CRUMBS Cotswolds NO.58 SEPTEMBER 2017
A little slice of foodie heaven
NO.58 SepTemBeR 2017
the What did y kohlrabi saen at the gard party?
PROUD T BE STROUD TO
ORGANIC CRAF TTSTSWSWBOELDERHILSLs
FROM THE COT
IS IT A SPIDER CABBAGE? A SPUTNIK TURNIP? THE FIRST SHOCK TROOPER OF A ON…? SPACE INVASI
H O K LOVING GOT US EATING THE STRANGEST THINGS,
N E I L E A H T
MANIC FOR ORGANSIC TOP CHEFIR PICK THE E FAVOURIT DISHES
SACRED! F DON’T BEIM B O UT O CL ’T N O W IT DRAWER! THE CRISPER
, G N I FARMNФT HARM ING
A s ’ R I B L HOW HELEN BROWNING’S ORGANIC SURVIVES & THRIVES
RO STARBIOSTYAL AT R T CRESCEN LORDS OF THE MANOR THE EAF WHEATSH
ERRIDGE ERR WHY TOM KERR
VENNY GAVEN s ABERGA FOOD FEST
Lettuce turnip the beet!
c r u m bs m a g . c o m
OrGanic GROwth I HAVE A FRIEND who gets very annoyed when people talk about ‘organic’ food. His argument is that, basically, any animal or vegetable (except for maybe Dolly the sheep) is organic. And I suppose that he’s kind of right, in the sense that, in it’s very basic form, ‘organic’ simply means something that’s biological in origin. But as much as he’s right, he’s also being pedantic. Because these days, when we talk about ‘organic’, we mean something way beyond that, involving some very specific criteria about how something is grown or raised. It is a term that gets thrown around a lot, though – perhaps a little too much – and, if we’re honest, how many of us are really clear exactly what we mean when we talk about organic produce? That’s why we’ve been chatting to the experts this issue to get any confusion cleared up, and find out just why buying organic is such a very good thing. And this month is the perfect time to explore all this, an’ all. Why? Well, it’s only flippin’ Organic September – the Soil Association’s annual campaign to get everyone jumping enthusiastically on the organic bandwagon – of course. We’re leaping aboard, for sure. Are you?
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Table of Contents
DANIELLE MORRIS email@example.com PRODUCTION AND DISTRIBUTION MANAGER
NO.58 SEPTEMBER 2017
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8 HERO INGREDIENT Kohlrabi's a bit of an odd one, but we love it anyway!
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© 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 ate all. The. Goat. (Like, actually all of it – kidneys, liver, heart, the lot!) It was at a rather good barbecue and wine shindig, and it rocked.
10 OPENINGS ETC So much to eat, so little time
28 Summer pea risotto, by Andrew Bedwell 30 Venison casserole with thyme, garlic and celeriac pureé, by Gaven Fuller ADDITIONAL RECIPES
9 Courgette, fennel and kohlrabi salad, by Riverford
12 LOCAVORE Something’s brewing at Stroud Brewery... 14 LARDER Easy ways to go organic 16 TRIO Three ace pubs with rooms
18 Chicken with citrus and olives, by Rachel Roddy 32 Raw courgette with anchovies, by Kathy Slack
Amazing recipes from the region’s top kitchens 24 Romanesco tart, by Rosie Birkett
36 CRUMBS FARMS WITH We get a little sense of farming history at Helen Browning’s organic farm 41 THE WANT LIST Gadgets you’ll wonder how you ever lived without
26 Bramble cake, by Lucy Wyatt
MAINS 46 ALL ABOUT ORGANIC Why’s it so good to grow (and eat) organic? Experts tell all 50 DISHING UP Top Cotswolds chefs share their very favourite dishes 54 GRILLED! Tom Kerridge on Abergavenny
New & notable restaurants, cafés, bars 58 Lords of the Manor 60 StarBistro 62 The Wheatsheaf Inn 64 The Potager, Barnsley House PLUS
66 LITTLE BLACK BOOK Dan Szor of Cotswolds Distillery tells us where he likes to chill
START E RS INNOVATIONS, REVELATIONS AND TASTY AMUSE-BOUCHES
ThaLi time News that Indian restaurant Thali has opened in Oxford will be music to the ears of local spice fans. The 90-seater eatery flung open its doors at the end of July, offering “a taste of everyday India.” Thali has already built up a loyal following in Bristol, where it has no fewer than five branches, and Oxford is its first foray outside the city. “Oxford was our first choice when thinking about a location outside of Bristol, and will be an ambitious and exciting step,” says Jim Pizer, the company’s founder. “It’s a beautiful, historic city, and a hotspot for students and professionals alike.” The menu naturally looks to Indian street food for inspiration – from the back streets of Chandni Chowk to the beach shacks of Goa – but also includes recipes from bestselling food writer and cook Meera Sodha. Prominent are a range of thalis (from Keralan
nandan chicken to Punjabi paneer) and roadside grills cooked on a tava or hot coals – just like they do in the back streets of Bombay. Thali’s mantra is ‘jugaad’, the Indian philosophy of ‘do more with less’, and it’s one of the first Indian restaurants in the UK to win a Three Star Sustainability Champion Rating from the Sustainable Restaurant Association. Andrew Stephen, CEO of the Sustainable Restaurant Association, says, “As well as following the excellent principle of doing more with less, Thali consistently proves that restaurants can serve food that not only looks and tastes good, but also does good too. From the huge care it devotes to working closely with local producers to its commitment to supporting local charities, Thali is the epitome of a sustainable restaurant.” thethalirestaurant.co.uk
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e adore a knobbly vegetable, and few rock the look quite so well as the mild, sweet kohlrabi, which looks like a jolly, pale green World War II anti-shipping mine – or perhaps a cartoon Sputnik – with its squat, fat bulb and numerous antennae-like shoots. When you’re not used to them, kohlrabi – part unknown bulb, part bundle of greens, and all odd-looking – can appear positively extra-terrestrial, like some alien space plant has landed in the organic vegetable aisle. But wait! Lay aside your prejudices! Much about this thing is actually highly familiar, being nothing more than part of the cabbage family – the name means ’turnip cabbage’ in German, which pretty much says it all – with a pleasingly crisp, crunchy texture, often likened to an overgrown radish or broccoli stems. The taste? A little bit turnip, a little bit water chestnut, but vaguely spicier than both. As it’s packed with vitamin C and potassium, kohlrabi is virtuous too. People get confused about kohlrabi. They think it’s a winter vegetable, but it’s not. Though kohlrabi is available all year around, peak season runs from mid-July through November, and the smaller, early season versions you get about now (they’re only the size of a golf ball, growing to tennis ball proportions later) see kohlrabi at its jaunty best.
KOhLRaBI WELL NOW, HERE’S A FUNNY LOOKING FELLOW. KOHLRABI MAY NOT BE HANDSOME IN THE CONVENTIONAL SENSE, BUT THIS UNIQUELY INTIMIDATING INHABITANT OF THE FARMER'S MARKET OFFERS A UNIQUE MIX OF FAMILIAR TASTES AND TEXTURES, AND JUST WANTS TO BE LOVED
And not only that, folk also tend to think it’s a root vegetable, like celeriac – but it’s not that either. Rather, kohlrabi is your straight-up brassica – a spin-off from the wild cabbage plant, just like broccoli and cauliflower, kale and Brussels sprouts – the unique thing about this version being that the base of its stem has swelled into a turnip-like globe. Kohlrabi comes in two basic types, though there are numerous cultivars. Most are a striking light green – White Vienna is perhaps the best variety to start with – but there are impressive purple ones too, though their brightness is only skin-deep. The edible parts remain a pale yellow, whatever the outer garments, and while the taste is the same, the purple ones can seem a little tougher. Picking a good one is easy. As so often, the larger bulbs are tougher and less sweet, and you’re best off with a small or medium-sized one that feels quite heavy for its size. (It should be firm and tight too; more like a baseball than a squidgy sponge ball.) Bulbs with soft spots are to be avoided, as are ones with yellowing leaves – the crisper and more eye-poppingly green they are, the better. (In fact, it's a good idea to go for versions with the leaves attached and check them carefully – they'll start to wilt far faster than the bulb will change texture or colour, so they're a good indication that your example is fresh.) Once you've got your kohlrabi home, snip off the leaves and stalks; the bulbs can be stored for weeks loose in the fridge, but the greens are best off in a zip-top plastic bag and eaten within a few days. (Toss ’em in a vinaigrette, use in soups – kohlrabi is great as a creamy, puréed bowlful, which allows the sweetness to shine though – and stews, or chop them up roughly and steam or sauté with garlic and olive oil, as you would cabbage or kale.) In recent years, kohlrabi – like kale – has become something of a poster child for hip, seasonal, locally sourced vegetables. And, like kale, it’s easy to mock. The problem is that, while a doddle to grow (so farmers love ’em), they don't have much of a history in the UK, so most of us aren't sure what to do with them. Kohlrabi was once mainly used as cattle feed around here, but in places like India, Vietnam and – much closer to home – Germany, it’s long been held in serious regard. Prep involves snipping off the leaf stems, if you haven't already, then topping-and-tailing the base and crown and peeling with a knife like an apple. (The skin is a bit too tough for a potato peeler, and certainly too tough to cook.) Thin, crisp, crunchy slices – or perhaps matchsticks, shaved with a mandoline – tend to work in a salad or slaw; chunky cubes or wedges elsewhere. (Raw, it's not unlike a less sweet apple, and is great eaten with a little sea salt and olive oil.) Steaming for 12 minutes should cook your kohlrabi (at which point you can use it in just about anything, from pasta dishes to frittatas), or you could try roasting for 45 minutes, perhaps after a few minutes steaming. (When roasted, the flavour sweetens and mellows and the outside caramelises – delicious!) And stir frying takes no time at all. Kohlrabi partners happily with a roast, grilled chops or oily fish, and you can stuff the bigger ones like a pepper or marrow – just cut the base to make it stand flat, hollow it out to a thick shell, steam it or boil it, then bake it packed with rice and mince. Kohlrabi is also often used as part of a vegetable gratin – it plays particularly well with other veggies – but don’t think that’s all it’s good for. So c’mon, give old Sputnik a chance – it’s way more versatile than you might think!
COURGETTE, FENNEL AND KOHLRABI SALAD
SERVES 2-4 AS A STARTER OR SIDE DISH Riverford cook Anna Colquhoun is a big fan of using courgettes, fennel and kohlrabi raw, so this simple salad pairs the crunchy raw veg with citrus and spice. The fennel seeds accentuate the fennel bulb’s natural flavour, while the caraway is a good match for the brassica flavour of the kohlrabi. If you don’t have all the spices, just use those you do. Cut the veg as thinly as you can (or use a mandolin). INGREDIENTS 1 courgette 1 fennel bulb, trimmed and fronds reserved 1 kohlrabi, peeled several large mustard leaves, or other peppery salad leaves, e.g. rocket For the vinaigrette: ¾ tsp fennel seeds ¼ tsp caraway seeds juice of ½ lemon juice of ½ orange 5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil salt and black pepper METHOD 1 Halve the courgette lengthways and slice each half crossways on the diagonal as thinly as you can. 2 Quarter and core the fennel, then slice as thinly as you can. 3 Cut the kohlrabi into matchsticks. 4 Lay the mustard leaves on top of each other, roll up like a cigar and cut into thin ribbons. 5 Make the vinaigrette by grinding the seeds with a pestle and mortar and then mixing in the citrus juices and enough olive oil to balance their acidity. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 6 Toss all ingredients together, check for seasoning and serve garnished with the reserved fennel fronds. riverford.co.uk/recipes
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instA FEED SOMETHING FISHY
Ace Cheltenham chippy Simpsons has expanded its empire, with a new branch opening on Bedford Street in Stroud. James Ritchie, who runs Simpsons with his wife Bonny, says, “We’d been looking for the perfect place to expand to in the county for several months now, and absolutely fell in love with this building – tucked behind the Subscription Rooms in the heart of the town – as soon as we saw it. We can’t emphasise enough how much we’re looking forward to launching, and we’re excited about getting to know the fantastic local community! “We know the environment is also important to the town, and we’re passionate about this too, with all of our cod and haddock MSC certified. We also recycle everything we can, have our food waste collected, and use sustainable groundnut oil – as well as a high-efficiency frying range, to use as little gas as possible.” simpsonsfishandchips.com
@naturalcookeryschool Loving this veg glut (including the first kohlrabi of the year)
It’s the start of a new era for the Charlbury Deli and Café. The popular foodie spot has been in the town for 25 years, but now it’s relaunched in a bigger and better venue in a more central location on Market Street. The extra space means that there’s room for a more extensive range of mouthwatering produce, and there’s also a café, sofa room with children’s toys, and a courtyard garden. charlburydeli.cafe
@henry_herbert really knows how to start the day right! Hot smoked mackerel, poached eggs, spinach and dill mustard dressing
IN THE DIARY...
