A little slice of foodie heaven
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No.25 July 2014
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TRUE LOVE AND HOME GROWN TOMATOES
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THE FIRST TIME I tried to grow tomatoes it turned out to be one of the wettest summers on record. They took forever to grow, even longer to ripen, but patience was a virtue and – by the end of a very long wait – I was rewarded with a glut of ruby globes. There can be few smells more reminiscent of childhood summers, for me, than that warm waft from the vines. Don’t consider eating them, though – they’re poisonous, as Matt’s been finding out for our Hero Ingredient this issue. But, of course, tomatoes are just one of many seasonal ingredients making an appearance this month, and we’ve got plenty of recipes to make the most of them – including strawberries and cream ahead of a hopefully sunny Wimbledon. Talking of the sun, if you’re thinking of heading outside this summer we’ve got a round-up of some of our favourite places to ‘do it’ outside too. Plus, we’ve been reminding ourselves why living in our area is just so damn cool if you like coffee or beards, which we do. We now have so many innovative roasters, baristas and coffee shops to enjoy the bean at, and we celebrate them this issue. Here’s to a buzzing, beautiful summer!
Laura Rowe, Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
APPEARING IN THIS ISSUE
Who? Magazine wizard, lately known for his work with comics. He writes the funny/rude bits What? Matt learns all about the humble tomato (page 8)
Who? Michelinstarred chef patron of The Pony & Trap What? Josh serves up beans on toast his way. Weirdly: they’re green (p30)
Who? Owner of Bristol’s Full Court Press, and top barista type What? Mat proves that there’s more to coffee than just beans (page 19)
Who? Style queen, gardener and lady behind Yeo Valley What? We go for an all-weathers supper club in the gardens of Holt Farm in the Chew Valley (p41)
Who? When not eating his way around Bristol, you’ll find this food writer downing espressos What? Mark investigates the rise of local roasters (p67)
Search for: Crumbs magazine What else are tomatoes good for, of course? Bloody Marys! Vodka, fresh wasabi, salt and lime in ours, please
J ULY 20 1 4
crumbsmag.com Editor Laura Rowe email@example.com Development editor Matt Bielby firstname.lastname@example.org Contributing editor Mark Taylor Junior food writer Sophie Rae email@example.com Art director Trevor Gilham ADVERTISING Advertising manager
Lorena Cussens firstname.lastname@example.org Account manager Kyle Phillips email@example.com PRODUCTION Production and distribution manager
Sarah Hartley firstname.lastname@example.org Deputy production manager / Production designer
Christina West email@example.com MANAGEMENT Managing director Jane Ingham
firstname.lastname@example.org Chief executive Greg Ingham email@example.com CRUMBS
MediaClash, Circus Mews House, Circus Mews, Bath BA1 2PW 01225 475800 www.mediaclash.co.uk © 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. Okay: so we’ve been in Bristol, judging – and enjoying the sun – at Grillstock. Saturday went smoothly, with hot chicken wings to rate (only a few were dangerously spicy). But then, disaster. Let’s just say, the combination of Sunday’s Krakatoa-scale hangover and burger judging – 26 of them! – made for unfortunate bedfellows…
67 TA BLE O F CONTE NTS STARTERS 07 Coffee shop secrets, the other half of The Pony & Trap’s brother/ sister team, and that Bertinet’s back in town CHEF! Recipes from the region’s top kitchens 30 Girolles and broad beans on toast by Josh Eggleton 32 Pork chops with prosciutto, apple and blue cheese by Adrian Jenkins 34 Roasted tomato and fennel soup by Louise Barnard
36 Strawberry meringue kisses by Sweet Eve Strawberries ADDITIONAL RECIPES 08 Five-minute Spanish eggs by Laura Rowe 25 Lamb Shawarma by Sarit Packer and Itamar Srulovich 41 Herby Scotch eggs with sage and lemon by Sarah Mayor 72 Red Thai duck curry by Oranuch Wills
KITCHEN ARMOURY 39 A barbecue that looks like a bomb, topnotch picnic kit, and a very special Supper Club at Yeo Valley…
coffee we should really be celebrating
MAINS 57 Eating out -side, that is. We seek out the best open-air dining Bristol and Bath have to offer…
75 Need for Seed Meet the winners of the South West’s promotenew-artisans compo
72 Fit to be Thaied We strive manfully to resist a ‘phuket’ joke…
64 Summer plonk Perfect al fresco wines!
AFTERS 84 The Office 86 The Pig 88 Fat Fowl
67 My proud roast Forget baristas: it’s the guys who roast our
DEPARTMENTS 81 Next issue 90 Little Black Book
Innovations, revelations and tasty amuse-bouches
You saw it here first – the new inspiration for your kitchen
n its 20th year of trading, ultra-hip American store Anthropologie – it’s a sort of yummy mummy older sister to Urban Outfitters – opened its fifth UK outlet in Bath last month; it’s the aspirational shop’s only British location outside London, and offers a carefully curated collection of clothing, accessories, gifts and (our favourite) homeware. The shop now occupies the 8,700 square foot former Habitat premises on New Bond Street, a space that’s been totally renovated to create a sort of posh-safari vibe, and now provides what has to be one of the city’s ultimate shopping experiences. Hey, what other shop in Bath or Bristol has its own garden-bucket water feature?
The Bath store’s team has also selected a number of local artists and designers to stock, including Alice Shields from Bristol and her illustrated tea towels, handcrafted Hatchet + Bear chopping boards from Frome, stationery by the quirky Meticulous Ink from Bath, and former Bath Spa graduate Penny Seume’s furniture and cushions, using fabric emblazoned with photos of the city. Even local students have got involved. During the run-up to the opening, Bath Spa undergraduates created artwork to decorate the hoardings outside, and these pieces are now being upcycled into furniture. Try and visit and not want everything everything, we dare you. ✱ www.anthropologie.eu
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Toma to Hero ingredients
Can anything rival the tomato as a building block of day-to-day cooking? (The onion, maybe.) From pasta sauce to pizza, soup to chutney, the ‘wolf peach’ is king…
e sits proud at the core of many a weekday menu, his firm, juicy flesh tightropewalking the sweet-sour divide with casual ease. We are, of course, talking about the tomato, king of the fruit-that-thinks-it’s-a-vegetable hordes, and utterly unmistakable. Bright red (in his classic form) and perfectly round, he’s been named both ‘State Fruit’ and ‘State Vegetable’ in at least one corner of America, despite actually being the berry of a nightshade plant. One thing that makes tomato such a cook’s friend is how well it goes with other flavours. Meat and fish, cheese and chicken, mint and oregano, basil and thyme – they all love it. Tomato works well with other vegetables too – from potato to lentils, aubergine to peppers – and, thrillingly, preparation is usually a doddle: just remove vine and leaves and eat. Though some recipes call for de-skinned and de-seeded tomatoes, most don’t – and a good job too, as this is where most of the flavour’s stored. (When you do need to lose skin and seed, however, either cook them ‘as is’ then sieve out the offending items, or make a small cross in the bottom of each with a sharp knife, cover with boiling water for a halfminute, refresh with cold, then peel away the skin, quarter and scoop out the seeds.) Of course, there are oodles of different sorts of tomato – some a few millimetres across, other measuring 10cm or more – and shape and colour range dramatically. You get yellow and orange ones, plus green, brown, pink and purple. Black and white too. You could play snooker with them – or, since there are also striped varieties, pool. Part of this thing’s delight is the way it mutates so easily, delivering up tiny tomberries, slightly larger cherry tomatoes, oval-shaped plum tomatoes, and huge, ribbed beef tomatoes – there were 7,500 varieties at recent count. Though fresh tomatoes are great, you can also get them tinned, sun-dried and even sun-blushed. Canned toms from Italy, home to hot sun and assorted flavoursome varieties, are amazing for cooking, while the sun-dried ones – dehydrated until
they’re chewy, with a strong savoury flavour – are perfect in frittatas, salads and sauces.
rom South America originally, where they’d been cultivated since 500BC, tomatoes were brought back to Europe by Mexico-based Spaniards in the early 1500s. The name comes from the Aztec for ‘fat thing with navel’, though we’ve called them all sorts over the years – including, brilliantly, ‘wolf peach’. By the 1540s, toms were thriving along the Mediterranean coasts, though were by no means universally eaten: grown in flower beds, they reached dining tables as decoration, rarely as food. This is not as stupid as it might sound. Knowing nightshade’s deadly rep, and having learned to be suspicious of brightly coloured fruit, folk were naturally wary; the fact that the leaves are so vile, even mildly poisonous, counted against them too. By 1590 tomatoes had hit England, where the great herbalist John Gerard considered them unfit for eating, and that opinion stuck for over a century, though it was actually the British who’d eventually take tomatoes to the Middle East. Though there’s a minor toxic element to leaves, stems and even unripe green fruit, the tomato’s health benefits are immense. They’re full of the natural antioxidant lycopene – credited with helping protect the skin from UV rays and seemingly effective against some cancers – and rich in Vitamins A and C too. And they’re culturally rich. Ancient Mexican tribes believing eating them helped you read omens and similar supernatural messages, while the Germans associated them with witches and werewolves. As a deliberately non-lethal throwing weapon, rotten examples have been popular with everyone from 19th-century theatre critics to 20th-century political protestors, and many festivals – notably Spain's La Tomatina – climax in a messy mass tomato fight.
he great thing about tomato season is that it’s a long one: yes, they’re a summer crop, but they’re perfect right through till autumn, and many tomatoes
actually get tastier as the season progresses. The best, generally, come straight from the vine; the most disappointing are grown in poly-tunnels, picked under-ripe, then artificially ripened later. (Even bad ones, however, can be fixed by a little ovendrying: you’ll intensify the flavour by covering halved tomatoes with salt, sugar and pepper, drying them for a couple of hours at a low 100C, then leaving to cool.) As with so much in life, you’ll learn a lot by fingering them. Feel them, smell them, weigh them in your hand. The heavier they are, the more juice will spurt out. And the better they smell, the better they’ll taste. Storage is simplicity itself. Fridges are no friend to flavour, nor is plastic. Instead, put them in a fruit bowl, preferably in a sunny spot, where they’ll breathe and further ripen. And if you let them get over-ripe, don’t despair; they’ll still be good for sauces and soups.
Five-minute, Fiveingredient SpaniSh eggS (SERVES 2) ingredientS
2 pitta breads (fresh or frozen)
1 small chorizo, roughly diced 8-10 ripe tomatoes, roughly diced 4 stalks of thyme, picked 4 medium eggs method
– Place the pitta breads under a preheated grill while you start the sauce. – Place a frying pan over a high heat until it is smoking, then add the chorizo. Toss until the amber oils are released and they start to crisp. Add the tomatoes and thyme leaves and cook for 2 minutes until the sauce reduces and thickens. – Turn the pitta breads over and make two wells in the sauce and crack in the eggs. When the white of the eggs start to lose their translucency, season with salt and pepper and then place the pan under the grill for 1 minute until the egg white is set and the yolk is still runny. – Use the hot, toasted pittas to dip in the egg and mop up the spicy sauce.
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Openings etc BERTINET’S BACK! The power of the hungry local should never be underestimated – you missed the almond croissants so much when he left that our Bath-loving master baker had no choice but to return. A new companion to the already popular Vaults café, and his cookery school at the top of the city, the allnew Bertinet Bakery has opened on New Bond Street Place in the city centre, and the promise of more award-winning breads, patisseries and those naughty-but-nice éclairs will thrill happy customers. Open from 8.30am-5.30pm, Monday to Saturday, the new shop has no café this time, but promises baskets of sweet tarts, sausage rolls, sticky buns and exciting new lines arriving throughout the summer. ✱ www.bertinet.com
The Three Daggers team
Follow the trail of crumbs...
Sam and Beccy in their new home
From pop-up supper clubs in Bristol to notching up some of the best mentors at London’s elite restaurants, the journey of Sam Leach and fiancée Beccy Massey has long looked an exciting one; indeed, many felt they were always destined to return to the South West and make a name for themselves. Now – after six months of renovations – they’re recently opened their own restaurant, Birch, a stone’s throw from Southville’s Tobacco Factory, and the early reviews from local critics and bloggers have been glowing. Expect a short, seasonal menu with daily changes and produce picked straight from the pair’s half-an-acre allotment in Whitchurch. Birch is open for supper from 6pm-10pm, Wednesday to Saturday, though lunch sittings are coming. To book, call 0117 902 8326.✱ birchbristol.co
Grape expectations With the strawberry meringues (p36)… This pud calls for a light, fragrant style of dessert wine such as Chateau Laulerie Moelleux, 2011, Cotes de Montravel (£9.95). With lively acacia honey, candied tangerine peel and sweet lemon curd flavours, it’s sweet, but with such a freshness and citrus tang that it goes with meringues perfectly.
A total of 15 pubs have received special recognition in the 2014 Alastair Sawday’s Special Places Pubs and Inns of England and Wales Guide, with three local establishments taking home a new accolade. Now in its 11th year, the Sawday’s guide is a handpicked, much admired collection of the very best of Britain’s thriving independent pubs and inns. So what’s new? The “stylish yet unpretentious” The White Hart in Somerton took the Newcomer Award for its “upbeat dining space” and “cool backdrop”; Edington’s The Three Daggers was recognised “for its dedication to providing the very best in local, seasonal and organic produce”; and Ring O’Bells in Compton Martin was rewarded in the Community category, for “working hard to become a welcoming and inclusive hub for all”. Add them to your little black book now! ✱ www.sawdays.co.uk
Matchmaker ANGELA MOUNT seeks out a selection of perfect wines for our recipes, which this issue appear from page 29 onwards
With the Scotch eggs (p41)… Eggs are tricky with wine, so tannic reds are a no-no. Juicy, southern Rhône wines and lighter Italian reds are a good bet, but I’m going left-field with J.Lohr Wildflower 2011 (£11.95) – it’s a bright, light, vibrantly Californian, juicy, superfruity red. Made in the Beaujolais style, it’s brimming with lively raspberry and blueberry flavours.
With the duck Thai curry (p72)… Rosé wines have enough fruit and ripe flavours to cope with the heat and spices of Thai food, but they must be big and bold. This juicy Skillogalee Rose 2012 (£12.50) fits the bill perfectly. Made from the Cabernet Sauvignon grape, it’s intensely fruity, with vibrant raspberry and cherry scents and flavours.
