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CRUMBS Cotswolds NO.59 OCTOBER 2017

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Bunny up

Rabbit is a cause of argument between my husband and I. Every time the subject of eating bunnies comes up, he wheels out a fact he once heard on QI – that if you only ate rabbit, you would die. My counter argument is that if you only ate any food, you’d die. After all, I’m pretty sure there’s no single ingredient that can deliver absolute everything we need to survive. Sure, some things might sustain you for longer than others, but still… The question of whether rabbit is ideal survival food (or not) might not be up for serious debate, but what isn’t in doubt is the fact that it’s delicious. This stuff does need to be treated with a light touch, though. Overdo it, and it’ll go horrendously dry – and no-one wants that. Elsewhere this issue we’ve started to turn our thoughts to the big C-Day. Yes, it might seem early, but if you’ve got a party to plan then there’s real danger in leaving it until the last minute – you could find there’s no space left. Better by far to check out our guide to some of the best festive feasting to be found in the Cotswolds, and pick from there. Whether it’s a dinner with a few chums or a full blown party, we’ve got the venue for you. If all this Christmas chat is just too much, though – and we wouldn’t blame you if you think it is! – there’s plenty of other stuff to get your teeth into this issue. We get the lowdown on the foodie happenings at this year’s Cheltenham Literature Festival, check out the recently opened Mr Hanbury’s Mason Arms, and get our cook on with Kuba Winkowski, head chef at The Feathered Nest. But that’s enough rabbiting on from me…

Emma Dance Editor emma.dance@mediaclash.co.uk Crumbs is now an app! Search ‘Crumbs’, or go to crumbsmag.com

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Table of Contents NO.59 OCTOBER 2017

crumbsmag.com EDITOR

EMMA DANCE emma.dance@mediaclash.co.uk DEVELOPMENT EDITOR

MATT BIELBY matt.bielby@mediaclash.co.uk ONLINE EDITOR

DAN IZZARD dan.izzard@mediaclash.co.uk ART DIRECTOR

TREVOR GILHAM DESIGN

VICKY MITCHARD ADVERTISING MANAGER

DANIELLE MORRIS danielle.morris@mediaclash.co.uk PRODUCTION AND DISTRIBUTION MANAGER

SARAH KINGSTON sarah.kingston@mediaclash.co.uk DEPUTY PRODUCTION MANAGER

KIRSTIE HOWE kirstie.howe@mediaclash.co.uk

STARTERS

CHIEF EXECUTIVE

JANE INGHAM jane.ingham@mediaclash.co.uk CHIEF EXECUTIVE

GREG INGHAM greg.ingham@mediaclash.co.uk

MediaClash, Circus Mews House, Circus Mews, Bath BA1 2PW; 01225 475800 www.mediaclash.co.uk large version

large version

© All rights reserved. May not be reproduced without written permission of MediaClash. MediaClash reserves the right to reject any material and to edit such prior to publication. Opinions are those of individual authors. Printed on paper from a well-managed source. Inks are vegetable-based; printer is certified to ISO 14001 environmental management. This month we are starting to get really rather excited about the arrival of game season, and all the yummy autumn flavours it brings. (See ya, summer!)

8 HERO INGREDIENT Rabbits are cute and cuddly, sure – but also delicious!

28 Sweet and sour tempeh, by Celia Duplock ADDITIONAL RECIPES

9 Rabbit ragu, by Thyme

10 OPENINGS ETC Food news to peruse

19 Black bean and beetroot burgers, by Claire Thomson

12 LOCAVORE Getting the lowdown on the new-style Cricklade Club

31 Lamb with courgettes, by Kathy Slack

14 LARDER Harnessing the enduring power of the pumpkin

42 Wild boar meat balls with hand-rolled tagliatelle, by Kuba Winkowski

KITCHEN ARMOURY

CHEF!

AMAZING RECIPES FROM THE REGION’S TOP KITCHENS

24 Roast pheasant with pickled mushrooms, by Jack Gilbey 26 Pad Thai noodles, by Thomas Curtis

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37 CRUMBS COOKS WITH Turns out that Kuba Winkowski is game for anything… 44 THE WANT LIST This issue, it’s all about the orange. (It’s the new black, you know)

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MAINS 49 FESTIVE FEASTS Top Cotswolds venues for seasonal shindigs 56 HIT THE BOOKS Except the Cheltenham Literature Festival isn’t just about the books, silly…

AFTERS

NEW & NOTABLE RESTAURANTS, CAFÉS, BARS

62 Mr Hanbury’s Mason Arms 64 The Noel Arms PLUS

66 LITTLE BLACK BOOK Matt Saxton, general manager at The Bell at Ramsbury, shares his favourite foodie hangouts


FREE

Christmas cracker & a glass of Prosecco for any party ordering from our three course Christmas set menu that books before October 13th 2017.

Just quote ‘Crumbs magazine’ when you book. Offer valid for Carluccio’s Cheltenham and Carluccio’s Gloucester only. Not valid in conjunction with any other offer or discount.

Carluccios Cheltenham | Regent Arcade, Cheltenham GL50 1JZ 01242 222026 Carluccios Gloucester | St Anns Way, Gloucester Quays, Gloucester GL1 5SH 01452 504919 www.carluccios.com/book-a-table


INNOVATIONS, REVELATIONS AND TASTY AMUSE-BOUCHES

FREAKING OUT

It’s that spook-tacular time of year again, when all thoughts turn to everything frightful. And at Over Farm they’re truly embracing this scariest of seasons, with all manner of horrifying Halloween antics. The Spookyard family fun event will run every day from October 21-29, packed with all kinds of wicked activities, from ghost hunts and the chance to get up close with reptiles and creepy-crawlies, to corn cannons, games and a maze to get lost in. Everyone’s encouraged to get into the spirit of things by turning up in Halloween fancy dress (there’s an extra treat on offer if you do!), with a daily parade at 12.45pm and a prize for the best costume.

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Every child who attends will be able to visit the farm’s pumpkin patch, where they can pick their own to turn into a Jack O’Lantern, while there’ll be some frightfully good food on offer too, thanks to a barbecue cooking produce straight from the farm’s own shop. Sounds fun, right? And especially if you head over at night for serious scares. On September 30, and October 6, 7, 13, 14 and 20-31, they’ll also host some terrifying Frightmare live action attractions. For full details of all the creepy activities on offer, and to buy your tickets, visit frightmare.co.uk

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“a

ll the world will be your enemy, Prince of a Thousand Enemies,” said the great god Frith to the first rabbit leader, El-Ahrairah, in Watership Down. “And when they catch you, they will kill you. But first they must catch you.” As children, we naturally side with the rabbits in just about any story – after all, they’re cute, furry, twitchy-nosed and essentially harmless (unless you’re a lettuce). As adults, however – well, we realise they can be a bit of a pest. And, more to the point, that they taste delicious. There are eight basic bunny species spread across the world, but most widespread is the European rabbit, highly sociable beasts that live in vast labyrinths of linked underground burrows. All have long ears, powerful hind legs and are in constant fear of being eaten – Frith wasn’t lying – but their popularity as pets (usually bred to be larger than wild rabbits, and in a wider range of colours) means many of us are quite squeamish about cooking them. (What other pets do we also eat? Crumbs is struggling to think of any.) Looked at another way, of course, there are just two types of rabbit: the farmed variety (more fatty and flabby, with blander, grey-coloured flesh, as you might expect), and the wild, hoppy beasts, which are generally smaller, firmer and mildly gamey in flavour, with pinky-brown meat – they’ve been likened to the world’s best free-range chicken, and not without reason. ••• In the past, and increasingly, rabbit has been very much part of the British menu, but in places like China and the Med – everywhere from Italy to Morocco – it never went out of fashion, and these days it’s become beloved of chefs, conservationists and nutritionists alike.

RaBBIT NO, NO, NO! YOU CAN’T EAT BUGS BUNNY, PETER RABBIT, ROGER RABBIT, BENJAMIN BUNNY, BR’ER RABBIT, BIGWIG, FIVER, HAZEL, THE EASTER BUNNY, THE CADBURY’S CARAMEL BUNNY, THE DURACELL BUNNY, THE NESQUIK BUNNY, THE PLAYBOY BUNNY, THE WHITE RABBIT OR THE FLOPSY BUNNIES! WHAT, ARE YOU EVIL OR SOMETHING?

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After all, rabbits are easy to raise, easy to butcher and easy to prepare, offering meat that’s lower in fat (and higher in protein) than beef, chicken or pork. They reproduce rapidly, grow quickly (they can be ready to eat in 10 weeks), and offer up to six times as much meat as a cow does for the same amount of food and water put in. And Britain already has an estimated 40 million bunnies hopping about, so few foods are more plentiful… Plus, rabbits have other uses, too. Though wearing fur is one of the most divisive, emotive of topics, it’s hard to deny that their skins can make great scarves, collars and hats, or that their hair can be harvested like sheep’s wool (think of Angora); the big problem with both of these, of course, is that the way they’re achieved in practice sees cruelty rarely too far away. Oh, and the high protein content in their milk offers great health benefits too, though we’ve never met anyone who’ll actually admit to having milked a rabbit… ••• Rabbit is mostly sold whole, albeit skinned and gutted – a good butcher will joint them too, if you like – and though both wild and farmed rabbit is available all year around, occasionally even in supermarkets, wild rabbit is at its best in the cooler months, running from the end of summer to February. A typical wild rabbit of around 1.5kg will feed a family of four, though don’t expect much meat left over – and do expect the occasional tiny piece of lead shot, which can surprise the unwary. As with all wild meat, the quality can vary, and you never know quite how tender it’s going to be until you cook it; rabbit is always a bit of a gamble, then, but it’s also almost always a fine and cheap supper. ••• What to do with them? Rabbits are good roasted whole, especially the younger ones, but – as they get tougher with age, especially in the leg – older beasts are better suited to slow cooking. (One trick is to quickroast the saddle, but do the legs separately in a slow-cooked dish.) A rabbit casserole or hearty rabbit stew is a farmhouse classic, but braised rabbit also goes brilliantly with pasta, chickpeas or couscous, as well as most wintry flavours: spinach, artichoke, mushrooms and other game, plus things like sorrel, fennel, even chilli. Tarragon is the perfect herb accompaniment, but basil, chives and others work too; basically, if you’d use it with chicken, there’s a good chance you can use it with rabbit. Rabbit also pairs extremely well with the beast’s favourite foods: things like radishes, broad beans, spring onions, cucumber, carrot and, yes, lettuce. It sounds like a combination born of Beatrix Potter, but it absolutely works. Marinated rabbit grills well over hot coals too (remember to keep basting, as you need to keep it juicy), but the classic way to cook it is slowly with onions, herbs, and plenty of liquid – cider, stock or even beer, though the most obvious thing is wine. (We’d favour white with onions – the meat is naturally quite mild – though red with thyme and garlic is also good.) And then, of course, there are rabbit pies, where the meat works best with something a little more fatty – bacon, sausage or pancetta, maybe – to balance its natural leanness. (Lacking fat is both a blessing and a curse for rabbit meat: it's all tied in with it being so rich in proteins and some vitamins and minerals, but the danger is dryness.) Finally, if you’re trying to persuade a young petting zoo lover to give the meat a try, it works well disguised too. Minced rabbit, perhaps combined with a little bit of pork belly, makes a tasty burger, for instance. You can leave the spicy rabbit heads, complete with brains – a genuine Sichuan province delicacy, apparently – for when everyone’s totally on board with the idea of boiling bunny…

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RABBIT RAGU

SERVES 6 RECIPE BY THYME INGREDIENTS 1 whole farmed rabbit, skinned, including liver and kidney if possible 2 rashes of streaky bacon 1 leek, topped and tailed 2 carrots, peeled, topped and tailed 2 ribs of celery, peeled 2 red onions, left whole but skinned 10g dried porcini mushrooms 1 whole bulb of garlic, outer papery skin removed 1 bouquet garni (parsley stalks, 2 bay leaves, sprig of rosemary) 1 bottle of dry white wine 600g chopped tomatoes 2 tbsp tomato purée ¼ freshly grated nutmeg pinch of dried chilli flakes olive oil salt METHOD 1 Pre-heat the oven 110C/225F/gas mark ½ . 2 Heat a large casserole. Add 2 tbsp of olive oil. Add the whole rabbit, season, and colour both sides. 3 Add the bacon and colour slightly, followed by the wine and remaining ingredients. 4 Place into the oven and cook for 12 hours. 5 Remove from the oven, remove the lid and allow to rest until cool enough to handle. 6 Place the rabbit on a tray. Remove the bouquet garni, carrots, celery, leeks, onions and garlic and place on a separate tray. Squeeze out all of the juices from the bouquet garni into the pan and discard. 7 Squash the carrots, onion, garlic, celery and leeks back into the pan. 8 Carefully remove all of the bones from your rabbit and place the meat and offal back into the pan, tearing any large pieces. 9 Serve with gnocchi or papardelle pasta. For more recipes, visit thyme.co.uk

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the

instA FEED

IT’S A dATE!

