CRUMBS Cotswolds NO.53 APRIL 2017
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CIREN’s CALL WE WHY
A little slice of foodie heaven
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WE TRY THE REGION’s BEST SHOW-OFF
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CHILDREN OF THE PRAWN
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TASTE FOR IMPACT! TASTING MENUS
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SHAPING YOUR HOME
COOL CRUSTACEA I CAN’T HELP FEELING that the humble prawn has fallen out of favour of late, while seemingly sexier seafood (I’m talking scallops, oysters, lobsters and the like) are grabbing all the limelight. But this lovely little marine mouthful really has a lot to offer. Take the prawn cocktail, for example. Sure, there’s an element of ’70s kitsch to it, but there’s no denying that a sweet little shrimp, smothered in tangy Marie Rose and coupled with some crisp lettuce, is really rather delish – even if it is a tad retro. Not that a cocktail is all that a prawn’s good for. Toss a few king prawns in a stir fry and you’re laughing, or grab some jumbos and chuck them on the barbecue (when the summer eventually arrives) and everyone will want to join the party. Elsewhere in this issue we’ve been drooling over some of the area’s best tasting menus – those glorious opportunities to eat absolutely everything on the menu without even a hint of guilt – and hanging out in Cirencester, checking out just why it’s becoming known as a real foodie hotspot. Not been? Well, turn to page 63 to discover why it should be where you head next time you have a day off. Oh, and if you’re thinking of remodelling your kitchen (and spring is the perfect time for just that), we’ve gathered a team of top local experts to share design tips and help you on your way. This issue’s got something for everyone, then. Enjoy!
Emma Dance Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
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Table of Contents
NO.53 APRIL 2017
EMMA DANCE email@example.com DEVELOPMENT EDITOR
MATT BIELBY firstname.lastname@example.org ART DIRECTOR
TREVOR GILHAM DESIGN
VICKY MITCHARD ADVERTISING MANAGER
DANIELLE MORRIS email@example.com SALES EXECUTIVE
RYAN GOODMAN firstname.lastname@example.org PRODUCTION AND DISTRIBUTION MANAGER
SARAH KINGSTON email@example.com DEPUTY PRODUCTION MANAGER / PRODUCTION DESIGNER
CHRISTINA WEST firstname.lastname@example.org CHIEF EXECUTIVE
JANE INGHAM email@example.com CHIEF EXECUTIVE
STARTERS 10 HERO INGREDIENT Prawn to be wild! 12 OPENINGS ETC Food news to peruse 14 ASK THE EXPERT The superstars of NationalStar 18 IN THE LARDER Stock up on Easter treats. (Warning: contains chocolate)
GREG INGHAM firstname.lastname@example.org
20 ASK THE SOMMELIER The Roving Sommelier himself shares tips and expertise
MediaClash, Circus Mews House, Circus Mews, Bath BA1 2PW; 01225 475800 www.mediaclash.co.uk
24 TRIO The finest cheesemongers (and makers) in the Cotswolds
© All rights reserved. May not be reproduced without written permission of MediaClash. MediaClash reserves the right to reject any material and to edit such prior to publication. Opinions are those of individual authors. Printed on paper from a well-managed source. Inks are vegetable-based; printer is certified to ISO 14001 environmental management. This month we’ve mostly been munching on tasting menus and splashing about in spas. All this eating is hard work, you know...
MAINS ADDITIONAL RECIPES
11 Thai grilled Madagascar prawns, by Stephen Rawicki 27 Spiced sea bass with citrus sauce, by Catherine Phipps
38 Sweet and savoury choux buns, by Kathy Slack
Amazing recipes from the region’s top kitchens
48 Seed of Life bread, by Jamie Raftery
30 Crispy lamb’s breast Greek salad, by Lucas Mitchell
32 Chilled pea and asparagus soup, by Robert Goves 34 Roast leg of spring lamb, by Judy Hancox
43 COOKS WITH Jamie Raftery shares his love of fermented foods
36 Sauerkraut green rolls, by Celia Duplock
49 THE WANT LIST Getting inspired by nature
55 COOL KITCHENS Spruce yours up! 63 CIRENCESTER LOVE So many delicious reasons to visit Cirencester 72 TASTY TASTY Tasting menus to tempt you
New & notable restaurants, cafés, bars 78 Three Choirs Vineyard 80 East India Cafe PLUS
82 LITTLE BLACK BOOK Simon Butland of Pittville Kitchens shares his faves
01242 505 416 | email@example.com crumbsmag.com
START E RS INNOVATIONS, REVELATIONS AND TASTY AMUSE-BOUCHES
FOOd, glOrIOUs FOOd
A STELLAR LINE-UP has been announced for this year’s Cheltenham Food & Drink Festival. Top chefs, including international culinary superstar Theo Randall, River Cottage’s nutrition expert Naomi Devlin, Eckington Manor’s husbandand-wife duo Mark and Sue Stinchcombe, Indian chef Romy Gill, former MasterChef finalist Andrew ‘Koj’ Kojima and Kathryn Minchew, aka The Pyromaniac Chef, will all be showing off their skills at the event, which takes place in Cheltenham’s Montpellier Gardens from June 9-11. Cookery Schools are well represented at the Festival too, with demonstrations
from the likes of Yvette Farrell at Hart's Barn Cookery School, Raymond Blanc's Cookery School and the Foodworks Cookery School near Colesbourne. Sponsors of the Food Festival, Whole Foods Market, will be sharing the secrets of their butchery and fishmongery department, and there’ll be a whole smorgasbord of talks and tastings to tuck into, as well as a food hall where you can buy treats to take home. As well as all the foodie fun, there will also be live music, street theatre and even traditional Punch and Judy. Tickets are available on pre-order now from £4 per adult.
✱ For further information, and to buy your tickets, visit garden-events.com
S T A R T E R S
SO, IS IT A PRAWN? OR IS IT A SHRIMP? IT ALL DEPENDS ON WHO YOU ARE, AND WHERE YOU LIVE, IT SEEMS. WHAT DOESN’T CHANGE, HOWEVER, IS HOW DELICIOUS THEY ARE…
Prawns WHAT WE CALL these teeny, ten-legged, antennae-waving, curly-tailed aquatic crustaceans is rather random: Americans prefer shrimp, Brits prawn, and though there’s a vague international agreement that ‘prawn’ perhaps sounds a little bit larger than ‘shrimp’ does, it’s all so random. Apart from with very specific species, the two words are virtually interchangeable.
What they all have going for them, though, is sweet, meaty flesh, and huge versatility: just about every world cuisine, and every type of savoury dish, has a place for the prawn somewhere near its heart. Back in the day these things were a luxury, but no more. Determined fishing and farming has made them readily available and even cheap, to the point where sustainability
has become an issue: this is especially true of large, tropical warm-water varieties, like farmed king prawns and tiger prawns, and happily not so much with smaller versions from Arctic and near-Arctic waters. You can buy prawns raw or cooked, and in or out of their shells; generally (though not universally), small, regular cold-water varieties tend to be peeled, cooked and
As with many crustacea, they’re actually tastier than the warm-water monsters, though less juicy and less theatrical to eat. The big fellas, meanwhile, prefer it hot, and require more of a ritual to enjoy; not unlike, in fact, the mini-lobsters they resemble. There’s a bit of peeling to do, and the thin, black, gritty line of poop should be ‘de-veined’, as they say. (Do this after peeling, or through a slit you can cut in their backs if you’re cooking them shellon, which is a good idea as it protects the meat. Another tip is to trim off the legs with knife or scissors before barbecuing, then make a deep cut along the belly, opening the prawn out and pressing it flat.) When cooked, serve with salad or a dip, or in classic Chinese dishes like sweet-andsour prawns.
frozen before the ship catching them ever makes landfall, while big warm-water beasts are sold intact, either raw or cooked. Since most will have been frozen at some point, if you intend to keep them a while it’s best to buy frozen. Otherwise, fresh, clean, moist and not ‘fishy’ smelling is how you want ’em. MUCH OF THE joy of the prawn is in how easy they are to prepare. Raw ones can be boiled, grilled, deep-fried, stir-fried or barbecued, and never take long; the grey flesh of the uncooked beast turns a lovely white, and the shell bright pink, when it’s done. The only trick, if there is one, is to take them off at just the right time, because you want them thoroughly cooked – opaque and delicious – but not tough, or rubbery. (We’re taking minutes here; perhaps three or four to grill.) Though we call it the tail, the big meaty bit we eat is more correctly the body; everything above it is head. Heads and shells, though not for chowing down on, are not for throwing away with impunity either; they make, after all, a rather delicious fishy stock. How to eat them? Well, the little coldwater critters are usually best served cold themselves, and go well in salads or with brown bread and butter; if you’re feeling retro, a prawn cocktail is a can’t-lose starter.
FOR SOMETHING WE’VE been eating since, like forever, surprisingly few legends have grown up around the prawn. Okay, so there was handsome young Greek sea god Nerites, who was transformed into something not unlike a prawn when he refused to accompany his love, the goddess Aphrodite, on a trip to Olympus (a bit harsh), but you really have to go globetrotting to find any other prawn-based legends. (There’s the massive raja udang – the so-called King of Prawns – of Malay folklore, and in Fiji it’s forbidden to eat the striking, bright red prawns of Vatulele, a spectacular-looking sub-species, but beyond that we’re struggling.) Perhaps this lack of representation is down to the fact that various traditions forbid eating shellfish – the Jewish and some Islamic schools, for sure, but even the King James version of The Old Testament calls them an abomination, along with (er) scoffing eagles – and there’s some sense to this, to be fair. After all, prawns are both heavy in cholesterol and (along with other shellfish) are amongst the most common food allergens out there. This said, they’re high in protein, calcium and omega-3s – all good stuff – too. But, most of all, they’re gorgeous. The best place to start, maybe, is to team them with other seafood – think with scallops in a stir fry; whitefish, mussels and squid in a fish pie; crab in a pasta dish – or just go Asian and be done with it. Eastern cuisine loves a prawn, be it in a seafood broth, a classic prawn curry, or a noodle salad. After all, lovely though they are on their own, prawns are at their very best when teamed with strong, spicy flavours to give them a bit of punch…
ThaI GrILLEd GIANT MadAGaSCar PrawNS (SERVES 2 AS A STARTER)
This recipe, by the fab Stephen Rawicki, head chef at Williams Food Hall, has a real wowfactor, both visually and when it comes to taste. INGREDIENTS
50g fresh ginger, peeled 1 red chilli, deseeded 1 stalk of lemon grass, dry leaves removed 1 lime 4 large Thai basil leaves 100g creamed coconut 30ml vegetable oil 4 giant Madagascar prawns METHOD
– Preheat oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6. – Finely chop ginger, chilli and lemon grass, place into a bowl, add the finely grated zest of a lime, tear up the basil and place into the bowl. – Finely chop up the creamed coconut and put that into the bowl with the oil and stir. – Cut the prawns in half, lengthways, and de-vein them. – Place the prawns on a baking tray, spoon on all of the Thai mixture with a little rock salt, and put into the oven for about 10 minutes, or until the shells are pink and the flesh is white. – Serve hot with some dresses salad leaves and some cooked Ratte potatoes. ✱ williamsfoodhall.co.uk
S T A R T E R S
@callum_hird snapped this dish of duck terrine, beetroot, blood orange and mint at The Potting Shed Pub
We’re having some serious food envy over @zadele87’s Ruben Melt from Lynwood & Co
IN THE DIARY...
COaST TO COTSwOLdS
The Cat & Custard Pot in Shipton Moyne, Tetbury has cast its net to reel in a new head chef. Fifty three-year-old Paul Carpenter has joined the B&B inn to head up a new kitchen team after a career on the coast, starting with training at Cornwall Catering College before entering the kitchens of the region’s famous four-star Greenbank Hotel, and a good local gastro-pub, The Trengilly Wartha Inn in Falmouth. “I like to cook traditional pub grub,” he says, “and that is what I have been brought here to do. Like Cornwall, this region is so great for produce, that you don’t need to do a great deal to produce an amazing dish – the ingredients speak for themselves.” ✱ catandcustard.co.uk
Lynwood & Co has recently opened a second site in Fairford. The original Lechlade café is known for its topnotch coffee, freshly baked cakes, yummy brunches and personal service, and branch number two is hoping to replicate its success. Because it’s a smaller venue, the menu isn’t quite as large at Fairford, but there’ll still be plenty to choose from, including cakes, sandwiches, salads and brunches, all of the same fabulous quality that’s earned the Lechalde café its loyal following. ✱ 01367 253707
If you’re lacking a bit of inspo in the kitchen, the fab new book to the right there is sure to get the creative juices flowing. The Cotswolds Cook Book brings together more than 40 recipes from some of the region’s top chefs and producers, celebrating all the foodie awesomeness that the Cotswolds has to offer; each chapter is dedicated to a recipe, and the story behind the business that created it. The CCB costs £14.95, and you can pick one up in any of businesses featured, or from the publisher online. ✱ mezepublishing.co.uk/shop
(April 5) THE ART OF WINE PAIRING DINNER AT BLENHEIM PALACE Enjoy a decadent Champagne reception, followed by a threecourse meal with wines specially selected to match each dish. And all in the stunning surroundings of Blenheim Palace, with spectacular views of the Duke of Marlborough’s private Italian Garden. Tickets are £48 per person, available from designmynight.com (April 13) SUPPER WITH RICHARD TURNER AT THE CHEQUERS Richard Turner of Hawksmoor, Meatopia and Pitt Cue Co. returns to The Lucky Onion Club following the release of PRIME: The Beef Cookbook. This time he will be cooking up a storm at The Chequers in Churchill. Tickets are £60, and are available by calling 01242 822950.
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Ask the Expert
NO aVeraGe JOe JOE PARKE’S JOB AT STARBISTRO IN ULLENWOOD SEES HIM TEACHING STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES THE JOY OF FOOD PREP
PI C T UR E BY T HO US A N D WORD M E DI A
So Joe, tell us all about StarBistro? It’s part of National Star, a specialist college for young people with complex disabilities and acquired brain injuries. There are two restaurants, one at the college in Ullenwood – where I am head chef – and the second one in the Royal Crescent in Cheltenham. We serve breakfasts, lunches, tea and coffee, plus sweet treats. The students, who all have physical disabilities and/or learning difficulties, gain real experience of what it’s like working in a busy restaurant. How many students so you have, then, and how many members of staff? In total we have 11 learners, who work at different times during the week, and six members of staff. The learners work in the kitchen and front of house, swapping around every term, so they get a good variety of experience. And what’s the actual bistro like? It’s a 40-seater, really spacious and airy with a massive glass wall on one side and a nice view of the forest, the trees and the hills. It’s done out in white and lime green, quite modern with sharp lines, and with a
StarBistro head chef Joe Parke, right, with student Billie Davis
nice patio that seats about 16 people. The kitchen is open plan, so the customers can see in – and I can see out! How do you create your menu? We’re guessing you must consider the students quite a bit when deciding what dishes to include? My cooking style is modern British, but with world cuisine influences. Our menu is very seasonal, and we do it a month at a time, picking what produce is at its best. We’re lucky to have wonderful produce and suppliers around here, and I like to let the ingredients speak for themselves. My job is to challenge the learners and get them out of their comfort zones, but in a safe environment where they can grow in confidence and expand their experiences. My sous chef and I give them daily jobs, from prep like chopping and peeling to more complex tasks. And we’ve started a light bites menu, which is owned by our learners; they prepare, cook and serve everything on it from scratch. They are very much part of the team. Sounds good! So tell us three things that would tempt us on the menu today. For starters, we have Wye Valley asparagus in purple, green and white, with crispy hen’s egg, truffled mayonnaise and toasted hazelnuts. The asparagus is pretty much picked that day, and the flavours are so pronounced, it’s amazing. For your main course, you could have spring lamb's breast, which is slow-cooked overnight, shredded and pressed into cubes with Panko Japanese honey-coated breadcrumbs, and served with Pommes Anna and mint oil infused spring veg and a lamb jus. And for pudding, there’s rice pudding crème brûlée served with toasted rice pudding ice cream, compressed mango and coconut crisps. I’m a pastry chef at heart, so pudding is my favourite thing. That all sounds lush! Do you do lots of not-strictly-necessary ‘tasting’ when you’re cooking delicious things, or accidentally cook a bit too much and have to eat the leftovers? No! I don’t get hungry when I’m cooking, and I rarely stop for lunch. In fact, I have to make myself eat breakfast, as otherwise I’ll go until 6 or 7pm without eating anything at all. My wife tells me off.
