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CRUMBS Cotswolds NO.54 MAY 2017
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SPELT MIGHT BE ANCIENT, but it’s only recently that it’s started to become a staple of the modern kitchen. Although hundreds, if not thousands, of years ago just about everyone was scoffing it, when modern wheat burst onto the scene in the 20th century it completely took over as grain of choice – mainly because it was a lot easier to grow in volume. But it’s true that the best things are worth making an effort for – or, at least, it’s true when it comes to spelt. You see, spelt is totally bursting with nutrients – we’re talking all kinds of vitamins and minerals, as well as fibre and antioxidants – which is at least partly why it’s been seeing a resurgence in popularity over the last few years. That, and the fact that it’s damn tasty, and versatile too. So chuck it in salads or stews, use it instead of rice in a risotto, or swap your regular flour for spelt flour for baking; yup, this little grain has no end of talents. Which is why we’ve put it firmly in the spotlight as our Hero this issue. We’ve also been chatting to the founder of Nom, the snack foods people – that’s the lovely Steph Croft-Simon – about how her business began, and pretty inspiring stuff it is, too. (She shows us why ‘free from’ food doesn’t have to be free from flavour, for instance, with a pretty fabulous brownie. And if you don’t believe us you can try it for yourself, as she’s shared the recipe.) So go on, then. Tuck in…
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Table of Contents
NO.54 MAY 2017
EMMA DANCE firstname.lastname@example.org DEVELOPMENT EDITOR
MATT BIELBY email@example.com ART DIRECTOR
TREVOR GILHAM DESIGN
VICKY MITCHARD ADVERTISING MANAGER
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RYAN GOODMAN email@example.com PRODUCTION AND DISTRIBUTION MANAGER
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MediaClash, Circus Mews House, Circus Mews, Bath BA1 2PW; 01225 475800 www.mediaclash.co.uk large version
© 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 tasted our first British asparagus of the season, at No 131 in Cheltenham. Hurrah!
STARTERS 8 HERO INGREDIENT Going with the grain 12 OPENINGS ETC So much to eat, so little time 14 LOCAVORE Loving local at Lynwood & Co
19 IN THE LARDER Producers with ‘raw’ talent ADDITIONAL RECIPES
20 TRIO Three of the finest traditional Cotswolds inns
10 Beetroot, goats’ curd, hazelnut and dill salad, by Signe Johansen
21 ASK THE KITCHEN DESIGNER Experts opinions from David Burgess of Contour Kitchens
25 Tandoori whole fish, by Dan Toombs 35 Rhubarb and saffron pudding, by Kathy Slack
Amazing recipes from the region’s top kitchens
43 Nom popcorn brownies, by Steph Croft-Simon
27 Piped shortbreads MacMillon, by Nick Bennett
30 Deep fried pig’s head, poached egg and frisée and bacon salad, by The Ox
38 COOKS WITH Going free-from, with Nom’s Steph Croft-Simon
33 Banana pecan bread, by Georgina Graham
45 THE WANT LIST Take tea in style
48 TEA OFF Elegant afternoon teas 52 SCHOOL DAYS Learning new skills at Eckington Manor's Chef Academy
New & notable restaurants, cafés, bars 58 Whatley Manor Hotel 60 Loaded Grill 62 The Cottage in the Wood 65 The Swan Inn PLUS
66 LITTLE BLACK BOOK Favourite spots of Neil Cheesewright of Chalk & Cheese Designs
START E RS INNOVATIONS, REVELATIONS AND TASTY AMUSE-BOUCHES
FILLET & BONE, a new addition to the thriving Chipping Campden foodie scene, is a hub for exceptional produce, much of it sourced from award-winning local suppliers. And when it comes to seasonality, quality and keeping food miles to an absolute minimum, this dazzling epicurean emporium has got it nailed. Entrepreneurs Chris Gates and Pat Willins bought the old L Smith butchers’ shop last autumn, with a view to retiring to the town. But the more they looked at the 700-year-old building, and the more they spoke to locals, the more they knew they had to reopen the shop – but with a fresh, new, contemporary look, and a much wider offering. And, happily, that’s exactly what they’ve done!
Now Fillet & Bone stocks seasonal fruit and vegetables grown by Drinkwater, just four miles away, while Great Taste Awardwinners Todenham Manor Farm, in nearby Moreton-in-Marsh, supply rare-breed beef and Gloucester Old Spot pork. Lamb comes from Nolan Brook, supplier to many a top restaurant; fresh, seasonal fish is delivered twice a week, straight from the Cornish day fleet; and cheese comes courtesy of the rather fabulously named Fromage to Age. There’s charcuterie, dairy products, and amazing oils and vinegars too, plus handmade cakes and a ton of tempting deli goodies. The upshot? We’d recommend checking it out pronto! ✱ filletandbone.co.uk
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IT’S JUST A VERSION OF WHEAT, THIS STUFF, AND ONE WITH A SERIES OF NOT-PARTICULARLY-APPETISING NAMES. IT’S CALLED DINKEL WHEAT, HULLED WHEAT, FARRO OR SPELT – BUT HOWEVER YOU SAY IT, IT’S SORT OF SPECIAL. AND WAY MORE APPETISING THAN IT SOUNDS...
pelt fans – and yes, there are quite a few of them – push the environmental benefits of this crop, and it turns out there are quite few of them, too. It’s low-yielding, so takes less from the soil than most grains; it’s weather and disease resistant, so thrives without the need for pesticides or fertilisers; and the food we make from it stores very well – especially the pasta, which lasts, basically, forever. Indeed, so hardy is this stuff that some fans claim that spelt’s thick, protective hull is so sturdy it would even keep the grain within safe from nuclear fallout – though we’re not sure how many people have ever put this theory to the test... Oh, and did we mention that it’s good for you too? Well, it’s true. And it’s delicious. Time, clearly, we gave spelt another look. Spelt’s a hybrid, but a naturally occurring one (it was probably originally a cross between some form of regular wheat and wild goat grass) that first cropped up in the Near East more than 8,000 years ago, and in Europe rather more recently. People have certainly been cultivating the stuff since 5000BC or so, and it was a big noise in the European Bronze Age, in Medieval times, and, increasingly, now, as farms in central Europe, northern Spain and, yes, the West Country have started exploiting the new-found interest in it as a health food. In ancient mythology, spelt was a gift to the Greeks from the goddess Demeter – she’s the lass responsible for the harvests, and, more broadly, the general cycle of life and death – and the Greek Empire spread it across the Med. Certainly, by around 500BC it was big in southern England, but went on to be totally usurped by regular bread wheat – which is faster and cheaper to grow – only to see an 11th-hour revival in recent years. Back in the day, spelt had a bad rep as poor man’s food – in Horace’s Satire (30BC), the Country Mouse eats spelt at dinner while serving his city guests posher grub, for instance – but no longer. These days the script has flipped, for spelt is most commonly enjoyed by the well-off and well-informed, who appreciate its flavour, its green credentials, its easy-to-digest qualities, its versatility, and – of course – its taste. Indeed, though it contains gluten – and so is unsuitable for those who suffer from coeliac disease – spelt is pretty healthy stuff all round,
heaving with dietary fibre and complex carbs, B vitamins, and minerals from phosphorus to manganese. Because it’s highly water-soluble – the molecular structure of the protein in spelt is more brittle, for one thing, than standard wheat’s – the good stuff is more easily absorbed by the body, and eating spelt as an alternative to regular wheat has been shown to help with a number of health issues, from allergies and diabetes to high cholesterol levels and autoimmune disorders. The mucopolysaccharides contained in spelt – a sort of carbohydrate with anti-inflammatory properties – digests especially slowly, meaning spelt delivers energy over the long haul in a way other grains don’t. Indeed, when the Roman Legions saw how much energy the spelt-gobbling Germanic tribes had in battle, they wasted no time in adding it to their own diets too, calling it ‘marching grain’. These days, you can find spelt flour and spelt goods, including a pale rye-like bread – usually sweet and nutty-flavoured, with a surprisingly soft and light texture – and biscuits, crackers et al, increasingly easily, especially in health food shops. You can use ‘spelt berries’ – the grain’s de-hulled, wholegrain form – as you would rice, so think risottos, soups and stews. And you can substitute spelt flour for regular wheat flour when making just about anything: breads, pasta (particularly good, as it retains a great al dente texture when cooked), cakes, muffins, breakfast cereals, pancakes, waffles and more. Spelt beer is possible, too, and spelt vodka – but the most celebrated alcohol-related use of spelt is in jenever, the juniper-flavoured Dutch liquor from which gin evolved. This all said, spelt doesn’t respond to cooking in quite the same way as regular wheat, so you’ll have to learn a few new tricks – like avoiding high temperatures, and getting the amount of water right. Why’s spelt more expensive than your regular wheat? Well, it’s rarer, less is grown, and – unlike modern wheat – it hasn’t been bred to lose its husk during harvesting, making the removal of the kernel from its protective outer hull an additional task for the spelt farmer. (It’s the toughness of this husk that means we need fewer pesticides, however. Remember that nuclear fallout claim? Well, if it can cope with that, it can certainly keep out a few insects.) Well worth investigating, then, we reckon – yes, even if it does cost a little bit more…
R E C I P E
BeeTrOOT, GOaTS’ CUrd, haZeLNUT & dILL SaLad (SERVES 4-6 AS A MAIN)
This unusual and stunning summer salad was created by Scandinavian food writer Signe Johansen and is a riot of vibrant colours, textures and flavours. If you can’t find wild dill pollen in your local delicatessen, you can buy small bottles online – or simply leave it out.
1.5kg beetroot 250g pearled spelt 150ml raspberry vinegar juice of 2 lemons 4 tbsp hazelnuts, skin on 1 tsp wild dill pollen (optional) 200g seasonal salad leaves, with edible flowers 300g goats’ curd, crumbled sea salt and freshly ground black pepper METHOD:
– Preheat oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6. – Scrub the beetroot and trim off any gnarly bits. Put the beetroot in a roasting tin and pour in enough hot water to come halfway up the beetroot. Season generously with salt and pepper, then cover the tin with kitchen foil, sealing it tightly around the edges. Cook in
the oven for 20 minutes for small beetroots and 40 minutes for really large ones. – Remove the tin from the oven and, using oven mitts, carefully lift the foil, keeping your hands and face away from the steam. Turn the beetroot over so that they cook evenly, then re-cover and cook for a further 20 or 40 minutes, as above, until tender. – Meanwhile, cook the pearled spelt in boiling water for 20 minutes, or until tender, following the packet instructions. Drain. – Remove the beetroot from the oven and leave to cool slightly, then drain off the cooking liquid. Peel off the skins while still warm. Cut the beetroot into quarters and put in a bowl. – Pour over the raspberry vinegar and lemon juice to taste, then leave to one side. The beetroot is added last so that the dish doesn’t turn entirely pink.
– Toast the hazelnuts in a dry frying pan over a medium heat for a few minutes until golden and fragrant. Roll the nuts in a clean tea towel to remove the skins. Season with a little salt and crush into pieces. – Scatter the cooked spelt on a large serving plate and sprinkle with the wild dill pollen. Lift the beetroot out of the raspberry vinegar using a slotted spoon and put on top of the spelt, then scatter with the salad leaves, goats’ curd and hazelnuts. – Drizzle the vinegar over the top, if you like, or serve separately.
