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A little slice of foodie heaven

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CRUMBS BATH & BRISTOL NO.59 FEBRUARY 2017

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s E C A K IN' What’s the difference between Mozart and Jerusalem artichokes?

One is music to your ear, and the other is music from your rear!

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CUPID’S ’CHOKEHOLD SOMETIMES YOU JUST have to shrug your shoulders and accept the quirks of the often hilariously random English language. So it is with Jerusalem artichokes, which – it turns out – have precious little to do with Jerusalem or, indeed, artichokes. Yup. They’re also not on any kind of close terms with ginger – the root of which they rather look like, with all those gnarly knobbles – or the far starchier potato (though they aren’t a million miles away in terms of culinary usage). We could continue naming things that Jerusalem artichokes aren’t, but the process of elimination isn’t nearly as efficient as pinpointing what, exactly, they are – something we’ve documented in the following pages. By the time this issue is in your mitts, you’ll probably be sick of the sight of love hearts (though perhaps not Love Hearts) and flying, curly-haired babies brandishing bows and arrows – we know we are, and V-Day’s still some way away as I write. But for those who do buy into all things romantic, and are keen to spread the love this month – or had forgotten, and are now in a sweat-inducing panic – we’ve also got a lush list of liquors which will either make great gifts, or provide top company on 14 Feb as you order a takeaway and settle in for a Netflix binge. (Just us?) Speaking of ‘me time’, we’ve got an interesting read for you: solo dining is absolutely a thing now, with more hungry punters than ever rocking up at restaurants, lone wolf-style, for a bite to eat. We’ve spoken to some of ’em to find out why they love it so. Enjoy!

ANDROID

Jessica Carter, Editor jessica.carter@mediaclash.co.uk

APPLE

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Table of Contents B ATH & B RIS TOL

NO.59 February 2017

crumbsmag.com

EDITOR

JESSICA CARTER jessica.carter@mediaclash.co.uk DEVELOPMENT EDITOR

MATT BIELBY matt.bielby@mediaclash.co.uk ART DIRECTOR

TREVOR GILHAM

STARTERS

CONTRIBUTORS

MARK TAYLOR ADVERTISING MANAGER

KYLE PHILLIPS kyle.phillips@mediaclash.co.uk DEPUTY ADVERTISING MANAGER

NEIL SNOW neil.snow@mediaclash.co.uk ACCOUNT MANAGER

LORENA CUSSENS lorena.cussens@mediaclash.co.uk ACCOUNT MANAGER

ALANA MEDFORTH alana.medforth@mediaclash.co.uk PRODUCTION AND DISTRIBUTION MANAGER

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

CHRISTINA WEST christina.west@mediaclash.co.uk CHIEF EXECUTIVE

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

GREG INGHAM greg.ingham@mediaclash.co.uk large version

large version

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. 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.

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08 HERO INGREDIENT What an artijoke 12 OPENINGS ETC Find out what’s cooking 14 CUPID’S LARDER Some super sips for V-Day

CHEF!

Amazing recipes from the region’s top kitchens 28 Braised venison shoulder, by Josh Hutson 31 Lebanese spinach soup, by Wafaa Powell 32 Mushrooms and crispy poached egg, by Paul Collins 36 THE WINE GUY Andy Clarke goes hyper-local for his wine match this month

MAINS 54 TABLE FOR ONE Why we love dining solo 57 TAKE A BREAK Food-focused getaways

ADDITIONAL RECIPES

10 Jerusalem artichoke soup, by Freddy Bird 24 Stuffed chicory, by Pierre Gagnaire

AFTERS New & notable restaurants, cafés, bars

KITCHEN ARMOURY 40 HOUSE CALL We snoop around the kitchen of a Bristol food entrepreneur 48 THE WANT LIST Animal magic

66 Rick Stein, Marlborough 69 Lovett Pies 70 The Lock Up 72 St James’s Café Deli

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PLUS 74 LITTLE BLACK BOOK Food PR Laura Tomlinson lets us in on her fave foodie hangouts around Bristol


INNOVATIONS, REVELATIONS AND TASTY AMUSE-BOUCHES

THE FIRST BUSINESSES that will move into the new Cargo 2 development have been revealed. Cargo 2 – made of repurposed old shipping containers, and located on the Bristol riverside at Wapping Wharf near M Shed – will be well over twice the size of its neighbouring original. Built of 49 new containers arranged in two storeys, it will be home to a range of independent businesses, including: Josh Eggleton’s second Salt & Malt; Story @ Cargo (an ethical butchers and

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takeaway); The Pickled Briskett; Gambas (from the guys behind Bravas); Oliver’s Ice Cream; new 20-cover restaurant Tare; health food store Roots Manuka; St Nicholas Market drinks company Big Juice; Greek street food vendor The Athenian; and a bubble tea specialist, Cupp. Expect to find retailers on the bottom level, and restaurants above. No completion date as yet, but we‘re keeping a keen eye on progress... ✱ wappingwharf.co.uk


S T A R T E R S

We love it when a foodstuff has a bunch of crazy names, and delicious Jerusalem artichoke’s are especially silly‌

jerUsaLem aRtiChOke 8

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nyone fancy a sunchoke? A lambchoke? Or an earth apple? No? Well, what about a Canadian truffle? Whatever the name – and that little lot are just the tip of a particularly lumpy iceberg – the nutty, silky-textured Jerusalem artichoke is one of the real treats of the mid-winter larder. If only it didn’t insist on lying to us so… You see, despite its protestations, the Jerusalem artichoke isn’t actually an artichoke at all. Rather, it’s a type of sunflower – the bit we eat is its lumpy, brown-skinned, ginger lookalike of a tuber. And it’s got nothing to do with Jerusalem, either. In fact, this guy is from the New World, and the name is probably vaguely Italian – an English corruption of the word ‘girasole’, meaning sunflower – with the ‘artichoke’ bit tacked on to explain the globe artichoke-like flavour, something first spotted by French explorer Samuel de Champlain, who brought them across the Atlantic around 1605. Native Americans had been harvesting them long before they ever saw a European face, but while tubers sent back to the Old World proved a hit, becoming a popular naturalised crop – especially in France, where they recently voted Jerusalem artichoke the ‘Best Ever Soup Vegetable’ – they were quickly forgotten about in the US, except as animal feed.

Jerusalem artichokes make for the silkiest, lightest of mashes, and – with breadcrumbs, cheese and cream – work brilliantly as a topping for fish pie. Indeed, we’ve seen these guys served with everything from game birds to beef, shellfish to lamb, and the combo almost always works. You can even make an intense brandy or digestif from it, as the Germans are wont to do. This – ironically enough, as we’re about to find out – is often considered a remedy for diarrhoea or abdominal pain…

The name may be misleading, but two things we’ve always been able to trust about Jerusalem artichokes are their taste – earthily sweet, with elegant hints of garlic or mushroom – and their healthy qualities, being stuffed with iron, potassium and vitamin B1. They’re friendly to type 2 diabetics too, and not fattening. Chefs love ’em because they’re more interesting than the broadly comparable swede – as do farmers, as they’re high yielding, diseaseresistant, and easy to grow. (Sometimes too easy, and extreme measures can be needed to stop their spread.) As an intrinsically knobbly thing, Jerusalem artichokes can be hard to peel or scrub clean – so probably best to pick ones that are only moderately knobbly – while any with dark, wrinkled or soft patches should be avoided. Keep them unpeeled (they’ll last well over a week in a cool, dark place) until using, as the flesh will discolour in the air, but if you really have to peel them, plop them into a bowl of acidulated water (water with a bit of lemon juice or vinegar added) to keep until needed. To cook, treat Jerusalem artichoke like any winter root veg, so roast ’em like mini jacket potatoes (perhaps with the likes of garlic, sage, thyme, bay or rosemary); purée them for soup; have them either raw (so sweet, crisp and nutty) or cooked (smooth, aromatic and artichoke-like) with the likes of feta and bacon in a salad; pop ’em into a casserole or stew; or sauté, braise or stir fry. When cooking keep half an eye on them, though, as they can go a bit mushy if you’re not careful.

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Which brings us to our unfortunate last few paragraphs. You see, the carb these things are full of – inulin – is hard to break down, which can send the digestive system into overdrive to cope, often with Ex-Lax-esque results. Basically, don’t be too surprised if, after eating, you experience tummy rumbling and a clear understanding of where another of Jerusalem artichoke’s nicknames – ‘fartichoke’ – comes from. Some say this is mainly caused by the skin (so maybe you do want to peel them after all), while others claim it only happens when you eat them whole (rather than chopped into pieces), or when you eat them raw. And many, of course, claim to have never experienced any of these ill effects at all... Hmm. What we do know is that this unfortunate quality has long been commented upon, with the celebrated English botanist John Goodyer writing in 1621 that they “cause a filthy loathsome stinking wind within the body” making them “more fit for swine than men”. To which we can only say, lucky porkers. But also: just buy a few and see how you – and the intestinal flora you’ll be relying upon to break these things down – get on. Hey, when a veggie has so many undeniable upsides, surely it’s worth the risk…?

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R E C I P E

Ey up, Freddy Bird! Pray show us how you’ve been using this month’s Hero in your kitchen...

JERUSALEM ARTICHOKE SOUP, CRISPY TOCINO, MORCILLA TOAST (SERVES 4)

THERE ARE SO many great recipes for Jerusalem artichoke. This versatile, seasonal ingredient can be simply roasted or slow cooked in butter until soft and sticky; thinly sliced, fried and turned in to crisps; or puréed up into a simple soup. I’ve gone for the latter option, but with a few additions to make it feel a little bit special. INGREDIENTS

75g tocino (or lardo) 2 large white onions 4 cloves garlic, sliced 750g Jerusalem artichokes, peeled and sliced, plus 2 whole, with skin on 100g potato, peeled and sliced 1.2 litres (approx.) chicken stock 100ml double cream vegetable oil, for deep frying 12 slices of morcilla 4 slices of thick-cut bread. good handful of chives, finely chopped METHOD

– First, slice the tocino or lardo into thin strips. Over a low heat, slowly render these in a pan before turning up the temperature

to get them golden and crispy. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon, leaving the rendered fat in there, and set aside on kitchen towel. – Add the sliced onions and garlic to the pork fat in the pan and slowly cook until soft and translucent. Add the peeled and sliced Jerusalem artichokes and potato, cover with the chicken stock and simmer until soft. Season carefully as the pork fat is quite salty already. Add the double cream, simmer a few minutes longer, then blend until velvety smooth. Check the seasoning again and keep it warm. – Thinly slice the whole Jerusalem artichokes (use a mandolin if you have one, so that the slices are of even thickness) and heat up a high-sided pan

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with enough vegetable oil for deep frying. – Fry the slices until golden, then remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and set aside on kitchen towel. You may need to do this in batches. – In a separate pan, gently cook the slices of morcilla, making sure they stay soft. Toast the bread and then spread it with the sausage. – To serve, pour the soup into 4 bowls. Sprinkle over the tocino, artichoke crisps and finely chopped chive, and serve with the morcilla toast on the side. ✱ LIDO, Oakfield Place, Clifton, Bristol BS8 2BJ; 0117 332 3970; lidobristol.com

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GRAB A CARDI

S T A R T E R S

What do you get when you cross a cardiologist with a chef? Restaurant menus that help your heart, apparently. But fear not, this doesn’t mean low fat and dull: the guys who came over the Channel to open The Bunch of Grapes in BoA tell us that, despite the French having high-fat diets, they suffer less heart disease than us in the UK. Thus, local cardiologist Ali Khavandi is out to dispel all the myths about what is ‘healthy’, and this rustic, French-style restaurant is fully on board, with head chef Steve Carss working with Ali to produce a range of top dishes to support that ticker – find ’em on the menu! ✱ thebunchofgrapes.com

DOUBLE TROUBLE

Following an uber-successful year for its North Street café, Tincan Coffee Co has opened another venue on Clare Street in the city centre. This is the second site for the Bristol-based coffee biz, which originally started out in a vintage van – a history that is evident in the quirky, industrial-cum-vintage interior design. That’s not to say that this is but some hipster hangout joint, though; the team really know their coffee, and brew their own locally roasted espresso blend (which changes seasonally), as well as rotating guest espressos and some single-origin varieties. Food-wise, expect the same tasty, low-maintenance grub to take out or eat in, as well as brunches, seven days a week.

RISING STAR

See this face? Remember it: it’s one to watch. Elly Wentworth – who won South West Chef of the Year twice before coming to our patch to take on the role of junior sous at Lucknam Park – only blummin’ made it to the final of MasterChef:The Professionals this series, which aired recently. Part of the Michelin-starred team at this hotel restaurant, Elly is back at the day job now, but we reckon we’ll be seeing more of this highly talented lady...

✱ tincanevents.com

✱ lucknampark.co.uk

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THE MAGIC NUMBER

SUPER SLURPS

The guys behind Bristol-based drinks company Espensen Spirit have just opened a bar in Redfield. Bristol Spirit, which was originally set to open last summer, follows the launch of Phil Gillies and Sam Espensen’s infused vodkas and gins last year, and will serve those alongside regularly changing dishes. The launch menu has a distinct Middle Eastern feel, with the likes of mutton kofta, baba ganoush, and broad bean falafel and tahini. In charge is chef and manager Oliver Tidman, who you may know from Mathilda’s Chilli Bar. Expect to see quirky events at this new venue too, as well as kitchen takeovers. There’s an exhibition space an’ all, displaying work from local artists. ✱ espensenspirit.com

ON THE RANGE

Home is a new restaurant in Castle Cary, recently opened by food writer Fiona Mattesini and her husband Paul. Listing thoughtful homemade breakfasts and lunches, the menu takes its inspiration from the pair’s own kitchen at home, as well as Paul’s Italian heritage. You might see the likes of winter squash and ginger pancakes with berries on the list of brekkies; roasted roots with a salsa verde, balsamic reduction, mapleroasted pumpkin seeds and pan-fried halloumi among the lunches; and dark treacle and ginger cake on the counter for afters. The menu is vegetarian, and gluten-free baking is a speciality here, making this little spot extra interesting.