All of these wines can be bought at Great Western Wine in Bath or online at www.greatwesternwine.co.uk
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In the Larder
Sunshine flavours can be found in all shapes and sizes – and they taste even better when they're as local as this! 5
1. Fast and furious
Coconut Chilli range, from £4.25/200g Bristol entrepreneur (and keen foodie) Navina Bartlett has turned her hand to a new range of delicious go-to pots inspired by ingredients grown in India’s lush Hill Stations. Think lamb keema meatballs, cardamom chicken, shrimp and coconut korma, and mooli and lentil sambhar, all fresh, spicy and packed with texture and crunch. Lunch al desko has never been so good! Available from Bristol Sweetmart and Southville Deli, Bristol. ✱ coconutchilli.com
2. Food politics
Pieminister No.10 Pie Chutney, £3.50/300g We know and love this Bristol company for its award-winning and lip-smackingly good pies, but
a new offering from the guys has tickled our tastebuds this month. Tangy, sweet and chunky, this chutney is perfect slathered on cheese on toast (or Welsh rarebit, if you’re feeling posh), and makes a faithful companion to serve alongside pork pies and cold meats at your next picnic. Available from Pieminister shops in Stokes Croft and St Nicks Market in Bristol. ✱ www.pieminister.co.uk
3. A spoonful a day
Orchards Honeygar, from £3.25/300ml When Ben Bament was looking for an aid to common ailments, little did he know he would create a tasty new staple for our pantry. Combining nothing else but honey and locally sourced cloudy apple cider vinegar, Ben concocts his mix at Belle Vue Farm, Farmborough on the outskirts of Bath. The tasty
blend is good enough to sip by the spoonful, but we love it as a salad dressing or mixed with a dollop of Dijon mustard to make a sweet and sour glaze for pork chops. Available from Harvest in Bath and Bristol, and The Grocer on Locksbrook, Bath. ✱ orchardsltd.com
incredible macarons, tea loaves and chocolate truffles) or cocktails, but it could even spruce up your custard, icing or milkshakes. Served in coffee shops across Bath, and available to buy at Picnic Coffee, Bath. ✱ www.hennyandjoes.co.uk
4. Spice of life
In a Jam range, from £3.75/340g Imagine how excited we got when we heard Steph Anderson, founder of In a Pickle, had branched out from chutneys and was now concocting jams, marmalades and curds in her Winsley kitchen. Her new range – we should have guessed the name – includes a sticky strawberry jam and buttery (but tart) lemon curd, so good you need only a spoon. Available from Hartley Farm, Winsley and White Row Farm Shop, Beckington. ✱ inapicklefoodco.co.uk
Henny & Joe’s Masala Chai Infusion, from £6.95/250ml Bath local Ashley Bailey gets a big fat Crumbs sticker of approval for this bottle of spicy sweet goodness. Handmade in small batches in Bath, using 100% organic, natural ingredients, Ashley’s brew has made it so much easier to whip up a chai latte or tea without the synthetic aftertaste of other syrups. Take tips from chai-loving locals and use it in your baking (it helps to make
5. Just jammin’
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When did you start cooking? When I was 15 I started working at Hullabaloos (now The Cowshed) on Whiteladies Road as a trainee chef. I joined The Burger Joint when it opened in 2009 – I was 19 at the time – and was soon promoted to head chef and then executive chef, overseeing both restaurants, on North Street and Whiteladies Road. Fondest foodie memories from your childhood? I used to love making cakes with my mum at home when I was a kid – predictably, chocolate cake was always my favourite – and now I love baking them with my children. What first inspired you to cook professionally? I never got on well academically, but always had a passion for cooking. From the second I stepped into my first commercial kitchen I knew that being a chef was what I wanted to do with my life. How would you describe your cooking style? I would call myself a versatile chef. I am as comfortable working in a fine-dining restaurant as I am in my current role at The Burger Joint,
but my real passion is cooking with good-quality, fresh ingredients. What attracted you to The Burger Joint? The initial attraction was with starting at a restaurant from the beginning. The fact that all the food was made in-house, with top-quality ingredients, also enticed me. Dan, the owner, has a real passion for the product we are selling, and I really bought into the whole concept. How challenging have you found adapting to the rapid growth of The Burger Joint? When we started we would serve 400 burgers a week; now it’s 3,000 across both restaurants. Maintaining the quality has been the most difficult challenge due to the sheer scale of our operation, but I am proud to say that we have managed to do that! How have you approached the menus? With ambition! We have double the number of toppings and sauces available than when we first opened, plus an extensive range of starters and desserts. I also chose to source our meat from Ruby &
on the block
Meet EMMA ROGERS, executive chef for The Burger Joint
White Butchers in Bristol when they opened three years ago, and that was a great decision. Describe your perfect burger… Grilled chicken with back bacon, Brie, guacamole and garlic mayo in a brioche bun. Yum! What would you say are your favourite ingredients? Sweet potato: I cannot get enough of them! I hassled Dan for months to put sweet potato chips on the menu, and was so happy when he did – but it has backfired, as they are so popular that we now have to chop about 400kg of them a week! What do you like to cook at home? I have two young children, and love to cook for them, so that means we keep it simple – but everything has to be fresh. Spaghetti bolognese is the family favourite, cooked to my famous (but secret!) recipe. Which piece of kitchen equipment couldn’t you live without? My Magimix. It saves me so much time. What and where was the best meal you’ve eaten? I was lucky enough to be taken to Claridge’s in London a few years back. It was exquisite. Top five 5-a-day? Apples, carrots, bananas and tomatoes, and I especially love a dragon fruit. Where do you like to eat locally? The Pump House has long been one of my favourites, as it always delivers top-quality food. Favourite cookery book? Delia’s Cakes by Delia Smith. I think I know all the recipes off by heart! ✱ www.theburgerjoint.co.uk
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JAVA FLOW What would make these cool coffee shops even better? Perhaps if just a few more customers would leave their laptops at home…
Brew Coffee Company
Upper Bristol Road, Bath
Whiteladies Road, Bristol
Whiteladies Road, Bristol
“My interest in coffee started with a chance visit to Colonna & Small’s in their early days,” says Jonathan Prestidge of Repack Espresso, which opened in March near the kid’s playground and skateboard ramps of Bath’s Victoria Park. “I was amazed at the complexity and different flavours of their coffees, and became obsessed with trying to replicate them at home. A few years later I decided it was time to leave my job to follow my passion.” At Repack every sort of coffee matters: espressos, milk-based drinks, and filters. “We choose coffees based purely on quality and taste profiles,” says Jonathan, “and always offer something a little different. We’re also small, which enables us to engage with customers, and cyclist friendly, with a bike rack outside and a selection of accessories and energy products inside.” You can get food too: cakes, extremely popular brownies, and a small range of toasted sourdough bread sandwiches. And as for what drink we should try on our next visit? “We currently have an amazing natural coffee from Sumatra on the Clever Dripper filter,” Jonathan enthuses. “People don’t believe me when I tell them it tastes of dried strawberries and blueberries!”
Brew Coffee Company only opened in May, offering what owner Matt Atkins calls, “good, honest service, with food made by us and a bloody good brew!” Matt and his crew built the café themselves, using the Bristol Wood Recycling Project for their tables, and painting all the chairs at home. “I get excited when I unlock the doors each morning, and that makes getting up at 5.30am a little easier!” Matt says. With coffee from Andy Tucker of Clifton Coffee, and their own pet coffee geek in the form of Joe – the ideal name for a barista! – Brew is perfectly set up to cater for a steady stream of local business types, mums and students. There’s decking where you can sit out on a sunny day, and an extensive food offering: “It’s all made by us, with the exception of some brilliant cinnamon buns from Everything Bagels. Suppliers include The Bristol Cheesemonger, Hobbs House Bakery, and The Good Egg Company, and we have homemade quiches, risotto balls and lots of salads to choose from.” Anything you’d particularly recommend? “Perhaps our bacon sarnie on sourdough, with homemade chilli jam, served with a flat white, followed by our bourbon custard croissant cake.”
Whiteladies Road is lucky enough to enjoy another new-ish coffee shop too, Joe’s Coffee, which opened back in August. “You could say it’s a hobby that’s got out of control,” says co-owner Ricki Lee. “I think the place has real character, tucked around the corner with a great back room to escape into.” Here they sell sandwiches, melts and some excellent cakes – all available to eat in or take out – to the usual coffee shop crowd: people heading to work, those wanting a space to meet, students looking to relax and use the wi-fi, and families needing a bite to eat. But central, of course, is the coffee. “A good shot is crucial,” Ricki reckons. “We make sure every shot of espresso we serve is the best it could possibly be. The process needs to be right: the grind, the amount of coffee, the tamping, water and the quality of the shot coming out of the machine.” Anything you’d especially recommend? “Our house espresso, or guest coffee, as a flat white, perhaps served with our Lye Cross Farm ham and Cheddar melt on Hobbs House bread with caramelised onion chutney.” Sounds good. And for afters? “Why not try our salted caramel bubble bar, or our gluten free brownie?”
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Ask your Waitress
Who knows the menu best? Who makes the greatest impact on your experience? Front-of-house is your friend!
SISTER ACT Meet HOLLY EGGLETON, front-of-house manager (and co-owner) of Chew Magna’s The Pony & Trap
How long have you been at The Pony & Trap? Since day one! We opened in March 2006, and recently celebrated our eighth birthday.
put in day-to-day, not something that should dictate how your job is done. So, no, we haven’t consciously changed anything; rather, our service has evolved over the years.
And where did you work before? Throughout my A-Levels I was part time at The Carpenter’s Arms at Stanton Wick, then moved on to work at Hotel du Vin.
What are the best-selling dishes at the moment? All year round it has to be the ribeye steak and chips. A classic! In the current season it’s pollock, broad beans, peas, girolles and Jersey royals.
What’s the best thing about being here? Working with my family (Holly is sister to chef Josh Eggleton) and getting to fulfil my passion for food and drink. As children, my dad would always preach the value of independence to us. I guess we were always destined to run our own business. I know it makes both my parents immensely proud of our achievements. What skills have you learnt since opening? So much! Food, menus, drinks, wines, coffee, planning events, customer service, and continuing to move along with the times. From a management perspective, we discuss things as a group in fine detail; everybody’s input is valued, from head chef to kitchen porter. One of the most important lessons I have learnt is that people derive maximum motivation not from reward, but from recognition, praise and thanks – which cost nothing. What sort of customers do you get? We get people from all walks of life, from the knowledgeable and experienced diners who join us for a tasting menu, right through to the casual diners looking for a quick lunch, or the local farmer in for a pint and a Ploughman’s lunch. They are all welcome; after all, we are a pub! Have you changed your style of service since gaining a Michelin star? Every year since we’ve opened we’ve tried to improve our offering. Awards are the recognition for the work you
What are the best-selling drinks? Beer-wise it has to be from Butcombe Brewery. We also sell lots of gin, but there is no doubt that we are very much a wine-led pub. A particular favourite is Three Choirs Vineyard’s ‘The English House’, and our house Champagne proves popular, Bouché Père et Fils Grande Réserve Brut. What do you think makes great customer service? A welcoming and friendly atmosphere, where customers can relax and enjoy it. Where have you visited that you felt the service was exceptional? The Bath Priory is quite formal, but a treat in every respect. If you were a customer today, what would you order? Josh’s Great British Menu starter of ‘Rations on the Home Front’, then our whole lemon sole with cucumber, radish, cockles, caper and lime butter, followed by treacle tart with mascarpone mousse, burnt apple purée and apple sorbet. Where do you like to eat on your days off? I would start with breakfast or lunch at The Yurt Café, a drink at The Cottage Inn, followed by dinner at The Pump House or Flinty Red. They all never fail! What do you cook at home? I like to bake. Josh recently bought me a KitchenAid for my birthday, so I have no excuse now!
Don’t wait to be asked! If you’d like to be in ‘Ask Your Waitress
(or Waiter!)’, get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org
“With Spanish food this well-executed, and this authentic, Vault Room Bar & Kitchen might just be the best-kept secret in Bristol this summer” “Croquetas de jamon Iberico… as good as any I have tasted in the UK” Mark Taylor Crumbs Magazine
Vault Room Bar & Kitchen | 47, Corn Street, Bristol, BS1 1HT | 0117 930 4762 | email@example.com @vaultroom |
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What the barista knows…
MUG SHOT These days, a quality cup of Joe ain’t as simple as just ‘beans and hot water’. MAT NORTH, of Bristol’s Full Court Press coffee shop, reveals the secrets of the modern perfect brew
Lots of people call themselves ‘baristas’ these days, but what does it really mean? And, Mat, what makes you such a good one that we should listen to you for three pages? I’ve been working in coffee for 15 years, starting – as a lot of people do – with a part-time job at Caffè Nero. This turned into a full-time role after I left my PhD in Physics. From barista I worked my way up to manager, and then operations manager on a national scale. About seven years ago, though, I moved sideways into the supply side, working for local companies with national and
international reach. All of this gave me the opportunity to learn valuable skills on the path to running my own business. During that time the coffee industry, both worldwide and in the UK, changed dramatically – and it’s been exciting to be even a small part of this. Hmm. Sounds like you know what you are talking about. Let’s start at the beginning, then, with the beans. Why should we buy them whole? Coffee is a natural product and, like most natural products, it goes stale. Grinding beans accelerates this process. This is because grinding creates a massive amount of surface
area through which aromatic and flavour compounds can escape. And you really don’t want that, obviously. People talk about buying their beans as fresh as possible, but how do we go about doing that? Fresh is always best. The staling process begins from the moment the crop is picked, and has impact all the way through the process – right up until you brew. That makes it sound like all coffee is stale, but finding fresh is easier than you think – you just need to look beyond the supermarket shelves. We are blessed in the South West with a multitude of excellent roasters
S t a r t e rs I’d always encourage people to try something new every time, whether it’s a new variety, a new region, a new country or new processing method. By trying a variety of beans, your knowledge and palate improves with each cup. Right now, we have a lot of fresh crop Kenyan and Ethiopian coffees around, which I personally love. That’s all well and good, Mat, but what does half the nonsense on the packet actually mean? The nomenclature? Have a look at that panel over to the right for some clues...
PHOTO BY JESSE WILD
What Mat doesn’t know about coffee isn’t worth knowing. (Test him, we dare ya!)
(turn to p67, why don’tcha?), all of whom will list a handy ‘roasted on’ date on their bags. For me this is far more important than a ‘use by’ date. Trust is a large part of the process, as we need to be sure that the roasters buy fresh crops of green coffee as often as possible. Thankfully, the quality focused local roasters – such as Round Hill Roastery, Clifton Coffee, Extract, Little & Long et al – all live by this mantra. So how long is the shelf life of whole beans after roasting? Beans need to mature before brewing, so it’s best to use them seven to 10 days past roasting; after this they will be at their best until 28 days past roast. That’s not to say that after four weeks there will be no flavour left; just that the absolute peak of their quality has past, in my experience. So, it’s best to buy little and often.
What about ‘Fairtrade’. Does that really matter? Yes and no: it’s all about context. Quality does not solve all problems but, on the whole, I prefer to pay a higher price for quality, speciality grade coffee in the knowledge that more of this money reaches the farmers. However, this only applies to a small proportion of farms and farmers, and often only to a small proportion of their crops. When buying any coffee you have to trust your supplier. If you’re not buying from a local roaster who can provide you with some provenance, then I’d encourage you to buy a certified coffee, as this has a greater impact on the coffee-growing community.
Duly noted. How should we store them, then? Storage is easy. Keep them in an airtight container in a cool, dark place. The fridge is too cold, but a kitchen cupboard will do fine.
Right, so we’ve finally bought the beans. Now, how should we be grinding them? Do we need any super-swish gadgets? It’s best to grind them using a burr grinder – they’re simply a larger version of a pepper or salt grinder, but designed for coffee. For espresso you will need to buy an electric grinder, one designed specifically for use with espresso machines, and these will cost you upwards of £150. For filter brewing you can get very good hand grinders for £30-40. I’d avoid the blade-type spice grinders, as they provide a very poorquality grind that easily leads to poor flavours in the cup.
That does sound easy. (Can’t believe we are actually stringing a whole feature out of this!) Okay, let’s get more nitty gritty. What beans should we be buying? What, in the words of Rita Ora, is ‘hot right now’? Everything! Coffee is about personal taste, so buy what you enjoy.
And what about the water? Will what comes out of the tap affect our brew? Hugely, as it’s 98% of what you drink! Water is a subject in and of itself, and something that I think about every day when it comes to coffee. The mineral content and composition can have a massive impact on the
Know your Joe Estate This is the farm on which the coffee is grown. Co-operative A collection of small farms or smallholdings which come together to increase buying/selling power and provide communal access to processing services. Region A particular area within a growing country. Each region’s soil and microclimate will influence the coffee’s flavour, like a wine’s terroir. Varietal What variety of the coffee plant the bean comes from. All coffee belongs to the Coffea family, with the two majority groups being Coffea Arabica and Coffea Canephora (also known as Robusta). Within this there are subvarieties, each with their own flavour characteristics (it is these that we list on our coffee menus). Speciality coffee Speciality grade coffee is assessed to have a higher quality than most, as scored on an industry recognised scale. This is separate to the commodity grade coffee that is commonly traded on the major stock exchanges. Process This is the method by which the green bean is separated from the fleshy pulp of the coffee fruit itself. There are three main processes, and each will impact the end flavour characteristics. These are washed, natural and pulped natural.
amount and quality of the flavours that you extract in your cup. Minerals are great, as they actively help us to extract flavour, but the balance of these minerals is key to getting the best out of your coffee A few quick rules to guide you: filtered water is better than tap water in almost all cases, even if it’s just to remove particle or flavour taints. Bottled water can make a huge difference in hard water areas: try Ashbeck Mountain Spring, Waitrose Essential or Volvic. Avoid bottled water with high levels of bicarbonates on the labels (above 75-100mg/l) as these help reduce the desirable acids that give us fruit-like flavours. Who knew? And what about the filter papers? Will they affect the flavour too? Yes, as filtering a brew removes fine particles of coffee, and can lead to a cleaner drink with brighter acidity. All papers will need rinsing before you use them, to remove any taste of paper from your final cup.