✱ This recipe is taken from Spelt by Roger Saul © Roger Saul 2015, published by Nourish Books, London, £16.99
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S T A R T E R S
The White stuff
Extra-big Crumbs congratulations go to Chris White, chef director and co-owner of The White Spoon in Cheltenham, who’s just been named as one of the final three in the Restaurant Chef category of The Craft Guild of Chefs Awards 2017. Chris is no stranger to these awards – The White Spoon was crowned New Restaurant of the Year in 2016, after all – but this year he’s particularly chuffed to be recognised for his skills as a chef. “The positive feedback we get from our customers is praise enough,” he says. “However, receiving recognition at a national level gives me extra encouragement that all the hard work and sacrifices are worth it.” The White Spoon offers an ‘unpretentious alternative to fine dining’, they say, while winners are announced on June 1. ✱ thewhitespoon.co.uk
There are, like, many reasons to love this time of year. The days are longer, summer’s on its way and we’re about to get a glut of all that lovely spring and summer fruit and veg. Move over, squash and swede; it’s time for some new kids in town. Like asparagus. And boy, do we love those tasty green tips. And so do the Lucky Onion folk, it seems, because they’ve just created a special menu of dishes designed to show off asparagus – and damn fine it looks, too. They’re working with Markham Farm Asparagus, based just down the road near Bicester, who fresh cut it daily. The menu’s made up of three dishes, each paired with a really rather fine Cloudy Bay NZ Sauvignon. There’s asparagus with Cacklebean poached eggs and hollandaise sauce, asparagus with brown shrimp butter, and asparagus with air dried beef, pea shoots and Parmesan. Naturally, each one is quite delicious. This asparagus menu is available at No.131, The Chequers, The Wheatsheaf Inn and The Wild Duck, and costs £15 for one dish plus a glass of Cloudy Bay Sauvignon – but the offer only runs until July, so don’t miss it! ✱ theluckyonion.com
Eagle-eyed readers of last month's e-edition may have noticed that, due to a technical hitch, for a couple of days there was a problem with the picture of Toni Ryder in the Meet the Wedding Experts feature, resulting in a none too flattering image. We’re sorry, Toni!
PURE PLaNTS A brand new plant-based restaurant called Vinnie’s Eatery has opened in Cheltenham. Owned by husbands-to-be Louis Mander and Vincenzo Mangone, it’s aiming to bring a slice of Vancouver-inspired seasonal whole food dining to the Cotswolds. Vincenzo’s passion for plants began when he trained under acclaimed plant-based chef Chantale Roy, and now he wants to pass his enthusiasm on to the people of Cheltenham through an innovative menu which includes dishes such as Vizza (Vincenzo’s take on pizza), Thai coconut curry, and gluten free pancakes, as well as locally sourced drinks, ginger and root beer made from water kefir, and alkaline water. It’s open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, so no excuses for not getting your five a day!
Loving the look of this rather lush lemon drizzle cake snapped by @thepatchworkmouse
@rara_cara’s captured a little bit of charcuterie heaven!
IN THE DIARY... (May 11) A DAY WITH CHARLES DOWDING, PIONEERING ORGANIC GROWER Spend a day at Daylesford Organic Farm learning about organic gardening. Join in a morning discussion, presentation and Q&A with organic hero Charles Dowding, followed by a twocourse organic lunch. Then spend the afternoon in the market garden with Charles and Jez Taylor (head of the market garden at Daylesford) for a practical demo and hints and tips. Tickets £125. ✱ daylesford.com (May 18) SUPPER CLUB AT BREW & BAKE The much-loved monthly supper club at Brew & Bake is back. And this time it’s all about celebrating the fabulous local produce of the Cotswolds. Tickets cost £32 for three courses. ✱ brewandbake.coffee
✱ Check them out on Twitter @VinniesEatery
CONTOUR 1A Q U E E Nâ€™S C I RC U S MONTPELLIER C H E LT E N H A M G L 50 1 R X 01242 221196 D E S I G N@C O N TO U R K I TC H E N S.C O.U K C O N TO U R K I TC H E N S.C O.U K
SHAPING YOUR HOME
S T A R T E R S
The PerSOnaL TOuCh WE TALK COFFEE CULTURE WITH ROB BROADBENT, OWNER OF LYNWOOD & CO CAFÉS 14
IT WAS LOVE at first sight when Rob Broadbent first walked into the building in Lechlade that’s now his café, Lynwood & Co. Not that the relationship blossomed immediately, however. It took a couple of years, and a great deal of effort, before the two actually came together. “This used to be an antiques shop,” reminisces Rob. “I bought a table in here, and just loved the feeling of the space as soon as I walked in. I said to myself that, if it ever became available – and wherever I was in the world – I would come back and open a coffee shop here.” And do you know what? Where Rob was when the space came up for grabs actually was, quite literally, the other side of the world; his native Australia, in fact. Not that
a little thing like that would stop him from being true to his word. “We’d only just moved back to Oz,” says Rob. “We’d sent all our furniture back in containers, and our dog too, and we hadn’t even unpacked. But someone got in touch and told me that this place had come up, so we turned around and came right back.” That was a little over two years ago, and Rob hasn’t looked back since. His brand of Australian coffee culture, coupled with top quality local ingredients, has proven a big hit, with the Lechlade café becoming a real heart of the community. And he’s just opened a second, smaller branch down the road in Fairford. “I think the UK is about eight years behind the Australian way of thinking in terms of coffee,” he says. “There’s a real coffee culture over there, and when I first came here I found a distinct lack of cafés in the area. In a town this size in Australia you’d have six cafés, and they’d all be busy. But I do think people’s habits are changing. Cafés are becoming the new pubs – people are drinking less alcohol, smoking less, and looking for more daytime activities.” So as more and more people turn to caffeine, and the number of coffee shops grows, surely that will mean more competition for Lynwood & Co, especially as they look to expand? Maybe so, but Rob’s not worried. “There’re tons of big chains around, but they lack that personal touch,” he says. “I’m really big on making sure people are greeted when they come in, and it’s important to me that we learn people’s names, and what they have. Most of the time, we know their dogs’ names as well! In this day and age, customer service is
what makes a difference. No matter how good your offering is, you’ve got to be able to back it up with good customer service.” And it seems Rob’s got the eats and drinks down to a fine art, too. “We take an artisan approach. Our coffee gets to us within the optimum drinking range, which is seven to 14 days after roasting. In many places you might be getting beans that have been roasted three months ago. And I have someone who just makes coffee – that’s what they focus on, so what we produce is really good. “When it comes to the food, I sit down with my head chef, Josh Oram, and we come up with the menu together. A lot of it is quite Aussie inspired – especially the brunch. Brunch is the new Sunday lunch! “Much of it is bread based, because we have such good bread. It’s made by Max Abbott from Sourdough Revolution. He
used to make it here, but he got too busy so now we buy it off him.” It’s not just the bread that’s sourced locally, either. Supporting local businesses is very important to Rob. “We get our eggs from Cricklade and seafood from New Wave in Cirencester. And we use our local butcher. We could use a big seller and get it cheaper, but it’s all about keeping towns alive. And you get what you pay for. “For example, our bread is so different from anything you can buy from the supermarket. Initially people say ‘£4.50 for a loaf of bread? You must be joking!’, but then the next day they come back for another loaf. They really like the handmade element.” And it’s not just local businesses that Rob supports. “We do work for charity too,” he says. “We raise money for the local school and church. It’s a whole giving back thing.” So what’s next for Lynwood & Co? “Well, we’ve just opened in Fairford,” says Rob. “Originally we were only going to have this one in Lechlade, but there’s demand out there. Eventually I’d like to have around six small places around the Cotswolds, but for the moment I’m concentrating on consolidating the two we’ve got. And I want to work on a range of chutneys and preserves. Although the Lynwood name is new in the UK, it’s been known in Oz for around 20 years. It was the name of my parents’ property over there, and then my mum started Lynwood Preserves. I want to do the same range here, using the same family recipes.” ✱ LYNWOOD & CO CAFÉ, Market Square, Lechlade Gl7 3AD; 01367 253707
“There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.” Henry James Proudly serving this traditional tea-related ritual for over 30 years, for a quintessentially English experience you can take tea each afternoon in Gloucester, Tetbury, Winchcombe and Jersey.
Hatton Court Hotel has spectacular views of the Severn Vale from the hotel¹s Tara restaurant. Considered to have some of the best views in the Cotswolds, earning its place as a designated area of outstanding natural beauty. Enjoy Afternoon Tea in the Tara restaurant served daily between 1.00pm and 4.30pm and includes freshly prepared ﬁnger sandwiches, scones with jam and clotted cream, homemade cakes, and a selection of loose tea or coffee. To book a table call 01452 617412. Prices £25.00 per couple. www.hatton-court.co.uk
Château La Chaire Hotel in St Martin, Jersey, originally built in 1843, is a stunning boutique hotel located in the woody valley of Rozel in Jersey. The hotel is set within 8 acres of woodland valley that was once landscaped in 1841 by Samuel Curtis, a botanist from Kew Gardens. This small luxury hotel boasts sensational views, offering the perfect setting to enjoy Afternoon Tea served daily between 1.00pm 5.00pm (Sunday 3.30pm 5.00pm). You can tuck into a selection of ﬁnger sandwiches, cakes, and scones with homemade strawberry jam and Jersey black butter. To book afternoon tea call 01534 863354. Prices from £17.95 per person. For ﬂight inclusive packages to Jersey visit www.chateau-la-chaire.co.uk
Hatton Court Hotel, Upton St Leonards, Gloucester GL4 8DE 01452 617412 Chateau La Chaire, Rozel Bay, Jersey, JE3 6AJ 01534 863354
S STTA A RRT E T RS E R S
New kid on the block
THIS HERE IS MIKE WALLIS, HEAD CHEF AT THE FOX IN CHIPPING NORTON Hi there, Mike! So, when did you first begin cooking? I started professionally cooking when I was about 18 years old, but I cooked at home from a young age, making food for me and my younger brother when my parents were at work. So you’ve been a foodie since you were a kid, then? What’s your fondest food memory from your childhood? My mum baking flapjacks and mince pies! Also, as a treat she would make this onepot dish of baked beans, sausages and tomatoes, topped with mash potato and cheese. Simple but, as a kid, very tasty!
What first inspired you to cook professionally, then? I wanted the ability to cook dishes and make people feel happy when they ate my food. Also, girls love a man who can cook!
What other local restaurants do you like to eat out at? Just recently I went to lunch with some friends at The Wild Rabbit in Kingham, and we weren’t disappointed; the food and service were fantastic.
What was your very first job in the food industry like? I was a kitchen porter at a hotel back in my home town of Swaffham in Norfolk. It was long hours and very hard work for a grand sum of £2.50 per hour, but it was my way into the kitchen – and we all have to start somewhere. I believe this is a bit of a problem at the moment, with young chefs that finish college believing they are entitled to a head chef position immediately.
What do you reckon makes the local foodie scene so great? I think that, because there are so many great restaurants in the surrounding area, many people get to experience and taste lots of flavours and combinations.
What’s the toughest job you’ve tackled so far? Definitely working on the yachts in the Mediterranean. You would plan your meals and provisions from the information that you received from the guests’ agent, but would generally find that – once you were at sea – they wanted something totally different. So you would have to improvise with what you had, and make quick tender runs to the shore to buy from the markets.
Which piece of kitchen equipment couldn’t you live without? We have a Rational combi cooker in the kitchen, which is great for lots of styles of cooking. We slow cook our shoulder of pork for 12 hours, for instance, for pulled pork sandwiches.
What’s your proudest career achievement to date? That would have to be in 2010, when I was asked by a former boss to design and cook a dessert for HM the Queen during her visit to Norwich Cathedral. The whole week leading up to the day was very intense; cooking, making and tweaking the dish every day. How have you approached the menu at The Fox? There are some wonderful ingredients around the Cotswolds, so we’ve tried to use lots of good local suppliers. How would you describe your style of cooking? I like to keep my cooking traditional, but with a little modern flair.
What are your favourite ingredients at the moment? I’m liking celeriac. It’s a very versatile vegetable with great flavour on its own or with others. Also heritage beetroot, as the colours look fabulous on a plate.
What and where was the best meal you’ve eaten? My father-in-law took us out to Le Champignon Sauvage in Cheltenham. The whole meal was amazing, but my starter of rabbit loin, rillettes and parfait stood out for me – the colours and textures were bang on. Do you have a favourite cookery book? It’s a hard one as I have so many, but I do like the Essence series of books by David Everitt-Matthias. What about foodie heroes? That would have to be Tom Kerridge, Gordon Ramsay and the Roux brothers. Finally, what’s your current favourite flavour combination? I love the combination of salmon and beetroot. The earthiness of both ingredients works well together. ✱ foxchippingnorton.co.uk
S T A R T E R S
In the Larder
RAW FOOD IS GROWING IN POPULARITY, SO STOCK UP YOUR LARDER WITH THIS LITTLE LOT
1 MORNING GLORY Primrose’s Kitchen Raw Beetroot and Ginger Muesli, £5.95/400g This muesli’s made with gluten-free oats, and we love the addition of fresh beetroot and zingy ginger. Add nuts and seeds, as well as extra love in the form of psyllium husks and hemp seeds, and you’re talking something quite special. Buy it at Waitrose, The Natural Grocery Store in Cheltenham or Made by Bob in Cirencester. ✱ primroseskitchen.com
2 ALPHA KALE Daylesford Raw Organic Pink Pepper and Lemon Kale Chips, £2.49/12g Kale might not be your first thought when you’re
and Teriyaki flavours for that sweet/salty thing, while the Chocolate Hazelnut version is basically just yummy. Oh, and did we mention that one pack counts as one of your five a day? Bonus. You can find ’em at Wholefoods in Cheltenham.
considering a snack, but those clever chaps at Daylesford have somehow made it eminently munchable. By dehydrating the leaves at a low temperature, they’ve made sure you get that satisfying crunch while still retaining the optimum amount of nutrition. Guilt-free snacking indeed! Get yours from Daylesford Organic.
