Page 1


Volume 1 ~ Issue 1




The Origins of English Wine An Introduction to Bordeaux The Wine Regions of Italy

ISSN 2053-8820

Beers & Ciders

Perry’s Cider Severn Cider A Tale of Two Beer Festivals The Sandford Park Ale House

Whole Foods

Adeys Farm Organic Meat Mudwalls Farm Produce

Dining Out

Ellenborough Park The Queen’s Hotel L’Artisan

Chef’s Profile Ben Glassonbury

Dining In

Mutina Chilliography

And Lots of Recipes!



A taste of



llenborough Park is an ancient house on the original Cheltenham Racecourse estate which has been restored as an exceptional destination hotel. Providing the best in hotel accommodation and service, it is ideal for romantic interludes, weddings, conferences and celebrations. Set in the beautiful English Countryside, Ellenborough Park is perfect for a rural getaway in an authentic period property.

Located just ten minutes from Cheltenham and set in parkland adjacent to the world famous racecourse, the hotel comprises 60 large bedrooms and suites, an Indian themed spa and a heated outdoor swimming pool. Dining options include the oak panelled Beaufort Dining Room for formal occasions and The Brasserie, with its country house menu, as a more informal setting. Afternoon teas and Sunday lunches are also available.


Tel: 01242 807 191

in the heart of the


Istabraq Suite

A La Carte Introduction

8 Alan Hunter AIWS

The Wine Press 12 14 18 22 26 30 32 34 36 40 44

What is Wine? The Origins of English Wine The Three Choirs Vineyards The Languedoc Chateau Raissac Aldeby Wines The Canal du Midi An Introduction to Bordeaux New Wines from Out of Town The Wine Regions of Italy Upton Wines

Dine Out 48 52 54 56 58 60 62 64 68

Ellenborough Park L’Artisan The Talbot Hotel The Queen’s Hotel Chef’s Profile The Kilkeney The Everest Tiffins of Montpellier The Muffin Man?

On Tap 72 74 78 80 84 85 86

What is Beer? Specialist Beer Shop A Tale of Two Beer Festivals The Sandford Park Ale House Whittingtons Brewery Thornbridge Jaipur The Teme Valley Brewery

Apple Press

90 Perry’s Cider

Whole Foods

98 Whole Foods 104 Adeys Farm Organic Meats 102 Mudwalls Farm Produce 106 Severn Cider 108 Nurses Cottage Drinks

Dine In 112 114 116 118 120 122 124

The Cassoulet Duck a l’Orange Roast Fillet of Cod Hot Stuff Chilliography Mutina Ragú alla Bolognese

126 128 130 132 134 136 137

Pasta Fresca Hazelnut Macaroons Pumpkin Pie Rogan Josh Spirit of Christmas Fair Picnic Loaf Venison Steak


140 The Spirit World 142 Scotch on the Rocks

Nosh Directory

146 The Cheshire Cheese Company 146 The Potted Game Company 147 Food Hampers Direct 147 Coole Swan 148 Cotswold Handmade Meringues 148 The Handmade Scotch Egg Company 149 Pixley Berries 149 Fentiman’s 150 M&M Vintners 150 Swig

12 22 36 72 80 90

PUBLISHER Nosh Publications Ltd Maple House Bayshill Road Montpellier Cheltenham Gloucestershire GL50 3AW EDITOR Alan Hunter JOURNALISTS / FEATURE WRITERS Alan Hunter Leigh Norwood Sandra Johnson Nick Stephens TELEPHONE 01242 500440 EMAIL WEB Whilst every care has been taken to ensure that the data in this publication is accurate, neither the publisher nor its editorial contributors can accept, and hereby disclaim, any liability to any party to loss or damage caused by errors or omissions resulting from negligence, accident or any other cause. Nosh Publications Ltd does not officially endorse any advertising material included within this publication. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in any retrieval system, or transmitted in any form electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without prior permission of the publisher.

Welcome to Nosh!


Nosh Magazine is a food and drink journey through the Cotswold’s, beginning here in Cheltenham. An adventure of discovery of all that this most historic and beautiful town has to offer, provided by all the professionals, artisans and specialists that bring such variety of delicious and innovative fare from every conceivable aspect of this arena of entertainment and lifestyle necessity. Cheltenham boasts a long and established reputation, not only for its breathtaking architecture and scenic splendour from its birth as a Spa in 1716, but also a longstanding symbol of local market produce since the award of its Market Charter in 1226. Then after the Royal visit of George 111 with the Queen and Princesses, this set the stamp of fashion that has become Cheltenham’s character and distinctive identity ever since. I thought I knew this town well over my 25 years of life in Cheltenham, such a hub of diverse activities, but this exploratory tour became an expedition of new and stimulating experiences. So welcome to you all and don’t forget that Nosh is your magazine designed for all lovers of the finest in food and drink. Follow Nosh in all our issues and join us with your comments, stories, recipes ideas and news of all that is Cotswold Food and Drink!

Alan Hunter Editor

40 46 52 98 118 142

Alan Hunter AIWS An Introduction

Alan is a master chef, sommelier, wine importer, writer and wine educator and has been trained by Wines and Spirits Education Trust to Associate Member of the Institute of Wines and Spirits.

Where it all began!

“My passion for wine started way back in my early training years where I attended one of Europe’s finest specialist food and wine academies, concluding with a scholarship to the Grosvenor House Hotel in London’s Park Lane. To become a professional chef it was compulsory to learn how also to present and serve the best quality food together with the finest wines in a style acceptable to the world’s top dining establishments and their discerning clientele. This path of development has enabled me to travel extensively, particularly within Europe, meeting many interesting and engaging people on the way whilst working sometimes in the most extraordinary of places. I have experienced every environment the drinks and food industry has to offer and this has enabled me to develop my skills within different international styles of cuisine and to also continue my wine learning adventure. NOSH - Volume 1 ~ Issue 1


The Big Boys!

I have held sales and marketing positions for international wine merchants such as Saccone and Speed, Charles Kinloch, Stowells of Chelsea and Percy Fox along with 9 years senior management experience in sales, marketing and training within Whitbread Brewers.

Going it alone!

This journey inspired me to own and work my own Wine Bars and Restaurants in the UK and abroad and also to eventually become a wine importer, travelling and researching new wines to introduce to the UK from around Europe and the New World. Many of these wines have featured successfully in top dining establishments including Michelin Starred restaurants.

Grape Expectations!

Wine training has been natural transition, giving me opportunity to share and encourage education at every level of wine and food. I have developed my own style ‘Simply Wine On Line’ course which you can share here at your Nosh Magazine - a complete learning adventure building issue by issue. I have also created a ‘Talks and Tasting’ programme of events that is adaptable to both the professional and private sectors.

The Grape Escape!

My ‘spiritual’ home is currently the Languedoc region in southern France and this is where we are also based with our ‘Vine To Wine Vacation at Chateau Les Carrasses’ and ‘The Chateau Raissac Wine and Culture Experience’. Here at both these beautiful locations we can introduce you a unique journey through wine, food and local culture or tailor make an adventure to enhance your personal or trade knowledge - all you have to do is just join us here at your Nosh Magazine - and we will do the rest”.

came to be created, in the northern Chablis vineyards of France’s Burgundy region.

As it is harvest time now in most Eurpoean wine regions, here is a short story about one of my many experiences over the years - just to give you a flavour of what is to come:

Much of the time it was necessary to light braziers around the rows of vines to stop the night frost from settling upon the grapes. So at first light, on the dying embers of the smouldering fires, the workers would toast their newly baked bread delivered to them fresh each morning. They would melt locally made bitter chocolate in battered skillets over the heat and dip the crisp toasted bread in this rich molten treat, then into their hot strong coffee. This with a nip of ‘eau de vie’ [distilled wine brandy] would set them up for the next grape gathering session until lunch. This ‘continental breakfast’ invention still forms the backbone of the French traditional start to the day.

It is hard work in a vineyard, I know, I’ve done it! Sounds glamorous and full of adventure and in many ways it is. If you keep looking down and not at the rows of vines in front of you, it’s not so bad, and when you finish each day you have wine and local food to look forward to. Some regional dishes that have been created for harvest time in many

Most harvest festivals will commence with a service in the village church, followed by colourful processions through the streets with tractors laden with flowers and pickers in traditional costume. Wine and food dominate with impromptu banquets set in cobbled courtyards and town squares, everyone cooks and brings dishes to share.

wine countries have become classics such as Coq au Vin and Boeuf Bourguignon in France.

Band members with battered instruments playing what seems to be a different tune for each, but no one cares, as it all goes towards the atmosphere of thanks and celebration of a wine harvest year successfully completed.

“At a vendange [wine harvest] in the Languedoc of southern France, I remember the old and much dented Citroen CV van winding its way up the furrowed track early in the morning mists, bringing hot coffee and freshly baked croissant for us, and discovered the delight of how ‘Pain au Chocolat’

So each time you open a bottle of your favourite wine, just think of all that it represents and capture the festival experience. NOSH - Volume 1 ~ Issue 1


NOSH - Volume 1 ~ Issue 1


Wine Press

Our mission here is to keep you up to date with what is happening in the ‘wine world’, introduce you to merchants in your area and generally have some fun experimenting with wine and food matching. To find what we really needed for your Nosh ‘wine information centre’, we had to look further afield than Cheltenham to find a good independent merchant who had a comprehensive list of great quality wines that supplied not only the trade, but could also offer all of their wines to us all at the most competitive prices - giving the best value for money! If there are any closer to home then I apologise if we have missed them - please let us know for our future editions - but we did try! This wine emporium displays a complete haven of wines and spirits with over 900 products available of the highest quality for every taste and pocket and not far from town. ‘Upton Wines’ nestles in a quiet corner of the beautiful riverside town of Upton upon Severn. Upton Wines: Alan Goadby, ably assisted by his son Andy work side by side and supply many extremely notable establishments both locally and further afield, offering not just the finest wines but an invaluable sales support service in terms of advice, consultancy along with an essential ingredient for modern day menu and wine list planning - a food matching skill based upon Alan’s expertise as a previous restaurateur with a long lived reputation for the highest standard of cuisine.