We’re guessing there are plenty of challenges you guys have to deal with that you don’t get in other kitchens…? Well, on the one hand we have learners who use wheelchairs and have little dexterity or strength, but have no learning difficulties, and on the other there are those who are completely ambulant but can be closed off. Some may take a long time to process things, so you might ask a question and have to wait patiently for an answer. All of them, though, blow me away with their attitudes and what they achieve. I was really diving in the deep end when I took this job. I had no experience of disability, but the support we get in this place is amazing – and on a daily basis. Everyone at National Star, right up to the CEO, is dedicated to enabling the learners to realise their aspirations. This year it celebrates its 50th anniversary, and it really is such a great place. You must see some pretty major changes in your learners as they spend time with you, surely? The learners all have such positive attitudes, and they put their all into the job. Every day here I get the opportunity to feel really proud of them. Having said that, they are mostly teenagers, and – like all teenagers – if they don’t want to do something, they won’t . . . There is one learner who is virtually a different person from who she was on her first day; back then she was almost completely non-communicative – no words, no eye contact, no confidence, and she would be physically shaking. Now, though, she’s a really hard worker; she looks us in the face, and we have full conversations. You can see when she’s enjoying herself. The progress she’s made almost brings me to tears. It’s beautiful to see her smile. National Star is about raising aspirations and enabling students to achieve their potential and though, obviously, there are other people teaching here too, I like to think that I’ve helped with that. Do you need any special equipment? We have great things that make life easier, like chopping boards that stick to the work surfaces so they can’t slip, and knives that attach to the boards. We have spikes to put veg on to make chopping easier, the gangways are wider than usual for
wheelchair access, and some work surfaces can be raised and lowered for learners to get their wheelchairs underneath. It’s cool. Is the kitchen high pressure, or do you manage to have fun? I think you have to love being a chef to want to do it, and if you’re not having fun you’re probably not loving it. It can be high pressure, but my sous chef and I keep that between us – the students are here to learn, not to be shouted at. One learner managed to trick me into going in the cleaning cupboard, and then I heard the door slam behind me and he locked me in – and hid the keys in the safe. He only got rumbled because he couldn’t stop laughing. He was worried he might get told off, but I thought it was hilarious. Nobody ever pranks me and gets away with it usually – but he did! Some chefs are beans-on-toast types at home. What are you like? I love cooking great food at work, but I’m a very simple eater – I’m a heat fiend who is happy with a good steak or a packet of chilli Doritos. Thankfully, my wife, Abbi, is good at anything she does – she’s a DIYer, sparky, gardener, car mechanic, plumber, and a fantastic cook. What would you be if you weren’t a chef? Maybe a baker? (Am I allowed to choose that, as it’s still food?) I’ve been a chef for 22 years – I cooked at home when I was young, and had my first job in the industry when I was 12, starting at the bottom peeling spuds and washing pots – so I can’t imagine doing anything else. I’ve never had such responsibility as I have in this job, and – in some ways – I’ve never been so stressed in my life. But, equally, I’ve never loved a job more. Finally, then, why should we come? The StarBistros are unique in their ethics and principles, but they serve great coffee and great food, too. We’re here for the learners, but we’re also professionals who take pride in what we produce.
✱ StarBistro at Ullenwood is open Monday-Friday (except Bank Holidays), 9am-4pm. To book a table, call 01242 535984; nationalstar.org
S STTA A RRT E T RS E R S
New kid on the block how passionate the chefs were about their trade. From the Fitzherbert Arms I went to Scotland to work in the Michelinstarred Restaurant Martin Wisart, and it wasn’t until then, though, that I realised I wanted to be a professional chef.
SAY HELLO TO NIALL KEATING; HE’S THE NEW EXEC CHEF AT WHATLEY MANOR When did you begin cooking, Niall? At the age of 16 I started in the pot wash at the Fitzherbert Arms in Swynnerton. The head chef asked me to do a shift in the kitchen, as he was impressed with my cooking, and that’s where it started. Fondest foodie memory of childhood? Oh, my grandmother’s Staffordshire oat cakes with bacon and cheese. And what first inspired you to take up cooking professionally? I was brought up on programmes like Great British Menu and Saturday Kitchen, and it was really inspiring seeing
What’s the toughest job you’ve tackled so far? The opportunity came for me to work at the three Michelinstarred restaurant Benu, with Corey Lee – which meant a move from Nottingham to San Francisco! I’d not lived in a big city before and it took me a while to adjust, but I stayed for more than a year and loved it. When I arrived at Benu I immediately recognised that this was an emerging style of cuisine, and I had to quickly adapt to the concept and grasp all of these new ingredients. It challenged me, in the best way, on all levels. Where else locally might we know you from? I worked with Sam Moody at The Bath Priory for four years. It was actually there that I met Sue Williams, general manager of Whatley Manor.
What’s your proudest career achievement so far? That’s easy! Being asked to become the executive chef at Whatley Manor, and oversee both The Dining Room and Grey’s Brasserie. A big job! How many are in the team? We’re a currently a brigade of 15 chefs. How’ve you approached the menu? The current 12-course tasting menu is an expression of the different styles of cuisine I have worked with, combined with my own influences. I naturally draw inspiration from many different cuisines. Favourite ingredients at the moment? Fresh wasabi rhizome and wasabi
flowers from the Dorset Wasabi Company. These are used to enhance the beef on the Dining Room menu. Do you have any favourite suppliers? Ruby & White for the fantastic aged beef, Flying Fish for the freshest catch, and Wasabi Company for all the little things I didn’t think I could get in the UK. Do you grow anything yourself? We have a walled kitchen garden at Whatley Manor. This year, head gardener Andy Spreadbury and I are working together to ensure we have crops of vegetables that I can use on the menus. What meals do you cook at home? I don’t tend to cook at home! If anything, I’ll have a bowl of nong-shim ramyun (Korean noodles) or gyoza (Japanese dumplings), as they’re easy and tasty. What’s the best meal you’ve eaten? From a Michelin-starred perspective, it would have to be at Benu in San Francisco. It inspired me to contact Corey Lee afterwards, and ask him whether there was a position for me in his kitchen. Another meal that stands out, though, was street food in Kuala Lumpur. The dishes were brought to the table by the owners, and it remains one of my most memorable dining experiences. Which piece of kitchen equipment can’t you live without? A collection of kitchen knives, which I’ve accumulated over time. It’s important for a chef to use the right tools. Top 5-a-day? Peas, cauliflower, broccoli, radish and iceberg lettuce. Favourite cookery book? I got a lot of practical knowledge reading Under Pressure by Thomas Keller. Current fave flavour combination? Aloe Vera, pickled grapes, olive oil, lemon balm. These are found in our new pre-dessert. ✱ whatleymanor.com
Lynwood & Co is an amazing new café now open in the heart of Lechlade, the inspiration of Robert Broadbent and his wife Kats. ‘We are committed to providing Lechlade and surrounding villages a place where people can meet and enjoy amazing coffee, homemade cakes, in house artisan bread and a menu driven by seasonality.’ Open 8am - 4pm Mon-Friday, 8am-4pm Saturday, 8am-2pm Sunday (Brunch) Lynwood & Co, Apsley House, Market Square, Lechlade, Glouscestershire GL7 3AD 01367 253 707
Coming soon to Fairford!
S T A R T E R S
In the Larder 3
FILL YOUR TUM WITH THESE RABBITY, EGGY TREATS 1 DARK MATTER Luxury 70% Dark Egg with Divine Chocolate Tasting Set, £14 Easter isn’t Easter without a good egg, and this one is more than good. The thick, luscious shell of the egg is fantastic, but we adore the 12 little bars in different flavours – like milk chocolate with toffee and sea salt or white chocolate with strawberries – that come with. You could share them, but we wouldn’t judge if you ate them all yourself! Find ’em at Waitrose, Ocado or Whole Foods. ✱ divinechocolate.com 2 BUNNY UP! Daylesford Organic Springtime Forager Bunny, £100 If you’re looking for a centrepiece for your table this
gluten, wheat, lactose, soya and casein. What they’re not free from, though, is flavour. (Indeed, we challenge you to tell the difference between these and regular chocolate.) They’re available in three flavours – original, orange and our favourite, ‘bunnycomb’. Pick one up at Holland & Barratt, The Natural Grocery Store, Nutrition Centre, or Waitrose. ✱ moofreechocolates.com
Easter, then this little chap might be just the thing. Weighing in at a whopping 2.3kg, and made using a mixture of dark, milk and white chocolate, it comes decorated with delicate spring flowers. This is most definitely a bunny with the wow-factor! The only real question is whether you can bring yourself to eat him… ✱ daylesford.com 3 MOO-VE IT Moo Free Easter Eggs, £4.25 Even if you can’t eat chocolate, you don’t have to miss out on an Easter egg, thanks to the lovely peeps at Moo Free. They’ve come up with a range of the tempting treats made using rice milk, rather than cow’s milk, so they’re suitable for vegans, as well as being free from
4 PERFECT PASTA Easter tricolour pasta shapes, £3.29/500g Easter treats don’t have to be sweet, and we love this pasta in the shape of rabbits, chicks and eggs – even if it does give a whole new meaning to the phrase ‘bunny boiler’. It’s ideal for a fun supper over the Bank Holiday weekend, and
is sure to appeal to little kids and big kids alike. You can buy it in Lakeland. ✱ lakeland.co.uk 5 LET THEM EAT CAKE The Simply Delicious Cake Company Handmade Simnel Cake (4” Cake), £15.50 The Simply Delicious Simnel Cake is a traditional Easter cake packed with gorgeous vine fruits and mixed spice, with a layer of marzipan running right through the centre. The top of each cake has been hand-decorated with 11 marzipan balls and a handful of pretty sugar flowers. If you’re visiting family or friends this Easter, this is a gift that will win you heaps of Brownie points. It’s available from The Village Shop at Temple Guiting. ✱ templeguitingmanor.co.uk
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Askthe your waiter Ask Sommelier Who knows the most about wine? Who can help you match your tipple to your dinner? The sommelier is your friend!
And what did you do before all this, then? I’ve been a freelance wine business consultant since 2009, when I left the restaurant floor to focus on my travelling, research and writing. I’m currently working on my sixth book. My previous experience includes 17 years working in London, as both a wine buyer and a head sommelier. So, what’s the best thing about owning Roving Sommelier Wines? I’m self-employed and own my business, and so I get to make all the decisions and have complete control. In addition, I appreciate the independence and freedom, especially to travel to vineyards and meet great winemakers.
That certainly sounds like fun. There must be some challenges, though? Of course, it can be quite hard keeping focused and determined, especially during the tougher times. What skills have you learnt since starting the business? To expect the unexpected.
PLEASED TO MEET YOU, ROBERT GIORGIONE, OWNER OF ROVING SOMMELIER WINES Hi Robert! So, how long has Roving Sommelier been in business? I’ve been trading as an online shop and independent wine merchant for six months now. However, I’m in the process of looking for premises in the South West/ South Wales area, the aim being to open my own retail space and tasting room.
What sort of customers do you get, then? All sorts – from novices interested in learning and developing their own palates to wine connoisseurs who already really appreciate affordable premium quality wines.
What are your best-selling bottles at the moment? Prosecco – I have a really good one from Valdobbiadene, currently priced at below a tenner. New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc is also incredibly popular; currently I’m stocking Lawson’s Dry Hills Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc for £13.95 per bottle.
And beyond those, what are your current wine recommendations? English and Welsh wines, especially sparkling. At present there are some top-notch wines coming from vineyards in Sussex, Kent, Hampshire, Devon, Cornwall and Monmouthshire. I’m also recommending really interesting wines made from indigenous grape varieties from Spain, Portugal and Sicily. Interesting! What are your tips for up-and-coming regions to look out for? I suggest you keep an eye out for wines from Vinho Verde, Dao and Douro in Portugal; Rueda, Bierzo and Alicante in Spain; and Sicily and other parts of southern Italy, such as Puglia and Campania. In addition, there are some really good wines produced in the South West of France that are excellent pairings with desserts and chocolate. (This is another one of my passions.) What makes the stuff you offer at Roving Sommelier special, then? Less is more, and we focus more on quality than quantity. I know all my products inside out, and believe in them. All the things I sell – whether they are wines, craft beers, artisan ciders or exquisite artisan chocolates – are authentic. What’s more, I have visited each vineyard and craft microbrewery I represent, and have met and engaged with all my producers. I’m an award-winning sommelier, and try to encourage my customers to get the best out of food and drink matching. For me, Roving Sommelier is the facilitator of enjoyment and discovery. What one piece of advice would you give to someone about wines? Try to taste a wine before you buy it. For me, this is most important thing – and something most retailers fail to do. Try to understand and appreciate different tastes and flavours, too, remembering the ones you prefer and those you don’t. ✱ rovingsommelier.com
THIS COULD BE YOU! Contact email@example.com crumbsmag.com
EVERY OTHER SUNDAY LIVE MUSIC FROM 3PM - 5PM APRIL 16th Jessica Rhodes 30th David Julien
MAY 14th Vince Freeman 28th Celine Dos Santos
eastertime BOOK NOW FOR EASTER
2016 OXFORDSHIRE RESTAURANT AWARDS 2ND PLACE Best Traditional Pub Award Category
S T A R T E R S
The whOLe PaCKaGe
AS MARKETING SPECIALIST AT WHOLE FOODS MARKET, CHELTENHAM, HANNAH DWYER KNOWS ALL ABOUT EATING WELL… HANNAH LOOKS AFTER all things marketing at the Cheltenham branch of the UK and US natural food store, Whole Foods Market. The Gallagher Retail Park shop has been open for four-and-a-half years now, and Hannah has been there for the past 18 months. Working at Whole Foods has opened her eyes to an array of interesting new foods, she says, and her colleagues are an endless source of tasty recipes and ideas. This all being the case, we thought we’d see what she munches each week… ✱ wholefoodsmarket.co.uk
B R E A K FA S T
LU N C H
Nice cup of Earl Grey and a bowl of cereal to start my day off, while catching up on housework and errands.
A bit of fresh fruit, so I could save myself for eating out this evening.
My husband and I had a treat night out at Monty’s Brasserie. I had scallops, duck breast and a very rich ganache! Everything was outstanding.
Homemade muesli with oats, seeds, nuts and dried fruit, sprinkled with cinnamon and maca powder, with homemade coconut milk.
Thick soup and a freshly baked sourdough roll.
It was our monthly Tasty Tuesday, so I tried the leftovers, including sirloin steak, raclette and chocolate-dipped strawberries!
Chocolate banana breakfast pot from Whole Foods, with natural yoghurt and granola to keep me going on an early shift as duty manager for the store.
A filling freshly-made salad selection from our salad bar.
Sirloin steak, potato wedges, mangetout – and a naughty chocolate pudding for afters!
As I was leading a Whole Kids Club cookery class, my brunch consisted of puff pastry pinwheels!
Another puff pastry pinwheel – to double-check the recipe had worked!
I made a Moroccan lamb lasagne, using soya milk for the béchamel sauce and with Panko breadcrumbs on top, as my husband is lactose-intolerant.
Another delicious breakfast pot, this time with berries, yoghurt and granola, accompanied by our Allegro coffee.
Fougasse bread sticks dipped into our spicy guacamole, courtesy of another cookery class.
Leftover Moroccan lasagne from last night. (I’m a fan of batch cooking!)
Cup of coffee, and scrambled eggs on a lightly toasted sourdough roll.
A warming bowl of turmeric cauliflower soup. Not only does it taste delicious, but turmeric is great for its immunity-boosting and anti-inflammatory properties.
As I was leaving work, I picked up one of our tasty pulled pork burritos, stuffed with sour cream, guacamole and beans, and freshly rolled to order.
Cup of tea, and my homemade muesli with coconut milk.
A rare Sunday off calls for a roast dinner! I choose one of our free-range chickens, and serve it with organic veg and potatoes.
A light snack of pears spread with crunchy peanut butter. A tasty treat, as recommended by one of our produce team members.
Farm Shop & Coffee House
Butchery, delicatessen, wholesale and catering, fresh daily produce, local seasonal menu, traditional handmade pies, pastries and cakes 19 LOVE LANE CIRENCESTER GL7 1YG www.jessesmith.co.uk
Award winning farm shop specialising in its own and local meat of outstanding quality and ﬂavour.
Pure, Simple & Delicious. OPENING TIMES:
TUESDAY- FRIDAY 9AM - 6PM • SATURDAY 8.30AM - 2PM THE FARM IS NOW OPEN TO VISITORS FOR THE SUMMER
The Butts Farm Rare Breeds & Farm Shop South Cerney, Cirencester, Gloucestershire GL7 5QE • 01285 862224 • firstname.lastname@example.org
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THE COTSWOLDS ARE HOME TO SOME TOP NOTCH CHEESE MAKERS AND MONGERS. HERE ARE THREE OF OUR FAVES… COTSWOLD CHEESE COMPANY
There’s just so much love that goes into producing Nanny Lander’s goats’ cheese that we can’t help but love it, too. This is very much a family business, so much so that every member of the 50-strong herd (which includes 20 milking nannies) has a name! How cute is that? The herd lives on a farm in Quenington, and is fed on organic hay, silage and oats, all produced at the same place – no food miles here! – with the beasts having access to fresh air and pasture all year ’round. The cheese itself is soft, creamy and fresh, and because the milk is pasteurised it doesn’t have that strong ‘goaty’ flavour. It’s small scale production at Nanny Lander’s, so you won’t find this cheese on any big supermarket shelves. This spring, however, it will be available from Purton House Organics – or just call Tom, the farmer, and he’ll help you out!