Get October 28 in the diary pronto, cos this year’s Didcot Food Festival is a foodie fiesta you won’t want to miss. As well as the tantalising array of street food, live music and children’s cooking area, it also stars a Chef’s Theatre which, throughout the day, will host numerous chefs and cooks who have appeared on Great British British Bake Off, MasterChef or Great British Menu. Among those showing off their talents will be Candice Baker (she of the many lipsticks, and winner of last year’s GBBO) and Sudbury House’s dynamic cheffing duo, Andrew Scott and Nick Bennett. Tickets cost £4, and children go free. For more info, and to bag your tickets in advance, visit the website. didcotevents.co.uk

Look at these cookies from @starbistros. Now you really want to eat one, don’t you?

When in doubt, brunch, says @oldstocksinn. We couldn’t agree more…

HONOUR ROLL

It’s time to big up Whatley Manor’s general manager, Sue Williams, who’s been named as one of the top 25 hoteliers in the UK. The list of the movers and shakers was compiled by industry website Hotel Designs, and was revealed at a swanky shindig in London. “I’m thrilled to have been recognised on the Brit List,” Sue says, “and to appear alongside some very distinguished names within the hospitality industry. In the past 10 months since joining Whatley Manor, I’ve been working with the team to take the hotel into the next phase of its development and we have some very exciting plans underway.” whatleymanor.com

IN THE DIARY...

TOTALLY TROPICAL TASTE

A taste of Hawaii has just landed in Cheltenham. The owners of the popular KIBOUsushi, Gilly Read and Emma Graveney, have just opened a new venture – Poké & Yoh Island Café in Regent Arcade. In case you haven’t heard of it, poké (pronounced poh-kay, just FYI) is a bowl of fresh chicken, raw fish and veggies, so it’s super healthy and super tasty. As well as poké, the café is also serving frozen yoghurt, steamed Korean buns and freshly baked Hong Kong Bubble Waffles filled with fruit and frozen yoghurts. Sounds pretty good to us! pokeandyoh.co.uk

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(September 23 & 24) THE MALVERN SHOW A celebration of gardening, growing and gathering, as well as rural life and our country’s quirky character, the Malvern Show is a feast of family entertainment featuring everything from world record breaking giant veg to the last major RHS Flower Show of the season. Headlining in the Food and Drink Pavilion you’ll find Great British Menu host Andi Oliver, and the uber-chilled Selasi Gbormittah from last year’s Great British Bake Off. For the best deals, book your tickets in advance. malvernautumn.co.uk (October 11) TUSCAN WINE EVENING Join the folks from Toke’s for a fun and informal wine evening at the village hall in Blockley. Taste glorious wines from Tuscany, then chat about them. Sounds like fun, right? The event runs 7-9pm, and tickets cost £15. tokesfoodandwine.co.uk


partytime••maytime

christmas••party 2 courses for £19.50 3 courses for £24.50

BOOK NOW!

ADD A GLASS OF PROSECCO ON ARRIVAL FOR £4 PER PERSON Starters SOUP, crusty bread CHICKEN LIVER PARFAIT, mandarin jelly, toasted brioche SMOKED SALMON, beetroot, horseradish cream, orange, watercress GAME TERRINE, apple & pear chutney, crusty bread CAMEMBERT, FIG & ONION TART, dressed leaves Mains ROAST TURKEY PARCEL, streaky bacon wrapped chipolatas, roast roots & potatoes, sautéed Brussel sprout tops, gravy BRAISED SHIN OF BEEF, celeriac mash, roasted shallots, wild mushrooms SADDLE OF VENISON, braised red cabbage, streaky bacon & potato croquette, jus* PAN-FRIED HAKE, wilted spinach, gnocchi, butternut puree, sage butter PAN-FRIED MACKEREL, chorizo-braised leeks, shallot crisps NUT ROAST, roast roots & potatoes, sautéed Brussel sprout tops, gravy Desserts CHRISTMAS PUDDING, brandy sauce CHOCOLATE CHIP BREAD & BUTTER PUDDING, crème anglaise MULLED FRUITS, cinnamon ice cream PASSION FRUIT CHEESECAKE, raspberry puree HOME MADE ICE CREAM or Sorbet FINEST ARTISAN CHEESES, grapes, biscuits* Available for tables of 8 or more, available lunch and dinner Monday-Sunday throughout December excluding Sunday lunch. We require a non-refundable deposit of £10 per head and a pre-order for each table.

FESTIVE LUNCHES from £50.00 per person

Enjoy great dishes and delicious wines with colleagues and friends this festive season... Monday – Friday £50 per person Saturday & Sunday £55 per person Includes; a festive cocktail on arrival, delicious three-course lunch, half a bottle of wine per person, coffee and mince pies, party novelties and complimentary room hire for parties of 10 or more.

FESTIVE DINNERS from £70.00 per person

Party at ours this festive season, the perfect place to celebrate another fantastic year! Sunday – Thursday £70 per person Friday & Saturday £80 per person Includes; a festive cocktail on arrival, delicious fourcourse dinner, half a bottle of wine per person (selected by our Sommelier), coffee and macarons, party novelties and complimentary room hire for parties of 10 or more. Why not make a night of it? Sunday – Thursday from £149 (inclusive of breakfast) Friday & Saturday from £189 (inclusive of breakfast Room price based on one person occupying a room. A £30 supplement applies for two people sharing a room. Minimum of five bedrooms required. Two night minimum stay may apply over weekends. Rooms are subject to availability.

*Supplement of £2.50 for Venison main *Supplement of £3.00 for Cheese

musictime EVERY OTHER SUNDAY

September 17th David Julien

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01993 822068 info@themaytime.com www.themaytime.com Asthall, Burford, Oxfordshire OX18 4HW

Available from Saturday 25th November to Saturday 23rd December 2017 Prices include VAT. A discretionary service charge of 12.5% will be added to your bill.

Make an enquiry: Contact our events team on 01386 852255 or email events@lygonarmshotel.co.uk

The Lygon Arms, High Street, Broadway, Worcestershire, WR12 7DU

www.lygonarmshotel.co.uk


S T A R T E R S

Locavore

SOCIAL NETWORKING

WE CATCH UP WITH SIMON MADDISON, ONE HALF OF THE COUPLE BEHIND THE CRICKLADE CLUB, TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT ITS TRANSFORMATION FROM TIRED SOCIAL CLUB TO A BUZZING KITCHEN, BAR AND VENUE 12

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imon and his wife Talia were on the hunt for somewhere good to house his events company – Planet Pursuits – as well as provide a quirky wedding venue for her catering company, Cotswold Cooks, when they came across the Cricklade Club. Simon knew instantly that it would fit the bill. “I didn’t know the place at all,” he says now. “But as soon as I saw it, just from the outside, I knew it would be big enough for what we wanted to do, and I decided almost there and then that we should buy it.” So that’s what they did. This was back in February, and they quickly set about transforming the place to accommodate not only the needs of the two businesses – with office space and a hall for live music and events, which can accommodate around 220 people – but also to create a café/bar area that would use the food produced on the family’s organic farm at nearby Purton House, as well as champion local suppliers. “I never wanted to be a restaurateur,” says Simon. “But it just seemed to be a natural progression. There’s now a real synergy between everything we’re doing here. “For instance, we’ve gone for that relaxed, café-style all-day brunch thing, and it’s working really well. Everything is made fresh, and people can see into the kitchen. On Friday and Saturdays we’re open later, and from this month we’re starting a slightly different evening menu, with dishes like Mexican wraps and chicken wings. We are slightly limited in what we can do, though, because it’s actually a listed building – so we can’t put in the kind of ventilation you need for fryers, say. This has meant we’ve had to think a bit harder about what we can do. “Our whole ethos is that, wherever possible, we will buy from local suppliers. I know everyone says that, but it’s true! I really want to support the small producers, and there’s so much great stuff happening here in the Cotswolds.” Indeed, Simon reckons the thing that comes from furthest away is probably ales from Wild Beer, which is based near Shepton Mallet. “I just love their beer,” he says, “so I really wanted to have it here! And then there’s my sister-in-law, who has a tea and coffee company where they roast their own beans and blend their own teas. They’ve done a special blend for us – so that comes from further away, too.” Simon’s sister-in-law isn’t the only family member involved in the business, either. Various members of the extended family – children, nieces, assorted in-laws – have all contributed in various ways, either working in the club or providing some kind of expertise. “It’s been a real family effort,” smiles Simon. It’s clear, though, that it’s Simon who’s the driving force behind everything, and it was he who project-managed the conversion and did the interior design. As he talks, Simon brings up pictures of the space before he got to work on it, and there’s no doubt that the transformation is remarkable. The biggest change is the addition of huge windows running down the side of the café/bar area, which allows the light to flood in. “I don’t think we would have gone ahead if we hadn’t been allowed to put in the windows,” says Simon. “They make such a difference. It connects the outside to the inside, and means you can see out to the High Street, so it really feels as if we are part of the town.” Designing the rest of the space wasn’t quite so straightforward. “For a long time I really wasn’t sure how it was all going to work,” he admits. “It was giving me sleepless nights! But then we

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started pulling off plaster and saw the beautiful brick walls and things started to come together. My father was an antique dealer, and he passed on that passion to me, so we’ve got things like a huge old portrait here. It’s given me an excuse to buy all sorts!” The foodie side of the business has been running since June, and Simon is now keen to start focussing more on the events side of things, with one of the first on the calendar being a Bavarian beer festival to coincide with Oktoberfest in Germany. There are plenty more in the pipeline, too. It’s clear, though, that Simon is never one to just sit back and relax, and that it won’t be long before he’s looking for even more ways to build on the Cricklade Club. When beer comes into the conversation, as it does, he tells me that’s something he’s keen to learn more about, and he’d like to try his hand at a bit of brewing. The idea of a microbrewery is mentioned, and Simon’s eyes light up. So watch this space… thecrickladeclub.co.uk

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In the Larder 3

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smAShING PUmPKINS

THE BIG ORANGE GOURD MAKES A CRACKING JACK O’LANTERN, BUT ALSO TASTES RATHER GOOD TOO… 1 DAYLESFORD ORGANIC SPICED PUMPKIN CASSEROLE £7.99/550g Not all ready meals are created equal, and convenient food doesn’t come much more tasty and wholesome than this warming stew made in the Daylesford kitchens near Kingham. It’s packed with chunky pumpkin, creamy butterbeans and lentils with warming ginger, fresh basil and just a hint of chilli. Just the thing for an autumnal evening! daylesford.com 2 GIVING TREE PUMPKIN CRISPS £1.85/30g They’re crisps, but not as you know them – mainly because they are made from pumpkin, not potato! They have got the

same pleasing crunch, though, and a flavour that’s a little bit sweet but mostly savoury – not unlike a sweet potato crisp, actually. They’re made using a special freeze drying and vacuum drying process, so they keep crunchy, but it means that none of the good stuff gets lost in the process. You can get them from Whole Foods and independent health food shops. givingtreesnacks.com 3 PUMPKIN POWER JUICE £15.12/8 x 250ml The power of pumpkin has been squished into a bottle by the peeps at Coldpress Juices. The pumpkin juice is laced with warming cinnamon and ginger, sweet pineapple and a hint

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of apple, and is totes delish. Because this is a limited edition it’s only available online, but you can buy the rest of the range at your local Waitrose. coldpressjuicesonline.co.uk 4 DELL’UGO FRESH PUMPKIN GNOCCHI £2.29/350g These delicate pumpkin-y pillows are ace for a super-quick and easy supper. Just cook for one minute then serve with butter and Parmesan or a swirl of pesto and you’re done! Perfect for when you’re short on time. You can buy them from Ocado. dellugo.co.uk 5 PUMPKIN SAMOSA £1.75 each Pumpkin, peas, chilli and sweet potato, all wrapped up in an uber-

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tasty crispy little parcel – what’s not to love? They’re available from Toke’s Food and Drink in Chipping Campden, but only during Halloween week – so get down there sharpish to make sure you don’t miss out! tokesfoodanddrink.co.uk 6 RUDE HEALTH THE PUMPKIN 99p/35g It’s gluten free and refined sugar free, but deffo not taste free. This delicious little bar offers a taste of pumpkin pie in every bite, but because it’s packed full of fruit, veggies, seeds and nuts, it’s actually good for you. Ideal! Available to buy from Holland & Barrett and independent health food stores. rudehealth.com


S T A R T E R S

TakinG stOCk

What makes the local foodie scene so great? Quite simply, the variety of food available here. Everyone has their own area, which they are supremely good at. What are your favourite ingredients out there at the moment?  I’m loving plaice right now, and Creedy Carver duck, which I haven’t used for a while. Grouse has just come into season too, so I can’t wait to use that!

SAY HELLO TO IAN PERCIVAL, NEW HEAD CHEF AT THE OLD STOCKS INN

Do you grow anything yourself? At the moment just a few herbs and baby fennel. But next year, hopefully, we’re going to expand and grow some additional baby veg. Who are your favourite suppliers that you use for the restaurant?  AM Baileys for my veg, based in Stratford – they are brilliant with everything that is seasonal – and Walter Rose for meat. Based less than an hour away, their beef is fantastic. What kind of meals do you cook at home?  As little as possible! Quick and easy is what we try and cook, and it normally ends up with me chopping and my wife cooking.