NOSH - Volume 1 ~ Issue 1


What is Wine? By Alan Hunter In very simple terms, wine is the result of crushed grapes being subject to the natural yeasts present on the skins to convert sugar into alcohol. Fermented in this way black grapes make red wine and white grapes make white wine. There are always of course, exceptions to the rule as in Champagne when two black varieties and one white are used, therefore the colour of the wine comes from the skin of the grape and not the juice as we shall discover as we journey through the ‘wonderful world of wine.’

Nature and Man - Working Together!

Nature’s contributions are of course the soil, grape varieties and weather conditions. These are then harnessed by the vineyard owner and the art of creating good wine comes from the knowledge, passion and expertise of the wine maker - the French growers call it ‘expression de terroir.’ This term describes the complete wine environment that represents the wine making process - nature and man working in harmony. All these factors determine who makes the best wine and why, with real wine it could be said that it is 80% nature with 20% man, but in many cases of factory or industrialised wine produced wine, quite the reverse, especially in some ‘new world’ areas where the strict rules of quality control, so active and strict in the ‘old world,’ are not such an influencing factor in terms of the continuation of authentic style and character. Flavours can be enhanced and in many circumstances, grossly exaggerated and the wine is NOSH - Volume 1 ~ Issue 1


without ‘soul’, becoming boring and predictable. Modern technology has advanced to such a level where it is possible to make wine to any standard and style required in vast volumes. Refrigeration is one major influential discovery in the process of wine making and along with the addition of air conditioning has enabled the production and storage of wines in hotter climates to thrive.


Nature at it’s best has created the finest environment for the greatest wines to be produced. This realisation and understanding was discovered over many hundreds of years with both the Greeks and the Romans claiming fame in doing so. Some wine producing regions around the world have proof that wine making took place over 2,000 years ago. A prime example of this is the Languedoc area of southern France (known as the World’s most premier vineyard area) where evidence that wines produced here graced the tables of the Roman Empire. Artifacts that support this are on show in the wine museums of Lezignan and Amorphoralis in Les Salleles d’Aude near Narbonne.

The Vineyard - Where it all begins... Oenology:

Oenology is the complete science and study of all aspects of wine and wine making (apart from vine growing and grape harvesting - this is known as Viticulture, the Latin word for vine).

Viticulture: Duties of the Viticulturist: • Monitoring and controlling pests and potential vine infestation. • Pruning method management • Monitoring the development of the vine and its fruit. • Deciding the most suitable time to harvest. Viticulturists are often intimately involved with winemakers, because vineyard management and the resulting grape characteristics provide the basis from which winemaking can begin. An interesting and significant fact is that the best and most individual of wines are created from vines that grow in the harshest of ‘In very simple terms, wine is the result of crushed soil conditions. This forces grapes being subject to the natural yeasts present the roots of the vine to search deeper into the ground for on the skins to convert sugar into alcohol.’ every available nutrient and mineral for the fruit to the difference between one wine to another and flourish. ensure its individual character and quality. The next process required by the professional wine maker, also known as an Oenologist, is called Viniculture.

I have been very privileged to witness a number of great and passionate winemakers in their quest to craft the finest examples of wine in their region,


and I have returned many times to sample the result, always a pleasure and I will tell you some stories soon of adventures of new wine discoveries!

This is the art of wine making and is certainly an area we do not need to cover in depth just now, just an overall understanding is sufficient at this stage. It is in part a natural process with scientific involvement - to achieve the final product we know as ‘Wine’. The oenologist [wine consultant] needs to have a full understanding of both Viticulture and Viniculture, as his overall expertise will provide

It is never easy, as although nature has provided such a great opportunity, it can also be as harsh as it is giving. So much expertise, judgment and hard work is required to complete the whole annual cycle and continuation of the process to achieve their ultimate goal, their wine, their ‘expression de terroir! NOSH - Volume 1 ~ Issue 1


The Origins of English Wine

By Alan Hunter Firstly we must establish the difference between English Wine and British Wine as there is a fundamental issue here -and they are certainly not the same in fact they can be worlds apart!

British Wine:

This is the term used to describe an alcoholic drink which is made in Britain by fermenting grape juice or concentrate - this can originate from anywhere in the world and so is not used for wine making in the legal sense. The most common style is a medium or sweet high-strength wine that is similar to Sherry.

English Wine:

English Wine is produced from freshly produced grapes grown and harvested in English vineyards and is then subject to UK labelling regulations PDO (Protected Denomination of Origin is the top official category) PGI [Protected Geographical Indication] is the next category followed by ‘varietal wine’. PDO & PGI wines must have a full post bottling analysis and pass a tasting panel (or win an award at a recognised competition). These are established via the UK Vineyards Association (UKVA) NOSH - Volume 1 ~ Issue 1


and The UK Government’s Dep for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) Wine from the United Kingdom is generally classified as either English wine or Welsh wine with a reference to England or Wales as its individual origin.

Did You Know:

“English wine” is also a common generic term used in India meaning “Western spirits”. Now this perhaps slightly boring but essential pieces of information have been established, we can move on to the more interesting stuff - The Wine!


It is widely thought in most English wine circles that the Romans under the reign of Julius Caesar first introduced vines and wine making into England in 55 BC and evidence shows us that they tried to grow grapes as far north as Lincolnshire. Others would argue that vines and wine making in its most basic form already existed here at this time, albeit in very small pockets of southern England and therefore in such insufficient quantities to quench

the thirst of the Roman hierarchy. Drinking wine was considered to be a sign of wealth and prosperity - an essential part of Roman life! So either way the development of wine making in England was certainly established and encouraged by a strong Roman presence. Wine making flourished at least until the time of the Normans with the mention in the Domesday Book of 1038 of over 40 vineyards producing wine in England. Much of this wine was used as communion wine for the Church.

King Henry VIII:

When King Henry VIII came to power in 1509, 139 English vineyards were recorded with 11 of these dedicated to the Monarchy, however with the dissolution of the Monasteries, this led to a beginning of the long decline in English wine production. From the middle ages on, English palates had been tempted by finer wines and assisted by the Plantagenet kingdom of England and provinces in France, made England the main customer for Bordeaux claret - (see our article on The Wines of Bordeaux) However the Methuen Treaty of 1703 imposed high import duties on French wine, so with English taste buds now thirsting for more adventure and to fill the void, the arrival of Fortified Wines from Spain (Sherry) Portugal (Port) and Madeira - particularly Malmsey and Old Bual, saw another major shift in style. These wines, enhanced in strength by the addition of grape spirit did not spoil during the long and sometimes very hot journeys from their respective origins, with even some types of Madeira actually improving and changing character with travel.

The Decline:

In 1860 English wine took a severe blow as Lord Palmerston, who was a great supporter of free

trade, drastically cut duties on imported wine from 1 shilling to 2 pence - so wines from other destinations once again flourished in English society. The rationing of sugar continued the decline until, for the first time in 2000 years and with the onset of the First World War, land was much needed for crops and this sounded the final death knell for English Wine. Wines were no longer being produced in either Wessex or the rest of the country. It was not until 1936, that George Ordish planted vines in Wessex and the South of England, bringing about a voyage of rediscovery for English wines and wine making resurrection - and the rest now as they say, is history!

20th and Century Wine:


As we know now English wine is now a thriving industry with an everincreasing number of individual styles being created by very confident and professional wine makers. By the early 1980’s over 400 vineyards existed covering areas totalling more than 4,000 acres. Some of these now include the illustrious Chapel Down whose wines graced the tables of the recent Royal Wedding reception of 2012. Much Sparkling wine is also emerging to rival the qualities of Champagne such as Ridgeview, residing comfortably in the rolling Sussex Downs, thus creating a situation of ‘sour grapes’ of course with French producers. One of the most famous and successful Pioneers of English wine at its finest is our own very local 3 Choirs Vineyard situated in glorious vineyards close to the seemingly sleepy town of Newent in Gloucestershire. I have know them a long time and I will let them tell you their own story of an English Wine adventure… NOSH - Volume 1 ~ Issue 1


The Three Choirs Vineyards

Three Choirs Vineyard is one of England’s leading single estate vineyards and is now one of Gloucestershire’s main visitor attractions, offering a unique experience for both wine enthusiasts, and those just looking for a great day out or somewhere beautiful to stay and relax. We have 75 acres of vines, a modern purpose built Winery, A ‘la carte Restaurant, 11 bedrooms, small function rooms, and naturally a wine and gift shop. Daily guided tours with tasting - run all year round.