S t a r t e rs
Okay, we reckon we’ve got all the basics covered. Let’s brew! Brewing is all about controlling your variables. In taking charge of these we can have an element of control over how much flavour we extract: too much and we get ashy, woody tastes, too little and sourness can dominate. Boiling water is no good – ideally it should be between 92-96C. Try boiling your kettle and leaving it for 60-90 seconds before you brew. Know how much coffee you are using – a good rule of thumb is 60g of coffee for every litre of water you use. This ratio can be adjusted for taste. Weigh everything – the easiest way to check your ratio of coffee to water is with scales (1ml of water weighs 1g, so 1ltr weighs 1kg). And method is not the same as recipe – however you brew your coffee, follow the same method every time, as this allows you to change your recipe (i.e the amount of coffee and water, etc) to suit your tastes. Crikey. Maybe there is a bit more to this than we thought! Dare we ask, what about milk and sugar? At Full Court Press we always advise against adding either to our coffees but, again, it’s all contextual. Traditional continental-style espresso works exceptionally well with sugar, as the sweetness balances out the acrid, bitter tastes of the drink. But we brew our espressos with balance in mind, avoiding overly bitter, acrid taints and highlighting the natural sweetness. Adding sugar can destroy the balance, losing the unique flavours that balance can bring and often making coffee sour and tangy. Similar things happen by adding sugar to our filters and milk drinks. They can become dry and ashy, while the delicate filter coffees can become very dry and insipid. What if all this sounds like hard work, and we just want to leave it to the pros? What should we be ordering? Try a cold-brewed coffee. The coffee is brewed over a longer time (2.5-4 hours) with room temperature water, giving softer acidity and a mellow sweetness, and is served cold and black. ✱ Talk coffee geekery with Mat and his team at Full Court Press on Broad Street in Bristol; www.fcpcoffee.com
S t a r t e rs
Food Diary With over two decades in the catering industry, it can seem like Somerset chef CAROLINE GENT has been in the kitchen and garden her whole life. We took a sneak peek into the diet of one of the West Country’s most passionate chefs
Breakfast: Dorset muesli. Lunch: I grab a sandwich while running around. Dinner: Leftovers from yesterday’s lunch party. Lovely rare roast beef with Béarnaise sauce and new potatoes. I picked some asparagus from the garden too. Roasted rhubarb with ginger for pud.
Breakfast: A poached egg, straight from the hen house, on toast. There’s nothing as good as eggs from our chickens, who enjoy life out in the fields. Lunch: It hardly happens these days! Dinner: Friends for supper, so made the most of the masses of wild garlic to make an interesting panna cotta to start. Mains of risotto from the hedgerow – I picked the tips of the young hawthorn, goosegrass, young dandelion shoots, nettles and hedge garlic, and used spelt rather than rice. Salad leaves from the garden on the side. Ripe pineapple and lovely Cheddar from Tom at Westcombe Dairy, a mile away, for pud.
A new Somerset species, the ‘Caroline Gent’, seen in its natural habitat
TWENTY YEARS AGO, after training at the prestigious Leiths School of Food and Wine, Caroline Gent decided to set up her own eponymous catering company. She’d grown up on the Wiltshire Downs, with a mother who was “a farmer’s wife and an excellent cook”, but now lives in the heart of Somerset, where she’s built up quite the reputation for offering delicious, natural menus. She keeps her own pigs, chickens and lambs, and barters with friends in the village for local produce. Oh, and she has a vegetable garden that would make anyone ‘green’ with foodie envy. Now that’s what you call the good life. Caroline’s biggest challenge currently awaits her and her team, as they prepare for this month’s Glastonbury Festival. There she will run two kitchens – one behind the stage, serving the artists and crew, and the other feeding all the bar staff. It’s a tall order, and will take meticulous planning and long hours (she’s already ordered 210kg of meat!). But what does all this work mean for Caroline’s own daily pickings? We found out…
Breakfast: Toast with jam. Lunch: Menu tasting today with a bride-to-be, so we made her a Thai beef Massaman curry, spicy cumin lamb skewers and a honey sweet potato and chickpea stew with spinach (a favourite Ottolenghi recipe). Dinner: My son Charlie came home from Bristol Uni, so we made some extra curry. It’s rich with coconut, peanut butter and Thai Massaman paste that I buy from Wai Yee Hong in Bristol.
Breakfast: It’s a hot cross bun this time, to start the day. Lunch: Lunch is an eclectic mix of leftovers from events. I hardly ever need to go shopping just for us! Dinner: Peter, my other half, shot a rabbit. I skinned it, jointed it and made confit from some goose fat, salt and rosemary, then left it to cook in the bottom of the AGA for a couple of hours. Creamy mashed potatoes and spinach from the garden on the side.
Breakfast: Toast with homemade jam. Lunch: Prepping for a wedding tomorrow at Pennard House – slow-cooked belly of free-range pork with a Somerset cider sauce with mash, roasted leeks and caramelised apple. And, of course, crackling! Dinner: Nibble on leftover canapés of Peking duck pancakes, bruschetta and a very good (and gooey) chocolate brownie.
Breakfast: Toast with homemade marmalade. Lunch: Fruit! Dinner: Saturdays usually mean jam-packed events throughout the summer, so I don’t often get a chance to eat. I just grab a few canapés and a couple of mouthfuls of leftovers again.
Breakfast: Dorset muesli. Lunch: We always have a big roast on a Sunday – very traditional, with lots of vegetables from the garden. Dinner: Too stuffed from lunch to take another bite!
Bristol’s festival of beer and wine Millennium Square, Bristol 12 - 14 September 2014
Grape & Grain Bristol a celebration of good taste
Bristol’s first Grape and Grain Festival is a taste celebration. Bodacious beers, fine wines and vibrant fresh foods, brought together in Bristol’s vibrant harbourside venue with some of Bristol’s best music. T 0117 9055336 E firstname.lastname@example.org @grapegrainfest Grape & Grain Festival
Discover something new, learn from our experts, or simply relax, with a drink, food, and some mellow vibes.
beers | wines | food | festivities
You can live to be a hundred if you give up all the things that make you want to live to be a hundred. Woody Allen 1935 –
EARLY BIRD TICKETS ON SALE NOW CALL 0117 9055336
S t a r t e rs
Pick of the Month
The freshest, most inspirational cook books of the month
HONEY & CO: FOOD FROM THE MIDDLE EAST Sarit Packer and Itamar Srulovich Saltyard Books, £25
As anybody lucky enough to have eaten there will know, Honey & Co is a very special place. In less than two years, this cramped, one-room restaurant has become one of London’s most talked about eateries. It’s run by husband-and-wife team Itamar Srulovich and Sarit Packer, who met in a restaurant kitchen in Israel before moving to the UK, where they both worked at Ottolenghi. Small, bustling, noisy and chaotic, a meal at Honey & Co feels more like eating in somebody’s home or in a tiny Jerusalem café, and the food is delicious – vibrant, colourful and generous. The book captures the spirit of this extraordinary restaurant and is packed with wonderful recipes for breads, salads, dips, falafels, Turn the page smoky lamb dishes, healthy fish main courses and traditional slow-cooked for a recipe... stews, much of it using an abundance of fruit, grains, spices and herbs.
Barry Lewis HarperCollins, £20 Four years ago, Weston-superMare quantity surveyor (and father of two) Barry Lewis couldn’t even boil an egg. Now he’s a rising star of the food world, and one of the country’s most talked about new cooks. In 2010, Barry taught himself to cook, step-by-step, filming the process with his daughter and posting the videos on his YouTube blog, My Virgin Kitchen. The blog became an overnight hit, and Barry soon attracted national media attention – including Jamie Oliver’s seal of approval. The recipes in his first cookbook are aimed at home cooks, from old hands to those who are terrified of setting foot in the kitchen. Quick weekday family meals, like Korean cola chicken, sit alongside comforting dishes like bangers and mustard mash casserole and Nutella bagel pudding.
Love Your Lunchbox
The Natural Cook Tom Hunt Quadrille, £20
Jean-Pierre Gabriel Phaidon Press, £29.95
Food writer James Ramsden is best known for his popular London supper club, The Secret Larder, described by one journalist as “harder to get into than The Ivy”. His second cookbook focuses on ‘101 recipes to liven up your lunchtime’ and it’s packed with brilliant ideas for those of us bored of eating the same old overpriced shop-bought sarnies and wilted pre-packed salads at our desks. Ramsden says homemade lunches can be creative and cheap, and many of the recipes in the book would be equally enjoyable eaten at home, on the beach or at a picnic. Whether its nutritious and vibrant salads (we love the cold soba noodles with radish and ginger), soups or wraps, this is a book guaranteed to brighten up any al desko lunch.
Eco chef Tom Hunt is a wellknown face on the Bristol food scene as the owner of Stokes Croft eatery Poco. A restaurant that prides itself on recycling and composting 95% of everything being used, it has become a flagbearer for using hyper-local produce and organic ingredients. Not surprisingly, Hunt’s first book is staunchly seasonal, and uncompromising when it comes to its ‘root to fruit’ philosophy of wasting nothing. Based around 26 fruit and veg, the recipes have global flavours and influences and the author gives useful tips and ideas for turning leftovers into other delicious and thrifty dishes. Think Poco classics, including broad bean and lamb pilaf, and pork and rhubarb tagine. Check out next issue for an interview with Tom, and some recipes.
In his quest to produce a definitive and unparalleled record of Thai food, awardwinning photographer and author Jean-Pierre Gabriel travelled 25,000km around Thailand, documenting the food of every region. He’s certainly succeeded in creating a portrait of contemporary Thai cooking, and a fascinating overview of the country’s culinary heritage. The result is a clothcovered, bible-thick guide to Thai cuisine, featuring more than 500 recipes from home cooks, many handed down through the generations. The book includes comprehensive sections on salads, soups, curries, stir-fries and desserts, familiar meals like Massaman curry mixed with lesser-known dishes such as pumpkin in coconut milk and sea bass in herb soup.
James Ramsden Pavilion, £16.99
Thailand: The Cookbook
S t a r t e rs Taken from Honey & Co: Food from the Middle East (Saltyard, £25)
LAMB SHAWARMA ( SERVES 6 )
INGREDIENTS 4 onions, peeled (about 500g) 3 tbsp ras el hanut spice mix 2 tsp salt ½ tsp white pepper 1 shoulder of lamb, on the bone (about 1.8-2kg) For the cabbage salad: ½ tsp salt ½ white cabbage, shredded (about 350g) juice of 1 lemon 1 small bunch of parsley, chopped (about 15-20g) 2 tbsp vegetable oil seeds from 1 small pomegranate METHOD – Preheat the oven to 240C/475F/gas mark 9. – Purée the first 2 onions to a pulp in a food processor with the ras el hanut spice mix, salt and pepper. Slice the other 2 onions and lay them on the base of a deep roasting dish that is big enough to contain the lamb. Pat the puréed onion mixture all over the lamb, top and bottom, and lay it on the bed of sliced onions. Place the roasting dish uncovered in the upper-middle part of the very hot oven for 30 minutes. It should have started to colour and brown (but it may take another 10 minutes if your oven doesn’t run very hot). – Pour in enough water to reach halfway up the lamb joint and cover the dish. – Lower the oven temperature to 200C/400F/gas mark 6 and cook for 1 hour. Uncover, baste with the liquid at the bottom
PHOTO BY PATRICIA NIVEN
of the dish, then re-cover and return to the oven. – Reduce the heat to 180C/350F/gas mark 4 and cook for 1 hour. Baste again, re-cover and cook for a further hour. Basting is important, as it will help to soften the lamb, so don’t skip doing this. After 3.5
hours the meat should be soft and come away from the bone. – Sprinkle the salt on the shredded cabbage in a bowl, mix and allow to sit for 10-15 minutes until it starts to soften. Add the lemon juice, parsley and vegetable oil and mix well. If need be, add a touch more
salt – it should be really sharp and lemony. Sprinkle with the pomegranate seeds. – Serve the roasted lamb with the cabbage salad. It’s also great with flatbread to soak up the juices, yoghurt, mint leaves to cool, and pickled chillies if you want some heat.
THE AWARD WINNING
Fox at Broughton Gifford
2013 & 2014 Best Gastropub
We keep going from strength to strength here at The Fox. Weâ€™ve had a great 2013 and are busy planning for the rest of the year ahead. There is constantly lots going on in our smallholding, new livestock and produce all the time. Why not come and have a look at what we are doing while enjoying a pint of local ale and a plate of local food. We are open from 12 noon, Tuesday through to Sunday, closed on Mondays.
Broughton Gifford, Melksham, Wiltshire SN12 8PN 01225 782949 â€˘ @thefoxbroughton www.thefox-broughtongifford.co.uk
What to cook, and how to cook it – direct from the kitchens of the region’s best chefs
Highlights IT’S JUST, A LITTLE CRUSH
Smash up the new-season tomatoes into a simple soup, says Louise Barnard Page 34
BEANZ MEANZ GREENZ
Make like Josh Eggleton and go posh with your beans on toast this weekend Page 30
LITTLE BOY BLUE
Adrian Jenkins stuffs his pork chops with apple and blue cheese, don’tcha know? Page 32
Plus 36 Strawberry meringue kisses Pam Lloyd gets in the spirit for Wimbledon
eggs turned into an omelette before Pam took over meringue duties from wee Joseph. (Separating those whites is tricky!)
e represented the South West in this year’s Great British Menu, introduced Bristol to the idea of tapas in tipis, and has cooked at Harrods, one of the world’s most famous department stores. Setting his sights a little closer to home, Michelin-starred Josh Eggleton of The Pony & Trap in Chew Magna will be heading to the village of Backwell this summer, cooking up a storm at its annual festival on 12 July. Alongside two more of the region’s finest chefs, Romy Gill from Romy’s Kitchen and Sam Moody from The Bath Priory, Josh will give a free demonstration, creating one of his most delicious dishes for a select number of festival-goers to sample. “The ‘field to fork’ ethos is an important part of what I do, and implementing this at a local, independent festival is right up my street,” says Josh. “I will be using fresh, locally sourced meat and vegetables from The Story Farm to showcase what the South West can achieve, which is what I’ve done in this recipe too. “There’s little that can beat beans on toast, but the addition of girolles is one of them. In season between June to October, this is the best time to get ’em out and shake things up a bit.”
✱ You can buy festival tickets and reserve your place at Josh’s demo via www.backwellfestival.co.uk, or visit him at THE PONY & TRAP, Newtown, Chew Magna BS40 8TQ; 01275 332627; www.theponyandtrap.co.uk
BEANS ON TOAST*
Ahead of his appearance at the Backwell Festival in July, JOSH EGGLETON serves up a very simple vegetarian summer snack T A S YO U *BU T NO T! KNOW I
SCOTTISH GIROLLES and BROAD BEANS on TOAST INGREDIENTS 25g butter 300g Scottish girolles or similar local wild mushrooms, well cleaned 1 small shallot, very finely minced 1 garlic clove, minced 4 slices sourdough bread 150g broad beans, podded, steamed and shelled again 20g finely sliced chives METHOD – Heat up a medium-sized frying pan, add the butter and, when it starts to foam, add the mushrooms. Cook until they start to soften, then season with salt and pepper, add the shallots and garlic and cook for a further 1-2 minutes or just until the shallots are translucent and the butter has a lovely nutty smell. – Toast the bread and divide between four plates. – Add the broad beans and the chives to the mushrooms and mix well. Divide the mix into generous piles on the toast and spoon over any extra butter. Serve and enjoy!
( recipe )
Swap the butter in this recipe for rapeseed oil and you have yourself a vegan feast
ADRIAN JENKINS of The Three Daggers celebrates his favourite local produce, pork
( recipe )
ome to an award-winning pub, five-star inn, farm shop, microbrewery and a fruit, vegetable and flower garden, The Three Daggers goes above and beyond when it comes to provenance. At the heart of its menu is produce sourced from the local area, in its correct season. Ingredients are celebrated, as this recipe from executive chef Adrian Jenkins shows. “The combination of sweet, hand-reared, free-range pork from Downland Farm in Melksham, combined with apple and award-winning Brinkworth Blue cheese from Chippenham is amazing,” explains Adrian (pictured right), in between juggling kitchen utensils. “We use Downland pork here in the pub and in the farm shop, and, in my 25 years of cooking professionally, I haven’t tasted better. This particular recipe complements the flavours of the pork perfectly, and is always a winner on our Specials board. They even make Downland prosciutto. We serve it on creamy mashed potato with the addition of spring vegetables from our own Priory Farm.”