There’s a new chef taking control of the hobs at The Old Stocks Inn in Stow-on-the-Wold. Ian Percival, who lives with his wife near Cheltenham, will be heading up the kitchen at the popular boutique hotel, bar and restaurant. “I’m really pleased to be joining, as The Old Stocks Inn is a restaurant with such a lot of potential,” he says. “The refurbishment of the hotel is absolutely fantastic, so my plan is to enhance the food offering even further so it matches the environment it sits in. There’s a lovely close-knit team here, and everyone has been incredibly welcoming.” oldstocksinn.com
(August 26) CHELTENHAM VEGAN FAIR Cheltenham Vegan Fair is back for its third year on Saturday, August 26. This year, though, it’s got a new venue – Cheltenham Town Hall. There will be around 60 stalls selling everything from vegan cakes and street food to ethical and organic clothing here. There will also be talks about veganism and activities for children. Entry costs £2, and all profits will be given to Dean Farm Trust near Chepstow. cheltenhamveganfair.co.uk (September 9) FRUIT AND VEGETABLE ART WORKSHOP Forage ingredients from Daylesford Organic’s market garden, then transform them into a work of art under the tutelage of Amber Locke in this halfday workshop. Tickets cost £45. daylesford.com/events
SOmeThING’s BRewING WE CATCH UP WITH FOUNDER AND MD OF STROUD BREWERY, GREG PILLEY, TO TALK BEATING THE RECESSION, GOING ORGANIC, AND WHY CANNING IS THE WAY FORWARD…
or Greg Pilley, as for so many, the whole brewing thing really just started as a bit of a hobby. Or, perhaps more accurately, it began as a way of getting cheap alcohol for parties when he was at university. Turns out that he has a bit of a knack for it, though, if the success of Stroud Brewery is anything to go by. Not that he went straight from home brewing to running the brewery, mind. There’s a bit more to the story than that. Because, in between his beer-making exploits and throwing what we are sure must have been some pretty epic shindigs, Greg did actually fit in a bit of education too, and qualified as an ecologist. A few years and a stint travelling later, Greg returned to the UK where he landed a job in the food team at the Soil Association. It was here that, according to Greg, he was indoctrinated in the benefits of local sourcing and organic production, an ethos which would go on to become key to the success of Stroud Brewery. So, fast forward a couple of years, and Greg’s Soil Association work saw him supporting an emerging community farm in Stroud – and it’s here that the story of the brewery really begins. “We were expecting our first child, and I was working a lot in Stroud, and we really liked it so decided to move here,” says Greg. “One day I was out drinking beer with a mate and we hit on the idea of starting a brewery. I enjoyed the creativity, and I had an interest in beer, so I went for it. I scoured the valley
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for a base and it turned out the landlord at our present site, here in Thrupp, was amenable. It all went from there.” The first beer was brewed in May 2006 and was named Budding, after the inventor of the lawnmower, who hailed from the Stroud valley. People liked it and demand increased. More beers were brewed, more people bought it, and within two years Greg had more on his plate than he could cope with, juggling brewing and selling with freelance work. Soon Stroud Brewery took on its first employee – a brewer. But then, with impeccable timing, the recession hit. Pubs began to close, and Greg feared that the end of the brewery could be nigh. Fortunately, though, his fears were unfounded, and he soon found himself dealing with a very different problem. “What we actually saw was that, over the next year, our sales doubled,” he says. “People were becoming more aware of provenance and locality, and CAMRA (the Campaign for Real Ales) had done a great job getting people more interested in beer. “Because of the recession, people were more sensitive about where they spent their money, but they were willing to spend it on affordable luxuries, like beer – and were sensitive to local economies and wanted to try to support local businesses, like us. “At the time we were mostly selling to local pubs and, in our panic, thinking that the pubs were going to close, we began looking for ways to sell to the public and started bottling too. By the end of 2009, though, we realised that we needn’t have worried, as we were brewing flat out. There was just no scope for us to be ill or have a holiday, and our little brewery was struggling under the strain.” With the help of crowdfunding, predominantly from the local community, the brewery expanded, along with the team and the range of beers. There are now three regular brews – Budding, Tom Long and the Stroud OPA (Organic Pale Ale ) – along with a seasonal brew that changes monthly, and 11 different products in the bottles and cans. There’s a bar, too, which opens on Thursday, Fridays and Saturdays, with live music and pizza. Perhaps one of the biggest decisions came at the start of this year, though. “We have an increasing dedication to organic brewing, and decided to go pretty much 100% organic,” says Greg. “I think we’re one of the only breweries in the UK dedicated to it. We’ve always had an interest in the production and the agricultural side, so it seemed like a natural move for us.” But finding the right ingredients isn’t always easy.
“For the malt, it’s not an issue,” says Greg. “The limited fodder is the hops. The UK has a long tradition in hops, but also in diseases, which means they are often treated. This means that we are having to import – some from Europe, some from the US, but one of the best sources is New Zealand. They have a similar climate and a similar taste in beer, and we can import hop stock from there diseasefree. It’s a dilemma for us, though, because of course it means that we are importing them from around the world. “We’ve also found that it’s sometimes just not possible to be 100% organic. For example, we did a honey brew and we just couldn’t find certified organic honey.” While Stroud Brewery has always had a strong local fan base, the move to organic has prompted a flurry of interest from further afield and there are now regular deliveries to London, Bristol and Manchester, and they’ve exported to Scandinavia and Japan, too. “But we’re not aiming to take over the world with our beer,” says Greg. “Predominantly what we want is to sell cask beer into the region and into pubs. Bottling beer is environmentally pretty disastrous. “We are canning more – cans are far more recyclable and, in terms of carbon footprint, they are much better. The shipping is less expensive, and you get fewer breakages than with bottles. “With a cask beer it’s different, as the casks are returned, and they’re not travelling as far. “One thing I would like to see is for the Government to look at the tax on packaged products versus draught products. We should be encouraging people to go out and support their community pubs. People form friendships in pubs, and people are more
likely to drink responsibly if they are out than if they are at home. But I do think pubs are changing. Traditional pubs might be declining. but drinking venues are not – we are seeing more inventive drinking venues.” The popularity of Stroud Brewery’s own bar proves Greg’s point – indeed, around 10% of the company’s sales go through the bar, which is not bad for three evenings a week. The growing demand for all things Stroud Brewery, though, means that Greg and co are facing a pretty major challenge – relocating to allow more space for the brewing, and more space dedicated to events. And it kind of seems right that there should be a big space for parties here. After all, brewing for parties is kind of where the whole thing began… stroudbrewery.co.uk
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In the Larder 2
AND TUESDAY, AND WEDNESDAY. IT’S ORGANIC SEPTEMBER, SO STOCK UP YOUR LARDER WITH THESE TASTY ORGANIC TREATS 1 BROWNIE POINTS Riverford Double Chocolate Brownies, £4.95/200g These little beauties are made with up to 74% cocoa solid Belgian organic chocolate, so they deliver a serious chocolate hit. Rich, dark and velvety with with just a hint of coffee, they’re a wonderful mid-morning treat with a cup of coffee, and equally delicious as a dessert served warm with fresh berries and ice cream. Lush! Order some from Riverford. riverford.co.uk 2 TEA TIME The English Tea Shop Organic Tea Gift Tin, £11.99 There’s always time for a cuppa, and with this tin you’ll be spoilt for choice. There are nine different flavours, ranging from the
traditional English Breakfast and Earl Grey to the more unusual chocolate, rooibos and vanilla. Basically, whatever your mood, there’s a tea to match – and each tea bag comes individually wrapped. Put the kettle on, then. You can get your tin from Kendrick Street Deli in Stroud. etsteas.co.uk 3 HEY PESTO Daylesford Organic Basil Pesto, £4.99/180g No store cupboard is complete without a jar of pesto – in our opinion, anyway. We are massive fans of Daylesford’s Organic Basil Pesto for its sheer deliciousness and versatility. Stirred through pasta, spooned over fish or chicken or added to Minestrone soup, this jar has no end of
talents. Buy yours direct from the guys at Daylesford. daylesford.com 4 BERRY GOOD Gibson’s Organic Raspberry Liqueur, £15.95/35cl Not only is this yummy liqueur made just outside Burford, but all the lush, juicy fruit that goes into it is grown there too, so it’s a properly Cotswolds bit of produce! The liqueur is great on its own, but also really rather good in cocktails, added to a glass of bubbles or even drizzled over dessert. (So many uses, you clearly need it in your cupboard.) It’s available online from Gibson’s, or from independent stockists including Burford Garden Company, Gloucester Services and Bibury Trout Farm. Check
out the website for a full list of stockists. gibsonsorganic.co.uk 5 HIPPEA CHICK Hippeas Organic Chickpea Puffs, 99p/22g Share the good vibes this summer with Hippeas Organic Chickpea Puffs. Made from puffed chickpeas, naturally, they’re a lovely light and crunchy snack, and come in four delish flavours – Cheese & Love, In Herbs We Trust, Far Out Fajita and, our fave, Sweet & Smokin’. They’re packed with good stuff like fibre and protein, and every pack sold helps support farmers in eastern Africa grow themselves out of poverty. Guilt free snacking, indeed. Buy from Whole Foods in Cheltenham. hippeas.com
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uP IN aRms
local support we get from our neighbours. The locals love bringing us vegetables from their gardens, and then coming down for dinner to see what we’ve done with them! What are your favourite ingredients at the moment? From the garden we have some amazing tomatoes, radishes, aubergines, strawberries, sage, lovage, radicchio and chamomile.
WAVE HELLO TO LEON SMITH, HEAD CHEF AT MR HANBURY’S MASON ARMS
Do you grow anything yourself? Yes, we have four veg patches which we pick from for the menus. What about any favourite suppliers you use? Eynsham Park is great for local game! Four Seasons supply any veggies we don’t grow ourselves, and Witney Oils do our pressed rapeseed oil. What kind of meals do you cook at home? I love to cook one pot wonders! Petits pois à la Français is one of my favourite things to eat, but I also love sausage and mash with stuffing!
Hi, Leon! So, when did you begin in the kitchen? I started cooking in Tenerife when I was 15, then I moved back to the UK when I was 17 to begin professionally at The Great House Hotel in Bridgend. What first inspired you to cook for a living? My Dad has been a chef his whole life, so I was always going into kitchens as a child. That’s probably what made me think ‘I want to do this!’
Where might we know you from? Hopefully Mr Hanbury’s Mason Arms! But before that, The Pony & Trap in Chew Magna and The Royal Oak at Paley Street.
Which piece of kitchen equipment couldn’t you live without? Our Pacojet is amazing, and I don’t think I could ever use a different machine to make ice cream now.
How would you describe your style of cooking? My style is locally sourced, British, creatively simple with a natural feel.
What and where was the best meal you’ve eaten? The Ledbury in London is my favourite restaurant. I ate there four years ago, and still remember the whole menu like it was yesterday
You must have loads of foodie memories from your childhood, then. Do you have a favourite? Going on walks with my granddad to pick blackberries for a homemade blackberry pie!
How have you approached the menu at Mr Hanbury’s Mason Arms? The menu is derived from the local meat available and the vegetables I can pick out of the ground that morning. We pick every day and I have a very good relationship with people in the local neighbourhood who bring me their own homegrown veg and produce too.
What’s the toughest job you’ve tackled so far? Working in a London Michelin star restaurant when I was 19 – and during the Olympics at that, so it was incredibly busy – was a huge challenge, but I learnt a lot.
How many are there in the kitchen team? In my team we have a breakfast chef, two kitchen porters, two Chefs de Partie, one pastry chef, one sous chef and me – so eight of us in total!
Proudest career achievement? Becoming a senior sous chef at The Pony & Trap at the age of 21 was amazing. Retaining the Michelin star, and becoming the second best pub in the country while I was there, was something I was very proud of.