English Wine

The attraction of English wine is its delicate, fine, clean fruit flavours, and every effort is made in the winery to maximise these qualities, throughout the operation. At Three Choirs we nurture well-chosen modern varieties alongside world-renowned grapes such as Pinot Noir. Our winemaker is also in charge of the growing, this ensures that there is continuity throughout the season, from pruning through to putting the wine into bottles. Cool climate viticulture is fast gaining a reputation for producing good quality wines at a good price. NOSH - Volume 1 ~ Issue 1


The cool English climate produces grapes with good fruit character. Low temperatures mean that the flavours do not “boil” away in the vineyard, giving the winemaker a better raw material. When the grapes arrive at the winery, we keep the “cool” theme through the wine making process, so that the delicate flavours are not lost. Great importance is put on keeping vines healthy rather than having to treat disease with expensive chemicals. This, in our opinion, is a far more cost effective management system and gives the best possible quality of fruit at the end of the season. Our vineyard management centres on giving the vines the nutrients that they need, the optimum leaf to fruit ratio and favourable conditions in the micro climate.

Wine Making Philosophy

Careful positioning of windbreaks to give protection from wind has to be balanced with wellkept ground and vine canopy in order to allow airflow. This minimises the risk of fungal diseases. Good grapes can make good wine. We therefore make every effort to ensure grapes arrive at the winery as quickly as possible after picking, in the

best possible condition. Hand picking by trained pickers helps to minimise the amount of stalks and rot that accompanies the grapes, and this means that cleaner, purer juice is achievable from the press. In the winery, our policy of problem prevention is very much to the forefront. We ensure that yeasts are adequately supplied with nutrients and that they are given the conditions that they need in order to work efficiently without producing off flavours. Temperatures are kept as low as possible in order to preserve fruit. Cold stores are used to naturally clear and settle wines, and filtration is therefore kept to a minimum. This allows as much of the natural grape character through to the bottle as possible.

Bacchus 2011

One of England’s best known grape varieties, producing a dry and aromatic wine with a complex character and delicious aromas of fresh asparagus, elderflower, nettles and herbs.

Classic Cuvee n/v

Three Choirs Classic Cuvee is a traditionally-made sparkling wine of very high quality. Dry and subtle it is very similar to a good champagne but at a fraction of the price!

Muller Thurgau. A good all rounder. GRAPE VARITIES: A blend of Seyval Blanc 40%; Muller Thurgau 20%; Reichensteiner 20%; Orion 10%; Madeleine Angevine 5%; Huxelrebe 5%.

May Hill 2011 Medium

Aromatic herb and floral nose with harmonious palate. Medium and well balanced, with rich honeyed fruit. GRAPE VARIETIES: Huxelrebe, Madeleine Angevine, Reichensteiner

Rosè 2012

A delicious off-dry Rose full of the aroma of strawberries and summer fruits. GRAPE VARIETIES: Seyval Blanc, Triomphe, Regent STYLE: A light delicate Rose, just off dry with a strong bouquet of strawberries and summer fruit. This wine is best drunk whilst sitting in the sun and enjoying a beautiful summer’s day or evening.

Siegerrebe 2011

GRAPE VARIETY: Seyval Blanc 80% Pinot Noir 20%

As one would expect from its parentage (a cross between Madeleine Angevine and Gewürztraminer) Siegerrebe can be very fruity and spicy, a delicious rich and classic quality dry wine and a lovely fresh finish that English wines should have.

Coleridge Hill 2011

Willow Brook 2011 Off Dry

A dry crisp wine with an aromatic nose of elderflower and nettles.

A soft and delicate rose petal aroma, with lightly spiced fruit flavours has made this a very popular wine.

GRAPES: Huxelrebe

GRAPE VARIETIES: Schonburger, Siegerrebe.




English House Dry 2011

GRAPE VARIETIES: Seyval Blanc 50%, Reichenstiener 30%, Madelaine Angevine 20% A delicate aroma of fragrant fruit characters which delivers a crisp lemony wine with a fresh dry finish.

English House Medium Dry 2011

This is the old Premium Selection Medium Dry but with a new name to reflect proposed changes in wine legislation! Widely appealing white wine with ripe fruit flavours. Melon, mango and a hint of spice, with a crisp dry finish. A blend of Seyval Blanc, Reichensteiner and

Late Harvest 2011 Medium Sweet - 1/2 bottle

Made from grapes that have been left on the vine longer to ripen further, resulting in a rich rounded wine full of fruit character wonderful with cheese and Pates or just on it’s own. GRAPE VARIETY: Siegerrebe

Ravens Hill 2011

A medium bodied red wine with a lovely ruby red colour aromas of Cherries and blackcurrant and just a hint of oak. GRAPE VARIETIES: Rondo & Regent NOSH - Volume 1 ~ Issue 1


One of my favourite Wine Regions The Languedoc By Alan Hunter Come with me on an exciting journey to one of France’s best kept secrets and I will introduce you to the ‘real wines’ of this region - the wines created by smaller producers whose lives are dedicated to creating the finest examples of their region

Throughout history, Bordeaux may have acquired the reputation for producing the finest wines in the world, yet the potential of the Languedoc terroir remains outstanding.

‘Come with me on an exciting journey to one of France’s best kept secrets and I will introduce you to the ‘real wines’ of this region.’

The Languedoc in Southern France is one of the oldest and largest vineyard areas in the world and so influential to wine production everywhere with records that tell us vines were planted here as early as the 5th century BC. NOSH - Volume 1 ~ Issue 1


Geographically the Languedoc is the valley that stretches in a vast arc from the Rhone river in the last of the Massif Central foothills, westward to the Aquitaine and Garonne rivers and then southward to the Mediterranean sea and the Pyrenean mountains.

The region is steeped in religious history, the Cathars and the Knights Templar, stories that spark the imagination with legends that will remain forever.

Towns and villages are dominated by mediaeval squares, churches, castles and priories that each hold their own mysteries, just waiting to be discovered. Due to its geographical locality, from very ancient times the Languedoc was inhabited by nations such as the Ligues, the Iberians and the Celts in the millennium BC.

The Greeks by creating Marseille around 600 BC opened the region to the Hellenistic influence over daily life, wine growing, philosophy and culture. During the 2nd century BC, the area was inhabited by the Volques and Tectosage people, called the Gaulois by Julius Caesar, who instigated the building of Narbonne and the creation of the Narbonnaise region, bringing law, order and organisation to the people of the area.

The diverse landscape and soil varieties have created many locations of very individual terrain, providing different wines styles of great quality, all with their own authentic character. The wines are always indicative of the areas from where they are created, displaying the heritage of their location, the climate and pride of the producers. The locals call it, ‘expression de terroir’.

Food from Languedoc Region: Cooking traditions in Languedoc Roussillon have roots in the same primary products as those in Provence. The main ingredients in their cuisine are olive oil, tomatoes, garlic, onions with an abundance of aromatic herbs to enhance the flavours. The only difference may be that chefs and cooks use a little bit less garlic than in Provence. Sea food products are an essential part of the Languedoc Roussillon cuisine.

The Land of the Languedoc saw passing and integrating barbarians: the Visigoths, Arabs, Aragones and finally the Francs, with the country becoming Carolingian in the 8th century.

The main important specialties are:

Two distinct proud cultures, the Occitan and Catalan both with a tradition of heresy, steadfast rebellion and ancient customs, all combine to make this region unmatched in its romance with history. The Occitan language spoken in the middle ages, gives its name to this land, the Langue D’Oc.

Morue Catalane (cod with tomatoes and pepper)

Oysters (from Bouzigues) - Gardiane (bull stew with rice) - Bourride (fish with aioli)

Anchoïade (anchovies with garlic and olive oil) Crème Catalane (cream with orange, vanilla and fennel seed) NOSH - Volume 1 ~ Issue 1


The following cheeses are made in Languedoc Roussillon - note that Roquefort comes from a remote place called Larzac in the south west side of Languedoc: Pélardon, Roquefort, Bleu des Causses and many different types of Goats Cheese. Some recommendations of food and wine matching from the Languedoc region: Red Wine: Grilled or roasted red meats, pâtés and terrines, sausages and salami, roasted turkey and game. Rosé Wine: Salads, Red onion tart, omelette and pasta, vegetarian - as an aperitif. White Wine: Local sea food products from the Mediterranean and Etangs (sea lagoons). Picpoul de Pinet: One of my most favourite Languedoc white wines [amongst many] has to be Picpoul de Pinet. Grown in the appellation of this name in the main areas around Pinet, Florenzac, Castelnau-de-Gers, Montagnac, Mèze and Pomérols, it is known as the only wine to rival the best of Muscadet de Servre et Maine in terms of similarity and style. I think however that the best Picpoul stands alone proudly with its own very individual character. Famous also in the Rhone Valley, mainly in the south, it is allowed to be used in the famous ‘13 grape variety blend of Chateauneuf du Pape and Picpoul Noir makes a lighter more pale red wine than other Rhone style reds. But it is the Picpoul Blanc that creates the wonderful fresh green gold coloured wines with their full lemon zest flavours - great with fish and seafood! Picpoul de Pinet is also known as Piquepoul or

Picapoll and has been around in the Languedoc for a very long time, sharing its longevity with Clairette Blanche and Cinsault as being some of the oldest domestic grape varieties of this region. In fact when blended with Clairette it creates a slightly deeper and more sweeter wine called Picardan - a much lesser known wine from this area. I have spent very many happy times travelling this vast area of France and as perhaps you know by now it is my chosen most favourite location. The Languedoc is like a bunch of different countries within itself, boasting many individual and influential cultures in its history and along with such a diverse and breathtaking landscape it creates an Aladdin’s cave of treasures - Picpoul de Pinet is just one of the gems you can discover. Just a stone’s throw from this appellation is the small fishing village of Bouzigues, situated on the edge of the Etang du Thau and famous for its delicious seafood, particularly the wonderfully plump and succulent oysters. Bouzigues: As there are rivals in France in Burgundy and Bordeaux, both believing that their wines individually represent the finest examples of what France has to offer, then it can be said also for the Mediterranean Oysters here in the Languedoc to their opponents from the Atlantic west coast . I have enjoyed both and they are wonderful, although Oysters may be an acquired taste for some, I love them! So I won’t be drawn into an argument here, but I would say if you are over in the west, then Muscadet wine is an essential partner - and in the Languedoc - Picpoul de Pinet is absolute. If you fancy some Oysters yourself then freshness is of course paramount so you need to buy them from a reliable source, Try with a little lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce or Tabasco perhaps! NOSH - Volume 1 ~ Issue 1


The Chateau Raissac Experience

By Alan Hunter You will be seduced by this elegant Château, owned and restored by the Viennet family since 1823 and steeped in wine and cultural history. Situated not far from the ancient town of Beziers, Château Raissac presides over its own vineyards and boasts an enviable selection of the finest of Languedoc wines crafted by specialist wine maker Gustave Viennet, the son of renowned artist Jean and internationally recognised ceramic artiste, Christine - your hosts at Château Raissac.