Shop 3 Bistro popped up recently in the most discreet of manners. In fact, the only noise about its opening came from the excited foodies who had spotted the site during the three weeks it took to transform it from an Indian takeaway to this calm, clean, rustic bistro. Owners Stephen Gilchrist and Kathryn Curtis have come to Bristol from New Zealand, where they’ve been running their own restaurant for six years. Kiwi chef Stephen originally moved to the UK in 2003, and spent the ensuing seven years working in multiple-rosetteawarded London gaffs, while Kathryn, from Devon, has front of house experience from her work in high-end delis and restaurants. It’s all about imaginative, fuss-free and high-quality food and drink, served in casual surroundings, and made with seasonal and often wild ingredients (that includes the flavoured spirits in the top cocktails, just FYI...).

@catgj16 treats herself to Sunday lunch @homewoodpark

✱ facebook.com/Shop3Bistro

YOU HAVE YOURSELF A DEAL

To alleviate the woes of daily de-icing and the struggles of making nutritious, warming meals on a budget that aren’t soup (like, again), The Ox Clifton has given us all a bit of a treat. Until 31 January, punters get 40 percent off food – that’s everything from starters to steaks, and sides to small plates. The offer is running Monday to Thursday, 12pm-2.30pm and 5pm-7pm. We’re feeling better about 2017 already... ✱ theoxclifton.com

@jaynes_blendoffood tucks into a vegetable tagine from @scoffandrelish

In the diary... (3 February) UNDERDOGS AT THE HARE Free-range British hotdog biz Underdogs will be serving up their specialities at the North Street pub, so you can enjoy them with a great selection of beers; theharepub.co.uk (24 February) FEBRUARY FEAST SUPPER CLUB The Matatu Kitchen will be creating four courses of its modern Somali and Swahilistyle cuisine at this £25, BYO event; thematatukitchen.com

Psst! No Man’s Grace on Chandos Road – y’know, with the awesome tasting menu – has just launched its first evening a la carte! Love a good luncheon? Birch in Southville is now open Saturdays, serving midday meals!

✱ facebook.com/homecastlecary

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S T A R T E R S

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CUPId’S CuP

Polite announcement: we’re available this V-Day, and would very much like to be gifted one of these super sips… 1 SCHAWEET Sweet Potato Spirits Collection £18/4x5cl These novel liqueurs are made just up the road in Worcestershire from a specific type of Californian sweet potato. This gift box of miniatures can be customised to include your four favourites: we got the caramelly moonshine; warming spiced rum; zesty orangecello; and juicy raspberry liqueur. Made from scratch in copper stills, they’re ace in cocktails. Available online. ✱ thesweetpotatospirit company.com 2 TOP TATTIES Stafford’s Gin £37.95/70cl Based on a farm in the South West, this family biz use their own house-made spirit (Avol Dor potato

bonus. Made from Glera grapes grown in north east Italy, it’s got the DOC label (meaning it adheres to specific quality-related criteria), is organic, and is pleasingly light and fresh when it comes to taste. We’d be happy with this in a wine cooler regardless of sugar quotas. Available at St James’s Deli in Bath. ✱ thomsonandscott.com

vodka) to create a rather unique gin. This zingy spirit features a range of botanicals picked from their farm (where they grow the spuds) including lemon balm, rosemary and bay. The family have been farming this patch for well over a century, and started growing potatoes during World War II, with this distilling business being a relatively new venture. Available from Corks in Bristol and online. ✱ aval-dor.co.uk

4 SWEETEN THE DEAL Banyuls Rimage, Les Clos des Paulilles £15.95/50cl We’re told that this sweet dessert wine is best served at 12C, to get the most of its juicy cherry, dark fruit and subtlety spicy notes. Made from hand-harvested Grenache Noir grapes, it’s further improved by Lauden Chocolate’s Exquisite Selection; the beautifully

3 SKINNING UP Thomson & Scott Skinny Prosecco £17.50/75cl Now, we’ll get one thing straight here right away. We don’t like this sparkling golden liquid because it’s ‘skinny’; the whole limited sugar thing is just a happy

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designed bites matching the wine perfectly with flavours including sour cherry and lychee and rose. Both are available online from indie wine merchant, Roving Sommelier Wines. ✱ rovingsommelier.com 5 APPLE OF YOUR EYE Thatcher’s Cider Barn Ciders £2/500ml Somerset cider giant Thatcher’s released some special small-batch thirst quenchers recently: Spartan, Redstreak, and Morgan Sweet & Grenadier. Each one shows off the expertise of the seasoned cider makers who’ve developed it. So long as these limited edition drinks are still kicking about, you’ll find them at the Thatcher’s Cider Shop in Sandford. ✱ thatcherscider.co.uk

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S T A R T E R S

SEASONS

It ain’t just supplements at this health food shop; there are plenty of specialist ingredients to get your cook on with...

THIS LONG-STANDING RETAIL biz has been on the Bath block for 28 years, no less. Owner Annie Bassil came to the city to open the store, having already forged a career in natural health. There are all kinds of products on display here; the natural supplements that dominate the shelves blend seamlessly into a range of herbal teas and varied culinary offerings. And, although it may seem like the main focus is on supplements and well-being treatments, they’re quick to point out that food is a major part of the work the team here do to help their customers. “It’s always food first,” says boss, and qualified nutritionist, Annie. “We can’t help people without talking to them about food. Food accounts for far more than half of your overall health.” (The remainder, by the way, is determined by anything from environment to lifestyle.) These guys are still seeing an increase in food intolerances, as well as a rise in customers interested in more natural foods. Both of which Seasons’ range of produce is specifically designed to cater for – unlike many larger food shops. “Even though the supermarkets carry a lot of products for people with special requirements,” Annie says, “a lot of gluten-free stuff, for instance, is full of chemicals. We offer cleaner alternatives, and steer people towards good nutrition.” But don’t panic – the team here aren’t saints, and aren’t expecting their

SHOP SPEC

What? Supplements and whole/specialist food and drink, as well as treatments. Where? 10 George Street, Bath BA1 2EH; 01225 469730 When? Mon-Fri 9am-5.30pm; Saturday 10am-5.30pm

customers to be, either. If asked for advice, they make realistic recommendations based not only on the issues you’re experiencing, but also your budget and lifestyle. They’re not going to forbid anything – or try to convince you to invest in a plethora of supps, either. Rather, it’s about “building up a picture” of the problem, as Annie explains. “People might think they’re eating healthily, but it’s not necessarily healthy for them; some of us buy into an idea without stopping to think if it suits us, personally. Everyone needs a certain amount of nutrients to function, but individual requirements are so different. Whatever you choose to eat, you really have to be aware of your personal needs.” As well as having great nutritional value, the focus here is on food that’s free of chemicals – and is environmentally friendly, too. It’s about conscious eating in every respect.

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From Meridian Food’s almond butter to Biona’s ethical, unrefined cane sugar and Pukka Herbs’ locally made organic teas, the products on these shelves not only support the heath of consumers, but also of the environment and the British economy, as nigh-on all the brands you’ll spot here are native to these shores. As we peruse the shelves and chat to Annie, a range of customers drop by; while some know exactly what they’re after, and others just want to browse, plenty of them are keen to chat and get advice – something that the staff here are more than capable of giving. Although the team often attend educational events and lectures to stay at the forefront of the industry and help visitors effectively, for Annie, there’s nothing that can replace the knowledge that comes with good, old-fashioned experience – and it’s clear that these pros have that in abundance.

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The Greenhouse Restaurant at Wadswick Green is a stylish and relaxed all day dining destination. Located in an elegant and modern setting, with beautiful views across the Wiltshire countryside. Meet friends and unwind after work, catch up over cocktails, enjoy a leisurely breakfast or meet the family for a Sunday roast. The perfect place for any occasion.

Take a look at the events we have coming up at The Greenhouse

JANUARY

FEBRUARY

Wellness Month

Valentine’s Dinner

Look after your health and wellbeing with guilt-free dining in January. Choose from our delicious Wellness menu, including vitamin boosting smoothies and mocktails designed to detoxify and restore your sparkle after the busy festive season.

Mother’s Day

Tuesday 14th February

Sunday 26th March

Dine in a romantic setting in the company of your loved one and enjoy a stunning menu.

Celebrate with us during Mother’s Day weekend at The Greenhouse and join us for breakfast, lunch or afternoon tea. Look out for special promotions in the Wadswick Green Spa too.

Book your table now, the first 15 reservations will receive a complimentary glass of fizz

Traditional Burns Night Supper

Pancake Day

Tuesday 28th February

Wednesday 25th January

Celebrate pancake day after school on Tuesday 28th February from 3-6pm.

To avoid disappointment, book your tickets early. Dress code: wear a touch of tartan if you wish.

Fun for all the family, extra special pancake menu, face painting and kiddies colouring competition

BREAKFAST MENU available 7 days a week

MARCH

Book your table now

For more information on all our events, please check our website.

ROASTS

available from 12 - 6pm on Sundays

The Greenhouse Restaurant is open Mon-Sat from 9am-11pm and Sun 10am-8pm (last orders at 6pm).

You can reserve a table at any time by calling us on 01225 585880 or book online at www.thegreenhousewg.co.uk THE GREENHOUSE RESTAURANT | THE PAVILION | WADSWICK GREEN | CORSHAM SN13 9RD WWW.WADSWICKGREEN.CO.UK


S T A R T E R S

Ask the Supplier What sort of customers do you have? I look after a wide range, from large hotel groups to small local independents, contract caterers and schools. And are all those chefs as demanding as we’d imagine they are?  They’re all working under pressure, and I feel they sometimes get badly portrayed; certainly, the chefs that I supply have always been a pleasure to work with – and they keep me enjoying what I do! Is there any type of produce that’s become particularly popular lately?  Last year saw a rise in colourful food. The likes of purple cauliflower, beetroots, heritage tomatoes, yellow courgettes and romanesco were often the star attractions on a plate.

THE PRODS AND ROCKERS This is Sarah Fothergill, and she’s part of the team at Total Produce, who supply our local chefs with top ingredients So, Sarah: have you been working at Total Produce long? It’s eight years now! And what impresses you most about the local food industry?  Bristol and the surrounding area is currently very exciting, as we’ve seen huge growth in the number of independent food traders on our streets. That, in turn, has brought out the best in the Bristol audience. What’s the best thing about your current job?  Meeting the chefs – and sampling their food – is, of course, a great perk!

And the most challenging part? Meeting our customers’ demands. They often put us to the test, and we constantly strive to rise to all their challenges. So, as a business support manager, what are your key responsibilities?  You name it, and I get involved! I manage the sales team, as well as our busy office, for instance – and we’ve recently been recruiting more office staff, so we can speak to more of our customers. Total Produce is now manned 24 hours a day, with at least two members of the team here at all times, so we’re contactable around the clock for all kinds of foodrelated emergencies!

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Any predictions for what we should look out for on menus in 2017? With Brexit looming more and more, local British produce will be increasingly used – which should lead to even more seasonality in dishes. Are there any chefs that you think are doing especially interesting things with your produce?  One is Elliott Lidstone at Box-E, who is producing amazing creations with our seasonal ingredients. Henry at The Cauldron is cooking fantastic local food using natural heat resources, too! Finally, where are your favourite local spots to eat out in your spare time?  Urban Standard on Gloucester Road never fails to deliver a fantastic burger. And places like Old Market Assembly, Prince Street Social and Steak of the Art provide lovely local food, too. ✱ totalproduce.com

This could be you! Contact us at: jessica.carter@mediaclash.co.uk crumbsmag.com


The Methuen Arms W H E RE H O SP I TA L I T Y M E E T S FABU LO U S FO O D & D R I N K

The Methuen Arms is an award winning Great British inn set immediately beside the stately home and beautiful grounds of Corsham Court, and just eight miles from the enchanting city of Bath. Re-opened in 2012 with 14 bedrooms, after just one year it won ‘The Publicans National Turnaround Pub of the year’, and just recently it was awarded the ‘Good Pub Guide’s Wiltshire Fine Dining Pub of the Year 2016’. The accolade of awards has continued too with another win at The Bath Good Food Awards and is testament to our dishes and passionate Head Chef and team. Excitingly, the business continues to grow with further ambitious plans for 2017.

01249 717060

2 High Street, Corsham, Wiltshire SN13 0HB info@themethuenarms.com www.themethuenarms.com


S STTA A RRT E T RS E R S

New kid on the block

You’re all about the hotels, it seems. What attracted you to The Jetty at the new Bristol Harbour Hotel, then? The chance to be in charge of a kitchen where we use fresh, quality ingredients to produce great, simple dishes. There’s lots of seafood at Jetty. What do you like about working with fish? The variety and diversity. What’s your favourite fish to cook and eat this season, and what’s a fish that deserves more love? Halibut. And needs more love? Pollock.