Hi, Ian! So tell us, what first inspired you to cook professionally? It's something I fell into, really, because I already worked in the industry and a lot of my friends were chefs. I gave it a go and really enjoyed it, and years later I’m still here and enjoying it just as much as I did at the beginning of my career – if not more! What was the very first job you had in the industry, then?  My first job was as a kitchen porter at a massive hotel in Newquay. I tried front of house for a bit after that, but I felt much more at home in the kitchen. And what’s been the toughest job you’ve tackled so far?  I worked for a year at a very busy hotel with almost 200 bedrooms on site, multiple restaurants, plus conferences and weddings to cater for. I was only there a year but it was a very long year – a definite character builder! Proudest career achievement?  A couple of years ago I was in a book called Signature Chefs, which focused on chefs in the heart of England and Wales. It was a real honour to be included.

Where might we know you from? I've worked across the Cotswolds area for the last four years, most recently at the Kings Hotel in Chipping Campden. Before then, I worked at the St Moritz Hotel in Rock, Cornwall. The Old Stocks Inn is gaining a great reputation amongst food lovers, though, and it’s great to be at the heart of that buzz and have my name associated with the restaurant there. How would you describe your style of cooking, then?  Modern British with an occasional Asian twist. And how have you approached the menu?  We’ve just introduced a new a la carte menu at The Old Stocks Inn, and I approached its creation from two angles. Firstly, we’re lucky to have such amazing seasonal ingredients on our doorstep here in the Cotswolds, so I ensured that was reflected throughout. Also, I tried to capture the personality of The Old Stocks Inn – quintessentially British, yet quirky, and with that little touch of something special. How many are there in the kitchen team? At the moment we have four chefs, so it’s a small team, but we all work really well together and everyone puts in 100 per cent.

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Which piece of kitchen equipment couldn’t you live without? Probably a Thermomix. It is so versatile and can do so many different things, and I love a silky smooth purée. What and where was the best meal you’ve ever eaten? Midsummer House in Cambridge and Purnell's in Birmingham are my two favourites. I had a cured trout dish at Purnell’s, which was probably the best fish course I’ve ever had. Favourite cookery book? There are so many I could choose, but the two I always go back to are Aiden Byrne’s Made in Great Britain, and also Alan Murchison’s book, Food for Thought. And finally, what’s your current favourite flavour combination? My favourite at the moment is a plaice dish we have on at The Old Stocks. It is caviar and mussel risotto, topped with a lightly grilled plaice fillet, samphire and shallots cooked in a couple of different ways. It’s super tasty – and looks good, too. oldstocksinn.com


THE

ROSE TREE RESTAURANT

A beautiful grade II listed cottage set in the picturesque village of Bourtonon-the-Water on the river Windrush

FAMILY-RUN RESTAURANT • HONEST HOME-COOKED FOOD SEASONAL MENUS • LOCALLY SOURCED PRODUCE Lunch: Tuesday to Sunday 12 – 2.30pm (last orders) Dinner: Tuesday to Saturday 6 – 8.30pm (last orders) Whether it’s a big celebration, a family Sunday lunch, or simply a night out with friends, The Rose Tree provides the perfect setting, ambience and food.

Christmas Party Menu available from Tuesday 7th November Victoria St, Bourton-on-the-Water, Cheltenham GL54 2BX • 01451 820635 • www.therosetreeinbourton.co.uk


B O O K

O F

T H E

M O N T H

FROM REVAMPED CLASSICS TO NEW WORKS OF CULINARY LITERATURE, MARK TAYLOR’S BEEN DEVOURING IT ALL

BLACK BEAN & BEETROOT BURGERS   SERVES 4

P H OTO M IK E LU SM O RE

THE ART OF THE LARDER Claire Thomson Quadrille, £20

Even if you aren’t lucky enough to have a proper old-school pantry or stately home-sized larder, the shelf or cupboard in your kitchen is still likely to be the place where most of your home cooking starts. With a well-stocked storecupboard, anything is possible, perhaps supplemented by fresh meat and fish or fruit and vegetables. In her latest book, Bristolbased food writer Claire Thomson shows us how empowering it can be to have a larder full of spices, grains, pulses, flours, oils and preserved goods. From a speedy week night family supper of pappardelle with cream, radicchio and prosciutto to an indulgent afternoon slice of Portuguese molasses cake, this is a book of thrifty and inspiring recipes for all occasions.

Serve these beet burgers with your choice of sour cream, mayonnaise, aïoli, pickles (sliced gherkins are fabulous here), lettuce leaves, goat’s cheese or feta. On rye bread or in a roll, find a combination that works for you. INGREDIENTS

1 onion, finely diced 1 tbsp olive oil  2 garlic cloves, finely sliced  2 medium beetroots (about 300g), peeled and grated  1 x 400g tin of black beans, rinsed and drained, then roughly mashed with a fork  1 tbsp Dijon mustard  ½ tsp sweet paprika (smoked or unsmoked) 1 tsp cumin seeds, toasted and ground  1 tsp coriander seeds, toasted and ground  small bunch of fresh dill, roughly chopped  80g rolled oats (or use breadcrumbs) neutral cooking oil (sunflower or vegetable)

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METHOD

1 Cook the onion in a small saucepan with the olive oil until soft and translucent, about 8-10 minutes, then add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes more, until fragrant. Remove from the heat and set to one side. 2 Combine the grated beetroot, beans, mustard, spices, dill, oats/breadcrumbs and seasoning in a bowl. Use your hands to work the mix together until cohesive.  3 Shape the mix into burgers about 2cm thick and place them on a tray or plate. Put them into the fridge and leave them to firm up for an hour or so.  4 Heat a large non-stick frying pan with enough oil to go about 1cm deep, and fry the burgers over a moderate heat for 2-3 minutes on each side, until crisp and the interior is hot.  5 Remove from the heat and serve immediately in buns.


S T A R T E R S

ICE CREAMS, SORBETS AND GELATI Caroline and Robin Weir Grub Street, £18.99

Seven years since it was published, this is the first time this classic book – for many people, the definitive book on the subject – has been issued in paperback. Caroline and Robin Weir’s exhaustive work is the biggest-selling book on ices, and it features over 400 recipes covering ice creams, gelato, graniti, bombes and parfaits, as well as instructions on making wafers, biscuits and punches, and there are even ice creams for diabetics and vegans. As well as the history of ice cream, there is also a comprehensive section about the physics and chemistry of ices and ice cream. Far removed from the bought products, which are often loaded with sugar and additives, these recipes are for everybody – from beginners making homemade ice cream to professional chefs.

THE IVY NOW

FAST & FRESH

Fernando Peire (recipes by Gary Lee) Quadrille, £30

Miguel Barclay Headline Home, £16.99

London’s iconic restaurant The Ivy this year celebrates its 100th birthday, and the lavishly illustrated The Ivy Now is the first book about the restaurant in over 25 years. Featuring 100 recipes to celebrate 100 years, it includes not just the classic dishes one would expect to find – shellfish cocktail, shepherd’s pie and knickerbocker glory – but also an array of dishes that highlight executive head chef Gary Lee’s creativity and versatility, such as Thaibaked sea bass; dukkah spiced lamb with smoked aubergine and quinoa tabbouleh; and Strawberry Fields jelly with Champagne granita. It’s all interspersed with director Fernando Peire’s highly entertaining account of life at The Ivy, and the fascinating story of how it became the most famous restaurant in the world.

One Pound Meals by Miguel Barclay became an instant bestseller and went on to be the biggest debut cookery book of 2017 when it was published in January. Back with his second book, Miguel focuses on fresh and light food, again for £1 per person. Featuring warm salads, light soups, nutritious stir-fries and plenty of vegetarianfriendly meals, these pocketfriendly recipes range from tom yum soup and white bean fish cassoulet to chicken and chickpea stew and Goan cauliflower curry. Using ingenious shortcuts and often sticking to seasonal produce (because it’s cheaper) and frozen food, these short, simple recipes are ideal for people who want to eat healthy and tasty dishes on a budget, and would especially suit homeleaving students.

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THE LEGENDARY CUISINE OF PERSIA Margaret Shaida Grub Street, £25

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First published in 1992 and a recipient of a Glenfiddich Award, Margaret Shaida’s acclaimed book about Persian cooking has been redesigned and newly photographed by Grub Street. One of the oldest and greatest cuisines of the world, Persian food is refined, sophisticated, subtle and varied. Fruits, nuts, herbs and spices are combined with rice, fish and meat in combinations whose ancient influence can be found in the cooking of the Middle East, Spain and India. It may be centuries old but Persian cuisine is still relevant to the modern style of eating – many of the dishes are vegetarian, and there’s a distinctive marriage of sweet and savoury. Standout recipes include split pea and lamb stew; duck with walnuts and pomegranate; and saffron rice pudding.


CH E F ! WHAT TO MAKE AND HOW TO MAKE IT, DIRECT FROM OUR FAVOURITE FOODIES

H I G H L I G H T S

PLEASANT PHEASANT This bird gets a roasting Page 24

CREATE A STIR

With a quick and tasty Pad Thai Page 26 I am not a pheasant plucker, I’m a pheasant plucker’s son. I am only plucking pheasants till the pheasant plucker comes…

GOURD BLIMEY

Getting creative with courgettes Page 30

P L U S

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THE TEMPEH’S RISING

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C H E F !

BIRD IS ThE wORd AS WE HEAD INTO GAME SEASON, JACK GILBEY PUTS PHEASANT CENTRE STAGE

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Jack Gilbey is the head chef of The Blue Boar, Witney – Oakman Inn’s stunning Cotswold site, perfectly situated in the middle of rolling scenery. This is Jack's first appointment as head chef, having rapidly worked his way up the ranks, honing his skills and style along the way. The core of his current menu has strong Mediterranean influences, using the best of British meats and sourcing the freshest produce. He thrives on creating a range of daily specials to run alongside this menu to suit the season, and on adding a playful twist to firm favourites which thoroughly reflect his personality in the kitchen.

ROASTED PHEASANT BREASTS WITH PICKLED MUSHROOMS IN RED WINE VINAIGRETTE SERVES 4

INGREDIENTS For the pickled mushrooms in red wine vinaigrette: 5 tbsps olive oil 100g mixed fresh wild mushrooms, cleaned and sliced 1 clove garlic, crushed ½ tsp coriander seeds, lightly crushed 1 tsp caster sugar 25ml walnut oil or hazelnut oil 1 tsp Dijon mustard 1 tbsp red wine vinegar (Cabernet red wine vinegar, if possible) 1 bay leaf sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper For the roasted pheasant breasts: 1 tbsp unsalted butter 4 boneless (skin on) pheasant breasts (90-120g each) finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon For the griddled leeks and the mushroom purée: 2 thin leeks, trimmed and washed (140-200g trimmed weight) 1 tbsp olive oil 1 tbsp unsalted butter 100g chestnut mushrooms, sliced 50ml dry sherry 50ml double cream a sprig of fresh thyme, leaves only 150g kale, stalks removed, to serve METHOD 1 Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6. 2 Next, make the pickled mushrooms. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a small saucepan, add the mushrooms, garlic and coriander seeds, then cover and sweat over a medium heat for about 5 minutes or until the mushrooms have wilted. Make sure they don’t take on any colour. 3 Remove the pan from the heat and add the caster sugar, nut oil, red wine vinegar, bay leaf, remaining olive oil and seasoning. 4 Mix well and then transfer to a covered container. 5 Set aside at room temperature to allow the flavours to develop, while you prepare the rest of the dish.

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6 Meanwhile, prepare the griddled leeks. Cut the leeks to the length of your serving plates, making the cut at the leaf (top) end, rather than at the base. 7 Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a rapid boil over a high heat. Add the whole leeks and cook for 4-5 minutes or until tender, then drain and cut the leeks in half lengthways. 8 Preheat a ridged griddle pan over a high heat until very hot. 9 Season the leeks with salt and pepper and drizzle with the olive oil. Griddle the seasoned leeks for about 1 minute on each side, or until grill marks appear, turning once. 10 Remove from the heat and keep warm until you are ready to serve. 11 To make the mushroom purée, melt the butter in a non-stick frying pan and, once it starts to foam, add the chestnut mushrooms and salt and pepper and sauté over a high heat for about 6 minutes, or until golden brown. 12 Add the sherry to the pan and let the liquid bubble, stirring and scraping the base of the pan with a wooden spoon to deglaze it, then boil rapidly over a high heat for about 2 minutes or until the liquid becomes syrupy but has not completely evaporated. 13 Stir in the cream and thyme leaves, then bring the mixture to a gentle simmer for 30 seconds. 14 Remove from the heat, carefully transfer the mixture to a blender and blend to form a smooth purée, then return the purée to the pan and reheat gently. 15 To roast the pheasant breasts, melt the butter in a non-stick frying pan and, once it is foaming, place the breasts, skin-side down, in the pan and fry over a high heat for 2 minutes. 16 Flip the breasts over and fry them for a further 2 minutes, or until golden brown. 17 Transfer the pheasant breasts to a roasting tin and roast in the oven for about 8 minutes, or until the skin is crispy. 18 Remove from the oven, then sprinkle the lemon zest and juice over the pheasant. Leave the pheasant breasts to rest for 5 minutes, then slice each one just before serving. 19 When you are ready to serve, blanch the kale in a pan of boiling salted water for about 1 minute or until tender, then drain. 20 Drain the pickled mushrooms, reserving the red wine vinaigrette. 21 To serve, spoon the warm mushroom purée onto serving plates. Place a leek half and a portion of kale on to each plate, then place a sliced pheasant breast on top of each leek half. Scatter over the drained pickled mushrooms and serve immediately with a good drizzle of the red wine vinaigrette. blueboarwitney.co.uk

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Pad it OUt

FRESH, VERSATILE, QUICK AND TASTY, THIS RECIPE FROM THOMAS CURTIS TICKS ALL THE BOXES

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C H E F !