Which other local restaurants do you like to eat in? I love The Wild Rabbit and The Nut Tree, and go as often as I can! What makes the local foodie scene so great? The abundance of great produce and
Top 5-a-day? Stawberries, asparagus, nettles, cherries, cavolo nero. Favourite cookery book? Eleven Madison Park: The Cookbook is full of great recipes, and the art that they create with the food is also pretty incredible. Do you have any foodie heroes? I grew up watching Boiling Point, so Gordon Ramsay was obviously a huge inspiration, as was Marco Pierre White. Current favourite flavour combination? Fresh chamomile with the strawberries from the garden; it’s a perfect summer combination! hanburysmasonarms.co.uk
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Get yOur head dOwn BOOK YOURSELF A ROOM AT ONE OF THESE FOODIE INNS AND YOU’LL ONLY HAVE TO DRAG YOUR WEARY, WELL-FED BODY UPSTAIRS AFTER DINNER, INSTEAD OF ALL THE WAY HOME THE NOEL ARMS
This inn in the heart of Chipping Campden has been hosting hungry travellers for centuries, so it’s safe to say that it knows what it’s doing. The menu is focused on local ingredients, and there are all the usual British pub classics, as well as few more internationally inspired dishes. In fact, The Noel Arms is gaining a bit of a reputation for it’s damn fine curries, and head chef Indunil Sanchi has three times been named Best Curry Chef at the Great British Pub awards. There are 28 rooms (which technically means The Noel Arms is classed as a hotel, but they’re keen to maintain an inn-like atmosphere), mostly decorated in a traditional Cotswolds style – and, as an added bonus, guests can also use the spa facilities at The Noel Arm’s sister property, Cotswold House Hotel, just across the road. The Noel Arms, Lower High Street, The Square, Chipping Campden GL55 6AT; bespokehotels.com/noelarmshotel
MR HANBURY’S MASON ARMS
THE OLD STOCKS INN
Getting the balance between modern and classic just right is the rather fab Old Stocks Inn. This 17th century coaching inn has just recently undergone a refurbishment, and is elegant but not pretentious and quaint without being twee. Each of the inn’s 16 stylish bedrooms combines contemporary design with unique character and home-from-home comforts. The Old Stocks Inn restaurant is fast-building a reputation as one of the Cotswold’s leading foodie hotspots, offering classic British cuisine with an innovative, refreshing twist. Head chef Ian Percival’s imaginative dishes use only the very best, locally sourced ingredients, and promise bold flavours with the wow factor – expect treats like plaice served with risotto, mussels, caviar and samphire, and ‘Parma Violet’, a decadent dessert of violet panna cotta and blueberries. Book a stay between October 30, 2017 and March 29, 2018 and you’ll get three nights for the price of two. Old Stocks Inn, Stow-on-the-Wold GL54 1AF; oldstocksinn.co.uk
Mr Hanbury’s Mason Arms (or the Artist Residence Oxfordshire, as it’s also known) has only been open a few months, but is already making its mark. There are five bedrooms decorated in a quirky, bohemian style, and the pub is a fun take on the traditional English inn, with all the old features juxtaposed with tongue-in-cheek artworks and design, amazing locally sourced food and drink, and a warm and hospitable atmosphere. Head chef Leon Smith is passionate about using the best ingredients Oxfordshire has to offer, and sources as much as possible from the local area – the lamb comes from the field directly opposite! Fruit, herbs and veg are all grown on site, and there are four hens to lay the eggs. Oh, and in the bar there’s a rather ace cocktail menu on offer too, which you can totally indulge in if you haven’t got to drive home. Mr Hanbury’s Mason Arms, Station Road, South Leigh OX29 6XN; mrhanburysmasonarms.co.uk
summertime•• maytime Alfresco summer dining in tranquil setting with fantastic views of the surrounding countryside.
musictime LIVE MUSIC EVERY OTHER SUNDAY FROM 3PM - 5PM
August 20th Jon James Newman September 3rd Adam Isaac September 17th David Julien October 1st Vince Freeman
Book now for bank holiday weekend!
B O O K
T H E
M O N T H
MARK TAYLOR HAS BEEN GETTING PLENTY OF GLOBAL INSPIRATION FROM THIS NEW BATCH OF COOKERY BOOKS…
TWO KITCHENS: FAMILY RECIPES FROM SICILY AND ROME Rachel Roddy Headline Home, £25
The chef and cookbook author Simon Hopkinson recently said ‘Rachel Roddy describing how to boil potatoes would inspire me’, which is high praise indeed. And it’s completely justified too, for Roddy is a unique new voice in food writing and the closest we’ve had to Elizabeth David since the legendary food writer herself. For the past decade, Londoner Roddy has immersed herself in the culture of Italian cooking, mainly Rome, but also Sicily, where her partner is from. Splitting time between the two places, Roddy cooks family meals and sticks religiously to the seasons. Whether it’s a summery tomato and salted ricotta salad or a hearty potato, chickpea, courgette and rosemary soup, this is Italian home cooking at its best, and this charming book is a classic in the making.
CHICKEN WITH CITRUS AND OLIVES SERVES 4
2 unwaxed oranges 1 unwaxed lemon 6 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for brushing 1 clove garlic 1 free-range chicken, jointed (or 8 thighs) 100g green olives sprig of fresh oregano or marjoram METHOD
1 In a bowl, whisk together the zest and juice of 1 orange and the juice of the lemon with the oil. Season with salt and pepper. 2 Crush the garlic gently with the back of a knife so that it remains whole, and add to the marinade along with the chicken, making sure each piece is covered. Cover with cling film and leave it for 4 hours, or overnight, in the fridge.
3 Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/ gas mark 6. 4 Brush with oil an ovenproof dish or roasting tin that will hold the chicken in a single layer. Add the chicken and pour over the marinade, which will come about halfway up the chicken. Add the olives and oregano, then slice the remaining orange and tuck the slices in between the chicken. Roast for 45 minutes. If the tops look as if they are browning too fast, cover the dish loosely with foil. 5 Once the chicken is cooked, assess the amount of liquid that remains. If there is a lot, lift out the chicken pieces and reduce the liquid to a thicker sauce in the roasting tin, or tip it into a pan and boil it hard until it is as thick as you would like, then pour it back over the chicken. I sometimes return the chicken to the oven while the sauce reduces to give colour to the undersides.
THE PERFECT SCOOP David Lebovitz Jacqui Small, £16.99
SABOR: FLAVOURS FROM A SPANISH KITCHEN
LISBON: RECIPES FROM THE HEART OF PORTUGAL
TRULLO THE COOKBOOK
Published just ahead of the launch of her highly anticipated new Mayfair restaurant of the same name, Sabor is the first solo book from Michelinstarred Spanish chef Nieves Barragan Mohaco, who worked for London’s Barrafina chain for 14 years. Born in the Basque region of Spain, in the capital city of Bilbao, Nieves goes back to the food she grew up with in this beautifully illustrated and colourful book. These are the rustic, regional dishes she cooks back home with family and friends, from hearty braised Iberian pork ribs and chorizo and potato stew to lighter summer dishes like grilled seafood skewers, clams in salsa verde and walnut and sultana ice cream in PX sherry. A vibrant collection of traditional Spanish dishes.
A city with a long and rich history, Lisbon is now one of the most visited food destinations, with more than 10 million visitors in 2016 alone. In this book, food writer Rebecca Seal and photographer Steven Joyce take to the streets of Lisbon to uncover why this old coastal city delivers such an incredible food experience, meeting cooks and chefs committed to preserving the city’s food traditions. From tapas-like ‘pesticos’ of salt cod fritters and marinated pork sandwich with piri piri sauce to purslane and peach salad or roasted octopus, smoked paprika, parsley and lemon, these are deeply flavoursome dishes influenced by a multitude of cuisines and cultures. A chapter of desserts, including milk tarts and doughnuts, makes for a deliciously indulgent finale.
Complete with a brilliantly crafted foreword by Fergus Henderson and glowing quotes from Nigel Slater and Jamie Oliver, Trullo The Cookbook is one of the eagerly awaited releases of the year. Since 2010, this Islington trattoria (and its hip Borough Market sibling, Padella), run by ex-Moro and Fifteen chef Tim Siadatan and Jordan Frieda, has become one of London’s most popular places for Italian food with a British twist. Neither owner is Italian, but that hasn’t stopped them serving a range of creative antipasti and bold pasta dishes that won’t blow the budget. The book features signature dishes such as pici cacio e pepe (cheese and pepper pasta); grilled ox heart, baked borlotti beans and salsa rossa; and braised hispi cabbage, clams, chilli and oregano.
Nieves Barragan Mohaco Fig Tree, £25
David Lebovitz is one of the world’s leading pastry chefs, having been trained as a baker in France and then working for 12 years at the influential California restaurant Chez Panisse. Now a successful food writer and blogger based in Paris, Lebovitz has turned his attention to ice creams, sorbets and granitas for his latest book. Using ripe seasonal fruits, toasted nuts and fragrant spices, the frozen delights in the book are accompanied by advice on equipment and tips on buying the best ingredients. Alongside simple, easy to follow recipes for classic lemon sorbet and rum and raisin ice cream, the more unusual scoops include Guinness milk chocolate ice cream and banana and blueberry sorbet. An essential book for the summer holidays.
Tim Siadatan Square Peg, £25
Rebecca Seal Hardie Grant, £25
Cotswold Grange Hotel, Cheltenham, GL52 2QH Telephone: 01242 515 119 www.cotswoldgrangehotel.com
Fresh, local produce cooked with style, imagination and flair... Our meat is supplied by Jesse Smith butchers and we pride ourselves on our fresh fish and seafood, delivered daily from Cornwall.
The Stableyard, Black Jack St Cirencester GL7 2AA 01285 641497 | firstname.lastname@example.org
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Social reformation Catering & events couple take on the task to reform a former social club!
hat makes a perfectly sane couple with a thriving travel, events and catering company reform a former social club in the Saxon town of Cricklade? Simon & Talia Maddison tell all! Hi Simon! So why Cricklade? And why a Kitchen Café? Finding it was a complete fluke. I needed office space to expand the existing event business and Talia wanted a quirky wedding venue. The Cricklade Club gave us both!
So it’s three spaces in one then? Well four really! We have our company HQ here, the Kitchen Café area, a Craft Bar and a Venue Hall for 220 people all right in the heart of the town. Who had the vision for the interiors and food? I had the interior design vision. For me, it was a blank canvas.
I love antiques and curios, so it all just evolved. Talia has the food knowledge and a network of suppliers and we also have access to great produce from the family organic farm in Purton. You’ve just opened, so how’s it going? It's been a brilliant first few weeks. There was so much speculation about what we were doing, but the quirky interior and quality of the food has started to filter through, and the social media following has been incredible. So, What’s next? We have started to open at weekends with our supper club and next we plan to host a variety of social events, live bands and parties in the Venue Hall. THE CRICKLADE CLUB Cafe/Bar 01793 299079 email@example.com thecrickladeclub.co.uk
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
CH E F ! WHAT TO MAKE AND HOW TO MAKE IT, DIRECT FROM OUR FAVOURITE FOODIES
Is it broc? Is it cauli? Yes to both – it’s Romanesco!
H I G H L I G H T S
WHAT A TART! Baking with brassicas Page 24
TAKING THE CAKE On your marks, get set, bake! Page 26
Are you game for a seasonal stew? Page 30 I N C L U D I N G
C H E F !
ROMANESCO TART MAKES 12 SMALL TARTS
INGREDIENTS For the pastry: 225g organic plain flour 120g unsalted organic butter ice cold water organic butter, for greasing organic plain flour, for dusting For the tart: 1 organic Romanesco, cut into little florets (remove the stalk, but save it to roast another time) 3 organic eggs 150g organic pecorino, Gruyere or other similarly potent hard cheese, finely grated 30g organic Parmesan, finely grated, plus more to finish 30ml double organic cream 150ml organic whole milk pinch organic red chilli flakes salt freshly ground black pepper
ROMaN hOLIdaY SOIL ASSOCIATION AMBASSADOR AND FOOD WRITER ROSIE BIRKETT HAS CREATED THIS DELICIOUS ORGANIC RECIPE – JUST THE THING FOR SUMMER HOLIDAYS AND ORGANIC SEPTEMBER
“I am a little bit in love with Romanesco, also known as Romanesco broccoli, Roman cauliflower or simply ‘broccoflower’,” says Rosie. “It is, to me, the most beautiful brassica of them all. Having first spotted it while working in Italy, where it beautifies many a fresh-food market stall, I now buy it whenever I see it. Visually and texturally, it’s a feast: its swirling green florets are a cross between broccoli and cauliflower, and it works with the same ingredients as its siblings, being especially compatible with strong hard cheese. If you can’t find Romanesco, these little pies work just as well with cauliflower, or purple sprouting broccoli, or a mixture of both.”
METHOD 1 Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4 and lightly grease the muffin tin. 2 Roll out the chilled pastry on a lightly floured work surface to 2-3mm thick, and cut out rounds that are slightly bigger than the holes in the muffin tin. Line each hole with the pastry, so that it is level with the top of each hole. 3 Chill the pastry for 15 minutes, then use a fork to prick the base of each case. 4 Line with pieces of baking parchment and fill with baking beans. (Scrunch up the baking parchment before you line each case and it will be more pliable, and fit more snugly into the holes.) 5 Bake ‘blind’ for 10-12 minutes. Remove from the oven, remove the beans and parchment, and bake for a further 3 minutes to avoid a soggy bottom. Remove from the oven (keep the oven on) and leave to cool while you make the filling. 6 Blanch the Romanesco florets in salted boiling water for barely 1 minute – just until it turns bright green – and drain. 7 Crack the eggs into a mixing bowl and add the cheeses, cream, milk and chilli flakes. Season with salt and pepper, and whisk to combine. Divide the filling between the cooled pastry cases, leaving about 1 cm of space to add the Romanesco and allow for the custard to expand. 8 Arrange the Romanesco in the filling, keeping half of it above the filling for presentation (you want to see those gorgeous florets!) and grate over a little bit more Parmesan. 9 Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the custard is set and the pastry is golden and crisp. 10 Cool on a wire rack. For a selection of delicious organic recipes from some of the UK’s best chefs, visit soilassociation.org/organic-living/organic-recipes/
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a PIeCe Of CaKe THIS DELICIOUS, EASY RECIPE BY LUCY WYATT FROM THE ROOKERY IN FARINGDON IS INSPIRED BY THE IMPENDING ARRIVAL OF AUTUMN
BRAMBLE CAKE SERVES 8
PHOTO G R APHY BY DE S DUB B E R
INGREDIENTS 175g organic unsalted butter 175g Billington's organic golden caster sugar 3 organic free range eggs, beaten 175g Doves Farm Organic self raising flour 3 organic seasonal dessert apples, 2 grated and 1 sliced 50g organic or foraged blackberries (plus extra for decoration) 25g flaked almonds (optional) METHOD 1 Pre-heat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. 2 Grease and line an 8-inch loose bottom tin. 3 Arrange the apple slices, blackberries and flaked almonds in a pattern on the base of the tin and set aside. 4 Cream together the butter and sugar. 5 Add the eggs and continue to beat until combined. 6 Fold in the flour, followed by the grated apple and blackberries. 7 Carefully spoon the cake batter into the tin, making sure not to disturb the pattern. 8 Bake for 35 minutes, until the cake is bouncy to the touch. 9 Turn out and carefully remove the base to reveal the pattern. 10 Sprinkle with more flaked almonds and blackberries.