PORK CHOPS with PROSCIUTTO, APPLE and BRINKWORTH BLUE (SERVES 4)
INGREDIENTS 12 slices prosciutto olive oil 4 pork chops, French trimmed and all fat removed 1 small red apple, cored and sliced 75g Brinkworth Blue (or another good-quality blue cheese, like Bath Blue) 4 small rosemary sprigs, to skewer METHOD – Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6. – Lay out 3 slices of the prosciutto so they overlap. Repeat with the rest of the prosciutto so you have 4 piles. – Put a frying pan over a high heat. Drizzle a little olive oil in the pan. Season the chops well with salt and pepper, then sear in the hot pan on both sides. Place a seared chop on top of each pile of prosciutto. Divide the sliced apple and blue cheese between the prosciutto piles, on top of the pork. Wrap the prosciutto around each of the pork, apple and blue cheese parcels to hold it all in place. Secure each with a rosemary sprig. Place the prosciutto parcels on a baking tray and bake in the oven for 15 minutes, or until the pork is cooked through. – Serve with mashed potato and cooking juices from the parcels. ✱ THE THREE DAGGERS, 47 Westbury Road, Edington, Wiltshire BA13 4PG; www.threedaggers.co.uk
This is the ‘before’ shot. (Sadly, we can’t show you the ‘after’)
LOUISE BARNARD proves that you only need a handful of humble ingredients to make a well-rounded, seasonal summer meal for the family
( recipe )
ROASTED TOMATO and FENNEL SOUP (SERVES 4)
INGREDIENTS 2.5kg sweet, ripe tomatoes olive oil 3-4 tbsp balsamic vinegar 2 onions 1 stick of celery 1 fennel bulb 2 garlic cloves 2 bay leaves 1 pint chicken or vegetable stock 1-2 tbsp double cream a handful of fresh basil sourdough, toasted, to serve METHOD – Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. – If the tomatoes are large, cut them all into quarters; smaller ones will only need to be sliced in half. Place them snugly into a roasting dish in a single layer. (Spread between two trays, if necessary.) Drizzle generously with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and season with salt and pepper. – Place in the oven for about 30 minutes, then turn the temperature down to 150C/300F/gas mark 2. Give the tomatoes a stir, and return them to the oven for a further 1-2 hours. The tomatoes should be lightly browned and caramelizing, as this will concentrate all the rich tomato flavours and give the soup a fantastic, umami flavour. – When the tomatoes are nearly done, very roughly chop the onions, celery and fennel. Heat a little more oil in a large pan, add these to the pan, and when they begin to sizzle turn down the heat and leave them to cook down until soft, stirring occasionally. This should take about 15 minutes; they should now be very soft and translucent but without colour. Now add the garlic and bay leaves and cook for a further 2-3 minutes before adding all the roasted tomatoes and their juices. – Add the stock, then bring to the boil before turning down to a gentle simmer for about 15 minutes. Add more water if necessary, depending on how thick you’d like the soup to be. – When happy with the consistency, add the cream and a handful of roughly chopped basil leaves and purée until completely smooth with a handheld blender. – Check the seasoning before serving with a drizzle of olive oil and crunchy, toasted sourdough. You can sieve it for a finer result, but I prefer it on the rustic side. You can serve this soup with a splash of pastis too, if you’re feeling decadent.
I was walking
past my local veg shop the other day and there were crates of perfect tomatoes being sold for a song. This was not an offer I could ignore, so – although I was dragging three soggy children home from an even soggier park – I managed to squeeze a crate of tomatoes into my load too. If I’d had more time or inclination (or fewer children with me) I’d have probably ventured further into the shop and come out with all kinds of other bits to add to the soup too. It was in the soup’s favour that I didn’t, though, as some of the best meals we make are built of the bits and pieces we already have in, or are put together in great haste. I guess it’s the simplicity of these meals that works so well: there’s no opportunity to become bamboozled by the potential options! So, this soup was born of a beautiful crate of bargain tomatoes and the bits I already had in the larder, and it was a winner. I’ve scaled the recipe down to a reasonable size, but if you have a whole crate of tomatoes – or are particularly fond of soup – by all means scale it up to make vast quantities. The slow-roasting tomatoes will fill your house with the most divine aromas.
✱ You can join Louise for a BABY BITES cookery class at www.babybites.co.uk
Tomato soup doesn’t have to come out of a can!
Whatâ€™s for pudding?
With Wimbledon rapidly approaching, Bristol foodie (and mum to two hungry boys) PAM LLOYD gets in the spirit with her own version of strawberries and cream PHOTO BY JASON INGRAM
The fresh cream in these kisses means that they need to be eaten immediately. Like, now. (What are you waiting for?)
t’s a question most grown ups are far too polite (or embarrassed) to ask, but one children shout with hopeful innocence – what’s for pud? As far as Joseph and George are concerned, the gold standard answer is ‘apple crumble’. Followed by any other fruit crumble, served with custard and ice cream. We have two Bramley apple trees in the garden and the fruit keeps well, but by this time of year it’s game over until the autumn and, frankly, some of us are ready for a break from crumble heaven. So, as the British strawberry season got underway, Joseph and I made strawberry meringue kisses to enjoy with friends. We used Sweet Eve strawberries, which are British bred and grown and taste how strawberries used to taste when we were kids. Making the meringue mixture is really simple. My mum is a Pavlova pro, and I grew up with meringues (big ones and small ones) as standard desserts that appeared when she was entertaining: the combination of clouds of meringue and softly whipped cream with berries has never lost its appeal. So what could be nicer than recreating this childhood memory with my own child? Well, I hadn’t realised that my eight-year-old’s dexterity doesn’t quite stretch to separating eggs. He was determined to do it himself, but the recipe calls for five egg whites and, of course, there has to be not a trace of egg yolk in them for the meringue magic to work. On Joseph’s first attempt he got to the third egg before breaking the yolk into the whites. Then he got all the way to the fifth egg before the same thing happened. After that, I intervened before we ran out of eggs. (There were particularly generous omelettes for lunch that day.) The whisking part is fun, especially watching the cupful of egg white turn into a bowlful of snowy peaks that you can then hold over your head. And it’s actually really helpful to have an assistant when it comes to whisking the sugar in gradually, adding a spoonful a time. We aren’t a piping bag kind of household, so we just roughly spooned blobs of meringue onto the baking parchment. Try to get them roughly the same size, though, so that when you ✱ PAM LLOYD runs a come to sandwich them together marketing business based in Bristol with her you have a pair. husband, Dieter. With a The strawberry sauce gives team of fellow foodies at a more intense strawberry their side, they specialise flavour than you’d get from plain in promoting food brands strawberries, and a texture that and products through doesn’t disturb the softness of the social media, digital marketing and PR. Joseph meringue and cream. Serve with and George are Pam a big bowl of strawberries on the and Dieter’s two small side and a pot of tea, or a cold boys, and gourmands-inbottle of fizz for the grown-ups. training. Pam plans, shops The verdict from the small and cooks; everyone pudding police? “Those were else eats. Follow Pam on Twitter at @fruitandveggirl. good strawberry meringues. But www.pamlloyd.com don’t stop making apple crumble.” crumbsmag.com
Strawberry Meringue Kisses ( M A K E S 24 )
INGREDIENTS For the meringues 5 large egg whites 250g caster sugar ½ tsp vanilla extract
For the strawberry cream 250g strawberries, hulled and roughly chopped (I used British Sweet Eve strawberries) 25g caster sugar 2 tsp cornflour 175ml double cream METHOD – Preheat the oven to 120C/240F/gas mark ½. Line two large baking trays with baking paper or a silicone sheet. – For the meringues, whisk the egg whites in a clean, large bowl with an electric whisk until stiff but not dry. Slowly add the sugar, just a dessertspoon at a time, whisking well between each addition. The meringue should be very thick and glossy. Whisk in the vanilla extract. – Fit a large piping bag with a 2cm plain nozzle and pipe 48 small meringues. If you don’t have a piping bag, just make roughly similar sized blobs using two spoons. Bake in the centre of the preheated oven for 2 hours or until firm and very dry. Turn off the oven, but leave the meringues inside to dry out for at least 2 hours. – To make the filling, put the chopped strawberries, sugar and cornflour in a saucepan. Cook over a low heat for 4-5 minutes, stirring constantly to make a thick strawberry sauce. Leave to cool. – Whip the cream until stiff peaks form, then lightly fold in the cold strawberry sauce. Spoon the strawberry cream onto 24 of the meringue halves and sandwich together with the rest. Eat the same day.
Armoury Choose your weapons
Okay, so I’m aware that lots of kitchen equipment looks kinda threatening if you squint, but that thing’s downright sinister. It’s like an unexploded bomb, or the containment facility for something ultra-dangerous in a sci-fi film. You open that door on the front, and I expect alarms to go off, and dry ice to start flooding out… Once again, wrong on so many levels. For a start, this ain’t no standard piece of ‘kitchen equipment’; indeed, it’s not designed for use in a kitchen at all. Barbecue season is upon us, and the Smokey Mountain Cooker from Weber – those American kings of al fresco dining, not to be confused with the Italian Weber (maker of car carburetors) or the French Weber (maker of mortar for houses) – wants to live on your patio, where it’ll slow cook your meat perfectly, making cheap cuts like brisket and pork hand delicious, and your ribs the best you’ve ever tasted. It’s not another of these smokers, is it? We keep pushing it as a trend… Well, food trends aren’t like fashion industry seasons, and they take a while to build up a head of steam. Though it’s as old as fire, smoking food started experiencing a resurgence three or four years ago, and it’s fair to say that those places with a real barbecue culture – Australia, the American South – have embraced it with rather more gusto. Plus, it’s very much a bloke’s game – macho, outdoorsy, carnivorous. And anyway, most blokes have always been obsessed by their meat. Most blokes are huge geeks, more like. And that’s part of the appeal of smoking too. It’s not like regular cooking, but instead demands relatively little prep time but lots of trial and error – early attempts
are almost guaranteed to end in semi-failure, with your meat cold and raw, or else totally overdone. Perseverance is key – and a nerd’s attention to detail. (Girl nerds can apply too.) Think of it as the culinary equivalent of home brewing, perhaps. Expensive, time consuming, and surrendering predictably disappointing results? No, no! Per pint, home brewing is cheap as chips, and I refer you again to brisket. And the Smokey Mountain itself ain’t going to break the bank either – it comes in three sizes, defined by the cooking area (the 37cm version pictured, plus larger 47cm and 57cm models), starting at only £300 or so. How it works is that it has three tiered sections: charcoal burns in the bottom bit (this is where you add a few fist-sized lumps of hardwood, like pecan or hickory, for those smokey aromas); then a pan of water goes in the middle, keeping the temperature low and stopping any fat from dripping on the coals; and, finally, meat goes on one or two racks at the top. It’s got brilliant temperature control, a good airtight design, plenty of adjustable vents and little need to babysit it constantly. Cooking some cuts for an entire day is not unheard of – but that’s the joy of low ’n’ slow.
Smoking has never been easier than with the Smokey Mountain, Weber’s new outdoor cooker. Lots of Grillstock’s low ’n’ slow devotees are committed ‘Mountain men’, says MATT BIELBY, and you should be too
I’ll take your word for it. Trust your tastebuds instead! What you really need to know is that this is quality kit, surprisingly easy to use, renders great results, isn’t crazy-expensive – and mastering it will give you a new summer hobby. What’s not to love? ✱ Weber barbecue kit is available at Fonthill Nurseries and Scott Ltd at Bitton, near Bristol, amongst other local suppliers. www.fonthill-lakeside.com www.weberbbq.co.uk
THIS MONTH – Extreme golf carts – Awesome Anorak – Valley girls
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BE OUR GUEST
The supper club
The rain may have turned up without an invite (how rude!), but when Crumbs ventured to Yeo Valley’s Organic Gardens in Blagdon for a seasonal spread of local fare, nothing could dampen the joys of good company WORDS By SOPHIE RAE PHOTOS By KIRSTIE YOUNG crumbsmag.com
Think you can host a better dinner party than Sarah and her green-fingered friends? Send pictures of your dining space (indoors or out), a suggested menu, and 50 words on why you’re the host to beat to email@example.com. Who knows? You might be our next Supper Club star…
all us pessimists, but it came as no surprise that on the one day Crumbs arranged an al fresco Supper Club the British weather would decide to throw an almighty strop. Yet despite the four seasons that joined the party in the space of four hours, one thing became clear â€“ we Brits sure know how to make do and mend. Our host for the evening was none other than Sarah Mead: gardening supremeo, wife to Tim Mead, and daughter-in-law to Roger and Mary Mead, the founders of Holt Farm and its subsequent yoghurt-making mecca, Yeo Valley. Despite Sarah calling Holt Farm home since her twenties, her beautiful organic gardens only opened to the public three years ago, finally allowing the nation a chance to see her inspiring designs and dedication to the great outdoors. Under her guidance, a terrace and tea room were completed in spring 2010 and now welcome floods of green-fingered friends into the Mendip land to gawk in awe at the woodland walk, cutting garden, organic
Ian, to the left, has another dinner party-made-easy tip: the big one-pot dish
( the ( the supper supper club club ) )
Since Game of Thrones’ Red Wedding, we’ve been wary of dining under a balcony…
The gardens, whether enjoyed from the comfort of the café or outside, are framed by the gorgeous Chew Valley views beyond
feature ) ( the supper club )
Colourful crockery and bright jam jar tealights complemented the platters of vibrant mezze bites that were taken from the Yeo Valley Cookbook. Serving lots of different dishes at room temperature – ones that your guests can pick at and return to – is a great way to host a informal lunch party
compost yard (they even make their own comfrey and nettle compost teas), trail beds, fruit trees, hibernacula for wildlife, perennial meadow and tapestry of 24,000 bulbs that pop up every year. Sarah had invited her hard-working team to dine with us, including head gardener James Cox, landscape architect Eileen O’Donnell and fellow gardeners Lisa, Marc and Richard. Head chef Ross Hunter was on hand, from nearby HQ, to whip up a delectable array of spring dishes and the sun was – albeit briefly – donning his hat. An eclectic mix of outdoor furniture was brought together on the terrace, with cushions, blankets and mismatched crockery setting the tone for an evening of unpredictable entertainment against the stunning backdrop of Sarah’s sixand-a-half acres of Soil Association-certified organic gardens. A starter of mezze dishes – all created by Tim’s sister, Sarah Mayor, for her gorgeous The Great British Farmhouse Cookbook – were offered to graze on, along with a flute of Sparkling Blush from neighbouring Aldwick Court Farm and Vineyard. Boards of broad bean pâté crostini and homemade herby Scotch eggs with sage and lemon (see recipe on page 48) – made with pork straight from the family’s outdoorreared oinkers – were devoured alongside Ross’ vodka-cured trout and fennel gravlax, the main element of which had been caught only a few hundred feet away in Blagdon Lake. We dipped homemade poppy and sesame breadsticks crumbsmag.com
( the supper club ) ( feature ) Sarah’s quirky personality (she’s pictured below, with the flash of blue hair) extends from her organic gardens through to the café
into a smooth and spicy feta and roasted red pepper dip, and pitta breads were spread with yoghurt cheese. Ross revealed he had strained Yeo’s Greek-style yoghurt in muslin for two days to reveal the creamiest globes, and then infused them in rosemary, garlic and pink peppercorn oil. They were almost too beautiful to eat. (Almost.) Mains presented the most succulent Holt Farm beef; a roasted squash, red onion and cheese tart; couscous salad; and an abundance of mixed salad leaves, picked straight from the oncetennis-court-turned-veggie-garden just metres away. Designed 15 years ago, the ornamental edible garden is a feast for all the senses. There’s a mixture of vegetables and flowers, raised in the nearby glasshouse before being planting out, plus hazel and willow supports and wrought iron work from Somerset artist James Blunt. With dessert came the rain, and so a swift calorie-burning dash into the cosy tearooms ensured we thoroughly deserved our rhubarb and elderflower crème jellies with shortbread finger and following cheese board. Simple but delicious, and proof that with good food, flowing wine and hungry guests, hosting your own al fresco feast this summer can be a doddle, come rain or shine. ✱ www.yeovalley.co.uk The Yeo Valley Organic Gardens and Tea Room are open Thursday and Friday from 11am-5pm, plus the first Sunday of the month, from now until October.
FREE MAGNUM OF PROSECCO WORTH £25... When you spend £100 or more in our Kings Road Wine Shop To celebrate the re-opening of our shop in Kings Road, Susan, Aidan and Richard are offering a Magnum of delicious Prosecco FREE when you register and spend £100 or more on your choice of wines.
BEEF • PORK • LAMB • POULTRY We can supply beef or lamb from our Red Tractor approved farm. We also have Red Tractor approved poultry and Freedom Farm Foods approved pork.
01985 217150 14 Kings Road, Clifton Village BS8 4AB
www.dbmwines.co.uk You must be 18 years or over to buy wine. Only one magnum per household, you will need to register to validate. Oﬀer valid until 31st July or while stocks last.
Units 2/3 Newopaul Way, Warminster Business Park, Warminster, Wiltshire BA12 8RY firstname.lastname@example.org
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Scotch eggs are the perfect picnic fare, and not as hard as you might think...