MA R C B A RK E R A N D M E Z E P U B L ISH IN G

Thomas Curtis is head chef at The White Hart in Minster Lovell. This recipe is taken from his new cookbook Whipped & Charred, which was written in tribute to his late father. “He was always supportive of, and passionate about, my career in the food industry,” Thomas says, “and proceeds from the book will be donated to the British Heart Foundation and MIND. “I love this recipe because it’s so versatile, fresh and easy to prepare. And it's a great one to use as a base for similar dishes! Change the veggies around or even add some fillet steak, lean pork or some wonderful game meats – such as duck, rabbit loin or venison – for a more meaty, decadent meal.” Whipped & Charred is available to buy from The White Hart, or via thewhitehartminster.co.uk.

PAD THAI NOODLES WITH TOFU SERVES 2

INGREDIENTS 2 tsp tamarind paste 2 tsp rice wine vinegar 30g palm sugar, grated 2 limes 1 tsp fish sauce, optional 130g flat rice noodles 1 tsp sesame oil 3 tbsp groundnut oil 1 small red onion, sliced 1 clove garlic, sliced 1 red chilli, deseeded and sliced 4 spring onions, large slices 1 small carrot, fine julienne strips 1 egg, beaten 50g unsalted peanuts, shelled 20g thai basil, chopped 100g firm tofu, cut into 2cm x 2cm chunks 80g bean sprouts 20g coriander, chopped 20g sesame seeds

METHOD 1 To make the tamarind sauce, mix the tamarind paste, rice wine vinegar, palm sugar, the juice of one lime and the fish sauce (if using) in a small bowl. Stir until the sugar dissolves and set aside. 2 Cook the noodles according to the cooking instructions, and then place into cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain and toss with the sesame oil. 3 Ensure all your ingredients are prepared, then place in front of you. Heat a large wok up with 2 tbsp of groundnut oil until it's smoking hot. (Remember turn your extractor fans up full, and crack open a window!) 4 When ready, quickly add the red onion, garlic, chilli, spring onion and carrot. Toss to keep the vegetables moving, and cook for two minutes. 5 Remove using a slotted spoon and reserve on a piece of paper towel on a plate. 6 Add another spoon of oil into the wok, pour in the beaten egg and cook for 30 seconds (working the egg gently) until firm and scrambled. 7 Add in the peanuts and thai basil, then add the reserved vegetable mix back to the pan. Toss well, then add in the tofu, noodles, beansprouts and tamarind sauce. 8 Continue to cook for another 3-4 minutes, tossing all the time to evenly cook and combine the flavours. 9 Divide the mixture between two warm bowls and top with a wedge of half a lime, sesame seeds and chopped coriander. thewhitehartminster.co.uk

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C H E F !

Eating in harmony with the seasons is an important feature of macrobiotic cooking, and as we approach the end of the summer we need to start including more warming foods in our diet. This recipe is good in spring or autumn, and is a delicious new take on a traditional favourite. Here we are using tempeh as an alternative protein source, but the recipe works equally well with steamed white fish, tofu or prawns, depending on your individual preference. The sweetness in this recipe comes from barley malt extract and apple juice concentrate, which add a subtle mellow flavour. Reportedly high in B vitamins and minerals, malt extract is a healthy alternative to refined sugar and has a strong, deep flavour that works particularly well in this recipe. Tempeh is a traditional Indonesian food, now widely available throughout Europe from specialist whole food retailers. It’s made from fermented soybeans and has a texture similar to a firm vegetarian burger. It is low in fat and rich in protein and calcium, making it a great food to include in a vegetarian or vegan diet. It’s quick and easy to use, and can be added to stews and stir-fries or easily turned into vegetarian burgers. Traditionally used as a method of preserving food, fermentation enhances the nutrient content of foods, producing a rich cocktail of vitamins, enzymes and probiotic bacteria. Fermentation also increases the availability of vitamins and minerals so that our bodies can absorb them better. Including fermented foods in your diet on a regular basis aids digestion and supports the immune system.

Up the tempeh

MACROBIOTIC COOK AND COUNSELLOR CELIA DUPLOCK HAS SHARED THIS WARMING RECIPE, JUST RIGHT FOR THE TRANSITION INTO AUTUMN

SWEET AND SOUR TEMPEH SERVES 3-4

INGREDIENTS 200g of fresh or frozen tempeh (defrosted, if using frozen) 2 tbsp sesame oil For the stock: 150ml water 2 tbsp Shoyu 1 clove of garlic, peeled 1cm ginger root, peeled 2cm strip of dried Kombu (kelp) For the sauce: 1 clove of garlic 1 medium onion, finely sliced 1 large carrot, cut into small matchsticks 75g sweet red pepper, in fine slices 1 tbsp sesame oil 1 pinch of salt 1 tbsp fresh ginger juice 2 tbsp Shoyu 1tbsp barley malt 1 tbsp apple concentrate 1 tbsp brown rice vinegar 2 tsps arrowroot, Kuzu or cornflower, mixed with 1 tbsp cold water METHOD 1 Put the tempeh and the stock ingredients in a small pan, bring to the boil and simmer gently for 20 minutes. Allow the tempeh to sit in the stock whilst preparing the sauce. 2 In a frying pan, sauté the onion in 1 tbsp oil with a pinch of salt until just soft. Add the carrot and pepper and fry for a few more minutes. Add the additional sauce ingredients and enough stock to cover the vegetables. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes. 3 Mix the arrowroot with around 1 tbsp of water until it is a pouring consistency, then add to the pan to thicken the sauce. 4 Remove the tempeh from the stock and dry it off with kitchen paper. Cut into 1” chunks or small slices. Fry the chunks or slices in 2 tbsp sesame oil on both sides, until it turns brown and crispy. 5 Add the tempeh to the sauce and cook gently for a further 5 minutes. 6 Serve with wholegrain rice and fresh, steamed vegetables.

Celia is running a Fermentation Workshop at the Organic Farm Shop in Cirencester on Wednesday, November 1. Celia also offers macrobiotic consultations, food coaching, menu planning and cooking lessons for individuals in their own homes or for small groups by appointment. For further information, please visit cotswoldmacrobiotics.com. To contact Celia, please telephone 07831 342214 or email enquiries@cotswold-macrobiotics.com.

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C H E F !

Veg Out

GET sTUffed BLOGGER, PRIVATE CHEF AND KEEN KITCHEN GARDENER KATHY SLACK TELLS YOU WHAT TO GROW AND HOW TO COOK IT. THIS MONTH SHE’S CONTINUING HER LOVE AFFAIR WITH COURGETTES

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c

ome October, it’s all too tempting to pull up the draw-bridge, open the cocoa and hide under a duvet until Christmas. Summer is over. Gone. Wrong! So warm and wet was the growing season this year, that the late summer harvests just keep on coming. And the hardier of the crops, like courgettes, will continue to keep on coming until a proper frost finishes them off. If you’re growing somewhere sheltered, such as a walled garden, then that could be as late as November. So don’t dig them up and put the veg patch to bed just get, because there’s still life in the old beans (or courgette) yet! Here on my neighbour – The Benevolent Farmer Brown’s – smallholding, where I grow my vegetables, the courgette glut is still in full swing. Inevitably, then, we still are eating courgettes with every meal at the moment. I’m ready for the autumnal flavours of pumpkin, beetroot and celeriac. But the patch has other ideas. I might even be forced to try courgette breakfast smoothies. (But not yet; one has limits…) Also bountiful (though not quite as effortless as the courgettes) are the Benevolent Farmer Brown’s lamb supplies. His latest flock, which until recently has watched me quizzically whilst I weed, is now ‘processed’ (I believe this is euphemism favoured by delicate butchers) and ready for eating. There’s a certain solemnity to this departure on the farm, and more than a little soul-searching when I come to cook with his lamb. But it was reared with love, killed humanely, and I reckon that if I can eat it with respect and care then I’ve done right by the flock. Besides, it’s probably a good thing to come face to face with the moral complexities of meat eating sometimes. It stops us from getting complacent.

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 is a private chef and supper club host and also offers in-home cookery classes. This recipe is from her seasonal blog which you can subscribe to at glutsandgluttony.com/blog. Twitter and Instagram: @gluts_gluttony

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LAMB WITh COURGETTES SERVES 2

So, for supper we shall celebrate the apparently endless bounty of the farm: the gorgeous lambs which grew side by side with the abundant courgettes. There’s no beating it. INGREDIENTS 2 large courgettes slug olive oil 300g lamb mince ½ red onion, chopped 2 cloves of garlic, crushed. 1 tbsp fresh oregano 3 tomatoes (or 8 cherry tomatoes) 50g feta METHOD 1 Pre-heat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6. 2 Cut the courgettes in half lengthways and scoop out the seeds from the middle to create 4 courgette boats. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Pop them on a baking tray and roast in the oven for 20 minutes. 3 Meanwhile, brown the mince in a hot frying pan then remove with a slotted spoon and keep in a bowl to one side. 4 Turn the heat down, add a dash of olive oil to the same frying pan then sweat the onion and garlic for 5 minutes. 5 Return the mince to the pan then add the oregano, tomatoes and a splash of water (or red wine if you like). Allow the mixture to simmer for 15 minutes so it reduces to a thick, glossy sauce. Check the seasoning. 6 Once cooked, remove the courgettes from the oven. Stuff each cavity with the mince mixture, top with crumbled feta and return to the oven for a further 15-20 minutes. Serve immediately.

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Award winning Cotswold wines

Visit our Cellar Door in South Woodchester for a taste of our new release and award winning wines.

A family owned vineyard and winery located in the South Cotswolds AONB Producing a variety of still white, rosÊ and sparkling wines from grapes handpicked and pressed at our Woodchester winery All wines are available to try and buy from our Cellar Door shop in South Woodchester Drop by or email us if you are interested in a tasting! We’re open Tues - Sat; 10am - 6pm Bath Road, GL5 5EY

info@woodchestervalleyvineyard.co.uk

www.woodchestervalleyvineyard.co.uk


A Revolution in Your Kitchen Miele’s advanced technology in baking and roasting can transform your cooking results. With Pyrolytic or PerfectClean as standard, Miele also offer a raft of functions to ensure excellent results. MoisturePlus ensures an incredibly light dough and nicely browned crust. The Wireless Food probe means the days of constantly checking your roast are over. Miele ovens start from £599, discover more in your local Miele Centre in Evesham.

54 Cheltenham Road, Evesham, WR11 2JZ | 01386 76 59 59 | www.thevalegroup.com


Choose your weapons It’s weird, isn’t it? I hate it when a cup of hot coffee goes cold – I won’t drink it – but cold brewed coffee is a very different thing. That’s because it’s smooth and chilly and perfect for summer – especially the hot, people-packed summers of New York – but not at all watery or bitter. (At least, not if you do it right.) And it’s a million times better than your basic iced coffee – which is just regular filter coffee poured over ice – or the big coffee chain versions, which are sweetened to within an inch of their lives. It doesn’t get as hot here as New York, though, so cold brewed coffee does seem more an affectation than a survival essential… That’s true, which is why we should enjoy it for its other pleasures too. A good cold brewed coffee, you see, is rich in flavour, subtle in its sweetness, and utterly refreshing – and its secret is that it’s steeped in cold water from the start, not brewed hot then cooled down with ice. Traditional iced coffee is made hot, fast and very strong – so the taste can survive dilution with all that frozen water – but this is a process that also makes it horribly bitter; cold brew is different, its gentler infusion process taking up to 24 hours and keeping the acidity low throughout, leaving it sweeter. And because it’s already cold, you don’t need to serve it with much – or even any – ice, meaning there’s little dilution going on. It’s just coffee, though, so surely it’s easy enough to make at home? Indeed, and without extreme barista skills too; all you really need are coarse coffee grounds, cold water, a big jar, a big bowl, a sieve, some paper towels – and the patience to wait overnight for your brew. It’s possible to make it using your regular cafetière, too. So what do I need this thing for? I was about to say! Basically, the KitchenAid Artisan Cold Brew Coffee Maker is a way to make everything easier for yourself, reducing the process to three simple steps: grind, brew and pour. It steeps your coffee in cold water for at least 12 hours, and up to 24 (though over-steeping can result in the bitter flavours we’re trying to avoid), giving smooth,

BeST SeRved COLd

THE JAPANESE AND AMERICANS HAVE LONG SAID THAT COFFEE, LIKE REVENGE, IS BEST SERVED COLD. NOW, RECKONS MATT BIELBY, KITCHENAID HAS COME UP WITH A EASY WAY FOR US TO ENJOY ITS UNIQUE MELLOW QUALITIES TOO… balanced results every time. There’s no need to drink it all at once either, as – unlike regular coffee – the low acidity means it will keep in the fridge for weeks, actually saving you time each morning. Since it’s by KitchenAid, it’s pretty cool looking too, right? Yes, and solidly made – all stainless steel and chunky glass – as well as easy to clean and small enough to fit easily on a fridge shelf (or even in the door rack). From the fill guideline mark to the reusable stainless steel steeper for custom brewing, it’s designed to make the whole process as fool-proof as possible. Oh, and it’s surprisingly cheap, too.