“I am baking obsessed,” Lucy says, “and love to use the seasons as inspiration – that way you get the best quality ingredients, and flavours that suit the mood! I always think that organic ingredients have the best taste, so I use them whenever I can. “This cake celebrates the turning of the seasons from summer to autumn, with the last of the hedgerow berries and the first ripened apples. At The Rookery we tend to serve vegetarian, homemade comfort classics, and come on, what's more comforting than good coffee and cake?” therookery.me.uk
SUMMER PEA RISOTTO
C H E F !
KeepinG the peas
INGREDIENTS 1 small red onion 1 courgette 250g Arborio rice 120g organic peas 200ml water 1000ml vegetable stock 3 organic chicken breasts (optional) 15 organic baby plum tomatoes
TUCK INTO THIS SUMMERY SUPPER FROM ANDREW BEDWELL, CHEF AT THE COGGES KITCHEN Andrew says: “With a beautiful, historic walled garden lovingly tended by a team of dedicated volunteer gardeners, we really are spoilt for choice when it comes to fresh produce at The Cogges Kitchen. It's a joy to have this resource on our doorstep, and it has really inspired our new summer menu. “With Scandinavian-style open sandwiches, vibrant salads and daily seasonal specials, we just let the ingredients speak for themselves. Lots of our produce has no food miles at all, and those that do are close at hand – local Mayfield eggs, Densham's butchers, locally baked sourdough bread from Sourdough Revolution and, of course, Coffeesmith coffee from our sister site, just next door to The Corn Exchange.”
METHOD 1 Chop the onion and courgette to 3mm size cubes. 2 Soak the baby plum tomatoes in boiling water for 5 minutes, then remove the skin. 3 In a pan, gently fry the onions, courgettes and rice in a small amount of oil for 5 minutes, then add 200ml of cold water. 4 When the water has been absorbed, slowly add the 1000ml of vegetable stock bit by bit, stirring the risotto continuously and ensuring nearly all the stock has been absorbed before adding more. 5 At the same time, if you are using the chicken, add a small amount of oil to a frying pan and place on a high heat. 6 Once the oil is hot, add the chicken breasts and seal on both sides. 7 Cook the chicken for 10-15 minutes until the juices run clear. 8 Remove from the heat and leave to rest. 9 After around 25 minutes, check the rice to see if it is cooked and all moisture has been absorbed. 10 Add peas, and cook for further 2 minutes. 11 Add the plumb tomatoes and leave to sit in the risotto for 2 minutes. 12 Slice the chicken breast and serve on top of the risotto. cogges.org.uk/cogges-kitchen
VENSION STARS IN THIS SEASONAL STEW BY GAVEN FULLER FROM DAYLESFORD ORGANIC FARM 30
C H E F !
Gaven says, “Low in fat and high in protein, venison is perhaps one of the healthiest of all meats. Containing twice as much iron as beef or lamb, it is also full of essential omega 3 fatty acids and both vitamins B6 and B12. Venison is a staple on our menus at Daylesford at this time of year and, of course, we love to celebrate its superb flavour in deliciously warming casseroles.”
VENISON CASSEROLE WITH THYME, GARLIC AND CELERIAC PURÉE SERVES 4
INGREDIENTS For the casserole: 2 tbsp, butter, beef dripping or oil 800g venison haunch, trimmed and diced 100g smoked streaky bacon, cut into strips 120g chestnut mushrooms, halved 2 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped 6-8 shallots, peeled and halved 2 sticks of celery, finely chopped on an angle 1 tsp tomato purée 125ml red wine 1 tbsp plain flour 700ml chicken or veal stock 3 sprigs of fresh thyme a handful of chopped parsley to serve For the celeriac purée: 1 medium celeriac, peeled and roughly chopped 2 cloves of garlic 2 sprigs of thyme 400ml whole milk knob of butter salt and pepper splash of cream
METHOD 1 Pre-heat the oven to 170C/325F/gas mark 3. 2 Heat the butter or oil in a large heavy-bottomed sauté pan. Once hot, fry the venison in batches, browning evenly all over and removing to a large bowl between batches. 3 Next, add the bacon to the sauté pan and cook until golden and crispy, tipping into the bowl once cooked. Then add a little more oil to the pan and add the mushrooms, garlic, shallots and celery. Cook for 5-10 minutes until the vegetables are nicely browned all over. Stir in the tomato purée and cook for a further minute, before tipping all of the vegetables into the bowl with the venison. 4 Return the sauté pan to the heat and pour in a generous splash of the red wine to de-glaze. Add the flour to the liquid and whisk through to remove any lumps. 5 Stir in the rest of the wine and then return the browned meat and vegetables from the bowl to the sauté pan. Pour in the stock, stirring everything together well. Add the thyme, bring to a simmer and then cover with a lid. 6 Place in the middle of the oven for 1 ½-2 hours, until the venison is just tender. 7 To make the celeriac purée, place the chopped celeriac in a saucepan with the garlic and thyme. Pour over the milk – there should be just enough to cover the celeriac. Bring to the boil and simmer gently for 15 minutes, or until the celeriac is soft enough to break with the back of a fork. Strain through a colander, reserving the milk and discarding the thyme sprigs. 8 Tip the cooked celeriac into a jug blender, with the butter, salt and pepper. Add a couple of ladles of the milk and blend to a smooth, velvety purée, adding more milk if needed. Taste to check seasoning. 9 When ready to serve, top the venison with a little chopped parsley and enjoy with the celeriac purée and some lightly wilted greens. daylesford.com
C H E F !
GOOd GROwING 32
BLOGGER, PRIVATE CHEF AND KEEN KITCHEN GARDENER KATHY SLACK TELLS YOU WHAT TO GROW AND HOW TO COOK IT. THIS MONTH, SHE’S GETTING CREATIVE WITH HER COURGETTES…
here is something particularly wondrous about the courgette. It begins life as little more than a tiny, flat, oval seed. But within weeks it’s a marauding beast taking over the patch, producing two kilo marrows overnight and lacerating your arms should you venture to pick one. I find this Jack and the Beanstalk-like transformation from unassuming seed to mighty triffid rather magical in most veg, but it is the scale and rapidity of the courgette’s growth that makes it a wonder to behold. The other thing is that they’re exceptionally easy to grow and highly pest resistant, which makes them perfect for the beginner gardener, or the lazy one. Plant a single seed in a small plant pot (yogurt pot-sized) with holes in the bottom in April and keep in a saucer on a cool, bright windowsill. Fill the saucer with water every week and allow the plant to soak it all up from underneath – watering from the top makes the seed rot. From about May onwards, once the seedling emerges, open the window for a couple of hours a day to allow the plant to acclimatise to life away from the shelter of the windowsill. This is called hardening off. After the risk of frost has passed, you can plant out your courgette into the ground. Water heavily at least weekly in dry weather and wait. Within a few weeks you’ll have baby courgettes and courgette flowers (which make a lovely addition to salads). Many is the time I have looked at a baby courgette and thought, ‘ah good, that’ll be ready in a few days’, only to return to an overgrown marrow a few days later, so pick regularly. This also encourages further growth. Well tended, one plant will produce enough fruit for a family of four and will crop until the first frosts in mid-October. There are hundreds of courgette varieties, from the basic Parthenon or All Green Bush varieties to the more exotic Gold Rush (yellow), Patty Pan (yellow flying saucer) and Trompetti (stripy green and, you guessed it, trumpet-shaped). But I always come back to Defender – green, bushy, prolific, reliable, tasty. Kathy Slack writes the food blog, glutsandgluttony.com, about the gluts she gets from her veg patch and the ensuing gluttony in the kitchen. She hosts regular Thursday night pop-ups at Temple Guiting Shop and Tearoom, offering a cocktail and seasonal three-course meal inspired by harvests from the allotment for £45pp. The next is on Thursday, September 14. See glutsandgluttony.com/events for more. Twitter and Instagram: @gluts_gluttony
Raw COurGette with AnChOvies SERVES 4
This salad makes a light, summery meal all on its own, but for something more substantial try it with baked white fish. It’s the work of moments and full of flavour. INGREDIENTS 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 2 tbsp pine nuts 4 medium courgettes ½ lemon, juice and zest salt 8 anchovy fillets a few basil leaves a few courgette flowers METHOD 1 Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a saucepan and add the pine nuts. Fry gently until golden brown, then tip into a bowl to stop them browning further and set aside. 2 If you have one, use a julienne peeler to peel the courgettes into spaghetti-like strips. You can also use a regular potato peeler to make ribbons of courgettes, then cut those strips into spaghetti. (A spiraliser will do the job as well, but I find them cumbersome things which take up so much space in the kitchen cupboard for so few outings that it’s hardly worth having one.) However you do it, once you’ve cut your courgettes pop them in a large bowl. 3 Add the remaining olive oil to the courgettes, together with a generous pinch of salt, the lemon juice and the lemon zest. Toss everything together, ensuring all the courgettes are nicely coated. 4 Finely chop four of the anchovies and leave the rest whole (or halved, if they’re whoppers). Add these to the courgettes, then tip in the pine nuts and cooking oil as well. 5 Give everything another mix, leave to marinate for 10 minutes, then serve topped with a few basil leaves and some courgette flowers, if you have them to hand.
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54 Cheltenham Road, Evesham, WR11 2JZ | 01386 76 59 59 | www.thevalegroup.com
Choose your weapons Blimey, I hate it when people become evangelists for something. They discover some new box set, or unspoilt holiday destination, or the bacon replacement that will finally let them go veggie, and they insist on sharing it with all of us. Just shut up already! Wow, someone got out of bed on the wrong side this morning. In the spirit of sharing – not your favourite concept, I realise – let me point out one thing new converts are right to get excited about: homemade ice cream. It’s fun and easy to make, and way more delicious than even the poshest bought stuff. We’re hardly short of ice-cream makers on the market though, are we? Everyone’s making them these days. True enough, but not necessarily like this one. It’s called the Buffalo, and it’s available from Nisbets. What’s great about this thing is how fast and easy it is to use, churning out 1.5 litres of ice cream – or sorbet, frozen yoghurt or gelato; your choice – in as little as 45 minutes. How’s it so fast? Well, it has a built-in freezer, so you don’t have to freeze a bowl overnight. Why’s it so easy? Well, the lid has a built-in pouring chute, so you can add ingredients – chocolate, maybe, or crushed almonds – while your ice cream is churning. And if you’re smart, when you buy it you’ll also pick up the Vogue Ice Cream Scoop, which comes in a range of sizes and is filled with a conductive liquid that transmits the heat from your hand to the scoop, allowing the ice cream to be bowled up lickety-split. Forgive me, but I’ve got absolutely no idea what Nisbets is… It’s a big catering supply company, selling to both the public and trade; these guys are all about value, and adding a bit of professional edge to the home kitchen. And they’re local-ish – boss Andrew Nisbet started it in Bristol in 1983, initially to sell knives and chefs’ whites to catering students. Though they’re mostly online these days, you can still pop along to shops at their Avonmouth HQ and in the centre of Bristol. So it’s sturdy, its fast, it doesn’t cost too much, and it makes good ice cream? That’s about the size of it. I’d better go and tell everyone! Who’s evangelising now?