HERBY SCOTCH EGGS with SAGE and LEMON (SERVES 8)
Forget the chalky yolks and soggy crumbs of those sad, shop-bought versions. These beauties, with their super-crunchy coating, are a different thing entirely. Lay your hands on the best free-range eggs for the creamiest yolks and a burst of sunshine yellow when you delve inside. INGREDIENTS 8 large eggs 30g butter 100g shallot or onion, finely chopped zest of 2 small lemons, finely grated ½ tsp ground mace 2 tbsp fresh sage, chopped 700g pork sausage meat sunflower oil, for deep-frying For the coating 50g plain flour, plus extra for dusting 3 large eggs, beaten 150g fresh white breadcrumbs (or Japanese panko crumbs) METHOD – Lower the eggs into a pan of boiling water and cook for exactly 7 minutes. Remove from the pan and plunge into cold water to stop them cooking, then peel. – Melt the butter in a medium-sized frying pan, add the shallot or onion and fry gently for 5-6 minutes until soft but not browned. Tip into a bowl and leave to cool. Add the lemon zest, mace, sage, sausage meat and salt and pepper and mix together well. Divide into 8 equal pieces and roll each into a ball, using lightly floured hands. – Lay a large sheet of clingfilm on the work surface and lightly dust it with flour. Lay a ball of the sausage meat on top, lightly dust with flour then cover with more clingfilm and roll out into approximately a 14cm disc. Wrap the sausage meat around the egg and press the edges together to seal, making sure there are no gaps and cracks. Chill in the fridge for at least 15 minutes. – Meanwhile, heat some oil in a deep-fat fryer or large saucepan to 180C. Roll the Scotch eggs in the flour, knock off the excess then coat in the beaten egg and finally the breadcrumbs, pressing them on to give a good coating. Deep-fry for 8-9 minutes until crisp, richly golden and cooked through. Drain briefly on kitchen paper and serve hot with a crisp mixed salad.
The want list
What you really want at a picnic is good weather and an absence of insects. While we can’t guarantee either of those, we can provide you with uber-stylish al fresco ware. You’re welcome
1. Gourmet Trotter £399
Wicker baskets are so 2013, and this summer is all about hampers that look like golf carts. No, really. This design is awardwinning, and even appeared on Made in Chelsea last month (but don’t let that put you off ). It’s got all the mobility of a trolley – no heavy lifting needed – with the luxury of the finest hamper. Think English china, pure linen napkins, designer glassware and cutlery. The Queen has two, ’cos she can. Available in three different limitededition fabric styles, in store from Woodhouse & Law in Bath. ✱ woodhouseandlaw.co.uk
2. Bar10der £29.99
A few bottles of wine or fizzy pop in, and the last thing you want
But even so, we couldn’t resist this new range of hardwearing melamine crockery from the modern British brand. Everything is inspired by the great outdoors and this simple, Scandi-style green and white set looks just the part; it will stand up to all weathers too. Available in store and online at Bloomsbury in Bath. ✱ www.bloomsburystore.com
to do is be scurrying around the picnic blanket trying to find all your various utensils. That’s where a snazzy all-in-one-number, like this bartending tool, comes in. With it you can muddle, juice, chop, measure, zest, peel, stir and strain to your heart’s content. It also includes a corkscrew and bottle opener for whatever tipple you decide to bring along with you. Available in store and online at pod in Clifton Village. ✱ www.thepodcompany.co.uk
4. Walls Soda Tumbler
£3.50 Brights are an enduring outdoor living trend, and no wonder – if the sun won’t shine, you can at least be sure your accessories will. There are four different colours available in these plastic tumblers, so get one of each to kit out the family. And if you are really
3. Anorak Rolling Hills Melamine from £4.50
If you’re like us, you’ll already have the Anorak ‘Kissing Rabbits’ picnic rug, which has a waterproof bottom and can be rolled up and lugged about with a carry handle.
feeling decadent, how about serving up a Coke float? (That’s one can of pop, topped up with a scoop of your favourite vanilla ice cream.) Available in store and online at Leekes in Melksham. ✱ www.leekes.co.uk
5. Bamboo cutlery
£17.50 It’s no good having nice crockery, fancy pants glasses and then some cheapo plastic cutlery that bends and snaps if it even so much as looks at a tomato. In comes this eco-friendly, rather beautiful and semi-disposable bamboo cutlery. It’s a 12-piece set – and handwashable, too. Available online from Frome e-tailer Cox & Cox. ✱ www.coxandcox.co.uk
emersonliving contemporary kitchen spaces
DINE & DEMO WITH SUPPER
New kitchen design studio NOW OPEN, call for viewing and appointments emersonliving creates stunning kitchens for you to cook, eat and live in. Everything we make is bespoke meaning you get exactly what you want to suit you and the way you live. Visit our website and download our free kitchen design guide or call us for a speculative chat about your kitchen dreams...
your space, your way.
Come to SEASONS FISH KITCHEN at Farrington’s Shopping Village and hear how the professional chefs prepare and cook West Coast Fish and Shellfish. Award Winning Chef Alexander Venables will show you the best in fresh fish, preparation and cooking, whilst you enjoy a glass or two of Pimms. You will be able to ask Alex lots of questions, take notes and enjoy an evening of fun and food. Alexander and his team will pre-pare a lovely supper of Bouillabaisse of West Coast fish & shellfish for you to enjoy with artisan breads, a glass of wine followed by fresh coffee.
WEDNESDAY 25TH JUNE 7.30PM Tickets now on sale at SEASONS FISH KITCHEN £25 TO INCLUDE SUPPER Seasons Fish Kitchen Farrington Farm Shop Farrington Gurney Somerset BS39 6UB 01761 452809 www.seasonskitchen.co.uk
cookery school Join our mailing list by sending and email to email@example.com with the subject ‘C free session’ and we’ll enter you into a free prize draw. If you are successful you can choose from any of the essential classes. Such as Steakhouse Perfect Pasta Spice Rack Pudding Bowl A full list of classes are listed on our new website
www.bordeaux-quay.co.uk join our mailing list
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SPICE UP YOUR SLAW! It is small and green and looks like an alien in the veg box. Just what do you do with kohlrabi? asks BRIDGET COWAN
n my memory the summers of my childhood are long and hot, and there was a lot of coleslaw. Ever since, I have veered away from the predictable gloop of white cabbage, mayo and raisins; that is, until recently, when I discovered that there is a whole new world of slaw out there. ‘New generation’ slaw is fresh and zingy – there are so many variations – and I now use my new favourite veg, the quirky kohlrabi. With its antennae sticking out of the veg box, it glares up at me like a bored alien. So I spice things up for it, and turn it into an Asian-style slaw with chilli, coconut and roasted rice. Otherwise there is a luxurious recipe for an apple and kohlrabi slaw with a blue cheese dressing, and sprinkled with hazelnuts. When time is in short supply, I opt for a simple summer slaw. It takes moments to make, and is full of goodness, flavour and crunch. I sling it on the table for outdoor lunches and pop it in a pot for picnics. So, if you have a kohlrabi lurking in your veg box (it took me the whole of last summer to work out what to do with it), don’t ignore it. Slice it, shred it or grate it and be rewarded with a fresh, crisp flavour that is just right for al fresco meals.
We are a friendly, family owned inn offering hearty home cooked food, in a small country village setting. Whether you are local or travelling from further afield, you are guaranteed a warm welcome.
A trio of kohlrabi slaws
KOHLRABI AND SUMMER CARROT SLAW WITH A YOGHURT AND HERB DRESSING Recipe by Kirsty Hale, Riverford cook 1 kohlrabi, coarsely grated 1 large carrot, grated 1 salad onion, finely sliced 2 tbsp Greek yoghurt 2 tbsp finely chopped parsley or chives ½ tsp cider vinegar Simply, toss everything together and serve. Tunley Road, Tunley BA2 0EB
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Join us on Facebook and Twitter @kingwilliam84
For more slaw recipes, and to order organic produce please go to www.riverford.co.uk or phone the farm on 01803 762059. Try a weekly or fortnightly delivery, and receive a free copy of the Riverford Farm Cookbook with your second order – just quote “Crumbs”.
Country pub ~ Dining ~ Smokehouse
THE LONGS ARMS South Wraxall
Charming country pub * Smoked foods lovingly produced in our very own Smokehouse * Warm & friendly atmosphere * Lovely walled garden * Function room available Recently awarded a Michelin Bib Gourmand
Voted No. 25 in The UK Top 50 Gastropub Awards 2014
Upper South Wraxall, Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire, BA15 2SB Tel: 01225 864450 â€˘ www.thelongsarms.com Follow us on Twitter: @thelongsarms Find us on Facebook: TheLongsArms
biddestone arms Fine Cuisine & Country Pub
Fine cuisine, real ale and good wine in an award winning beautiful village pub.
Biddestone Arms, The Green, Biddestone Nr Chippenham, Wiltshire, SN14 7DG
Tel: 01249 714377 www.biddestonearms.co.uk
New companies, amazing innovations, campaigns worth fighting for, and people that matter Highlights BEAN MACHINE
The baristas might take all the glory, but it’s the roasters that you should be thanking for your cup of Joe, says Mark Taylor Page 67
LET’S GO OUTSIDE
Sun-trap courtyards, boozy beer gardens and street-side seating: Bath and Bristol make outdoor living seem easy Page 57
Plus 64 In the clink Picnic wines suitable for every basket 72 Taste of Thai We road test a new authentic Thai cookery class in Redland 75 Seeds of change The next four small producers that you should be looking out for...
gin and tonics were consumed (responsibly) in the sun as part of the research for our al fresco guide. The pleasure was all ours…
Three Daggers Inn & Brewery
Edington Farm Shop Best local seasonal & organic produce pub award
01380 830940 47 Westbury Road Edington BA13 4PG www.threedaggers.co.uk @3daggers @threecarrots @3dbrewery
Neapolitan Street Food Kitchen & Cocktail Bar now with al fresco dining on Walcot Street and in our sunny rear courtyard garden. or call us and take advantage of Bath's Newest and Best Food Delivery Service! “Loved it” Valentine Warner on twitter about the pizza “Their tiramisu is simply wonderful and their burgers are also fantastic” Sam Moody – head chef The Priory Winners’ Bath Good Food Awards 2013 ‘Best Newcomer’ & ‘Highly Commended Takeaway/Express’
01225 938328 66 Walcot Street, Bath, Ba1 5BD www.yammo.co.uk
OUTSIDE From poolside tapas to Michelin-starred cream teas, the West Country does al fresco with a smile â€“ and a brolly near at handâ€Ś
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ome on, be honest with us. You first started wearing your trousers rolled-up and boater shoes back in March, yes? You know, when there was that first, brief, temporary glimpse of sunshine. It wasn’t warm, but you probably even suggested a Pimms to your other half. Shame on you. But now it’s summer proper, and even if there are a few clouds kicking around, it’s time to make the most of it. Time to get outside, stoke up the barbecue, lay out a picnic or dine out al fresco with the gusto it deserves. So whether you fancy afternoon tea in the grounds of a posh pile, a plate of tapas street-side, or just a beer in a pub garden, here are a few of our local favourites…
BATH Allium Brasserie
(Previous page) Jamie’s Italian’s rooftop; (above) Allium Brasserie’s terrace; (left) the new Boater; (below left) the elegant Priory gardens
The Abbey Hotel does al fresco well even in the height of winter – remember the après ski bar? – but the 40-seater terrace looking out over Bog Island (better than it sounds!) only really comes into its own at this time of year. There are heaters and large umbrellas but, regardless of the weather, the real attraction here is the hotel’s dream team – chef Chris Staines in the kitchen and mixologist Bella Newman at the bar. Us? We’ll mostly be found nibbling mandarin segments stuffed with shrimp jam, peanuts and coriander (£3.50) while supping on a ‘curds and whey’ with Ketel One Citroen Vodka, lemon and lime, vanilla sugar and lemon curd (£8).
weir. Look out for barbecues throughout the summer, try not to get tangled up in the mini-rugby posts, and head to the indoor or outside bars for any of the six cask ales – including London Pride, Two Halves, Spring Sprinter, ESB and Seafarers Ale – or 30 thirst-quenching craft beers from across the globe.
✱ 1 North Parade; www.alliumbrasserie.co.uk
The Bath Priory
Whether it’s a lazy day of croquet and Pimms from the outside bar, or a Champagne afternoon tea on the terrace overlooking four acres of gardens, The Bath Priory’s outdoor space is special. Book onto the Food to Fork garden tour for £45 on 11 September with Chelsea-award-winning head gardener Jane Moore and their Michelin-starred head chef for a guided walk in the gardens, followed by a three-course lunch using produce picked on site, wine, and a Q&A over coffee and petit fours.
✱ 9 Argyle Street; boaterbath.co.uk
Can you remember a time before Jamie’s Italian? No, neither can we. But Bath was the second city in the country to open one, and one of the main reason’s Mr O choose his Milsom Place spot was the fabulous terrace upstairs. Up to 24 diners can feast on homemade pasta and antipasti here, overlooking Bath’s magical golden rooftops and spires and surrounded by pots of fragrant fresh herbs.
✱ Weston Road; www.thebathpriory.co.uk
Recently refurbished as part of the new Fuller, Smith & Turner stable, The Boater has its own spacious patio overlooking the
✱ 10 Milsom Place; www.jamieoliver.com
With large tables and a sun trap walled courtyard, The Tav is a favourite come summer if there’s a gang of us. Perfectly positioned on the edge of Victoria Park, the pub stays warm all day and into the night, the beds of lavender look beautiful and smell great – and the food and drink are pretty good too. There’s homemade lemonade, Pimms and other cocktails on offer, and try and stop us from ordering the trio of Brixham crab (bisque, chilli crab cakes with salsa, and crab rillette on toast with crab mayonnaise), or the pickled and pan-fried Cornish plaice with crushed Jersey Royals, samphire, asparagus, pickled grapes and Vermouth cream. ✱ 35 Marlborough Buildings; www.marlborough-tavern.com
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Hare & Hounds
For undoubtedly the best views in Bath – across miles of unbroken countryside, including the Charlcombe Valley towards Solsbury Hill and east towards Bathwick and beyond – and the most family friendly menus and service, head up to this Lansdown gastro pub. There are dedicated children’s menus (think crunchy veg batons with hummous and breadsticks; mini steak, skinny fries and veg; and chocolate brownie with ice cream – two courses are £7.50), plus highchairs, toys, crayons, bibs and even wipes, too. There are 100 seats on the top terraces, which get table service, and then more in the garden (although you have to order from the bar if you sit down there), as well as plenty of lawn for the kids to run around on. ✱ Lansdown Road; www.hareandhoundsbath.com
The Real Italian Pizza Company
If you want to sit outside but don’t fancy direct sunlight (particularly if you’ve got the kids in tow), then the courtyard of The Real Italian under the shadow of the Abbey is ideal. There’s live Italian radio, pizzas are made in a wood-fired oven, and the Peroni’s chilled. What more do you need to know?
The Avon Gorge Hotel
If you’re after one of the most iconic Bristol views while being wined and dined, then the 500-seater, heated terrace of The Avon Gorge Hotel is the one. Overlooking the Clifton Suspension Bridge and rolling Somerset hills, you can grab a traditional cream tea here for as little as £5.95, as well as breakfast, lunch and dinner.
✱ 16 York Street; 01225 330121
If you want a proper Neapolitan experience while eating your Margherita pizza – one topped with sieved San Marzano tomatoes grown in the foothills of Vesuvius – without catching a flight, then where better to enjoy it than on a table in the sunshine, people watching in the artisan quarter outside Yammo!? There’s also a courtyard garden where you can play free table football and ping pong. We’ll be in the corner nibbling on stuzzichini (that’s Italian tapas) and sipping on a limongino.
✱ Sion Hill; www.theavongorge.com
You might have to navigate your way around the stag and hen dos along the Harbourside, but Bordeaux Quay’s worth the trip for waterfront dining in Bristol. The brasserie serves food all day, or you can just grab a drink, coffee, pastries and cake. ✱ Canons Way; www.bordeaux-quay.co.uk
✱ 66 Walcot Street; www.yammo.co.uk
The White Hart Inn
Bristol’s own little oasis of calm has an outdoor space and food that matches. Sit on the deck of the restaurant, overlooking the outdoor swimming pool, and order sunshine food inspired by the Middle East and cooked by head chef Freddy Bird. The daily changing tapas menu is served 12-10pm every day, alongside the a la carte and set menus, as well as breakfast and afternoon tea. We like the sound of Syrian lentils (£3), chorizo and morcilla (£6) and pickled guindilla peppers (£4).