Remortgage the house cheap, right? Not so; you can pick one up for £129. Not much, considering how cold brewing drags all the flavour (and, yes, all the caffeine) from your beans, but leaves behind everything that can make coffee sour. And if the weather turns (and it’s likely to, let’s face it), you can just warm your cold brew up in the microwave for the perfect hot cup, less bitter yet more caffeinated than normal filter coffee. You may have discovered your new morning pick-me-up. The KitchenAid Artisan Cold Brew Coffee Maker costs £129; find yours at KitchenAid stockists like Steamer Trading in Cirencester or branches of Debenhams; kitchenaid.co.uk

THIS MONTH • GAME TIME • BRIGHT ORANGE • BOAR’S NO BORE

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THE OLD PASSAGE the seafood restaurant beside the river severn Only 20 minutes from J13 on the M5 but you could have been transported to another world. Situated on the banks of the Severn overlooking the Forest of Dean and the pretty town of Newnham on Severn. Oysters and lobsters almost always available from our own holding tanks or the freshest fish delivered daily from Devon and Cornwall choose from simply the best fish and chips to dover sole.

Lunch 12noon to 2.00pm, Dinner 7.00pm to 9.00pm Passage Road, Arlingham, Gloucestershire, GL2 7JR T: 01452 740547 • W: theoldpassage.com • E: oldpassage@btconnect.com


C R U M B S

C O O K S

W I T H

GOt GaMe

KUBA WINKOWSKI, HEAD CHEF AT THE FEATHERED NEST, INVITED US ROUND TO HIS GAFF TO JOIN IN A BIT OF A COOKING SESH WITH HIS FAMILY. IT SOUNDED LIKE FUN, SO OFF WE WENT TO BOURTON-ON-THE-WATER TO SEE WHAT HAPPENS IN A CHEF’S KITCHEN WHEN HE’S OFF DUTY… WORDS: EMMA DANCE PHOTOGRAPHS: ANDREW CALLAGHAN

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C R U M B S

C O O K S

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hen Polish-born Kuba Winkowski first rocked up in England 13 years ago, he had no idea that he’d end up as head chef in an awesome restaurant in the Cotswolds. For a start, he’d only initially planned to stay for a few months. And, on top of that, he had absolutely no training as a chef. One thing he did have, however, was a degree in financial management. And he also knew that financial management was not something he wanted to pursue. “Back then, in Poland, becoming a chef wasn’t really seen as a career,” Kuba explains. “I always liked cooking, though, and I started at home when I was quite young. My mum wasn’t a very good cook, so I used to cook for myself just to eat something more interesting! My dad was good, however, but he was a ship’s captain and was away six or seven months a year. Becoming a cook was seen as something that you did if you weren’t very academic, and my parents thought a proper education was important, so I went to university and took a course to make them happy really. I think they were hoping that, by the time I’d finished, my desire to cook would have gone away – but it didn’t. So, as soon as I finished my degree, I packed my bags and came to England. I didn’t even really know what I was looking for.” He might not have known what he was looking for, but he certainly found something. A catering course at Thanet College (now East Kent College), in fact. He enrolled – and the rest, as they say, is history. After stints at several top restaurants, including Raymond Blanc’s Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, around seven years ago Kuba landed a job as head chef at The Feathered Nest in Nether Westcote. Now he’s firmly settled in the Cotswolds with his wife, Magda (who also works at The Feathered Nest, but in the office rather than the kitchen), and their eight-year-old son, Jan, who’s enthusiastically lending a hand with all today’s culinary goings on.

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Also available for private party hire Bring your own alcohol with no corkage fee Mrs Massey can prepare a menu of your choice Unit 5 - 7 // Frampton Industrial Estate // Bridge Road Frampton on Severn // Gloucestershire // GL2 7HE www.mrsmasseysdeliciousdiner.com 01452 740016 // lovefrommrsmassey@icloud.com

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Let’s Talk Turkey About Christmas www.theolivetree-nailsworth.com 28 George Street, Nailsworth, Gloucestershire, GL6 0AG 01453 834802


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For us, Kuba is cooking up wild boar meatballs in a white sauce with tagliatelle –a dish which is an amalgamation of his love of game meat, his Polish heritage, and his son’s passion for pasta. “Magda’s mother used to cook her meatballs in white sauce, but in Poland we’d usually eat it with mashed potatoes,” Kuba says. “Jan loves pasta, though, so I’ve made it a bit of a hybrid.” “Meatballs in sauce is one of the few things I can cook,” admits Magda. “I like to eat, but cooking is really not my thing. I’m good at cleaning, though!” She does, however, get involved in the kitchen today, helping Jan to double pod a pile of broad beans and dice some veg. “I don’t usually cook when Kuba is here,” Magda whispers conspiratorially. “The thing is, I never do it up to his standards.” “Have we done it okay, chef?” she asks Kuba, teasingly, presenting her and Jan’s handiwork, and when he replies, “It will have to do,” she laughs. “See?” she says. “Jan is more helpful than I am!” Kuba’s passion for game cooking really began when he joined the team at The Feathered Nest, and over the years the restaurant has gained something of a reputation for specialising in game meat. “My love of game really just came from being here in the Cotswolds, and experiencing all the wonderful produce that’s around us here,” he explains, as he sits side-by-side with Jan to roll the seasoned wild boar into meatballs. “Also, the owner of The Feathered Nest lived in South Africa for most of his life, so he’s big on game and he encouraged me to get more into it. It all went from there, really. Now we serve game almost exclusively.” The wild boar he has today came from the Forest of Dean, apparently. “I really like it at this time of year,” he says, “when the younger, suckling boars are around. It’s easier to use the whole animal when they’re a bit smaller, and they’re more tender and the flavour isn’t too gamey.

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C R U M B S

“Because boar is such a lean meat, as they get older they get tougher and the flavour gets much stronger. That’s why it’s more often cooked slowly, like in a ragu or something. When wild boar is young, though, it’s really just like a good quality pork. “I like to use wild boar because there are not many places where you can get it. It’s hard to be original these days, but I don’t think there are many restaurants serving proper wild boar, so it hits the spot. When I appeared on Saturday Kitchen a couple of years ago, I did wild boar too.” Despite this TV appearance, chasing the limelight isn’t really Kuba’s style, and he’s much more comfortable in the kitchen than meeting and greeting. “Maybe I’m just too critical of myself, but I think it can be a bit fake when you go out into the dining room and ask people what they think, and everyone says, ‘Oh, it’s so lovely, it’s fantastic,’ and so on,” he says. “I mean, what else are they going to say? Even if they don’t like it, they are probably not going to say so to my face. And anyway, I’m not very good at taking the praise. “It’s good for the business, though, to get out there sometimes. When I did Saturday Kitchen, halfway through the show the phone just started ringing off the hook and the online bookings flooded in. We were pretty much fully booked then, from December 5 to the end of March. It was mad. In some ways it was good, but in other ways it was completely horrendous, because Christmas is a busy time of year anyway, and we hardly had enough staff to deal with everything.”

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“It took me a whole week just to answer all the emails,” chimes in Magda. “That’s pretty much all I did for the whole week!” So humble is Kuba, in fact, that it takes Magda to tell us, over the dessert of raspberry tart that Kuba – ably assisted by Jan – has effortlessly knocked up while we’ve been chatting, that her husband has reached the final of the National Chef of the Year competition. But even then, Kuba insists on playing down the achievement. “It’s very flattering to be in such good company,” he says. “There are some top chefs there, from places like The Gordon Ramsay Group, L’Enclume, Lucknam Park, Dabbous… Really, though, I’m doing it for the networking opportunities. Because we are quite remote, there’s not often the chance to mix with great chefs. It’s not like in London, where you have a whole load of great restaurants in one street. I’m just looking at it as a chance to get out there and make new connections, and to cook for the panel of judges, which is made up of some of the best chefs in the country.” Kuba can say what he likes, though. There’s no doubt that this is a chef that’s got some serious game.

HAND ROLLED TAGLIATELLE, FOREST OF DEAN WILD BOAR MEAT BALLS, WHITE SAUCE AND PARMESAN (SERVES 4)

INGREDIENTS For the pasta: 300g ‘00’ pasta flour 4g salt 220g egg yolks (around 11 eggs) 10g extra virgin olive oil

For the meatballs: 300g wild boar mince (or free range pork) 40g onion, finely diced 30g breadcrumbs 1 egg 8g salt 1g black pepper 15g parsley, chopped olive oil, for frying For the sauce: 20g plain flour 200g chicken stock 300g whipping cream salt and pepper to taste olive oil, to garnish 50g broad beans, blanched and shelled 50g peas 50g runner beans, sliced 50g courgette, diced parsley, finely chopped, to garnish Parmesan, grated, to garnish METHOD For the pasta: 1 Place the pasta flour and salt in a blender. 2 Pour the egg yolk and olive oil into the flour while the motor is running. 3 Mix well until well combined, and the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. 4 Take it out, put it on the work top and knead for few minutes, until the mixture comes together to form a dough. 5 Wrap the dough in cling film and rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. 6 Take the dough out of the fridge about 20 minutes before rolling.

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7 Roll into sheets to number 2 on a pasta machine, and cut into tagliatelle. 8 Dust with flour to prevent sticking, and then set aside. For the meatballs and sauce: 1 Place all ingredient in the bowl and mix well. 2 Check for seasoning by frying little piece of meat and tasting, then roll into small balls. 3 Heat a little olive oil in a frying pan, then add the meatballs. 4 Fry the meatballs until they are nicely browned, then remove from the pan. Leave all the juices in the pan. 5 Add flour to the pan that you used to cook the meatballs, mix with a spatula, and cook out for few minutes. 6 Add the chicken stock and bring to the boil, stirring continuously until it has thickened. 7 Add the creams and season to taste, then return to the boil and simmer for three minutes. 8 When the sauce is ready, return the meatballs to the pan and mix until coated. Cook on a gentle heat for about 10 minutes. 9 In the meantime, boil water, and season and quickly blanch all vegetables until just cooked. 10 Remove the vegetables from the water, bring the water back to the boil, add the pasta and cook for about 2 minutes. 11 When the pasta is cooked, add it, along with the vegetables, to the pan with the meatballs and sauce, along with a little of the cooking water. This is to give the sauce a smooth, glossy consistency. 12 Plate in pasta bowls and finish with chopped parsley, grated Parmesan and extra virgin olive oil.


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 | info@jessesbistro.co.uk

www.jessesbistro.co.uk ab


K I T C H E N

A R M O U R Y

The Want List

WELL, ORANGE YOU HAPPY WE’VE FOUND THESE BITS OF KIT TO BRIGHTEN UP YOUR KITCHEN?

1 2 3 4 5

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1 KITCHENAID ARTISAN STAND MIXER IN TANGERINE £549 Is a kitchen really a kitchen without a KitchenAid? Not only is this stand mixer versatile and easy to use, but it also comes in 22 different colours, including this rather wonderful shade of orange. You can buy one from L’Una Design in Cheltenham. kitchenaid.co.uk 2 PELEG DESIGN YOLKFISH EGG SEPARATOR £12.50 There’s plenty of fish in the sea, but nothing like this sliplip silicon phenomenon, which knows how to split the egg yolk from the white. (Who knew separating eggs could be so much fun?) Pick yours up from Cotswold Trading in Broadway. cotswoldtrading.com 3 JOSEPH JOSEPH HANDI-GRATE £15 Slicing your fingers on the grater will be a thing of the past thanks to this nifty little gadget. A grater and mandolin in one, it makes grating and slicing smaller foods like garlic, ginger and radishes an absolute breeze. Get yours from Lakeland in Cheltenham. josephjoseph.com 4 LE CREUSET STONEWARE CAFETIÈRE IN VOLCANIC £55 Take your coffee in colour with this cafetière. Not only will it make an ace cup of Joe, but it’s hardy enough to last a lifetime. Buy one (and the rest of the collection if the mood takes you) from Gloucester Designer Outlet Village or Broadway Cookshop. lecreuset.co.uk 5 KITCHENCRAFT HALLOWEEN BAKING PAN £6.99 You’ll be cooking up some frightfully good treats this Halloween thanks to this silicon baking pan. Use it to make cakes, jellies – or even ice! All of the treats, none of the tricks, then. Find yours at Steamer Trading in Witney. steamer.co.uk


A PLACE TO EAT WITH FRIENDS & FAMILY

Come and choose your spice and let us do the rest! With a selection of different flavourings, you can go hot or extremely mild, and finish of with one of our great desserts! Now open six days a week (Tuesday - Sunday). The Loaded Grill, 37 Castle Street, Cirencester GL7 1QD Tel: 01285 641195 Email: info@loadedgrill.co.uk

www.loadedgrill.co.uk


M AI N S TOP CULINARY CAUSES, FAB FOOD DESTINATIONS & PEOPLE THAT MATTER

No, it’s not too early to start planning for Christmas!