4 CAKE TIME Raw4Change Zesty Lemon Raw Cake, £18/10cm This cake has been inspired by the spring, and as a result is seriously fresh and zesty. What’s more, it’s packed with possibly unfamiliar, but certainly good-for-you ingredients – such as raw sprouted buckwheat, hemp seeds, coconut oil, incan berries and baobab powder. Who knew a cake, of all
3 WHAT A JERKY! Mighty Bee Coconut Jerky, £2.99/30g Instead of beef, this jerky is made from raw coconut flesh, which has been gently dehydrated to lock in all the ingredients. The natural sweetness of the coconut pairs well with the Spicy BBQ
things, could be quite so good for you? Get yours online from Raw4Change. ✱ raw4change.co.uk 5 CHOCS AWAY Ombar Raw Cacao Chocolate Bars, £1.99/35g Made with raw, organic Ecuadorian cacao, unrefined coconut sugar and a selection of real (and really juicy) fruits, every Ombar is packed full of goodness and deliciousness in roughly equal measure. We’re massive fans of the 90% Raw Cacao bar for its rich, intense chocolate-y hit, but we’re a bit in love with the Strawberry Mylk too, and the Goji Berry… (Oh, let’s be honest, we love them all.) Available from Ocado. ✱ ombar.co.uk
S T A R T E R S
The Fox sits at the heart of Chipping Norton and offers drinkers, diners and over-nighters a comfy and relaxed base from which to enjoy the town and the surrounding area. Owned and managed by Hook Norton Brewery, it has a 70-seat restaurant and bar area, which is perfect for enjoying the food cooked up by chef Mike Wallis and his team. Everything is cooked to order, and locally sourced produce is at the heart of the menu. What’s more, you can tuck in at pretty much any time of day, since breakfast starts at 8am then the all-day menu kicks in at noon and runs until 9.30pm. And if the weather’s fine you can dine (or drink) al fresco on the covered terrace. Kids and dogs are welcome, and if you want to stay the night then there are rooms here too.
iNN KeepiNG EVERYONE LOVES A GOOD OLD TRADITIONAL PUB. HERE ARE THREE OF OUR COTSWOLDS FAVES…
✱ Market Place, Chipping Norton OX7 5DD; foxchippingnorton.co.uk
In the centre of picturesque Stow-on-the-Wold, The Talbot is a popular haunt for both visitors and tourists alike. It first started dispensing ale back in 1719 and has been a firm fixture in the town ever since. Owners Cate and Martin Clarke took over The Talbot in July last year, and have made sure that the pub has retained a traditional spirit, with a firm focus on real ales. With magnificent views of Stow’s main square it’s the perfect spot for a pint, and if you’re feeling peckish then they serve up some good old-fashioned pub grub, too! ✱ The Square, Stow-on-the-Wold GL54 1BQ; talbotstowonthewold.com
Dating back to the 16th century and boasting Cotswold stone walls and oak beams, The Craven Arms is bursting with character and is pretty much exactly what you’d imagine a traditional Cotswold village pub to be. Head chef Sam Price and his team have put together a menu of classic pub grub, but there are also Hot Rocks table barbecues on offer if you’re feeling a bit more adventurous. There’s always a selection of real ales on tap, too – it wasn’t named North Cotswolds CAMRA Pub of the Year in 2016 for nothing! In winter you can cosy up by the open fires, and in summer you can while away an afternoon or evening (or both!) in the lovely garden. ✱ Brockhampton, Gloucestershire GL54 5XQ; thecravenarms.co.uk
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Ask the Kitchen Designer Who knows about the latest interior design trends? Who can make your kitchen both stylish and practical? The kitchen designer is your friend!
the furniture industry for several years. I started Contour Developments more than 10 years ago, undertaking all aspects of property renovation. After searching for the right opportunity, I opened the retail aspect of the business – Contour Kitchens – in 2015. So you know the business pretty well! What’s the best thing about running your own kitchen studio? Having direct control over the direction of Contour, as this is both challenging and rewarding in equal amounts. I very much enjoy dealing with clients, and it’s extremely satisfying to see a concept design come to life and become an important part of the customer’s home. How have you seen our kitchens change over the years? The kitchen has moved from being a small utilitarian space, usually positioned at the back of a house, into the main living and socialising area. This is due, in part, to the many cooking and lifestyle shows on television, but also domestic life is more SAY HELLO TO DAVID BURGESS, DIRECTOR OF CONTOUR KITCHENS equally shared now. People like to cook together, and entertain friends and Hello there, David! So, how long have family – and they need a bigger space in you been in the kitchen industry? which to do so. Kitchens have been a part of my life since leaving school at 15, when I became an What are the best-selling kitchen styles apprentice cabinet maker. Back then, at the moment? I made bespoke traditional kitchens, Urban, industrial handleless kitchens are very different to the ones I design now. I very popular with our clients. Our most studied a degree in furniture production popular material choices currently are and management, and then worked in stone, concrete and wood.
What sort of customers do you get? Most of our clients are looking for high-end kitchen living. We rarely replace existing kitchens, but more commonly undertake a total re-design of the space. Our customers are looking to make the kitchen the heart of the home, and achieving this takes careful design and planning. And what makes Contour unique? We are kitchen living specialists, and put our customers’ needs and wants first. The Leicht furniture range is vast, and has finishes that aren’t available from other kitchen suppliers. The size and flexibility of the range allows our designers creative freedom, and gives them the ability to make the most of any space. As someone in the know, what’s your must-have kitchen item? Definitely a plumbed in combination steam oven. It is such a versatile appliance, because you can steam, brown and crisp all at the same time. Pure steam retains more vitamins, minerals and flavour than other forms of cooking What’s your number one tip for anyone thinking of redesigning their kitchen? Make a list of how you want to use the space, and try to prioritise For example, do you need cooking, entertaining, relaxation, or homework/study areas? Then think about the style of kitchen you are most drawn to – without necessarily worrying about the period of the house. What do you think makes for excellent customer service? Each customer is different, and we aim to build a good working relationship right from the start. We spend a lot of time with our customers, and have found it is the best way to fully understand their requirements. We find that good client communication, and going above and beyond to fulfil expectations, leads to high levels of customer satisfaction. ✱ contourkitchens.co.uk
THIS COULD BE YOU! Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
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THE DRINKS CABINET presented by The Craft Drink Co.
3 Cotswolds Dry Gin from The Cotswolds Distillery This winner of World’s Best London Dry Gin at the 2016 World Gin Awards, has a delectable blend of nine carefully considered botanicals. Core botanicals are macerated in pure wheat spirit overnight before a unique botanical mix of Cotswolds lavender, bay leaf, fresh grapefruit and lime peel (peeled by hand! -), black pepper and cardamom seed are added to the copper pot still for distillation, before finishing with filtered Cotswolds water. The result is a Cotswolds classic, a rich but well-balanced juniper-led gin with crisp citrus and aromatic spice.
he boutique gin boom continues unabated with 50 new distilleries opening in the UK in 2016. The Cotswolds has its fair share of artisan gins, the quality of which far exceeds many of the big brands, and you’re likely to find many of the Cotswold hotels, restaurants and pubs serving a selection of these on their menu … or in their mini bar as most do cute miniatures too! So, ask for your perfect serve with these fantastic Cotswold gins and let’s keep the ‘gintastic’ revolution growing!
1 6 O'clock Gin from Bramley & Gage You might say that Bramley & Gage led the craft gin revolution in the Cotswolds as their 6 O’Clock Gin pre-dates all the others. Hand crafted with seven carefully selected botanicals that chime together. Orange peel adds a distinctive citrus tone, in delightful harmony with floral elderflower. The result is a clean, smooth and richly flavoured gin and for something special, mist the top with Bramley & Gage Elderflower Liqueur.
6 Stratford Gin from Shakespeare Distillery This independent distillery from near Stratford-upon-Avon, handcrafts its Stratford Gin in small batches using authentic Tudor garden botanicals including rose, lemon balm, rosemary and lovage together with the more familiar juniper, coriander and lemon peel. The result is a highly distinctive juniper-led gin with delicious herbal notes and a burst of floral and citrus. Distillery owners Simon and Peter set out to create a gin that best captures the essence of Shakespearean England and achieved it perfectly … and won a Silver Medal at the 2016 International Wine and Spirit Quality Awards to boot!
4 Garden Tiger from Capreolus Distillery Barney Wilczak is on a mission to create a gin of effortless complexity and in doing so, crafted his Garden Tiger Gin. A vast store of 34 botanicals, selected after hours of testing and trialling, are either macerated for 40 hours directly into a soft and neutral spirit made from British wheat, or suspended above rising steam for a more gentle liberation of their flavours. Made only in very small batches, each bottle is a pure work of art.
2 Cucumber & Dill Gin from Brennen & Brown Brennen & Brown produce limited edition seasonal gins throughout the year but the Cucumber & Dill Gin proved so popular it's become a near permanent fixture! It's a light, summery super-smooth gin with juniper at the forefront, bringing the fresh and delicate flavours of cucumber and dill to a gin and tonic.
characteristic smoothness is achieved from their own distillation of the base spirit with softening tones of vanilla and blueberry, subtle hints of orange and lemon, ensuring a clean fresh twist. The contemporary style of gin is smooth and complex enough to be enjoyed on its own, or is stunning as a 'G&T' or cocktail.
5 Sibling Gin from Sibling Distillery Born of parents owning a famed Cheltenham microbrewery, four siblings have combined their talents to create this hugely unique and stylish gin. Working in conjunction with top cocktail makers, they have created a botanical mix which is truly memorable. The
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
S T A R T E R S
FROM LONG-ESTABLISHED CHEFS TO NEWBIE BLOGGERS, MARK TAYLOR CHECKS OUT ALL THEIR LATEST LITERARY OFFERINGS FOR US THIS MONTH…
PRIME: THE BEEF COOKBOOK
ONE POUND MEALS
HOME COOK Thomasina Miers Guardian Faber, £25
Richard H.Turner Mitchell Beazley, £25
Miguel Barclay Headline, £14.99
Classically trained by the Roux brothers, Pierre Koffmann and Marco Pierre White, chef Richard H. Turner is better known these days for his part in restaurants like Pitt Cue Co and Hawksmoor, but he’s also one half of London butcher Turner & George, as well as the Meatopia festivals. An ode to all things beef, this hefty book features more than 180 meaty recipes for burgers, roasts, steaks and just about every conceivable beef dish from around the world. It also has lots of handy tips on butchering and buying your meat as well as features on bovine breeds. Standout recipes in this beefy bible include Sichuan beef, braised ox tongue salad, British Army beef curry and the ultimate Cornish pasty.
In May 2016, amateur chef Miguel Barclay took to Instagram to share the gourmet recipes he had produced for less than £1 per portion. He has since amassed more than 11k Instagram followers – with each video apparently seen by 25,000 viewers in under an hour, no less – and has appeared on national TV to demo his recipes. In his first book, One Pound Meals, Barclay has created a collection of tempting recipes, whose ingredients all cost £1 or less. Quick, simple and full of flavour, there are recipes for every occasion, from chicken katsu curry and beef lasagne to smoked mackerel fish cake and Dijon sauce or Moroccan spiced vegetables, hummus and flatbread. An innovative book that makes good food affordable for all.