ThE CREAM TEAM FANCY JOINING THE GANG WHO MAKE THEIR OWN ICE CREAM? THE GUYS AT NISBETS HAVE A COOL WAY TO DO IT: MATT BIELBY’S GOT THE SCOOP… The Buffalo Ice Cream Maker costs £215.98; the Vogue Ice Cream Scoop just £6.99. Find them at nisbets.co.uk/Home-Chef
THIS MONTH • FARM TO FORK • GO GADGET GO
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F A R M S
W I T H
an OrGaniC piOneer
THERE ARE FEW PEOPLE WHO KNOW MORE ABOUT ORGANIC FARMING THAN PIONEERING FARMER AND SOIL ASSOCIATION CEO HELEN BROWNING, SO WHEN SHE ASKED IF WE WANTED TO HAVE A NOSEY AROUND THE 1,500 ACRES SHE CALLS HOME, WE DIDN’T TAKE MUCH PERSUADING… WORDS: EMMA DANCE
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PHOTO BY ANDREW CALLAGHAN
hese days organic food is hardly a novelty. Go into just about any grocery store anywhere in the country and you’ll find shelf upon shelf of the stuff. Rewind 30 or so years though, back to 1986 when a fresh-from-university Helen Browning took the reins of Eastbrook Farm in Bishopstone – a place that had been tenanted and run by her father since 1950 – and things were rather different. There was barely a whisper of the O-word in supermarkets; you could count on the fingers of one hand the organic farms in the country; and anyone who insisted on eating organic was regarded as, frankly, a bit weird. Helen’s decision to start converting the family farm to using organic practices was then, by anyone’s standards, a brave one. And it’s not as if she wasn’t already facing challenges as a young, female farmer in a very maledominated world. “This place created quite a stir,” she admits, as we drive past fields growing cereals and pulses and grass just waiting to be cut to become the silage and hay that will feed the livestock through the cold, winter months. “Not only was I a young female, at a time when there were not many women farming, but there were not many organic farmers of any type. Anyone who thought about organic farming at all considered it a hippy, Good Life sort of thing – or a rich man’s hobby.” Helen stops the car at an innocuous looking field, and we get out and hang over the gate, admiring the view. “This was where it all began,” explains Helen, pointing at the swathe of green in front of us. “We started
F A R M S
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PHOTO BY ANDREW CALLAGHAN
with a 20 acre test site, and this was it. My great friend from university, Kate, was working here with me, and she was planting the carrots and looking after the chickens and running around trying to sell things – we still refer to this field as ‘Kate’s Folly’. “We knew from the start that we’d have to create a market for what we produced and we’d have to sell things ourselves, so we had a little stand by the side of the road. “I was managing about 10 men at the time, and most of them were about twice my age and they were very sceptical about the whole organic farming idea. But having this site gave everyone the chance to have a look at it, and see how it would work. The other day I was with one of those guys, and he said to me, ‘We all said you’d have us bust in a year, but look at us now!’ That was nice to hear. “It’s funny to think that it was half a lifetime ago, and this is where it all began.” She looks around and gestures at the surrounding hedgerows, towering above us. “When I came back from college all these hedges were trimmed right back,” says Helen. “They were about only about three feet high, so you could see into the field and over to the next ones too. I’ve left them to grow up, though, because I’m very keen on giving birds somewhere to nest. It feels very different here now.” There’s no doubt that Helen’s farming practices are rather different from those of her father. “Farming really changed in the 1960s and ’70s,” she explains. “The bigger machines were coming in, and new chemicals, and it was all transforming farming. Dad was very much at the forefront of the latest technologies.” Helen’s big decision to go organic, though, really came about during her time studying for her Agricultural Technology degree. “We were taken around these pig and poultry places, and they were horrific,” she says. “I wanted to show that you could do it differently. When I was at university I was lucky enough to spend some time working on one of the first organic results trials for what was then the Ministry of Agriculture, where I learned a lot – so I did have a bit of an idea what I was doing!” And there’s no arguing that Helen hasn’t made a success of the venture. As well as the arable crops, there are pigs which are bred for meat, and cattle – mostly dairy, but with a bit of beef and veal produced, too – as an integral part of the operation (they supply meat to the likes of Waitrose, Ocado, Riverford and Abel & Cole), as well as a thriving village pub (Helen Browning’s Royal Oak) which actually sits on the farm estate, a Chop House in nearby Swindon, and Helen’s just created a new orchard area where she’s experimenting with agro-forestry. Oh, and not forgetting the small matter that she’s CEO of the Soil Association. Little wonder, then, that in 1998 she was awarded an OBE for services to farming.
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PHOTOS BY ANDREW CALLAGHAN
“My work with the Soil Association is fairly allconsuming at the moment,” says Helen. “The farming really has to fit into weekends – I scamper around trying to catch up with everything that’s gone on over the week. I’m lucky to have such a good team around the place.” During the week, then, farm manager Henry is in charge of the farm, while Helen’s long-term partner, Tim Finney, leads the hospitality side of the business. “My background is very different,” admits Tim. “I’m from very urban Yorkshire. I worked for the BBC on Radio Scotland and Radio 4 for about 10 years, but when I was 35 I met Helen and decided to come here. “I was reporting on food and the environment, and it seemed at the time as if joining her business would give me the chance to stop just talking to people about it and actually get involved. It was all a bit of a shock, though.” Tim had done agricultural economics at university, and had been a farming journalist too, so he knew all the jargon. “But I think the realities were quite challenging,” Helen says, with a smile. “He still doesn’t really know anything about farming!” Over the 20-odd years that Tim’s been part of the team, though, there’s no doubt that he’s helped drive it from strength to strength, developing the Helen Browning Organic brand along the way, including transforming the pub which serves food produced on the farm. “The pub came about in 2006,” says Tim, taking up the story, “basically because it was a terrible pub
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PHOTOS BY ANDREW CALLAGHAN
that had been allowed to be ruined, but it was right in the centre of the village. Arkells, who are the landlord, were very happy for us to take it on and have a go at turning it around. It’s a labour of love, but being farming-type people we’re in it for the long haul. “It’s difficult to run a pub the way we want to do it. We have our own meat supply from the pigs and the cows, which is great, but we don’t kill every day. It means that the kitchen can’t always have fillet steak or pork chops, and the menu has to evolve over the week. It makes the chefs very inventive! Our menu is always full of surprises, and occasional disappointments, because sometimes favourite dishes aren’t on there. “We make our lives difficult, but that’s because we work in this ethical box. That said, if we weren’t in this box, then we wouldn’t be doing it.” Despite the challenges, the pub is a roaring success. So much so that it recently expanded, with Tim and Helen, supported by Arkells, taking over another dilapidated pub building and transforming it into 12 cool and quirky bedrooms for overnight guests. It’s a real heart of the community too, something which is important to both Helen and Tim. “As a business, we employ a lot of people from the village – either on the farm or in the pub,” says Helen. “We’re also planting a wooded area for the village. I’m slightly obsessed with trees, and we’re planning 18 acres. It’s close to the village and it’s deer fenced too, so people can go there with their dogs and let them go. It’s a really special little space.” For most people, the enormity of the task of running the farm would be more than enough, but not for these guys. “There’s always something to do and something happening,” says Helen. “We constantly feel like there’s too much to do, but the complexity of the operation also works really well, because we never have all our eggs in one basket.
“And there are still so many opportunities. I could easily invent a dozen further things we could do! Some Italians are using our milk to make Mozzarella on the farm, for instance, which is great fun – and they are actually making a really good product. “I’m very keen to be doing more stuff with dairy and adding value to milk, so I think we will end up having more cows here in the longer term. The problem is, when I see something that could happen, I just want to help it happen now!” There is an end in sight, though, as Helen is planning on handing over the running of the farm to her daughter, Sophie, and her partner Dai in a few year’s time, once Sophie has finished her veterinary degree. “They will take over the management of it all, and I will go and play with my trees,” says Helen. “My dad was very good at letting me get on with things, but I’m not sure how I’ll manage. I still want to live here, though, so I’m going to have to try!” But that’s in the future. For the time being, at least, this is still very much Helen Browning’s farm. helenbrowningsorganic.co.uk
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The Want List
YOU’LL WONDER HOW YOU EVER LIVED WITHOUT THESE HANDY KITCHEN GADGETS…
3 4 5
1 KAROTO VEGETABLE SHARPENER AND PEELER, £10.99 Use this bad boy to create lovely-looking shavings from any long ’n’ pointy veg (we’re thinking carrots, parsnips, courgettes…), then swirl ’em into soups, salads and sauces. Pick one up from Cotswold Trading in Broadway. cotswoldtrading.com 2 MASTER PAN DIVIDED FRYING PAN, £59.99 Why use multiple pans to cook a meal when you could use just one? With the Master Pan’s divided sections, you can cook five different foods at once. Perfect for a fry up! Buy one from Lakeland in Cheltenham. lakeland.co.uk 3 ALESSI VABENE PASTA TESTER, £25 No more chasing pasta around the pan in a bid to catch a bit to check that it’s cooked. This clever little tool has been especially designed to work effectively with any type of pasta. Available from the Cheltenham Kitchener. alessi.com 4 OXO 3-IN-1 AVOCADO TOOL, £6.99 Take away all the stress from your avocado prep with this nifty gadget. There’s a plastic blade for cutting, a handy tool for removing the pit with an easy twist and a fan blade for slicing. Get yours from John Lewis in Bristol or Swindon. oxouk.com 5 PIZZA SCISSORS, £14.99 These scissor make slicing pizza a breeze. The stainless steel blades snip through the dough, and the handy integrated spatula lifts the slice with ease. Find one at Vinegar Hill in Cheltenham. vinegarhill.co.uk
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EATING ORGANIC Top places to fill your face during Organic September (and beyond!)
inding a great place to eat that’s as passionate about good food as you are can be tough. And as a customer it can be hard to know if you can trust what’s said on a menu or website. To make life easier, we’ve launched Organic Served Here. It’s a new Soil Association award for restaurants and cafes that are committed to sourcing quality organic ingredients for their menus. You’ll know if a restaurant holds the award – they’ll display the Organic Served Here logo in their window, on their website and menus. All Organic Served Here cafes and restaurants buy a set percentage of their food from certified organic suppliers. The more organic ingredients the cafes source, the higher the number of Organic Served Here stars they hold. Here's a few Organic Served Here cafes to try during Organic September:
Better Food, Bristol betterfood.co.uk Better Food achieved their 4 Organic Served Here stars this year in all three of their Bristol cafes. They serve organic home-cooked meals and snacks, cakes, teas and great coffee, as well as freshly made organic juices. Stop by for brunch and try the impressive menu of hearty, organic breakfasts: Full English, Vegan, Vegetarian, and check out the amazing Avocado Guacamole on Hobbs Quern Toast amongst others!
The Folk House, Bristol bristolfolkhouse.co.uk The Folk House achieved 3 Organic Served Here stars this year. They are a Bristol-based café that changes their menu with the seasons and uses organic, locally sourced ingredients to make delicious and comforting dishes. Choices include soups, home-made bread, savoury tarts, toasties, salads, casseroles, curries, dahls, pasta bakes, fishcakes, falafels... among so many other delicious things!
WHY ORGANIC? ✔ Fewer pesticides ✔ No artificial colours & preservatives ✔ Always free range ✔ No routine use of antibiotics ✔ No GM ingredients To learn more about Organic, find special brand offers for Organic September, and exclusive promotions for Organic September Saturday on the 16th, visit www.soilassociation.org
Kate’s Kitchen, Bristol kateskitchenbristol.co.uk Kate’s Kitchen makes a wide variety of food including gourmet sandwiches and baguettes, warm dishes, and homemade cakes. Nearly a quarter of the menu is made up of organic ingredients, earning them their first Organic Served Here star. They cater for an array of dietary preferences including coeliacs, vegans, vegetarians and dairy-free. Daylesford, Gloucestershire www.daylesford.com Daylesford’s 5-star Organic Served Here restaurant sits alongside their farmshop, creamery and farm in Gloucestershire. Every day, they pick produce fresh from their organic market garden to be used in the restaurant and serve beautiful food straight from the farm all day and into the evening. There are four 5-star Organic Served Here restaurants in the Daylesford family to visit and you can find them all, plus many more Organic Served Here awarded eateries, on the Soil Association website.
LICENSED OPEN SEVEN DAYS A WEEK 9AM - 4PM
Whether youâ€™re exploring the Cotswolds, a hungry foodie or looking for some delicious food, a warm welcome awaits you! Offering a weekly changing menu using the best of the season produce
Blockley Village Cafe, Bell Lane, Blockley, Moreton-in-Marsh, Glos. GL56 9BB | Tel: 01386 701054
The Old Passage The seafood restaurant beside the River Severn Situated on the banks of the Severn overlooking the Forest of Dean and the pretty town of Newnham on Severn. You’ll feel like you’ve been transported to another world, even though we’re only be 20 minutes from J13 on the M5. Enjoy our delicious oysters and lobsters, that are almost always available from our own holding tanks, or choose the freshest fish which is delivered daily from Devon and Cornwall, or why not try our amazing fish and chips?
Lunch 12noon to 2.00pm, Dinner 7.00pm to 9.00pm Passage Road, Arlingham, Gloucestershire, GL2 7JR T: 01452 740547 • W: theoldpassage.com • E: firstname.lastname@example.org
M AI N S TOP CULINARY CAUSES, FAB FOOD DESTINATIONS & PEOPLE THAT MATTER
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Food grown free from additives? Yes, please! Page 46
Who needs chemicals to grow big and bushy? Not these guys!