For the complete cheese experience, there ain’t many (if any!) places better than the Cotswold Cheese Company. They first opened in Moreton-in-Marsh back in 2006, but their cheesy offerings proved so popular that they now have shops in Burford and Stow-on-the-Wold, too. The CCC team pride themselves on offering a unique specialist experience, whether it’s helping you to choose your cheeseboard, design a cheese wedding cake, or simply encourage you to broaden your horizons. As well as the vast cheese selection (which includes sheeps’ and goats’ cheeses), they also sell other tasty morsels, such as olives, charcuterie, pates, artisan breads, biscuits and chutneys. C’mon, what more could you possible want? ✱ 5 High Street, Moreton-in-Marsh GL56 0AH; cotswoldcheese.com
✱ 01285 750236; nannylanders.co.uk
Cheese and truffles might be two of the greatest foodstuffs ever invented, so combining the two was always going to be a total winner (in our books, at any rate). Truffle Gloucester Cheese has been made as a collaboration between two Cotswolds-based artisan food businesses: TruffleHunter, the UK’s market-leading truffle product manufacturer, and a respected cheese maker, Simon Weaver Organic. A single Gloucester cheese is made using organic milk, obtained from the cheesemaker’s single herd of Gloucester cows, before being infused with TruffleHunter’s minced black summer truffles. “Our Truffle Gloucester cheese is a wonderful expression of the Cotswolds,” they say, “both in terms of the land and the skills and expertise of those that inhabit it.” (We say: “Buy some now. It’s lush.”) ✱ trufflehunter.co.uk
The Inn for All Seasons, is a former 16th century coaching inn set in the heart of the Cotswolds. A warm and friendly hotel with a relaxed bar and a renowned restaurant offering the best of British and local produce including the freshest ﬁsh sourced directly from Devon and Cornwall. The Inn offers comfortable en-suite accommodation, free parking & dogs are welcome.
The Inn for All Seasons | Little Barrington | Burford | Oxfordshire | OX18 4TN T: 01451 844324 | W: www.theinnforallseasons.co.uk THE INN IS NOW OPEN 7 DAYS PER WEEK FROM 8AM – 10PM
The Angel Hotel 47 High Street with this Wootton Bassett advert Wiltshire SN4 7AQ Tel: 01793 851161 Email: TheAngel.WBassett@arkells.com
Nestled at the base of the Malvern Hills, within walking distance of the popular festival town of Upton upon Severn, you will find Clive’s Fruit Farm. We are a family run farm, famous for growing fruit which is handpicked, pressed and bottled on site. We produce a large selection of single variety apple and pear juices and have extended our range by fusing flavours such as fiery ginger & pear or our delicious new apple & mango. These are all available in our farm shop, online and also many local stockists. Why not come and try our juices and, if you’re brave enough, our traditionally produced farmhouse cider and perry “Wobblejuice”! There is a children’s play area, café serving homemade treats, PYO in season and a well-stocked farm shop with deli counter and butchery. Monday - Saturday 9am - 5pm • Sundays & Bank Holidays 10am - 4pm
Upper Hook Road, Upton upon Severn, Worcs. WR8 0SA
Join us this year for EASTER SUNDAY LUNCH 16th April, serving 12-3pm. Tables limited, call to book your table now! Our ball room is perfect for your wedding reception or event. We serve food all day: Mon - Sat 8am - 9.30pm • Sun 8am - 3pm Large beer garden
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The freshest, most inspirational cookbooks of the month
I LOVE INDIA Anjum Anand Quadrille, £20
Anjum Anand’s quest to bring Indian food to home kitchens on our shores continues with this personal collection of family recipes, dishes discovered on her travels, and the Londonbased cook’s own fresh and light interpretations of regional Indian creations. Sprinkled with stories and history, alongside some stunning photography by Martin Poole, these vibrant recipes include a number of vegetarian dishes, such as four seed-spiced okra with tomatoes, and Tamil-style lentil and vegetable curry. Not that meat-eaters will be disappointed – try the Mughlai-style braised lamb shanks laced with julienned root ginger, or the Gujarati chicken biryani. The desserts are no less enticing, as chilled mango, coconut and tapioca pearl pudding, and fennel and cardamom-spiced mini pancakes, demonstrate.
Mina Holland Orion, £20
Catherine Phipps Quadrille, £20
It is often said that childhood meals form the foundations of our taste buds and how we cook later in life, and Mina Holland’s new book is all about taking food back to basics, which invariably means going home and recreating the dishes we ate as children. For most of us, that means mother’s cooking, and this collection of stories about childhood food memories sees Holland interview significant food figures such as Claudia Roden, Yotam Ottolenghi, Jamie Oliver and Anna del Conte, as well as actor Stanley Tucci and noted psychotherapist Susie Orbach. There are some fantastic recipes, too – new and old dishes that should be in the repertoire of all self-respecting home cooks, whether you are a Mamma yourself or not.
Having written about pressure cookers and chicken in her previous two cookbooks, Guardian writer (and regular on BBC Radio 4’s The Food Programme) Catherine Phipps turns her attention to all things citrus in this zesty collection of recipes. From the moment you peel open the bright, grapefruit-yellow, clothbound cover and dive inside, this book zings with sweet and sour dishes from around the world. With over 170 recipes, Phipps celebrates Middle Eastern salads, Asian broths, fragrant curries, punchy salsas, classic curds, decadent desserts and cooling sorbets, utilising every conceivable citrus fruit along the way. Must-have recipes include sprouting broccoli with blood orange hollandaise; salmon with mandarin and ginger; and rum and orange bread and butter pudding.
HEALTHY BAKING Jordan Bourke Orion, £20
As a nation we’ve gone bonkers for baking, thanks to the likes of Paul and Mary, and there still seem to be a slew of new books about bread and cakes. Ballymaloetrained Jordan Bourke worked in Michelin-star restaurants before writing award-winning books like Our Korean Kitchen, so he brings an added level of expertise to his home baking. In this book, the Irish chef looks at nourishing breads, savoury tarts and bakes, which are wholesome as well as delicious. Using ancient grains and ferments, as well as alternatives to refined sugar, Bourke also finds plenty of options to make recipes gluten- and dairyfree. Recipes to bookmark include the sourdough blueberry pancakes, and the Italian strawberry and chocolate chunk cake.
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HOME KITCHEN Nathan Outlaw Quadrille, £20
Cornish seafood chef Nathan Outlaw is becoming as prolific at writing books (this is his fourth) as he is gaining Michelin stars (he has two for his place in Rock) or opening restaurants (he now has five). Outlaw’s previous books have concentrated more on restaurant-style dishes, but his latest looks at some of the meals he cooks for his family at home. Although the recipes still require the best ingredients you can afford – especially when it comes to his beloved seafood – these are fuss-free and often easy enough for your kids to cook. From a hearty breakfast dish like devilled kidneys and bacon on toast to chicken and leek pie for after-school supper, it’s a book packed with comforting classics.
Taken from: CITRUS BY CATHERINE PHIPPS (Quadrille £20)
SPICED SEA BASS WITH CITRUS BUTTER SAUCE PHOTOGRAPHY BY MOWIE KAY
The spicing here is fragrant rather than hot and has a vaguely Middle Eastern feel to it, so you could simply serve it with rice or couscous instead of the chickpeas and greens. (SERVES 4)
For the rub: 1 tsp flaky sea salt, pounded ½ tsp ground cardamom ¼ tsp ground cinnamon ¼ tsp ground ginger ¼ tsp ground white pepper ¼ tsp garlic powder ¼ tsp ground turmeric
4 sea bass fillets, skin on 350g spring greens, very finely shredded 1 tbsp olive oil 30g butter 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped 2 lemons, zest and juice 1 large orange, juice only 100ml water 350g cooked chickpeas
– Blot the sea bass fillets and lie them skin-side down on kitchen paper. Combine all the rub ingredients and sprinkle evenly over the fillets. Press lightly. – Before you start frying the fish, cook the spring greens. Wash thoroughly, then put in a large lidded saucepan without shaking off too much water. Cover and heat gently until the greens have wilted down and are just al dente.
– Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan. When hot, add the sea bass fillets, skin side down, and fry for a couple of minutes. Flip over and cook for a further 30 seconds, then remove from the frying pan and keep warm. – Add the butter, garlic, lemon zest and juice and orange juice to the pan. Turn up the heat and let the mixture bubble until you have a glossy, syrupy sauce. Pour into a jug. – Deglaze the pan with the water. Add the chickpeas and spring greens and stir to pick up any flavour residue. Season with salt and pepper. – Serve the fish with the chickpeas and greens, and the sauce spooned over.
C HE F ! WHAT TO MAKE, AND HOW TO MAKE IT – DIRECT FROM THE KITCHENS OF OUR FAVOURITE FOODIES
Did you know, the average pea pod contains seven peas?
Highlights GET ME TO THE GREEK The Med meets the Cotswolds Page 30
SOUP DOGG This chilled soup is packed with springtastic flavours Page 32
ROAST WITH THE MOST
Roast lamb, the perfect Easter feast Page 34
38 ROLL WITH IT Spring rolls with a difference
S MITCHELL’S BISLEY HOUSE HEAD CHEF LUCA N OF LAMB DISH IS A DELICIOUS FUSIO S FLAVOURS MEDITERRANEAN AND COTSWOLD Here the head chef at Bisley House, Lucas Mitchell, shows off a dish that’s a real celebration of the Stroud bar and restaurant’s distinctive style, cheekily giving home-grown produce a European twist. Using organic lamb from Damsell’s Farm in nearby Painswick, this way of serving lamb is sure to dazzle friends at any dinner party – and it won’t break the bank, either. “Lamb breast is a thrifty cut, and it’s very flavoursome,” he says, “especially when cooked ‘low and slow’. You won’t find lamb’s breast in many supermarkets, but a good butcher will be able to sort you out. Half a breast lamb should do between four and six portions. Our method of cooking it is time consuming, yes, but very easy to do at home. Try cooking the lamb the day before you want to serve it, as you’ll need to chill it before it’s breaded.”
CRISPY LAMB’S BREAST GREEK SALAD (SERVES 4- 6)
1 x half lamb’s breast 250ml red wine (approx.) 250ml instant chicken stock (approx.) a few sprigs of rosemary a few sprigs of thyme 1 bay leaf 3 whole cloves of garlic 50g plain flour salt and pepper for seasoning 3 eggs splash of milk 200g Panko breadcrumbs 1 red onion, cut into 8 wedges 4 tbsps sugar 6 tbsps red wine vinegar 200g lamb’s lettuce 100g cherry or sundried tomatoes 100g Kalamata olives 200g marinated feta cheese extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar to dress the leaves
– Preheat oven to 120C/250F/ gas mark ½. – Line a cooking tray with baking parchment and lay out the lamb’s breast flat in a cooking tray. Season both sides and add a few sprigs of rosemary, thyme, 2 bay leafs and the garlic. – Add the wine and chicken stock. There should be enough to cover the meat. Add some extra, if needed, but keep the 50:50 ratio. – Lay another layer of baking parchment on top and seal the tray with aluminium foil, then put in the oven for four hours. – Take out of the oven and remove the aluminium foil and excess liquid from the tray. Sit another tray on top and weight it to squash the lamb down. (Something like a bowl of water should do the job. For best results, use a matching tray to the one used to cook the lamb.) – Once cool, place the tray in the fridge and leave to press overnight. – To bread the lamb, first remove from the tray, pat dry with kitchen towel and cut into rectangular strips, 4cm x 10cm. – Toss the strips in seasoned flour. – Beat the eggs until evenly runny, and add a splash of milk to loosen up the mix. Dip the strips in the egg mix and cover in breadcrumbs. Lay the strips of lamb on a clean tray in the fridge until you are ready to fry, though for no more that a few hours. – Sweat the red onion in sugar and red wine vinegar until soft, for around 10 minutes. – Assemble the Greek salad with the lamb’s lettuce, tomatoes, Kalamata olives, feta and the onions. – Finish the lamb by shallow frying until the breadcrumbs are golden brown, or use a deep fryer at 180C for 3 minutes. – Dress the salad with a vinaigrette made of extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. – Pour yourself a glass of Rioja Reserva and enjoy the fruits of your labour! ✱ BISLEY HOUSE, Middle Street, Stroud GL5 1DZ; 01453 751328; bisleyhousecafe.co.uk
ChILL OuT F SPRING WITH THIS O IT IR SP E TH EL N AN CH LED SOUP, BY LIGHT AND FRESH CHILLISH EVENT CATERING ROBERT GOVES OF RE
Robert says: “Gazpacho has long been a family favourite of ours when spending time on holidays in the south of France. This is another delicious chilled soup, perfect to serve for lunch on a hot summer day, or as a starter; whichever you like. Ice cubes are a good garnish and help to keep the soup super-chilled. “If you are hosting a barbecue, drizzle some sourdough with olive oil and grill on the coals as an accompaniment – the sour bread then goes all smoky, warm and toasted. Against the sweet chilled soup, it will send your taste buds loopy. “The colours are awesome too, with the contrasting white crème fraiche and deep green dill oil. The peas, leeks and shallots make the soup nice and sweet, so serve it with a classic dry Côtes de Provence rosé and let you mind wander to a happy place.”
CHILLED PEA and ASPARAGUS SOUP (SERVES 4)
100g dill (stalk removed) 75ml vegetable oil 2 banana shallots 2 leeks, trimmed 2 cloves of garlic 400ml vegetable stock 250g frozen peas 250g asparagus 200g baby spinach 50g parsley (stalks removed) 100ml crème fraiche seasoning 50g butter salt and pepper
– Firstly, prepare the dill oil. Bring a pan of water to a rolling boil. Plunge the dill into the water for five seconds and then refresh in ice cold water. – Squeeze out all the water from the dill and blend in a Bar Blender/NutriBullet with the vegetable oil for about 45 seconds, then pass the oil through a cloth into a container and refrigerate. You should now have a clear, bright green dill oil. – To make the soup, sweat down the shallots, leeks and garlic in the butter until soft and translucent. – Add the vegetable stock and bring to the boil. Then add the peas, asparagus, spinach and parsley. Cook for five seconds and pour out onto a tray to cool a little. – Whilst still warm, add a ladle at a time to your food processor and blend to a velvety smooth soup. Be careful, as if the liquid is hot it can build up pressure in your processor and blow the top off! (It’s best to pulse a few times to even out the heat.) – Chill the soup in the fridge, season, and stir in 75ml of the crème fraiche. – To serve, garnish with the dill oil, drizzle with crème fraiche and some picked herbs. If you’re feeling fancy, retain a few peas and the asparagus tips and use as a garnish. ✱ RELISH EVENT CATERING; 01285 658444; relishevent.co.uk
RARE BREEDS HAS A JUDY HANCOX FROM BUTTS FARM – IDEAL FOR EASTER! RECIPE FOR PERFECT ROAST LAMB
fOr LOve OF LamB Farmer and business woman Judy Hancox has owned and run The Butts Farm Rare Breeds for 26 years now – and has been marketing the produce of her rare breed beasts for 36 years. The Butts Farm does the lot – breeding its meat, butchering it and selling it – and during the summer it’s open to the public too, helping us all get a better idea about where our food comes from. “When you cook with traditional British meat that has been slowly produced, reared outdoors on grass or home grown, you can treat it very simply and allow the food to do all the talking,” Judy says. “Spring lamb will not shout at you, but has a truly exceptional flavour that’s all its own.”
ROAST LEG OF SPRING LAMB (SERVES 5- 6)
1.5kg Wilja potatoes, peeled and cut into halves or quarters (depending on the size of the potato) 50ml British rapeseed oil (I prefer Stanswick Farm) 1 tbsp beef dripping or goose fat leg of spring lamb, approximately 1.5 kg 400g carrots, scrubbed or peeled and chopped, depending on your preference 400g parsnips, scrubbed or peeled and chopped, depending on your preference 1 turnip, peeled and chopped into halfinch cubes or rounds
1 small swede, peeled and chopped into half-inch cubes or rounds 1 red onion, peeled and thinly sliced 1.5 tsp salt boiling water (as needed) 1 sprig of rosemary 1 tbsp cornflour METHOD
– Preheat oven to 180C/350F/ gas mark 4. – Peel potatoes and cut to size. Place in a pan of cold water on hot hob and bring quickly to boil for 2 minutes. – Drain, put back in the pan and pour in the rapeseed oil (keeping some back for the lamb). Add beef dripping or goose fat and 1 teaspoon of salt. Put the lid on the pan and shake vigorously to cover the potatoes. Place in a baking tray. – Place the leg of lamb in a high-sided baking tray. It’s your choice whether you peel the carrots and parsnips, or just give them a good scrub to remove any soil. Put all the vegetables in the baking tray around the lamb. – Poor boiling water over the lamb (this seals in the flavour) to halfway up the baking tray. Rub half a teaspoonful of salt and the remainder of the rapeseed oil over the surface of the lamb. Place the sprig of rosemary on top. – Put the potatoes on the top shelf and lamb on the lower shelf in the oven for 1.5 hours. As the outsides of the potatoes have been softened, they will have absorbed the oil and the fat, so will crisp up well. – Once the meat is cooked, remove from the baking tray along with the veg, retaining the juices in the tray. – To make the gravy, put the tray with the juices on a medium hob to reheat. – Put the cornflower into a cup and half fill with water to stir until dissolved. Pour this into the pan with the juice, stirring continually, and add further boiling water to the thickness required. (As a tip, I keep little pots of caramelised goo left over after doing honey roast hams and this makes great browning.) ✱ THE BUTTS FARM RARE BREEDS, Cricklade Road, South Cerney, Cirencester GL7 5QE; 01285 869414; buttsfarmrarebreeds.co.uk
Lovely Fresh Milk and Cheese Certified Organic by The Organic Soil Association (and the only organic goat herd in the Cotswolds and Gloucestershire).