SRI LANKA: THE LOCALS COOKBOOK Jon Lewin thelocalscookbook.com £20
Former MasterChef winner, and co-founder of the Wahaca restaurant chain, Thomasina Miers has also gained a loyal following for her weekly column in The Guardian. This book is a collection of her most-loved recipes: recipes that she has fed her friends and family at her ever-busy kitchen table; creations derived from family classics; food inspired by her travels; and dishes informed by the work of some of her favourite food writers and chefs. Bursting with imaginative ideas, big flavours and personality, the irresistible recipes range from marmalade and poppy seed muffins and show-stopping paella to enticing Mexican crab mayo and upside-down rhubarb cake. A wonderful collection of fuss-free, family-friendly recipes.
The first book from Bristol photographer, chef and surfer Jon Lewin documents his extensive travels around Sri Lanka. It’s a highly personal account of his time spent with the locals, as well as a comprehensive look at the cuisine. Due to its diverse climate and history, Sri Lankan food has been influenced by the cooking of South India, Portugal, Britain and other countries, and Lewin looks at the dishes served in Sri homes as well as the street food stalls. With stunning pics and a clean, uncluttered design, recipes are given plenty of space. As well as signature Sri Lankan dishes like hoppers, sambols and parathas, there are numerous fish, meat and vegetarian curries, as well as stir-fries, and even some refreshing drinks.
From: TANDOORI WHOLE FISH FROM THE CURRY GUY BY DAN TOOMBS (Quadrille, £12.99) Photography © Kris Kirkham
THE CURRY GUY
Dan Toombs Quadrille, £12.99
In just five years, blogger Dan Toombs has turned The Curry Guy into a trusted brand, with 130,000 curry fans visiting his blog each month. In writing his first book, Toombs took recipe testing to the extreme, feeding his family nothing but curry for two whole years. (Now that’s what we call proper dedication.) The result is more than 100 recipes aimed at home cooks to recreate what the author describes as British Indian Restaurant (BIR) dishes. This means recipes for all the classic curry sauces used in Indian restaurants – from korma and pasanda to jalfrezi and madras – and all the classic dishes, including chicken tikka masala and lamb saag. There are also recipes for vegetable side dishes and accompaniments, including how to cook the perfect pilau.
TANDOORI WHOLE FISH (SERVES 2)
2 whole bream or sea bass, cleaned 1 tbsp garlic and ginger paste (see below) 4 tbsp white wine vinegar 1 tsp rapeseed oil 1 tsp chilli powder 2 tbsp tandoori masala 1 tsp garam masala 1 ½ tbsp plain yoghurt 1 lemon, quartered
– For the garlic and ginger paste, put both ingredients in a food processor or pestle and mortar and blend with just enough water to make a smooth paste. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days. – Make shallow slits on each side of the fish. Put the garlic and ginger paste, vinegar, oil, chilli powder, tandoori masala, garam masala and yoghurt in a bowl and whisk into a marinade. Season with salt to taste, then
For the garlic and ginger paste: 150g garlic, chopped 150g ginger, chopped
rub the marinade all over the fish, inside and out, and leave to marinate for about 30 minutes. – Meanwhile, prepare your barbecue for direct grilling. – Remove the fish from the marinade and place in a metal grill fish basket, or thread a couple of skewers through to hold it in place. Cook, turning regularly, until the skin is nicely charred and the fish is cooked through. Serve with a squeeze of lemon.
COOKING SCHOOL | VENUE HIRE | CORPORATE EVENTS
www.foodworkscookeryschool.co.uk 01242 870538
Colesbourne Park, Nr. Cheltenham, GL53 9NP
From June join our singles cooking lessons.
Food Fanatics Food Hall
Stocking a range of local, regional and international foods. From every day necessities to that little indulgence. Whilst you are browsing, why not stop for a sweet or savoury snack in our coffee shop and soak up the surroundings. OPEN EVERY DAY 12 North Street, Winchcombe, Gloucestershire GL54 5LH
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
NOW open in Fairford!
GET THE BEST OUT OF LIFE WITH THE LOW GL DIET Suffering from low energy, poor concentration, lack of sleep or weight gain? Come and learn about the Low GL diet which is all about balancing your blood sugar levels to feel amazing, look great and lose weight. Programmes start: 2.00pm 5th May, Whole Foods Market, Cheltenham. 6.30pm 8th May, Holiday Inn Express, Cheltenham. To find out more please contact: Nutritionist Georgina Graham George@cotswoldbetterhealth.co.uk www.cotswoldbetterhealth.co.uk
C HE F ! WHAT TO MAKE, AND HOW TO MAKE IT – DIRECT FROM THE KITCHENS OF OUR FAVOURITE FOODIES
H I G H L I G H T S
Lavender infused shortbread is a tea time treat Page 28
Pig’s head makes a delicious croquette
Lavender doesn’t just smell good, it can add a a lush floral flavour to cakes and puds
BREKKIE BOOST Kick start your day with banana pecan bread Page 33 P L U S
35 RAVISHING RHUBARB makes an ace sponge pud!
G eT ! y t r O sh AT RESTAURANT F E H C D A E H T, T NICK BENNE , HAS CREATED A E S U O H Y R U B D 56 AT SU TIME TREAT… TANTALISING TEA
Originally from Leamington Spa, Nick Bennett is the Head Chef at the highly acclaimed fine dining Restaurant 56 at the award-winning Sudbury House Hotel in Faringdon. Know the name? He became famous to millions when he beat 45 other professional chefs to reach the finals of BBC Two's MasterChef: The Professionals in 2015. Over the years, Nick has developed a real passion for the pastry section at the professional kitchens where he’s worked. Together with Executive Head Chef Andrew Scott, he’s developed some memorable desserts for Restaurant 56, as well as mouth-watering handmade cakes for the afternoon tea served at the restaurant. Although many of Nick's recipes are rather complex, he also has a selection of simpler dishes that don’t require quite so much skill – like this one, for example! ✱ RESTAURANT 56, 56 London Street, Faringdon SN7 7AA; sudburyhouse.co.uk
PIPED SHORTBREADS MACMILLON (MAKES AROUND 20) INGREDIENTS
450g soft butter 175g lavender-infused castor sugar 450g plain flour 75g cornflour 3 tablespoons sifted icing sugar a few drops lavender oil water, to mix food colouring (if desired) METHOD
– Preheat the oven to 160C/320F/ gas mark 3. – Beat the butter in an electric mixer until very soft. – Add the sifted castor sugar and mix for 10-15 seconds. – Add the flour, and mix slowly until its fully incorporated. – Place the mix in a piping bag with fluted nozzle and pipe onto an oiled baking sheet. The biscuits should be no larger than 4 cm across. – Put in oven and bake for 10 minutes. – Remove from the oven and take the biscuits off the sheet and cool on a wire cooling tray. – Make the icing mix by mixing the icing sugar, lavender oil and enough water to create a consistency that can be easily piped. If you wish to add any colour to the icing, add it now. – Put the icing mixture into a small greaseproof piping bag and nozzle over cooled baked biscuits.
PIGGY IN The MIddLe PACKED WITH FLAVOUR, THIS DISH FROM THE OX IN CHELTENHAM MAKES AN IMPRESSIVE LIGHT LUNCH Tucked away in a basement on Cambray Place, The Ox Cheltenham is a bastion of excellent food and drink, and – since opening in 2015 – has fast built a reputation as purveyors of some of the best steaks and cocktails in Cheltenham. The menu comprises prime cuts of steak, all cooked to perfection in the famous Josper oven, plus beautiful small plates, delectable desserts and one of the best Sunday roasts in town, as well as several great value deals, such as Early Bird steak and Burger and Beer Wednesdays. The team at The Ox has shared this recipe, which appears on their small plates menu.
DEEP FRIED PIG’S HEAD, SOFT POACHED EGG, FRISEE and BACON SALAD (SERVES 4)
half a pig’s head, split down the middle 2 carrots 2 small onions 2 celery sticks 4 sprigs of thyme 2 tbsp Dijon mustard small bunch of chives, finely chopped 3 banana shallots, finely chopped 100g plain flour 2 eggs 100g panko breadcrumbs salt and pepper 100g smoked streaky bacon lardons 1 frisée lettuce, trimmed 4 free range eggs simple vinaigrette (for dressing) 2 pickled onions, sliced METHOD
– Preheat the oven to 120C/250F/ gas mark ½. – Remove the ears and put the pig’s head in a tray, face-side-up, with the carrots, onion, celery and thyme, and pour in enough water to cover the veg. Cover with baking parchment, then 2 layers of foil pressed around the rim to
create a seal. Cook in oven for 5 hours. – Remove the foil from the tray and allow to cool slightly before transferring the pig’s head to a clean tray. – Starting with the cheeks, remove the flesh: you want a ratio of about ⅓ fat to meat. There are some great morsels in the tongue, cheeks, and behind the eyes, so be bold! – Add mustard, chives and diced shallot, and season generously with salt and plenty of black pepper. Stir the mix to combine the ingredients, and taste for a final seasoning. – Roll the mix into logs, approx 5cm in diameter, and wrap with cling film before putting into the fridge to set. – Once set, slice into rounds of about 1cm. Set up a bowl each of flour, beaten egg and breadcrumbs, and coat the rounds ready to fry. – Fry the bacon lardons until crispy. – Shallow fry the croquettes over a medium heat for around five minutes, or until golden and crispy. – Soft poach the eggs (around 2-3 minutes) and season them with salt and pepper. – Dress the frisée with a little vinaigrette and toss in the bacon and pickled onion. – Place a poached egg on top of the warm pig’s head croquette and serve with the dressed salad. ✱ THE OX, 10 Cambray Place, Cheltenham GL50 1JS; theoxcheltenham.com
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 ďŹ sh 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 â€“ 10PM
GO I N G baNaNas
THIS RECIPE FROM GEORGINA GRAHAM OF COTSWOLD BETTER HEALTH IS AS DELICIOUS AS IT IS NUTRITIOUS! NOW THAT'S WHAT WE CALL A RESULT… Georgina Graham, a qualified nutritional therapist and health coach who runs Cotswold Better Health, is running a Zest4Life programme, helping people to change their mindset on how to eat nutritious foods, lose weight and overcome many of the symptoms of illnesses brought about by a poor diet. “This high-protein, grain-free bread makes a delicious breakfast option,” she says. “You’ll need a food processor or blender to grind the pecan nuts to form a flour-like consistency. The bread is best served warm or toasted, spread with a little coconut oil or nut butter.”
BANANA PECAN BREAD (MAKES 1LB LOAF, ABOUT 10 -12 SLICES) INGREDIENTS
300g pecan nuts ½ tsp cream of tartar ½ tsp baking soda 1 tsp cinnamon 4 free range eggs 1 large ripe banana 2 tbsp light olive oil 1 tbsp agave syrup
– Preheat oven to 180C/350F/ gas mark 4. – Put pecan nuts in a grinder or blender and process to form a fine meal. Place in a bowl with the other dry ingredients. – Place the eggs, banana, oil and agave in a blender and process until smooth. – Pour the banana mixture into the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. – Spoon into a lined loaf pan and bake for 40-45 minutes until firm to touch. – Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before turning out. ✱ cotswoldbetterhealth.co.uk
rhUBarB, rhUBarB BLOGGER, PRIVATE CHEF AND KEEN KITCHEN GARDENER KATHY SLACK OF GLUTS & GLUTTONY TELLS YOU WHAT TO GROW AND HOW TO COOK IT. THIS MONTH, SHE’S IN RAPTURES OVER RHUBARB…
hubarb is a favourite of mine. The baby pink stems. The welcome sweetness. In a month otherwise bereft of fruity flavours (heck, we haven’t seen fruit since the apple harvest, and I can hardly remember the taste of strawberries), one can’t reasonably be criticised for clinging to rhubarb for dear life like a fruity piece of driftwood in the culinary ocean of the Hungry Gap. Let’s recap: forced rhubarb is a different beast from maincrop rhubarb. Forcing is when light is excluded (either by growing it in cave, covering it with a pot or, if you’re feeling very Victorian, putting it in a forcing shed attached to your glass house; what do you mean, you don’t have one?) so the plant panics and concentrates on sending up tall stems in search of light rather than spending energy on greenery. No photosynthesis – no point in leaves. It’s this forcing that a) gives an early harvest and b) makes the stems so much sweeter than maincrop. Maincrop rhubarb is simply left to grow in the open. The stems are thicker, greener and not as sweet – but still delicious. It can be harvested from April to July, but it’s best to stop after that to give the plant a chance to recover. Cover it in straw over winter for protection, then remove in early spring and just leave it to do its thing – very little fuss and bother (which is just how veg growing should be, in my view). Rhubarb is a bit of a dark horse. It’s not something we generally use terribly regularly, but it goes with a huge variety of ingredients. Savoury: mackerel, pork, goats’ cheese. Sweet: ginger, almonds, white chocolate, orange. And today: saffron, which is aromatic, colourful, and unusual – what’s not to like? Sponge carries the flavour of saffron beautifully and, never one to shy from mixing the unusual with the traditional, this feels like a job for a steamed pud. With custard, obviously…
RhUBaRB aNd SAFFRON PuddING ( SERVES 2 )
2 stems forced rhubarb 1 tbsp brown sugar 50g butter 50g caster sugar 1 egg good big pinch of saffron strands, soaked in 1 tbsp water 50g self-raising flour METHOD
– Finely chop the rhubarb into 5mm chunks. Toss in the brown sugar and cook in a saucepan over a medium heat until the sugar has melted and the rhubarb is just soft at the edges. Pop into a bowl to cool. – Cream the butter and sugar together until very fluffy and pale (about 3 minutes beating). Add the egg to the
mix gradually, beating well with every addition. Add the saffron with its water and beat well. Fold in the flour. The mix should just drop off an upturned spoon. – Line the bottoms of two 6 fl oz pudding basins with a circle of greaseproof paper, and butter the sides. Spoon in the rhubarb mix, followed by the sponge batter. Cover with greaseproof paper, secured with an elastic band, and steam for 20 minutes. – If you don’t have a steamer, set a large pan over a medium heat with 2cm of water in the bottom. Pop an upturned plate on the bottom, sit the pudding bowl on top and clamp a lid on. As long as the pudding isn’t sitting in water, you’ll be fine. – Once cooked, remove from the basin and serve with custard, naturally.
