italians have been worshipping theirs forever. Italian food is hugely rich in culture, with each of the country’s 20 regions having its own traditional dishes. In recognition of this, San Carlo restaurant in Leicester is holding a series of monthly nights, each devoted to a region in Italy. Called Giro D’Italia (‘Tour of Italy’), each event

– to the soundtrack of live jazz – focuses on an Italian region, with each menu consisting of dishes typical of that geographical area. There will be one of these evenings on every first Tuesday of the month for the next 19 months, each comprising a four-course menu designed to bring authentic homemade dishes to the people of Leicestershire. The first Giro D’Italia in April was devoted to Lazio and offered dishes like Porchetta Romana (stuffed pork served on a bed of cannellini beans) and Carciofi alla Giuda (baked young artichokes in lemon juice, garnished with grated Pecorino Romano).

The Giro D’Italia concept, which is running in all six of San Carlo’s UK restaurants, was dreamed up by Leicester-based Giamba Picciano Moss and is co-directed by Fabio Vassallo, manager at San Carlo Leicester. The pictures here were all taken on the Lazio leg of the Giro D’Italia journey. The next regions are Toscana, Sicilia and Piemonte, taking place on May 3, June 7 and July 5 respectively. SAN CARLO 38 Granby St, Leicester LE1 1DE, 0116 2519332,

LEFT: Horacio Agulla (centre) and Marco Ayerza (right). CENTRE: Jan and friends from Rothley. RIGHT (l-r): Ricardo, Giamba Picciano Moss, Bruno and Fabio

66 Great Food Leicestershire & Rutland

Out & About

Molly Smitten-Downes on the microphone

The sights and sounds of the Lazio Giro Dâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Italia. On the right, bowing before the camera is head chef Mauro Vitali. Above: chef David with quite a lot of veg! Bruno, Luca and Amanda from Loughborough

Carciofi alla Giuda Serves 4 Artichokes: * 500g globe artichokes * 1 tbsp bicarb of soda * Salt Dressing * Zest of 1 lemon * Segments of 1 lemon * 1 tbsp capers * 8 anchovies * 1 tbsp white wine vinegar

Once of the most famous dishes in Roman cuisine

* Juice of 2 lemons * 6 sundried tomatoes * 10g Pecorino cheese * 2 tbsp olive oil * 1 tbsp balsamic

vinegar * Mint to taste * Salt and black pepper to taste

1 Boil artichokes in water for about 8 minutes. 2 Add juice of two lemons, salt and bicarb of soda. Continue to boil until tender. 3 Rinse until cool, remove outer leaves and work with the artichoke hearts. 4 Drain hearts and fry for two minutes. 5 Sprinkle Pecorino cheese on the top and grill hearts for one minute. 6 Put them on a bed of mixed salad leaves and garnish with sundried tomatoes. Make dressing and pour over before serving.

Great Food Leicestershire & Rutland 67

Farm shop map Good farm shops sell great-tasting, fresh food that hasn’t travelled far. Check opening hours before setting off. This map is updated every issue

Keyworth, Notts

We’re surrounded by fantastic food yet we’ve all got into the habit of buying produce that’s 7 CHANTRY travelled half way across the country, or even FARM SHOP Melbourne around the world. Any chef will tell you that the best-tasting stuff is seasonal, fresh and hasn’t 29 been stored in the back of a lorry or jet plane PRIORY FARM SHOP Breedon-on-the-Hill for hours. The best restaurants tend to source A42 their produce from local farmers for this reason. If you don’t already, why not increase the quality of the food you eat THE MUSHROOM BASKET and support local farmers and businesses Ashby de Packington by giving your local farm shop or 25 la Zouch farmers’ market (see p13) a go?