THE JET SET Say hello to Joe Procak; he’s exec chef at Bristol’s new Jetty restaurant Hey, Joe. When did you begin cooking? Aged about seven or eight, with my mother. I was 16 years old when I started cooking professionally, though. And your fondest foodie memories from your childhood?  Oh, my mother’s handmade gnocchi. What first inspired you to cook professionally, then?  I spent a lot of time helping out at my uncle’s restaurants in Italy.

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In your experience, why’s the local foodie scene so awesome to work in? I love the great diversity of restaurants that Bristol has to offer; it’s a great melting pot of cuisines and cultures. Do you grow anything yourself?  I have lots of herbs in my garden, plus quince, crab apples and cherries. Which piece of kitchen equipment couldn’t you live without?  My Thermomix.

Ah, so food is very much in the family, then. How would you describe your own personal style of cooking? It’s modern British, but with an underlying classic feel. Apart from The Jetty, where else might we know you from locally? Perhaps the Mercure Holland House? I opened its Phoenix Restaurant. And I was also the executive chef at the Marriot Royal’s Palm Court Restaurant. Both are in Bristol.

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Foodie heroes? Raymond Blanc, Marco Pierre White, Heston Blumenthal, Marcus Wareing. Current favourite flavour combination? Pork and prawns. Finally, what’s the best meal you’ve ever eaten? Pigeon, goose and chocolate dishes at The Hand and Flowers in Marlow. A truly amazing meal! ✱ bristol-harbour-hotel.co.uk

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Bar • Kitchen Dining SUNDAY ROAST BY THE FIRE

AFTERNOON TEA BY THE FIRE

VALENTINE’S DINNER

Come and join us for an amazing Sunday roast in our cosy country pub on the edge of Bradford-on-Avon. Get your friends and family together and relax on the luxury sofas by the fire in our comfy bar. Children and dogs welcome.

Homemade cakes and pastries, Selection of hand cut sandwiches and unlimited tea and coffee. Booking essential.

An evening of Traditional Venetian dishes with a twist of love.

12 noon to 4pm

Friday, Saturday and Sunday 3pm to 5pm • £15 per head

BURNS NIGHT SUPPER

Tuesday 14th February “From Venice with Love”

THE GEORGE FLOWER SCHOOL

Friday 27th January

An evening celebrating Robbie Burns, homemade haggis, a traditional pipe player and a wee dram.

TO BOOK CALL

Saturday 25th February • £35 per person

Tea & coffee on arrival. A demonstration on Spring flower arrangements followed by a hands on practical session, finishing with a light lunch and a glass of wine.

01225 865650

67 Woolley St, Bradford-on-Avon BA15 1AQ • info@thegeorgebradfordonavon.co.uk • thegeorgebradfordonavon.co.uk

Try our Kashmiri tasting menu throughout January! 10 The Mall | Clifton | BS8 4DR | 0117 360 0288 | info@nutmegbristol.com | www.nutmegbristol.com


S T A R T E R S

The freshest, most inspirational cookbooks of the month

THE FIVE SEASONS KITCHEN •

ISBN 978-1-910690-31-4

COOKING IS NOT MEASURED IN TERMS OF MODERNITY OR TRADITION: THE ONLY REAL REQUIREMENT IS THAT THE COOK’S LOVING CARE IS EVIDENT Pierre Gagnaire

9 781910 690314

CLEANSE, NURTURE, RESTORE WITH HERBAL TEA

LUNCH ON THE GO

Over a million cups of Bristol-based Pukka Herbs’ tea are consumed every day – probably more during January, when most of us are sticking to healthy New Year’s resolutions. Written by Pukka Herbs founder Sebastian Pole – a trained practitioner in Ayurveda, traditional Chinese medicine and western herbalism – this book brings together 70 herbal tea recipes using dried and fresh herbs for health, well-being and flavour. From helping you to sleep to supporting your digestion and rebooting your energy levels, the book provides a fascinating insight into how herbal tea can be tailored to different needs. Not that there isn’t room for some fun, as the recipe for Winter Tonic Elixir demonstrates, with its warming blend of brandy and Amaretto combined with all those herbs and spices.

With around a third of ‘on the go’ meals eaten at work or school, nutritious, delicious (and cheaper) homemade lunches are big business. Much more than the wafer-thin ham sandwich and packet of crisps from yesteryear, the new supercharged lunchbox can be a beautiful thing, as the 75 recipes in this book demonstrate. Aimed at kids and adults alike, the book is divided into chapters on sandwiches, wraps and rolls; salad jars, bowls and bentos; soups and hot food; savouries; snacks; and ‘something sweet’. Inspired options include avocado and chickpea wraps; marinated mushroom, crispy kale and rice salad; vegetable broth with chicken and kaffir lime; and orange, cardamom and hemp-seed muffins. With so many imaginative ideas, you’ll never buy another dreary supermarket sandwich for lunch.

Ryland Peters & Small, £14.99

BREAKING BREADS

Uri Scheft Artisan Books, £25

Sebastian Pole Frances Lincoln, £20

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Uri Scheft is the DanishIsraeli master baker behind the highly regarded Lehamim Bakery in Tel Aviv, and Breads Bakery in New York. Here, the Nutellafilled babkas have attained cult status, and the potato and shakshuka focaccia and chocolate rugelach are pulled out the ovens several times an hour for waiting crowds. Breaking Breads combines the many cultural influences of his life: Middle Eastern flavours and traditions, European pastry techniques, and baking experience from Italy and Istanbul. There are 100 recipes for flatbreads, stuffed breads, challahs and biscuits, with detailed instructions and clear step-by-step photographs on mixing, kneading and proofing. Very much a book aimed at experienced home bakers, it’s a fascinating collection of recipes of globally-inspired bread products.

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PIERRE GAGNAIRE

www.grubstreet.co.uk

THE FIVE SEASONS KITCHEN

PIERRE GAGNAIRE

THE FIVE SEASONS KITCHEN Pierre Gagnaire Grub Street, £25

Voted ‘best chef in the world’ by his peers, Pierre Gagnaire is celebrating 50 years in the kitchen – and what better way to mark this impressive milestone than a collection of his best dishes? Why five seasons? Well, Gagnaire says spring must be divided into two, because the produce at the beginning is very different to what you get at the end. Each chapter has six seasonal three-course menus created from 90 dishes in Gagnaire’s extensive repertoire. A typical winter menu, for example, kicks off with a starter of Puy green lentil soup and foie gras, moves on to a main course of shimizu chicken supreme with avocado, pink grapefruit, green apple and celery, and then finishes with butternut squash, Medjool dates and fresh grapes infused in cinnamon syrup.


S T A R T E R S

FERMENT, PICKLE, DRY

Simon Poffley and Gaba Smolinksa-Poffley Frances Lincoln, £20

As well as being the founder of London’s Left Bank Brewery, Simon Poffley teaches sourdough bread baking and runs fermenting and preserving workshops at The Fermentarium with Polish-born Gaba, who is also a keen forager. In their first book, the couple teach us how to preserve foods using centuries-old methods and then how to use those preserved ingredients in a range of contemporary dishes. Aimed as much at beginners as seasoned preservers, the book explains everything you need to know about equipment, sterilising and sealing. Recipes include pulled pork with swede mash, grilled nectarines and honey-pickled garlic; pickled oranges, spiced cuttlefish and squid ink linguini; and dried fruit pickled in brandy. A fascinating book that uses ancient methods to create ultra-modern dishes.

From: THE FIVE SEASONS KITCHEN Pierre Gagnaire Grub Street, £25

CHICORY STUFFED with DRIED APRICOTS and GOLDEN RAISINS, SERVED with a PARMESAN CREAM SAUCE METHOD

(SERVES 6)

INGREDIENTS

6 heads of chicory, all of the same grade 1 lemon, juice only 60g butter, diced, plus extra for the filling and for frying pinch sugar 1 shallot, chopped 6 dried apricots, diced 30g golden raisins, soaked in water and drained 1 tbsp breadcrumbs 12 chives, scalded 500ml double cream 120g Parmesan, grated 2 tbsp Noilly Prat vermouth

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– Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. – Arrange the chicory in a casserole dish, then fill the dish with water and the lemon juice until half submerged. Add the diced butter and the sugar and season lightly with salt. Cover with baking paper and bring to a low boil. Then place the lid on top and transfer to the oven for 30-40 minutes. – Check that the chicory heads are cooked by piercing with a knife: it should slide in easily. Drain and leave to cool before opening the chicory out flat and removing some of the flesh from the centre. – Brown the shallot in butter, while you chop the chicory hearts, then add them in and

cook until they release their water. Remove from the heat, then add the apricots, raisins and breadcrumbs. Season and mix together. – Divide the filling between the chicory heads, then roll each one up and secure with a few knotted chives. Melt a little butter until brown, then use to colour the chicory. – In a saucepan, reduce the cream by half, then add the Parmesan and the Noilly. Season with salt and pepper, if required. – Preheat the oven to 160C/315F/gas mark 3. Transfer the Parmesan cream sauce to a gratin dish, place the chicory on top and bake in the oven for 10 minutes.

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“Wonderfully fresh flavours... inherently satisfying dishes; staff are cool and calm and the atmosphere terrific.” MICHELIN GUIDE 2016

COMPLIMENTARY SPRITZ for you and your guests when dining To redeem, simply quote ‘crumbs’ on arrival Polpo Bristol 50 Whiteladies Road, Bristol BS8 2NH 0117 973 3100 www.polpo.co.uk


Chef!

WHAT TO MAKE, AND HOW TO MAKE IT – DIRECT FROM THE KITCHENS OF OUR FAVOURITE FOODIES

Spinach is great for bolstering up stews and sauces with additional goodness, but it’s less an addition and more of a star of one of this month’s recipes

Highlights DEERY ME

Super slow-cooked venison with in-season parsnip Page 28

SOUP HUGS

BORN TO BE WILD

A nutrient-packed Lebanese cockle-warmer

Foraged fodder takes brekkie to new levels

Page 31

Page 32

Plus

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36 POTIONMAKING Cauldron cookery with The Wine Guy


Chef!

Josh Hutson sure knows how to crank up the comfort levels this winter, making the most of…

dEer itselF!

A Grape

With wine writer Angela Mount El Brindis, Montsant 2014 £12.50, Great Western Wine “This calls for a rich, yet soft and voluptuous red. Packed with dark bramble and black cherry fruit, wild herbs and hints of licorice, this number is a velvety delight which matches perfectly with the rich, earthy, creamy flavours of the dish.”

28

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The Victoria Park is a cracking neighbourhood pub in South Bristol. Flanked by Victorian bay-windowed, terraced houses and sat on the edge of the huge park it takes its name from, it opened in 2010, giving new life to an old boozer. Now, it’s all about proper good drinks and great quality food. When Josh became part of The Victoria Park team 18 months ago, he knew it was somewhere he’d really be able to stretch his foodie legs… “It’s brilliant here; it gives me a great platform to work from,” he says. “My only brief was to have a couple of pub classics on the menu, but otherwise to cook what I love.” And, by the looks of this venison dish, what he’s loving right now is warming, indulgent food that balances comfort with style. “We get in some great meats from local suppliers, including lovely venison from Dorset,” Josh says. “I use the shoulder and cook it low and slow, so it doesn’t dry out and is incredibly tender. It’s a great dish that can be enjoyed at any time, but it’s especially satisfying during these cold winter months!”

BRAISED VENISON SHOULDER with MASH, PARSNIPS TWO WAYS and GRATED CHESTNUT (SERVES 6) INGREDIENTS

For the venison: 1 venison shoulder (approx. 2 ½ kg) 1 sprig fresh thyme 1 bay leaf 3 juniper berries, crushed 2 shallots 1 ltr chicken stock 1 large carrot, finely diced 1 celery stalk, finely diced pinch of salt 1 tbsp red wine vinegar For the mashed potato: 1kg Maris Piper potatoes salted butter 100ml milk, warmed

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For the parsnip purée and crisps: 700g parsnips 750ml milk pinch of xanthum gum (you can buy it in the gluten-free section of the supermarket) 500ml vegetable oil For the spice mix: 2 dried bay leaves 3 dried juniper berries, crushed 10g chestnut flour To serve: 100g vacuum-packed chestnuts METHOD

– Preheat the oven to 80C/175F/ gas mark ¼. – Place the venison shoulder in a large frying pan over a high heat and seal until golden brown all over. Then transfer to a roasting tin and add the thyme, bay leaf, juniper, 1 shallot (chopped in half) and the chicken stock. Cook for around 7 hours, or until the meat comes away from the bone. Leave to cool in the tray. – Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/ gas mark 6. – Bake the potatoes in the oven for about an hour, or until cooked through. Then allow them to cool slightly before scooping the flesh from inside and passing it through a fine sieve. For every 500g of flesh, add 250g diced butter, a little at a time, mixing it through. Finally, add the warmed milk, mix it in, and check for salt. – Once the meat has cooled, pick it into strips. Strain the remaining liquid through a sieve, discarding the herbs, shallot and spices, then reduce in a pan until it starts to thicken. Put the sauce to one side until you are ready to serve. – Finely dice the second shallot and add to a pan with the carrots and celery, and gently sweat with a knob of butter and a pinch of salt until soft. Once cooked, fold through the picked meat. – For the parsnip purée, add 500g of the parsnips to a pan with the milk, and bring to the boil. Then turn the heat down and simmer until soft. Strain the parsnips, keeping the milk to one side. Put them in a blender and blend, slowly adding the milk until it blends freely. Add the xanthan gum and salt to taste and keep blending to a nice smooth purée.