✱ Kathy Slack writes the food blog, Gluts & 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
CHOOSE YOUR WEAPONS
BRIGHT COLOURS MAKE YOU HAPPY: FACT. AND NOT MUCH WOULD MAKE US HAPPIER, RECKONS MATT BIELBY, THAN ONE OF SMEG’S ZINGY NEW COOKERS… Summer’s all about cooking outside, and ‘throwing another shrimp on the barbie’, right? It is and, regrettably, it isn’t. Most of our outdoor cooking set-ups are pretty limited, after all, and there’s always the real C-word – yes, cloudbursts – to contend with. Perhaps the best way to cope is to make your indoor cooking area as sunny and outdoorsy as possible, and we’ve seen few better ways to do that than build it around the latest cooker collection from Smeg. Called Portofino – after the famous little fishing village that’s become the chief celeb and tourist magnet of the Italian Riviera – it comes in three punchy brights (sunshine yellow, deep red, burnt orange), plus olive green, anthracite, black, white, or classic stainless steel. Portofino is famous for its brightly coloured cookers, then? Not so much, no. But it does have an amazingly picturesque semi-circular waterfront, lined with pastel-coloured houses – yes, it’s a sort of Latin Balamory – and it’s these that have inspired the Smeggers. So these cookers are just cheerfully painted – is that it? Not even! They’re usefully compact too – at 90cm wide – so will fit into most kitchens, but they’re big inside (126 litres) and, uniquely amongst range cookers, the main oven has no fewer than three fans, for knockout results each time. Despite
THIS MONTH crumbsmag.com
the slightly retro vibe, they’re actually Smeg’s most advanced range to date, offering closeddoor grilling, an A+ energy rating, five cooking levels, and 12 additional functions, from time defrost to Sabbath mode. (Far too complicated to go into here, this is super-handy for Shabbat observant Jews.) On top you get a six-burner hob – with an induction hob option, if you prefer – and there are matching cooker hoods too, to add a dramatic look to your kitchen. Not just a pretty face, then? Seems not. And your Portofino will keep pretty for longer than most too, with the main oven’s enamel interior making it especially easy to keep clean.
THAT RIVIERA TOUCH
They’re not cheap, I take it? Think £2,399 for the gas hob version, an extra £500 quid if you want induction hobs, and another £599 for the matching hood. Is that really that much to pay for the most striking kitchen centrepiece ever (especially if it makes you feel so happy whenever you see it)? It doesn’t take much to make you happy, does it? Nope! Around three grand’s worth of bright orange cooker should do it!
✱ You can find Smeg cookers like this one at Gardiner Haskins in Cirencester and branches of Currys and B&Q; smeguk.com
TIME FOR TEA
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NOm NOm! OXFORD FOODIE ENTREPRENEUR STEPH CROFT-SIMON SHOWS US EXACTLY WHY FREE FROM FOOD DOESN’T HAVE TO BE FREE FROM FLAVOUR…
WORDS: EMMA DANCE PHOTOGRAPHS: ANDREW CALLAGHAN
iving away from home for the first time, making new friends, and, of course, trying to strike that elusive balance between studying and partying – for most people, going to university can be difficult enough. But Steph Croft-Simon found herself faced with even more challenges, because while studying for her Sociology degree she suddenly developed food allergies. And not just any food allergies, either – on two occasions the reactions were so severe that she ended up in hospital. All pretty scary stuff. The upshot was that she had to cut dairy and gluten from her diet. (Not easy when foods like bread, pasta and cheese are staples of most students’ kitchens.) Throw in removing refined sugar as well and you’ve got a real problem. But while others might have caved, Steph not only went on to finish her degree, but used her experience as the inspiration for Nom, her company based just outside Oxford which produces snack foods that are free from dairy, gluten and refined sugar, as well as a bunch of other common allergens. Pretty impressive stuff, right? “When I was first diagnosed, and when the doctors were trying to figure out what was making me ill, it was quite scary realising that I might have a reaction to what I ate, and I cut a lot out of my diet,” Steph tells me. “That meant that I had to find a whole new way of cooking and eating. I could find food that was gluten free or dairy free, but it was all really highly processed or loaded with sugar. I started making flapjack bars at home and handing them out to friends and family. They really liked them, so I decided to take them to market.” And so Nom was born. Well, almost. Obviously it wasn’t quite that easy. But it was quick!
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“I managed to convince the buyer at Planet Organic to give me an hour of her time, so I turned up with a box of my flapjack bars. She liked them and said she would stock them, and arranged an exclusive launch. It meant that I only had about six months to get them out of that little box and onto the shelves! It was hard work, but it was fun to see the product come to life.” That was back in 2013, and now the range has expanded to include four different flavours of bar (original, banana, cacao and raspberry, and a protein bar), as well as popcorn in simply salted, cinnamon maple, salted maple, and a brand new tomato pesto variety. It hasn’t always been easy, though, both in terms of sourcing the ingredients and finding somewhere to produce them. “Nom was created out of allergies and intolerances, so all of our products are free from the top 14 allergens,” says Steph. “And we always wanted it to be Fairtrade and organic too, so it wasn’t always easy finding the ingredients. And there’s only one factory that makes organic popcorn.” And it’s the simply salted popcorn that Steph’s using in the chocolate brownie she’s making for us today. Yep, somehow she’s cooking us a chocolate brownie
that’s free from gluten, dairy and refined sugar. Which sounds like it’s missing all the good stuff, but Steph assures me that it will still taste great. “I experimented a lot at home, and I’ve found substitutions for almost everything,” she explains. “For example, I use coconut palm sugar instead of refined white sugar, coconut oil instead of butter, and cacao nibs instead of chocolate chips. And I’m a big fan of raw chocolate, too. I don’t think there’s any point in depriving yourself. They’re not necessarily all ingredients you can just buy from the supermarket – although the ranges are improving – but health food shops are amazing, or I buy what I need online. “Of course, it’s difficult sometimes – but just knowing how much better I feel not eating things like refined sugar really spurs me on. I missed Chinese takeaways for a while, but then I found a recipe online for a great lemon chicken. The internet is amazing!” Okay, sure: the internet does have a whole load of good stuff. But what does she think about the recent backlash against so-called ‘clean eating’ bloggers? “I disagree with unqualified people telling people to cut stuff out of their diet. And it’s always best to speak to a doctor
or a nutritionist before deciding to cut something out totally,” says Steph. “But I don’t think that any harm can come from trying to eat in a more natural way. And there’s no doubt that most people would feel better if they cut refined sugar out of their diet. But it’s not a one size fits all solution, so you need to find what works for you. All I can do is tell people about my experience.” She is, however, joining in a campaign called ‘Don’t Tax Healthy’, which is lobbying the government to reduce the tax they charge on products that have no refined sugar. “The aim of it is to make it easier for people to buy healthier food. Why should it be cheaper to buy a bar of chocolate than something healthy?” she says. “Although the market is getting better, it can still be hard to find free from snacks – especially when you’re on the go. You might come across them in the supermarkets, but hardly ever in a petrol station shop, or on a plane.” So, is expanding the number of stockists next on Steph’s to-do list? “Of course, we always want to expand, but most of our listings take at least a year to put in place,” she says. “There are only two of us working on Nom, and we have a warehouse and sort all the distribution ourselves. We’ve had a couple of tipping points where we’ve had to step up the scale of what we do, though. Just going from being stocked in a bunch of small stores to Holland & Barratt and Ocado was a big jump. We crowdfunded about a year ago, so we had some investment to help scale up. “We’re working on some new products, too. I think savoury snacks are going to become more and more popular, so we’re looking at more savoury options, but we will definitely stay in snacking. “It’s important for us to be doing something inventive, too. Our popcorn was the first organic popcorn popped in coconut oil. We’re competing with so many big brands now that we have to do something different to stand out.” As she’s talking, Steph takes the brownie out of the oven. She cuts it and we all grab a slice. It’s completely delicious – rich and more-ish and full of chocolate-y goodness. And even better, I can kind of convince myself it’s good for me. Savoury snacking’s all very well, but if Steph could sell that brownie I’m pretty sure it’d be a massive hit…
NOM POPCORN BROWNIES ( MAKES 12 BROWNIES )
2 eggs 1 tsp vanilla extract 1 ½ tbsp crushed hazelnuts 175g cashew butter 120g coconut palm sugar ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda 1 tsp baking powder 100g dark chocolate, chopped up into small pieces 15g Nom Simply Salted popcorn
– Preheat oven to 160C/310F/gas mark 4. – Mix the eggs, vanilla, hazelnuts, cashew butter, coconut palm sugar, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder. – Add the chocolate and the popcorn and mix through. – Line a baking tray with paper and pour the mixture into the tin. – Bake for 20/30 minutes (depending on how gooey you like your brownies!), then leave to cool. – Cut into squares and enjoy!
T H E WA N T LI S T TAKE TEA IN STYLE! 1 ALICE TEA INFUSER £6 It’s always tea time in Wonderland – and with this mini Alice infuser, you can always be in Wonderland at tea time! Unlike Alice, though, it’s unlikely you’ll have any Mad Hatters, March Hares or sleepy dormice to contend with. Nab one from Whittard of Chelsea in Cheltenham or Witney. ✱ whittard.co.uk 2 DEE HARDWICKE FOR THE NATIONAL TRUST GLASSHOUSE CAKE FORKS £12 The design on these forks was inspired by some of the flowers and foliage that flourish in the National Trust’s glasshouses around the country. Fancy, eh? You can find them at National Trust shops, including at Chedworth Roman Villa near Cheltenham, or order online. ✱ nationaltrust.org.uk 3 PIP STUDIO SPRING TO LIFE TWO-TIER CAKE STAND £20 Nothing says ‘afternoon tea’ quite like a cake stand laden with treats. But even when they’ve all been eaten, this little number is so gorgeous you’ll still want to keep it on the table. Hunt one down at John Lewis in Swindon or Bristol. ✱ johnlewis.com 4 ASHDOWN ROSE CUP AND SAUCER £16 Sure, tea from a mug is fine, but to be truly elegant you’ll need a proper cup and saucer. With this uber-cute floral printed set, tea time has never been so pretty. Get yours from Cath Kidston in Cheltenham or Oxford. ✱ cathkidston.com 5 PINK LUSCIOUS TEAPOT £84 There’s nothing quite like tea made properly in a proper teapot! Like this gorgeous fine bone china one, with gold patterns, pink floral designs and an integral infuser. You can pick one up from T2 in Cheltenham. ✱ t2tea.com
2 1 4 3 5
10% discount off food on production of this advert.