Ashley Herb Farm (herb nursery & farm shop) 45 Main St, Ashley LE16 8HG web: tel: 01858 565722



Attfields Farm Shop Countesthorpe Rd, Whetstone LE8 6LD web: tel: 0116 2771476




Loughborough STONEHURST FAMILY FARM & MUSEUM Mountsorrel





COOK’S FARM SHOP Newtown Linford


Brockleby’s Farm Shop Melton Road, Asfordby Hill LE14 3QU web: tel: 01664 813200



Brooklea Nursery & Farm Shop 1000 Loughborough Road, Rothley LE7 7NL tel: 0116 2302155


The Cattows Farm Shop Swepstone Road, Heather LE67 2RF web: www.thecattows tel: 01530 264200


Chantry Farm Shop Kings Newton Lane, Melbourne, Derbys, DE73 8DD tel: web: 01332 865698


Chevelswarde Organic Growers Chevel House, The Belt, South Kilworth LE17 6DX tel: 01858 575309


Cook’s Farm Shop Markfield Lane, Newtown Linford LE6 0AB web: tel: 01530 242214


68 Great Food Leicestershire & Rutland


19 9


Fancourts Farm Shop The Square, Ryhall, Stamford, Rutland PE9 4HJ tel: 01780 762698 Farndon Fields Farm Shop Farndon Road, Market Harborough LE16 9NP web: www.farndonfields tel: 01858 464838








11 12




Crossroads Farm Shop 10 Eastwell, Melton Mowbray LE14 4EF tel: 01949 860242





Bouverie Lodge (bison and venison meat) Nether Broughton, Leicestershire LE14 3EX web: tel: 01664 822114








Hambleton Farms Gaol St, Oakham LE15 8AQ web: tel: 01572 724455


Fat Hen Farm Shop at Harker’s Farm Shop Greenacres Garden Centre 17 Blackberry Farm, Clipston, Ashby Rd, Stapleton LE9 8JE Keyworth NG12 5PB tel: 01455 290878 web: www.harkers Grange Farm Shop tel: 0115 9892260 14 Poacher’s Rest, Newstead Lane, Highfield Farm 18 Newton Lane, Wigston Belmesthorpe PE9 4SA tel: 07711 205507 LE18 3SH tel: 0116 2880887 Grasmere Farm Shop 15 34 High St, Stamford Little Markfield Farm 19 Forest Rd, Markfield PE9 2LJ tel: 01780 765563 LE67 9UN web: tel: 01530 242173






Farm shop map Bottesford

March House Farm Top End, Great Dalby, Leics LE14 2HA tel: 01664 563919


Meadow View Farm 156 Cossington Road, Sileby LE12 7RT web: tel: 01509 815670


The Mushroom Basket Lowerfields Farm, Normanton Rd, Packington LE65 1XA web: www.themushroom tel: 01530 415862




Nether Broughton

3 20




Asfordby Hill

Tooley Park Farm Shop Peckleton Common Road, Peckleton, Leicester LE9 7RF tel: 01455 822876






Rutland water


28 30

GE Tomlinson & Family Farm Shop Station Road, Stoke Golding, Nuneaton CV13 6EU tel: 01455 212199





Stonehurst Family Farm & Museum Bond Lane, Mountsorrel LE12 7AR web: tel: 01509 413216

Northfield Farm Whissendine Lane, Cold Overton LE15 7QF web: tel: 01664 474271

Old Dalby

Stamford Garden Centre Farm Shop Road End Farm, Great Casterton, Stamford, Lincs PE9 4BB web: www.stamfordgarden tel: 01780 765656





Seldom Seen Farm Billesdon LE7 9FA web: www.seldom tel: 0116 2596742












Stamford, Lincs




Belmesthorpe GRASMERE FARM SHOP Stamford




Uppingham A6 37




Oakdale Farm Shop 1870 Melton Road, Rearsby, LE7 4YS tel: 01664 424300


Picks Organic Farm Shop The Cottage, Hamilton Grounds, Barkby Thorpe LE7 3QF web: tel: 0116 2693548


Lower Grange Farm Gibson Lane, Old Dalby, Leics LE14 3LH tel: 01664 8236240 email:



Wing Hall Farm Shop Wing, near Oakham, Rutland LE15 8RY web: tel: 01572 737090



Manor Farm Shop 21 Main St, Catthorpe, Leics LE17 6DB web: tel: 01788 869002

Priory Garden Centre and Farm Shop Ashby Road, Breedonon-the-Hill, Leics DE73 8AT web: www.priorygarden tel: 01332 863494