O V E R

T H E

P A G E

GET THE PARTY STARTED Great venues for your Crimbo shindig Page 49

PAGE TURNERS

All the foodie happs from the Cheltenham Lit Fest Page 56 INCLUDING

27 PARTY POSSIBIILITIES

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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 reservations@innatfossebridge.co.uk

www.fossebridgeinn.co.uk

The Inn for All Seasons, is a former 16th century coaching inn set in the heart of the Cotswolds. A warm and friendly hotel with a relaxed bar and a renowned restaurant offering the best of British and local produce including the freshest fish sourced directly from Devon and Cornwall. The Inn offers comfortable en-suite accommodation, free parking & dogs are welcome.

The Inn for All Seasons | Little Barrington | Burford | Oxfordshire | OX18 4TN T: 01451 844324 | W: www.theinnforallseasons.co.uk THE INN IS NOW OPEN 7 DAYS PER WEEK FROM 8AM – 10PM


WINNER, WINNER CHRISTMAS DINNER WE’VE ROUNDED UP SOME OF THE FINEST FESTIVE FEASTS AVAILABLE IN THE COTSWOLDS…

THE ANGEL AT BURFORD BURFORD

If small, intimate parties are your thing, then this cosy Cotswolds pub is your place. It’s serving a three-course seasonal menu this Crimbo season, and there’s a private dining room for up to 18 people available, too. When: December 1-30 (closed Christmas Day and Boxing Day). Price: £24.95 for three courses. theangelatburford.co.uk

BISLEY HOUSE

STROUD Whether you just want a festive meal out with a couple of family and friends, or a

full-on seasonal shindig, Bisley House can oblige. Pop in for a two-course lunch or three-course dinner (dishes include ham and cheese croquettes, slow braised beef with Bourguignon garnish, and chocolate and salted caramel tart with Bourbon ice cream), or just hire the whole place. It can accommodate 50 diners, or 80 if you go for something more informal with canapés or a buffet. The friendly team will make sure the whole event goes with a bang by catering for any menu, music and cocktail requests. When: Throughout December. Price: £20 for a two-course lunch, or £25 for a three-course dinner. bisleyhousecafe.co.uk

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BLUE BOAR WITNEY

This traditional pub has put together a couple of rather tasty looking party packages for you to pick between this Yuletide. The standard Christmas party menu gives you a sharing platter to start and mains options of pork belly or salmon and pumpkin ravioli, as well as trad turkey, while puds on offer include the classic Crimbo pud, chocolate brownie, and passionfruit and lemon curd meringue mess. Go for the premium option and you can start with beetroot gravadlax, shallot tarte tatin, then munch mains including sea bass cooked over coals or marinated lamb rack, and enjoy


hot chocolate orange fondant and pear and almond tart for pud. Take note, though: these menus are only available if pre-booked. When: From the end of November. Price: The Christmas party menu is £30 per person, and the premium option £38 each. blueboarwitney.co.uk

the fire with a cocktail. Totes your choice. When: 12pm to 3pm, Monday to Saturday from December 1-31 (excluding Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Eve). Price: £17 for two courses, £20 for three. cotswold-inns-hotels.co.uk /the-broadway-hotel/

THE BROADWAY HOTEL

THE CLOSE HOTEL

BROADWAY With beautiful little indie boutiques and fairy light-filled trees on the green, there is nowhere better than Broadway for a spot of Christmas shopping! All the present buying is sure to work up an appetite, though, so refuel and recharge with a festive lunch at The Broadway Hotel. After a spot of turkey – or maybe hake with peas and herb risotto, grilled peppers and sauce verge – you’ll be ready to hit the shops again. Or you could just sit by

TETBURY In addition to a seasonal lunch, this year this cosy Tetbury hotel is offering a festive afternoon tea. Tuck into traditional finger sandwiches, freshly baked plain and fruit scones with Cotswold clotted cream and strawberry jam, chocolate yule log, spiced gingerbread cake, orange and chocolate madeleines and black forest sundae with tea, coffee or mulled wine. Sounds good, doesn't it? And if you’re in need of a space to host a gathering, why not ask about hiring out the Cloisters Room? When: December 1-23. Price: Lunch (available Monday to Saturday) is £15.95 for two courses or £18.95 for three. The festive afternoon tea is £16.95 per person. cotswold-inns-hotels.co.uk/the-close-hotel

COGGES KITCHEN

Top right: Tired of turkey? Try ravioli at the Blue Boar. Above: Imagine this (it’s Cogges Kitchen) but with loads of festive decs. Nice, no? Left: There’s nothing like a few fairy lights in trees to add some Christmas cheer, as The Broadway Hotel knows only too well.

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WITNEY Book your party at the Cogges Kitchen before October 31 and you’ll get a 10% discount – sounds good, right? And it gets even better when you look at the menu. With starters including garlic and thyme wild mushrooms on toast, and ginger and chilli king prawns, plus roast turkey with all the trimmings and salmon en papillote for mains and a rather interesting sounding orange and parsnip pud among the afters on offer, you can be sure of a proper festive feast. To make it even more special, the beautiful medieval barn will be decked out in gorgeous decorations, and it’s available for private hire, too. The menu’s only available if it’s prebooked though, so reserve your place pronto. When: November 13-January 7. Price: £23.95 for two courses, £27.95 for three. coffeesmithwitney.com

CORINIUM HOTEL & RESTAURANT CIRENCESTER

Raise a glass to the festive season at this Cirencester venue. Their seasonal menu is in keeping with tradition, featuring dishes such as vegetable soup or chicken and pork terrine for starters, mains of turkey (natch!) or braised rump steak, and Christmas pudding or profiteroles for afters. When: Monday to Saturday, November 24-December 30. Price: Lunch is £16.25 for two courses or £21.25 for three, and dinner is £19.75 for two or £24.75 for three (all including coffee). coriniumhotel.co.uk


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party space, big enough for up to 45 people to dine and dance! And if you want to stay the night, then there are rooms available, too. When: A special offer on accommodation is available from December 1-23. cotswolds-country-pub-hotel.co.uk

JESSE’S BISTRO

COTSWOLD HOUSE HOTEL

CHIPPING CAMPDEN Expect some seasonal twists on the usual menus at Cotswold House Hotel’s two dining venues – Fig, and Bistro on the Square – throughout December. If you’re looking to host a party, though, then they can help with that too, with the Montrose Suite offering a stylish and versatile space. The kitchen team will be whipping up dishes like parsnip and apple soup, terrine of Gloucestershire Old Spot, turkey with bacon, orange and cranberry, pan-fried sea bream and crème brulée with cinnamon shortbread. Price: The Christmas party menu costs £32 per person, or £37.50 with a disco thrown in! bespokehotels.com/cotswoldhouse

DE VERE COTSWOLD WATER PARK

CIRENCESTER Jesse’s Bistro is a popular spot come Yuletide – and with festive dishes like roast breast of duck, thyme-roasted potatoes, chestnut and cranberry stuffing, root vegetables, sprouts and pan gravy, or butternut squash risotto, Parmesan crisp, sage mascarpone and spiced pumpkin seeds, coming out of the kitchen, it’s easy to see why. The cosy restaurant is available for parties throughout December; just make sure you call to book! When: Throughout December. jessesbistro.co.uk festive afternoon tea instead, which includes turkey and stuffing sandwiches, mulled wine trifle and walnut and cranberry scones, not to mention Champagne punch, so you’ll still get all the Christmassy flavours. When: Festive lunches are available Monday to Saturday from December 1 until December 23. The festive afternoon tea is available from December 1 until January 7. Price: Lunch costs £18 for two courses or £20 for three. Afternoon tea is £30 for two people. hatton-court.co.uk

THE INN AT FOSSEBRIDGE

FOSSEBRIDGE There are not one, but two private dining spaces to choose from at this charming pub. The Coln Room can seat up to 16 on one large table, while The Parlour seats up to 21 on three separate tables. There’s also a private

SOUTH CERNEY They’ve got this Crimbo party thing nailed at the De Vere Cotswold Water Park, with a bunch of different options to cater for parties of all sizes. The one thing they all have in common? Some pretty lush-sounding food, and entertainment to keep the festivities going all evening. And there are plenty of bedrooms available too, so there’s no need to worry about how you’re getting home at the end of the evening! When: December 1-16. Price: From £28 per person. deverecotswoldwaterpark.co.uk

HATTON COURT

GLOUCESTER You could go for the full traditional festive fayre in the Tara restaurant at this Gloucester hotel (and with the seasonal menu coming in at a pretty reasonable £18 for two courses or £20 for three, Monday to Saturday, it’s certainly pretty tempting!). Or, you could try something a bit different and chow down on a

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KINGS HEAD HOTEL

CIRENCESTER Whatever the size of your party, there’s a place for you at this stylish venue in the centre of Ciren. Parties up to eight can chow down on a festive menu in the dining room, and for bigger groups there are loads of cool spaces for private dining, from the wine cellar (which seats eight) to the grand Corn Hall, which can hold up to 300 – and plenty in between! Menus include starters like salt-baked beetroot and goats’ cheese mousse, roast turkey or poached fillet of sea trout for mains, and a yummy-sounding pud of lemon posset with Italian meringue. When: Throughout December. Price: Festive lunch in the restaurant is £22 and dinner is £29 (both are three courses, plus a mince pie and tea or coffee). Private party menus start at £25 per person. kingshead-hotel.co.uk


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LOADED GRILL

CIRENCESTER There’s none of your traditional turkey on offer at this peri peri and burger joint. What there are, though, are platters of spicy chicken, banging burgers and an epic dessert selection – which are all pretty ace ingredients for a party, if you ask us! When: All the time! loadedgrill.co.uk

LUCKNAM PARK

COLERNE Super-talented executive chef Hywel Jones is working his magic in the kitchens this festive season, and putting together a menu using the freshest and best local produce he can lay his hands on. The eponymous restaurant boasts a Michelin star, so you can be pretty sure that you’ll be getting something special. While you’re there, why not give yourself an early Crimbo present by booking into the sumptuous country house for the night? When: Throughout December. Price: £42 for lunch or £62 for dinner (both three courses). lucknampark.co.uk

When: Monday to Saturday, December 1-23. Price: Lunch is £18.50 for two courses or £21.50 for three. The Christmas Dinner Party menu is £29.95, and includes a mince pie with tea or coffee. cotswold-inns-hotels.co.uk/ the-manor-house-hotel/

THE MAYTIME INN

ASTHALL There may not be anywhere quite as perfect for a festive get-together as a quintessentially English Cotswolds pub – like The Maytime, for example. Throughout December they’re offering a traditional feast (think the likes of smoked salmon and chicken liver parfait starters; turkey and trimmings, venison and braised shin of beef for mains; and Christmas pudding or mulled fruits for afters) for parties of eight or more. If you’re a large party, then the attractive glass-roofed garden room,

THE LYGON ARMS

BROADWAY Head to the Lygon Arms for some festivitea (sorry, not sorry) this winter. The team has created a special Christmas-themed afternoon tea made up of such delicious morsels as sandwiches, warm scones with jam and clotted cream, and festive cakes and pastries – including mince pies, natch. When: November 23-December 23. Price: £25 per person, or £35 including a glass of fizz. lygonarmshotel.co.uk

MAGNOLIA BRASSERIE AT SUDBURY HOUSE

FARINGDON The festive feasting at Sudbury House’s Magnolia Brasserie kicks off at the start of December. Dishes on offer include starters like crayfish and smoked salmon ballotine with saffron fennel and caviar crème fraiche or game terrine, mains of traditional turkey and trimmings or Windsor pork belly, and some rather delish sounding desserts – white chocolate and cranberry cheesecake with walnut praline ice cream, anyone? Booking is, of course, essential! When: From December 1. Tables available noon-2pm or 6.30pm-9pm. Price: £35 for two courses, or splash out five more pounds (so £40) for three. sudburyhouse.co.uk

THE MANOR HOUSE HOTEL MORETON-IN-MARSH

This charming Cotswolds Hotel is just the place for a Christmas chow down, with lunch and dinner menus running throughout December. Expect luxurious dishes like pork and apricot terrine, medallions of turkey and crispy duck egg with creamed truffle artichokes.