A warm welcome awaits you in our family run pub with rooms, situated in the picturesque Cotswolds.
We are quirkily found in the heart of an industrial estate in a beautiful quaker style building, we offer breakfasts, lunches and afternoon teas from 10am till 4pm. We welcome dogs and have a lovely indoor corner for children
Also available for private party hire Bring your own alcohol with no corkage fee Mrs Massey can prepare a menu of your choice Unit 5 - 7 // Frampton Industrial Estate // Bridge Road Frampton on Severn // Gloucestershire // GL2 7HE www.mrsmasseysdeliciousdiner.com 01452 740016 // email@example.com
The Swan Inn High Street | Moreton-in-Marsh Gloucestershire | GL56 0LL
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.swanmoreton.co.uk
The Angel Hotel 47 High Street with this Wootton Bassett advert Wiltshire SN4 7AQ Tel: 01793 851161 Email: TheAngel.WBassett@arkells.com
NORTH COTSWOLD CAMRA PUB OF THE YEAR, 2017 (RUNNER UP) Character Pub with stone walls and flagstone floors Casual Dining – Excellent food served all day Passionate about well kept ales
New Menu coming May 2017! 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
Famous Inn located on the Fosse Way (A429) Stunning riverside garden – Al Fresco dining 9 beautiful en-suite bedrooms and two holiday cottages
01285 720721 Fossebridge | Cheltenham | GL54 3JS email@example.com
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MEET THE BREWER If anyone knows what makes a great ale it’s these guys!
Head Brewer Prescott Ales, Cheltenham prescottales.co.uk
Brewer Stroud Brewery stroudbrewery.co.uk
How many beers are there in your range? At Prescott we have carefully developed a wide range of beers for an ever-increasing and diverse customer group. We have three main ranges; Firstly Traditional ales, which includes popular beers such as, Hill Climb our light refreshing pale ale 3.8%, Chequered Flag a hoppy amber ale at 4.1%, and a dark and powerful malty ale called Grand Prix which is a racy 5.2%. Secondly we have a “Seasonal Range” celebrating the flavours of the changing seasons and lastly, Prescott Ales is proud to have joined the craft movement and launched an exciting range of “craft ales” called Super6, All bursting with new world hop flavours and only brewed in limited batches.
How many beers are there in your range? We have three core ales available in our packaged range. Budding, Tom Long and Big Cat which are pale, amber and a stout, respectively. We do a true lager (lager means ‘to store’ and our lager spends more than six weeks in vessel) and we also do various hoppy fresh canned beers and seasonal occasional bottles.
Have you seen a change in what people like to drink? Ten years ago hoppy beers were still not in fashion and not widely available, traditional ales were still quite malt based and hops were used sparingly. Today there is a definite thirst for fruity hop based beers, partly why we launched Super6.
JIM AND CLAIRE ALEXANDER Owner Yubberton Brewing Co. yubbertonbrewingco.com
How did you get into the industry? We bought The Ebrington Arms in January 2007 and we started brewing beers in 2012. Brewing our own recipes and selling them in our pub seemed the logical thing to do and we’d had enough of brewery sales people coming in to flog us beers they were selling to Tesco. We support small independents as well as our own.
What makes your beers interesting? Soon after we started bottling our beers they became organic. We get all of our organic malted barley from farms within a 20 mile radius of the brewery and it’s processed organically for us by Warminster Maltings.
What makes your beers unique? Being in pubs before brewing was definitely a help as we could try out recipes on our punters. Our first beer is called ‘Yubby bitter’ - locals call it ‘up the Yubby’, meaning the ‘pub’. The heritage of our lovely old Cotswold pub has inspired the beer names. We also have Goldie, a pale ale which represented our golden fields at harvest time and Yawnie – a Yubberton Yawnie is the local term for one of our village idiots! You can buy bottled Yubby in our pub now and in some local shops so our room and food guests can take a taste of the Cotswolds home with them too. Our sister pub, The Killingworth Castle in Wootton also stocks our own bottles brands and drafts.
What’s the secret to a good beer? How long is a piece of string? There are so many variables: ingredients, technique, packaging, dispense, available to brewers now. Personally, I like my beers with a rich malty backbone, cellar temperature with a thick foamy head and sweet hoppy aroma. What’s the most important part of the job? Quality control, maintaining consistency and high quality.
JON TILLSON Assistant Head Brewer Wychwood Brewery wychwood.co.uk How long have you been a brewer? I have been brewing at Wychwood for almost 25 years. It started with a two week work experience placement at the brewery when I was 15 and a full time position soon followed. Since completing brewing exams I have been awarded the title Master Brewer. How many beers are there in your range? Although we have core beers in our range, Hobgoblin and, Hobgoblin Gold to name a couple, we also brew many different seasonal and guest beers. Hobgoblin is a full flavoured Ruby Ale, Hobgoblin Gold is a blonde beer packed with aroma. What’s the secret to a good beer? Knowledge and experience of producing great beers consistently. Our team of five brewers have more than 100 years of brewing experience between us. What’s the biggest challenge of the job? Not just the biggest challenge, but also the most important part of brewing, is producing beer that people enjoy drinking. It’s also the one of the most pleasurable parts.
MAINS TOP CULINARY CAUSES, FAB FOOD DESTINATIONS, AND PEOPLE THAT MATTER
H I G H L I G H T S
AFTERNOON DELIGHT Where to take tea in the Cotswolds Page 48
Learning from the best at Eckington Manor Page 52
P L U S
TOP CHEFS sharing their kitchen secrets
WE TAKE A CLOSER LOOK AT THE HISTORY OF AFTERNOON TEA, AND SOME OF THE BEST PLACES IN THE COTSWOLDS TO PARTAKE OF THIS DELICIOUS BRITISH TRADITION 48
here’s no doubt that we Brits love our tea. A mug of milky builder’s brew is practically the official national drink, and it certainly feels as if the cuppa has been part of our culture for, like, ever. Not so, however. Because while the Chinese have been slurping the brown stuff since the third millennium BC, tea only really made it to these shores relatively recently. In the 17th century in fact, when Portuguese princess Catherine of Braganza (queen to Charles II) introduced us to its wonders; she’s got a lot to answer for. At first, tea was a luxury that only the upper echelons of society could afford, but it was soon adopted by the middle classes, and by the 19th century dedicated tea houses had begun to pop up all over. Char was soon being drunk all across the country, and across the classes too. It was about 200 years later, though – at around the 1840 mark – that the afternoon tea ceremony came into being. Back then it was the norm to eat only two meals a day (quelle horreur!) – breakfast, then dinner at around 8pm. You’ve gotta have sympathy, then, for Anna, the 7th Duchess of Bedford (and Queen Victoria’s chum), who was said to complain of “having that sinking feeling” in the late afternoon, and started asking for a pot of tea, a tray of bread and butter, and a slice of cake brought to her boudoir at around that time. Finding it hit the spot really
rather well, she started asking her mates around to share her cheeky little snack. It seemed that Anna was on to something, as word spread and, before long, ‘taking tea’ became de riguer, with upper class ladies donning their full finery for this new event between four and five. As its popularity grew, so the ritual evolved. In warmer weather it moved outside and the gents decided to get in on the action too, and soon anyone who was anyone was nibbling on finger sandwiches at four o’clock, just before the fashionable promenade in Hyde Park. Somewhat confusingly, the upper classes called it ‘low tea’ while the lower classes invented their own version (taken slightly later, and involving a more substantial supper of a mug of tea, bread, veg, cheese and sometimes even meat), which was known as ‘high tea.’ (The high and low-ness of it all was to do with the height of the tables and chairs. Posh peeps would indulge while relaxing in their comfortable lounge chairs, while the less well-heeled would sit up at the family dinner table.) These days, afternoon tea is delicate affair, treated as a special ritual and usually seen as a bit of a treat, rather than a regular part of day-to-day life (sadly). A three-tiered cake stand is practically mandatory, loaded with cucumber, smoked salmon and egg and cress sandwiches (definitely sans crusts), sweet pastries and cakes and, more recently,
scones with jam and cream. And, of course, a teapot or two. (If you’re doing it properly then a tea bag just won’t do – it’s got to be loose leaf all the way.) Another recent addition (and one that we are totally in favour of ) is the addition of a glass of Champagne. It’s always fizz o’clock somewhere, right?
DE VERE COTSWOLD WATER PARK
Perched on the edge of a lake, you can enjoy some uber-picturesque views while taking tea at the De Vere Cotswold Water Park. Served every day from noon until 5pm, a traditional afternoon tea includes assorted finger sandwiches, warm fruit scones with clotted cream and strawberry preserve, as well as a variety of bite-sized sweet treats which change regularly, but will usually include a combination of individual cakes, pastries, miniature tarts or pots of desserts. And, of course, a choice of tea or coffee. Cost: £14.95pp, or £19.50 with a glass of Prosecco or £21.95 with a glass of Champagne ✱ phcompany.com/de-vere/cotswoldwater-park-hotel
COTSWOLD HOUSE HOTEL
Afternoon tea at Cotswold House Hotel is served in a beautiful Georgian room with very special wallcoverings and décor, over-looking the Square and High Street of Chipping Campden. There are 14 types of loose leaf tea that can be sampled before choosing, and you are free to change your tea throughout the experience. General manager Craig Webb recommends trying a black tea with your sandwiches, a floral tea with your scones and finishing with a Chocolate
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landscaped grounds. You can enjoy a selection of freshly cut sandwiches, with fillings such as smoked salmon and cucumber or homecooked ham, plus delicious handmade cakes and scones, warm from the oven and served with jam and cream. The traditional afternoon tea includes a range of the world's finest teas and coffees and, for that special occasion, you can choose to add a glass of chilled Champagne on arrival to start your afternoon treat with a little extra sparkle. The menu is planned and prepared by the award winning Restaurant 56 team, including their head chef, MasterChef: The Professionals finalist Nick Bennett. Nick is a master of patisserie work, and many of the handmade cakes and fancies served at Restaurant 56’s afternoon tea are made to his own recipes. Cost: £20pp, or £28 to include a glass of Champagne
Assam (who knew?) to complement the home-made sweet treats. Cost: £21.50pp ✱ bespokehotels.com/cotswoldhouse
Set in a Grade-II listed manor house hotel, afternoon tea at Whatley Manor is truly a magical experience. In a modern take on the quintessentially British tradition, the team uses ingredients that are exquisitely sourced and skilfully prepared to ensure a perfect balance of flavours. Naturally, it’s served fresh every day. A typical Whatley Manor afternoon tea includes a selection of sandwiches with fillings such as smoked salmon and dill cream cheese, or coastal Cheddar with tomato, plus a sausage roll, a fruit scone with clotted cream and homemade strawberry jam, a ginger and mango bavarois with a mango and passion fruit glaze, a milk chocolate and coffee choux pastry, a blackcurrant and lemon meringue tartlet and a chocolate and orange macaroon. And when it comes to tea, there is an extensive menu of varieties which have been carefully selected to work with the food. Cost: £26pp (please check price when booking). Add Champagne for £14 ✱ whatleymanor.com
A warm, welcoming café in the centre of charming Moreton-in-Marsh, Cacao Bean serves freshly baked cakes, scones,
THE WHARF HOUSE
Fair Trade teas and barista coffees, with all products made on site. The focus here is on cream teas rather than a full blown afternoon tea extravaganza (although open sandwiches and mini cakes are sometimes available), with a choice of fruit, plain or apple and cinnamon scones all served with a choice of strawberry jam or clotted cream. Cost: £4.80 ✱ cacaobean.co.uk
Tea at the stunning Grade II-listed Sudbury House is served in the Garden Lounge or, in warmer weather, on the outdoor terrace overlooking the beautiful
Launched in spring 2015, The Wharf House’s stylish afternoon tea offering comes complete with delicious sandwiches, cakes and sweet treats – all freshly made in-house – not forgetting a great choice of fine teas and coffees. The offering changes regularly (so there’s no excuse not to revisit!), but expect treats such as carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, Viennese whirls, and lemon and raspberry posset, as well as two different flavours of scones (think orange and vanilla, raisin and lemon and almond and cherry) in addition to the obligatory finger sandwiches. You’ll also be doing a good deed by taking tea here, since all the profits go to the Hereford and Gloucestershire Canal Trust. Double winner, then. Cost: £16.50pp ✱ thewharfhouse.co.uk
THE BAKERS ARMS Broad Campden | Gloucestershire
AWARD WINNING COTSWOLD COUNTRY PUB CAMRA Pub of the Year Toasty fires in the winter and a huge pub garden for the summer. Four real ales, plus one guest ale, home-cooked food and a hearty welcome awaits...