Manor Organic Farm Shop 77 Main St, Long Whatton, Loughborough LE12 5DF web: tel: 01509 646413

Roots at Thorpe Farm King St, Barkby Thorpe LE7 3QE web: www.rootsthorpe tel: 0116 2692526



Wistow Farm Shop Wistow Rural Centre Kibworth Rd, Wistow LE8 0QF web: tel: 0116 2590041


Woodcock Farm 903 Loughborough Road, Rothley LE7 7NH tel: 0116 2302215


Woodhouse Farm Shop 1 Woodhouse Farm, Elmesthorpe, Earl Shilton LE9 7SE web: tel: 01455 851242



Have we missed a farm shop off the map? Email matthew.wright@ to let us know.

Great Food Leicestershire & Rutland 69

Amphora Wines

Importers of Fine Wines Impor

Top quality wines from exceptional small growers – extensive selection of everyday wine and fine wine Shop Open Times: Thursday & Friday 10–5 Saturday 9-4

Well established family farm shop selling locally sourced fresh fruit, salad, vegetables, bread and home made cakes. Also locally farmed fresh meat and poultry products and a wide selection of fresh dairy products.

See our website for wines, offers and tasting & special events Visit us at Rutland Food Festival: 17th September 2011 - 11am until 6pm

Lodge Farm, Countesthorpe Road, Whetstone, Leicester. Tel: 0116 2771476

At The Wine Workshop, Northfield Farm, Whissendine Lane, Cold Overton, Oakham LE15 7QF Wine tastings at shop or at home to suit individual’s or group’s needs

Opening Times: Tuesday - Friday 9am - 6pm Saturday 8.30 - 5.30pm & Sunday 9.30 - 3.30pm

Telephone: shop: 01664 474306 office: 01664 565013 mobile: 07814 747330

Contact: Patrick Whenham-Bossy

– former Sommelier at Hambleton Hall, L’Orangerie Los Angeles and le Gavroche London – wine expert on “Here’s one I made earlier” – achieved awards such as Egon Ronay’s ‘Best Cellar of the Year’ and this year awarded “Prudhomme (Councellor) of the Jurade of St-Emilion in Bordeaux”

The Pantry

From great places to eat to fantastic farm shops to cracking caterers, you’ll find an excellent selection of local foodie services here. To advertise in this section, please contact Andrea Marshall on 01780 754900 or by email





White, Red and Rose wines made from grapes organically grown at South Kilworth. DISCOUNTS AVAILABLE DURING ENGLISH WINE WEEK Ideal present - specially for those who do not think that grapes can be grown in Leicestershire! Available from our farm shop, together with organic fruit and vegetables. Also from Naturally Good Foods, Cotesbach; Manor Farm Shop, Catthorpe.

The Smithy Farm Shop

Kitchen curios from old scales to pottery and much more. An Aladdin’s Cave selling fascinating old items since 1990 on Main Street, Wymondham LE14 2AG. Tel. 01572 787472


Chevelswarde Farm Shop, The Belt, South Kilworth Tel. 01858-575309


The Cottage, Hamilton Grounds, King Street, Barkby Thorpe. Leicester LE7 3QF

CLASSIFIED half.indd 1

Top Quality fruit and vegetables. Cheese, poultry and meat.

Summer Bedding and Hanging Baskets Opening Times: Mon-Thurs 8.45am-5.45pm. Friday 8.30am-6pm. Saturday 8.30am-4.30pm Sunday 9am-1pm

Warton Lane, Grendon, Atherstone, Warks, CV9 3DU Tel: 01827 714216

See what our advertisers say “A very worthwhile magazine to celebrate our region’s improved gastronomic offering.” Tim Hart, Hambleton Hall

“Excited to be promoting our business through this great new publication.” Ben Jones, MD, The Olive Branch, Clipsham

Deadline for the May/June issue is 12th April

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HOME & KITCHEN Domestic inspiration for local food lovers...