Food Fanatics Food Hall
Stocking a range of local, regional and international foods. From every day necessities to that little indulgence.
OPEN DAY: APRIL 30TH SUNDAY
Whilst you are browsing, why not stop for a sweet or savoury snack in our coffee shop and soak up the surroundings.
Goat Kid Feeding at about 4:15pm, Milking at 5:00pm - 5:15pm, Tractor & Trailer rides. Cheese, Milk, Fudge for sale.
OPEN EVERY DAY 12 North Street, Winchcombe, Gloucestershire GL54 5LH
Home Farm, Quenington, Netherton, Cirencester GL7 5DD Tel: 01285750236, 07584323439
EAT CHEESE BE HAPPY 01451 605030 BURFORD • MORETON-IN-MARSH • Stow-on-the-wold COTSWOLDCHEESE.COM
SAUERKRAUT GREEN ROLLS & DIPPING SAUCE (SERVES 4- 6) SAUERKRAUT AND SPRING GREENS ARE A WINNING COMBO IN THIS DISH BY CELIA DUPLOCK
rOLL U P Spring is a great time to detox, and this recipe will give you a little extra help along the way. Classed as a superfood, sauerkraut is a naturally fermented food, packed with friendly bacteria to help to balance your inner ecology and maintain a healthy digestive system. It also contains high levels of dietary fibre, as well as significant levels of A, C, K and B vitamins, and is a good source of iron, manganese, copper, sodium, magnesium and calcium. Sauerkraut is easy to make, but if you’re buying it ready-made, make sure you get a raw, organic variety, as many commercial sauerkrauts are pasteurised, thereby killing the friendly bacteria. Good quality sauerkraut has a fresh, sour taste and can be used to enhance salads, soups and casseroles.
This recipe is really easy to make, and only takes a few minutes. All you need is a fresh, spring cabbage, a jar of sauerkraut and a sushi mat. These tasty rolls make a great starter or side dish and excellent finger food for picnics, barbeques and packed lunches. The sweetness of the fresh cabbage provides a delicious contrast to the sharpness of the sauerkraut, and the dipping sauce is bursting with traditional Asian flavours. As an alternative, you could also serve them with a tahini or peanut sauce. ✱ Celia runs regular workshops at the Organic Farm Shop in Cirencester and offers macrobiotic consultations, food coaching, menu planning and cooking lessons. To contact Celia, call 07831 342214 or email email@example.com.
For the green rolls: spring greens, or a big green leafy spring cabbage 1 jar of sauerkraut (300g-400g) METHOD
– Carefully wash the green leaves, cut out any thick stems, then steam until tender, about 4-6 minutes. – Drain the sauerkraut by gently squeezing it and discarding the liquid. – Lay several layers of leaves on a sushi mat, add a line of drained sauerkraut down the middle, and wrap the greens around the sauerkraut. – Gently but firmly squeeze the roll inside the sushi mat, then take it out and slice into bite-sized pieces with a sharp knife. INGREDIENTS
For the dipping sauce: 2 tbs shoyu, tamari or good quality, naturally fermented soy sauce 4-6 tbs water 1 tsp ginger juice (from grated ginger root) 1 tsp mirin splash of lemon (optional) METHOD
– Mix all the ingredients together. – Adjust seasoning, and add more water or mirin as required.
BLOGGER, PRIVATE CHEF AND KEEN KITCHEN GARDENER KATHY SLACK OF GLUTS & GLUTTONY TELLS YOU WHAT TO GROW AND HOW TO COOK IT. THIS MONTH, HEAVENLY HERBS
he veg patch can be a bit of a hard taskmaster at this time of year. Lots to do – seeds to sow, soil to feed, plants to start hardening off. But there’s not much by way of harvest as a reward. The odd radish, perhaps, but that’s not going to keep the wolf from the door. What is beginning to re-emerge, however, is the herb garden. With a warm spell and a fair wind you can have a serious herb glut at Eastertime. Currently, my rocket is living up to its name – ‘wild’ – and the parsley is going to need mowing if it grows another inch, while the chives, which I thought had given up the ghost after several years of valiant service, have resurfaced and are going great guns. All these were planted from garden centre pot plants in previous years, and all have come back to life as the days warm up. It’s a bit much, to be honest. Still, at least I can use herbs in everything. No, really. Everything. Add a bunch of mixed herbs to a sauce, roast – heck, even a pudding – and you’ll have created a little flavour bomb. The knack is to keep the story straight when combining herbs. For example, if the story is Mediterranean (i.e. if you’re cooking pasta sauce pizza dishes) then stick with Mediterranean herbs like marjoram, oregano and basil. If the dish is more English and spring-like in vibe (roast anything, quiche, braised lettuce), then go for light, frothy, green English herbs like parsley, dill, chives, mint and so on. If you were to mix, say, oregano and rosemary with mint and chives, you’re going to mix up the stories – and it isn’t likely to taste that nice. Don’t cross the streams, basically.. Here’s how to make a real hero of your herb harvest with some sweet or savoury choux buns...
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SweeT Or SaVOUrY ChOUx BUNS ( SERVES 2 )
For the choux buns: 175ml cold water 70g unsalted butter, diced 100g strong white bread flour 1 tsp caster sugar 2 large eggs, beaten METHOD
– Put the water and butter into a saucepan and set it to melt over a medium heat. – When the butter has melted, turn the heat up and bring to a boil. As soon as the liquid boils, turn the heat off and tip in the flour and sugar. Beat fiercely with a wooden spoon until you have a smooth paste that comes away from the sides of the pan. – Tip the paste into a mixing bowl. Beat in the eggs a bit at a time, beating until fully combined before adding more. You should be left with a mixture that nicely holds its shape in soft peaks. – Spoon or pipe 12-14 balls of pastry onto a well-oiled baking tray, leaving at least 2cm between them. Use a slightly damp finger to round off any edges, or they will burn in the oven. – Pop the choux buns in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until they’re lightly browned. – When the choux buns are baked, remove from the oven and pierce with a cocktail stick a few times on the underside to allow the steam out (this prevents the insides going soggy).
For a herby cheesy filling: 6 tbsp soft goats’ cheese 2 tbsp full fat creme fraiche handful of herbs (any combo of parsley, rocket, mint, chives, dill) salt and pepper METHOD
– Finely chop the herbs. Mix them, together with the creme fraiche and cheese, in a bowl and season to taste. – Spoon into a piping bag, poke a hole in the side of each choux bun and squeeze around 1 tsp of the filling into the middle. Serve immediately. INGREDIENTS
For a sweet pear and thyme custard filling: 30g caster sugar 2 egg yolks 2 tsp thyme leaves, plus extra for finishing 10g corn flour 7g plain flour 175ml milk 4 tbsp icing sugar 1 tbsp pear juice METHOD
– Start by making the custard. Mix the caster sugar, egg yolks, thyme and flours in a saucepan until smooth. – Pour in the milk and whisk well. Set over a medium heat and cook, whisking all the while until just boiling, at which point it will thicken (you want tinned custard thickness). Transfer it into a piping bag and set to one side. – For the icing, simply mix the icing sugar and pear juice together. It should be thick but not stiff. Spoon into a piping bag. – To assemble, poke a hole in the side of each choux bun and fill with thyme custard. Pipe a drizzle of icing over each bun, top with a few thyme leaves and serve.
✱ Kathy Slack writes the food blog, Gluts and Gluttony, about the gluts she gets from her veg patch and the ensuing gluttony in the kitchen. She is a private chef and supper club host and also offers in-home cookery classes. Her cookbook, The Gluts & Gluttony Cookbook & Growing Guide, is available at glutsandgluttony.com. Twitter and Instagram: @gluts_gluttony
ARMOURY CHOOSE YOUR WEAPONS
MICROPLANE’S BLADES HAVE ALWAYS BEEN ABOUT AS GOOD AS YOU CAN GET, SAYS MATT BIELBY, BUT NOW THEY DISMEMBER FOODSTUFFS WITH ADDITIONAL ELEGANCE Graters are rarely the most glamorous kitchen items, are they? Most of them are cheap, blunt and generally hopeless. And, I’m guessing, this will be equally as bad – just much, much more expensive. Whoa there, grumpy! This grater’s from Microplane, the Arkansas, USA woodwork company. It first expanded into kitchen utensils when a ’90s Canadian housewife found her husband’s carpentry tools worked far better than her rubbishy kitchen graters, and the company found its focus switch virtually overnight. Microplane stuff isn’t the cheapest, but it’s almost always the sharpest – thank ‘photo-etching’ technology, which means each cutting edge is like a tiny razor. Don’t use it to exfoliate, then! Probably best not to. Even the bog-standard Microplane graters are handsome tools, but the new, high-end Master Series – with stainless steel graters, loops at the end for easy hanging, and elegant oiled walnut handles – are particularly lovely looking, while the wood element is a nice reference to Microplane’s history, too. There are five graters in the
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set, each coming in at £30-35: a long, narrow Master Zester, for zesting citrus fruit and grating anything from hard cheese to garlic; and four paddle-shaped versions with fine, coarse, ribbon and extra-coarse blades. Do I really need so many? That’d be – does quick calculation – about £170 for the set! Perhaps not, but it’s easy enough to pick the ones you’ll really use. The fine one’s great for spices like nutmeg and cinnamon, and hard cheese like Parmesan; the coarse one’s really versatile, and perfect for carrots and coconut; the ribbon one creates elegant strips of everything from apple to chocolate; and the extra-coarse loves spuds, onions, and grating cold butter for pastry. I’d suggest just buying one or two to start, and seeing how you get on. Sounds grate! You’ve been pushing it for years, but congratulations: you just earned your P45. ✱ Microplane graters are available at Steamer Trading, and branches of Lakeland and John Lewis; microplaneintl.com
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Crumbs cooks with THERE ARE NOT MANY CHEFS MORE ENTHUSIASTIC ABOUT MACROBIOTICS THAN MICHELIN STARS, BUT JAMIE RAFTERY, AKA THE HOLISTIC CHEF, IS ONE OF THEM. SO, WHEN HE OFFERED TO COOK US LUNCH, WE JUST COULDN’T RESIST GOING ALONG TO FIND OUT MORE…
cULTUre cLUB crumbsmag.com
Words: EMMA DANCE Photographs: KIRSTIE YOUNG
he table is laden with jars of colourful vegetables and boxes and bags filled with all manner of grains and powders. Some of it, like turmeric, oats and sauerkraut, I can identify. But I’ve never heard of ‘teff’ or ‘reishi powder’, and there’s a jar, filled with a pale orange liquid with a strangelooking pancake-like blob floating on top, that’s both curious and slightly revolting in equal measure. It’s not immediately apparent how any of it is going to become lunch, and it’s definitely not the sort of stuff you’d find in the average larder, but then Jamie Raftery, aka The Holistic Chef, isn’t your average chef… Because, despite having achieved more before his 30th birthday than most chefs dream of achieving in a lifetime (he was a Gordon Ramsay Scholar, won an Acorn Award for up-and-coming stars in the hospitality industry, and spent a year-anda-half in the kitchens at the much-lauded French Laundry in California, not to mention the fact that he was mentored by Michael Caines at Gidleigh Park for three years), Jamie’s decided to turn his back on Michelin in favour of macrobiotics, and these days is far more excited by Ayurveda than awards. “Awards are great,” he says, in his charming Irish lilt. “They got me going, and they got me to the best restaurant in the world – but it’s too easy to get caught up in always looking for that recognition, and validation that never comes. It’s just not for me any more.” Instead, Jamie now prefers to focus his attention on creating dishes that are as nutritious as they are delicious, based primarily on plant-based foods and always including fermented and macrobiotic elements – and that’s what he’s preparing for us today. As he moves around the kitchen, assembling the eclectic array of ingredients, he explains what caused his culinary journey to take such a spectacularly different turn.
“I was working as executive chef at Lower Slaughter Manor, and I just felt like I’d lost all my creativity,” he says. “I was doing more admin than cooking, so I left and went to Scandinavia, where I worked in lots of restaurants for free. That’s when I was introduced to fermentation, and I thought it was fascinating. Then I went to northern Thailand, and enrolled in a Thai boxing school for two months – and, at the same time, did an online course in nutrition. “Everyone was drinking kombucha (a fermented green tea), which was being made by these hippies up in the mountains, so I went and found them and hung out with them for a few days, just learning from them and understanding the process and embracing it. It was a way of connecting with food beyond anything I had ever imagined, and it really inspired me and set me on a whole new trajectory that got me looking at food in a more holistic way.
“It really hit home, though, just after I came back, and I was visiting someone in a chemotherapy ward. A sweets trolley came in, selling chocolate and crisps and fizzy drinks, and it just seemed wrong to me that these people – who were sicker than they had ever been – were now being sold junk food. There’s just something wrong with the whole food system, you see. Cancer rates are going up, obesity is going up, diabetes is going up, malnutrition is going up. We need to get back to grass roots level and eat food that comes from the earth, not from a factory that has manipulated it.” It all sounds very good and very worthy and everything. But isn’t it also a bit, well, dull too? “People often think that removing animal products is limiting, but I think it’s completely the opposite,” says Jamie. “There’re something like 70,000 edible plants to choose from, and each plant has a different story. I love looking at the history of different plants. “That’s not to say that I think that everyone should be vegan or vegetarian. And I don’t think you should label someone for what they eat. I eat meat – only about once a month, but I eat it. It’s just about choosing better animal products, and less of them. The thing is, getting protein from meat can slow your digestive system, and it takes a lot more energy to digest. Oats are my main form of protein and it works for me!” Jamie pauses from the cooking to flex his bicep, to prove his point. There’s actually no need. Lithe and lean, he’s practically bouncing around the kitchen, and this is after completing a CrossFit competition at 6am that morning.
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Now thatâ€™s a right proper plateful of goodness!
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Blood orange and kefir mousse, brazil nut cookie, and chia seed jam. Yum!
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I mean, this guy could basically be a poster-boy for his food philosophy. It’s hard to believe, but he’s not always been such a picture of health, though. “I used to be a smoker, and I drank a lot,” he admits. “I was stressed out, and tired, and I basically ran on coffee. I had a typical chef’s lifestyle. “But if you feel tired all the time it takes away the vibrancy of life. Changing the way I eat, and the way I look at life, has had a profound effect on my energy levels, my health, my happiness, my concentration, and I make better decisions. Making decisions is really what’s all about. Sometimes I eat a pizza or a burger, but I won’t freak out about it. If that’s what you want to eat, that’s fine – as long as it’s a decision and it’s not just through habit. We all have a choice about what we eat. If you’re going to eat something, enjoy it. If you eat it and feel guilty about it, then you’ll take in all the negative energy.” Jamie’s a firm believer in the power of positive energy, so much so that the hot chocolatey drink he’s making us contains not just your run-of-the-mill cacao, but, he tells us, ceremonial cacao which has been blessed in Guatemala by a chocolate shaman called Keith. If you think it sounds nuts then, well, frankly you’re not alone. Indeed, apparently I wasn’t hiding my scepticism very well. “Yeah, the first time I heard about ceremonial chocolate I thought it was crazy, too,” laughs Jamie. “But, for me, this is what it’s about: the energy comes
from the sun, to the earth, to the food, to us – and we metabolise it. The whole ceremonial thing is about embracing that energy – respecting it, appreciating it. It’s consuming positive vibrations.” Whether you believe all that or not, there’s no getting away from the fact that the drink is lush, as are the little love grass energy balls (which are far less dodgy than they sound!) that Jamie gives us to nibble on while he puts the finer touches to the main event. “Love grass is another name for teff,” says Jamie. “It just sounds prettier. It’s a staple food in Ethiopia and it’s very easy to grow, but it’s only recently been allowed to be exported. Foods like this really inspire me, because of the relevance they have in the culture and history of a place, and because so many nutrients can be provided from something so simple.”