Hidden round the back of this Widcombe pub is a Mediterranean-inspired walled garden that features live jazz throughout the summer and seasonal food from the kitchen. It’s open seven days a week, but is closed on Sunday evenings. ✱ Widcombe; www.whitehartbath.co.uk The Avon Gorge Hotel (above right) lays claim to one of the most iconic views in Bristol, while the Hare & Hounds (below) takes that crown in Bath
✱ Oakfield Place; www.lidobristol.com
Clifton café culture doesn’t get much better than at Primrose Café, where tables take over the cobbled Boyces Avenue. Eat all day breakfasts, sit down for a leisurely lunch, or take a coffee and cake in the afternoon while watching locals peruse the produce at Reg the Veg opposite. Open seven days a week. ✱ 1 Clifton Arcade; www.primrosecafe.co.uk
Become mesmerized by the hypnotic reflection of the pastel Bristol townhouses in the water alongside Riverstation. Whether eating upstairs or downstairs on the outside terraces, you’ll love the food, which is modern European in style using the best local produce. If you could order us the chocolate marquise with salt caramel, olive oil shortbread and crème friache, we’d be most grateful. ✱ The Grove; www.riverstation.co.uk
Walter’s Restaurant serves locally sourced produce for our South West of England’s inspired menus. To make a booking please call the hotel on 0117 925 5100 or visit waltersbristolroyal.com Follow us on Walter’s Facebook and Twitter for our menu teasers. Facebook.com/waltersbristolroyal Twitter.com/WaltersBristol
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The Spotted Cow
With room for more than 100 in the sunny Bedminster gardens of this boozer, it can take on an almost festival vibe when the sun shines. And when it doesn’t? There is also a large covered area with heating. The menu changes every day, depending on what’s good – we’ve heard that the Roswell Farm tomatoes from Somerset are something else – while herbs and veg are grown on the pub rooftop. Now that’s urban gardening. ✱ 139 North Street; www.thespottedcowbristol.com
COUNTRYFILE The Carpenter’s Arms
If the Chew Valley location isn’t enough of a draw, how do the floral displays and hanging baskets outside these former miners’ cottages sound? There’s a great selection of summer rosé wines, Champagne and prosecco available by the glass, bar snacks and light meals – such as a Ploughman’s lunch and traditional burger – available, as well as a modern British a la carte menu. ✱ Stanton Wick; www.the-carpenters-arms.co.uk
The outside is kind of The Ethicurean’s shtick – it was founded on a “sense of place”, the idea being that the restaurant is intrinsically connected to its land and community. The Barley Wood walled garden was built in 1901 and provides the majority o f t h e r e s t a u r a n t ’s produce; the rest is foraged and hunted by the family team. Enjoy the views over the Wrington Vale while drinking one of The Ethicurean’s famous cocktails and eating the popular cured roe deer. Restaurant manager Jack shoots the deer, while brothers and chefs Matthew and Iain butcher it, cure and smoke the loin. It’s then plated up with wood sorrel from the roe’s habitat, wild rocket, cobnuts, juniper jelly and lacto-ferment carrot juice. Check out the yearly wassail, summer solstice and apple day, as well as regular outdoor concerts and theatre shows.
Lucknam Park’s brasserie naturally flows outside (above), while The Ethicurean’s walled garden (left) is intrinsic to its whole ethos
goodness’ sake. In 2012 the team also renovated the old Vinery, a historic greenhouse, and here the team grow microsalads, herbs and up to 30 different varieties of produce, from alpine strawberries through to edible flowers. The brasserie naturally spills outside onto a terrace, if you fancy a taste of Hywl Jones’ modern British fare in the sun. ✱ Colerne; www.lucknampark.co.uk
The Pig near Bath
If watching a herd of 90 deer bouncing around the Mendip Hills is the sort of backdrop you like to your lunch – and we certainly do – then The Pig is just the place. There’s a wood oven outside too, so expect flat bread pizzas for £9 – with toppings including spiced rabbit, pickles and Rosary goat’s cheese – alongside the regular 25-mile menu (see page 86 for more on this), with many of the ingredients actually sourced from their own walled kitchen garden. And if it’s raining? Well, the conservatory restaurant, with plenty of light and all its potted herbs, should be more than adequate consolation. Check out the mini festival, ‘Smoked & Uncut’, on 14 September (smokedanduncut.com). ✱ Hunstrete House, Pensford; www.thepighotel.com
✱ Long Lane, Wrington; www.theethicurean.com
The Pony & Trap
Josh Eggleton and the Michelin-starred team at this Chew Valley pub have got al fresco nailed – they are the people behind Eat Drink Bristol Fashion, after all. The south-facing garden can seat up to 40, and is soon to be joined by a new orchard. And if you think Michelin stars mean formality, forget it. This pub welcomes dogs and children. Look out for Josh’s unique take on the best of the British summer larder, including a heritage tomato salad with ewe’s curd and basil (£7.50) and a Story Organic Farm stuffed chicken thigh with girolles, peas, broad beans and Jersey Royal salad (£18.50). Yum!
You don’t have to be a member of this golf club to enjoy the food and west-facing patio, with room for up to 80. The main menu features a selection of family favourites (think ham, egg and chips; sausages, mash and onion gravy; and moules marinere), alongside daily changing specials. ✱ Marsh Lane, Farrington Gurney; www.farringtonpark.co.uk
As gardens go, Lucknam does it and then some – think 500 acres of listed parkland. It has its own equestrian centre, for
✱ Newtown; www.theponyandtrap.co.uk.
WHITEHART • w i d c o m b e •
Mediterranean inspired walled garden Live Jazz during the summer with drinks served from our garden bar Fresh and seasonal food Open 7 days (closed Sunday evenings) The White Hart | Widcombe | Bath | BA2 6AA T 01225 338053 | www.whitehartbath.co.uk
Just 20 minutes drive from both Bath & Bristol lies the tiny Hamlet of Stanton Wick, home to The Carpenters Arms. A TRADITIONAL INN serving great food in the country
Stanton Wick, Nr. Pensford North Somerset, BS39 4BX
PRIVATE ROOM perfect for relaxed private dining & small conferences. Great packages available. TWELVE EN-SUITE BEDROOMS These delightful rooms offer king sized beds, digital ﬂat screen televisions, duck down bedding and wireless internet.
THE OUTSIDERS What sings of summer more than a lobster tan, Diet Coke adverts and Will Smith songs? REBECCA MILFORD of Tasting Room reckons these sunshine wines…
o you’ve crammed your Tupperware with gorgeous salads, Scotch eggs and strawberry meringues (turn to page 29 for recipes for all these and more). Doubtless that vintage wicker basket you liberated from a flea market at the tail-end of the last heatwave will end up discarded – too rickety by half – but hey, there’s still your fluorescent plastic cool box, circa 1983. The ice packs are in, plastic cutlery too, and… hang on. What’s missing? The plonk, of course! Every al fresco feast needs a chilled glass of something, and our local oenophile – Rebecca Milford from Bath’s Tasting Room – has the bottles to satisfy.
1. Picpoul de Pinet 2012 Domaine Font-Mars £9.95
We love a dry French wine and this one, with its fresh crispness, will add a zing to any occasion. The white peaches and roses on the nose make it ideal to sip
while lying back under a tree, eyes closed, listening to the hum of the bumblebees. It’s perfect served chilled, and has enough body and richness to quaff alone or combine with food. If you do fancy adding some nibbles, then Picpoul de Pinet goes fabulously with seafood. If you’re grabbing and go-ing from your local deli, then the last of the season’s asparagus marries wonderfully with the exotic fruit hints, or pick up a summer vegetable quiche for a delicious combination of flavours.
2. Speri Valpolicella Classico 2012 £10.95
Think you can’t enjoy red in the height of summer? Think again! A good vino rosso can add a bit of body, and won’t overwhelm if you get a light, tasty variety. We recommend this fantastic Italian wine, which gives a burst of fruitiness with each sip. A heady kick of black cherry and ripe plum evokes a summer orchard, and fills the mouth
with playful flavours. The ripe juiciness makes for a fresh and easy-drinking wine that can be enjoyed with red meats from the barbecue, or simply with a good, rich pâté.
3. Domaine de Millet Rosé 2012, Gascony £8.50
practical, after all! And it’s good enough value to grab a few bottles in case an afternoon jaunt lasts through to the evening.
4. Avonleigh Organic Vineyard £18.95
Sometimes the occasion calls for a bit of fizz – even if the reason We know the sun’s here when we is simply that it’s a summer’s day. And what better way to really reach for a bit of the pink stuff – celebrate the season in Blighty there’s something so delightful than with some English bubbles? about cracking out a bottle of We’re mad for this Avonleigh rosé when the warmer months Organic fizz from a vineyard in arrive. And, for a fabulous rosé Bradford-on-Avon, the grapes that will put you in the mood for summer, we heartily recommend planted in organic soil. This sparkling wine has been this offering from France. The produced using Chardonnay delicious taste of strawberries and Pinot Noir grapes, which and raspberries will transport you back to childhood (albeit in a give a delightful taste of green apples. Plus, it has a distinctive slightly alcoholic fashion). and wonderfully fresh elderflower Fish goes down a treat with hint that captures the English this wine and, in particular, we summer at its very best. It would would pair it with one of the ✱ www.howardarms.com be a wonderful addition to any tapas dishes that we serve at quintessentially British picnic the Tasting Room, such as our carpaccio of lemon-cured salmon with its fizzy finesse. Pair it with a punnet of ripe, juicy strawberries, and capers. What’s more, it has sweet and warmed from the sun. a screw-top: picnics need to be
All of these wines can be bought at Tasting Room on Green Street, Bath, or online at www.tastingroom.co.uk
S C A N D I N AV I A N SH O P
Special edition 2014 Moomin summer mug “Sailing with Nibling and Tooticky” Shannon Furniture Ltd 68 Walcot Street. Bath. BA1 5BD • Tel 01225 424222
THE OLD STATION INN & CARRIAGE RESTAURANT
Wells Road | Hallatrow | Somerset | BS39 6EN www.theoldstationandcarriage.co.uk
Pub • RestauRant • Rooms Dine in our elegant Pullman carriage restaurant, in our bustling eclectic pub or even al fresco in our large beer garden... Whatever your mood or occasion there will always be a warm welcome and fantastic food.
* 31 /0 8/ 14 D UN TI L RT. VA LI IS ADVE TH H IT , W *IN ST O RE
0117 973 4444 joescoffee
Yes, a Bit Of lAtte art is ImprEssiVe. but if You Want a tRuly gooD coFfee, staRt wIth A goOd rOastIng, SayS caFfeiNe fIend Mark tayLor
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quick espresso at Colonna & Small’s in Bath changed everything for Eddie Twitchett, who was so blown away by the experience that he is now one of the region’s up-andcoming coffee roasters. “The coffee was an Ethiopian and it tasted like strawberries; I had never tried anything like it before and I was hooked,” says Eddie, who started the Radstock-based Round Hill Roastery in 2012 and now supplies coffee to a growing number of cafés in the region, including Society Café in Bath and Full Court Press in Bristol. One roasting course at the London School of Coffee later and Eddie used all his savings to rent an industrial unit and buy a Giesen roaster. “I threw myself in at the deep end, bought my first bags of green coffee beans and spent two months learning about how they performed in my roaster,” he says. “It was trial and error until everything fell into place.” Indeed, Eddie is typical of the new wave of artisan roasters using carefully sourced beans from the very best coffee farmers around the world. They all share an uncompromising dedication to producing coffees with complex flavour profiles. One of the newest roasteries in the region is Dusty Ape, run by Phil Buckley and Evan Metz, who came to roasting after working in IT and brewing beer. From their microroastery in Hilperton they use a gas-fired Toper drum roaster to roast coffees such as El Salvador Las Delicias Pacamara and a premium blend 100% Arabica coffee called Molten Toffee. “We could see that a strong artisan coffee culture was taking root in the South West, and we started selling Dusty Ape coffee last autumn,” explains Evan. “The response has been fantastic. “Becoming a roaster definitely takes a lot of study and practice. Qualifications are important, but a passion for flavour and coffee is the starting point. We create roast profiles for each bean by roasting small batches of the bean on our sample roaster, and then tasting it to check whether we have captured the desired characteristics. “We use a data logger to record in real time temperature changes occurring within the beans. Each roast is mapped using roast profiling software so that we can compare roasts to ensure consistency.”
Top, l-r: The Roasted Rituals team from Hengrove; Andy Tucker of Clifton Coffee; Eddie of Round Hill Roastery; Dusty Ape create roast profiles for their beans by roasting in small batches; Saskia Falconer of Little & Long roastery
Originally from New Zealand, Saskia Falconer launched the Little & Long roastery in Fishponds, Bristol, last year. A former intensive care physiotherapist, she says her scientific background has given her a different approach to roasting. “I tend to be quite analytical and structured in my roasting,” she says, “and I aim to produce coffees that can be enjoyed when made by a highly trained barista with some serious equipment, but equally by someone at home with basic equipment, too. There is no reason great coffee can’t be approachable and achievable for anyone to enjoy. “I was lucky enough to work with two amazing roasters in Italy who were both passionate about coffee and very progressive
in their roasting styles. I was then very lucky to work at Truth Coffee in Cape Town, refurbishing their 60kg diesel-fired roaster, helping the build of their new café and roasting. It was a great introduction to running a roastery. “I work mostly with coffee importers to source all my beans, and I think that working with a good importer ensures that the coffee I receive is of a good quality, but also that the farmers are receiving a good price.”
Ronnie Narciso of Bakers & Co – king of latte art and beards
Two Day Coffee Roasters on St Michael’s Hill in Bristol was opened seven years ago by Frank and Petra Deane, who got the idea after working in Japan. Although they supply a couple of local restaurants (including Flinty Red and Michelin-starred Wilks), the business is primarily aimed at customers making coffee at home. The roastery prides itself on selling coffee so fresh it is often still warm when the customer buys it. Frank says: “Whilst working in Tokyo we were lucky to have a coffee roaster open near us, and he actually roasted to order. The combination of freshness and high-quality green beans inspired us; in fact, that combination dictates everything we do, and we also only deal with the public, so feel a particular affinity with our customers – and to their cup as it is consumed at home – rather than toward coffee in cafés.” Since it launched in 2000, Clifton Coffee Company has been one of the most familiar names in the region when it comes to coffee, but it only started roasting its own beans in May 2013. The roastery is overseen by Andrew Tucker, who has spent more than a decade in the coffee industry. He says that after years of baristas getting all the attention, it’s time the roasters stepped out of the shadows and got a bit more recognition. “There are more roasters Useful contacts out there than ever before,” he www.roundhillroastery.com says, “but, crucially, there are www.dustyape.com more green coffee importers www.littleandlong.com than ever too, meaning there’s www.cliftoncoffee.co.uk an ever-increasing supply of www.twodaycoffee.co.uk www.roastedritualscoffee.com great coffee on the market. “I’ve always been a huge fan of Ethiopian coffees,” says Andrew, “but the new Kenyans are amazing this year, and I’ve also been blown away by a Nicaraguan coffee recently.”
Check out om g.c crumbsmare! for mo
The taste test at Extract Coffee It’s just before 10am on a grey Thursday and Extract Coffee, a roastery on the edge of St Werburgh’s, is hosting an informal training session with baristas and café owners from across the region. One group gathers around Extract’s Kit Frere to explore different types of brew methods, including the cafetiere, Aeropress and V60 Coffee Dripper. Another group joins Extract co-founder and head roaster David Faulkner for a ‘cupping’ session, tasting coffees from the Extract range. At the espresso machines, Mat North of Full Court Press is holding a knock-out latte art contest with baristas testing their skills at pulling great shots and creating perfect four-part tulips and three-part rosettas. In a hotly-contested final, Brisbaneborn barista Ronnie Narciso of Bakers & Co beats Heidi Bendall of Spicer+Cole by a whisker. “I love seeing the guts of a roastery,” says Ronnie, who worked as a barista in Australia, London and Edinburgh before arriving in Bristol. “Visiting the roastery is a good way to see what happens behind the scenes, and events like these are a great way to meet other baristas and share opinions.” Checking out the brew bar is Simon Buckingham, who has the enviable title of Head of Drink at Boston Tea Party. A company that prides itself on the consistency of its coffee, Boston Tea Party trains all of its baristas at Extract. “The training sessions we run at Extract allow us to stream our baristas into three stages – beginner, intermediate and advanced – and pitch sessions accordingly,” says Simon. The next Home Barista Workshop at Extract takes place on 12 July, costs £50pp and includes brunch and takeaway coffee. ✱ www.extractcoffee.co.uk
After several years working in the coffee industry, Patrick and Tahi Grant-Sturgis launched Roasted Rituals Coffee in 2012. From their roastery in Hengrove, south Bristol, they roast to order and sell mainly through their online shop. Like other new-wave roasters, they have seen the shift towards the lighter roast coffees as people move away from the dark-roasted style of old. “Having an Australasian background, I have early memories of roasting going back 20 years, but the style was still heavily influenced by the darker roast profiles,” says Tahi. “There is definitely more interest in lighter, brighter roasts within the specialty market, and we can see a Scandinavian approach in terms of roast profile being adopted for filter coffee. I first noticed a shift in the style of roasting about ten years ago in Melbourne. In the UK this shift has been more recent, but the rate of change seems far more accelerated. A lot can be said about deviating from old ways and adopting new ideas.”