Beautiful old ki t to make your dining areas unique, p75

Foodie gear for your home Enhance your kitchen, p72





How to make placemats

Show us your kitchen!

Build a veg patch, Part 1

Food loversâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; dream homes


1 SKY PLANTERS : For growing herbs indoors, these clever upside-down pots have a water reservoir. Available online from £25.50: 2 SOW GOURMET MICROGREENS : Grow greens on your window cill. Available online from £2.99: 3 RIVERFORD BOXES TO GROW: Seedlings and herbs for planting. Get yours for £19.45 from Riverford at Sacrewell Farm, Peterborough:

If you’re going to buy anything..


Stuff that will make you love your kitchen (and garden) even more



4 THREE-OVEN AGA : It’ll last a lifetime and transform your cooking. Having a Labrador to fall asleep in front of it isn’t a prerequisite to ownership but it helps. As does a farmhouse kitchen. £8880 in Aga’s 2011 pricelist. Try Leicester-based Robert Pochin: 5 SMEG FP610SG : This Marc Newson Electric Oven will cut a dash. Yours for £899 from John Lewis, Highcross, Leicester:

72 Great Food Leicestershire & Rutland


Inspiring tips for creating a perfect kitchen – turn to p82

6 WEBER GENESIS If your rusty drum BBQ is a metaphorical limp burger, this is a huge Longhorn steak. On sale for £1699 at John Lewis, Highcross, Leicester: 7 & 8 SHAKER-STYLE KITCHEN UNITS Shaker furniture is known for its durability and functionality. These kitchen units combine those two attributes with simple, understated style. Both are available from Devol Kitchens of Loughborough, glazed dresser priced at £2100, glazed upright cupboard £1850: 9 ROTARY PEELERS Three blades – standard, serrated or julienne – in one funky peeler. Prepping veg might even become fun; £11.39 each from Original Cookware Co, Leicester: 10 VINTAGE-STYLE CUTLERY Sick of the cutlery Aunt Jess bought you as a wedding gift? Upgrade! From £4 a piece:

Great Food Leicestershire & Rutland 73

Our Home Grown Asparagus available NOW Come and see our new ranges of plants


Including Olive trees, Magnolia trees, Bay trees, hanging baskets, vegetable plants, CAFE potted plants and spring bedding. Great new selection of pots and baskets now in PLANT CENTRE stock . FREE local deliveries on large Plants and Pots. Afterwards enjoy a cup of tea and piece of local made cake in The Farm Shop Cafe.

Farm Shop Cafe

Our Cafe offers excellent lunches and salads plus a large selection of top-quality homemade meals using home-grown produce. Coffee, Tea, fresh fruit juices and locally-made cakes are also available.

We look forward to welcoming you!

MARQUESS SET LUNCH 2 course £11.00, 3 course £14.00 monday-saturday lunch times Wine Dinner Monday 18th July with iconic winemaker ‘Jean Trimbach’, Trimbach winery Alsace, £55 pp including 4 course dinner and Trimbach wines COOKERY DEMONSTRATIONS BY BRIAN BAKER £35 pp includes 2 course lunch with glass of wine. 17th May – ALFRESCO DINING 20th Sept – EASY EATING 15th Nov – GETTING FESTIVE

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Holophane lights

Whether hanging over a long refectory table or kitchen island, these timeless, English-made ‘Holophane’ lights will illuminate your space and look stunning at the same time. Made in the 1930s but feeling incredibly ‘now’, this recently rewired run of four are available from Matthew Cox Antiques. Price: £1400 Contact: 0780 2510503,

Antiques for dining areas

Fascinating, beautiful objects to make your kitchen or dining room genuinely unique. All the items on this page are available locally and have been carefully selected by Matthew Cox (pictured) of Matthew Cox Antiques, Stamford –

Oak table

Plate warming cupboard

Known in the trade as 'huffers', these backless, tin-lined cupboards were designed to warm your fine bone china dinner service in front of an open fire, before the whole cupboard was carried by staff to the table side. This is an English example, made by T. Tidy in the late 19th century and is available from the large and comprehensive Newark Antiques Warehouse. Price: £485 Contact: 01636 674869,