What are your big hit dishes? Chefs tell all! Page 50
TALKING TO TOM Tom Kerridge gets an almighty grilling Page 54 INCLUDING
delicious dishes to eat this year
ORGANIC GROWTH AS WE HEAD INTO ORGANIC SEPTEMBER, WE ASK THE EXPERTS JUST WHAT ‘THE O-WORD’ ACTUALLY MEANS – AND WHY GOING ORGANIC IS A GOOD THING…
rganic is a word that’s bandied around a lot these days, but for many people what the label really means is a bit of a mystery. In reality, though, it’s not too complicated – at least, not according to the peeps at Riverford (who definitely know what they’re talking about; after all they’ve been growing organic fruit and veg since 1987). They say that, in very simple terms, organic farming means “working with nature and producing food as it should be.” So that’s no herbicides or pesticides, maintaining the highest possible standards of animal welfare, and using environmentally sustainable farming methods.
It all sounds good, but it does raise questions about things like how (and if) the spread of diseases can be prevented without the use of chemicals. And, if we are happy to pop a pill when we have an ailment, isn’t it a bit cruel to deny livestock the same option? Apparently not – as Larissa Milo-Dale, from the Soil Association, explains. “Organic standards put animal welfare first,” she says. “Many people don’t realise that organic is free range by
nature, with animals spending on average 200-215 days a year outdoors. Organic farmers provide animals with the highest quality of life possible, and support biodiversity by providing natural habitats for wildlife. Organic livestock farming aims to prevent disease from occurring by promoting health, which is achieved through appropriate diet, high welfare standards for housing, a good amount of space for each animal, and taking measures to reduce stress. When it comes to crops, disruption to the natural environment by rotating crops and selecting crop varieties with a natural resistance to particular pests and diseases means that organic farmers are able to reduce or avoid disease problems, and the need to control them with chemical inputs. “Certified organic food – including all fruit and vegetables, processed food, dairy and meat products – will overall contain fewer pesticides, which means they can’t make their way into the food chain, and into us!” But it seems that the lack of chemical nasties in organic food isn’t the only reason we should be choosing to go organic. Ground-breaking analysis published by The British Journal of Nutrition has shown that organic fruit, veg and cereals are up to a whopping 60% higher in a number of key antioxidants, and contain less potentially harmful cadmium, nitrogen and pesticide residues. And that’s not all. The research also found that both organic milk and meat contains around 50% more beneficial omega-3 fatty acids, thanks to the fact that organically-reared cows chow down on more grass, clover and foraged food. And, although it can’t actually be measured, Riverford swears that organic food is tastier. “We always choose our varieties for flavour, rather than yield or cosmetic perfection,” says spokesman Emily Muddeman. “Organic fruit, veg and meat typically take longer to produce than non-organic, because they’re left to grow and mature at a natural rate, and are never pushed on with chemicals and growth hormones. It’s worth the wait, and results in fantastic flavour. We’re known for our extremely carroty carrots!"
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The team at Daylesford Organic farm in Kingham agree. “We believe that when people eat natural, organic food, they can taste the difference,” they say. “It’s a chain of goodness that begins with healthy soil, and finishes with healthy animals and people.” So, we’ve established that the organic thing is better for livestock, and better for us. But why stop there? Turns out it’s better for the environment, too. It’s not a great leap to realise that not pumping out a ton of chemicals into the atmosphere is going to be a good thing, but take it one step further and all sorts of other benefits become apparent as well. “Agriculture plays a big part in climate change, and is responsible for around 14% of total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions worldwide,” says Larissa. “The widespread adoption of organic farming practices in the UK could offset at least 23% of UK agriculture’s current official GHG emissions. The impact of switching to organic farming could save 64 million tonnes of carbon over 20 years across all UK cultivated land – the equivalent of taking nearly a million family cars off the road! “Because of the complete absence of manufactured herbicides and the severely restricted use of pesticides, organic farms are havens for wildlife and provide homes for bees, birds and butterflies. Organic farmers are helping to look after our wildlife by managing and maintaining habitats, which is a vital part of a successful organic farm. On average, plant insect and bird life is 50% more abundant on organic farms, and organic farms are home to 30% more species.” At Daylesford, providing wildlife habitats is a vital part of their sustainable farming practices. And they are particularly passionate about supporting bees, which have been suffering from a declining population, this year launching a campaign to help protect the precious beasts.
“Bees are essential to life as we know it, and much of the food we grow at Daylesford would not be possible without our most vital pollinators,” says Daylesford Organic founder, Carole Bamford. “With their populations in sharp decline, we must do everything we can to support the humble bee. “At Daylesford, it starts with healthy soil and healthy plants. As guardians of 6,500 acres of pasture and woodland, we are committed to protecting the wild reserves that bees and other wild pollinators need, while spreading the message far beyond the boundaries of our own fields.” Before you leap in, though, and vow never to let anything non-organic pass your lips again, it’s worth pointing out that not everything can be organic. Like water, for example, because the process can’t be controlled (although you might find bottled spring water marketed as coming from organic land), and the same applies to salt. Fish caught from the sea can’t be certified as organic either, because, well, who knows what they’ve eaten while they’ve been swimming around? (Farmed fish, however, are another story, and can be certified.) And it’s true, you might notice your shopping bill rises a bit if you start swapping your usual purchases for organic varieties, mainly because the very nature of organic farming means that it can take longer to grow the plants and raise the animals, so you’re paying for the special care that's placed on protecting the environment and improving animal welfare. But, as the Soil Association points out, the true cost of food isn’t reflected in the price. After all, food that is produced in ways that may contaminate our water, or lead to antibiotic resistance in people, might seem cheap in the store – but the real cost can be very high indeed!
soilassociation.org riverford.co.uk daylesford.com
The Noel Arms is one of the oldest Cotswold inns, steeped in history, it is the perfect spot for a break in the Cotswolds and weekend escapes to the country.
Food at The Noel Arms is traditional and prepared from only the best local produce. The menu has many much-loved English dishes and the occasional international influence.
Beautiful location | 28 comfortable en suite rooms | Fantastic atmosphere of a traditional Cotswold inn | Coffee shop open all day High Street, Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire, GL55 6AT | Tel 01386 840317 | email@example.com For more information or to book your meal or stay with us please visit: www.noelarmshotel.com
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THE DRINKS CABINET presented by The Craft Drink Co.
eptember heralds the apple harvest season and with it, the start of cider making. There’s an impressive array of craft ciders made in the local area, reflecting a variety of styles to suit every taste, and whilst the Cotswolds Hills are not rich in apple trees, many local cider makers go to great effort to source their fruit from vintage orchards in gardens and on farms across the region. Of course, Gloucestershire is one of the Three Counties famed for its apples and pears, so there’s plenty of fruit further west and from neighbouring counties of Worcestershire and Herefordshire. Here are some gems you’ll find in pubs and shops across the Cotswolds. 1 Blow Horn from The Cotswold Cider Co. ABV 4%. Just like the Indian bus pictured on its packaging, this cider is bold, vibrant and will take you for a ride! This Indian inspired ‘chai’ cider is perfectly equipped to douse the fires of even the hottest curry. Blowhorn's secret spiced recipe simultaneously soothes and sates your thirst. This cider packs a punch! 2 Berrymaster from Beard & Sabre ABV 4% Berrymaster is the first of Beard & Sabre's fruit ciders, combining traditional cidermaking with the forward-looking vision of the modern craft drinks industry. This is a light raspberry and redcurrant cider founded on a 100% self-pressed
vintage cider apple base. This delicate cider is the perfect accompaniment to a lunchtime salad or as an excellent mulled cider base over the winter period. 3 Bushel & Peck’s Sweet & Smooth Perry
ABV 6%. More mellow and subtle than its
cider counterparts, this Perry retains its distinctive pear flavour in a slightly sweet, yet still fruity and refreshing drink. Only locally sourced Gloucestershire pears get a look in, and all of Bushel & Peck’s fruit is unsprayed to better protect the local environment and to give a pure taste.
4 Cotswold Cider from Cotswold Brew Co. ABV 5%. Alongside their ever-expanding range of beers, Cotswold Brew Co.’s traditional farmhouse-style cider is oak barrel-aged and slightly cloudy to get that scrumpy look. Lightly sparkling with a slight acidic twang, this impressive cider is perfect for a summer BBQ. 5 Muddy Wellies Premium Cider ABV 4.5% Pressed from 100% dessert apples for a refreshing easy drinker, this cider was created by students of the Royal Agricultural University. This is a lightly carbonated, rich amber-coloured cider with a ripe apple aroma and a medium dry taste. Ten pence from every bottle sold goes straight back into the fund that helped create this Muddy Wellies
brand, so it's a great supporter of student enterprise. 6 Pearson’s Medium Dry Cider ABV 6.1% This cider is the jewel in the crown of multi award winning Moreton-in-Marsh based producer Mike Pearson’s collection. A clear, lightly sparkling, intensely appley cider it is made from 100% fresh pressed juice using only vintage-quality bittersweet cider apples. It’s great with cheese, spicy food or simply enjoyed on its own. 7 Prior’s Tipple Vintage Cider ABV. 7.5% A cider with real distinction. This rich, dry aged cider blend uses a mix of vintage bittersweet apples varieties. This is a cider with deep fruity flavours, prominent tannins and a light fizz on the tongue. It's aged in vats, during which time the tannins soften to give oaky flavours and subtle spicy notes.