Now open until 9pm, Thurs â€“ Sat Saracen St, Bath
Open from 9am every day for... Fantastic breakfasts, Wonderful lunches, & Sublime suppers.
220 North Street, Southville 0117 9639044 225 Gloucester Road, Bishopston 0117 9445500
Email: email@example.com Follow us @zazuskitchen225 for news and great offers!!
Café bar, live music, art exhibitions By day, Grounded is a bustling café serving organic fair-trade coffees & teas, breakfasts and homemade lunches with changing daily specials. In the evening, the lights go down and the music goes up and Grounded evolves. We serve tapas, our specials and Grounded’s famous stonebaked pizzas. For the latest information on live music and art exhibitions go to www.cafegrounded.co.uk or search Facebook for Café Grounded
The Old Chapel, Pickwick Road, Corsham SN13 0HL 01249 715555
53-55 Sandy Park Road, Brislington, Bristol BS4 3PH 0117 971 7666
66-68 Bedminster Parade, Bedminster, Bristol BS3 4HL 0117 923 1000
287 Church Road, Redfield, Bristol BS5 9HT 0117 955 5668
Ne Corsh w am ca NOW fé OPEN !
421-425 Gloucester Road, Horfield, Bristol BS7 8TZ 0117 951 1505
www.grounded.co.uk Call to make a reservation or book a party
Thai spirits You donâ€™t need to travel far to get a taste of Asia, says CLARE SAVAGE. Just pop inside one Bristol home for an edible tour
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he concept is simple. You spoon a small amount of prawn and crab infused with distinctive Thai flavours, like Kaffir lime leaf, onto a spring roll sheet, then gather the sides together to form a neat parcel. It’s tied at the top with a fresh green strip of chives so it resembles a miniature medieval money bag. I’ve watched my tutor for the day, Oranuch Wills, do this three times already, neatly cutting around a bowl to create a circular sheet, before parcelling up a symmetrical orb that will be deep fried in a wok and served with an incredible pineapple sauce. But while Nuch (as she’s more commonly known) has well-trained fingers that deftly pull the parcel into shape, mine create a series of lumpy looking imitations that have an air of The Generation Game to them. Still, by attempt number seven I’m starting to get the hang of it, and I look up to see Nuch nodding appreciatively. “This isn’t a very common Thai dish,” explains Nuch, “but students love learning how to make it. It’s actually the kind of thing you might come across in a top-end restaurant, and the process of making it teaches you a lot about combining traditional Thai ingredients.” Nuch started her career working for the world-famous Blue Elephant restaurant in Thailand, teaching students from around the world. Here in Bristol, though, she runs classes from her kitchen in Redland, a room decorated with artwork and sculptures from her hometown of Phuket. “I moved to England with my family last year,” explains Nuch, “and I knew I wanted to carry on teaching people how to cook. I love helping people build their confidence, and taking the mystery out of Thai food.” With the parcels (toong tong keaw waan) done, I turn my attention to the ingredients laid out for our next curry, kaeng phed ped yang with duck. “This is exactly the kind of dish you’d expect to eat in southern Thailand,” says Nuch. “The food is more rustic there, definitely more spicy and, because the climate in the south is more tropical, we also use a lot of coconut in our cooking.” Nuch has provided a beautifully colourful array of coriander root, cumin, garlic and curry paste, and my first job is to combine them in a rich and flavoursome base. “Understanding how to create a paste like this is one of the most important aspects of Thai cooking, and a mortar and pestle is an essential bit of equipment,” says Nuch, as she slides the surprisingly heavy granite tools across the table. We work in unison, pounding and grinding the spices into a smooth paste that will release the key flavours into this dish. There’s no Magimix here. When I get the nod from Nuch that my paste is ready, we turn our attention to the main ingredients. The duck breast has already been soaking in a marinade overnight, so our first job is to slice and then seal the meat under ✱ Nuch runs three-hour the grill. Coconut milk gives the curry a creamy finish courses from her own and sits beautifully with the exotically refreshing kitchen in Redland, Bristol, grapes, lychee, cherry tomatoes and pineapple. for up to three people at Nuch encourages us to taste along the way. a time, but can also run “Ingredients vary, so with Thai recipes you have sessions in your home. to keep tasting and adding to get the dish you want,” Prices start at £80pp. she says. “Some people don’t like food that’s too hot, www.mythaikitchen.co.uk or they bring their kids with them and want them to enjoy it too, so we adjust as necessary.” Pad Thai comes next – a sumptuously spicy mixture of peanuts, prawns, egg, fish sauce and noodles. It’s a dish I’ve eaten on the streets of Thailand many times before, but I’ve never tried to make myself. It’s simple, but requires the kind of swift organisation that I’d struggle with in my own kitchen, armed with just a recipe and my own culinary cunning. Nuch calmly talks me through each step, bringing the dish together artistically on the plate. With three dishes finished, we settle down to eat. “What I want is for my students to take away the confidence to try these dishes back at home, and I often stay in touch with people to help them find the things they need and to give tips,” says Nuch. And, sure enough, two weeks later Nuch points me in the direction of a local Chinese supermarket to track down the right ingredients for a curry that I’ve been inspired to make by reading her Facebook page. “Whether you are a complete beginner or a real foodie, these courses are meant for people who want a little culinary adventure, and I am there to help them explore the essential flavours and ingredients that go into making great Thai food.”
This spicy duck curry is a real firequacker. (We’ll get our coats.)
RED THAI DUCK CURRY (SERVES 2)
INGREDIENTS 150g duck breast (skin on) 2 pieces of coriander root 2 garlic cloves ¼ tsp each coriander and cumin seeds, toasted 2 tbsp red Thai curry paste (we use Mae Ploy or Nam Jai) 1 tbsp vegetable oil 250ml coconut milk 6 red grapes 60g fresh pineapple, cubed 2 kaffir lime leaf, torn into pieces
1 large red chilli, sliced 3 cherry tomatoes, halved 4 lychees ½ tbsp palm sugar 1 tbsp fish sauce 15 sweet basil leaves For the marinade 2 star anise ¼ tsp coriander and cumin seeds, toasted 2 cardamom ¼ tsp ground cinnamon 100ml water 1 tsp dark soy sauce 1 tsp honey
METHOD – Start by making the marinade. Boil all of the ingredients, except for the honey, for 2-3 minutes. Leave to cool and add the honey. Add the duck and leave to marinade overnight. – Grill the duck breast until the skin is crispy and the meat is rare. Remove from the heat and slice. – Pound the coriander root, garlic, roasted cumin and coriander seeds and red curry paste in a mortar. – Heat the vegetable oil in a saucepan and add the paste, stir frying until you can smell the aroma. – Add the coconut milk a little bit at a time and bring to the boil. – Add the grapes and pineapple and then the cooked and rested duck. Add the lime leaves and chilli. Add the cherry tomatoes and lychee last of all. – Season with the sugar and fish sauce and then simmer for a further 3 minutes. – Add the basil leaves, stir and then remove from the heat. – Transfer to a large bowl and serve with steamed rice.
Ready to meet the next ‘Big Small Brands’? The Seed Fund gives six-figure financial help to the most exciting new West Country artisanal food startups, and Crumbs has been watching every step along the way…
The prize includes a full year of brand and design consultancy from creative media types The Collaborators; a similar amount of PR, marketing and social media from an agency called purplefish; ditto from digital and web marketing support outfit Omni Digital; and again from Bristol-based business and financial advisors FD Works. Taste of the West – promoters of regional food and drink brands – were sponsors and helped judge, and Crumbs is aboard too; we’ll be providing some £10,000 of free advertising for the winner over the next year.
ne of the delights of living in the West Country – and we’re going broader than pure Crumbsland here, taking in everything from the Cotswolds down to the end of the Devon/ Cornwall peninsular – is the quality of the produce, and the relaxed yet enthusiastic attitude of all our brilliant artisanal food makers. Yet skill, inspiration and quality ingredients will only get you so far. The overall health of any regional food economy is only as strong as two things: its distribution system, and its marketing. Enter The Seed Fund 2014, which – it’s only fair to say – can’t help a great deal with the distribution side of things, but is like having the Incredible Hulk in your corner when it comes to marketing. But what exactly is The Seed Fund, you may be wondering? Well, it’s what’s called a ‘startup business accelerator’, and it’s designed to give promising new foodie outfits a leg-up in their early stages: basically, new companies enter, and if they win they get free help to encourage them to grow. Over £100,000 of free consultancy and marketing, in fact, provided by the four businesses who’ve put the whole idea together.
So who won this time around, and who made it to the shortlist? Well, top dog for 2014 was Lisa Hackett from Hatt, a little Cornish village not far from Plymouth on the Devon border. Her Let Them Eat Cake company – no prizes if you guessed what they do – specialises in gluten-free sponge et al. Another on the four-long shortlist was Bridport, Dorset’s Jalopy Pizza, also with a fairly self-explanatory name; they’re the local kings of wood-fired, handmade tomatoey, cheesy flatbread. They operate out of two ultra-rare Peugeot J7 vans – a cute ’60s and ’70s model with distinctive corrugated metal strips down the side – and rock up at festivals, weddings, private parties, food fairs and
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Let Them Eat Cake
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the like, but they came to The Seed to help them launch a new range of pizza kits, allowing people to achieve the same results at home. Nothing very local, you might think, but wait! The shortlist was rounded off by two outfits from the heart of Crumbs territory. From Bristol came More Drinks, makers of two types of tasty vitamin and mineral-heavy soft beverage. And from Bath we had Timmy’s Chillies – in our book, the most entertainingly named of the four finalists. More Drinks has a pretty simple mantra – fewer calories, extra vitamins – and offers two distinct ranges: Get More and A Little More. In the curvy bottles of the Get More range, all based on spring water with natural flavours and no added sugar, there’s a Vitamin A version (blue bottle) for healthy skin and vision; a Vitamin B (purple) to tackle tiredness and help turn food into energy; a Vitamin C version (orange) to support your immune system; a Vitamin D version (red) for healthy teeth and bones; and a Multivitamin version (green bottle) for skin, hair, nails and energy. Their A Little More range is similar, but come in smaller bottles and multipacks and is aimed at kids. Meanwhile – made at Farmborough near Bath from locally sourced ingredients – the Timmy’s Chillies guys offer assorted chilli jams and chutneys, many described as ‘very hot’, at around a fiver for a 227g jar. Designed to go with cheese or cold meats, added as a glaze when doing a roast, or spread thinly on toast, they’ve in-your-face packaging and intriguing flavours: Marmanaga has oranges, ginger and naga chilli peppers; Blimeylimey majors on lime, ginger and Thai chillies; and Lemonchillo has lemons, ginger and habanero chillies. And as for the winner, Lisa Hackett’s cakes are designed for those with very specific dietary needs; she herself is intolerant to wheat, gluten and dairy, and – as can be the way with these things – what was once a hobby has now got rather out of hand, expanding into a promising business. Lisa – who says she started with just “£50 in my pocket and the ingredients in my pantry back in March this year” – is determined to rescue free-from treats from their poor rep: “I wanted to make something that tastes good not just for people with food intolerance, but the whole family,” she says. Indeed, it’s been going so well – initially through local Devon and Cornwall food markets, but now further afield too – that she’s recently started making savouries and puddings as well. The judges were impressed by Lisa’s positive, can-do attitude, but also by the delicious more-ishness of her cakes: they really are extraordinarily good. So that’s it for this year. Four exciting new companies for you to keep an eye out for as you travel about, and one brilliant initiative to help encourage budding entrepreneurs in the area. Long may it continue, and roll on 2015.
Let Them Eat Cake won over the judges with amazing free-from, guilt-free(ish) baked goods
Not come across any of these delights on your travels yet? Here's where you might find them… More Drinks are available at Tesco stores across Bristol, plus Wells, Midsomer Norton and Chippenham – not yet in Bath, unfortunately – plus the WH Smiths at Temple Meads station and Bristol Airport. For more, go to www.moredrinks.co.uk Timmy's Chillies are available at good delis and such across Bristol and Bath: think Arch House Deli, Eades, Hartley Farm Shop, Kilver Court, The Guildhall Deli and such. You can find a fuller list, or order online, at www.timmyschillies.com Find out more about about the other finalists at www.jalopypizza.co.uk and gfreebythesea.me/2013/01/15/letthem-eat-cake/
✱ For more: www.seedsw.co.uk
OPENIN G OFFER 2 0% O ALL SUS FF HI
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LIVE JAZZ Award-winning artists every Sunday evening
Bath’s newest Japanese restaurant Made-to-order sushi and authentic Japanese dishes Lunch Menu from 12pm-3pm 43 St James Parade Bath BA1 1UQ • Tel: 01225 460089 www.bamboo-sushi.co.uk
www.ringobellswidcombe.co.uk 10 Widcombe Parade, Bath Located within 2 minutes walk from Bath Spa Train Station
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3 BELVEDERE LANSDOWN ROAD BATH BA1 5ED TELEPHONE 01225 448890
SILVER STREET, BRADFORD ON AVON WWW.FATFOWL.COM INFO@FATFOWL.COM 01225 863111
Indian Fine Dining
vibrant & innovative Indian cooking Our fresh and divinely delicious modern Indian cooking is based on authentic flavours complimented by freshly sourced, British ingredients. Add to that some zingy cocktails, fine wines and friendly and attentive staff, and you are in for a memorable gastronomic experience. Not for nothing are we known as Bath’s finest Indian restaurant! NEW SITE IN BRISTOL’S CLIFTON AREA OPENING SOON “Consistently ranked in the list of Bath’s top rated restaurants” – Tripadvisor “…Elaborately, yet stylishly decorated. I was bowled over by the food and service at The Mint Room.” – thisisbath.co.uk “The Mint Room has quickly established itself as one of the most interesting contemporary Indian restaurants outside London” – Square Meal The Mint Room, Longmead Gospel Hall, Lower Bristol Road, Bath BA2 3EB Tel: 01225 446656 • Email: firstname.lastname@example.org • Car parking available Best Restaurant Bath Life Awards 2013
As seen on Channel 4
Best Newcomer South West
Ruth Watson Means Business
British Curry Award 2012
Serving up rustic and lovingly homemade food in the heart of Clifton village
Open seven days a week, we offer breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea, as well as a selection of freshly baked cakes and sweet treats. Free wifi available.
Tel: 0117 973 8684 12 King’s Road, Clifton, Bristol BS8 4AB Follow us: @thefarmbristol for all the latest news
Best Indian Restaurant Bath Good Food Awards 2012 & 2013
Pat Chapman’s Cobra Good Curry Guide
Michelin Guide 2013
#2 6 NE XT IS SU E
Another little slice of foodie heaven
Celebrate the Great British coastline with our underwater special*
PICK UP YOURS FROM FRIDAY 11 JULY www.crumbsmag.com
*Crumbs disclaimer – before you get carried away, think less Atlantis/Sharky and George (“the crime busters of the sea”) and more fish fingers and crab cocktails
Crumbs is back with... Burn, baby, burn – all the kit you need to get your grill on this summer Ice, ice, baby – why iced tea is the big drink of 2014 Baby got bass – we get all your fishy questions answered Plus: break out the ice for our summer drinks In the Larder special!