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Then pass through a fine sieve, place in a container and cover the top with parchment paper to avoid a skin. Keep to one side until ready for use. – For the parsnip crisps, peel the remaining parsnips and thinly slice width ways. Season with salt, and leave for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the vegetable oil in a deep pan to 130C/265F, then put the parsnips in the hot oil and keep them moving so they crisp evenly, before removing with a slotted spoon. – To make the spice mix, blitz the bay leaves, juniper berries and chestnut flour with pepper and salt until it becomes a fine powder, then set aside. – To serve, gently heat up the parsnip purée. In a separate pan, heat up the venison shoulder with the sauce and 1 tbsp red wine vinegar. Heat up the mash in a pan, if necessary. (If the butter starts to separate, add a tiny splash of ice cold water.) – Spoon the mash onto the centre of each plate and place a couple of spoonfuls of your venison shoulder to the side. Place a spoonful of purée on the edge of the plate and then, on your finest grater attachment, grate the chestnuts over the venison meat. Arrange the parsnip crisps and sprinkle with a little of the spice mix.

✱ THE VICTORIA PARK, 66 Raymend Road, Bristol BS3 4QW; 0117 330 6043; thevictoriapark.co.uk


t: 0117 952 1391 w: www.innonthegreenbristol.com e: iotgbristol@hotmail.com Inn On The Green, 2 Filton Road, Horfield, Bristol BS7 0PA


Chef!

SOUP LOve

Wafaa Powell shows us how to create a hearty, authentic Lebanese soup… Wafaa, originally from Lebanon, moved to England in the ’90s, and sees cooking Lebanese dishes for family and friends here as a source of joy. So she founded Dancing Flavours in Bath, as a way to practice Lebanese culture and share it with others, offering informal cookery – and traditional belly dancing! – lessons. Now, Wafaa hosts demonstrations and talks at events, parties, and even schools, and also caters for parties and social gatherings. “My recipes are passed down from my mum, who in turn learnt from her family and neighbours,” says Wafaa. “So there’s no fuss, just simple, tasty and healthy dishes with easy-toreach ingredients. The dishes are full of Mediterranean herbs and Middle Eastern spices, with rice, lentils, chickpeas, beans, nuts and vegetables also at their heart. “At a time where the Middle East is suffering with conflict, I find myself compelled to also show all the positives and warmth there is in my Lebanese and Arabic culture.” The recipe she’s shared with us is for a nutritious, aromatic and filling soup...

A Grape Match!

With wine writer Angela Mount Ixsir Altitudes White 2015 £16.95, Great Western Wine “Look no further than Lebanon itself for the perfect match. This wine is zestily fresh with its blend of Sauvignon and Semillon, with hints of exotic fruit and spice from a dollop of Viognier and Muscat. It picks up the citrus liveliness of the soup, but is rich enough to cope with the chunky lentils and rice.”

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METHOD

ADAS BHAMOD (SPINACH SOUP) (SERVES 5- 6) INGREDIENTS

4 large garlic cloves, peeled 6 tbsp sunflower oil 30g fresh coriander, washed 150g green lentils 100g white long-grain rice 1 large potato (about 150g), peeled and diced into ½cm cubes 450g-500g baby spinach 3 lemons, juice only

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– In a wide and deep frying pan, add the garlic and 3-4 tbsp sunflower oil, and gently fry until the garlic starts to become a light golden colour. – Roughly chop the coriander and add to the pan. Keep turning for 5 minutes until it’s wilted. Set the mix aside. – In a sieve, rinse the lentils, and cook in 1 ltr water for 10 minutes, until soft. Then rinse the rice with warm water. – When lentils are almost cooked, add the rice, potato and 2 ltrs water, and heat for about 10 minutes, until the potato and rice are cooked. – Add the spinach, coriander mix, lemon juice and a pinch of salt and cook for a further 5 minutes, until the spinach wilts. – Add 2 tbsp oil to the pan and turn the heat off after few minutes, adding water, if needed, for consistency. – Serve with bread and olives. ✱ DANCING FLAVOURS; 01225 355072; dancingflavours.co.uk


WILd ThING

Chef!

Paul Collins uses foraged ingredients in this breakfast of champions…

This recipe a great example of how the guys at Yeo Valley Canteen put wild food to work in the kitchen. The team came across foragers Bello Wild Food in their search to support neighbouring suppliers and farmers. Chris and Colette forage wild foods from around the nearby Mendips, so it seemed only natural for executive chef Paul Collins to make the most of them at Yeo Valley’s canteen-style restaurant, based at their HQ in Blagdon. As the produce is wild, and its collection weather-dependent, the Yeo Valley chefs rely on the expertise of the Bello guys, who deliver their bounty straight to the kitchen.

SOMERSET WILD MUSHROOMS on GRILLED SOURDOUGH with CRISPY POACHED EGGS and HOLLANDAISE (SERVES 4) INGREDIENTS

For the hollandaise sauce: 75ml white wine vinegar 50g shallots, chopped 2 bay leaves 5g black peppercorns 2 egg yolks 300g unsalted butter, melted

For the mushrooms: 200g kale (or cavolo nero) 300g wild mushrooms 2 tbsp olive oil knob of unsalted butter (the guys suggest using Yeo Valley’s, obvs) For the crispy poached eggs: 50ml white wine vinegar 4 Legbar eggs 100g flour, seasoned 2 eggs, beaten 100g breadcrumbs oil for deep frying To serve: 4 slices of sourdough 75g wild watercress METHOD

– For the hollandaise sauce, place the vinegar, shallots, bay leaves and peppercorns into a suitable pan and bring to the boil. Reduce until you have ¼ of the volume of the mixture left. – Meanwhile. bring a pan of water to simmering point. – Pour the vinegar reduction into a bowl and add the egg yolks, whisking as you do. Place the bowl over the pan of simmering water to form a bainmarie, and whisk until it has thickened up and looks light and fluffy. – Remove the bowl from the heat and very gradually add the melted butter, whisking vigorously as you do so. Add more seasoning if required, and keep warm until serving.

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– Cook the kale in boiling salted water for 2 minutes. Re-fresh in ice-cold water, then squeeze out the moisture and cut up roughly with a knife. – Cut the mushrooms into generoussized pieces with a sharp knife. – Heat a frying pan on the stove and add the olive oil and, when very hot, add the wild mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Once they start to colour, add the butter. Cook for a further minute, then add the kale before tipping onto a tray lined with kitchen paper. – For the eggs, put the vinegar into a large pan with plenty of water and bring to the boil. Poach the eggs for about 3-4 minutes, then scoop out and plunge into ice-cold water. Once cold, remove, trim if necessary, and place onto kitchen paper to drain. – Pass the poached eggs through the seasoned flour, then the beaten egg, and finally the breadcrumbs, coating them completely with each. Deep-fry the eggs at 180C for 30 seconds so they crisp up on the outside but maintain a runny centre. – Toast the bread, and place onto 4 warm plates. Share out the mushroom mixture between the plates, top with a hot cooked egg each, and scatter over the watercress.

✱ YEO VALLEY CANTEEN, Rhodyate, Blagdon, North Somerset BS40 7YE; yeovalley.co.uk

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Top Lane, Whitley, Wiltshire SN12 8QX 01225 704966 T f @peartreewhitley

www.peartreewhitley.co.uk


newly refurbished ... Widbrook Grange Restaurant Modern farmhouse cooking from our award winning chef in an elegant grade 2 listed farmhouse, now completely re designed Also open to non residents for dinner

To see what all the fuss is about and to book a table call 01225 864750 or email stay@widbrookgrange.co.uk www.widbrookgrange.co.uk

Widbrook Grange Hotel Bradford on Avon BA15 1UH

widbrookgrangehotel

NOW OPEN IN FROME To book call 01373 466949

@widbrookgrange


( column )

BEING A FREELANCE TV

type, I often skip (sometimes literally, depending on my mood) from place to place, working on various projects. And it was because of this that I made my first ever trip to The Cauldron in St Wherburghs. I was meeting two colleagues of mine who lived there to plan a food series I was to produce (it’s called James Martin’s French Adventure, and just so happens to be airing at 3pm every weekday as of 30 January on ITV, in case you were wondering!). This was the perfect opportunity to visit somewhere I’d not been to before. The Cauldron, which at the time had only recently opened, is a restaurant with an intriguing edge – it has the UK’s first solid-fuelled kitchen in over 100 years, apparently. With no gas to cook with, charcoal and beech logs are used to heat cast iron cauldrons, a Victorian Swedish stove and a wood-fired oven. The building used to be an internet café (and still has plenty of plug sockets for all those laptopwielding freelancers and students – we don’t like to be too far away from a power source), but was lovingly refurbished by executive chef Henry Eldon, co-owner Lauren ✱ Andy Clarke Nash, and head chef is a freelance TV producer and writer; follow him on Twitter @TVsAndyClarke; one4thetable.com

The Wine Guy

FIRE IN YOUR BELLY

Andy Clarke visits The Cauldron, the first new restaurant kitchen in a century to use solid fuel only, and gets inspired Lucia Gregusova. It’s now a warm and welcoming muraled eatery with an exciting menu. Ever since that first visit, I’d been promising myself to get down there again for dinner, and recently made it back. If you’re there soon, I’d urge you to try the tandoori broccoli, which is marinated in a homemade North Indian spice paste, then chargrilled and roasted to perfection, courtesy of the wood-fire. And if you want the perfect match to sip with it, you have to try a bottle of Bristol’s Pioneer Kombucha. A live, fermented sparkling drink made with green tea, orange pekoe and rooibos, it’s Europe’s first alcoholic Kombucha (but is relatively light at only 1.6% ABV). It

36

tastes like a refreshing, lemony cider and is made in St Werburghs. (This is just one of the many things on The Cauldron’s super-local, ethically focused menu that are made in the area.) Another standout dish is the cherrysmoked ox cheek suet pudding (see recipe opposite), served with creamy mash. This meaty masterpiece has a warming, subtly smoky edge, and I want to recommend a couple of sips to go with it, should you cook the recipe at home. In the spirit of buying local, I wandered up the hill to Grape & Grind for my wine, where Darren and the team have some real beauties on offer. The Goose Shiraz is from the highaltitude vineyards of Upper-Langkloof

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in South Africa, where the cool breezes ensure the grapes keep their elegance. The aroma of this savoury wine reminds me of when steaks are on the griddle, and the instant tannic hit of tobacco-esque fruit when you sip it is great if you’re a gravy freak like me. But going even better with this rich winter dish is Familia Pacheo Organic – a blend of Monastrell and Syrah from Jumilla in eastern Spain. Its creamy nose with underlying spice is a winner when you are plunging into the pudding; the rich, soft tannins coat your tongue and urge you to dive into the mash; and its plummy richness complements the gravy and smoked meat. The Cauldron sums up the Bristol food scene’s quirkiness and innovation fantastically; in every corner of the city are totally individual eateries and watering holes with their own stories, top produce and individual style.

CHERRYSMOKED OX CHEEK SUET PUDDING

(SERVES 6)

INGREDIENTS

3 large ox cheeks 2 carrots, chopped 2 large onions, chopped 4 celery sticks, chopped 4 garlic cloves, chopped 4 green cardamom pods 2 cinnamon sticks 3 sprigs of thyme, leaves picked 4 bay leaves 50ml brandy 330ml stout or porter 200ml full bodied red wine 500ml beef stock For the pastry: 570g self-raising flour 250g beef suet 2 tsp baking powder 2 tbsp rosemary, finely chopped 50g butter, for greasing METHOD

You can buy Bristol’s Pioneer Kombucha from £2.20 per bottle with next day delivery online, or check out the stockists on the website; bristols.org Familia Pacheo Organic (£8.50) and The Goose Shiraz (£12.50) are available at Grape & Grind – mention Crumbs and you’ll get a lush seven percent discount!; grapeandgrind.co.uk

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– Trim the cheeks to remove any excess fat or gristle. (The fat can be rendered down to use for roasting veg in – we smoke ours, and fold it through mash to go with the pudding.) – Set up your charcoal barbecue with a fire to one side. If you have a gas barbecue, turn the burner on one side to high and leave the other side off. – Cut each cheek into 8-10 pieces and arrange on a wire barbecue rack, making sure not to crowd it. (You want the air to circulate around each piece.) – Once the barbecue is hot on one side, put the meat on the opposite side of the grill. If using a charcoal grill, add 3 large chunks of cherry wood to the top of the coals, and if using gas, place a small foil tray of cherry chips over the gas burner that is on, and reduce the heat to low. Close the lid and any air vents or dampers to suffocate the fire. Leave to smoke for 15-25 minutes, with the temperature low (around 100C). – Heat a thick-bottomed pan with vegetable oil. Once hot, add the ox cheek pieces and brown all over until crisp and gold, being careful not to burn the meat as it will become bitter. Remove from the pan and set aside. – Reduce the heat and add all the vegetables, herbs and spices to the pan. Sauté, stirring continuously, until softened and caramelised. Season with salt and pepper (we use smoked salt and cracked green, pink and black pepper).