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
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Best BItes COTSWOLDS CHEFS SHARE THEIR FAVOURITE DISHES FROM THEIR MENUS, AND TELL US THE INSPIRATION BEHIND THEM…
EYNSHAM VENISON, ITS OWN SAUSAGE ROLL, SALT-BAKED CELERIAC, GARDEN CHARD AND RADISH This was one of the first dishes I ever made when I first became a head chef, and it’s evolved over the years. I now use whole venison, which we get from a nearby village. This is cooked over a robata grill and, once rested, coated in homemade brown sauce, crunchy breadcrumbs and crushed juniper. The trimmings of the animal are minced with juniper and fennel seeds and turned into a sausage roll. Salt baked celeriac is steamed in its own skin to keep all the flavour inside, and we make a celeriac purée with all of the little bits we have left, cooked in milk, bay leaf and thyme. The garden chard and radishes are picked from our kitchen garden every evening. The chard is lightly cooked in a butter emulsion to retain freshness and flavour, and the radish is barbecued over the robata to give it a smoky taste. hanburysmasonarms.co.uk
LUCAS MITCHELL AT BISLEY HOUSE, STROUD BAVETTE STEAK WITH HANDCUT TRIPLE-COOKED CHIPS AND BEARNAISE SAUCE This dish always takes me back to childhood holidays spent in France. It was on one of these holidays that I first encountered the idea of eating rare steaks, and I first tasted Bearnaise sauce. My parents were very suprised that I would eat it, as I was a fussy child! At Bisley House our steak is sourced locally from a butchers in Cam. They provide us with lovely fresh cuts, which are served at our steak nights on Tuesdays and Wednedays. bisleyhousecafe.co.uk
JON N Y B A RRAT T PHOTOG RA P H Y
LEON SMITH AT MR HANBURY’S MASON ARMS, SOUTH LEIGH
INDUNIL SANCHI AT THE NOEL ARMS HOTEL, CHIPPING CAMPDEN PAN FRIED SCALLOPS WITH CREAMED LENTIL, OYSTER MUSHROOM, PARMA HAM AND CURRY OIL I grew up in Sri Lanka, an island well known for its seafood-rich dishes, and I have a real love for the country’s cuisine. When I moved to the UK, I set out to recreate this dish incorporating locally sourced produce (cauliflower and mushrooms), British scallops and Asian ingredients, reflecting the cuisine of my own country. Since then, it has become one of the favourites on our menu, and so has grown from a childhood love to a locally recognised dish. bespokehotels.com/noelarmshotel
NICK ORR FROM THE MANOR HOUSE, MORETON-IN-MARSH LOIN OF LIGHTHORNE LAMB, HAY SMOKED BREAST, GLAZED CARROTS, BUTTERBEANS, BUBBLE AND SQUEAK This dish is a favourite of mine because it consists of delicious, locally sourced produce, which I am passionate about using wherever possible! The lamb we use is from Lighthorne, which is located just outside Stratford-upon-Avon (a supplier we’ve used for the last 10 years now!), and our carrots are from Evesham. The inspiration for the bubble and squeak comes from sheer comfort food and great memories, as it’s something my mother used to feed us when we were children. cotswold-inns-hotels.co.uk/the-manor-house-hotel
DAVID WITNALL AT JESSE’S BISTRO, CIRENCESTER LEMON SOLE WITH A CAPER BEURRE NOISETTE AND SAMPHIRE I first had this in St Austell when I was just 12 years old. I instantly fell in love with the rich, beautiful flavours of the fish. I have since gone on to cook it in various forms and in many different restaurants, including Jesse’s. It’s a simple dish and is all about the timing; you need to make sure you don’t overcook the fish. It’s a delicate dish and should be treated as such. jessesbistro.co.uk
MATTHEW WARDMAN AT THE SWAN AT SOUTHROP SALMAREJO, BELLOTA HAM AND SOUTHROP HEN’S EGG This is my favourite dish on The Swan’s menu at the moment. It is a smooth soup with a really powerful taste of ripe tomatoes, enhanced by the subtle piquancy of aged vinegar, with a soft, creamy boiled egg and crisp ham. Salmorejo is basically a purée consisting of tomato and bread. It originates from Cordoba in Andalucia, in southern Spain, and it captures everything I love about the fresh flavours of summer. Using heritage tomatoes from the kitchen garden at Thyme and our homemade sourdough, it really embodies our food ethos of ‘home-made, home-grown, produce-driven’ whilst embracing influences from other food cultures. My version of Salmorejo says everything about the food I love; it’s all about seasonal ingredients prepared simply. You can find the recipe on our website, and it’s really easy to make at home – just ensure those tomatoes are perfectly ripe. We are really proud of the produce from our kitchen garden, and so I always source the best quality ingredients to complement those flavours. I have a real passion for Ibérico bellota jamón, as it gives the dish an authentic Spanish flavour, but it’s that lovely hen’s egg that makes it really special. Our hens lay the tastiest eggs! It’ll be on the menu for as long as we are getting delicious tomatoes from the garden. theswanatsouthrop.co.uk
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ROGER WILLIAMS AT THE MAYTIME INN, ASTHALL
ANDREW SCOTT AT RESTAURANT 56, SUDBURY HOUSE, FARINGDON CORNISH RED MULLET, PINEAPPLE AND GOATS’ CHEESE, BISQUE SAUCE I first started to develop this dish back in 2010, having tasted a similar flavour combination at a restaurant in Leeds. Since the initial incarnation it has evolved greatly, from the way the garnish is presented to the layout of the ingredients. The way we did it last year was the best we’ve ever done, and I’m sure if it comes back this year in a different form I’ll probably say the same! That’s the beauty of serving a dish that you are happy with flavour combination-wise – it just keeps getting better. A few guests have been surprised after eating the dish at how much they enjoyed it, as it does sound a bit strange serving pineapple and goats’ cheese with fish. But because the mullet has such a rich flavour it works well against the acidity of the pineapple and goats’ cheese. Every time I eat this dish, it puts a big smile on my face and I never get bored of it – that’s why it’s my favourite! sudburyhouse.co.uk
OVEN ROASTED PARTRIDGE, SPINACH AND PARSNIP TART, SAUTÉED CHESTNUTS, BRUSSELS SPROUTS AND A RED WINE JUS At The Maytime Inn we love to try and use as much local produce as possible, from locally shot venison to game fowl from our local farmers. We also have the pleasure of getting salad and vegetables from Asthall Manor’s fabulous gardens. I like to get my team involved in menu planning, so they feel a part of the whole process and understand where our produce comes from, and can be proud of what they are serving. We had this dish on our menu last year and it was very popular; I love it for its classic and clean nature. The flavours and textures are great and work really well together, and it utilises the fantastic countryside produce that we have in abundance around The Maytime. It’s a dish that represents my style of cooking, which is clean, classic and flavoursome. themaytime.com
ALEX BOGHIAN AT THE INN AT WELLAND LAMB WELLINGTON I am passionate about using quality ingredients to create flavoursome, traditional cuisine. This is one of our current most successful signature dishes, and emphasises this ethos for simple food demonstrating clean, classic flavours In this dish I pair this prime cut of sweet, succulent Herefordshire lamb with hand selected vegetables and herbs from our own kitchen garden. It’s not a terribly complicated dish; however, it’s made perfect by its timing and execution. theinnatwelland.co.uk
FELIX PREM AT THE BEAR OF RODBURGH HOTEL, STROUD TANDOORI MACKEREL FILLET This dish is a particular favourite of mine as it combines the spices of the tandoori marinade along with a fresh yoghurt gel, which complements the oily texture of the mackerel well. This dish is always one of the most popular dishes throughout the summer months, and it's been a firm favourite again this year. This dish has particular meaning to me, as it was one of the first ones that I incorporated into my menu when I first became a head chef, back in 2007. cotswold-inns-hotels.co.uk/the-bear-of-rodburgh
Weddings and Events
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The Inn for All Seasons, is a former 16th century coaching inn set in the heart of the Cotswolds. A warm and friendly hotel with a relaxed bar and a renowned restaurant offering the best of British and local produce including the freshest ﬁsh sourced directly from Devon and Cornwall. The Inn offers comfortable en-suite accommodation, free parking & dogs are welcome.
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GRILLED Hi, Tom! We were pretty excited when we found out that you were in the line-up at the Abergavenny Food Festival. What enticed you to take part? I didn’t need any persuading! I love the Abergavenny Food Festival; I’ve been a couple of times already and it’s great, so I’m very excited to be coming back. We guess you’re hoping to be able to get out and enjoy all the festivities after you’ve done your bit, then? I really hope so! The thing I especially love is that it completely takes over the town and there’s this real carnival atmosphere. There’s just so much going on. For anyone who’s lucky enough to bag a ticket to see you, what can they expect? I’m going to be in conversation with Tim Hayward [the food writer and broadcaster] and I’ve known him for a while, so it should be fun. I think the weight loss will be a big part of it – I’ve lost 11 stone over the past three years – and so will my book, Tom Kerridge’s Dopamine Diet, but we’ll also be talking about food in general and how it affects life, and what’s going on in Britain at the moment and everything we should be proud of. As we understand it, a large part of the diet is built around cutting out the carbs. Don’t you miss them? Not any more – I’ve got into the habit of it now. Of course, sometimes I am tempted by a fantastic triple cooked chip or when I get that wonderful smell of freshly baked bread. But in everyday life, things like ordinary sliced bread or some plain pasta – no, I don’t miss it.
TOM KeRRidGe DESPITE BEING ONE OF THE UK’S MOST IN-DEMAND CHEFS, TOM KERRIDGE IS STILL FINDING TIME TO JOIN IN THE PARTY AT THE ABERGAVENNY FOOD FESTIVAL (AND TELL US ALL ABOUT IT!)
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The Abergavenny Food Festival runs September 16-17, tickets £14. Catch Tom at 12pm on Saturday at the Borough Theatre; to see him costs £16.50. For full line up deets, and to buy tickets to see Tom (or for any other of the ace events), head over to abergavennyfoodfestival.com
We’re impressed by your self-control. (We love a carb here at Crumbs; hey, even our name is bread-based!) If we were to come to one of your pubs, you wouldn’t deny us that, would you? Of course not! The reason why I ended up going on a low-carb diet was that I wouldn’t have to change the way I cook at work. I still do everything exactly the same, I just cut the carb part out when I eat. And if you’re following the Dopamine Diet you can still come to The Hand and Flowers in Marlow to eat – just don’t have the chips! Okay, so we got the message – no carbs for you. But what do you love eating? I am huge fan of slow-cooked meats – things that take a lot of time. It might be a wonderful piece of beef, or a filling for a pie at The Hand and Flowers, or a chilli at The Coach, or a fantastic slow-cooked shoulder of lamb at home – it’s all brilliant. I think people are embracing this way of cooking more and more, because they understand that – as long you plan your week – you can just put it in and get on with things and don’t have to worry about it. There’s a whole load of stress associated with cooking meat – keeping it pink, resting it and so on – but you don’t get all that with slow cooking. And the results are delicious! Stop now, please. (You’re making us very hungry!) But say you had just inspired us to go and do a bit of slow cooking – any particular recommendations in terms of producers? I’m very fortunate in that I’ve been working with my suppliers for years now, and we’ve built relationships. I get my
meat from Walter Rose & Son in Wiltshire. I’ve used them for a long time; they have a great set-up, with this beautiful frontage at their shop in Devizes, and a fantastic commercial site. Thanks for the tip. It definitely seems like people are caring more and more about where their produce is coming from these days. Do you think that’s because there are people like you on the telly so often talking about all the ace food out there? TV is great, because you can reach people in their homes, but actually I think that it’s more to do with events like Abergavenny Food Festival, and the fact there are so many more opportunities now for people to get out and talk to the producers and butchers and have little tasters of cheese, and see the beautiful cuts of meat and get immersed in the whole experience. TV is 2D, but the really beautiful thing about food is the threedimensional physicality of it. If you miss out on tickets to see Tom, don’t worry, because there are tons more ace events taking place over the Abergavenny weekend, including a spice masterclass with Romy Gill; making hangover cocktails with Freddy Bird; exclusive pop-ups with Olia Hercules and Edinburgh Food Studio; and a food styling and photography masterclass with Genevieve Taylor and ace photographer (and friend of Crumbs) Kirstie Young. As well as all the ticketed events, there’s also the Producer’s Market, a million-and-one book signings, a Night Market on Saturday, and loads to get the kids involved, including a new edible education space.
A F 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 A treat of a tasting menu at Lords of the Manor Page 58
Lunching at National Star’s StarBistro Page 60
Chowing down at The Wheatsheaf Inn Page 62
I N C L U D I N G
1 NEW HEAD CHEF
making his mark on the menu
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LORDS OF THE MANOR THIS HOTEL RESTAURANT MAY HAVE TRADITIONAL ROOTS, BUT IT’S ANYTHING BUT DULL, FINDS EMMA DANCE
hen it comes to the Cotswolds it can be hard not to fall into the trap of talking in clichés. ‘Honey coloured stone’, ‘chocolate box charm’, ‘olde English villages’ etc etc etc – you know the ones. And it’s especially difficult when you’re somewhere that seems to fit them all so exactly – like Lords of the Manor in Upper Slaughter, for example. I mean, this place seriously falls into the ‘delightful’ category. Even on a dreary evening with rain lashing down it’s ‘jaw-droppingly gorgeous’. It’s the kind of place that my American relatives think all England is like, thanks to the TV and the movies. If I actually brought them here I think their heads might explode – or, at the very least, there might be a few tears of wonderment. But, and here’s the thing, just because somewhere might be a temple to tradition in many respects, I don’t believe that
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should mean that the restaurant can’t serve up something interesting. And it seems that Lords of the Manor’s new head chef, Charles Smith, agrees – because his menu is full of lovely little morsels. We visited on a Friday evening, when the only option is the signature sevencourse tasting menu. I always think it’s a brave move – telling people they’re not going to have a choice, especially when the restaurant is the hotel’s only real dining option. But Charles has judged it incredibly well, putting together a selection of dishes that are safe enough not to scare off the less adventurous eater, but with enough little twists and surprises to keep even jaded gourmands interested. It begins with a shot of gazpacho which is bright and summery, with a gentle glow of heat from chilli and a juicy freshness from the addition of tiny pieces of pineapple. The homemade feta, up next, is soft, almost fluffy and not too salty, and the addition of a sprinkle of sumac gives it just the right savoury note to contrast with the delicate almost-sweetness of the kohlrabi and sorrel juice which surrounds it. Rose veal carpaccio with anchovy cream, potato crisp and caviar is a bonus course, but turns out to be one of the biggest triumphs of the evening, with the different flavours and textures all coming together in perfect harmony. A piece of turbot with vermouth cream is cooked faultlessly, and I love the addition of little pieces of the firm flesh of the cheek. There’s a ravioli of quail, with the tender meat sharing its space with just enough foie gras to add some richness. It’s topped by slices of black Australian truffle and is
drenched in a thyme-infused consommé. This is a lot of big flavours for a small dish, but they’ve been handled confidently and all snuggle in together, instead of fighting for space. Blushing pink slices of best end of lamb almost melt in the mouth, while a piece of belly – complete with a sliver of crunchy lamb crackling – makes me far happier than any food rightfully should. As a pre-dessert we’re served grapefruit and Campari sorbet with Champagne cream and little crunchy pieces of feuilleton. It’s bitter and refreshing, and the ideal antidote to the preceding richness. The finale is a bitter chocolate tart with garden mint and lime curd ice cream. The tart is as decadent and luxurious as you’d expect, but not too sweet, and the ice cream (made with mint picked from the garden) almost veers into savoury territory. It’s very clever and manages to be both refreshing and satisfying. Charles comes with a wealth of experience from top restaurants (think Petrus by Marcus Wareing, Alyn Williams at the Westbury and New York’s Per Se, which was voted the world’s 10th best restaurant), and it shows. There’s a real sensitivity and lightness of touch to his cooking, and a confidence which allows him to focus on flavour without hiding behind endless fancy techniques. I think he’s judged the menu just right for the clientele and for the setting, and importantly, there’s no resorting to clichés. LORDS OF THE MANOR, Upper Slaughter, Cheltenham GL54 2JD; lordsofthemanor.com
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STARBISTRO AT ROYAL CRESCENT EMMA DANCE FINDS A NEW FAVOURITE LUNCH SPOT IN THE HEART OF CHELTENHAM
ong, lazy lunches are all very well but, let’s face it, on your average weekday it’s just not practical. Most of the time, all you want is something fresh, tasty and quick that isn’t going to set you back a small fortune. Sounds easy, right? But actually, how many times have you found little on offer but tasteless prepacked sandwiches or fast food? If you’re anything like me, all too often… StarBistro at the Royal Crescent, though, fills that lunchtime gap perfectly. The menu’s full of freshly made sandwiches and salads, as well as a selection of specials – with everything coming in at under a tenner, and all easily deliverable within a lunch hour. We’d chosen a miserable, drizzly day for our visit, but the sight of a chicken and pak choi laksa on the menu instantly brightened my spirits and did not disappoint. The coconut-based broth was packed with aromatic spices and just enough chilli to tickle the back of my throat. There were little bursts of crunchiness from sweetcorn
and pak choi, and there was certainly no skimping on the chicken. My dining companion had chosen the pan-fried sea bass with sautéed potatoes, spinach and a tomato dressing, and was delighted with his plateful. The fish was perfectly cooked with crispy skin and soft flesh, and the dressing was fresh and zingy – bringing summery flavour to a dull day. On this occasion we weren’t in a rush, so decided to treat ourselves to some cake, which proved a wise choice indeed. A slice of lemon drizzle was moist and light, while the best-selling gluten-free brownie was rich and gooey and more-ish. By any standards, the food was worthy of praise, made even more impressive when you take into account that this place is staffed largely by young people with disabilities, who are students at the National Star College. Money made from the bistro is invested directly back into the college to improve facilities and give the students more opportunities, so not only will you get an ace lunch, but you’ll also know that it’s money well spent. Winner.