New restaurants devoured, new bars crawled, new shops explored, and everything reviewed and rated
Highlights PIG OUT
Laura Rowe goes up another dress size at The Pig near Bath, the most talked about new restaurant of the year Page 86
Mark Taylor works ‘extra hard’ at Totterdown restaurant The Office Bar & Canteen Page 84
Bradford-on-Avon’s Fat Fowl gets a new lease of life after the Christmas floods Page 88
mile menu is what they call it at The Pig, meaning nearly everything you’re eating is local
2 crumbsmag.com crumbsmag.com
inches added to the Rowe waistline this issue
( great restaurants )
The Office Bar & Canteen Trendy, and the ultimate haunt for a hungry freelancer, Totterdown’s Office wins favour with MARK TAYLOR
IT’S NINE YEARS since I nervously handed my boss a letter breaking the news that I was leaving to go freelance. Since then, I have pretty much managed to avoid all offices, unless summoned in for meetings. Whether it’s the comfort of my own home or a café, these days my ‘office’ tends to be anywhere serving proper coffee and fast wi-fi – and long may it stay that way. And so, naturally, my heart sank when I received an email from the big boss lady asking me to visit The Office, although the palpitations soon subsided when I realised she was talking about the bar and canteen in Totterdown. Never has an invitation to ‘the O word’ been so gratefully received. I had visited this place when it first started serving food last year, and had enjoyed such a memorable meal that I immediately dropped everything and headed over to Wells Road for lunch.
barely made inroads before pushing it aside for fear of having no space for the other two dishes I had ordered. Unusually (and refreshingly) vegetable dishes dominate the menu here, all of them priced between £3 and £6. In the last week of May, seasonal treats included asparagus and Amalfi lemon, and artichoke tempura with lemon and anchovy sauce. Dishes from the fish and meat sections I didn’t get chance to try included mirin skirt steak, carrots and crispy onions, and poached scallops with mussels, lettuce, peas and sea purslane. Nothing on the menu costs more than £8. With the aforementioned cauliflower dish discreetly pushed into the wings, I moved on to the cuttlefish and harissa (£6) – an equally generous portion of tender cephalopod coated with the fiery, brick-coloured North African chilli paste. And then there were the three plump, goldenbreadcrumbed salt hake fritters (a giveaway at £3.50) packed with meltingly soft and salty fish and seriously addictive. The compact and well-priced wine list includes some real bargains under the £25 mark. My Caixas Albarino Martin Codax was a bright, citrussy, peachy white that worked particularly efficiently with the salt hake fritters. A carefully sourced beer list features draught Estrella and bottles of the more local Wipe and True Amarillo. From a dessert menu with a sharp seasonal focus, including strawberry and nectarine Eton Mess, I ordered the well-made treacle tart and rhubarb ripple ice cream (£4.50), which boasted really good, thin, crisp pastry and a well-balanced filling with a lemony, gingery edge. Whenever asked for his office telephone number, the late journalist Jeffrey Bernard used to give people the one for his favourite Soho haunt, The Coach and Horses. With food and drink this good, I may well have to change my business cards and put the number for The Office on mine. At least then I’ll be able to finally get away with that oldest of excuses; yes, “darling, I’m working late at the office”.
I used to live fairly close to the row of shops where The Office is located, and I seem to remember a hairdressers occupying the site where the bar is now. Back then, there was certainly nothing like The Office for discerning locals, and it’s good to see such a high quality and cool hang-out established in this part of South Bristol. With its polished concrete floors, exposed brick walls, Eastern European factory lamps and a back bar made from scaffolding poles, The Office looks more Hoxton than Totterdown. The chef is Matt Elliot, who cut his teeth at Bordeaux Quay before setting up the kitchen here. Young, shaggyhaired and with that ‘sleep is for wimps’ style reminiscent of a young Marco Pierre White, he looks the part of the young gunslinger chef and, boy, does he know how to cook. The menu at The Office follows a similar trajectory to places like Flinty Red, Manna and Bell’s Diner in that it’s broadly European, and most of the dishes are pitched between tapas and main course size. This means two of the meat/fish options might be as ample as three or four vegetable dishes, although I kicked off with the chargrilled cauliflower and harissa yogurt (£4) and it was so generous (just imagine a whole head of smokey, charcoal-edged cauli smothered in spicy yoghurt) that I
✱ THE OFFICE BAR & CANTEEN, 172 Wells Road, Bristol BS4 2AL; 0117 329 0161; www.theofficecanteen.co.uk
( feature )
Everything on this veggie heavy menu is under the £8 mark, beautifully presented and packed with gutsy flavours – that’s our kind of office environment
Plates of food are inspired by the garden â€“ and perhaps by the rainbow colours of the wellie collection!
( new restaurants )
The Pig near Bath For field-to-fork dining – and then some! – head to a manor house in the woods, says LAURA ROWE
THERE AREN’T MANY hotel restaurants, except for maybe a few in London (and the odd one that’s appeared on the telly), that are well-known on a national scale. But such is the reputation of The Pig, version 1.0, that when rumours of a sister branch arriving in our neck of the woods first started surfacing, everyone was talking about it. The original opened in July 2011 in rural Hampshire – it’s a ‘restaurant with rooms’, taking inspiration from its pretty walled garden. A pleasing synergy was created there between gardener, forager and chef, and soon celebrity fans and glowing reviews followed. Now there are three more of them – in Southampton, in Dorset and ours, nestling in the folds of the Mendip Hills at Hunstrete House, near Bath. The building’s a Grade-II Georgian manor house turned hotel that had remained unoccupied since 2011. But, after extensive renovations, landscaping and more, its Pig incarnation finally opened in March with Tom Ross, hotel director, at the helm. (Tom’s got hospitality in his blood: his parents used to own and run Homewood Park and The Queensberry Hotel in Bath.) And it seems Tom and his team have pitched this little piggy perfectly. When we pulled up on a Wednesday afternoon, after negotiating the long crunchy drive, the car park was rammed. From the get-go, it’s clear this place is different. There’s 20 acres of woodland and deer park surrounding it, for a start. There’s a flock of chickens and quails, and keep going far enough and you will find the two (pet) kune kune pigs and their three speedy piglets. The old swimming pool has been filled in and replaced with the most impressive and well-tended of kitchen gardens; there are fruit cages, an orchard, two treatment ‘sheds’ and a smoking hut. And inside it’s been given a shabby chic makeover Annie Sloan would be proud of. We start by taking a seat in the bar – shelves are stacked high with a rainbow of quirky glassware, bottles of Chase vodka have been spiked with all manner of foraged and found herbs and fruits, and there’s even the odd bit of trendy taxidermy. Well, it is 2014. But what’s truly exciting here is The Pig’s ‘25-mile menu’. It might sound like PR fluff – and we read enough – but you need only peruse the menu to realise that it’s actually been carefully realised. There are a few of the usual suspects, like Bertinet bread and Yeo Valley, but you’ll find plenty of lesser known producers too, such as Heavenly Hedgerows’ foraged preserves from four miles down the road and trout from Mere Fish Farm 21 miles away. There’s crumbsmag.com
a map and information about some of the key suppliers, and everything else, of course, is grown/harvested on site. While enjoying a Gardener’s Tinkle (that’s would be one of the house cocktails) we started making our culinary journey around the West Country with a few ‘piggy bits’ (£3.75 each) – mouthfuls of the stickiest, sweet and spicy honey and chilli pork belly – and ‘hockeggs’ (like mini Scotch eggs) with an awesome Coleman’s dressing. The restaurant proper feels like you’ve popped up in a Victorian greenhouse – aromatic herbs punctuate tactile wooden tables, terracotta pots double up as candleholders and rough, unbleached linen napkins are held together with recycled paper menus. It’s rustic, it’s earthy, it’s homely. Luxury so often has connotations of formality or expense – that’s not the case here. And it’s the better for it. The complimentary bread basket is joined by a pat of golden butter, a bottle of local rapeseed oil infused with herbs from the garden, and home-smoked salt. Starters are just as well considered and executed – from homesoused sardine with freshly picked rocket leaves and warm braised beans (£6) to incredible crispy lamb sweetbreads with mint mayo and slices of multicoloured radishes (£6). The staff, it seems, have been handpicked as much for their personality as for their CV, too, and it shows. Big up to Daryll – who we’ve awarded the #welovedaryll hashtag. The Pig’s ‘Extraordinary’ Bath Chap (£15) has to be ordered – a whole jowl of pork (teeth and all), it’s crispy, succulent and moreish, with apple sauce. But, for me, it was the venison and pork belly faggot (£15) with a spring onion mash that won favour on this visit, while him on the other side of the table tucked into Kentucky-fried local rabbit with pickled baby red cabbage and carrot slaw (£16). Sides are £3.75 each, but worth investing in (in terms of calories and cost) – try the crispy Tobacco onions and flower pot of triple-cooked chips. Caramelised rice pudding with blackcurrant jam (£7) was pricey but perfect, unlike the forced rhubarb mousse and buttermilk sorbet (£7), which was lacking that sour punch. No matter though; gingerbread piggies and salted caramel fudge with coffee more than made up for it. So: locally sourced food, a magical setting and some of the friendliest, most passionate staff we have ever come across. Go, stay, and come home only if you must. ✱ THE PIG NEAR BATH, Hunstrete House, Pensford BS39 4NS; 01761 490490; www.thepighotel.com
( great restaurants )
Fat Fowl Our own chubby bird, LAURA ROWE, pootles over to Bradford-on-Avon for a happily water-free Mediterranean supper
IT’S HARD ENOUGH in the restaurant business to do well, and make profit, when times are good – so it’s got to be a real kick in the chops when, while still dragging yourself out of a recession, you discover the elements are conspiring against you too. So it was at the Fat Fowl in Bradford-on-Avon where, on Christmas Eve, two foot of water flooded the entire restaurant. But, fast-forward six months, and – after a full refurb including new floors, bar and a lick of paint – it seems the old bird is flying again. Local spies tell me it’s busier than ever and, if my Saturday dinner is anything to go by, this deserves to continue. There’s ample space for seating outside – a treat, given this Fowl’s central Bradford location – but inside is pretty cheery too. The front is beautifully bright and airy, thanks to the conservatory frontage, while towards the back, by the peep-through kitchen, there are more intimate corners for dark deeds and such. But my date today, Ro, likes to see what she’s eating (or maybe just my fork, as it creeps towards her plate), so we sat out front. The tables are without cloths, the flowers simple and the chairs wicker – all adding to the restaurant’s relaxed atmosphere. (No wonder this place is as popular at lunch as it is for supper.) The familiar old tapas menu that many will remember from previous Fat Fowl incarnations has now gone, but Mediterranean flavours definitely still dominate, thanks to the tastes of head chef Paul Greenhead. Ro kicked off with seared Cornish scallops with a sweetyet-savoury parsnip purée and crisps, bacon ‘powder’ for salty smack and vibrant, fresh pea shoots (£8.75). Every mouthful counted – great textures, great colours and great flavour. All in all, an excellent dish. As a sucker for anything with sherry, all other dishes paled in comparison to the pan-seared calf’s liver with a Pedro Ximénez glaze (£6.50) in my book – and it was just right, the bitter liver marrying perfectly with the sticky sweet jus, and an inspired smoked tomato salsa. A thick toasted bruschetta acted like an edible loofah (but was much more delicious), soaking up all those juices. For mains we swapped fish/beast allegiances – Ro choosing a hefty leg of confit duck (£13), which was a
snip given its size, while it was pan-fried fillets of sea bass (£16) for me. The duck fell apart at a nudge – so when I started sticking my cutlery in, it was game over for this particular fowl. Crispy skin, succulent meat – it’s the stuff confit dreams are made of. The blood orange reduction was a clever take on an old flavour pairing (and far from sickly sweet), while crushed new potatoes were taken to another level with smoked sea salt and spring greens. My bass was light and fresh and happily collapsed into its delicate cream sauce, with garlic and lemon. Mussels and clams clattered around the plate, adding a burst of seafood saltiness, as did the deep-fried squid. And what better herb to bring it all together, bound through a stack of crispy new potatoes, than an aniseed hit of tarragon? Puddings, like the specials, are scrawled on a black board and brought around the restaurant to tempt. It’s not often that I want everything on the sweets menu, but this was a rather special one with interesting flavours throughout; think in terms of sweet balsamic and berry sorbet with the raspberry cheesecake, or a citrus mascarpone and ginger and lemongrass syrup with a classic lemon curd tart. Ro and I made a strategic decision, agreeing to share the Greek yoghurt panna cotta with lavender honey, almonds and figs (£6) – basically, Greece on a plate – and a white chocolate crème brûlée (£6). The prickly background heat perfectly balanced the creamy sweetness of the chocolate, while an extra drizzle of sweet chilli sauce and chunky crumbs of chocolate brownie were enough to have us fighting over the last forkful. Maybe sharing wasn’t such a good idea after all... There’s a reason why owners Mark and Arlene have been successful in the town so long, and it’ll take more than a little excess water to drive them away. The Fat Fowl remains cheap, cheerful and perfect for the summer; Bradford’s lucky to have it.
✱ FAT FOWL, Silver Street, Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire BA15 1JX; 01225 863111; www.fatfowl.com
( feature )
From sherry-seared calfâ€™s liver (top right) to sea bass with squid (left), there are plenty of Mediterranean flavours to tempt at this newly reopened bistro
If music be the food of love, play it loud!
Somerset conductor, and founder of Orchestival, CHARLES HAZLEWOOD shares his note-perfect foodie haunts ahead of the July music festival
– Sunday lunch? The White Hart in Somerton is a gorgeous old hotel and restaurant that serves the best Sunday roast lunch. It has lots of nooks and crannies where you can hang – and where no-one sees your children messing with their food! – Quick pint? The Barton Inn in Barton St David is a walk across the fields from my home. It’s an amazing pub in the middle of nowhere which serves great beers. The Telegraph described the pub as “car boot sale meets Bohemia”, though that’s a bit cheeky. – On the go? Sushi is my speed food. I love it, and the best place for it is Yen Sushi in Bath. The fish is so fresh that it’s still flapping on the plate. – Posh nosh? At the Chapel in Bruton serves everything from hake to amazing wood-fired pizzas. Not sure if it’s posh, but it’s great food in a stunning converted building. – A lovely cuppa? Oates and Musson, a deli in Castle Cary, do a stonking cup of tea – though I am really a coffee man, which they do too. I am a bit of a coffee purist, and prefer my espresso ‘just so’. Three espressos a day and I am a happy man. – Hidden gem? The Bakehouse in Castle Cary looks like a proper English tea shop, but you can enjoy a kaeng kha gai (chicken and mushroom in coconut milk) that wouldn’t seem amiss in Bangkok. Fantastic Thai food. – One to watch? Sorry, not quite local, but it has to be Patty & Bun in London. If Mozart was a burger he would be a Patty & Bun burger. Every mouthful is exquisite in taste and style. – Breakfast? For pure nostalgia it would be St Giles’ Cafe in Oxford. I think I may have spent all of my student life, and my entire student grant, at St Giles’. All breakfasts are now compared with those. – With friends? That’s easy – the Watershed Bar in Bristol. It’s a great place to hang out and meet friends, and is always full of interesting people. – Cheeky cocktail? Those ones you remember are often to do with the company you’re with. I have sipped many a cocktail (don’t ask me what they were) at Thekla in Bristol while listening to great grunge music, and never felt so alive as I did at that moment. – With the family? Going a bit afield again, to Rick Stein’s deli in Padstow – but it’s worth it. All my kids have various food ‘intolerances’ – i.e. things they will and won’t eat – but at Rick Stein’s they’ll try everything. Even a fish finger butty takes on new meaning. – Romantic meal? I love cooking. I spend so much time travelling, when I am home it is hard to prise me out of the kitchen. So, for my gorgeous wife, I would cook her a fabulous tuna fillet with a rich lime and green chili guacamole. There’s true love for you. ✱ Orchestival is at the Royal Bath & West Showground, Shepton Mallet, on 19-20 July; www.orchestival.com
Quick! Now add this little lot to your contacts book The White Hart, Somerton TA11 7LX; 01458 272273; www.whitehartsomerton.com Barton Inn, Barton St David, TA11 6BZ; 01458 850451; www.barton-inn.co.uk Yen Sushi, Bath BA1 2QZ; 01225 333313; www.yensushi.co.uk At the Chapel, Bruton BA10 0AE;
01749 814070; www.atthechapel.co.uk Oates and Musson, Castle Cary BA7 7BG; 01963 359023; www.oatesandmusson.com The Old Bakehouse, Castle Cary BA7 7AW; 01963 350067; www.castlecarybakehouse.co.uk Patty and Bun, London W1U 1HE; 020 7487 3188;
www.pattyandbun.co.uk St Giles’ Cafe, Oxford OX1 3LU; 01865 5544200; www.stgilescafe.com Watershed, Bristol BS1 5TX; 0117 927 5100; www.watershed.co.uk Thekla, Bristol BS1 4RB; 0117 929 3301; www.theklabristol.co.uk Stein’s Deli, Padstow PL28 8BL; 01841 532700; www.rickstein.com