At Claire Langley Antiques in Stamford you’ll find an ever-changing array of high quality decorative and period antiques. This fashionably bleached 1920s oak dining table has an unusual and desirable oval GET IN TOUCH! top. It’s better value than d Contact Great Foo mass produced High St at te bsi we the via equivalents and will stand www.greatfood At Tina Bryan’s antiques you in much better stead if shop in Wymondham near you ever come to sell it. Melton Mowbray it’s easy to Price: £1375. lose track of time as you wonder Contact: 01780 752555, at the amazing variety of domestic and architectural curios on offer. Among the treasures I found this collection of blue and white tins and jars that would look great in any kitchen. Treat This George III mahogany knife box is a fine yourself to a look around! example of its type. Made in 1780 in typical Price: Varies serpentine form, it retains its original fitted Contact: 01572 787472 interior and will sit beautifully in any Georgian home. Available at the endlessly fascinating Uppingham Antiques Centre. Price: £725 Contact: 01572 822155,

Blue and white tins and jars

K nife box

Marble plate

Carved by tribal people in 19th century India, this plate’s primitive form sits well in contemporary or period settings. Measures 50cm in diameter and available from Jane Cox Antiques, Stamford. Price: £145. Contact: 07789 302522

Great Food Leicestershire & Rutland 75

AN EXCITING LEICESTER RESTAURANT The Boot Room is one of only a few independently owned restaurants in Leicester, situated at 27-29 Millstone Lane – a stones throw away from Highcross Leicester and the Town Hall Square. Whether you are just popping into the restaurant for a coffee, a light snack or taking advantage of our great value fixed price menu, you can be assured of a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere by Ian and the restaurant team. Our philosophy “Buy quality ingredients, treat them well and let your customer enjoy the experience” has enabled The Boot Room to become one of the best restaurants in Leicester city centre.

THE BOOT ROOM EATERIE 27-29 Millstone Lane, Leicester. LE1 5JN 0116 262 2555

Ever wante to kee d p pig bu your own t don’’t the la have nd - w the an e have swer.. .

piggy fter your we look a For a monthly fee we will do all the hard work - feeding piglet, and generally making sure he/ she has a good life in our lovely woodland. You can visit your pig if you wish, feed him, and and see what’’s involved in looking after a rarebreed porker. At about 26 weeks old, we make the arrangements with a local, family-run, butcher to supply you with your succulent, additive-free, rare-breed pork and sausages. It’’s as easy as that! And you’’ll be helping to maintain a rare breed too. Saddleback and Mangalitza piglets also for sale.


p76_GF_MayJune11.indd Sec1:76

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How to make



Get those creative juices flowing and give your table a unique look with some vintage fabric placemats

You don’t have to spend a fortune to make your home feel unique. Using vintage fabrics is a great way to achieve a distinctive look and doesn’t cost much – a yard of eye-catching material will cost you no more than £10 and can be picked up for much less. Not being handy with a sewing machine, Great Food enlisted the help of local fabric and sewing expert Emily Holt for this feature. Emily says: “There are some impressively far-out designs lurking on eBay and at some local markets. Using vintage fabric to make placemats is a really easy project and a great way of gaining confidence with the sewing machine. It’s also a good way of introducing kids to the craft.”

Top tip: Use striped fabric if you’re worried about sewing in a straight line


Cut out eight rectangles of fabric (four squares of one type of fabric and four of the other) to the following dimensions: 14in x 12in for child-sized or 17in x 12in for adult-sized placemats. The size doesn’t really matter as long as they are big enough for the plates you’re using.



Take two fabric rectangles, one of each design, and place them right sides together. Secure with pins and then sew the two rectangles together. Sew a straight stitch around the outside, about 1/4in from the edge. Leave about four inches open (see above right).





What you’ll need

To make four placemats: * 36in x 45in main fabric (heavyweight cotton or canvas) * 36in x 45in contrasting fabric (heavyweight cotton or canvas) * Sewing machine * Scissors * Matching thread * Measuring tape * Ruler

NOTES ON FABRICS: If you choose to make your placemats with a lightweight cotton you could add a layer of interfacing. Emily recommends washing and drying your fabrics before you begin.