Day 2:

This ‘all inclusive’ experience is designed for a minimum of 6 and a maximum of 10 guests, so either you can arrange your own company of friends and family, or make new ones by joining other like-minded wine, food and lovers of adventure. Dates are limited so contact us now to ensure your booking success!

Breakfast in the Château Grounds. ‘A Taste of Languedoc Wine, Food and Culture’ – Morning visit to the famous markets of Pezenas followed by a visit to the beautiful ‘Abbaye de Valmagne’. Valmagne Abbey is a beautiful old Cistercian Abbey that was transformed into a wine cellar after the French Revolution. Its magnificent Gothic church has been called the “Cathedral of the Vineyards. Lunch in the Auberge – all menus are created from the produce created on their own organic farm surrounding the Abbaye. Wine tasting of Valmagne Wines followed by a tour of the Abbaye – an experience not to be missed. Dinner at the Chateau complemented with the wines of Raissac.

Adventure Itinerary Day 1:

Pick up at airport and transfer to Château Raissac. Reception Drinks and Welcome Champagne Dinner at Château Raissac with introduction by Alan Hunter AIWS of WineHunters. NOSH - Volume 1 ~ Issue 1


Breakfast at the ‘Guest Table’ in the elegant Château Dining Room. Morning journey through the Raissac Vineyards with Gustave Viennet followed by Lunch in the vines. Afternoon visit to the Winery and Wine Tasting in the Raissac Wine Cellars. Relax before Dinner at the Château, menu created by Jean Viennet complemented with the wines of Raissac.

Day 3:

Day 4:

Breakfast at ‘The Guest Table’ or in the Market. Morning at your leisure or local market visit – then lunch in the port of Marseillan in an award winning restaurant – followed by specially designed tour of the famous Noilly Prat Vermouth. Learn the history, observe the process, taste the 3 styles of Noilly Prat Aperitif and sample the Cellar Master Jean- Louis Mastoro’s internationally renowned cocktails – ‘Cocktail Mastoro’ – created by a famous Italian bartender in New York! Champagne Dinner at the Château with ‘fun wine quiz’ – just to see how much you can remember!

Day 5:

Wars and Revolution

In the early days the abbey constituted a period of great prestige, growing wealth and expansion, but then Valmagne suffered from the effect of the Hundred Years Wars followed by the later Wars of Religion. The attack of the Hugenots in 1575 organised by Valmagne’s own Abbot was a real disaster. Badly damaged, all the stained glass of the roses and clerestories were forever broken and the abbey needed the next two centuries to recover some of its original splendour.

Breakfast at the ‘Guest Table’ followed by morning at your leisure. Relax in the Chateau grounds or ‘market visit’ before departing for the airport.

At the Revolution in 1789, the last five monks fled just ahead of rebellious peasants who invaded and ransacked the abbey, burning precious documents, furniture and works of art.

For more details on our tours or about WineHunters, please contact me at: alan@ or mobile – 077799909082 or of course at your Nosh Magazine.

Later confiscated as a national property, the abbey was sold in 1791 to Mr Granier - Joyeuse who turned the church into a vine cellar, with addition of big vats in the nave and absidals chapels, preventing by this use this magnificent edifice from becoming a stone quarry, as was the fate of so many other abbeys.

One of the many places you will visit is the wine producing Abbey de Valmagne. Breathtaking in its beauty and steeped in religious history, this wonderful place of wine, peace and tranquillity will astound you!

Abbaye de Valmagne: History

“One of our wine, food and culture adventures in the Chateau Raissac experience includes the beautiful Abbey de Valmagne - here is a potted history of this most wonderfully calm and relaxing of all the wine Abbey experiences! In 1139 Raymond Trencavel, Viscount of Beziers, founded the Abbey of Valmagne in the Parish of Villeveyrac near the port of Meze on the “Bassin de Thau”. From the XII to the XIII Century, Valmagne was one of the richest abbeys in South of France. Originally Valmagne was founded under the Benedictine order but in 1159 the monks joined the Cistercian movement.

Valmagne today

On the 29th of July 1838, following the death of Mr. Granier, the abbey and its dependencies were sold, this time to the Count de Turenne to which still remains the possession of his descendants today. The actual church in classical Gothic style was begun in 1257 on the foundations of the original Romanesque chapel, which had become too small for the ever-increasing number of monks. Inspired from the great cathedrals of the North of France, it is 83 meters long and 24 meters high. The cloister has the exquisite charm of a ‘Tuscany’ garden with the Chapter House and its ribbed vault, witness of the presence of the monks since the XII century and its elegant and magnificent fountain bringing the most pure and fresh water from the spring of Diane”. NOSH - Volume 1 ~ Issue 1


Ian Webb Aldeby Wines By Alan Hunter I would like to introduce you to Ian Webb of Aldeby Wines - a Languedoc wine specialist! Ian has also spent much of his life in the Languedoc pursuing his passion of ‘new’ wine discovery from this ‘Old World’ paradise. Ian has wines of great pedigree and character, that display the individuality of the producer and location. Wines that match the whole spectrum of local cuisines - the river fish, the wide variety of cheeses, wild game, plump sea food and fresh fish, wild mushrooms and vegetables that form a rainbow of colour form a complete haven for every taste, but I will let Ian tell you more about his wine specialities that are available to us all ‘On Line’ - with a specially selected Languedoc mixed case on offer - a great wine experience! “The wines produced in the South of France offer a lot to the consumer as they not only have a great tradition and history of making wine, but they also capture the spirit of innovation that is now so widespread in LanguedocRoussillon. Today the wines of the region are very diverse and idividual in character, from dry whites that are full of character to quaffable fruit-packed rosés, and from some superb sweet wines to complex and intriguing world beating medium to full bodied reds. I am so passionate about the wines of Languedoc and have been researching them for over twenty-five years and with a full year working on a wine producing domain in the Pic Saint Loup area, this certainly helped me develop the knowledge and contacts NOSH - Volume 1 ~ Issue 1


I needed to specialise in importing wines from some of the best small producers in this wonderful part of the world. I am currently impressed by the wines from the Terrasses du Larzac appellation. People like Remi Duchemin at Plan de l’Homme focus on making wines that really represent this great terroir. His wines have real finesse and style. The reds, based on Syrah and Grenache, all have a lovely complexity with good fruit flavours, notes of spice and garrigues herbs, and a beautiful balance. And the whites? Well, they are possibly even better! Please have a browse through the website, there is sure to be something that will catch your eye - all we ask is that you order a minimum of six bottles, which can of course be mixed. I am just in the process of defining a new mixed case introducing the wines of the region, and to celebrate the launch of Nosh Magazine, I am happy to give you the chance to be the first to try it at a special launch price of £150 delivered to your home, compared to the normal price of £175. You can reserve your case in the “Mixed Case” section of the website (use the promotion code: noshmag) or by contacting him directly.” e-mail: Address: Unit K, Marlow Road, Leicester, LE3 2BQ Phone: 0116 289 7329

The Canal du Midi Back to the future!

By Alan Hunter One of the most amazing feats of engineering and now one of the most unique ways to travel through any wine region in the world - has to be the Canal du Midi. Gracefully gliding its way through stunning vineyards replete with almost every major wine grape imaginable, this elegant waterway quietly holds its secrets as it carries you through some of the most beautiful and picturesque scenery ‘Wine France’ has to offer. Linking the Atlantic and Mediterranean together, it began like most wonders of the world, as the brainchild of one man – Pierre Paul Riquet, a minor noble and keeper of the ‘Gabelle’, a lucrative and unpopular tax levied upon the sale of salt. In the early 1600’s Riquet recognised the need for a commercial trade link between these two seas and all that lay between them. He was able to inspire the imagination of King Louis X1V with his ideas, but more importantly of his first minister, Colbert.

Sadly Riquet died 6 months before the works were completed in 1681 and having used all of his fortune, sacrificing even his daughters dowries, but the Canal was a great success carrying at its peak in 1856 111,000 tonnes of material and over 1 million passengers. However with the introduction of the Bordeaux to Sète railway in 1857, traffic on the Canal rapidly declined and its very existence became irrelevant to its original purpose, with some parts falling into a state of complete disrepair. But some 140 years later in 1996, the Canal du Midi was designated a ‘UNESCO World Heritage Site’. Now it has returned to original splendour, albeit under a different role, as a leisurely way to experience this magnificent wine region, either by boat, bicycle or even by car as the roads follow the contours of this remarkable waterway in all its splendour.