which seats up to 22, can be hired for groups of 14 or more. When: The festive party menu is available throughout December (not including Sunday lunch). Price: £19.50 for two courses, £24.50 for three courses. Add a glass of Prosecco on arrival for £4 per person. themaytime.com

THE MOUSETRAP

BOURTON-ON-THE-WATER Christmas at this recently refurbed joint will be kicking off from November 13. You can go all out tradish, or have yourself a Crimbo dinner with a twist, starring a chargrilled turkey burger in a brioche bun, topped with Camembert and cranberry sauce and served with pigs-in-blankets and chips seasoned with winter spices. Starters include spiced celeriac soup with sourdough, or refreshing sweet melon, passion fruit coulis and Prosecco sorbet, and there are pud options like orange and

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parsnip pudding soaked in ginger syrup with cinnamon ice cream, or chocolate cup filled with cardamom bread and ice cream and a mulled berry compote. If you’re planning a bigger party, then ask about using the breakfast room, which can seat up to 20. When: November 13-January 7. Price: Two courses for £23.95, or three for £27.95. There’s a 10% discount for parties and group bookings, Monday to Wednesday. themousetrapinn.co.uk

MR HANBURY’S MASON ARMS

SOUTH LEIGH The festive party menu at this recently opened country pile been inspired by the best seasonal produce on offer in the area – from locally sourced pheasant to foraged wild mushrooms and beetroot from the kitchen garden. If you’re, like, so over turkey, then you’ll be pleased to see that there’s no sign of


M A I N S

With this many totally fabulous venues and menus to choose from, you’ve absolutely no excuse not to organise yourself a truly epic seasonal celebration this year…

options, The Olive Tree can cater to all. The upstairs dining room is available for private parties up to 32 guests, and the expert team can work with you to ensure your party is everything you want it to be, and more! When: November 29-December 23. Price: From £13.99. theolivetree-nailsworth.com

THE OX CHELTENHAM

it here. Instead, tuck into the likes of pheasant Kiev or butternut and saffron croquettes. The quirky venue can also host private events for more sizeable knees-ups. This menu’s only available by pre-booking, though, so make sure you call ahead. When: December 1-24. Price: £25 for two courses, £30 for three. hanburysmasonarms.co.uk

MRS MASSEY’S DELICIOUS DINER

FRAMPTON UPON SEVERN This venue in the former Cadbury’s factory has a private dining space which holds up to 38 people. The kitchen team will provide a festive feast, and can also arrange musical entertainment. They also offer you the chance to ‘Bring Your Own’ – with no corkage charge – so everyone can sup on their fave tipple. When: December 1-23. mrsmasseysdeliciousdiner.com

OLD STOCKS INN

STOW-ON-THE-WOLD White Christmasses are pretty few and far between, but you’ll certainly be getting snowy vibes at the Aprés Ski Bar at this cool Cotswolds pub. The bar, which is decked out like a traditional Swiss chalet bar, is available for hire for private parties. There’s a festive menu on offer, or you could learn to mix like a master with a cocktail-making class. Or, for something more traditional, then the pub will also be serving a festive menu. When: Parties on the festive menu are available from December 1 until Christmas Eve. Price: The Aprés Ski Bar is available to hire from £150, with party menus from £20 per person. oldstocksinn.com

THE OLIVE TREE

NAILSWORTH With Christmas menus starting from just £13.99, with one-, two- and three-course

There is such a thing as too much turkey come Crimbo season, so you might be delighted to discover that it doesn’t make an appearance on the menu at this town centre fave. Instead, tuck into roast breast and crisp leg of Creedy Carver duck with smoked sausage choucroute, or charcoal-roasted dry aged sirloin with oxtail and onion boulangère, which all sounds pretty good to us! Oh, and there’s a private hire space, too. When: From mid-November. Price: £29.50 for lunch or £39.50 for dinner (both are three courses, and include a welcome glass of fizz). theoxcheltenham.com

RESTAURANT 56 AT SUDBURY HOUSE

FARINGDON At Restaurant 56 you can create your own private party. For smaller gatherings the elegant Regency Room can accommodate up to 12 people, or, for something on a larger scale, why not go the whole hog and hire out the main dining room, which can seat up to 30? The expert team will work with you to select the menu and wine pairings in advance, then on the day all that’s required is for you to sit back and relax! When: The Regency Room is available for lunch (noon-1.30pm) Tuesday-Saturday, and for dinner (6.30pm-9pm) WednesdaySaturday. restaurant56.co.uk

THE SWAN AT SOUTHROP SOUTHROP

In keeping with the ‘home grown, homemade, produce driven’ ethos at Thyme, the festive menu makes the very best of seasonal ingredients. It’s rich and indulgent, combining traditional favourites with some unusual twists, featuring the likes of smoked venison loin for starters, roast pheasant for mains, and a muscovado, sherry and sultana pudding to finish. If there are a few of you, you might want to consider booking out The Garden Room, which seats up to 26. When: December 1-23. Price: Think £29 for two courses, or £35 for three. theswanatsouthrop.co.uk

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EATING ORGANIC Top places to fill your face during Organic September (and beyond!)

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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.


www.coriniumhotel.co.uk

info@coriniumhotel.co.uk 12 Gloucester Street, Cirencester, Gloucestershire GL7 2DG

JOIN OUR FESTIVE CELEBRATIONS

Festive bookings now being taken Book early to avoid disappointment Free parking

Festive Lunch from £16.25 Festive Dinner from £19.75 Party Nights from £32.00 Christmas Day Lunch - £75.00 New Year’s Eve Dinner & Dance £75.00

Bookings or enquiries 01285 659711


BOOKed uP

CHELTENHAM LITERATURE FESTIVAL MIGHT BE MOSTLY ABOUT THE BOOKS, BUT IT’S MORE THAN A LITTLE ABOUT THE FOOD AS WELL… 56

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festival all about books might not seem like the sort of thing that we’d normally get too excited about here at Crumbs. Not that we don’t appreciate a good read or anything, it’s just that most of the time it’s plates rather than pages that get us buzzing. Recently, however, The Times and The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival has been getting a bit of a rep for attracting some pretty big foodie names, and the line-up for this year’s event (which runs October 6-15) is once again looking pretty tasty indeed, not least because in the revamped Festival Village there will be a stack of street food traders dishing up everything from burgers and burritos to hog roasts and halloumi. Most of the festival’s food events will be taking place in The Daffodil – an art deco former cinema – and there’s plenty to get your teeth into. Renowned chef (and Gloucester boy) Tom Kerridge will sharing the secrets of his Dopamine Diet, which led him to shed a massive 11 stone in three years, and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall will be presenting recipes from his new book, River Cottage Much More Than Veg!, while champion of home cooks Nigella Lawson is sure to stir visitors into a frenzy as she shares some dishes from her latest collection, At My Table. Nigella’s not the only domestic goddess on the list, though. There’s the chance to lunch with queen of home-making Kirstie Allsopp, as she shares some of the dishes from her new book, Kirstie’s Real Kitchen; tuck into a three-course dinner with Thomasina Miers, the founder of Mexican restaurant chain Wahaca, as she shares recipes from her new book, Home Cook; and meet the much-loved former Bake Off judge Mary Berry, who will be discussing her remarkable career and launching her new book, Mary’s Household Tips and Tricks: Your Guide to Happiness in the Home. And Mary’s not the only Bake Off veteran to be coming to Cheltenham. Winner of the 2015 series, Nadiya Hussain, will be returning once again, this time to share tales of the British food heroes, producers and growers who are changing the face of all of our cooking, and which provided the inspiration for her latest recipes and her book, Nadiya’s British Food Adventure. Elsewhere, British institution Claridges will be transporting a taste of Mayfair to the festival, with a delectable two-course lunch celebrating the culinary heritage of the luxury hotel, while chef Martyn Nail shares behind-the-scenes secrets. If you fancy some global gastronomy, then there’s plenty of that on hand, too. Former head chef of the legendary Nobu, Scott Hallsworth, will be discussing his career and aspirations over a lunch of recipes taken from his new book, Junk Food Japan, while Jose Pizarro will take you on a culinary tour of Catalonia with a tasty tapas lunch. You can transport yourself to Pakistan with An Evening Under the Tamarind Tree, where chef Sumayya Usmani will share the distinctive culinary styles of her home interspersed by poetry and music, or cross the continents and join rising star of African cooking Lopè Ariyo for an evening of Nigerian cuisine and culture. Meanwhile, award-winning chef and author Martin Morales will take you deep into the Andes as he brings his new cookbook, Andina: The Heart of Peruvian Food, to life with the winning combination of an exquisite multi-sensory dinner and a biographical one-man show. Elsewhere, Liz Earle – one of the world’s most respected authorities on natural health, wellbeing and beauty, and founder of the Liz Earle Beauty Co – will be talking about her book, The Good Gut Guide, and how what you eat can improve both your inner health and outer beauty, or you can join explorer Alistair Sawday for afternoon tea. If wine is your thing, then you won’t want to miss the three-course dinner with award-winning wine writer Victoria Moore, as she shares tips and advice from The Wine Dine Dictionary, or the series of short talks and tastings exploring our relationship with Europe through

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Top row, left to right: Lopé Ariyo, who will be talking about Nigerian cuisine and culture, and TV's Kirstie Allsop. Middle row, left to right: celebrity chef Tom Kerridge, and MasterChef 2005 winner (and founder of Wahaca), Thomasina Miers. Bottom row, left to right: Sumayya Usmani, Great British Bake Off 2015 winner Nadiya Hussain, and Martin Morales.

food and drink, guided by master of wine Tim Atkin, and philosopher (and flavour expert) Barry Smith. Damian Barr presents his popular A Book and Bottle, while Joel Harrison and Neil Ridley give travel advice on where to find the best cocktail joints. For laughs with your lunch, let Miles Jupp’s alter-ego Damien Trench, cookery writer and star of BBC Radio 4’s comedy In and Out of the Kitchen, take you on a journey through his childhood and his early inspirations, with occasional diversions to the present. If that little lot isn’t getting your tastebuds tingling – and your kitchen bookshelf soon groaning under the weight of new volumes – we don’t know what will! For the full line-up and to buy tickets, head over to cheltenhamfestivals.com/literature

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Didcot Food & Drink Festival a t Didcot C ivic Hall Saturday 28 October 201 7 10am until 5pm Great British Bake Off winner Candice Brown opens the show at 10.30am. Come and see chefs and bakers from Great British Menu, MasterChef and Great British Bake Off.

Food Fanatics Food Hall

Food hall with local exhibitors selling delicious food, drink and gift items. Culinary skill demonstrations and Mrs Bun the Baker’s childrens cooking area. Mouth-watering street food, live music and vintage café serving home made cakes.

Admission includes entry to chef’s theatre: £4 per person (children under 12 go free when accompanied by fee paying adult) FOR FURTHER INFORMATION VISIT WWW.DIDCOTEVENTS.CO.UK

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

01242 604466

GLOUCESTER STUDIO THE COSIEST RESTAURANT IN THE COTSWOLDS “It’s bonkers but it works!” Michel Roux Jr

www.gloucesterstudio.com 01452 899888


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Get away from it all

Indulge yourself with some R&R at the Hatton Collection's divine Château La Chaire Hotel in Jersey

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n the northeast coast of Jersey set in the small fishing village of Rozel you will find the best of both worlds. The Château La Chaire Hotel and its sister property the Rozel Pub are the perfect combination for a short break. Originally built in 1843 as a private residence the Château la Chaire is everything a country house hotel should be, you really do get a sense of being away from it all as so as you arrive. With two AA Rosettes the Château’s à la carte restaurant showcases the best of local produce, and is complimented by luxurious accommodation and elegant public rooms, the Rococo lounge being especially beautiful. Less than 100 yards down the road you will find The Rozel Pub, a recent addition and newly refurbished, this traditional country pub offers a relaxed alternative, a favourite dining and watering hole with the locals, The Rozel has recently become

the only Michelin recommend pub restaurant in the island. With views of the sea from the first floor restaurant guests are encouraged to make the most of both properties. Rozel is located at the mouth of a tranquil valley in the Jersey National Park both properties being only a short stroll from the beach and sea at Rozel Bay, the Château is the ideal base from which to explore the island with the world renowned Durrell Wildlife Park less than a mile away. For the more energetic there are plenty of walking routes in the area or make use of the hotels mountain bikes along the lanes or coastal paths. St Helier offers both shops and restaurants. Only a 35 minute flight from the UK mainland Jersey is ideal for a short get away. Château la Chaire Hotel, La Vallee de Rozel, Rozel Bay, JE3 6AJ; 01534 863354; reservations@château-la-chaire.co.uk; château-la-chaire.co.uk

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PACKAGE FOR AUTUMN and WINTER 2017