HAND AND SHEARS A warm welcome awaits in our family run pub. We are a small pub with a big heart. We offer light bites, lunch or dinner. Sunday roasts and curry nights.
eat, drink & relax Broad Campden, Nr Chipping Campden Gloucestershire GL55 6UR 01386 840 515 firstname.lastname@example.org www.bakersarmscampden.com
Church Hanborough,Witney Oxfordshire OX29 8AB Telephone 01993 881392
G N I N LEAR R E T S A TH E M
EMMA DANCE LEARNS SOME TRICKS OF THE TRADE AT ECKINGTON MANORâ€™S CHEF ACADEMY
ow o w often do you find yourself eating at a restaurant, or watching some kind of foodie show on TV, and wondering a) just how the chef has created such a masterpiece and b) if there’s even the vaguest of possibilities that you might be able to recreate it at home? If you’re anything like me, then really quite often. So, as you might imagine, I was more than a bit excited to hear about the Chef Academy at Eckington Manor, led by Mark and Sue Stinchcombe (yep, that Mark Stinchcombe, who won MasterChef: The Professionals in 2015). Not just a regular cookery school, it’s designed for people who want to learn a few cheffy tricks and techniques to create some seriously impressive dishes at home. And the dishes that we’re learning when I visit most certainly fall into the ‘seriously impressive’ category. As well as the ‘seriously delicious’ classification. We start with scallops, peas, roasted lemon and Serrano ham, which is far more complex than it sounds – obvs. For a start, there’s some buttermilk snow to be made, although it turns out that’s actually far simpler than you might think. I had feared that there might be something scary (like liquid nitrogen!) involved, but in fact it’s as easy as just mixing ingredients and putting them in the freezer. Now that I can do. Preparing the scallops, however, is a bit more work. I’ve always bought scallops ready prepared, but there’s no chance we’re getting away that easily. Instead, there’s a pile of the beautiful shells, just ready to be prised apart to reveal the
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plump prize of the beastie inside. At around £3 a scallop, this is by no means a cheap ingredient, and I’m worried that a wrong slip of the knife, or a little too rough handling, will damage the delicate white meat. Sue and Mark are endlessly patient, though, and soon the scallops are released, at least relatively unscathed. The roasted lemon purée is a rather more drawn out affair, involving first roasting the fruits, then removing the bitter white pith, before blending the flesh and the skin, adding just the right amount of sugar and oil to create the perfect texture and flavour balance. Peas (frozen, not fresh, because they hold the colour better, and are frankly way more convenient than trying to pick and pod fresh ones when they are perfectly in their prime) go through several processes to become a vivid green, velvet smooth purée, while a few are kept aside for garnishing, and Serrano ham is put into the oven to crisp. With almost all of the prep done, it’s time to return to the scallops and prepare them. They’re sliced in half – not only because they are enormous, but also because cutting them brings the natural sugars to the surface, Sue tells us, which
helps with caramelisation in the pan. Top tip, yes? When everything is ready, the frozen buttermilk mixture is removed from the freezer, and when we’ve plated everything else it’s scraped into a small snowy pile on the edge of the plate. I have to say, I’m pretty proud of the end result. I’ve managed to do some cheffy swirls and dots and, yeah, I’d be happy to be served it in a restaurant. Of course, we get to taste it (we deserve a reward for all our hard work, after all!), so we soon dig in. The plate is not only a riot of colours, with the green and yellow purées really making it sing, but also of tastes and textures – and temperatures. The cold snow against the warm scallop is playful and surprising, and then there’s the saltiness of the ham, sweetness of the peas and bitter notes from the lemon. It’s a perfect symphony of flavours. And, actually, probably pretty achievable at home, too (as long as there are a few hours to spare). The work isn’t over yet, though. There’s a second dish on the menu – duck, artichoke, watercress and pomegranate. Wonderfully knobbly Jerusalem artichokes are placed on a bed of salt and
put into the oven to bake, while others are peeled and sliced and placed in a pan with cream to become another purée. While they simmer we butcher the ducks, removing the breasts, before scoring the skin and rubbing in a freshly milled five spice. In another pan we place shallots and a lot of butter, allowing them to confit gently, releasing all their lovely natural sweetness. There’s a red wine sauce, too. To make it in the restaurant is a three day labour of love, but we’re using ready-made stock, thank goodness, and it simmers away with herbs while we turn our attentions to other things. The duck is pan fried, the fat rendering down and the skin crisping wonderfully, and the baked artichokes are removed from the oven and torn into chunks, which are then plunged into a deep fat fryer to emerge crisp and golden. Eventually, everything comes together and we plate up, with a finishing touch of jewel-like pomegranate seeds adding flashes of colour and bursts of freshness. As I carry my finished dish to the table, Mark glances over approvingly and tells me my plate looks good. It is, genuinely, one of the proudest moments of my life.
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While this is certainly not a beginner’s course, I came away pleasantly surprised at just how accessible most of the techniques are. There’s a sort of assumption that to produce food of this calibre you must have all kinds of fancy kit, but the reality is that all you really need is a little bit of skill, some time, and some patience – and more than a little bit of guidance from people as talented as Sue and Mark. The only problem now is that my husband keeps asking me when I’m going to make these dishes for him… ✱ The next Chef Academy takes place on July 13, and costs £175 per person; eckingtonmanorcookeryschool.co.uk
AF T E RS NEW RESTAURANTS DEVOURED, NEW CAFÉS FREQUENTED, NEW BARS CRAWLED, AND THE TRUTH ABOUT WHAT WE THOUGHT OF THEM
H I G H L I G H T S
TO THE MANOR BORN Whatley Manor’s new exec chef makes his mark with an epic tasting menu Page 58
There’s sugar and spice and all things nice at Cirencester’s new peri peri joint Page 60
Checking out the stylish makeover at 1919 Restaurant at The Cottage in the Wood Page 62
Behind these historic walls lie plates of cuttingedge grub
P L U S
NOSHING pub grub at The Swan Inn
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( G R E AT R E S TA U R A N T S )
THE DINING ROOM AT WHATLEY MANOR THE TASTING MENU HERE MIGHT JUST BE SOME OF THE MOST EXCITING COOKING IN THE COTSWOLDS RIGHT NOW, RECKONS EMMA DANCE
hen Niall Keating took the helm at the Whatley Manor kitchens back in January, it was always going to be a challenge. After all, previous executive chef Martin Burge had been running things for more than a decade, winning not just one, but two, coveted Michelin stars. Big shoes, then, and all of that. But Niall clearly hasn’t let any of that phase him, despite being – at just 26 – one of the most youthful Exec Chefs around. Or, if he is feeling any pressure, it sure doesn’t show in his food. Because, drawing on his experience cooking in some of the world’s top kitchens, Niall’s put together a 12-course tasting menu that’s creative and innovative and, frankly, quite astonishing. Our gastronomic journey begins with spiced cracker, sesame and lime. It sounds fairly innocuous, so we’re unprepared for the zesty taste explosion that comes from the very first bite, with fresh lime, warm nutty sesame, a hint of spice, and salty caviar all coming together in a symphony of flavour. An oyster with seaweed mignonette is plump and sweet, bursting with the
taste of the sea, and delivering far more flavour in one mouthful than logic says should be possible. Egg white custard with tamari and salmon roe brings back a wave of nostalgic memories of travels in Japan. The custard is soft and slippery, while the salmon roe adds pops of texture. It’s not a dish for everyone, but I can’t help but admire Niall’s confidence in presenting a dish that he knows will divide a dining room. The next dish, entitled ‘Brown butter and buttermilk’, is giving practically nothing away with its description, but it turns out to be lighter-than-light bread and rich creamy buttermilk butter – and we make short work of it. A sliver of mackerel, with perfectly crisped skin, comes with preserved raspberries and greens. The red fruit looks striking, and the sharpness is the ideal foil for the rich oily fish. ‘Tortellini – black’ is a single, dramatic looking parcel of squid ink pasta, filled with pork and drenched in an umamirich broth. It’s addictively more-ish, and on any other day I would happily have chowed down on a whole bowlful, but we’re still less than halfway through our feast at this point, so that’s definitely not an option! Next up is ‘“Risotto” – chorizo, raw scallop’. The inverted commas are no accident, it turns out, as this isn’t a risotto that any Italian would recognise, mainly because there’s no arborio rice to be found. Instead Niall’s created a fabulous fusion, with Asian rice partnering up with the rich paprika heat of chorizo. Concealed in the centre of the rice is an unctuous, oozing pocket of melted
cheese, and it’s all topped with soft, sweet morsels of raw scallop. In less capable hands it could be a car crash of flavours, but with Niall behind the wheel it’s a very, very delicious thing indeed. A dish of cod, chicken broth and fermented cauliflower is light and subtle, while aged loin of beef, lettuce, pomme purée and glazed tendon is suitably rich and satisfying. There’s an optional cheese course on offer and, of course, we indulge. A very fine decision that proves to be too, as it comprises a smooth, creamy brie generously laced with heady black truffle, and a piquant Gorgonzola complemented by a sweet tartlet. A pre-dessert of aloe vera, grape and olive oil is a clever combination that comes together in a mouthful of pure freshness, and is just what’s needed before an indulgent plateful of chocolate, caramel and crème fraîche. The final hurrah, described as ‘Treats’, was just that – a box packed with topnotch confectionary. (We couldn’t help but keep going back for “just one more.”)
From start to finish, this is a sublime experience made even more special by the fact that diners are served by the chefs, who are more than happy to answer questions about the ingredients and cooking techniques. And, if you want to take the whole experience one step further (and I’d highly recommend that you do!), opt for the matching wine flight. This is a quietly confident menu, with a good variation of tried and tested crowd pleasers and some more challenging tastes and textures. There’s no doubt that Whatley Manor will be keen to hang on to its Michelin stars and, while I wouldn’t want to say for sure whether or not they’ll manage it, I wouldn’t be surprised if they do. Either way, though, you’ll want to keep an eye on this chef, because there are sure to be exciting things ahead.
✱ WHATLEY MANOR HOTEL, Easton Grey, Malmesbury SN16 0RB; whatleymanor.com
LOADED GRILL EMMA DANCE VISITS THE PERI PERI JOINT THAT’S ADDING SOME SPICE TO CIRENCESTER’S FOODIE SCENE
t’s kind of inevitable, isn’t it? You hear peri peri, you think Nando’s. The two have become almost inextricably linked, so there are bound to be comparisons drawn when a new peri peri joint comes to town. And, naturally, there are similarities between the menu at Loaded Grill and the big N – not least that chicken’s an integral part of the menu. Equally naturally, I was interested to see how it would stack up. We start proceedings with a couple of starters to share – chicken wings and peri peri tiger prawns. The prawns come skewered, along with some veggies, with a lemon and herb marinade that’s fresh and zingy and light enough not to overpower the sweet, plump sea beasts. We opt to have our wings extra hot, and boy, do they live up to the description! Not that I’m complaining, though, as I love a bit of heat (even if
it does make my eyes water and leave mascara streaming down my face). The combination of this spice with a hint of sweetness and a wonderful tang makes for a pretty damn fine sauce. We dial down the spicy for mains, though. (A bit, at any rate.) Husband sticks with the chicken theme and chooses a half chicken – a more moderate ‘hot’ this time – with peri salted chips and minty peas. It had been well cooked – moist on the inside with a hint of a smoky char on the outside – and the marinade had really permeated the meat, so it was packed with flavour. (All the meat here is marinated for 12-24 hours, and the extra effort really shows.)