The Canal du Midi runs for 240 kilometres from the river Garonne at Toulouse, via Castelnaudary, Carcassonne and Béziers to its final destination, the Mediterranean at the ancient Greek town of Agde and the historic fishing port of Sète.

When you come with us on our wine tour adventures you will encounter the Canal du Midi many times as we criss-cross its path to our wine destinations. We will take lunch in one of the many delightful restaurants that pepper its banks, enjoy a leisurely beer in the sunshine and experience a wine tasting on board a ‘péniche’, the famous converted barges that slumber on this magnificent of all inspirations.

Work commenced in 1667 and it took 14 years to complete using tens of thousands of workers, creating a network of locks, reservoirs, bridges and tunnels to overcome the challenges of the terrain and location, the Garonne being 132 metres above sea level.

There is also an abundance of fresh local produce displayed under rattan style canopies to savour at every turn, proud in its appearance and delicious in flavour. All this and steeped in the most amazing diversity of cultures - A wine and food lover’s dream come true!

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An Introduction to Bordeaux BORDEAUX UNDISCOVERED

By Nick Stephens of Bordeaux Undiscovered Bordeaux, home to some of the greatest wines in the world, lies in the old region of Aquitaine in south west France. Its vineyards are washed by the waters of the great rivers that run alongside them and are swept by the winds of the Atlantic Ocean. The City of Bordeaux is a sea port and some say that its very name means ‘at the water’s edge’. The City lies on the tidal Gironde Estuary which is fed by the Rivers Garonne and Dordogne. The land that rises above the waters has a limestone bedrock and is richly covered with vines. Arguably this is not only France’s most famous vineyard but it is also one of its largest and most ancient.

wines produced at his villa Lucaniacus in his native Bordeaux in the 4th century. A number of Chateaux are founded on Roman villas and even today the vineyards across Bordeaux are peppered with Roman archaeology.

married King Henry II of England in 1152’

Britain’s love affair with Bordeaux began in the 12th century when Eleanor of Aquitaine married King Henry II of England in 1152, bringing Bordeaux with her as part of her dowry. Eleanor also brought with her a taste for Bordeaux wines and before long galleons were shipping barrels of wine to and fro across the Channel. In fact there was so much wine shipped that the weight of a ships cargo became measured by the number of wine barrels (tonneaux) it could hold – giving rise to our word “ton”. Britain would own Bordeaux for the next 300 years.

As the centuries turned Christianity came to Bordeaux and with it monasteries and pilgrim hospices appeared throughout the land. The Church was responsible for creating many of the Bordealise vineyards as the Benedictine and Cistercian monks grew grapes back in the 11th century to make wine for Mass. One of the most important pilgrimage routes in the Christian world runs right through Bordeaux: the route de Bordeaux’s vineyards cover almost 300,000 acres Santiago de Compostela (the ‘Way of Saint James’). (468 square miles) in 57 appellations (AOCs) with Commanderies established by the Knights Templar around 9,000 chateaux and 52 wine cooperatives. and the Knights Hospitallers offered pilgrims As Bordeaux’s wine region is divided by the Gironde food, wine from their vineyards and a place to rest. Estuary, Chateaux either side are categorised as Many of these religious houses have left their foot mark in the names of ‘Britain’s love affair with Bordeaux began present day Chateaux. in the 12th century when Eleanor of Aquitaine

belonging to either the Right or Left Bank. Between the two rivers that feed the Estuary lies the Entre Deux Mers (Between Two Seas). An old saying in Bordeaux is that the best estates can “see the river” from their vineyard. Wine has been Bordeaux’s lifeblood for so long that 1 in 6 Bordelaise work within the wine trade. Wine making here goes back into the mists of time for Bordeaux has been producing wines for 2,000 years if not more. The Roman writer Pliny the Elder recorded that vines were grown in Bordeaux in 71 AD and the Roman statesman and poet Decimus Magnus Ausonius wrote of the excellent NOSH - Volume 1 ~ Issue 1


The wines from Bordeaux at this period in time were much paler than the red wines of today. Back then as soon as the wine was fermented, it was run off into barrels, so the grape skins (which contain

the colour and tannins) were left only a short time in contact with the juice. Such wines exported from Bordeaux were known as ‘Clairet’, which is the French for ‘clear’ and this is where our word ‘Claret’ comes from. Bordeaux still makes the original Clairet today – a deep pink rosé wine that has a growing following. By the 17th century the style of the wines changed and Clarets became the dark red wines that we recognise nowadays.

stands for Appellation Origine Controlée and this means that these wines originate from a specific area that meets strict production norms and are officially recognised only after tasting and analysis. The Bordeaux AOC is a guarantee of typicity and quality, representing perfect examples of the Bordeaux style. Bordeaux wines are normally made from different blends of grapes but only certain grape varieties are allowed in the blend. Permitted red grapes are:

Although world famous for its red wines Bordeaux produces both highly prized dry and sweet white wines ‘Bordeaux wines are normally made from as well as rosé, clairet and different blends of grapes but only certain grape the sparkling Crèmant de Bordeaux. Bordeaux varieties are allowed in the blend.’ Chateaux are ranked in Classifications but these don’t cover all Bordeaux’s wines. The Classification Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit most referred to by wine enthusiasts and collectors Verdot, Malbec and Carménère. White wines are is the 1855 Classification which was established at made with Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon, Muscadelle the request of the Emperor Napoleon III for his and to a lesser extent Sauvignon Gris, Ugni Blanc, Exhibition in Paris. This covers the red wines from Colombard, Merlot Blanc, Ondenc and Mauzac. the Left Bank as well as the sweet white wines from The art and science of blending grape varieties has Sauternes and Barsac. The Right Bank Chateaux been honed to a fine skill by Bordelaise wine makers

weren’t included in the 1855 Classification so Saint Emilion instigated its own Classification in 1955 which is revised about every 10 years. The pinnacle of each Classification are the Premier Crus, the First Growths. These are wines that are sought out across the globe, fetching high prices and decorating the tables of the elite. Over 97% of Bordeaux wines are very successfully marketed according to AOC standards. AOC

down the centuries to produce exquisitely balanced and complex wines. It’s these qualities that have proved so popular as they bring out the best in the wine and create consistency. Bordeaux blends offer deep, smooth wines that have a certain symmetry and harmony. They are fantastic with food and take your palate on a journey of discovery. It’s a journey that I hope we will enjoy together as I delve into the delights of Bordeaux wine and food more deeply in future issues of your Nosh Magazine. NOSH - Volume 1 ~ Issue 1


New Wines from Out of Town

By Alan Hunter I had the great pleasure of meeting Nick Stephens for the first time last year at his home in Gloucestershire to learn more about his passion for wine, particularly his speciality - the wines of Bordeaux! Nick has an extensive knowledge of wine and food having studied both over a lifetime in the industry, so with this combined experience it is no surprise that wine and food matching play an important role in Nick’s crusade. With these skills Nick can bring the best of both worlds to his clients and to us, this we will find more about later in the Nosh series! Nick has a mission not only to bring the ‘Grand Crus of Bordeaux’ to our attention, but also to seek out other classics from not so well known producers that are just as dedicated and professional in their wine craftsmanship in the true Bordeaux style. As I was due to dine with friends later the day we met, I purchased a couple of bottles of a St Emilion wine that Nick recommended - Mathilde de la Fleur Morange 2009 and I was certainly not disappointed, here is a short review from the tasting last year - Mathilde is the second wine of NOSH - Volume 1 ~ Issue 1


La Fleur Morange which in the recent St Emilion re-classification has been promoted to Grand Cru Classé status. A deliciously decadent claret from St Emilion 100% merlot grapes harvested from 75 year old vines. An explosion of deep crimson fruit combined with subtle soft tannins makes this wine an experience not to be missed! It had a depth that was not aggressive particularly at 14.5% alcohol, but almost gentle on the palate then giving way to an explosion of flavours blackcurrants and crushed red fruits with a hint of liquorice and faint wisps of smoke - I loved it”. I tasted this wine first on its own, then matched it with a succulent rack of Gloucestershire lamb, roasted slightly pink with rosemary and served with a light juniper berry, redcurrant and red wine gravy. [I will be re-creating this sauce for a shoot dinner soon in November, so keep a look out for the recipe in our next issue of your Nosh Magazine] Simple sautéed potatoes with softened caramelised red onion and lightly minted peas were a great

companion to this dish. This wine has also been highly praised by top wine expert, Robert Parker and also Master of Wine and writer Jancis Robinson who called it “exotic and hedonistic” ( Jancis also endorsed the wonderful cuvee Ange I discovered on my travels around the Languedoc region of southern France - see feature) ‘Mathilde’ is produced by Veronique and Jean