Cut off a few millimetres of fabric at each corner of the placemat. This will ensure the corners aren’t lumpy when you’ve finished the sewing.



Turn the placemat right side out through the 4in gap and push out corners with the blunt end of your scissors or the end of a pen. Press place mats flat. FINISHED! All you need now is a plate of delicious food to put on top

Forest Elf Emily Holt lives in Cotesbach, Leics. Her home accessories and vintage clothing business is called Forest Elf (which is also Emily’s nickname). For more info go to the Forest Elf website:


Iron the mat and sew all the way around, again around 1/4in from edge. Then sew another straight stitch 1/2in from edge. This will leave a nice double-stitched edging. Job done!

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How to create your...

VEG PATCH FROM Follow Charlie Boyd’s tips and progress as he builds a veg patch in his garden


aby yellow courgette cutting corners, this patch will flowers stuffed with involve proper sowing, proper ricotta and lemon, weeding and propagators! This is the deep-fried in a tempura story of my veg patch from scratch – batter. A fresh salad of and how anyone can do the same. grated purple carrot, celeriac and white cabbage with cumin and thinly Where to put it sliced red chillies. Slow-roasted First things first: choosing your site. shoulder of lamb with roasted new You’ll need lots of sunlight and, potatoes and fresh mint sauce… ideally, shelter from strong winds. If A feast for the eyes and the belly – you choose a site too close to trees and with the exception of the lamb or hedges, they’ll steal the lion’s (unless you really want to go for it) share of your patch’s water, so bear all grown in your own veg patch. that in mind too. I decided on two Allotments and vegetable patches sites. One close to the house, well have soared in popularity in the last sheltered from the wind whipping off few years, with Rutland Water in veg seeds now my south-facing Plan ahead outselling back garden – this If you want a bigger patch next year, cover your flower seeds. will be where my planned plot with an old Whether it’s a stuff-that-climbs carpet. Next year you can sign of beltwill go. The other pull the carpet off and tightening, antiplot is further easily pull up the dead supermarket down, against a weeds and grass. rebellion or just fence. This will be a fad, one thing’s for certain – where my stuff-that-grows low-orgrowing your own vegetables is underground will go. simple. I’ve been growing my own Patch or patches identified, you’ll for three years, mostly in a need to clear it of grass or weeds. haphazard, lazy way. But with a Stick them in your garden waste bin full-time job and a young child to – putting them on the compost heap entertain, I guess I’m proof that you will only result in weedy compost. If don’t need to be at home 24/7 to you’re not bothered about being reap the rewards of a veg patch. organic, you can use weedkiller, but My early efforts were peas, that’s not for me. runner beans and broad beans Dig the soil to a spade-head’s grown in former flower borders. I depth, turning it over and removing moved on to courgettes, sprouting weeds. Edge the plot with wood, broccoli, potatoes and chillies – my stones, bamboo or a plastic border. patch was finally taking shape. Then I used an old pallet that was in my I moved house. Now I’m a Rutlandite garage when I moved in. and I have a large lawn perfect for Now I just need to decide what to turning into a veg patch. Only this plant. More next issue... time I’m going to do it right. No

Tip: This barrow came free from the Rutland freecycle group –


Identify your patch. If you’re digging up your lawn, prepare for some hard work. You’ll need a lawn edger, spade, fork and wheelbarrow.


The easiest way to remove turf is to kill it first. If you don’t have time, use a lawn edger to cut the turf into spadesized squares, then simply prise it away.


Get out there now! It’s not too late to start your veg patch – loads of veg is ready to sow in May and June. Anything from courgette to cauliflower, spinach to swede can go straight into the ground now that we’re virtually sure of being frost-free. The best plan is to just plant your favourites – or veg that would be expensive in the shops, or simply not widely available – things like yellow courgette, purple carrot and kohlrabi. Send us a photo of your veg patch to

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The removed turf (if it is weed free) can be used for compost. I piled mine up at the bottom of the garden in my planned wildlife area.