So then, is teff likely to become the next ‘superfood?’ “I don’t like the way foods are being labelled ‘superfoods’,” says Jamie. “For me, a superfood is a big dirty parsnip or beetroot that’s just come out of the ground, and can become a wonderful nutritious soup or something like that. “All of those Amazonian roots and fruits, and all these powders and potions like maca – they’re great, but they are supplements. Spending £15 on a big bag of maca really isn’t going to do you very much good on its own.” Jamie starts to turn his attention to the colourful jars. “These are my babies,” he laughs as he opens one of them. “You know when a ferment is good because it comes alive. Look” – he points out the tiny bubbles, almost gleefully – “these show that it’s a good one. The more alive foods we eat, the more alive we feel. “I’m fascinated by microbes and bacteria. Everyone’s trying to kill bacteria, but life wouldn’t exist without it. All of our veg has microbes on them already. We just need to give them the environment to grow. The thing about fermenting is that every one is different, and that’s why mass-producing them is difficult.” He reaches for the scum-topped jar of orange liquid, which is, as it turns out, kombucha, and much tastier than it looks. “The floating stuff is a SCOBY,” explains Jamie. “It stands for Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast, and you can’t make kombucha without it.” It may be an integral part of the production process, but I’m just very happy that it’s not something I’m going to be expected to eat. What Jamie has created for us, though, is a thing of beauty – a fresh and vibrant bowlful which is a riot of colours, flavours and textures that delight at every mouthful. There’s a ‘bread’ made from nuts and seeds too, and a dessert of blood orange and kefir mousse, brazil nut cookie and chia seed jam. It all tastes so good it’s almost impossible to believe that it’s actually good for me, but I remember what Jamie said about not taking
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Seed Of Life Bread (MAKES 2 LOAVES)
160g jumbo oats 90g brown flaxseed 20g black chia seeds 20g psyllium husk (powder) 20g white sesame seeds 40g pumpkin seeds 135g sunflower seeds 65g whole almonds 50g raisins 30g coconut oil 15g maple syrup 400ml filtered water sea salt, to season
in negativity, and decide to throw out any doubts and embrace everything I’m being told. Maybe it’s all that positive energy, or maybe it’s just the sheer volume of nutrients I’ve consumed, but by the time I’ve finished I’m buzzing, and there’s absolutely none of the lethargy that usually comes after a big meal. “I’m calling that first dish a Buddha bowl,” says Jamie. “It’s based on macrobiotics and Ayurveda. It’s about 60% greens, 20-30% veg – some from over the ground, some from under the ground, some raw and some cooked – and 5-10% beans, seaweed and fermented ingredients, and it includes an array of fruit, nuts, seeds and fungi. You’ve got a complete collection of plant foods, and it can be made with different flavours from around the world. I’m going to serve them at my restaurant.” Wait… what restaurant? This is the first we’ve heard of it, but it’s not surprising Jamie’s got a plan up his sleeve. After all, he’s hardly the type of guy to sit around just waiting for something to happen.
“I want to open somewhere in Cheltenham,” he says. “I’ve been here for four years, and it’s my home from home. It will focus on breakfasts and lunches, and then I’ll do workshops and themed social dining events in the evenings, and there will also be a retail space where people can buy our unique products and ingredients. I’ve developed more than 400 recipes at this point, and fermented and probiotic ingredients will be an integral part of the menu.” Plans are well underway, and Jamie’s busy assembling a team. Not that he hasn’t got anything else to do, mind you. The day after we meet he’s heading to London to deliver an ‘Inspiration Day’ to Tom Aikens, sharing his love of living and fermented foods. And then, a few days later, he’s jetting off to the Colorado mountains to do some private cheffing. “I think of my career as a marathon, not a sprint,” he says. If anyone’s got enough energy for a marathon, it’s Jamie. ✱holisticchef.co.uk
– Weigh all the dry ingredients into a large bowl and mix well. – Weigh the coconut oil and maple syrup into a small bowl and dissolve over a bain marie. – Once dissolved, add the coconut oil and sweetener mixture, along with the water, to the dry mix, and combine well. – Divide the mix between two non-stick loaf tins, and smooth out the top with the back of a spoon. – Leave at room temperature overnight to activate the chia and flaxseeds. – Preheat the oven to 175C/350F/ gas mark 4. – Bake the loaves on the middle shelf of the oven for 20 minutes. – Remove from the tin and then place upside down directly on the oven shelf, and bake for a further 30-40 minutes. – The bread should sound hollow when it is tapped. Allow it to cool completely before slicing. – The bread will keep in a tightly sealed container for up to five days. It freezes well, too – slice before freezing for quick and easy toast.
T H E WA N T LI S T
SPRING HAS VERY MUCH SPRUNG, SO SNAP UP THESE PRETTY BUYS INSPIRED BY NATURE
3 4 5
1 BOTANICAL VINE TOMATO CANDLE £28 Fill your home with the verdant, leafy green aroma of vine tomatoes with this candle from Daylesford Organic. All Daylesford’s candles are made using only natural wax, and are slow burning to ensure you can enjoy the fragrance for hour after hour after hour… ✱ daylesford.com 2 HEN & TOAST PLATE £17.95 How do you like your eggs in the morning? On this rather lovely Emma Bridgewater plate, of course! You can find one at Cotswold Trading in Broadway. ✱ cotswoldtrading.com 3 STONEWARE FISH BOWL £8.99 Thou shalt have a fishy that’s a little dishy… This stoneware dish is both practical and pretty; you can get yours from Vinegar Hill in Cheltenham. ✱ vinegarhill.co.uk 4 SILICON BOWL COVER £9.49 It’s airtight, can be used in the oven, can be used in the freezer, but – most excitingly – comes in the shape of a jolly aubergine. From Steamer Trading in Witney and Cirencester. ✱ steamer.co.uk 5 SPRING BLOOM CLOTHS £9.99 Chores aren’t the cheeriest of pastimes – but cleaning with a flower cloth beats cleaning with a manky old grey one, for sure! From Lakeland in Cheltenham. ✱ lakeland.co.uk
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SUPER FOOD OMELETTE INGREDIENTS
2 rounded tbsps crème fraîche 225g smoked haddock, skin and bones removed, cut into ½ in (1 cm) chunks 5 large eggs ½ level tsp cornflour 10 g rapseed oil (Ramsbury black gold) 50 g Gruyère, grated salt and freshly milled black pepper 1 handful baby spinach, stalks picked off 3 spring onions, finely sliced METHOD
BODY FUEL Food and nutrition are the key to success when training for an event such as the Cheltenham Challenge
f you are training for a distance running event this year, it is essential that you get the balance of your food and nutrition correct. If you don't, however much physical training you put in, you could be at risk of failure and injury. For runners taking part in events such as Gloucestershire charity CCP's Cheltenham Challenge held on Sunday 18 June, balancing the carbohydrates, proteins and essential fatty acids will help you take on this physically challenging course. Starting and finishing at Cheltenham Racecourse, the 5k and 10k routes are reasonably level. However the half marathon follows a steep incline 330m up Cleeve Hill reaching the highest point in the Cotswolds. With undulations, the total climb on this loop is around 360m. Whilst as the name suggests, it is the Cheltenham 'Challenge', the route is considered to be the most scenic half marathon in the UK. To find out more visit cheltenhamchallenge.org.uk. In order to train to take on even 5k distances, you need to select low Glycaemic Load carbohydrates, proteins, polyunsaturated foods containing Omega 3, together with a range of fruit and vegetables high in antioxidants. Your diet has to vary in
line with your training. The aim when selecting carbohydrates is to select low GL foods which will help regulate your blood sugar levels. Select proteins such as eggs, milk, yogurt, fish, meat, chicken, nuts, soya, beans and pulses. (Avoid exceeding RDA of protein however as this can lead to health issues. RDA for men is 55.5g and women 45g). Take 15-25g protein 30 minutes after exercising to help muscles recover and grow Also include polyunsaturated fats containing Omega 3 and vegetables high in anti-oxidants as they help reduce muscle inflammation and aid recovery. Iron rich foods should be added three times a week. Be sure to maintain hydration levels too. CCP has teamed up with Jonas Lodge, Head Chef at The Bell, Ramsbury (thebellramsbury.com) to create the perfect dish to give a boost when training.
To find out more about CCP and the work they do visit ccprojects.org.uk
- Put the crème fraîche into a medium saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer - Add some freshly milled black pepper but no salt yet, then pop in the prepared fish and let it poach gently, uncovered, for about 5 minutes. - Separate one of the eggs, breaking the yolk into a small bowl and reserving the white in another bowl. Add the cornflour to the yolk and whisk well. - When the fish is cooked, use a draining spoon to lift it out into a sieve placed over the saucepan, to allow the liquid to drain back. Press lightly to extract every last drop of liquid, then place fish on a plate. - Heat your frying pan and add a teaspoon of rapeseed oil, throw in your spinach and keep it moving so you don’t burn it then put it into your sieve and push it to remove and excess water. - On a board roughly chop the spinach so you can scatter it over your omelette later… - Heat the grill to its highest setting. Now bring the liquid in the pan back up to simmering point, then pour it on to the egg yolk, whisking all the time. - Return the whole mixture to the saucepan and gently bring it back to just below simmering point or until it has thickened – no more than one or two minutes. After that, remove it from the heat and stir in the cooked haddock, tasting to see if it needs any salt. - Next, whisk up the egg white to the soft-peak stage and carefully fold it into the haddock mixture. - To make the omelette beat the 4 remaining eggs with some seasoning. - Next add the oil in a frying pan, swirling it round to coat the sides and base. When it's very hot add the eggs, let them settle for about 2 minutes, then begin to draw the edges into the centre, tilting the pan to let the liquid egg run into the gaps. - When you feel the eggs are half set, turn the heat down and scatter your chopped spinach over the eggs and then sprinkle the sliced spring onions on as well. - Spoon the haddock mixture evenly over the surface of the eggs, using a palette knife to spread it. Now sprinkle the Gruyère over the top and place the omelette pan under the grill, positioning it roughly 5 inches (13 cm) from the heat source. The omelette will now take 2-3 minutes to become puffy, golden brown and bubbling. - Remove it from the grill, let it settle and relax for 5 minutes before cutting into wedges and serving on warmed plates.
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MAINS TOP CULINARY CAUSES, FAB FOOD DESTINATIONS, AND PEOPLE THAT MATTER
Highlights KITCHEN ENVY
Design tips for a dream kitchen Page 55
Inside Cirencester’s top foodie hotspots Page 63
Tastebud-tantalising tasting menus from around the Cotswolds Page 72
The joy of a tasting menu is that you don’t just get one dessert!
FABULOUS reasons to go to Cirencester
DAVID BURGESS Director of Contour
So, David, what were the biggest kitchen trends of last year, would you say? The use of a grey colour palette and mainly matte textures were big in 2016, and we saw the use of tiles for splashbacks making a resurgence, which is still continuing. The kitchen is one of the most important rooms in the house and many clients have removed existing walls to create a ‘kitchen experience’, offering much more than just somewhere to cook. Last year, many people wanted their kitchens to be functional, sociable and somewhere friends and family can relax, and we saw a huge increase in the number of people upgrading appliances.
Are there any special considerations when working with period properties? From a design point of view, we firmly believe that a period property doesn’t necessarily mean a period kitchen. Cheltenham is renowned for its period architecture, and we often design and install contemporary, sleek-looking kitchens within period homes, because the clean lines in a minimalist kitchen highlight the period features in the room. What advice would you give for working with a small space? Maximising storage will reduce clutter, especially on work surfaces, and our kitchens have some very clever internal pull-out systems, including larder cabinets and internal drawers. To make the space appear bigger, it is best to restrain the number of colours, textures and finishes used in the design. Clever use of tall or demi height cabinets is essential; if not, the space may feel small. Do you have a project you’re particularly proud of? Our client renovated an uninhabitable Grade II-listed farm building, and Contour’s brief was to design a contemporary kitchen space that was functional, stylish, ergonomic and sociable, whilst highlighting existing period features. The customer requested a muted pallet of dark greys and neutral colours, and was keen to include the use of texture within
And what are looking like being the biggest kitchen design trends of 2017? Greys are here to stay for a while, but natural finishes, such as stone and wood, are making an appearance, and look to be very popular for the coming year. We predict that more clients will opt for kitchens that look like furniture, and blend into the overall space. I think we’re going to see more and more use of technology in appliances, such as WiFi compatible ovens and work surfaces that charge your smart phone, too.
DESIGN FOR LIFE
THE KITCHEN IS QUITE PROBABLY THE MOST IMPORTANT ROOM IN THE HOUSE, BUT MAKING IT BOTH SUPERSTYLISH AND SUPER-PRACTICAL ISN’T ALWAYS SIMPLE. SO WE’VE ROUNDED UP SOME OF THE REGION’S BEST KITCHEN DESIGN EXPERTS TO SHARE THEIR ADVICE… 55
What’s special about the service you offer? We take the time to listen very carefully to our customers before beginning to interpret their ideas into their dream kitchen. We work hard to meet their expectations at every stage, but a huge amount of work goes into the design process. Our designers are never afraid to offer an alternative plan, and always strive to find the best creative solutions. This is achievable because our manufacturer, Leicht, has a vast range of high quality cabinetry, including special depths, colours and finishes, so our designers never feel constrained or limited. Is there anything else we should know about Contour? We’re delighted to have been given a Best on Houzz 2017 award for both our design and customer service.
Director of Hunt Bespoke Kitchens & Interiors So, what were the big trends of 2016? Kitchens tended to encompass the full range of styles – contemporary, traditional and country – while Quooker instant hot water taps proved a key investment piece for 2016, saving time in the kitchen by providing cold, hot and boiling water on demand. These boiling water taps are slowly replacing traditional monobloc mixers as the tap of
the design. Storage was also very important, along with the inclusion of a breakfast bar with seating and integrated appliances. Contour set out to design a space that would juxtapose subtle, understated contemporary style within a traditional farmhouse. The age of the building, and its listed status, put considerable constraints on the kitchen design. Certain existing period features had to be incorporated into the design, including an old well, an original set of stairs, ceiling beams and a farmhouse door. Special depth cabinets were used around the well, and it dictated the positioning of breakfast bar seating. The original staircase couldn’t be removed, meaning the width of the kitchen couldn’t be increased. The stairs were consequently made into a feature bookcase for cookbooks, and the appliances were positioned in a quad arrangement, not only to complement the design, but also to make the most of the constrained space. We believe this kitchen is special because, despite the many existing constraints in place before design work started, Contour created a space that exceeded the customers’ expectations and delivered highly on style. It offered the customer superb functionality, and a 21st century kitchen harmoniously housed within an 18th century building.
choice, due to their increased functionality. They feature nanotechnology which can filter out things like chlorine, harmful metals and bacteria. What do you predict as the biggest kitchen design trends of 2017? Hot on the heels of the ‘hygge’ trend comes ‘lagom’, which is the Swedish word for ‘just the right amount’, and is now being adopted into interior styling, where the desire for simpler styles and practicality will be increasingly present. Think high quality storage solutions that hide small kitchen appliances and maximise usable work surfaces; food processors and coffee machines housed in tall larders; and a preference towards deep drawers and intelligent storage solutions. Put together, they’ll be increasingly integral in creating a fuss-free style. Are there any special considerations when working with period properties? Working in and around the Cotswolds and North Oxfordshire, we are very familiar with homes bursting with character and history, where ‘standard’ just does not compute. Designs should be empathetic towards the period and construction of the property; both from a regulatory and an aesthetic perspective. Colours, materials and the challenge of integrating modern appliances into the fabric of a period building can throw up challenges that modern builds do not. Kicking off the design process with a free, no obligation on-site visit, where the nuances of the property can be fully assessed, is vital. What advice would you give for working with a small space? Bespoke, custom-built units deliver complete flexibility when space
is at a premium. Installing furniture on legs, and so exposing the bare floor underneath, is a good trick for making a space appear larger. Wall cabinets can really encroach on space, so a combination of open shelving and deep drawers and cupboards with pullout drawers, which make every spare inch of space usable for appliances and kitchen paraphernalia, can make a huge impact in a small kitchen, creating an open and airy feel. Can you give us your three top tips for quick and easy ways to transform your kitchen, then? 1 Transform wooden kitchens with a carefully hand-painted makeover. 2 Upgrade worktops with high quality materials, such as granite and quartz, which come in a range of colours and can be finished with sleek edge profiles. 3 Liven up your scheme with accessories to brighten a kitchen in an instant. Display
( feature ) of the space. The design should reflect and enhance any details, not scream louder for attention. If oak beams are present, for example, it looks beautiful to pick out a couple of small details within the cabinetry that could be oak too. What advice would you give for working with a small space? Cut down your wish list. I often go into a small kitchen and they want a dishwasher, American fridge freezer, range cooker, washing machine and integrated microwave. As lovely as this would be, more often than not having all these luxury items leaves no storage space. Have a look at what you really need, and what you could do without. Can you give us your three top tips for a quick and easy kitchen transformation? 1 Paint your existing doors. 2 Change the worktop. 3 Add a glass splashback and ditch the tiles.
Clockwise, from left: one of Countour’s creative projects; a creation by Sambourne House Kitchens; Parlour Farm’s chic design; clever storage by Hunt Bespoke Kitchens & interiors
makers build using traditional techniques, and our own team of fitters work with efficiency and discretion. It’s an approach that has proven a winning formula for 17 years, with many delighted customers. Is there anything else we should know about you? Alongside the kitchens in our Bloxham showroom, we offer a stylish range of homewares and interior gifts, with key pieces handpicked to make dressing your new kitchen as pleasurable an experience as buying a bespoke new one!