Julien under the expert guidance of brilliant Narbonne based oenologist Claude Gros. (The soil in their vineyards is so special that Nick has a sample of it in a glass case in his study!) I am very pleased to say that Nick has agreed to join us at Nosh so you can enjoy his experiences, share his knowledge and taste more of his wines! I have included a quote from Nick by way of introduction: “As an ardent wine fan, you may love nothing more than browsing the shelves of your local wine

shop, but the sweet truth lies in the fact that some of the best deals are to be found on the internet. With a wine online shop, comparison shopping is simply unbeatable. Cross-referencing top recommendations with the latest scores and reviews is so easy and convenient that you can simply order your favourite bottle of wine in your pyjamas on a lazy Sunday morning. Though you may seem sceptical at first, once you buy wines online you

may never look back. From sweet white wines, dry whites, rosé wines and sparkling wines to fine red wines and Claret, the web is full of endless choices. Wine shopping should be a pleasurable experience and having a well-stocked cellar will bring you and your guests much enjoyment”. Bordeaux Undiscovered Hillfield House, Eldersfield Gloucestershire GL19 4NN Tel: 0800 8766958 NOSH - Volume 1 ~ Issue 1



By Alan Hunter The Greeks who first introduced the vine to Italy over 2,000 years ago, named this country ‘Oenotria - The Land of Wine’, and Italy now produces the largest volume of wine in the world with the greatest number of grape varieties of any country. Italy boasts 21 wine producing regions and one of the most famous is Tuscany. I have had the immense pleasure of travelling through every major wine region in Italy, all of which have left the most pleasurable of memories, but Tuscany has its own ‘special magic’. Visit Tuscany in May and you will be overwhelmed with a most glorious experience - the intoxicating perfumes and striking colours of Tuscany’s symbolic flower, the Iris. This is when the Iris blooms at its richest and is celebrated with festivals throughout the region. Mix Tuscany’s culture, folklore, legends, mystery with of course some of the finest wines and cuisine to be found in Italy and this makes for the most exciting of adventures. Take in Sienna and Florence with the rolling hills of olive groves and vineyards NOSH - Volume 1 ~ Issue 1


and if you haven’t already been, you must and you will enjoy a complete and unforgettable journey of a lifetime! Tuscany provides Italy with some of the most significantly individual wines of great quality, variety and style. From the much now improved Chianti to the lesser known but much more expensive Bolgheri, Tuscany alone still forms the heart of the most popular wine route in Europe.

Chianti: Style:

To feature Chianti here as the main Tuscan wine creation is almost compulsory, as it is certainly one of the most famous wines in the world. As a 1960’s icon in a raffia clad flask, it was always said that Chianti would disappear after everyone who drank it had a bedside lamp made from the bottle. This of course never happened but its route through the years has not always been smooth. Chianti continued to develop a reputation for inferior wine

of mass volume and it wasn’t until the1970’s and 80’s that producers began to take note. Although these high volumes still exist, the wines now range from the quite ordinary to the sublime with rich and powerful fruit flavours. Therefore, covering such an expanse of quality, it is of great importance to be able to recognise the difference in production.

Areas of production:

There are 7 separate sub zones but to save confusion at this time, we shall concentrate on the main area of Chianti production in the heart of the region ‘Chianti Classico’. The main grape variety here is Sangiovese which must be at least 80% to carry the Chianti name, but this can be blended with the variety’ Canaiolo’ and more recently, ‘Cabernet Sauvignon’ of which only 15% is allowed. Aged Chianti of at least 38 months may be labelled as Riserva but it is important to note that the majority of Chianti produced will not stand long periods of oak maturation, so you will not find ‘over-oaked’ wines from this region.

Sangiovese and Chianti:

A typical Chianti wine made from 100% Sangiovese will have an orangey red appearance and with the presence of Cabernet, a much fuller and deeper colour. It will display aromas of dried berry fruits and red

cherries, with sometimes hints of ripe cherry tomatoes and savoury herbs. ‘Classico’ wines can also display hints of cinnamon, with tobacco and leather as they age. In terms of taste, lighter wines will show dried fruit flavours, moving towards more richness in body with good medium tannic structures for fuller wines. Also flavours of cherry, plum and raspberry.

Matching Chianti with Food:

The wide ranging styles of Chianti lend themselves to most Italian dishes. The lighter wines can accompany some stronger flavoured fish or seafood dishes such as spaghetti with mussels [spaghetti con cozze] or grilled salmon with fennel [salmon alla griglia]. Risottos, pasta dishes, pizzas and vegetarian dishes such as ravioli with ricotta and spinach (ravioli ripieni di magro) The more fuller bodied reds will complement all styles of meat dishes, especially those with garlic and stronger tomato based sauces such as Bolognese. The whites of course will also go well with lighter pasta, chicken and vegetarian dishes, but I would prefer to choose a red every time, such is the adaptability of Chianti. I have chosen for you here a classic dish for autumn – Chicken with Chianti [Pollo al Chianti] as together the full flavour of the wine and red pesto give this dish a rich colour and almost spicy flavour, while the grapes add a delicious sweetness. Serve with Ciabatta, hot from the oven or polenta. A salad of rocket and watercress will complement this dish, no need for vegetables or potatoes, simple and rustic Italian style. NOSH - Volume 1 ~ Issue 1


Upton Wines

By Alan Hunter This wine emporium displays a complete haven of wines and spirits with over 900 products available of the highest quality for every taste and pocket and not far from town. ‘Upton Wines’ nestles in a quiet corner of the beautiful riverside town of Upton upon Severn. Alan Goadby, ably assisted by his son Andy work side by side and supply many extremely notable establishments both locally and further afield, offering not just the finest wines but an invaluable sales support service in terms of advice, consultancy along with an essential ingredient for modern day menu and wine list planning - a food matching skill based upon Alan’s expertise as a previous restaurateur with a long lived reputation for the highest standard of cuisine. Address: 8 New Street Worcester Hereford & Worcester WR8 0HR Tel: 01684 592 668

Interesting Wines from Upton:

Marcillac Lo Sang del Pais 2011 from Upton Wines of Upton upon Severn. I tasted this wine recently with our new wine friends at Upton Wines as we discussed the Cassoulet recipe created by Yves from Restaurant L’Artisan and after much deliberation, influenced heavily by owner and bon viveur Alan Goadby, this became our favourite and choice of something just a little different to accompany this rustic southern French classic. The tiny French appellation of Marcillac almost became a forgotten secret. NOSH - Volume 1 ~ Issue 1


Situated outside the town of Rodez, Marcillac vineyards only consists of about 500 acres in total and harvested by a very small number of individual producers. The indigenous grape variety here is Fer Servadou, making this deliciously fruity red wine which was first enjoyed by pilgrims, quenching their thirst as they stopped off on their way to the shrine of Santiago di Compostela - I always think that when you consider how many miles the pilgrims used to travel, it can’t have been all that bad with so many vineyards on the way, it just supports the old adage - it’s not just the destination - it’s the route - and no wonder it took so long to get there!


Anyway Lo Sang del Pais [wine of the country in Catalan] is created by Phillipe Teulier and makes a great partner for our Cassoulet Recipe as it provides a subtle blend of red fruits with dominant crushed black cherry over tones, so it complements all the different meats within the dish, duck, pork and sausage. I always taste wine as it is poured, leave it for a while and taste some more then drink it alongside the dish you have chosen for its partner, this way you will be able to appreciate a good wine more as it has time in the glass to display its true character and style. The difference as the wine develops is always part of the adventure - in other words it is not just the destination - it’s the route! Note: When you visit Upton Wines to collect your Marcillac wine, don’t forget to pick up a couple of bottles of Picpoul de Pinet and anything else you may fancy of course, they have a great selection to choose from.

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Dine Out

“My doctor told me I had to stop throwing intimate dinners for four unless there are three other people” - Orson Welles. Dining In of course is a great way to entertain but when you need the freedom to enjoy the complete experience and soak up the atmosphere - what better adventure than to dine out! Here is another fine quote from one of the greatest novelists, travellers and bon viveurs of all time - Ernest Hemingway! “As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy and to make plans” and the playwright Moliere was equally famous for the statement and readily adopted by all of France - “One should eat to live, not live to eat”. So welcome to our Dining Out section chapters we hope you will enjoy. Here in the following pages are just a few of the finest establishments covering many different styles of cuisine - for every dining reason, occasion and time of day - breakfast, mid morning, lunch afternoon tea through to dinner - or just a quality tea and coffee experience. As we leave you to peruse this next Nosh adventure I will leave you with this last snippet of foodie wisdom by the famous Massachusetts restaurant owner immortalised in the equally famous musical monologue by singer -song writer Arlo Guthrie - Alice’s Restaurant Massacree! “Tomatoes and oregano make it Italian; wine and tarragon make it French. Sour cream makes it Russian; lemon and cinnamon make it Greek. Soy sauce makes it Chinese; garlic makes it good”.

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Ellenborough Park

By Alan Hunter Ellenborough Park, Cheltenham and Gloucestershire’s only five star hotel and spa, is a highly-regarded destination by food and wine lovers. The hotel has great transport links to surrounding areas including Bristol, Bath, Oxford and Stratford-upon-Avon, and is located directly opposite the famous Cheltenham racecourse. Adding to its ease of access, the hotel has plenty of free parking.

an exceptional eating experience, perfect for celebrations and banquets. The restaurant’s menus feature traditional British dishes with a modern twist and many incorporate locally-sourced ingredients; including courgettes, beetroot, herbs amongst other fruit and vegetables grown on site.