37

– Increase the heat and add the meat back in with the sautéed vegetables, and pour in the brandy, porter, wine and stock. – Cover the pan with a lid and continue to simmer until the cheek meat is tender. For us, working over fire, this takes about 2 hours. – After this time, check the meat to ensure the cheeks are tender, but not falling apart, then set aside. – Mix all the pastry ingredients (minus the butter) together until fully combined. Slowly add enough water to bring the mixture to a wet pastry consistency. – On a floured surface, knead the dough until it comes together, adding a little flour if necessary. Roll out the pastry to 5mm thick. – To build the puddings, grease six individual pudding bowls, moulds or basins with the butter and line with the pastry, pushing it deep into the moulds. Make sure to not trap any air or tear the pastry, as the filling will escape. – Fill each pastry-lined mould with the braised cheek and enough liquid to cover the meat, leaving at least 1cm of pastry at the top. Cut out pastry lids and brush them with water to help them seal. Then, using the back of a spoon, bring the 1cm of excess pastry in the mould over the lid and push it down. The pudding should now be sealed without any gaps. – Cut out sheets of baking paper and kitchen foil large enough to cover the top of the mould. Put the baking paper over the lid and then wrap the foil around the top to create a seal. – Arrange the moulds in a large steamer, or steam in a covered pan set over a low heat, filled ⅓ of the way up with boiling water. Allow to cook for 1 hour before removing. We serve ours with mashed potato and green beans.

✱ thecauldron.restaurant


BREAKFAST | LUNCH | DINNER | COFFEE | DRINKS | CHILD & DOG FRIENDLY | FAMILY RUN

AMAZING

SUNDAY ROASTS

IZ U Q B U P

EVERY TUESDAY STARTS AT 8PM

NOW OPEN

138-140 Kellaway Avenue, Horfield, Bristol BS6 7YQ hello@theoldspotbristol.co.uk | Tel: 0117 924 7693

64 Downend Rd, Downend, Bristol BS16 5UE hello@theduckandwillowbristol.co.uk | Tel: 0117 956 6843

WWW.THEOLDSPOTBRISTOL.CO.UK

WWW.THEDUCKANDWILLOWBRISTOL.CO.UK


Armoury CHOOSE YOUR WEAPONS

JUICE ALMIGHTY Seems like the 1950s never go out of fashion, doesn’t it? This thing’s got that old-school vibe you see in so much Italian design these days. It all looks great, I grant you, but it’s so… codified. Like something that was modern in the past but no longer is, and is now just reproduced endlessly. Some of what you say is true, I suppose – much of Italian design is flashy and highly polished, yes, but intrinsically conservative too – but as far as Smeg’s retro-modern ’50s-style range is concerned at least, that’s deliberately, gloriously so. Modern technology is hidden behind ice cream colours and Lambretta lines to winning effect, not least in the seasonally-relevant SJF01 Slow Juicer. It’s just the job for extracting the very best from every virtuous fruit and veggie you chuck inside. What makes it ‘slow’, exactly? I want fast, surely. (Hey, we all lead busy lives!) What makes it ‘slow’ is its spiritual alignment with the Slow Food movement – basically, the polar opposite to ‘Fast Food’. Slow Food is obsessed with regional, traditional cuisine and small, sustainable businesses – and is generally antiglobalisation, anti-pesticides and anti-monoculture. And it’s an Italian invention too, first appearing in the mid’80s in opposition to the opening of a McDonald’s in Rome. So it’s not physically slow, just... spiritually slow? Actually, with this thing it’s both, as the the Slow Juicer operates at what we’re told is an optimal 43rpm, which is just enough to squeeze your ingredients into juice without crushing the cells within them, or damaging their nutrients and enzymes through necessary heat. The

THIS MONTH crumbsmag.com

Stylistic cousin to the Vespa and the Fiat 500 it may be, but don’t underestimate the Smeg Slow Juicer, says Matt Bielby. It offers more than just Amalfi Coast-friendly good looks…

✱ The Smeg Slow Juicer comes at £449.99, and is available from Gardiner Sons & Co in Bristol, Coopers in Bath, and branches of Currys, Leekes, John Lewis et al; smeguk.com

whole process is called Slow Squeezing Technology, or SST, and – as you might expect – it has a little ‘TM’ next to it. Clever, I suppose, in a conventional sort of a way. Actually, I think it’s just clever full stop. The colours this thing comes in are great – pick from cream, black, red and pastel blue – but it’s also quite an interesting shape, with both a vertical loading mechanism and a ‘juice density regulator’ that allows you to customise exactly how much pulp you have in your glass. It works with soft and hard fruits, most vegetables and leafy greens, and squeezes more juice out of each piece than other methods would, too. Blimey! You’ll be telling me it’s easy to clean next. Actually, it is. And it also minimises crushed fruit’s exposure to oxygen, stopping any browning of the flesh and making for fresh juices that can be happily stored in your fridge for up to 48 hours. A ’50s-style Smeg fridge, no doubt? Just the thing. If that wouldn’t be too predictable for you…?

JUICY GOSSIP

ICE COOL KITCHENS

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ANIMAL MAGNETISM


House Call

INTeRIORS, LICKed As co-founder of Bristol ice lolly biz Polar Pops and a pro caterer, Susie D’Andrea’s kitchen skills are plentiful...

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Words by JESSICA CARTER Photos by ANDREW CALLAGHAN


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usie lives in a gorgeous townhouse in Bristol, right on the edge of the river Avon. You’d never know from the outside, but this building has been one heck of a project, and having a proper kitchen is still a bit of a novelty for this Bristol entrepreneur. The one we’re shooting in is just shy of a year old, despite Susie and her family moving in more than five years ago. “We didn’t use this room for four years,” explains Susie. “The whole building was a total bombsite when we took it on. My husband, Ruben, has done the work, but he’s a roadie so is away a lot of the time – meaning it’s taken a while to get this far!” Up on the first floor, at the back of the house, the kitchen overlooks the railway line that takes the steam train down to the M Shed. This setting acted as inspiration for the new kitchen, which the family added an elevated extention to, allowing for a spacious dining area. “Ruben’s dad had the idea for that. We knocked out the back wall and added this extra space. It’s sat on wooden posts made from old railway wood, and the outside is covered in wooden cladding – the idea was to make it look like an old signalling box.” Just as much thought has clearly gone into the interior as has the exterior; it has an understated, rustic, homely look, while still feeling modern and pretty sleek. Susie, who has long worked as a professional caterer, is well-versed on kitchen layouts, and had a good idea of how she wanted her own, and what equipment she wanted to fill it with (one such piece being the large oven that stands in a former fireplace). White metro-style tiles cover the walls of the L-shaped, open-plan kitchen area, while vintage jelly moulds – given to the pair by Ruben’s mum, who collects them – line a long shelf above. On

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Fr ! n o ti la 800 al £1 st h In rt ee W o

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the counter is an old-school milkshake maker, with plenty of metal beakers stacked up beside it. “It’s from a café in St Albans, where I grew up,” Susie tells us. “There was a little Italian restaurant that I used to visit when I was a child – I’d go in and buy milkshakes, which were probably made with it. In 2004, when the restaurant had closed down, I opened a café there and this had been left behind – so I kept it!” Before this light, open-plan kitchen came to fruition, Susie used the basement kitchen in what used to be a separate flat. The same space also acted as the production kitchen for her ice lolly business, Polar Pops, which she founded two years ago with a friend. The idea here is refreshingly simple: ice lollies made solely with fruit and vegetables. Each one has zero added

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sugar (or anything else, for that matter), and counts as one portion of those allimportant five-a-day. To make them, fruit and veg simply get blended together, then frozen in moulds. “I used to make ice lollies for my kids at home,” explains Susie, “and one day my friend suggested we should turn that idea into a business.” The transition involved a steep learning curve, with the pair – who still make all the ice lollies themselves – having to experiment with all kinds of different blends and flavours. “You lose sweetness when you freeze,” Susie says, “so you need to make sure there’s some really sweet fruit, and that you get the ratio right.” Aimed at children, these lollies – which come in a toddler-friendly size as well as regular – help familiarise kids with new flavours, setting them off on the right foot when it comes to fruit and veg. As well as core flavours, Polar Pops makes all kinds of seasonal lollies, Susie tells us – such as apple and elderflower in early summer. We’re intrigued to see what’ll available for us to cool down with when the sun makes its return this year, however far off that seems. (Hey, kids have to learn to share...) ✱ polarpops.co.uk

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KITCHEN CONFIDENTIAL Name: Susie D’Andrea Hometown: Bristol Occupations: Co-founder of Polar Pops and location caterer Must-have kitchen item: Microplane grater Most prized item: 1960s Coldstream milkshake maker Favourite kitchen hack:  I have two: gremolata (a condiment, classically made with parsley, garlic and lemon zest) adds an incredibly fresh flavour to so many dishes which otherwise may not have much flavour at all. Also, icing powder (icing sugar which does not dissolve – professional bakers use it) hides a slightly over-cooked bake beautifully Secret kitchen skill: Planning ahead. Doing as much prep as possible in advance not only makes my life a lot easier, but gives the (false) impression of me being a very organised type! You love the taste of: Caraway seeds Coffee or tea? Tea

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Beer or cider? Neither – red wine! Go-to recipe: Crab spaghetti: so quick, easy to make, tastes delicious Guilty pleasure (we’re not here to judge…): Primula cheese spread A food you couldn’t live without: Lemons Fave condiment: Coleman’s mustard Five people you’d invite to your dinner party, dead or alive: David Bowie, George Michael, Caroline Ahearn, Alan Rickman and Prince – I want to know how the party’s going! The style of your kitchen in three words: Victorian, contemporary, functional  Your kitchen is awesome because… Our kitchen, like most folk’s, is the heart of the home and where we all convene for meals, homework, games and a natter. It also happens to be the only room in our home that’s completely decorated! If you could change one thing about it, it would be… the integrated appliances; I’m all for hiding appliances, but what you gain in style you lose in space and quality  What are you going to rustle up this weekend? We have just returned from a winter holiday in Colorado, where the kids discovered tacos for the first time, so Saturday night is taco night – we shall be making beer and lime-roasted cauliflower tacos, fire-roasted salsa and ’slaw Unexpected item in your kitchen cupboard: Tools, gaffer tape, Sharpies One thing your kitchen is used for that doesn’t involve cooking or eating: Homework

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LUNCH TASTING MENU ÂŁ22 5 courses of creatively cooked seasonal dishes 01454 411137 | info@ronnies-restaurant.co.uk

www.ronnies-restaurant.co.uk


T H E WA N T LI S T We’ve gone with our animal instincts when picking our favourite kitchen accessories this month…

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1 CHROME PENGUIN ICE BUCKET £50 This fella will keep your ice and your party good ’n’ cool… Find this jazzy bit of barware at Rossiters in Bath. ✱ rossitersofbath.com 2 TABBY CAT SALT AND PEPPER SHAKERS £21.99 Made by Bristol-based designer Hannah Turner, these chaps will be right at home on the dinner table – like real cats often are! Order online. ✱ hannahturner.co.uk 3 BARKING SIDE PLATE £9.95 These plates come in a range of colours, and will make for a quirky addition to your crockery collection. From Joules in Bath and Bristol. ✱ joules.com 4 CORKATOO WAITER’S CORKSCREW £14.99 Because you can literally never have too many bottle openers, ’specially when they’re as jazzy as this one. Get yours from Iota in Bristol. ✱ iotabristol.com 5 CHIMPAN-TEA INFUSER £5.99 Whack your fave loose-leaf tea into this little guy, then let him swing from his lid as he infuses your cup of hot water, turning it into a tasty brew. Find him at Lakeland in Bath and Cribbs Causeway, Bristol. ✱ lakeland.co.uk

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A cut above...

Welcome to The Castle Inn, a gorgeous family pub in Bradford on Avon We have 2 dining areas, a good sized garden and flagstone patio and 4 luxury B&B guest rooms. We serve great home cooked food and serve a selection of ever changing real ales Children & dogs welcome

www.flatcappers.co.uk The Castle Inn, Mount Pleasant, Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire BA15 1SJ 01225 865 657 • thecastle@flatcappers.co.uk

WE’VE BEEN AWARDED 2 AA ROSETTES Book today to find out why

Try our new tasting menu Longmead Gospel Hall, Lower Bristol Road, Bath BA2 3EB Tel: 01225 446656 12-16 Clifton Road, Clifton, Bristol BS8 1AF Tel: 01173 291300 Email: info@themintroom.co.uk www.themintroom.co.uk

Best Western Centurion Hotel Charlton Lane, Midsomer Norton, Nr Bath BA3 4BD | 01761 417711

www.centurionhotel.co.uk @seanhorwood

RestAtCent

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A WORLD OF OPPORTUNITY Fresh markets await local, artisan producers, thanks to the arrival of a brand new global export service

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he UK’s food and drink industry has a world-renowned reputation for excellence and innovation, with a wealth of different products exported to overseas markets every year. In fact, exports of food and drink products increased by almost six percent in 2016 compared to the previous year, with over ten billion pound’s worth of UK food and drink sold overseas in the last seven months alone. And it’s not just big brands benefiting from this appetite for our products; increasingly, small and specialist producers are attracting customers from other countries, too. The South West in particular has a rich array of traditional and artisan food and drink businesses, all of which are well placed to take advantage of the opportunities available to export their goods overseas – and many already are. From artisan chocolatiers to traditional cider makers and family businesses creating farmhouse chutneys, food and drink producers across the region are finding that UK products are big business overseas. Exporting can seem daunting, but there is help at hand with the launch of FoodEx, a brand new initiative set up by Business West specifically to attract both and support new and existing exporters Through FoodEx, businesses can access a team of experienced advisers who will provide advice on everything from finding the right market for their product to managing logistics. FoodEx also runs regular workshops led by specialists in overseas trading which focus on

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helping businesses develop a realistic export plan, including finding the right target markets. As well as receiving support and advice, businesses can promote their products via the FoodEx Directory, which connects them with hundereds of selected international food and drink buyers. Businesses simply submit details and images of their products, and their profile is then distributed to buyers, businesses and trade officers in the right target market. Paul Abley, Senior DIT International Trade Adviser at Business West says: “The size of your business shouldn’t be a barrier to export. If you are selling to a retailer or distributor in the next town there is no reason why you shouldn’t also be looking for opportunities in Europe, the US or anywhere else in the world. We work with businesses who sell small quantities of products, maybe just a few hundred pounds worth, to customers overseas. Some of those have ambitions to grow the volume of exports while others simply want to broaden their customer base. “We created FoodEx to help local producers kick start their export journey, whatever their size or ambitions, and then support them as they explore the many opportunities available.”