Kitchen Designer at Parlour Farm
selected items on open shelving, and think about reorganising worktops so you only have your favourites on show. If there’s a dresser, this is the perfect place to show off neat stacks of crockery, cups and glassware. What’s special about the service you offer? Being truly bespoke, our designs are as individual as each home we are privileged to work in. Whether we are project managing all the trades involved in a build project, or just focusing on design and installation, all our furniture is made to order at our dedicated workshops in rural Oxfordshire. Using only best quality timbers, our cabinet-
What were the biggest trends of 2016? Last year we saw a lot of muted grey-toned kitchens, with light marble-effect silestone worktops. The majority of our designs tended to be very linear, with chunky legs. What do you predict as the biggest kitchen design trends of 2017? Colour! The grey palettes have been exhausted, and there’s a strong movement towards a bright pop of colour. Dark moody colours, such as blue and green, are replacing the dark greys. Are there any special considerations when working with period properties? When designing a kitchen in a period property, you need to consider the character
Do you have a favourite project? A project I completed in Hungerford recently is my alltime favourite; the space is beautiful, and the customers really trusted me and my design ability. This allowed me to create something very unique for them – a large U-shape run with a striking bean-shaped island in the centre. The island is as large as it could be, whilst ensuring the worktop was cut from a single piece of stone. What is special about the service you offer? I am a qualified interior designer, and not a sales person. This has given me all the skills required to listen to my customers’ wants and needs, and translate their wishes into their perfect kitchen. Is there anything else we should know about you? At Parlour Farm we make every item of cabinetry ourselves in our Cirencester workshop. We have a very small team of expert craftsmen that are passionate about quality and all the small details.
Director at Sambourne House Kitchens What were the biggest trends of 2016? We saw a lot of pastel colours and bespoke larder cupboards last year. And what do you predict as the biggest kitchen design trends of 2017? I think there will be more simple, open shelving replacing wall cupboards. Are there any special considerations when working with period properties? We always have to consider the ceiling heights, as period properties can be
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either very low or very high. Also, the walls are often uneven, so we tailor the units to fit, and we often make bespoke pieces for the tricky places you get in a period property. What advice would you give for working with a small space? Always make sure that all the essential units are designed into the project first! Do you have a project you’re particularly proud of? We recently completed one at the prestigious Charlton Park Estate in Malmesbury. We had to take into consideration the very high ceilings, antique oak floors, and just the large scale of a historic room in an important listed building. We feel the final overall effect was very impressive. The client was more than pleased, and, as a result, recommended us to other people in the house. We have subsequently fitted a further two kitchens.
Pittville Kitchens came up with this stylish kitchen design
What were the biggest trends of 2016? The introduction of colour, particularly blues, into kitchen design. Ranging from a light duck egg blue through to navy, it proved very popular, particularly teamed with encaustic or Moroccan tiles. This colour palette worked equally well with both modern and traditional styles, and was often balanced with a wood grain or paler contrast.
of sight. Large, flexible larder and hidden pantry units are coming back into fashion, as are ‘breakfast cabinets’, which house all the appliances you need to prepare an amazing breakfast, but don’t want to look at, such as toasters and blenders. Cleverly designed utility cupboards are also increasing in popularity, and with the ongoing improvement in laundry and dishwashing appliances, it is easier than ever to house them close to a living space without any noise disruption. What advice would you give for working with a small space? Actually, small spaces can often be the most exciting and interesting to work on. I love the challenge of creating a beautiful room that contains everything our client needs in a very restricted area. Clever internal racking, corner solutions and worktop larder units are a great way to hide any clutter, and keep the room looking more spacious. A common misconception is that you need small things in a small space when, in fact, using longer and larger items – such as tiles, flooring, and larger, wider drawers – can actually help to create a sense of space and scale.
What do you predict as the biggest kitchen design trends of 2017? Already this year we have started seeing an increase in the popularity of concrete. It can be found in the door finish, worktops or flooring, often with a splash of copper to really keep a very up-to-date look. With the confidence people have gained from the introduction of blue shades last year, I think we will start to see more varied colours appearing – pinks and greens are a hot tip – for 2017 and beyond. The ongoing trend for combined cooking/ living spaces is driving a need for clever storage solutions to ensure beautiful items are on display, and more ‘functional’ items are sensibly stored within easy reach but out
Can you share three ideas for a quick and easy kitchen transformation? 1 A coloured glass splashback behind your hob or sink is a quick and easy way to add excitement without too much expense or upheaval. They are really practical, too. 2 Adding new pendant lights over your kitchen table, or some new under-cabinet LEDs, can really bring a room to life. 3 Installing an island can be an easy way to add something different, without needing to completely replace your existing scheme. Is there a project you are particularly proud of? A recent project really tested my design skills. I was asked to create a beautiful
What is special about the service you offer? It’s tailored to each customer, who is appointed their own project manager. Is there anything else we should know about you? We’re a family-run business which prides itself on quality of product and service. Most of our new business comes from recommendation, and we think that speaks for itself.
LINDSAY MERCHANT Senior Designer at Pittville Kitchens
family kitchen, enabling the father to have full access when using his wheelchair. Working closely with the whole family, I designed a contemporary space with a low breakfast table which acted as both a preparation area and a place for the family to get together. The use of separate, low level fridge and freezer compartments ensured they were easily accessible, and provided a safe surface to hold food removed from the nearby oven. I added floating shelves, rather than wall units, to display my client’s beautiful cookware, and used a stylish backdrop of subway tiles to achieve the contemporary look and ensure low maintenance. My clients were thrilled with the outcome, and I was so happy to create a space that they could all enjoy together. Finally, what’s so special about the service you offer? We are respected for our expertise – from design through to installation, and beyond. We work hard to stay at the forefront of kitchen and product design, and work with our installation team to ensure we can seamlessly convert these designs into spaces our customers love.
Pop these contacts in your book… CONTOUR, 1a Queen’s Circus, Montpellier, Cheltenham GL50 1RX; contourkitchens.co.uk HUNT BESPOKE KITCHENS & INTERIORS, High Street, Bloxham, Oxfordshire OX15 4LT; huntbespokekitchens.com PARLOUR FARM, 12B Wilkinson Road, Cirencester GL7 1YT; parlourfarm.com SAMBOURNE HOUSE KITCHENS, Cove House, Swan Lane, Leigh Nr Cricklade, Wilts SN6 6RD; sambournekitchens.co.uk PITTVILLE KITCHENS, 35 Prestbury Road, Cheltenham GL52 2PW; pittville.co.uk
So much more than contemporary German kitchensâ€Ś.
Working closely with the leading brands in kitchen innovation and design, we have been helping clients create their dream kitchens and living spaces since 2010. We offer a superb selection of bespoke kitchen furniture and appliances, from the best British and European suppliers, including Masterclass, Hacker, Siemens, Gaggenau, Silestone, Corian and many more. To discover more, come in and see us at our beautiful boutique showroom in the heart of Cheltenham.
www.pittville.co.uk Pittville Kitchens 35 Prestbury Rd Cheltenham GL52 2PP 01242 251113
SAMBOURNE KITCHENS Affordable, handmade kitchens in solid wood
Please visit our showroom at Cove House, Swan Lane, Leigh, Nr Cricklade SN6 6RD or ring for a brochure: 01285 862333
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THE DRINKS CABINET presented by The Craft Drink Co.
pringtime in the Cotswolds is glorious, with blossoms on the trees and daffodils coming up everywhere. To celebrate the new season, we have a pick of beers and ciders from select Gloucestershire producers to tempt your taste buds. These have a light and fresh quality that is perfect for this time of year and are well-suited to serving chilled, and they are now widely available across the county to crack open and enjoy over the Easter weekend!
Leading Light is a refreshing, clean tasting, light blonde session ale with a tangy citrus flavour from cascade hops.
1 Beard & Sabre Cider Company – Berrymaster Beard & Sabre combine tradition with vision to craft artisanal still apple and fruit ciders, using a rack and cloth press, vintage cider apples and fresh fruit. Berrymaster is a pretty pink cider of medium sweetness honouring the best of British with a blend of apples and redcurrants.
4 Dunkertons – Premium Organic Cider Here is an award winning organic cider and perry producer with a long history of cider making in Herefordshire and impressive new headquarters in Cheltenham! This medium sweet premium organic cider, made of a blend of apple varieties, pours a red hued gold with a slight haze. Delicious aromas of fruitiness and honey undertones combine with a slightly smokey flavour. It's full bodied with a strong carbonation.
2 Bespoke Brewery – Leading Light This is a traditional brewery producing high quality award winning beer in the Forest of Dean, using bespoke recipes and premium ingredients to create great tasting real ale.
3 Cotswold Brew Co – Cotswold Haus Lager At the heart of Cotswold brewing for more than a decade, Cotswold Brew Co is revered for its craft lagers and more! Cotswold Lager has been renamed Cotswold Haus and given a new look but is the same great tasting, easy drinking lager; light and delicate with floral and fruity aromas and flavours.
5 Hillside Brewery – Legend of Hillside This West Gloucestershire brewery prides itself on crafting high quality artisan ales in
small batches, blending traditional methods with modern styles. This traditional English IPA has a subtle honey flavour with an earthy spiciness and orange hop finish. Superb! 6 Stroud Brewery – Tom Long Specialising in organic and vegan beers made with barley grown on the surrounding Cotswold hills, their tasty amber session beer with spicy citrus aroma delivers a substantial body for such a low ABV. A silver medal winner at SIBA National Beer Competition (Champion Bitters up to 4%).
The Craft Drink Co. is a speciality craft drinks distributor, supplying independent businesses with exceptional craft drinks sourced from makers across The Cotswolds and Central England region. For more information, please visit: craftdrink.co.uk
A PLACE TO EAT WITH FRIENDS & FAMILY
Come and choose your spice and let us do the rest! With a selection of different flavourings, you can go hot or extremely mild, and finish of with one of our great desserts! Now open six days a week (Tuesday - Sunday). The Loaded Grill, 37 Castle Street, Cirencester GL7 1QD Tel: 01285 641195 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
KEITH’S COFFEE SHOP ESTABLISHED IN 1971
email@example.com 12 Gloucester Street, Cirencester, Gloucestershire GL7 2DG
Where you can always be assured of a warm welcome…
Roasting coffee in Cirencester for over 45 years, with 35 varieties of single bean or blends. Selection of 75 loose leaf teas. Specializing in chocolate, jams, chutneys, hampers, pate, biscuits.
CAFÉ Homemade on the premises a range of cakes, slices, pastries, scones, and gluten free. Light lunches in the café or in our courtyard garden. 2 Black Jack Street, Cirencester, Gloucestershire GL7 2AA Tel: 01285 654717 Opening Times: Mon – Sat, 9am - 5pm
Locally renowned for our great food, warm hospitality and attentive service.
Restaurant open lunch & dinner Popular Sunday roasts from £12.95 Bar open all day • Camra member Al fresco dining in our pretty garden Functions & Special Occasions Ample free parking
Bookings or enquiries 01285 659711
hear the cIreN call Mains
IT MIGHT SEEM LIKE JUST A SLEEPY MARKET TOWN, BUT CIRENCESTER IS FAST BECOMING ONE OF THE COTSWOLDS’ FOODIE HOTSPOTS. AND HERE’S WHY…
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charm that is equally appealing to visitors and residents alike. “We enjoy a quiet location in one of Cirencester’s oldest streets,” says proprieter Tim Waller, “yet it’s only a five minute walk to the Market Place. We’re an independent business, and I think it is all the local indies which give the town its individuality and charm, and make it such a great place to live and, of course, visit!” Made by Bob, Cirencester’s cosmopolitan bar and restaurant, has been causing a culinary buzz in the town since it first opened seven years ago. Last year it closed for a refurb, and – when it reopened earlier this year – it’s safe to say that it wasn’t just the good folks of Cirencester who breathed a sigh of relief, since James (‘Bob’) Parkinson’s strippedback cooking – all good quality ingredients and moreish flavour combinations – have made his a name to drop far beyond the county boundaries. Indeed, his eponymous eatery has become a destination for any serious foodie. “We’re the only restaurant in the town that offers a daily changing menu of world delights,” Bob reckons, “and you never know if you’re going to get flavours of Thailand, Europe or Britain. We work tirelessly to produce something we’re really proud of. Cirencester is a unique place. Ever since going on my own all those years ago, I knew I
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t could be easy to overlook Cirencester as a destination. It’s not as big and buzzy as Cheltenham, and it hasn’t got the chocolate-box charm of the likes of Stow-on-the-Wold or Moreton-inMarsh, but to dismiss it out of hand would be, well, remiss. Because this little market town is punching well above its weight when it comes to its foodie offerings. From super suppliers to ravishing restaurants, Ciren’s got it all. There’re few more aware of how Cirencester has developed over the years than David Hawes, director of Jesse Smith, which first established itself in the town as a butcher’s shop back in 1808. The butcher is still there in Black Jack Street, but last year they also opened a farm shop and café on Love Lane, stocking everything from rare breed meats and pies and pastries to more than 100 different cheeses, and serving up breakfasts, lunches, cakes and Sunday roasts. “Perhaps one of the few market towns left in the UK to have kept a truly fabulous range of diverse shops, Cirencester is a great place to live and work,” David says. “The concept for our new food hall and coffee house came about because of our passion for great quality local produce, and our love for the fantastic area we live in. We’re proud of where we live and work, and we want our amazing produce to be accessible to everyone.” It’s not just Jesse Smith’s that’s worth a visit on Black Jack Street, either. Tucked away in its own little courtyard behind the butcher you’ll find Jesse’s Bistro, which takes it’s name from the meatmonger (which is also a key supplier – there’s nothing like keeping it local!) and now boasts two AA rosettes. “The range of people in Cirencester is incredible,” says owner Vanessa Curnock, “and everyone is so pleasant. There are also nearly as many dogs as there are people, so our restaurant’s dog friendly. We’ve been running the restaurant for three years now, and are delighted to be in such a kind and friendly town.” Also on Black Jack Street is the The Golden Cross Inn, an early 18th century coaching inn now loved by locals for its epic Sunday lunches (as well as its warm welcome and rather lovely sun-trap garden), while for a great cup of coffee you won’t do much better than Keith’s Coffee Shop, which has been roasting coffee in the town for more than 45 years – and has 35 varieties of single beans or blends to choose from. Another key piece of Cirencester’s history is the Corinium Hotel and Restaurant, which was originally built in the 16th century as a wool merchant’s house. Now, though, it’s a charming boutique hotel (an ideal base for a visit to the town) with a restaurant and bar, full of Cotswold
K AY RA N SO M P H OTO GRA P H Y
STE PHE N SHE PHE R D; 0 7 7 98 8 361 47 ; SHE PHE R DPHOTO. NE T
wanted to be in Cirencester. There is a great mix of businesses and people, and great pubs, eateries and bars, with something for everyone. I can get away from the restaurant and go and enjoy a beer and a chat with another business owner, because we all get along.” A relative newcomer to the town’s foodie scene is the Loaded Grill, which opened at the end of January. With its peri peri-based menu of loaded wings, pittas and wraps, all served with a choice of heat levels from the zesty lemon and herb to a sweat-inducing extra hot, it’s definitely spiced up Cirencester’s dining scene. Those with a sweet-tooth will love it too, thanks to a dessert bar boasting 24 puds – and that’s not including the homemade waffles, crepes and milkshakes! But while Loaded Grill might be a new addition to the town, owner Foyez Rahman knows it well, having spent seven years running a curry house here. “There’s now such a diverse range of restaurants and businesses in Cirencester,” he says. “There are also many great initiatives that work for tourists and residents alike, such as Abbey 900 and The Phoenix Festival, an annual free music fest.”
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Planning a trip to Cirencester? If it’s just a bit of liquid refreshment you’re after, then you’ll be spoilt for choice too. Not only are there many great watering holes – like the aforementioned Golden Cross Inn and Corinium Hotel, and the King’s Head – but just a short walk from the centre of town you’ll find Corinium Ales, an award-winning microbrewery which creates a range of classic and contemporary ales, plus seasonal brews and one-off specials. You’ll find these ales in many pubs and restaurants in the town, as well as at Cirencester Farmers’ Market. If you want to visit the brewery itself, head down on a Friday or the second Saturday of the month, from 2pm to 5pm. If wine’s your tipple of choice, though, Talking Wines is your place. Having been in Cirencester for more than 10 years, they have a great selection of wines for sale and host specialist tastings every Saturday, and theme nights four times a year. “We truly believe we offer a unique wine buying experience,” says boss Simon Thomson. “We know our wines, and can really help with pairing one with a meal, or simply help you chose a nice bottle to open in the comfort of your home or garden.” A visit to Cirencester doesn’t have to just mean a visit to the town itself. Head a few miles out and you’ll find The Inn at Fossebridge. Located on the banks of the River Coln, between Northleach and Cirencester, there’s been an inn on this site for more than 300 years. Now, experienced hotelier Dee Ludlow and her partner, Geoff Collins, have introduced an exceptional casual dining concept within the characterful Cotswold pub, with its stone walls, ancient beams and flagstone floors. And if you want to extend your stay, there are also nine bedrooms and two holiday cottages. So yeah, we can think of just a few reasons to visit Cirencester…
You’ll want to make a note of this little lot, then… Jesse Smith Farm Shop & Coffee House, Unit 13a, 19 Love Lane, Cirencester GL7 1YG; jessesmith.co.uk Jesse’s Bistro, The Stable Yard, Black Jack Street, Cirencester GL7 2AA; jessesbistro.co.uk The Golden Cross Inn, Black Jack Street, Cirencester GL7 2AA; goldencrossinn.com Keith’s Coffee Shop, 2 Black Jack Street, Cirencester GL7 2AA; 01285 654717 Corinium Hotel & Restaurant, 12 Gloucester Street, Cirencester GL7 2DG; coriniumhotel.co.uk Made by Bob, Unit 6, The Cornhall, 26 Market Place, Cirencester GL7 2NY; foodmadebybob.com Loaded Grill, 37 Castle Street, Cirencester GL7 1QD; loadedgrill.co.uk King’s Head, 24 Market Place, Cirencester GL7 2NR; kingshead-hotel.co.uk Corinium Ales, Unit 1a, Old Kennels, Cirencester Park, Cirencester GL7 1UR; coriniumales.co.uk Talking Wines, 3 Emmervale Court, Midland Road, Cirencester GL7 1PZ; talkingwines.co.uk The Inn at Fossebridge, Fossebridge, GL54 3JS; fossebridgeinn.co.uk
At the heart of the Cotswolds lies a location of pure Beauty and Tranquillity that will surpass your finest dreams! Whatever your occasion, be it a small intimate Wedding or an Exclusive Use event or Civil Partnership we have the perfect venue to make your day come true.