STARBISTRO AT THE ROYAL CRESENT, 12 Royal Crescent, Cheltenham GL50 3DA; nationalstar.org
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 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
THE WHEATSHEAF INN, West End, Northleach, Gloucestershire GL54 3EZ; theluckyonion.com
he most memorable dishes aren’t always the most elaborate. A plate of food doesn’t need to have involved a million cheffy cooking techniques, or be stuffed with fancy ingredients, to stick in the mind. It just needs to be right. And at a recent visit to The Wheatsheaf Inn at Northleach, I had a dish which was so wonderfully simple, and simply so wonderful, that I’ve been thinking about it ever since. In fact, I’m practically drooling writing about it now. So, what was this magical thing? On paper it doesn’t seem especially remarkable: a starter of toast with a pea and broad bean pesto and burrata. But oh. My. God. There was something about the way that the delicate natural sweetness of the peas and beans was lifted by a herby whisper of basil, the crunch of the toast and the mound of creamy, silky burrata, everything coming together in a way that really hit the sweet spot – so much so that, when anyone asks about favourite dishes I’ve eaten recently, this one’s always near the top of my list. It’s fair to say, then, that I was pretty happy about how my lunch had started. And, indeed, so was my husband, who had been delighted to find a dish of razor clams and chorizo (two of his favourite foods) on the menu. Razor clams can be difficult
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THE WHEATSHEAF INN EMMA DANCE FEASTS ON SOME FODDER THAT’S HARD TO FORGET… beasts, a moment too long in the cooking and they turn from soft and sweet and juicy to rubbery and inedible, but here they were perfect, and the smoky chorizo and salty samphire made ideal bedfellows. My main was always going to have a tough time in trying to outshine my starter, but it made a pretty good effort. A lamb rump, blushing pink and tender-as-you-like, sat among al dente carrots and a generous drizzling of salsa verde which added freshness and zing. Across the table, flakes of moist, meaty skate wing just fell off the ‘bone’ at the merest suggestion of a fork. It’s an often underused fish, but this example proved that, treated right, it can rival the more highly prized turbot or sole for taste and texture. For my friend, dessert was a hazelnut meringue and juicy berries, all slathered in cream. Not an elegant plate, perhaps, but
the sort you just want to dive right into. The meringue was crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside, with a toasty warmth from the nuts and the berries adding little bursts of freshness. The Wheatsheaf’s Marathon pudding has gained a bit of a reputation since it sent Jay Rayner into spasms of joy, so I had to try it. Essentially it’s a chocolate fondant, with a centre stuffed not only with molten choc, but caramel and peanuts too, hence its name. (Younger generations would call it a ‘Snickers pudding’.) As chocolate fondants go, it was very good; I just wanted more caramel and more peanuts to really evoke the taste of its namesake. Would I order it again? Almost certainly. Was I as impressed as Jay Rayner? Probably not. But then he hadn’t eaten the same starter as me, sadly for him. If he had, it may well have been that he’d wax lyrical about…
he menu at The Potager is the kind I love and hate in equal measure. I love it because I want to eat everything on it. Like, everything. And not just because I’m unashamedly gluttonous, but because it all sounds seriously good. And I hate it because, of course, I’m going to have to choose. (Naturally I’m going to pilfer from the plate across the table – that’s always a given – but that still leaves the majority of the menu unexplored, which is an undeniably sad, sad thing.) Take the starters section, for example. I’m always a sucker for a soufflé, so I’m seriously tempted by the cheese example on offer – but I can practically hear the pork cheeks croquette calling ‘eat me’ from the kitchen too. In the end, though, I ignore their cries and plump for the house speciality – Vincigrassi (also available as a main), which is a nod to head chef Francesco Volgo’s Italian roots. Even before it arrives I know I’ve made a good choice, because the heady scent of truffles reaches me before the plate does in a kind of aromatic fanfare. The layers of soft pasta punctuated with Parma ham, mushrooms and cream make for a dish that’s luxurious and comforting and more than slightly addictive. It’s not the prettiest plate of food, nor the lightest, but this is a case where substance definitely wins out over style. The Barnsley House pickled beetroot, goats’ cheese, walnut and beetroot purée over on the other side of the table is so
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THE POTAGER, BARNSLEY HOUSE FORGET THE OTHER BELLS AND WHISTLES OF BARNSLEY HOUSE, AS THE RATHER FABULOUS POTAGER RESTAURANT IS REASON ENOUGH TO VISIT ON ITS OWN, RECKONS EMMA DANCE
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pretty it could easily be mistaken for a dessert. The beetroot has come from the kitchen garden that you can almost see from the restaurant, but although it has star billing in the description it’s the goats’ cheese that dominates the dish. When it comes to the mains I’m genuinely unable to make up my mind – I love the sound of the sea bream with spicy puy lentils, but then the braised octopus that comes with the sea bass puts that dish in serious contention too. Duck breast with quinoa, roasted fennel, whipped butternut squash and dried blood orange sounds delicious and, if my husband hadn’t already claimed the venison haunch with haggis croquette and fondant potato, that would be in the mix as well. Our waiter, though, makes the decision for me, pointing me in the direction of the individual beef Wellington, which he says the chef has spent most of the day preparing. Preparing individual Wellingtons is always a risk – after all, there’s no way of knowing if you’ve achieved that perfect pinkness until it’s cut open. He’s
absolutely nailed it, though, with the beef wonderfully tender and the pastry crisp. The venison is just as much of a triumph, the ruby red meat so soft it practically melts and the crisp haggis croquette adding texture and a hit of peppery heat. After two, let’s face it, pretty heavy courses, I was ready for a lighter dessert. Brandy snap with rhubarb and passionfruit crème patisserie, with its varying textures and clever balance of sweet and sharp flavours, hits just the right spot, and husband’s lemon posset with red berries and yoghurt foam delivered a fresh and zingy citrus hit. Barnsley House is probably most often thought of in terms of its virtues as a hotel. (Probably because it is a hotel, and a very fine one at that – think relaxing spa, cosy lounges and luxurious rooms, all rolled up in country house-chic packaging.) But, it’s not just a hotel. Because, you see, The Potager is a damn fine restaurant that’s worthy of being regarded as a foodie destination in its own right.
BARNSLEY HOUSE, Barnsley, Cirencester GL7 5EE; barnsleyhouse.com
L I T T L E
B L A C K
B O O K
WHEN HE’S NOT PRODUCING AWARD-WINNING GIN (AND A HIGHLY ANTICIPATED WHISKY) AT HIS GAFF, THE COTSWOLDS DISTILLERY, HERE’S WHERE YOU’RE LIKELY TO FIND DAN HANGING OUT… Breakfast? I don’t think there’s anywhere better to start the day than at Huxleys in Chipping Campden.
Food on the go? It’s got to be Taste of the Country in Shipston-on-Stour for the great meats, cheeses, breads and desserts.
Best brew? I really rate Monsoon Estates for their small batch hand-roasted coffees. (We even use them in one of our spirits.)
Posh nosh? The restaurant at The Bower House in Shipston-on-Stour is beautiful, and the cooking is great.
Favourite grocery shop? Broadway Deli has everything you could ever need. And there’s a lovely café as well, which is a nice bonus!
Hidden gem? Osteria on the Wold is a new, very good (and much-needed) Italian trattoria in Stow.
Best wine merchant? There’s a really great selection at Toke’s Food and Wine Shop in Chipping Campden.
One to watch? The Swan Inn in Ascottunder-Wychwood has just reopened; it’s run by the same folks who run The Bull Inn at Charlbury, and is looking very promising!
Sunday lunch? Our local, The Cherington Arms, does a great Sunday lunch. It’s not the fanciest, but it definitely ticks all the boxes! Quick pint? My usual haunt is The Red Lion in Long Compton. Cheeky cocktail? John Gordons in Cheltenham always has a very interesting range of spirits, so make your own. Alfresco feasting? The Feathered Nest, for the beautiful views from the terrace.
Comfort food? The Fuzzy Duck in Armscote does great pub food – which I think is the best comfort food! With the family? The Chandlers Arms in Epwell is a nice, simple night out, with good food and drink and a wonderful welcome for all by the indomitable Assumpta. With friends? It’s The Old Butchers in Stow every time! It has all my favorite foods – shellfish, pâté and steaks – all perfectly
prepared, and presented in a low key and comfortable setting. Child friendly? The Kings Head Inn at Bledington has great food, with a terrific green in front that kids find irresistible for playing on. Best curry? The Spice Room in Moretonin-Marsh, without a doubt. It has great inventive cooking, wonderful service and is a beautiful space. Best atmosphere? The Straw Kitchen at Whichford Pottery is a terrific café, beautifully but simply done up, with great food served by wonderful happy people. Something sweet? Easy! The French fruit tarts made by Regis at our very own corner of France, La Tradition Bakery in Brailes. Top street food? It’s a tie between the porchetta sandwich from Paddock Farm butchers and the sausages from Todenham Manor Farm. Pet friendly? The Norman Knight in Whichford is always a good bet.
QUICK! Add this little lot to your contacts book… • Huxleys, High Street, Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire GL55 6AL; huxleys.org • Monsoon Estates, 3b, Grove Business Park, Atherstone on Stour, Stratford-upon-Avon CV37 8DX; monsoonestates.co.uk • Broadway Deli, St Patricks, 29 High Street, Broadway WR12 7DP; broadwaydelu.co.uk • Toke’s Food and Wine Shop, High Street, Chipping Campden GL55 6AG; tokesfoodanddrink.co.uk • The Cherington Arms, Cherington, Shipston-on-Stour CV36 5HS; thecheringtonarms.co.uk • The Red Lion Inn, Main Street, Long Compton CV36 5JS; redlion-longcomton.co.uk • John Gordons, 11 Montpellier Arcade, Montpellier, Cheltenham GL50 1SU; johngordons.co.uk • The Bower House, Market Place, Shipston-on-Stour CV36 4AG; thebowerhouseshipston.com • Taste of the Country, 2-4 Market Place, Shipston-on-Stour CV36 4AG; tasteofthecountry.com • The Feathered Nest, Nether Westcote OX7 6SD; thefeatherednestinn.co.uk • Osteria on the Wold, 10 Talbot Court, Stow-on-the-Wold GL54 1BQ • The Swan Inn, 4 Shipton Road, Ascottunder-Wychwood, Chipping Norton OX7 6AY; swanascott.com • The Old Butchers, 7 Park Street, Stow-on-the-Wold GL54 1AQ; theoldbutchers.squarespace.com • The Fuzzy Duck, Ilmington Road, Armscote CV37 8DD; fuzzyduckarmscote.com • The Chandlers Arms, Sibford Road, Epwell OX15 6LH; chandlersarms.com • The Kings Head Inn, The Green, Bledington OX7 6XQ; thekingsheadinn.net • The Spice Room, 3 Oxford Street, Moreton-in-Marsh GL56; 01608 654204 • The Straw Kitchen Café, Whichford Pottery, Whichford CV36 5PG; whichfordpottery.com • La Tradition, 3 Feldon Centre, Lower Brailes OX15 5AP; 01608 686001 • Paddock Farm Butchery, Feldon Centre, High Street, Lower Brailes OX15 5HN; paddock.fm • Todenham Manor Farm, Todenham, Moreton-in-Marsh GL56 9PQ; todenhammanorfarm.co.uk • The Norman Knight, Ascott Road, Whichford, Shipston-on-Stour CV36 5PE; thenormanknight.co.uk