There are many exciting opportunities for producers of all types and sizes; to find out more about the support on offer from FoodEx register your interest at businesswest.co.uk/foodex or phone 01297 370944

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SWEET SUCCESS FOR CDA PRODUCTS

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DA Products in Chippenham specialises in edible printing, creating a range of products for cake decorating suppliers. The company began exploring opportunities to export around 18 months ago, and has since built up a loyal customer base overseas, supplying products to distributors and retailers in Switzerland, Germany, Italy, Australia and also the UAE. Bill Franklyn, director, has led the company’s export strategy. He is keen to encourage other smaller businesses to consider export. “Exporting isn’t as scary as it sounds, particularly if you take advantage of the

wealth of support that is available from organisations like Business West and Department for International Trade,” he says. “The experts we’ve consulted helped us identify the right markets as well as providing advice on issues such as labelling and shipping. “Our approach to export is very much the same as we take with our UK customers. We target specific distributors we feel would have an interest in our products, provide samples, and build relationships. “The overseas trade has been a great way of bolstering sales and providing us with new outlets for our products.”

FOX GOURMET GOES GLOBAL

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ox Gourmet was established by Della Fox, a former chef, eight years ago. Della was keen to create a business that worked around her growing family. Her range of homemade jams and condiments were inspired by the produce available from local farms and orchards, and are all created in the kitchen of her Bath home. The range of artisan products – much of which is based on old family recipes – quickly grew in popularity, with Fox Gourmet Foods supplying independent food stores, delicatessens as well as large retailers such as Selfridges, across the UK. Two years ago Della began exploring opportunities to export. “The condiments market in the UK is pretty competitive, so I always had export in mind as an option,” she says. “A couple of years ago I decided it was time to start looking at the opportunities available to sell overseas. I quickly realised there was a wealth of support and advice available for small businesses with an interest in export. I have a dedicated adviser who is always at the end of the phone to provide advice and support. “I’ve also taken advantage of all the events and seminars available available, and would definitely recommend using the FoodEx directory and other online platforms to build contacts with international buyers.” Today Fox Gourmet Foods export Today, to the US, Germany, Holland, Spain, Singapore and and, most recently, Sweden. Della continue continues: “There are export opportunities available for all types and size of business business; our international customers range from larger retailers to small, independent delis. I’d urge any business looking for new outlets for their products to see what’s out there.

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Join the FoodEx programme today and gain exclusive access to ‘Meet the Buyer’ events and opportunities, where a host of international buyers come to the UK looking for new British products just like yours. Start boosting your sales and profits with FoodEx.


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. Book now for

Valentine’s Day 14th February

PUB • RESTAURANT • FUNCTION ROOM • ACCOMMODATION

Tunley Road, Tunley BA2 0EB • 01761 470408 Email: kingwilliamtunley@live.com • f T @kingwilliam84 www.kingwilliaminn.co.uk

5 DAYS COOKING LESSON TOUR AT THE UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE CINQUE TERRE

Have an amazing culinary adventure whilst enjoying a stunning and unforgettable part of Italy

Join us on our cookery courses which are guided by award-winning professional chefs. You’ll be buying your ingredients from the local market, and enjoying your dishes accompanied by the quality local wines.

For more information, please visit our website

www.doriatour.com


Mains TOP CULINARY CAUSES, FAB FOOD DESTINATIONS, AND PEOPLE THAT MATTER

Top hotels that also serve awesome grub like this beetroot and salmon dish from Tudor Farmhouse? Now that gets us in the holiday mood

Highlights GO IT ALONE It’s not all about the couples this V-Day; dining out solo is totally a thing Page 54

NEED FOOD, WILL TRAVEL Get some inspo for a food-filled holiday in the South West Page 57

Including…

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PLACES WORTH THE TRAVEL for a top foodie break


As so many people do these days, Mark Taylor often goes lone wolf when dining out. Here he looks into the rise in popularity of the table for one, and tells us why it’s something we should all think about giving a go…

W HEN IT COMES to eating out,

two’s company for most of us; the idea of sitting through an entire meal alone, the seat opposite remaining purposefully vacant, can be pretty daunting for many. But with the culture of foodieinfatuation and casual dining we’re enjoying in these parts, it doesn’t have to be like that. In fact, there are now plenty of diners who look forward to the unburdened gastronomic gratification of a good meal enjoyed single-handedly. And guess what? Not one eyelid is batted as they do so. The number of solo diners is rising. No longer the preserve of anonymous restaurant inspectors, travelling sales reps and people who simply have no mates, eating alone is far more common than it was ten years ago. As a food blogger who eats out several times a week, Shonette Laffy (of A Life Less Organised) is just one of a growing number of people used to eating alone in restaurants – and does so happily. “Going out to have breakfast on my own is one of my favourite things to do of a weekend,” confesses Shonette. “I think in general that eating out has

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become more accessible and informal. Not only is it more commonplace for people to eat out without it having to be an ‘occasion’, it’s also such a casual thing to do that it doesn’t feel unusual to grab a bite to eat on your own.” Although Shonette admits that having lunch by herself can be more enjoyable than dinner (“especially if it’s going to be a long meal”), the lack of somebody to talk to at the table can be compensated for in a number of ways. “You’re never alone when you have your phone,” she says. “More often than not, I have a book or magazine in tow, but Twitter can be entertaining if you’re eating something exciting on your own and want to share your experience.” Dan Vaux-Nobes (AKA food blogger Essex Eating) says he has always been treated well when dining alone – and it gets easier the more he does it.  “I often suspect restaurants are suspicious that solo diners are some kind of reviewer or inspector, but there’s nothing wrong with that – it’s good to keep them on their toes! “I guess eating alone is a bit daunting at first, especially when you swing into some swanky Michelin-starred place on your own, but it doesn’t take long before you start enjoying the experience. Nowadays, I love it; it’s a real treat. You get to really concentrate on the food and the service without any distraction. Don’t get me wrong, though; I like dining out with other people, too!”  For Chris Jorden – known on Twitter as @PXandTarts for his tweets about his dining experiences – social media and smartphones add another dimension to eating out alone. “It is possible to immerse yourself in your smartphone if you feel selfconscious, or simply don’t feel like socialising. Many solo diners will use Twitter or Instagram to document their meals to the extent that, for many people, eating out and social media are inextricably linked. Whether that is a good thing or not is debatable, but it can certainly be enjoyable – if not addictive. “Eating out, and food in general, is an increasingly popular hobby, almost an obsession, and I think going out

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for a meal alone can give more of an opportunity to focus on the flavour and presentation of the food and wine without distractions; although, of course, a meal with a group of friends can be enjoyable for different reasons.” Modern lifestyles, and the ways restaurants reflect them, play a big part in this increasing trend, thinks Chris. “Attitudes certainly seem to be changing, and I know many people who are happy to eat alone these days. I think the rise of more informal places to eat probably played a part in this, and also the fact that people are increasingly busy – dining alone can be an opportunity to have a bit of time to oneself, and switch off from work or responsibilities for a couple of hours.” In the past, the more savvy restaurant staff might think a lone diner could signify that they are being inspected for a restaurant guide or perhaps a review, meaning those unidentified solo customers might get more attentive service. On the flip side, though, eating alone can also mean you get given that less-than-coveted table in the corner, right next to the toilets... So, how should restaurants be catering for the growing number of solo diners? “I guess the main thing is not to treat them differently from those in groups,” says Chris. “Good front of house will sense whether to engage you or leave you to it. “I think most solo diners probably don’t want to be sat next to a large, loud party, so finding a balance between avoiding this and not just chucking them out of the way by the toilets is key. It’s

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hard because, ultimately, a solo diner will likely take up as much space as a couple, so that can mean reduced revenue for the restaurant.” Meanwhile, Dan thinks lone diners are something to be considered when thinking about the layout of a restaurant in the first place. “My tip would be to design restaurants with seating up at the bar, or overlooking the kitchen [think Paco Tapas and Box-E]. It’s really nice to sit there and chat with the bar or kitchen crew whilst watching your food being cooked.” Shonette adds: “A couple of times I’ve been seated with another solo diner, which is understandable if a place is busy, but really quite uncomfortable if you’re not expecting to have dinner with a stranger!” Kate Hawkings, co-owner of Bellita in Bristol, travels a lot, so eating alone is a regular occurrence for her and, she’s noticed, for a growing number of other diners, too. “I’ve always felt comfortable – and really enjoyed – eating alone,” she says. “Good restaurants often make a bit of extra effort if there’s a solo diner; I remember once being offered a newspaper to read at a swanky restaurant and being very impressed by that touch. Now, though, I think it’s far more common, so such touches aren’t as noticeable – or as necessary.” In these parts, with new restaurants popping up at a rate of knots, you can’t always wait for a pal to be free before you make that first visit. And why should you? We say go it alone, and enjoy it all the more for it.


food & drink

PHOTOGRAPHY &

VIDEOGRAPHY

that won’t cost you the earth

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Pasta Loco is Bristol’s first fresh pasta eatery, specialising in serving unique and deliciously original pasta dishes

Our seasonal menu also includes weekly specials and a mouth-watering array of cured meats, fish and artisan cheeses. We have handpicked prime wines — both old world and new — to compliment our menu, and we’re confident in saying we offer the finest Negroni this side of Florence.

37A Cotham Hill Bristol BS6 6JY hello@pastaloco.co.uk 0117 973 3000

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VALEN TIN DAY LU E’S N 3 cours CH es for £20


Mains

GIV E US A BR E A K! G OT ITCH Y F E ET A N D A N E M PT Y B E L LY? TH ES E SOU TH W EST HOT E LS – A L L W ITH I N D RI VI NG DISTA NC E OF OU R PATCH –  S P ECI A LIS E I N R E L A X I NG B R E A K S A N D TOP GRU B. A N I DE A L CO M BI NATION, NO? crumbsmag.com

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The accommodation: There are just four rooms here, all unique and all with breakfast included. Room Four is a particular favourite, with great views over gorgeous Bradford-on-Avon, a freestanding, cast iron bathtub, and superking bed. All yours for the night for £130. Try... staying for a few nights, so you can take advantage of other local restaurants after you’ve sampled the great grub here.

1 ASHBURTON COOKERY SCHOOL Where: Ashburton, Devon Great for: Cookery in the countryside The food: Breakfast is included, so you’ll be set right up each morning for your day at the cookery school, where you’ll be working with top produce on any of the 40 courses there are to deliberate between. The tutors will keep you both fed and entertained, as you learn new recipes and skills. The accommodation: Book a stay at this Devonbased cookery school and you’ll be waking up in a townhouse right on the edge of Dartmoor, mere yards away from Ashburton’s pubs, shops and restaurants. There are single, double and twin rooms, as well as apartments available, with prices from £59 a night when booked with a cookery course. Try… a week-long residential course, and return home a new and improved cook.

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✱ flatcappers.co.uk 1

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3 THE GAINSBOROUGH

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✱ ashburtoncookeryschool.co.uk

2 THE CASTLE INN Where: Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire Great for: Fans of the great British pub The food: Positioning itself as less of a gastropub and more as a quality watering hole with great food, this place is all about pub grub done right. Classics such as handmade burger and shepherd’s pie made with slow-cooked lamb sit on the menu alongside sharers like the ‘allotment’ board (featuring hummus, Bombay potatoes, butternut fritter, and pickled vegetables). Wash all that down with something from the well-cared for and everchanging ale selection, why don’t cha?

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Where: Bath Great for: Chill time The Food: Head chef Dan Moon is known in these parts for his thoughtful cooking and precisely curated dishes. Down in the restaurant, at lunchtime you’ll find a set menu offering the likes of roast loin of Wiltshire pork with Stornoway black pudding and salt-baked celeriac, while the evening a la carte might include curried fillet of plaice with cauliflower foam, chargrilled potato and samphire. There’s a new tasting menu, too, with six creative courses, taking you from amuse-bouche to dessert via lots of wide-eyed nods of approval. The accommodation: This handsome Georgian hotel, slap-bang in the middle of the city centre, has access to Bath’s thermal springs in its super-jazzy spa, where you can also book in for a treatment. If you really want to push the boat out, stay in the Bath Spa Suite, which includes unlimited spa access, a lounge area, and dedicated in-room thermal water service from a roll-top bath. Fancy. Try… a spa day, which includes a treatment, access to the therapy rooms, and, of course, a two-course lunch. ✱ thegainsboroughbathspa.co.uk

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and a bottle of Champers one night, then a threecourser the next. The accommodation: Upstairs from the restaurant in this 18th-century inn are four bedrooms and two suits; for the Gourmet Dine and Stay you can choose from a classic double, junior suite, or master suite. The staff at this quayside hotel are more than happy to help you organise what to fill your days with too, be it fishing, sailing or visiting the museum. Try... popping in to the Galley Room on the first floor during your stay – you can keep yourself topped up with hot drinks and treats from there.