Wedding open EVENING Thursday 6th April 5-9pm Come and have a look at our picturesque location. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information on planning your bespoke wedding or civil ceremonies call your dedicated Wedding Planner at Cotswold House Hotel on 01386 840330 Visit our website for special offers and all-inclusive packages for 2017
The Square, Chipping Campden, GL55 6AN
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Meet the wedding experts If you’re planning a wedding then these are the guys and gals you need to know!
Events Manager Cotswold Food Club, The Old Lodge; food-club.com
Managing Director Not Just Bouquets notjustbouquets.com
What makes your offering interesting & unique? The beauty of The Old Lodge and the surrounding National Trust countryside makes it a stunning venue for creating the perfect backdrop for weddings. We pride ourselves on making all our clients feel at ease throughout the process.
What makes your offering interesting & unique? Our Floral Design Team is led by leading Master Florist, Ann, and this means that our clients get bespoke, luxurious designs, created by one of the top, uniquely qualified Florists in the Cotswolds, and at affordable prices. Each bride is unique and special and it is important for us to spend a lot of time with them during consultations– they dream, we listen and then we create their dream.
How and why did you get in to the wedding industry? Being part of the hospitality industry since 16 I have worked in both back and front of house positions, but my most favourable was working for a large outside caterer at some of the Cotswold’s most prestigious venues and planning some large-scale events. Weddings are special days and have always created a fun atmosphere to part of, yes the hours can be long but the end result is worth it! What’s your favourite part of the job? In events, you never get the same day twice, each wedding is unique and that’s what’s so magical. The buzz you get from planning bespoke weddings and seeing your clients faces smile, knowing they had an event they will remember for years to come, makes the hard work behind the scenes so worthwhile.
Maisie Rose McBagley
Co-owner; Bison Kitchen bisonkitchen.co.uk What makes your offering interesting & unique? We offer a large variety of American street food, which spans the whole of the country and beyond. Anything from an East Coast Philly Cheese steak sub to a Texas style, hot smoked, beef brisket or Mexican street Tacos could be on the menu. The twist is that we try to source as much of our produce and meat from local farms and producers right here in the Cotswolds. We also offer a great fusion of the hearty American dishes with light, fresh salads and sides most of which can be wheat and Dairy free. This means we can cater for almost any guest allergies without having to offer something completely different just for them. What bit of advice would you give to a couples planning their wedding? The most important thing to remember is to relax! When choosing the food, go for a menu that really appeals to you, and try to keep timings on the day to a good pace so your guests don’t end up hitting the bar on empty stomachs!
How long before the big day should couples get in touch with you? We suggest that brides get in touch with us at least a year in advance. Because each wedding is special and deserves our entire focus, we only do one fresh flower wedding per day so dates do go very quickly. What are the biggest trends for 2017? We are seeing a shift towards buying ‘British’ grown flowers, and this is exciting! We live in the beautiful Cotswolds and we grow a selection of our own flowers that we can use in our gorgeous bouquets, but we also buy from other local growers as much as we can, helping to promote local business in the area.
LisaMarie Duffy General Manager Ingleside House inglesidecirencester.com What makes your offering interesting & unique? Ingleside House is a truly beautiful hidden gem, offering a perfect setting for weddings from four guests to 150. I feel very lucky to work for a totally independent company, who offer me the trust and freedom to be completely bespoke. I have a dedicated, hardworking and reliable team which, coupled with my immense passion and wealth of experience means we just cannot go wrong. What bit of advice would you give to couples planning weddings? The best advice I can offer is to ensure you both enjoy the planning process, but not to let it take over your life. Keep in touch with your venue and suppliers and do ask for advice. There are no silly questions! Using a venue that has masses of experience is priceless. Attend wedding fayres to get a few ideas, join wedding blogs, meet with your suppliers, visit your band and see them perform. I have an epic list of preferred suppliers and these are devoted people who I know give their all and always provide and incredible service.
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Wedding & Events Co-ordinator Cotswold House Hotel cotswoldhouse.com
Owner The Sweet Tricycle thesweettricycle.co.uk
What makes your offering interesting & unique? Our hotel is unique as we are a town house hotel located on a high street in the middle of a market town in the Cotswolds with a barn feel function room and glorious gardens to the rear. We tick all boxes in terms of current wedding trends and we offer everything under one roof.
How and why did you get in to the wedding industry? I got engaged in 2013 and soon realised how much I loved planning all the little things for our guests, it’s safe to say after the big day I had wedding blues. After coming across a sad looking tricycle in 2015 it was love at first sight – I saw the potential in it and started to restore it which was the birth of The Sweet Tricycle. The guests at our wedding loved all the small details and I try to do the same for all my couples – add that special touch for all guests to enjoy. What’s the most unusual request you’ve ever had? The great thing about the tricycle is it can be many things from The Sweet Tricycle, The Prosecco Tricycle, The Pimms Tricycle, The Hot Chocolate and this summer it will be full of crisps for a crisp loving couple! What are the biggest trends for 2017? I would like to bring out a new tricycle option this year and I’m thinking of doing a Cheese Tricycle, the tricycle will be filled with cheese, grapes, crackers, it will be a cheese lover’s heaven. What’s your favourite part of the job? People! I love meeting new people from all walks of life and to be a part of one of the most important days of their lives is an added bonus .
What do you love the most about working in the wedding industry? The people! Every couple is different with different visions of their big day. No two weddings are the same! I keep in touch with most of my couples. We spend so much time working together over a year or so that it’s strange to have to say goodbye! How long before the big day should couples get in touch with you? If a couple are looking for a venue for their big day I would usually expect to hear from them around a year to 6 months in advance to book their date. What bit of advice would you give to couples planning weddings? My advice to future wedding couples is to remember what your day is about. It is easy to get tied up with wanting to please everyone else when in fact the day is all about you two.
Proprietor Tailor Made Top Nosh tailormadetopnosh.com
What makes your offering interesting and unique? It’s all about design. we specialise in marquees that have an attractive appearance both inside and out. For weddings we mostly provide traditional marquees which feature central king poles, side poles and guy ropes all round. These can be lined with pleated ivory linings or dressed in other ways but they also look great unlined. Our most recent additions have been made in creamy white canvas. We have a pretty Victorian design marquee with gorgeous detailing and a 70ft round canvas Big Top for which we have had fun designing alternative layouts for the interior. It’s worth a visit to our website to take a look! We also design and develop much of our own furniture. We recently identified a demand for classic boarded trestles which do not require tablecloths and have proved immensely popular. We also create modular soft seating from which we create sofas and corner units complete with matching coffee tables.
With so many catering companies to choose from what makes Tailor Made Top Nosh stand out? We offer a friendly relaxed and informal service where attention to detail, discrete and professional service as well as outstanding food are all of paramount importance What style of food do you serve? We offer a wide and varied selection of menus, where the quality, freshness and provenance of what we cook are key. We specialise in coming up with menus tailor made to suit each couple. The majority of our suppliers, growers and farmers are local to the Cotswolds. How can we be sure how the food will look and taste like? We offer full menu tasting at no extra charge to all of our clients, so as to ensure that they are happy the whole meal together with accompanying wines and drinks. It’s all part of the process of getting to know the couple so that we build a great relationship which in turn ensures that on the big day they are far more relaxed and able to enjoy themselves Where are you based? We just outside Bampton not far from Burford. We travel extensively throughout the Cotswolds catering at a wide variety of venues, from manor houses, universities, private homes, village halls and marquees.
How and why did you get into the wedding industry? Quite simply we love tents and we love parties! Nearly all our work is for private clients celebrating and there is no greater celebration than a wedding. We just love doing what we do.
Proprietor Spaceintense spaceintense.co.uk
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Silke Bruening Proprietor Cacao Bean cacaobean.co.uk
What makes your offering interesting and unique? We are a cake shop specialising in wedding and celebration cakes. We are also a German Konditorei/ Cafe which means a coffee shop with a difference. We offer heaps of home made goodies. like biscuits, truffles, chocolate bars and a large selection of gluten free and vegan friendly cakes . All of these can also be incorporated into your wedding, for example as favours, name place setting biscuits, cake tables etc… What’s the most unusual request you’ve ever had? Last year I had to make a wedding cake in shape of Warwick Castle. That’s where he proposed to her. Plus name setting biscuits – also castle shaped. What are the biggest trends for 2017? Luckily I found that most couples don’t go with the latest trends. They like something which ties everything together on the day. I had numerous requests for gold coloured / leaf cakes, the woodland theme continuous, Ombre style is ranking high and still a few semi naked cakes. What’s your favourite part of the job? Creating a cake which I designed together with the couple’s ideas and then seeing their faces on the day – priceless!
Rachel & Kelly
What makes your offering interesting and unique? R&R Catering Hire supply a vast range of equipment for any size wedding
What makes your offering interesting and unique? We are a completely bespoke dedicated canapé company and all of our menus are designed around a couple’s requirements. Our speciality is colour coordinating our mini mouthfuls to incorporate a chosen colour theme. We even grow our own little edible flowers! We arrive as a team and can take care of every aspect including drinks service.
General Manager R&R Catering Hire Ltd rrhire.co.uk
Wedding & Events Director Cornwell Manor cornwellmanor.com What makes your offering interesting and unique? Cornwell Manor is most definitely a one-off! By hiring a private home rather than a hotel for a long weekend, you can truly relax and prepare for your big day surrounded by close friends & family, whilst watching your plans take shape. The house has a wonderful relaxed grandeur about it and the gardens are undeniably romantic – perfect for a quintessential English wedding. How long before the big day should couples get in touch with you? Generally at least year in advance, although I have had some brides who have booked three years in advance and some three months!
How long before the big day should couples get in touch with you? Couples should get in touch at least six months prior to their big day. What bit of advice would you give to couples Always book more than what you need! R&R are happy to reduce numbers up to 72 hours before your event, it is easier to take away than add, especially in the busy wedding season! Information from the client is key to our job. We need to know of any issues to the delivery address because of the vans we use. We will not get some vans into some areas because of width restrictions, low trees, and fields so this is very important.
What bit of advice would you give to couples planning weddings? I think it’s important to have a good idea of what you want and to be individual – there are so many great styling ideas available on social media it is difficult to know where to stop! Building a mood board is a great way to focus on what you love and then achieve it.
What are the biggest trends for 2017? Sharing boards and Moonlight linen (Silver) both are extremely popular this year. What’s your favourite part of the job? It has to be when people come back and thank you for a job well done, most of our bookings are by word of mouth / recommendation
What’s your favourite part of the job? Being there when the excited couple decide to book their venue, then being there again on the morning of the wedding, seeing all their plans come to fruition and feeling that special wedding buzz in the house.
Co-Founders LoveBites Bespoke Canapes lovebites.events
What do you offer? Anything from a pre-wedding breakfast celebratory luxury nibble, all the way through to our increasingly popular 14-course tasting menu with wines and fun shots to match. A perfect, versatile and economical alternative to a sit down wedding breakfast. What’s hot going forward? Uber-cool food stations are proving very popular; in particular, our colour coordinated dessert stations which we can theme and dress with LED lights, sparkling Perspex and dry ice. Think fun, theatre and drama! Each station is bespoke to your wedding, regardless of size. Why is food so important at a wedding? First impressions are paramount. The powerful visual spectacle of our canapés are always a great talking point and ice breaker.
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The perfect match Gloucester’s most popular wedding venue, Hatton Court Hotel, is perfect for couples looking for a venue with beautiful rural surroundings and a menu that captures much more than your standard wedding breakfast.
he elegant ivy-clad country house hotel is situated near Upton St Leonards, just three miles from Gloucester, and oozes chocolatebox charm to offer a picturesque spot for hosting weddings. Brides and grooms looking to tie the knot can say "I do" in the Cotswold Room – a light-filled space which is licensed for civil ceremonies and can accommodate up to 80 guests. The room also functions as a setting for intimate wedding receptions with space to welcome parties of up to 70. For the ultimate outdoor wedding, couples can also say their vows in the hotel’s pretty gardens, with the ceremony taking place in the bandstand, while guests watch from the manicured lawns. Those planning more elaborate celebrations can take advantage of the Garden Marquee – a versatile self-
contained space encompassing its own bar, decking area and gardens, offering capacity for up to 300 guests in a fullyheated marquee. Hatton Court’s Ultimate All Inclusive Wedding package is available from January to November and costs £6,600 based on 60 guests for the day reception and 100 for the evening do, with the option of paying for additional guests. The Ultimate package includes a glass of Champagne and canapés on arrival; a three-course wedding breakfast; two glasses of wine with dinner; Champagne for the toast; a floral centrepiece for each table; room hire for the civil ceremony and reception; a buffet; disco and much more. The Magical Midweek Wedding package, meanwhile, is available on Sundays to Fridays from January to November, and costs just £4,000, including many of the
same big day features as the Ultimate package. For a cosy and seasonal big day, opt for the Winter Wonderland Wedding package, which is on offer from November to March excluding December, and costs £3,200. The Winter Wonderland package encompasses a welcome glass of winter Pimm’s; a three-course wedding breakfast; a glass of house wine with your meal; room hire; a master of ceremonies; an evening buffet; and red carpet on arrival. Alternatively, if you would like the team to tailor make a wedding package to suit you then just get in touch.