Chicken isn’t the only thing on the menu, though, and owner Foyez Rahman is keen for me to put the gourmet burger section through its paces. I don’t take much persuasion, and opt for the Classic, which comes with cheese, along with sweet potato fries and coleslaw. It’s a seriously good burger; big and meaty but not too dense, and cooked how I like it, with just a hint of pink. Sure, it’s not pushing any boundaries – but if it ain’t broke, well, don’t fix it. Desserts are definitely not an afterthought at Loaded Grill. The menu is huge, with a selection of sweet treats including cakes, crêpes, waffles and sundaes. We are, quite literally, like kids in a candy store, wide-eyed with wonder. My cookies and cream sundae is a towering mass of ice cream, Oreos and chocolate sauce. It’s sweet and sticky and oh, so good. (It’s gonna take many hours on the treadmill to work it all off, but it’s so worth it.) Husband chooses the rainbow gateau, which has layers of sponge and passion fruit mousse topped with creamy icing and hundreds and thousands. It’s the kind of dessert that would send a four-year-old girl into raptures just at the sight of it, but doesn’t taste quite as good as it looks, sadly. Although light, the sponge is slightly on the dry side, and the overwhelming flavour is more sugar than passion fruit. That being said, it’s still good – and is devoured with gusto. Price wise, Loaded Grill is pretty comparable to Nando’s (a little over £7 for half a chicken), but when it comes to the quality of the produce and cooking then it’s a proper winner, winner chicken dinner for Loaded Grill.
✱ LOADED GRILL, 37 Castle Street, Cirencester GL7 1QD; loadedgrill.co.uk
( R AV I S H I N G R E F U R B S )
1919 AT THE COTTAGE IN THE WOOD
WITH A NEW CHEF AND A NEW LOOK, IT’S A NEW ERA FOR 1919 RESTAURANT AT THE COTTAGE IN THE WOOD. EMMA DANCE JUST HAD TO CHECK IT OUT
s we approach The Cottage in the Wood, I have to remind my husband to keep his eyes on the road. There’s a steep hill and a hairpin bend to contend with, but he’s being distracted by the view. I can’t entirely blame him; the Cotswolds, Vale of Evesham and Severn Valley are spread out below us like a green patchwork blanket of fields, and it’s stunning. But still, I’ve been rather looking forward to the visit and I do want to arrive there in one piece. Concentration restored, we make it unscathed and – having now climbed that much higher – the final sprawling panorama of English countryside we get is even more impressive. Now though, with the car safely parked, we can both enjoy it, and clutching a G&T rather than a steering wheel – clearly a preferable alternative. As the sun goes down and the temperatures fall, we’re forced to retreat inside. No hardship though, since the restaurant, 1919, has just been refurbished (and I mean just; the official launch was the day before we arrived) as the first phase in a £2.5million project which will see all 30 bedrooms across the property redesigned, as well as the addition of an orangery and a spa. Nice, huh? The new look restaurant is gently contemporary, with a palette of soothing
greys, nature-themed aesthetics, and huge windows to ensure that you always feel connected to the outside. With the new look came a new chef (actually, the chef came a bit before) in the shape of Mark Redwood, who had previously been in the kitchen at The Old Passage in Arlingham. Mark’s menu has been influenced by the forest and the coast, and is full of very good things – it’s soon apparent, too, that he knows exactly what he’s doing. A rabbit ballotine has been sensitively cooked so the delicate meat is still moist and full of flavour. Golden girolles add a fruity depth to the plate, baby leeks a vibrant crunch, and there’s a hum of wild garlic purée. There are some big flavours here, but they’ve been balanced with precision and the result is a triumph.
Cornish brown crab brings the taste of the seashore right to the table, with fennel adding aniseed sweetness and yuzu bringing subtle zesty notes, while a squid ink cracker adds a pleasingly contrasting crunchy texture. Pork loin, cooked just so, comes sharing the plate with a hunk of cabbage that’s been chargrilled to add a bitter note to the flavour arpeggio that’s being played out on the plate. A pig’s cheek fritter is a delight – a crunchy coating embracing soft, sweet meat inside, and hidden amongst it all is a punchy mustard and apple aioli to cut through the richness. ‘The Cottage’ pie is comfort food at its finest. Made from braised shin and oxtail, it’s thick and rich and unashamedly meaty, and what it lacks in visual elegance it more than makes up for in sheer deliciousness. Desserts are playful, but grown-up. I’m completely enamoured with the take on rhubarb and custard, with its whisps of candy floss, jelly sphere and a headily floral rose and ginger ice cream, while glazed bananas have their sweet stickiness tempered by the saltiness of peanut brittle. Mark’s clearly not afraid to be bold when it comes to flavours, and nor should he be when he can handle them this well. There’s a real confidence to the cooking here; not an arrogance or showiness, just a belief that what he’s doing not only works, but is the food that people really want to eat. And he’s absolutely right.
✱ THE COTTAGE IN THE WOOD, Holywell Road, Malvern Wells, Worcestershire WR14 4LG; cottageinthewood.co.uk
Lovely Fresh Milk & Cheese CertiFied Organic by The Organic Soil Association (and the only organic goat herd in the Cotswolds and Gloucestershire).
Suppliers to local retailers and resturants Home Farm, Quenington, Netherton, Cirencester GL7 5DD Tel: 01285 750236 MOB:07584 323439
The Talbot Wide range of Real Ales and Ciders Food served daily From light bites to British classics and tasty puddings
Cheltenham’s first plant-based restaurant offering a healthy menu featuring local and seasonal ingredients.
Why not check out our weekly Quiz Night every Tuesday? The Square, Stow on the Wold, Gloucestershire, GL54 1BQ 01451 870934
We have a lunch meal deal £5.95 ‘pick and mix’ choose 3 items, hot or cold.
Tuesday - Saturday 9am - 4pm Fridays and Saturdays for dinner 7pm -11pm Sundays 10am -4pm We encourage people to book for the evening service on Fridays and Saturdays
3 Crescent Terrace, Cheltenham, GL50 3PE (01242) 228989
THE SWAN INN EMMA DANCE VISITS THE FAMILY-RUN PUB IN MORETON-IN-MARSH
hen a pub is full of locals it’s usually a good sign – especially somewhere like Moreton-in-Marsh, where there’s not exactly a lack of drinking establishments. It was encouraging to see, then, that despite being in the centre of such a tourist hotspot, The Swan Inn doesn’t only see visitors taking up the tables. Perhaps it’s something to do with the fact that The Swan is a proper pub pub. Not a gastro pub, not a bar: a pub. One where people go to drink, watch football and play pool. It just so happens they also serve food as well. It’s fitting, then, that the menu is made up of proper pub dishes. There are pies, and burgers and a lot of things that come with chips. In fact, it’s pretty much the dictionary definition of ‘pub grub’. I start with spicy chicken skewers on a bed of salad. The chicken is moist and there’s a good coating of spice on there. It’s not exactly subtle, but it does what it says on the tin. Across the table there’s a generous bowl of whitebait coated in a golden, crispy batter – and absolutely no complaints to be heard!
My main dish of slow-cooked lamb shank with mint gravy is, again, well cooked, with the meat falling off the bone. The mash is smooth and the accompanying veg are not overdone and still maintain a bit of bite, while husband’s steak and ale pie has a good amount of filling and light, crisp pastry. I opt for an apple cake with custard for dessert and it’s a real taste of childhood, warm and comforting with chunks of juicy fruit among a light, fluffy sponge. Across the table there’s a chocolate tart with a rich, oozing filling that’s wonderfully satisfying, but not too sweet. It’s hearty food, that’s for sure, and
we’re grateful we haven’t got too far to travel – just upstairs, in fact, to one of the eight rooms. Like the rest of the place it’s not super-plush, but it’s perfectly comfortable, and there’s everything you need if you’re just stopping for a night or two while you explore the Cotswolds. The Swan Inn isn’t dishing up complicated food. There’re no fancy techniques or menus full of cheffy terms. It’s simply solid, perfectly good pub grub. And, sometimes, that’s really all you want. ✱ THE SWAN INN, High Street, Moreton-inMarsh GL56 0LL; swanmoreton.co.uk
Little black book
NEIL CHEESEWRIGHT IS OWNER OF CHALK AND CHEESE DESIGNS, AND MOVED TO THE COTSWOLDS ALMOST A YEAR AGO. HE’S BEEN EXPLORING THE FOODIE HOTSPOTS EVER SINCE, AND THESE ARE HIS FAVOURITES SO FAR… BREAKFAST?
Jesse Smith Farm Shop & Café. I love that you can buy what you have just eaten!
Heather’s off Black Jack Street for the simple, seasonal lunches, which are quick and delightful.
The coffee at The Fleece in Cirencester. It’s not an obvious choice, but for me it hits the strong spot!
Now add this little lot to your contacts book Jesse Smith Farm Shop & Café, 13A, 19 Love Lane, Cirencester GL7 1YG; jessesmith.co.uk The Fleece, Market Place, Cirencester GL7 2NZ; thwaites.co.uk Jolly Nice, The Old White Horse Filling Station, Cirencester Road, Frampton Mansell, Stroud GL6 8HZ; harrietsjollynice.co.uk The Crown of Crucis, Cirencester GL7 5RS; thecrownofcrucis.co.uk The Wheatsheaf Inn, 79 Cricklade Street, Cirencester GL7 1JF The King’s Head Hotel, 24 Market Place, Cirencester GL7 2NR; kingshead-hotel.co.uk Côte, 4 Black Jack Street, Cirencester GL7 2AA; cote-restaurants.co.uk Made by Bob, Unit 4 The Corn Hall, 26 Market Place, Cirencester; foodmadebybob.com Cirencester Farmers’ Market GL7 2NY; cirencester.gov.uk Eat Wild, 4 Castle Street, Cirencester GL7 1QA; eat-wild.co.uk The Hare Smokehouse, Bar & Grill, 3 Gosditch Street, Cirencester GL7 2AG; theharesmokehouse.co.uk Heather’s, The Stable Yard, Black Jack Street, Cirencester GL7 2AA; 01285 643365 Toro Lounge, 34 Cricklade Street, Cirencester GL7 1JH; thelounges.co.uk Jesse Smith Butcher, Black Jack Street, Cirencester GL7 2AA; jessesmith.co.uk Stoneys, 1 Farrell Close, Cirencester GL7 1HW; stoneys.co Raj Doot, 35 Castle Street, Cirencester GL7 1QD; raj-doot.co.uk He Says She Waffles, Black Jack Street, Cirencester GL7 2AA; hesaysshewaffles.co.uk
FAVOURITE GROCERY SHOP?
Jolly Nice, because I love the way that they have converted and cleverly used a mundane space (an old petrol station) to create a wonderful food haven. There’s lots of fresh produce to buy and eat, so it’s always worth the drive out. SUNDAY LUNCH?
For me, it’s The Crown of Crucis. QUICK PINT?
The Wheatsheaf, although most of the time it’s not just a quick pint! It’s the local pub that I have always hankered for – a place where the landlord David knows your name and what you drink. You don’t get that in London! CHEEKY COCKTAIL?
The Kings Head Hotel. Although a breakfast Bloody Mary at the Côte in Black Jack Street is pretty good too! POSH NOSH?
Made by Bob – what else?
Toro Lounge. I was delighted to see that there was a Lounge in Cirencester, having been going to one in Christchurch, Dorset for many years now. There’s an easy-going atmosphere that caters for all your needs, be it breakfast, lunch or a few drinks in the evening. COMFORT FOOD?
Definitely a bacon butty at Jesse Smith’s on the main street when they get the griddle out on a Saturday! I am a keen runner and training for a marathon at the moment, though, so indulgences are carefully monitored! WITH THE FAMILY?
My kids cost me a fortune, as we like to eat out on many occasions and try all types of food – but, for a family treat, it’s Stoneys. There are fantastic burgers, indulgent shakes for the kids, and a decent drinks offer. Plus, there’s a very comfortable, family-friendly atmosphere. BEST CURRY?
Has to be the Raj Doot in Cirencester. I am a huge curry head, and have visited many around the country, and this is without doubt one of the very best.
FOOD ON THE GO?
Cirencester Farmers’ Market, which is returning after the recent road works. There’s a lovely collection of stalls and food producers, and I’m a big fan of the Eat Wild van and the burgers! ALFRESCO FEASTING?
I’m waiting for a full outdoor season in Cirencester, so roll on the summer – but I’m particularly looking forward to frequenting the terrace at The Hare.
He Says She Waffles. There is no way that I can’t mention my neighbour! There is only one place in Ciren to get your sweet fix! The smells that emanate from the place are amazing, and there’s lovely, friendly staff, too.