4 THE QUEENSBERRY Where: Bath Great for: Sight-seeing (to walk off all that grub, obvs) The food: Chris Cleghorn works some real magic in this indie hotel’s restaurant, The Olive Tree. Book the Gourmet Dining Package for £160 and you’ll get Chris’ seven-course seasonal tasting menu with wine parings (that lot’d usually cost you over a ton on its own), as well as a full brekkie to get you going in the morning. The accommodation: The Gourmet Dining package also includes a superior room, classically decorated with comfy sofas for putting your feet up after a day out in the city. The famous Royal Crescent and Circus are just around the corner, as well as the historic Assembly Rooms. Try… a classic cocktail, or something from the proper extensive list of spirits in the smart but cosy Old Q Bar.

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✱ salutationtopsham.co.uk

6 THE SEAFOOD RESTAURANT

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MARK ASHBEE

6 DAVID GRIFFEN PHOTOGRAPHY

Where: Topsham, Devon Great for: Picturesque surroundings The food: The restaurant here is well-known in Devon, and a firm favourite with locals. Enjoy a freshly cooked breakfast – such as the whole smoked kipper, grilled with lemon – in the light-filled glass house in the morning, then dinner in the fine dining restaurant in the evening. Book a special two-night Gourmet Dine and Stay package (from £450 per couple), and you’ll get a six-course tasting dinner featuring dishes like mushroom raviolo with mushroom consommé, and local lamb confit shoulder bonbon with tapenade jus,

SCABETTI

5 THE SALUTATION INN

Where: Padstow, Cornwall Great for: Seafood enthusiasts The food: Established by Rick more than 40 years ago, this famous gaff serves a balanced mix of classic dishes (think fruits de mer and lobster thermidor) and more exotic creations like Singapore chilli crab. The cookery school is but a minute’s walk away from this restaurant-with-rooms too, so not only can you chow down on these creations, but you can also learn how to make them yourself at home. The accommodation: There are 16 rooms above The Seafood Restaurant, some of which have private rooftop terraces (yes, please!) and coastal views, and all of which include breakfast. Dogs are welcome too, and with these lovely surroundings there’re plenty of walks for them to enjoy. Try… the Food Lover’s Break, and get a one-night stay with dinner and breakfast at The Seafood Restaurant, plus a hamper of edible goodies, from £338. ✱ rickstein.com


DINNER from 6pm Wednesday to Saturday

LUNCH

from noon Friday to Sunday SMASHING

ROASTS

ON SUNDAYS!

Tel: 0117 382 2235 3a Regent Street, Clifton, Bristol BS8 4HW Shop3Bistro @Shop3Bistro

Our new 20 mile lunch menu is local, seasonal and features classics like 10oz Flat Iron Steak, Wild Boar Sausages and Tagliatelle of Wild Mushrooms plus dishes taken from our evening menu. On Sundays we serve a traditional roast featuring Longhorn rump of beef, Yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes, cauliflower cheese and seasonal vegetables. Lunch 12 - 2pm daily Afternoon Tea 2pm – 5pm daily

High Street, Clearwell Royal Forest of Dean Gloucestershire, GL16 8JS www.tudorfarmhousehotel.co.uk 01594 833046


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curd, and roasted pheasant with parsnip, pear and chocolate oil. Book the Forest Awakens package and you’ll get dinner and breakfast included, as well as a packed lunch to take on a country walk. The accommodation: The Forest Awakens escape is for two nights during springtime (March-May) and includes a walking guidebook to help you explore the beautiful local area, which includes the Forest of Dean and Wye Valley. Prices range from £430 to £630 for two, depending on which room you choose. Try… a half-day foraging trip with Raoul van der Broucke.

7 SIGN OF THE ANGEL Where: Lacock, Wiltshire Great for: A quintessential Cotswoldian break The food: The two-AArosette restaurant here focuses on traceable and sustainable West Country ingredients, meaning you can expect to chow down on the likes of partridge and pear terrine with prune and brandy mousse, followed by beef shin Wellington with fondant potato. As well as the main a la carte there are ever-changing specials to make the choice a little more difficult. When it comes to brekkie, the freshly cooked option promises top-quality pork, reared down the road. The accommodation: This 15th-century coaching inn is as characterful as you’d hope, with leaded windows, wooden beams, and open stone fireplaces. The rooms are suitably classic in style, with natural colours and wooden furnishings. Positioned in a picturesque little Cotswoldian village, it’s in a great location for visiting the local shops and The National Trust property of Lacock Abbey. Try… the brand spanking new tasting menu, which is being introduced this spring.

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✱ tudorfarmhousehotel.co.uk 7

✱ signoftheangel.co.uk

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SIMON BURT

DAVID GRIFFEN PHOTOGRAPHY

Where: Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire Great for: Outdoorsy types The food: Influenced by its rural location, this hotel serves a series of ‘20 mile menus’, with most ingredients coming from neighboring producers. That means dishes are seasonal and show strong connections to the surrounding area; think Jerusalem artichoke with mustard and homemade

9 WATERGATE BAY

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LUKE HAYES

8 TUDOR FARMHOUSE

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Where: Newquay, Cornwall Great for: A good dose of sea air The food: There are plenty of options at this seaside spot when it comes to meals. The chilled out Beach Hut, down on the sand, serves casual, modern-style dishes such as Cornish crab spaghetti and popcorn squid with Sriracha mayo; you can lounge on the sofas in The Living Space while nibbling on sharing plates; then there’s Zacry’s, ideal for a slightly more formal three-courser; and Jamie Oliver’s famous Fifteen restaurant is just opposite – ask reception to book you in. The accommodation: The cool, coastal-style rooms are all bleached wood and pastels, with an understated modern look. And they couldn’t be closer to the beach if they tried – just step out of the hotel, and boom. You’ve arrived. Try… the Taste of the Bay break: a three-night stay, including meals at Fifteen, The Beach Hut and Zacry’s, from £285 per person. ✱ watergatebay.co.uk


CHEZ DOMINIQUE Modern French Dining in Bath

À la carte • Prix fixe • Sunday roast chezdominique.co.uk 15 Argyle Street, Bath, BA2 4BQ 01225 463482


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For more information call 01225 444171 T @Hobbsrefrig

REFRESHINGLY SOMERSET! Bradley’s Juices, made on a Somerset farm, are enjoyed by people all over the UK – including the Prime Minister. Here, we find out how this local business has become such a national hit...

RI

CH AL AR SO DS N , F OW RA A M T PT ON

S

VALENTINES NIGHT IN Have a romantic night in

TOP QUALITY LOVINGLY PREPARED BY YOU FOR YOUR SPECIAL PERSON

❤ MATURE STEAKS ❤ BEEF WELLINGTONS FOR TWO ❤ PORK OR VENISON VALENTINE STEAKS ❤ PHEASANT EN CROUTE Like us for special offers and seasonal recipes ba

101 Henleaze Road, Bristol BS9 4JP.

0117 962 1095

www.henleazebutchers.co.uk

ix years ago, nestled in the rural levels of Somerset at Box Bush Farm, Miles and Liz Bradley created Bradley’s Juice, producing their own outstanding English drinks. The family-run business now specialise in creating the most fantastic single variety apple juice, using only the very best handpicked apples. Made in small batches, the juice is pressed on site at Box Bush Farm. The reason it tastes so good is down to the fact it is pure apple with no added water, sugar, sweeteners or flavourings – just Somerset apples Miles and Liz Bradley at their best. Starting out selling at Farmer’s Markets, with Miles currently being the chairman of the Somerset Farmer’s Market, they now supply delis, farm shops, restaurants and hotels across the country. As the business has grown, so has its collection. As well as the iconic apple juice selection, it also has an array of other natural juices, with the focus still on using the best hand-picked ingredients. The Quench range – including Exquisite Elderflower with handpicked elderflower, Luscious Lemonade made with Sicilian lemons, and Naturally Brewed Ginger Beer, brewed for eight days to get that perfect flavour – is quaffable, handmade and award winning, and there’s even a Bradders cider too. Bradley’s Juice is certainly refreshing the way we think about juice! Bradley’s Juice Company Box Bush Farm, Somerset BS24 6US Tel: 01934 822356 Email: info@bradleysjuice.co.uk Find us on Facebook and Twitter www.bradleysjuice.co.uk


Afters NEW RESTAURANTS DEVOURED, NEW CAFÉS FREQUENTED, NEW BARS CRAWLED, AND THE TRUTH ABOUT WHAT WE THOUGHT OF THEM

Highlights PIE FACE

We visit Lovett Pie’s storage container for a working lunch

After interviewing Rick in a recent issue, we return to Marlborough to test his wares...

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LOCK DOWN

Checking out a storage unit-turnedrestaurant over in Redfield Page 70

A TRIP TO NEW DELI St James’s Café Deli gets a lunchtime visit from team Crumbs... Page 72

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Including…

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eco-friendly bagged wines


( N E W R E S TA U R A N T S )

Af ters

RICK STEIN, MARLBOROUGH

There’s some fine fresh surf with a good smattering of turf on the menu at the newest restaurant in the ever-expanding Stein enterprise, finds Charlie Lyon

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alk about the art of distraction – while we’ve been glued to our small sets following Rick Stein’s numerous foodie romps around the globe (did you see his latest, Long Weekends?), he’s been building an empire right underneath our noses. It started in Padstow, Cornwall – where you can now count six gaffs with his name above the door – before spreading to four other boltholes in the county. The Steins then broke through Cornish borders to open a venture in Sandbanks, Dorset, and Winchester, over in Hampshire. Following the success of the more urban Winchester restaurant, the Stein army has marched northwards again, setting up shop on Marlborough High Street at the end of last year. And they are indeed an army, when you consider it’s not just Rick at the helm, but son Jack Stein acting as executive chef, second son Charlie Stein as wine buyer, and ex-wife Jill, third son Ed, and Ed’s wife Kate overseeing the fit-outs. It takes a lot to wow on Marlborough’s High Street, with its expansive road and plethora of listed buildings, but Rick has chosen a knockout venue. Lloran

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House is an impressive Georgian build, now particularly splendid thanks to the newly painted exterior, all dark teal and stone-white. Inside, the property has been given a townhouse makeover, with several dining areas spread across two floors. It’s a much more traditional, warmer setting than his coastal offerings – with dark wood furniture and golden accents pitched perfectly at Marlborough’s courtly residents and tourers. Oversized vases fill the windows and giant oil paintings adorn the walls. Still, it’s unfussy and comfortable with some soft seating and high stools at the bar, as well as homely touches like shabby-chic dressers and a log burner. Tonight the restaurant is manned by a rather suave French manager and a band of efficient, smart servers in white shirts and slate-grey pinnies; no one is too busy to salute us with a smile. The menu is perfectly succinct, with 10 starters, 10 mains, three appetisers and six sides. It is, of course, mainly about the seafood, but there are several meat and game highlights in there too. As evening guests we’re treated to warm breads to start, including a tasty sesame and walnut variety, perfect for plunging deep into the bowls of super-fruity olive oil. A surprise appetiser of confit tuna and white beans is a good conversation starter. It’s tuna again for me for my starter – this time carpaccio (£6.95), sliced beautifully thinly, the light and fresh flesh given punch with capers and a mustard dressing. My friend doesn’t hold back on the crab linguine (£7.95) – a generous portion with oodles of juicy crab meat. I’m a sucker for seafood, and while it’s hard to resist the Stein classics, which are always good – dover sole a la meuniere or turbot hollandaise – I’m keen to try something new. The punchy Indonesian curry (£22.95) comes loaded with two good fillets of sea bass, but I search longingly for more of the tender squid and prawns in the bowl. While I’m sure the

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fresh and responsibly sauced ingredients warrant the price, I do yearn for a little more refinery, too. They’ve got their game right, however, with the baked guinea fowl (£23.95) across the table that lounges on a dense bed of garlic beans and smoked sausage, its flesh juicy with a good flavour depth. To finish, riz au lait (£6.95) is an indulgent rice pudding topped with moreish chunks of spiced pineapple – it’s the most comforting of desserts, great for warding off the chill of the night air outside. The richest of chocolate pavés, meanwhile, is teamed with salted caramel ice-cream (£6.95), and I defy anyone to finish the indulgent pair together. With wonderful interiors and topnotch service, as well as the freshest produce, Rick Stein will fare well in Marlborough. While the crowds here often have the wherewithal to spend, if you’re feeling light in the pockets, nip along at lunchtime where a good twocourse set menu is just £19.95. ✱ RICK STEIN, Lloran House, 42a High Street, Marlborough SN8 1HQ; 01672 233333; rickstein.com


is available to download www.mediaclash.co.uk


Af ters

( T O P TA K E A W AY S )