The à la carte menu offers a selection of exquisite first courses: from pan-fried hand dived king scallops with carrot and golden raisin salsa, to ‘The à la carte menu offers a selection of exquisite new season local English first courses: from pan-fried hand dived king scallops asparagus with soft with carrot and golden raisin salsa, to new season poached pheasant‘s egg and soda bread soldiers. local English asparagus with soft poached pheasant‘s Guests can sample main egg and soda bread soldiers.’ courses such as the signature chateaubriand of Hereford cross beef with roast chateau potatoes, seasonal vegetables, béarnaise sauce and red wine jus, or perfectly The Cotswolds is an area of outstanding natural cooked lemon sole with new potatoes, baby beauty with an abundance of local food producers spinach, purple sprouting broccoli, and a caper, and brands, farmers’ markets, country fare and herb and shallot butter. fantastic places to eat; not least Ellenborough Park’s two restaurants, The Beaufort Dining Room and The dessert menu reveals exotic and innovative The Brasserie. combinations: Sambuca tiramisu with coffee ice cream and espresso jelly; raspberry sorbet and Executive head chef, David Kelman, is responsible vanilla ice cream baked Alaska with mandarin for managing the talented kitchen team and played Napoleon brandy; or selection of British cheeses a major part in achieving The Beaufort Dining – many varieties from the Cotswolds such as Room’s three AA Rosettes. The award followed a Cerney Ash, Cotswold White and Blue and Double grading of Ellenborough Park’s superb food quality Gloucester - with Miller Damsel biscuits, apple and presentation. thyme jelly and homemade chutney.

The Beaufort Dining Room

The award-winning Beaufort Dining Room offers NOSH - Volume 1 ~ Issue 1


The à la carte menu is priced from £45 for two courses.

To complement the menu sommelier, Clio Giudici, will recommend from one of over 550 varieties from the award-winning wine cellar. Twice winner of the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence, the list includes sublime or rare bottles from some of the finest vineyards in the world. Furthermore, The Beaufort Dining room has a food tasting and wine pairing menu, which offers a different variety to match with each course. This restaurant is a beautiful setting in which to dine, with its original oak-panelled walls, stained glass windows and Tudor fireplaces. Here, guests can expect a special dining occasion that exudes five star service.

The Brasserie Ellenborough Park’s Brasserie offers a comfortable

bar area, relaxed dining and wholesome, bistrostyle dishes. The Brasserie’s first courses range from warm salad of beef strips in a sweet chilli dressing, gem lettuce and cashew nuts, to Loch Fyne smoked salmon with capers, shallots and dill mayonnaise. Main

courses include fillet beef burger with smoked applewood cheese, red onion relish and hand cut chips, or pan fried cod cheeks and shellfish linguini with coriander and parmesan cheese. For dessert The Brasserie offers a selection of sweets including summer fruit pavlova with vanilla cream or chocolate fruit, and nut terrine with crème fraiche sorbet. First courses are priced from £6.50, main courses from £13.50 and desserts from £5.50. Guests can choose to have a drink in The Brasserie’s bar with a selection of cocktails, including the trademark Lady Ellenborough - a blend of cucumber, Hendricks Gin, Chase Elderflower Liqueur, Billecart-Salmon Brut Champagne, lime juice and sugar syrup – or choose from the extensive whisky and brandy list.

The Brasserie’s sporting theme is reinforced by horse racing wall prints, as well as various images and artefacts, providing a relaxing and inviting area to drink and dine with friends any day of the week. NOSH - Volume 1 ~ Issue 1


L’ Artisan Flavours of France in Cheltenham By Alan Hunter Restaurant L’Artisan: A great French culinary experience here in Cheltenham! The term ‘artisan’ was formed in the French middle ages and referred to a ‘skilled craftsman - usually someone who worked for himself to provide goods of exceptional quality for the benefit of others others’.

their roots in the southern French regions around Nimes and Marseille, so there is a definite touch of influence from both the Languedoc and Provence in terms of menu style and expertise. Their previous restaurants both in France and Leicestershire have won many awards and now we can savour all this finesse of ‘haute cuisine’ right here in our very own town.

So it is a natural part of the Nosh adventure ‘The term ‘artisan’ was formed in the French middle story that L’Artisan fits so ages and referred to a ‘skilled craftsman - usually well in our introduction someone who worked for himself to provide goods to my ‘journey through the Languedoc’ and of exceptional quality for the benefit of others although as Yves very others’.’ quickly pointed out that my reference to Cassoulet within this region was not quite right, as it was created just outside in L’Artisan Restaurant in Clarence Street sums this Castelnaudary, it is still a classic dish made in so up completely and you only have to visit the web site many different styles in this area. and check out the reviews for complete confidence to visit L’Artisan for a true adventure in French Yves has very kindly given us his version for us to cuisine at its finest. enjoy and I have matched this with wines from our featured merchant from Upton upon Severn Two of so many quotes: Upton Wines and a couple of beers recommended “In terms of the quality of food and the service this our by beer expert, Leigh Norwood - a great place is a phenomenon. The menu is about as good combination! as I have seen in similar establishments and the touch of a free appetiser was class”. You will find Yves Cassoulet recipe on page 112 (we may feature this in a forthcoming issue for to make “I booked the restaurant based on the reviews and and ask Yes and Elizabeth to judge the results - with was not disappointed. The restaurant is a haven wines and beers to match!) once inside you are in France. The food was superb and the service second to none”. So thank you to Yves - our very own Artisan of French cuisine! The creators of L’Artisan, Yves and Elizabeth have NOSH - Volume 1 ~ Issue 1



By Alan Hunter Stand back the Witches of Eastwick! In the quiet hamlet of Knightwick in Worcestershire’s Teme Valley - they have their very own and you will find them in an impressive 15th century coaching inn! The Talbot Hotel proudly adorns the east bank of the Teme at the arc of this fast flowing river and resides at the base of the mighty ‘Ankardine’ - the Witches of Knightwick’ are a family ‘Teme’ like no other! It has represented the backbone of traditional English country style fare for as long as its history and the Clift family have not changed anything in terms of atmosphere, attitude and service since they ‘invaded’ Knightwick from their Lulsley seat - 1 mile across the river some 30 years ago. When working together, the matriarchal figure of Mrs Clift flanked by her daughters Annie and Wiz are a formidable trio! Annie is the boss, planning with her brigade of chefs the most individual of menus created from the finest local produce [much of which is grown in their own kitchen gardens] to organising events, hiring and firing of staff, and keeping watch over ‘This, That and T ‘Other - the traditional cask beers crafted by the Talbot’s own ‘Teme Valley Brewery’ based at the rear of the Hotel. NOSH - Volume 1 ~ Issue 1


Wines with a difference:

There is also of course a very interesting and comprehensive wine list including slightly more unusual ‘guests’ such as Romanian Pinot Noir and an Australian ‘house style’ wine created by a small estate from two lesser known Italian grape varieties - very inventive! Wiz spends much of her time in France’s Provence country, but frequently returns to complete the triangle at crucial trading times, or whenever else needed!

Farmers Market:

Mrs Clift overseas the lot - including the vibrant, bustling monthly Farmers Market, held under canvas on the 2nd Sunday in every month, come rain or shine. This spectacle is presented in the car park and overflows on to the banks of the river, it is a treasure trove of everything country and local. If you love real ale and real people there are a number of ale festivals throughout the year, particularly The Talbot All Saint’s Beer Festival early March featuring cask ales from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales! With awards such as ‘The British Pork Executive

Best Pub Cooked Breakfast’ to the finest of creative (and sometimes slightly eccentric) cuisine, The Talbot at Knightwick encompasses all that is the best of English hotel, pub and country culture. A dying tradition you may think until you pay a visit to this bastion of history - another case of ‘back to the future’ perhaps!

Farmers’ Ordinaries

These market Ordinaries were great institutions and in more leisurely times working men in rural locations were not prepared to stand beside a counter and eat a bun or a sandwich - they wanted a good meal and time to enjoy it with an hour or two over the wine to digest all - in cheerful company. The Farmer’s Market Ordinaries always had a choice of thick or clear soup, a fish course, joints of beef, mutton or pork and game when in season. For these meals a chairman was elected or selected by some other process and often occupied the chair for many years, giving the loyal toast and ensuring a jolly tone to the proceedings. The Farmer’s Ordinaries of the pre and post Second World War were not always such leisurely or opulent affairs. There were still markets held in the nearby towns of Bromyard, Worcester, Hereford, Leominster and Kidderminster and the local pubs would offer a set fixed price meal. Each establishment would have its own regular and loyal customers. Although most of these markets have disappeared, we feel that the Farmers’ Ordinary was a good tradition and well worth reviving, so we will be offering a fixed price one, two or three course set lunch and dinner Mondays to Fridays 12.00 until 9.00pm. The menu changes daily and on Fridays of course the Farmers Ordinary menu always features

the finest fresh fish - we make the choice! Main Course - £10.00 2 Courses - £12.00 3 Courses - £14.00 At The Talbot Hotel you can step back in time and enjoy this hearty ‘comfort food’ at you leisure and without the hustle and bustle of market day activity. However don’t forget our very own Farmers Market - a veritable cornucopia of local produce - held in the car of The Talbot alongside the river Teme on the 2nd Sunday of every month - come rain or shine!

Annual Events:

Here is a snap-shot from their long list of events and facilities - and as a Nosh reader you can enjoy a 10% discount on accommodation anytime, including bank holidays but book as soon as you can to ensure success! Just bring your Nosh magazine with you! “We are an ideal base for visiting events such as Cheltenham Festival Week (12th – 15th March), Spring Garden Show (9th – 12th May) & Three Counties Show (14th – 16th June) and Shelsley Motor Hill Climbs. Also great for walking (dogs are welcome) and can lend all the local Ordnance Survey Maps or have contacts for anyone who wants to organise a group walk, particularly the Worcestershire Way. You can check all at - phone 01886 821235 or just drop in and pay a visit - but watch out, they maybe a witch about! and if you see a guy who looks as though he may have been there sometime, be generous and buy him a drink - it may be me!