Hatton Court Hotel, Upton St Leonards, Gloucester GL4 8DE; Tel: 01452 617412; www.hatton-court.co.uk
WE’RE BIG FANS OF A TASTING MENU. THEY GIVES CHEFS THE CHANCE TO SHOW OFF (AND, WHEN WE HAVE SO MUCH AMAZING TALENT ON THE DOORSTEP, THAT CAN ONLY BE A GOOD THING). AND THEY MEAN WE DON’T HAVE TO PICK JUST ONE STARTER, MAIN AND DESSERT. HERE ARE A FEW OF OUR FAVOURITES… S OM ETH IN G D I F F E R E N T
RESTAURANT 56 AT SUDBURY HOUSE There’s not one, but two eight-course tasting menus on offer at Restaurant 56, thanks to executive chef Andrew Scott. The Prime is the most popular, and includes a combination of meat, poultry and seafood, while the Progressive menu has been designed to challenge the diner slightly more, and includes some more unusual flavour combinations. Chef says: “We are always evolving our dishes, even when they’re on the menu, the changes are dictated by the seasons and what the suppliers that I talk to daily tell me what is good at the market. The weather is also a good indicator of how rich or light you should be cooking, so go for rich, warming dishes in November and light, green, fresh dishes in April. “My favourite dish currently on the menu is our take on the good old British fish ’n’ chips. We pan fry Cornish brill and serve on pease pudding, then top with a warm, aerated tartare sauce. Triplecooked chips in sea salt and apple vinegar powder are served on the side. This dish is full of nostalgia, and gives you that warm, satisfied feeling. It helps to make my customers feel at ease in the grand setting of Restaurant 56 too, and they hopefully appreciate the effort we have gone to take this humble offering to restaurant standard. It makes me smile every time I put the plates on the tray! “I don’t like to compare Restaurant 56 to anything else in the area, as I think we are unique, but what I would say is this: you should give anything a try once…” Price: £70 To book: sudburyhouse.co.uk
SIX OF THE BE ST
THE WHARF HOUSE Executive chef David Penny and his team create a six-course menu that changes with the seasons. Chef says: “We choose our dishes depending on the availability of seasonal produce. For example, we’re just about to put on a taster of local asparagus. “If we’re feeling particularly adventurous, we have even been known to make up dishes based on our own favourites, such as deconstructed banoffee pie. One dish which is always popular, though, is the assiette of desserts – it’s pretty special!” Price: £39.99 To book: thewharfhouse.co.uk THE CLA SSICS
FIG AT COTSWOLD HOUSE HOTEL If you have trouble deciding what to choose, then the tasting menu at Fig is for you, as it’s predominantly made up of ‘tastings’ of dishes from head chef Pasquale Russo’s main menu. It comprises five courses, plus an amuse bouche, predessert, coffee and petit fours. Chef says: “The tasting menu is something that develops and changes over time, to reflect the seasons. We think that our impeccable cooking techniques coupled with the finest ingredients and flavour combinations makes it something rather special.” Price: £65, or £100 with a matching wine flight. To book: bespokehotels.com/ cotswoldhouse
ONE OF A K IND
THE KINGHAM PLOUGH The much-lauded gastropub is turning 10 this year, so to mark the occasion head chef and owner Emily Watkins has created a 10-course tasting menu for a one-off celebration evening on April 27. Chef says: “When Toni Ryder, of Not Just Bouquets and Cotswold Taste, approached us about doing a tasting menu that incorporates edible flowers, we thought that it would be a great opportunity to combine both our special 10-Year Anniversary Celebration Tasting Menu and the edible flowers idea together, so we will be featuring edible flowers in as many of the courses as possible. The starting point for all of my dishes
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is seasonal produce available as locally as possible. (I have to be realistic when it comes to fish – the rivers aren’t exactly groaning around here year around!) “Once I have written a long list of what is available, then I start jotting down ideas for dishes to make using these ingredients. For this particular menu, I will be looking through menus from April and May over the past 10 years and selecting the most delicious, popular and memorable dishes. “My favourite dish on the menu is probably a Buckland Manor tomato tart with wild garlic pesto and herb flowers, which is the epitome of local and seasonal – and so tasty!” Price: £65 To book: thekinghamplough.co.uk B RIL L IA N T LY B E S P O K E
LUMIÈRE Not a fan of a particular ingredient? Not a problem! Head chef Jon Howe will create a menu to suit all tastes, whether it’s the six-course lunchtime tasting menu, or the mighty nine-course evening extravaganza. Chef says: “Our tasting menus are not set menus – we ask every customer if they have any dietary requirements, or if there is anything which they don’t like, and then their tasting menu is designed for their table. “But the menus always showcase the best available produce on a given day, alongside a couple of our signature dishes, including one of my favourites – the tequila slammer. It’s a really fun palate cleanser, consisting of a salt tuile, tequila sorbet and a lime tuile.” Price: £66 for the six-course lunchtime menu, and £80 for the nine-course evening menu. To book: lumiere.cc
NE W HOR IZONS
THE DINING ROOM AT WHATLEY MANOR
W ILD THING S
THE CHEF’S DOZEN Take a walk on the wild side with head chef Richard Craven’s six-course tasting menu, inspired by the great outdoors. Chef says: “We pride ourselves on the use of wild food. So, during February, our local gamekeeper was culling grey squirrels, as they’d been eating the pheasant feed during game season, but when that stopped being put down they stripped the trees, damaging the woodland. We’ve always thought it a shame to kill something and not utilise the whole product, and squirrel’s a tasty meat which we served simply in a raviolo with a broth made from the bones. “We also work closely with foragers to find interesting treats, and we’ve been known to go out in the pouring rain in search of wild horseradish. You’ll always find something wild on our tasting menu, which changes weekly depending on what the chefs are most excited about. At the moment we have a wonderful dish of pollock with green apple, caviar and gentleman’s relish – it’s amazing the reaction we’ve received from such a humble ingredient.” Price: £65 To book: thechefsdozen.com
New executive chef Niall Keating only took the helm in the Whatley kitchens back in December, but he’s already making his mark with an innovative 12-course tasting menu, drawing on his experience of cooking in kitchens around the globe. Chef says: “Because of my exposure to different styles of cuisine in Michelinstarred international restaurants in the UK, San Francisco and Copenhagen, the menu does have some intriguing influences. One of the strongest is Asian, although modern British is evident too. “The tasting menu is a natural evolution of new dishes, produce, and seasonality. It never stands still. The menu doesn't change all at once with a season. We are always working on improving and changing dishes and their components. Dishes have to be of a certain caliber to be included on the tasting menu. I will know straight away if something is ready to go onto the menu, although to get a dish to this stage takes time. It is important that the menu flows well. It’s a journey of flavours, so it has to be balanced and not overbearing. “My favourite dish right now is the Aloe Vera sorbet with pickled white grapes, lemon balm and citrus oils. It’s a great cleansing dish before dessert, and an unusual combination of ingredients that work really well. “One of the other unique aspects of the tasting menu experience in The Dining Room is that the chefs, including myself, will be bringing some of the dishes to you at your table.” Price: £99, with a optional cheese course (£12.95) and wine flight (£70). To book: whatleymanor.com
High Street Chipping Campden GL55 6AL 01386 840598 www.thechefsdozen.co.uk
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AF T E RS NEW RESTAURANTS DEVOURED, NEW CAFÉS FREQUENTED, NEW BARS CRAWLED, AND THE TRUTH ABOUT WHAT WE THOUGHT OF THEM
Highlights WINE TIME
It’s always wine o’clock at the Three Choirs (and the food is pretty ace, too) Page 78
THE SPICE IS RIGHT
P H OTO : JASO N IN GRA M
Not just your average Ruby Murray at East India Cafe Page 80
Just one of the fab wines produced at Three Choirs Vineyard
COURSES of delish Indian dishes
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THREE CHOIRS VINEYARD, NEWENT
THE WINES AREN’T THE ONLY THINGS WORTH SHOUTING ABOUT AT THE THREE CHOIRS VINEYARD, HOLLERS EMMA DANCE
hanks to the ever-joyous combination that is roadworks and rush hour, the journey to Three Choirs Vineyard in Newent had taken us twice as long as the sat nav had predicted. So by the time we arrived, it was pretty dark; worse, it was just starting to rain as well. Safe to say, then, I was not in the best of moods, and I really wanted a glass of wine. Lucky we were at a vineyard, then. We were checked in quickly and shown to our home for the night, one of eight cosy rooms just a few steps away from the main building and all with glorious views across the vineyard (there are three more a little further away, and actually in the vineyard itself). After a brief period to relax and refresh, though, my bad mood had subsided – but I still hadn’t had that glass of wine, and I (and my husband!) suspected that my usual sunny disposition wouldn’t be fully restored until that had been rectified. We strolled across to the restaurant for an aperitif. Ensconced by a roaring fire, drink in hand, all was soon right with the world once again, and my attention quickly turned to the food.
F OO D PH OTOS : JAS ON I N G RA M
The menu at Three Choirs is full of nice things, not least their suggested wine matches for each course. While I like to think I can usually find my way around a wine list pretty well, I’m far from an expert on English wines – and some of the grapes were new to me. The recommendations were most welcome. Springfield Farm chicken, guinea fowl and English chorizo ballotine with tomato chutney was good (if a little light on the chorizo), with the meat tender and well seasoned. Paired with the suggested Siegerrebe, however, the flavours seemed to become more alive and the whole dish was elevated. Rich and aromatic, the Siegerrebe probably wasn’t my usual style of wine, but it was ideal with this dish, its presence proving the worth of a good sommelier.
Across the table, husband was diving into a bowl of plump mussels, which had been paired with the Mayhill – a medium sweet white wine made from a blend of four grape varieties. My main course of Cornish red gurnard, with celeriac and artichoke lentils and warm spiced Indian dressing, was a triumph. The skin had been crisped to perfection, providing a wonderful crunchy texture to contrast with the soft fish. The lentils were packed with flavour, and the dressing delivered a gradual, comforting warmth judged just right, so as not to overpower the flavour of the fish. Slightly perplexingly, a mound of mashed potato had also made it onto the plate. As mashed potato goes, it was very good – smooth and well-seasoned – and I ate it all with gusto, but it just didn’t quite mesh with the rest of the dish. Chosen to accompany my fish was a glass of Coleridge Hill, a refreshing blend of five varieties with hedgerow aromas and hints of crisp apple, fragrant elderflower and freshly cut grass. This was the kind of wine I’d choose any day of the week, and I made a mental note to stock up on some at the shop the next day. Husband’s local venison and Hereford Hop cheeseburger was a big hit; it was meaty but not too dense, and moist but not too rare. It was topped with home-cured streaky bacon and Bentley’s Farm plum and chilli ketchup, which I felt may have overpowered the venison slightly, but husband disagreed – and, as I’d only been gifted a mouthful, I wasn’t going to argue. And while the ketchup may or may not have been the ideal mate for the meat, it was best
friends with the glass on Wickham red which was served alongside. A warm, sticky pear, stem ginger and cranberry pudding with Baileys ice cream captured the flavours of Christmas and delivered a cuddle in a bowl, while a milk and white chocolate crème brûlée with pecan praline and tangerine shortbread hit the sweet spot. Every evening there’s a short tour and wine tasting for guests, but as we’d arrived too late we joined the public tour the following morning (which is actually slightly longer); it gave us more information about the winery, and the welcome opportunity to try out even more of the wines. English wine used to get a bad rap, but the days of it being universally awful are long gone. These days the sparkling offerings are celebrated and awardtroubling, and Three Choirs proves there are more strings to its bow now, too. ✱ THREE CHOIRS VINEYARD, Newent GL18 1LS; 01531 890223; three-choirs-vineyards.co.uk
ou won’t find a tikka masala on the menu at East India Cafe. Or a korma. Or a jalfrezi. There are no piles of poppadoms, nor are there naans. And there’s not an onion bhaji in sight. Doesn’t sound like your average Indian, right? Well, it’s not. It is, however, something very good indeed. Inspired by the British Raj – the period between 1858 and 1947 when the Indian subcontinent was under British rule – head chef and owner Litu has drawn on the favourite flavours and ingredients of both cultures to create a menu full of clever and complex fusion dishes. There’s a regular a la carte menu, but I’d recommend the seven-course tasting menu without a moment’s hesitation. Not only does it give you the opportunity to try a wider variety of dishes, but – at just £49.95 – gives a lot of bang for your buck. The menu changes seasonally, but will always include an intriguing selection of fish and meat dishes. Our culinary journey began with a dish ‘From the Memsahib’s Kitchen’ – a sweet, plump mussel, partnered with delicately spiced mackerel, which showed off the sensitive touch of those in the kitchen. The mulligatawny soup ‘From the Street of Hyderabad’ which followed has been firmly etched in our memories ever since – for all the right reasons. Rich with the sweetness of lamb and heady with spice, the flavours almost bounced out
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EAST INDIA CAFE IF YOU’RE AFTER A LATE NIGHT CURRY LOOK AWAY, ’COS CHELTENHAM’S EAST INDIA CAFE AIN’T YOUR PLACE, SAYS EMMA DANCE. BUT FOR CREATIVE CUISINE WITH SUBCONTINENTAL SPICING, YOU’RE IN LUCK… 80
of the bowl and smacked us around the chops, and I’ve been craving another go at some ever since. A chicken dish ‘From the Street of Kolkata’ was a fresh and playful riot of textures and tastes, while yellowfin tuna, scallop tartare, gremolata and horeseradish salsa ‘From the Fishermen’s Boat’ set our tastebuds tingling. A Gressingham duck breast ‘From the Street of Rajabazar’ was served dangling from a skewer. But while the presentation may have been slightly bizarre, the cooking was spot on, with the meat perfectly pink and well-balanced spicing. ‘From the Kitchen of the Indian Railway’ came a dish of Cotswold lamb, hung curd, bhuna lentils and rice. At first glance it wasn’t a million miles from the type of thing you might get in a regular Indian restaurant, but it was clear that the quality was infinitely superior. Dessert came ‘From Diwali Festival’, with creamy kulfi and barbecued fruits offsetting the thick sweetness of lal mohan, and came accompanied by ginlaced mint tea – a nod to the gin and tonic, a favourite of the British Raj. It was a menu full of tasty twists and turns, sometimes surprising and always delicious. There’s a real cleverness to the
way that the spicing is handled, so that there’s always enough, but never so much that it outshines the main ingredient, and all of the dishes we tried would be worthy of a place on a fine dining menu anywhere – not just an Indian restaurant. So, no: East India Cafe ain’t the place for your run-of-the-mill Ruby. It’s way, way better than that. ✱ EAST INDIA CAFE, 103 Promenade, Cheltenham GL50 1NW; 01242 300850; eastindiacafe.com
Little black book
AS OWNER OF PITTVILLE BATHROOMS & KITCHENS, AS WELL AS A RETAINED FIREFIGHTER, TRIATHLETE AND FATHER, SIMON BUTLAND DOESN’T HAVE A LOT OF TIME OFF. BUT WHEN HE DOES, HERE’S WHERE HE GOES... BREAKFAST? The County Kitchen in Cheltenham does an awesome breakfast of poached eggs, avocado, good bread and lots of freshly cracked pepper.
HIDDEN GEM? I’m told Petit Coco is the place to go, but it’s so hidden that I’ve actually yet to go there!
BEST BREW? Havanna’s Coffee in Pittville
Puerto Terron, is turning into an amazing chef. He’s currently studying at Bristol University, and chefs at The Gardeners Arms in Alderton in his spare time.
for a coffee on the go. They’ve just started to open on a Sunday too, so it’s a great pit stop on my way home after a long run.
Now add this little lot to your contacts book The County Kitchen, 8 Grosvenor St, Cheltenham GL52 2SG; thecountykitchen.co.uk Havanas Coffee, 14 Prestbury Rd, Cheltenham GL52 2PW; facebook.com/havanascoffee Whole Foods Market, Gallagher Retail Park, Cheltenham GL51 9RR; wholefoodsmarket.com Tivoli Wines, 56 Andover Rd, Cheltenham GL50 2TB; tivoliwines.co.uk Malmaison Cheltenham, Bayshill Rd, Cheltenham GL50 3AS; malmaison.com Court Farm Shop, Stoke Rd, Cheltenham GL52 7RS; courtfarmshop.co.uk The Feathered Fish, 104-106 Winchcombe St, Cheltenham GL52 2NW; thefeatheredfish.co.uk The Ox, 10 Cambray Place, Cheltenham GL50 1JS; theoxcheltenham.com Wesley House, High St, Winchcombe GL54 5LJ; wesleyhouse.co.uk Vitlers, 85 Hewlett Rd, Cheltenham GL52 6AJ; vitlers.co.uk Waghornes Butchers, 28 High St, Prestbury, Cheltenham GL52 3AU; waghornesbutchers.co.uk Petit Coco, 30 Cambray Place, Cheltenham GL50 1JP; facebook.com/petitcococheltenham The Gardeners Arms, Beckford Rd, Alderton, Tewkesbury GL20 8NL; gardenersarms.biz Padstow Fish, 252 Bath Rd, Leckhampton, Cheltenham GL53 7NB; padstowfish.co.uk Côte Brasserie, 1 Montpellier Terrace, Cheltenham GL50 1US; cote-restaurants.co.uk Boston Tea Party, 45-49 Clarence St, Cheltenham GL50 3JS; bostonteaparty.co.uk Rogan Josh, 26 Winchcombe St, Cheltenham GL52 2L; roganjoshs.co.uk Prithvi, 7 Bath Rd, Cheltenham GL53 7HG; prithvirestaurant.com Benjamin Chocolatier; benjaminchocolatier.co.uk Falafeleat; facebook.com/falafeleat
FAVOURITE GROCERY SHOP? Whole Foods in Cheltenham for special occasions (and their pizza bases are fabulous for cooking in our pizza oven); otherwise, simply Sainsbury’s. BEST WINE MERCHANT? I buy my wines from Virgin Wines, but our General Manager raves about Tivoli Wines – I’m hoping she’ll buy me some samples to convert me one day! SUNDAY LUNCH? Currently Malmaison,
if eating out, but I can cook an awesome lunch myself. Court Farm Shop is a great place to go to stock up on ingredients.
ONE TO WATCH? My friend’s son, Kian
WITH FRIENDS? Running a kitchen design business, I practice what I preach and cook for friends at home a lot. I can rustle up a pretty mean paella, and we always buy our fish from Padstow Fish, a local company that brings fresh fish into Cheltenham most days of the week. COMFORT FOOD? Definitely my wife’s
chicken and leek pie.
WITH THE FAMILY? We love Côte Brasserie (in either Cheltenham or Cirencester). The food is good and they are great at catering for all ages.
QUICK PINT? After work we have been
CHILD FRIENDLY? Boston Tea Party in Cheltenham is our kids’ fave for a treat.
CHEEKY COCKTAIL? A Lynchburg lemonade at The Ox in Cambray Place.
BEST CURRY? We love Indian food, and are spoilt for choice in Cheltenham. Our current Friday night fave is a takeaway from Rogan Josh on Winchcombe Street.
known to frequent The Feathered Fish on Cheltenham’s Winchcombe Street.
POSH NOSH? Wesley House in
BEST ATMOSPHERE? Jay Rahman at the wonderful Prithvi restaurant is an amazing host. Nothing is too much trouble.
FOOD ON THE GO? Vitlers Deli in Cheltenham does a great ‘pre-order’ service. I often call them up with an order, and pick it up on my way to one of our showrooms or to see a client. (My current fave: their pulled pork baguette – yum!)
SOMETHING SWEET? Ben Axford (of Benjamin Chocolatier) has hosted some great chocolate-making demonstrations for our customers, and I always give his chocolates for very special gifts.
ALFRESCO FEASTING? My back garden!
even on the run, and I love the take-away falafel from Falafel Eat on Cheltenham High Street. (And I’m in utter awe of their commitment to selling great outdoor food in all weathers!)
Winchombe was our wedding venue, and it’s still our go-to place for a special dinner.
I grew up in South Africa, so to remind me of there I’ve installed a braai (a South African barbecue), and I try to cook outdoors all year round. Waghornes, the artisan butchers in Prestbury, is our favourite place for supplies.
TOP STREET FOOD? I try to eat well,