LOVETT PIES

Mark Taylor joins the local workforce for a lunch break at this new pie shop…

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ristol’s long food and drink history is often traced back to the days when consignments of sherry, rum, tea and sugar arrived at the docks, but what about the humble pie? Over the last century, the city has gained a national reputation for its pastry treats. Rewind to 1929 and Clarks Pies was opening its first shop on Old Market; having since relocated to Bedminster, it survives to this day. And in 2003 Tristan Hogg and Jon Simon launched Pieminister in a small factory on Stokes Croft, growing it into a proudly Bristolian business which has sold pies across the entire globe. And now we have Lovett Pies. It began in 2011 when Phil Roseblade and Chris Parry met during their time working at The Chequers in Bath. Recently, back in October 2016, the Kingswood-based business opened its first permanent shop at Cargo, the new food hub at Wapping Wharf in the regenerated docklands. Occupying just one shipping container, this new shop is certainly intimate: a small white-tiled kitchen is visible behind a counter with a glass-fronted display of hot, just-baked pies. Although essentially a takeaway business, there are a few stools and

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tables for those who want to eat their food inside, and tables out the front for when the weather allows. As well as coming in for ready-to-eat pies, customers can also buy cold ones to cook at home for £3.50. There are eight varieties to choose from at any time, and these include the best-selling beef, Bellringer Ale and Bath Blue cheese; lamb, rosemary, garlic, potato and honey; and the seasonal winter pie of venison, smoked bacon and porcini mushroom. Meatfree options include Puy lentil, Welsh rarebit and kale, and truffled mushroom, butterbean and Swiss chard. Served in sturdy brown cardboard boxes, pies (all £4.50) can be ordered on their own or you can go the whole hog with a range of sides (£2.20 each), including bubble and squeak or minted mushy peas. There are also three sauces (75p each): gravy, parsley liquor and house chutney, and, for an additional £1, you can ask for bacon bits. There is also a belt-challenging deal called The Works (£8.50), which comprises a pie, two sides, one sauce, and bacon bits. I, however, settled on the chicken, gammon, leek and thyme pie with a side of roasted root veg – and it was still a substantial meal for under £7. The

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deep, steaming hot pie was generously filled with juicy chunks of chicken (free-range, and locally sourced from Castlemead Poultry in Radstock) and slices of gammon in a light, creamy sauce, flecked with thyme and sliced leeks. The hot-from-the-oven vegetables – beetroot, carrots, squash and potato – were enjoyably al dente and earthy, their wholesomeness easing the guilt of the buttery shortcrust. There are a few sweet treats here – the gluten-free raspberry polenta cake and chocolate beetroot cake both looked enticing – as well as soft drinks from Somerset-based Bradley’s, and good coffee from Bristol micro-roaster Little & Long. But really, it’s all about the pies. Like Clarks and Pieminister before it, Lovett continues Bristol’s long tradition in keeping pie-eyed locals fed in the manner to which they have become accustomed for the past century. ✱ LOVETT PIES, Cargo, Gaol Ferry Steps, Wapping Wharf, Bristol BS1 2WE; lovettpies.com


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Af ters

( UNSUNG HEROES )

THE LOCK UP The Redfield locals must be proper chuffed with this cosy, casual joint, reckons Jessica Carter 70

ust under a year ago, a trio of locals opened the doors of a former storage unit on Church Road for its first service. The Lock Up has upped Redfield’s foodie game and, if you believe what anyone in the property market tells you, the guys have made a clever decision in terms of its investment-worthy location. (If that needed further cementing, The Dark Horse since opened up a few doors down, as has nearby bar Bristol Spirit.) The name of the game at The Lock Up is good-quality modern British food. Head chef Aidan Dunford has plenty

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of experience in professional kitchens, coming from Eat Drink Bristol Fashion’s Yurt Lush (meaning he likely shares the same strong principles when it comes to sourcing ingredients), as well as other well-known eateries around the city and abroad. A St George native, he opened this joint with sister Alexandra Britton (a front-of-house pro) and brother-inlaw, Rob Mulholland. There’s a pretty extensive drinks menu too, with a focus on organic and sustainable wines – the very drinkable house options all follow this ethos. Outside is a cosy-looking terrace area. Okay, so you might be on the edge of a main road, but the fairy lights, cushions and blankets certainly help make the most of the outside space. We, however, sat inside, tucked around the corner near the bar. Warm and atmospheric, the dining area

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features low-hanging lamps and raw wood tables for a surprisingly rustic feel; it was perhaps the slate tile-look exterior, or even the name, that had me expecting a somewhat colder style. Open from 10am most days, The Lock Up serves both brunch and lunch; think everything from homemade beans on toast and good ol’ bacon sarnies to rarebit, burgers, salads and steaks. The dinner menu, fitting pleasingly onto one side of A4 paper, made for a good read. While the dishes are clearly imaginative, they’re still down to earth, meaning you know just what you’re getting – no guesswork needed. There was crab, lemon and grape to start (£6.30). Quenelles of the light mixture sat alongside a muddle of salad leaves and cucumber matchsticks, and crispy fried mussels, while dollops of apple purée gave a crisp, fruity edge. The smoked salmon and sole fishcakes (£5.60), meanwhile, were crisp and golden, and were supported by a rather interesting salad with pickled pomegranate seeds, the little crimson jewels packing far more of a punch than the regular kind. It was nice to see such thought go into the garnish, especially as it bought extra interest to a dish that can often be rather samey. Pork belly came next (£15.50), with an ideal meat-to-fat ratio. The slow-cooked hunk had a crisp, nicely browned top layer, while its accompanying stack of boulangère potato was flavoured with stout to make it extra-moreish.

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The curls of bubbly fennel-salted pork scratchings were much admired, and the rich Stornoway black pudding was an ideal texture, with a good bit of bite. Pretty dreamy. The lamb rump (£16.50) came in the form of pastel-pink slices which, being simply prepared and ultra-flavoursome, paid testament to the meat’s quality and the kitchen’s ability. A mini shephard’s pie showed off even more of the lamb, the soft mash topping having a lovely delicate crust, and the red wine gravy proved just light enough to avoid drowning out the other components. Dessert was white chocolate and orange pannacotta (£4.90). It had a nice balance of flavour, but was a little heavy to be polished off completely, although the lemon shortbread it came with was ace. The Frangelico affogato (£5.50) was both as expected and as hoped for: cold, creamy vanilla ice cream with sweet liqueur and warm, bitter coffee. There are also cheeses and digestifs on offer, but we know when we’re defeated. This is a decent little restaurant, serving good food and catering for whatever kind of night you’re after: a drink, a casual burger for a tenner, or a proper, no-holding-back three-course scenario with solid plonk. It’s worth the trip to this upcoming neighbourhood if you’re not a lucky local. ✱ THE LOCK UP, 182 Church Road, Redfield, Bristol BS5 9HX; 0117 329 0707; thelockupbristol.com


Af ters

( CRACKIN’ CAFÉS )

ST JAMES’S CAFÉ DELI

After 17 years as a Mediterranean restaurant, this Bath venue was recently reborn, as Jessica Carter finds out...

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lex and Kim Koniotes took over the site of the 17-yearold Mangia Bene eatery on St James’s Street last summer, turning it into a café and deli. With a background in food (they opened the new venue having left behind a sizeable pub they’d been running), the pair had a vivid idea of what they wanted to create. And judging by the constant stream of hungry visitors that came through the door while we were there, there is certainly an appetite for their vision, too. Open six days a week until 5pm, the café serves breakfast and lunch – to eat in or take away – alongside speciality brews by Clifton Coffee, a range of teas, and a small selection of wines. The counter is chocca with homemade grub: think colourful salads, intriguing snacks and delicious-looking cakes. On the day we visited, Kim had created the entire lunch offering singlehandedly that morning. And there was plenty to choose from: broccoli, spinach, tomato and goat’s cheese frittata; falafel patties; cauliflower frittas; and a host of interesting salads featuring grains, meat and veg. Customers can choose one main component and a couple of salads for £10.50. The sausage rolls (£2.95 each) here have made quite a name for themselves, too; yes, we did try ’em, and yes, we can

see why. Today’s fennel and chilli variety saw good-quality meat, free of gristle and with a lovely texture, wrapped in buttery pastry, which was pleasingly flakey without totally falling apart. The curried cauli fritta was a bright golden yellow inside; nicely spiced, it had flavour without any overpowering heat, and came with a cooling yoghurt, which was great for the crisp, somewhat dry nature of a fritta. The falafel told a similar story: generous in size and packed with fresh herbs, it was praised by my pal for its texture, crunch and moreish saltiness, offset by the same yoghurt dip. The salads looked fresh and tasted wholesome, each an assembly of different textures and flavours. The roasted tenderstem, beetroot and carrot

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number was peppered with sesame seeds and the veg well cooked to bring out its natural sweetness, while the distinguishable ginger and lime clung to the chicken in the meatier salad. In another, roasted pepper, sundried tomatoes and aubergine mixed with fregola and quinoa, which sucked up the juices from the succulent veg. Then, as we had work to do that afternoon and had perhaps overdone it on the food side (we could feel the comas coming on), we had a cup of that Clifton Coffee each, which was punchy without bitterness. It’s not uncommon for these kind of counter-display lunches to look rather better than they taste, but here we found everything to be well-seasoned, full of flavour, and complementary, whichever combination of it all we chose to load our forks with. Already having a clearly popular café on their hands, Kim and Alex are now keen to develop the retail element, having found some first-rate products to line their shelves with. Like the café, and their outside catering service, we expect the shop aspects to be a hit too. ✱ ST JAMES CAFÉ DELI, 5-6 St James’s Street, Bath BA1 2TW; 01225 336106

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LOCAL FOOD WITH FLAVOUR

Puxton Park, home of the Trethowan’s Dairy, makers of the multi-award winning Gorwydd Caerphilly cheese.

Visit the Puxton farm shop and butchers just off the M5, J21. Puxton Park, Cowslip Lane, Hewish, BS24 6AH 01934 523500

www.puxton.co.uk


For Laura Tomlinson of Wild West in Bristol, the food and destination PR agency, eating and drinking her way through the local food scene is practically part of the job

BREAKFAST?

HIDDEN GEM?

Bakers & Co. I am obsessed with their Morning Toast: orange and cinnamon sugar torrijas, smoked bacon and baked apple, crème fraiche, toasted almonds and maple syrup.

Venga in Portishead. The tapas is brilliant (never say no to more churros), and the drinks always flow nicely. The enclosed garden is the place to be; sparkling with fairy lights and year-round warmth, courtesy of lots of outdoor heaters.

BEST BREW?

Quick!

Now add this little lot to your contacts book Bakers & Co, Bristol BS7 8BG; bakersbristol.co.uk Boston Tea Party, Bath and Bristol; bostonteaparty.co.uk Better Food, Bristol; betterfood.co.uk Grape & Grind, Bristol BS7 8AT; grapeandgrind.co.uk The Pony and Trap, Chew Magna BS40 8TQ; theponyandtrap.co.uk Yurt Lush, Bristol BS1 6QH; eatdrinkbristolfashion.co.uk Casamia, Bristol BS1 6SY; casamiarestaurant.co.uk Adelina Yard, Bristol BS1 4SL; adelinayard.com Venga, Portishead BS20 6EN; vengauk.co.uk The Jetty, Bristol BS1 1HT; bristol-harbour-hotel.co.uk Harts Bakery, Bristol BS1 6QS; hartsbakery.co.uk Riverstation, Bristol BS1 4RB; riverstation.co.uk Cow Barn at Tyntesfield, Wraxall BS48 1NX; nationaltrust.org.uk Souk Kitchen, Bristol BS3 1JP; soukitchen.co.uk Lido, Bristol BS8 2JB; lidobristol.com Swoon, Bristol BS1 5TB; swoononaspoon.co.uk

Boston Tea Party makes a consistently great flat white and uses my favourite local roasters, Extract, which I also buy on subscription to use at home. Try the Dr Strangelove Espresso and you won’t look back! FAVOURITE GROCERY SHOP?

I admit to having fantasized about living in Better Food.

WITH THE FAMILY?

Since getting married at Riverstation a few years ago, it’s become a favourite haunt for family get-togethers. It’s a fantastic space, and the team are always welcoming – even when we arrive in our hordes and take over almost the entire brasserie! CHILD FRIENDLY?

BEST WINE MERCHANT?

Both the selection and service at Grape & Grind is top notch. SUNDAY LUNCH?

For a traditional roast, The Pony and Trap or Yurt Lush are great.

My eating out experiences are often with two small people in tow, and I think we’re incredibly lucky in Bristol to have such a great choice of childfriendly eateries. The Cow Barn at Tyntesfield is a particular favourite. PRE-THEATRE FEED?

POSH NOSH?

If you’re looking top-end, it’s hard to beat Casamia. The menus are the most creative and beautiful I have ever tasted. Adelina Yard is also pretty mindblowing. and I always want to steal their crockery. (I won’t though…!) ONE TO WATCH?

Since opening at the end of last year, The Jetty at the Bristol Harbour Hotel has attracted rave reviews for the seafood-led menu. Oh, and they do a cracking Espresso Martini. COMFORT FOOD?

Hart’s Bakery is how I do hygge.

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Souk Kitchen does the most amazing ghalieh mahi. It’s a Southern Persian fish curry with coriander, fenugreek and tamarind, and comes served with fragrant saffron rice. BEST ATMOSPHERE?

Lido. Spending time there is like being on holiday. SOMETHING SWEET?

Swoon was a bit of a game-changer when it opened its doors last February, showing Bristol how it’s done on the continent. Their pistachio gelato famously left me speechless. ✱ wildwestcomms.co.uk

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Crumbs Bath & Bristol – issue 59  
Crumbs Bath & Bristol – issue 59  
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