Our autumn and winter package is now available for booking and is inclusive of return flights, dinner every night, breakfast and a Jersey cream tea. If you'd like to make your Jersey short break a little bit more special upgrade options are also available. Package includes **Return flights to Jersey from any UK airport. (ATOL Protected) Accommodation in a classic room Jersey cream tea on one afternoon Breakfast every morning Three course dinner every night in our award winning restaurant at 'The Rozel' or *'La Chaire' restaurant (*excluding Tuesday and Wednesday) *Added extra: Stay between Sunday and Thursday and we'll add a fourth night FREE including breakfast 3 nights in October – £299pp 3 nights in November/ December – £249pp Available room upgrades *Package available Sunday – Friday only. Include a Saturday in your stay – £20 per room Superior room upgrade – £20 per room per night Suite upgrade – £30 per room per night Call reservations on 01534 863354 Full payment for this package is required at the time of booking. Package terms and conditions apply, www.château-la-chaire.co.uk


We invite you to Cotswold House Hotel and Spa to

SHARE IN THE WARMTH AND SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS

Cotswold House has had a make-over, and now has a fine dining restaurant as well as an informal Bistro. This December we are open for festive dining and winter afternoon teas throughout the month. We are also open to non-residents for Christmas Day Lunch and our Black Tie New Year’s Eve Dinner in the Montrose Suite with music. For full details about what’s on at Cotswold House Hotel and Spa this Christmas please visit our website www.cotswoldhouse.com and download a Christmas Brochure. The Square, Chipping Campden, GL55 6AN | Tel: 01386 840330 | www.cotswoldhouse.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 | reception@noelarmshotel.com For more information or to book your meal or stay with us please visit: www.noelarmshotel.com


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

TAKING UP RESIDENCE

Checking out Oxfordshire’s quirky new opening Page 62

UP IN ARMS

We test drive The Noel Arms’ new menu Page 64 I N C L U D I N G

SOMETHING OLD and something new…

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MAS S E Y _A r t R e s

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( R A V I S H I N G R E S TA U R A N T S )

MR HANBURY’S MASON ARMS

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In the wrong hands it could be bit of mess, but the result is actually just very cool, and you can’t help but keep looking for the next quirky detail. Which is a bit like head chef Leon Smith’s menu, actually. There are lots of things here that you’d expect on a country pub menu, but there are also lots of fun little twists that will keep you coming back for more. My starter of pork belly is perfectly cooked with moist, almost sweet meat crowned by a curl of light, crunchy crackling. Nestled alongside is a bon bon, with the crisp coating concealing a soft, rich

F OO D PH OTOS : L I ZZ I E MAYS ON

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rom the outside, you may think that Mr Hanbury’s Mason Arms (or the Artist Residence, as it’s also known) looks pretty much exactly as you’d expect an Oxfordshire country pub to look – all honey-coloured stone and thatched roofs. But a pair of penguins standing sentinel at the entrance give a clue that things aren’t quite what they seem. Inside, yes, you’ve got flagstones and wooden beams and big open hearths, but you’ve also got neon artwork and vintage memorabilia and William Morris fabrics.

V EN U E PH OTO S : PAU L M AS S E Y

IF YOU’RE EXPECTING A RUN-OF-THE-MILL COUNTRY PUB YOU MIGHT BE IN FOR A SURPRISE, SAYS EMMA DANCE


A F T E R S

centre of ham hock and foie gras, and BBQ fennel adding a smoky note. My husband’s heritage tomato salad is so much more than just a salad. It’s pretty as anything, the bright red of the tomato complemented by the vivid green of basil and snow-white morsels of ewe’s curd, and the flavours it delivers are just as vivacious as the appearance. My duck breast main course comes blushing pink, the meat soft and tender. There’s a tasty little hash made from the leg meat too, along with tiny, earthy wild mushrooms, and malt onions which have just enough tang to cut through the richness, so every mouthful delivers a multitude of flavours. Over the table, many appreciative sounds are being made about a dish of South Leigh lamb with baby turnips, courgette and roasted shallot. The lamb is raised in the fields by the pub and is (from the mouthful I’m gifted) some of the best I’ve tasted. The pudding menu is tempting looking indeed. There are only three options, and we almost give in to the temptation to order them all; the thing is, we just can’t decide, and it’s pretty much only fear of judgement from other diners that restrains us. In the end, the bitterness of darkly decadent Valronha chocolate mousse is tempered by a juicy cherry sorbet, and is devoured without hesitation by the husband. Meanwhile, on the recommendation of our helpful waitress, I’ve foregone the strawberries with toasted marshmallow, lime curd and strawberry sorbet in favour of lavender set cream. I’m not disappointed. The set cream is full of floral flavour and sweetness comes from the

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fresh, juicy apricots sitting atop, while a disc of caramelised puff pastry adds a pleasing crunch to the proceedings. It looks simple, but the flavours are complex and there’s some serious skill in getting them all to balance so delicately. The next morning we come down to breakfast to be greeted by a neon sign on the wall reading, ‘What did I do last night?’ But I know exactly what I did. Ate a flippin’ good dinner – that’s what! MR HANBURY’S MASON ARMS, Station Road, South Leigh OX29 6XN; mrhanburysmasonarms.co.uk


(PRIME PUB)

THE NOEL ARMS EMMA DANCE DISCOVERS WHAT MAKES THIS TRADITIONAL INN STAND OUT FROM THE CROWD

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here’s certainly no shortage of pubs in Chipping Campden. Not only that, there’s no shortage of historic, honeystoned pubs in Chipping Campden, so trying to stand out amongst them all can be a bit of a challenge. Amongst the plethora of hostelries – right in the very heart of the high street, in fact – is The Noel Arms. Technically, it’s actually hotel, thanks to its 28 bedrooms. And, indeed, when you first walk in it does seem quite hotel-like, with a reception desk on one side of the lobby and a coffee shop on the other. Really, though, it’s a pub at heart, and if you venture on just past

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the entrance hall you come to a pleasingly creaky old bar area – all dark wood and cosy corners and locals standing – which then leads on to a lighter, brighter dining room and sunny conservatory. The new menu has only just been introduced (in fact, when we visited it hadn’t actually been unleashed upon the public yet), and it swiftly puts pay to any doubts about The Noel Arms’ ‘proper pub’ status. After all, it’s heaving with pub classics: fish and chips; ham hock, egg and chips; a ploughman’s lunch; sausage and mash… They all make an appearance. We start, though, in the ‘Nibbles’ section, mainly because my husband is so overjoyed at the appearance of scraps (you know, those little bits of deep fried batter that you get in some chippies). They are, indeed, very good – so addictive, in fact, that even though they’re so hot when they first get set down at the table that they almost burn our fingers, we can’t stop going back for more. Alongside them we munch through a pot of salty, crunchy pork scratchings with apple sauce, and a pile of properly ace rosemary and garlic roast potatoes. (We could feel our arteries hardening as we ate, but it was totally worth it.)

A main course of bubble and squeak is comfort food at its finest. The potato cake is fluffy and well seasoned with just a hint of peppery spring onion. It’s concealing a pile of spinach and woody, earthy wild mushrooms, while sitting atop the stack is a poached egg with a sunny, golden yolk. There’s parsley sauce too, but for me the wonderful, rich egg was all I needed. The menu isn’t all classic pub grub, though. Chef Indunil Sanchi has won awards for his curries and, rightly so, there’s a section of the menu devoted to them. We try the Sri Lankan Black Lamb and, OMG, it’s good. Hailing from the Midlands, my husband likes to think he’s a bit of a curry connoisseur, but this has him in raptures. The lamb is soft and rich, falling apart at the lightest of touches, and the spicing is clever and complex, giving layers of flavour and just enough heat to tickle the back of the throat, but without masking any of the taste. For pud, I plump for peanut butter and maple syrup parfait with pistachio and

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cranberry biscotti, raspberry compote and caramelised banana. It could have been too sweet, but actually the flavours are balanced rather well, with enough saltiness from the peanut and a hint of sharpness from the fruit to even it all out. Across the table, a rum and chocolate fondant is greeted with much enthusiasm. It’s pleasingly boozy, and the salted caramel ice cream, brandy snap and marmalade sauce that come alongside make an excellent supporting cast. It can’t be easy trying to balance the demands of hotel and pub, delivering a traditional Cotswolds experience to throngs of visitors while still appealing to locals, but The Noel Arms manages it beautifully. Basically it’s everything you’d want from a pub – and then some. In my book, at least, that makes it a winner. THE NOEL ARMS, High Street, Chipping Campden GL55 6AT; bespokehotels.com/noelarmshotel


L I T T L E

B L A C K

B O O K

MATT SAXTON

THE GENERAL MANAGER AT THE BELL AT RAMSBURY SHARES SOME OF HIS FAVOURITE LOCAL HANG OUTS Breakfast? As long as it has our homesmoked bacon in it, I’m happy! However, the yurt café at Nicholsons Garden Centre in North Aston is a hidden gem – they do the best poached eggs, smashed avocado, broad beans with lemon dressing. Best brew? This is like choosing a favourite child! Probably either Gold or Chalk Stream from the Ramsbury Brewery. Both delicious, and both always popular with our locals. Favourite grocery shop? I used to work at Daylesford Organic and still love what they have to offer, but Cobbs Farm Shop just down the road from The Bell at Ramsbury is excellent as well. Sunday lunch? It has got to be my brother’s! (Because, let’s face it, a homemade roast potato is always best.) Quick pint? The Pheasant at Lambourn is a great place to watch the horse racing set. Cheeky cocktail? Raoul’s Bar in Oxford is a perennial favourite. At the moment I’m loving a really simple Ramsbuy gin and tonic – our own single estate gin, lots of ice, good tonic, and a slice of apple or pear.

Posh nosh? The Harrow at Little Bedwyn is a real treat, and I love what John Campbell is doing at The Woodspeen. The other is a bit of a classic, and a lovely elegant place in Cheltenham – Le Champignon Sauvage. David Everitt-Matthias is a great classic cook and has not taken a sick day in 30 years. That’s commitment! Alfresco feasting? I love The Pig near Bath. It has a wonderful garden and is great for kids, but is also a place to eat something pretty special and fresh. Hidden gem? Our very own brewery and distillery is a bit of a hidden gem at the moment, but is building a very loyal following. We’re so lucky to be able to serve beer, gin and vodka that comes from our own estate. One to watch? It’s got to be Adam Handling’s new Frog, opening in Covent Garden this month. Not local, but Adam used to work at The Bell and is an incredible chef. Also, my son Harry: he’s seven and has been cooking since he was three. He has a great palate already, so watch this space! With friends? Big Society in Oxford is just a great place to chill.

Comfort food? The Kings Head Inn in Bledington great cosy pub, and is especially wonderful on a rainy day when the fire is roaring away. Child friendly? The Pleasure Garden Pizza Café at Blenheim makes great, really fresh pizza using produce from their kitchen garden. It’s great for kids, without being somewhere where you have to compromise on the quality of the food. Best curry? The Palm near Hungerford for its lovely light touch and flavours. Naturally, it’s always packed! Something sweet? We make the most amazing chocolate and salted caramel truffles at The Bell. I’m always sneaking one, but shh, don’t tell the chef! Top street food? The best street food is really about finding something local and unusual wherever you happen to be, so I guess the best is the one that’s just around the next corner! Pet friendly? Actually, we’re pretty good at The Bell. In fact, one of our rooms has its own downstairs – with a dog bed! thebellramsbury.com

QUICK! ADD THIS LITTLE LOT TO YOUR CONTACTS BOOK… • Nicholsons Garden Centre, The Park, North Aston, Bicester OX25 6HL; nicholsonsgb.com • Daylesford Organic, Daylesford, near Kingham GL56 0YG; daylesford.com • Cobbs Farm Shop, Bath Road, Hungerford RG17 0SP; cobbsfarmshop.co.uk • The Pheasant Inn, Ermin Street, Shefford Woodlands, Hungerford RG17 7AA; thepheasant-inn.co.uk • Raoul’s Bar, 32 Walton Street, Oxford OX2 6AA; raoulsbar. com • The Harrow at Little Bedwyn, High Street, Little Bedwyn, Marlborough SN8 3JP; theharrowatlittlebedwyn.com • The Woodspeen Restaurant, Lambourn Road, Woodspeen RG20 8BN; thewoodspeen.com • Le Champignon Sauvage, 24-28 Suffolk Road, Cheltenham GL50 2AQ; lechampignonsauvage.co.uk • The Pig near Bath, Hunstrete House, Hunstrete, Pensford BS39 4NS; thepighotel.com/near-bath • The Frog Restaurant, 2 Ely’s Yard, Old Truman Brewery, Hanbury Street E1 6QR; thefrogrestaurant.com • Big Society, 95 Cowley Road, Oxford OX4 1HR; bigsocietyoxford.com • The Kings Head Inn, The Green, Bledington OX7 6XQ; thekingsheadinn.net • The Pleasure Garden Pizza Café, Blenheim Palace, Woodstock OX20 1PS; blenheimpalace.com • The Palm, A4 Bath Road, Froxfield, Marlborough SN8 3HT; thepalmindian.com • The Bell at Ramsbury, The Square, High Street, Ramsbury, Wiltshire SN8 2PE; thebellramsbury.com

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Crumbs Cotswolds – Issue 59  
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