Digging time. Hiring a rotivator is an option, or just dig a hole and refill with compost and topsoil.


Line the border up along the edge and tap into place. Build up around it with soil.

You’ll want a border around your patch to stop the lawn from encroaching. I used an old wooden pallet. Watch out for nails.

GET THE KIDS INVOLVED My seven-year-old daughter was keen to help with the building of the patch (especially planting strawberries), but the labour was too heavy, so I got her filling seed trays with compost and planting beans in each pot. She loved it – and it kept her occupied while I dug up the lawn.

homemade compost – it’s good for recycling and great for growing


Make a window garden Having your own herb garden is one of life’s simplest pleasures. Once you’ve got a healthy rosemary bush in your garden, or a good smattering of mint in a pot on the patio, you’ll begrudge ever having to pay for herbs again. What’s more, you don’t need a massive garden to grow a really useful range of varied herbs. Pots, baskets and window boxes are ideal for cultivating them – especially mint, which can spread like wildfire through your borders if left unchallenged. I used a window box, kindly installed by a previous tenant, to plant my first herbs in my new home. You can buy herb seeds from most supermarkets and garden centres, and from online seed shops (just Google them, there are loads!) – or do what I did and cheat a bit. Buy a pot of living herbs from your local supermarket and transfer it to your pot/garden/window box. Give them a little water and keep an eye on them for a few days, watering if the soil has dried out too much. I used thyme, parsley and chives for my first box, all of which are pretty tough cookies and should make the transition fairly smoothly – I’ll keep you updated. Generally, most herbs are tougher than they look and will cope with all that the British weather can throw at them – even if they look dead after a hard freeze, they’ll come back stronger. Even coriander which, like basil, is best looked after on a sunny window sill, grows well outdoors.


Top tip: Use

Give everything a really good turning over. The more compost you can add the better – homemade is always best (and you can be sure what’s in it).



Keep your patch weed-free and you’ll soon be filling it with glorious seedlings.

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house fact file THE PROPERTY Trent House, Great Glen: Grade II Listed, detached, built circa 1760

TENURE Freehold BEDROOMS Five BATHROOMS Two INTERIOR Set out over three floors are an

Beautiful symmetrical Georgian façade

entrance hall, drawing room, dining room, family room (former butcher’s shop), conservatory, kitchen/breakfast room, utility, cloakroom, five double bedrooms and two bathrooms. There is an integral double garage and a linking workshop. GARDENS & GROUNDS A driveway provides access to the rear, where off-road parking is available to the front of two integral garages. The driveway is shared with one other residential dwelling, with Trent House enjoying a perpetual right of access. A pretty garden lies to the rear and side of the house, largely enclosed by brick walls. Climbing fruits adorn the boundary walls. GUIDE PRICE £675,000 ON SALE WITH Strutt & Parker, 41 High St, Market Harborough LE16 7NL, 01858 433123,

FOODIE HOMES FOR SALE Two characterful local properties that would make dream homes for food lovers


rent House on the edge of Leicestershire village Great Glen is a building with impressive culinary credentials. Sitting opposite the village green where sheep once grazed, the five-bedroom property is partly an old butcher’s shop. The adjoining white building is where the steaks were once sold and is attached to the main house via the dining room and a bedroom. The old butcher’s contains a genuine piece of food history: a large oak wheel in the roof once used for hoisting carcasses up from the old slaughter house, which was also situated in this white building. The main house has servants’ stairs and is thought to date from the 1760s. It used to be a gentleman’s country residence and has old fire insurance plaques on the frontage. One of its best features is the kitchen/breakfast room (see right and above), which mixes traditional with modern.

Great Glen Great Glen sits between Market Harborough and Leicester. The village has three pubs, two of which serve food, and there’s a Chinese takeaway for when you don’t want to cook! There’s also a Post Office, doctors’ surgery, and grocery store. A primary school plays an active part in the village, and a fee-paying grammar school is on the outskirts. There’s a good bus service, and you’re only 15 minutes’ drive away from a railway station.

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Mix of wooden and granite work surfaces

house fact file THE PROPERTY Primrose Cottage, Diseworth: detached, thatched, originally built in 18th century TENURE Freehold BEDROOMS Four BATHROOMS Two INTERIOR Lounge/ dining room, conservatory, large kitchen with Aga, separate laundry room, two en suites.

GARDENS & GROUNDS One-acre garden, timber summer house, greenhouse; detached double garage with one-bedroom flat above. GUIDE PRICE £565,000 ON SALE WITH Benton’s, 47 Nottingham St, Melton Mowbray, LE13 1NN 01664 563892,

Dining room has original fireplace


Oak flooring and old beams give Trent House character

ot only is this a pretty thatched cottage, it’s also a unique food lover’s paradise. The garden features a ‘Mediterranean Terrace’ that catches the evening sun and is shaded by two productive black grapevines and surrounded by olive, citrus, apricot and fig plants in large pots. A large herb garden, vegetable beds plus rhubarb and strawberry patches sit nearby. The entire garden is on a gentle south facing slope. Mature and productive pear, apple and cherry trees thrive. The kitchen has a gas fired Aga with extraction over the entire cooking area. There’s also a waste disposal unit.

Diseworth Situated around two miles south of Castle Donington in Leicestershire (despite its DE postcode), Diseworth is a village with a population of around 700. It has two pubs and a Church of England primary school.

Great Food Leicestershire & Rutland 81

Show us your

DREAM KITCHEN OWNER PROFILE NAME: Tom and Louise Mardon and their three daughters

Each issue we photograph a reader’s kitchen. A) Because we’re nosy. B) To give you a few ideas


recruitment agency Hutton Consulting; Louise is a stay-athome mum


Sudborough, Kettering


Grade II listed extended Georgian property.


You can create a stunning focal point with glass, granite or well chosen tiling. Try to pick out some colours from the rest of your kitchen to maintain a theme.

WHO DESIGNED AND FITTED IT?: The Real Kitchen Company, Uppingham. The cabinetry on display here cost around £15,000.


aving this kitchen fitted has transformed our house and now forms the centre of our home,” says owner Louise Mardon. “It’s light, bright and airy with a carefully planned layout and colour scheme. We love the light-coloured granite on the peninsula, contrasting with the oak worktops elsewhere. “Our favourite gadget by far is the Quooker boiling water tap, meaning we don’t have to use a kettle. We also love the built-in coffee machine.”

The power of planning “The kitchen has to work for you and it’s important to plan it in detail,” says Louise. “We were fortunate that The Real Kitchen Company were willing to rework the plans with us until we had worked out a practical, functional family kitchen that did not compromise our original ideas.”

Any changes? “We love the kitchen and there’s very little we would change. Perhaps a pop-up socket in the peninsula to tidy up the wires but really, it’s pretty much perfect.” CONTACT This kitchen was designed and fitted by The Real Kitchen Company of Uppingham: 01572 823187,

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Travertine tiles – a traditional, natural stone ideal for underfloor heating.

A Falcon 1092 deluxe range cooker. Real Kitchen Company suggests also considering Everhot range cookers, which come in a variety of sizes and colours.


Top tip:


Lighting is crucial in any kitchen. Working areas need stronger light, while other areas will benefit from more muted ambience.

Try paint samples in a number of differently lit areas – they can look very different

Take time to ge t colour scheme ri the gh Be bold but yo t. u’ll need to be able to live with your choices


Adobe Ludlow Bridge tap in chrome couples vintage styling with modern technology.


Beautiful, durable and practical, particularly around wet areas. Available in an extensive range of colours – shown here in Kashmir White.

Great Food Leicestershire & Rutland 83

Gold Medallist, The Brewing Industry International Awards 2011, Tiger Best Bitter*

*International keg ale competition, class 2 (ABV range 3.8% - 4.7%)

everards.indd 2

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6. Great Food Magazine May/June 2011  
6. Great Food Magazine May/June 2011  

The May/June 2011 issue of Great Food Magazine, containing features on local producers in the Midlands, recipes, restaurant reviews, pub wal...