NOSH - Volume 1 ~ Issue 1


The Queen’s Hotel

By Alan Hunter The Queens Hotel, first built on the site of the Sherborne or Imperial Spa in 1818, still proudly dominates Montpellier as she presides with a majestic presence over Cheltenham’s busy promenade - and if you close your eyes, for a brief moment you can almost hear the rattling of horse and carriage as they arrive, decanting their occupants outside the stuccoed exterior of this iconic building, then to explore the pleasures on offer inside - the place in Cheltenham to be seen!

the hotel took on its present name about the time Victoria was crowned in 1838. Among the many distinguished guests staying at the Queen’s during its early history were Prince Louis Jerome Napoleon; the Rajah of Sarawak; the Prince of Wales - later Edward VII; the explorer Nansen; Edward Elgar; SirArthur Conan Doyle, and General Napier who is commemorated in the name of one of the hotel’s suites. During the Second World War when the hotel was an American Services Club, the building was visited by famous celebrities such as Bob Hope and Glenn Miller. enjoyed a

‘Over the years The ‘Queens’ has succession of salubrious operators and now under the ownership of Hotel group MERCURE, retains much of its individuality.’ Imperial spa was originally established by developers Thomas Henney and Samuel Harward, but due to fall in the water table the building was dismantled and reconstructed on a site further down the Promenade, now occupied by Royscott House. The Queens Hotel was designed by two brothers, Robert William and Charles Jearrad, who modelled the classical capitals of its massive façade on those of the Temple of Jupiter in Rome, at a cost £47,000. Originally the hotel was called Liddell’s Hotel as the first hotelier to lease the hotel for £2,100 a year was Richard Liddell, who also ran other hotels in Cheltenham. Despite its luxury accommodation the hotel did not prosper and in 1852 it was sold for a mere £8,400. Also called Royal Victoria or Royal Gloucester, NOSH - Volume 1 ~ Issue 1


Over the years The ‘Queens’ has enjoyed a succession of salubrious operators and now under the ownership of Hotel group MERCURE, retains much of its individuality, steeped in historical splendour along with a modern day stylish comfort, embellished with attentive service. Along with all the facilities you would expect from such a professionally run establishment of this magnitude, the Queens Hotel offers an atmospheric back drop to relax and experience traditional pleasures such as the delicate but sumptuous Queens traditional ‘Afternoon Tea’ - presented with the same quality and charm and that must have graced this wonderful testament to old fashioned hotel values throughout its history! So in terms of the place to be seen and the pleasures of cuisine and comfort to be savoured - nothing has changed in nearly 200 years - only time!


By Alan Hunter Ben began his interest in catering at the age of 14 where he embarked on his first part-time job in a local public house. Serving traditional pub fayre Ben assisted in preparing, cooking and presenting the many dishes created for their very discerning clients! Ben quickly became passionate about food in all aspects and followed his interest at school and college. Whilst still in full time education, Ben chose food technology to help develop his knowledge and fortunately Ben’s tutor owned a local bakery - this was to prove influential in the career path Ben would eventually follow. After leaving compulsory education Ben went on to Cheltenham College where he studied catering & hospitality, specialising in cookery. Whilst in full time employment Ben took these NVQ’s learning the trade first hand. During this time he worked at a local hotel which had extensive banqueting facilities, this again extended his knowledge in terms of high quality volume cooking.

Moving On From there at the age of 17-18, he moved into industrial catering, concentrating on the pastry section. Being commercial, this style of catering consisted of large volumes but required maintaining high standards by creating 100% home made products. These included original pastries such as Belgian buns, Tiffins and many varieties of traditional scones and cakes.

Star Turn After gaining valuable experience, Ben realised his passion for patisserie demanded that he returned to restaurant style environments, and gained more

experience in the following establishments. Calcot Manor (3 rosette 1 michelin *) Commis Hatton Court Hotel 1 rosette CDP pastry The Elms 2 rosette CDP pastry Fischers restaurant (2x rosette, Michelin listed) Head Chef Ynsa Hall 3 rosette 3 red stars – Sous L’Amoirs restaurant 2 rosette – Head Chef Following this, Ben went self-employed where agencies sent him to various Michelin starred restaurants, this was invaluable experience to further his skills, learning from well established chefs at the top of the industry - these included: Lords of the Manor (4 rosettes, 1 star) – working under talented and well known exec chef John Campbell. Feathers at Woodstock (3 rosettes, 1 star) Hunstreet House (3 rosettes, 1 star)

The Queen’s Connection Following this he then joined the local Private school as head pastry chef serving outstanding food to pupils, faculty and private high class events, staying here for over 5 years developing his talents further before re-joining his old head chef at the iconic Mercure Cheltenham Queen’s Hotel. Here Ben is thoroughly enjoying his work as Pastry chef and has certainly establishing his passion with full support from the management team. Ben’s vision and ambition to create outstanding food and in particular the very desirable traditional afternoon tea of the finest quality is mirrored with the team’s professionalism and enthusiasm, who together support and assist with the development of the highest standard of food and service. NOSH - Volume 1 ~ Issue 1



By Freddie Smith With the first rasps of autumn in the air, head chef Darren Lefeuvre shares a sentimental moment during the chaos of a busy lunch: “There’s nothing better, is there?” he shouts over the kitchen as steam erupts from a pan. “When you’ve got a hearty meal on a nice cold day, in front of a log fire with a good ale. It’s perfection.” Darren has been in the kitchen of the Kilkeney Inn near Andoversford nearly every day since it re-opened eighteen months ago. Having seen many years of experience and several Michelin Stars, including as head chef at the famous Lords of the Manor, his focus is now on producing good, humble food. Everything from game to vegetables comes from ‘just down the road’, and is always served generously and without exhibition to a consistently high standard. The signature cheeseboard is a shining example, with cheeses from Upper Slaughter, Cirencester and Hereford served simply and plentifully. “Why would I source produce from abroad when some of the best ingredients in England come from the Cotswolds, on our doorstep?” explains Darren. “You won’t find a strawberry on the menu in December, you won’t find asparagus on there in January – I stay local and I stick to the seasons.” Everything from freshly baked bread to mouth watering desserts are made on site, with classic cookery being central to the menu. Dishes such as pork belly, roasted for 16 hours with Stowford Press and black pudding are consistent favourites and sit alongside a host of classic British dishes. Offerings NOSH - Volume 1 ~ Issue 1


such as a salad of Cheltenham beetroot with goat cheese mousse show a lighter side to the flavours created by the small but dedicated team of chefs. Staying true to local roots is not just about food at the Kilkeney, but also community. The bar is a bustling local focal point, and residents in the area are welcomed with open arms to use the place as a village pub. Sunday lunch is a particular treat, and is considered a family affair. The highest quality roast lunches (with all the trimmings, of course) are cooked on the day and served in a relaxed and friendly environment. Children are gladly catered for with mini portions of dishes from the menu. Vegetarians and vegans are not ignored either with their own substantial options. As Christmas approaches without relent, the team at the Kilkeney are eagerly looking ahead to their busiest time of year. A fantastic seasonal menu is set to continue their year-and-a-half of success that shows no sign of slowing down. And with a view from the restaurant looking out over a beautiful and windswept corner of Gloucestershire, it’s easy to see what Darren means about the food, fire and beer. The Kilkeney Inn Andoversford Near Cheltenham Gloucestershire GL54 4LN Telephone: 01242 820341


By Alan Hunter The Everest can be called ‘a bastion of Indian cuisine’ without contradiction, not only as it was one of the first to bring Indian food to life in Cheltenham, but because it has undoubtedly stood the test of time in terms of the finest in authentic cuisine along with highest standard of service!

well lit surroundings. This area also contains a seated vicinity for those of you just wishing to make your collection from the menu to enjoy at home so why not enjoy one of our traditional Indian lagers while our chefs prepare your meal using only the freshest ingredients and our finest cuts of meats?

Arriving almost 25 years ago, the Hussain family brought to Cheltenham a taste of northern India and very swiftly created a loyal following of lovers of their inspirational Indian home cooking style.

Dining in Style & Comfort:

Who better to tell the story after such a long standing local career of the finest of Indian cuisine entertainment - than owner Ash Hussain: “We are proud to serve authentic fresh Northern Indian Punjabi food at great value prices, and always have been since we first opened our doors in 1985. From classic British chicken Tika Masala to dishes that have become synonymous with The Everest name such as Murg Losmari - or Garlic Chilli Chicken for the customers too shy to pronounce the traditional name! Having long been established in the heart of Cheltenham, we have served many generations of Cheltonians, always providing them with efficient friendly service, quality food to suit every palate and fine wine at an affordable price along with a full range of chilled beers and soft drinks - all within three individually styled rooms. Over time we have expanded our dining areas, constantly upgraded our kitchens and paid close attention to creating a warm, friendly, vibrant but relaxing atmosphere. Now The Everest is able to offer a casual bar room where parties can meet and enjoy a drink in the

The main dining floor, which although spacious does not compromise the ambiance, is complimented by a beautifully wooden carved bar with sub-continent art on every wall. This area is also perfectly accessible for persons utilising wheelchairs. Finally we have the balcony area, elegantly styled, which is perfect for larger parties. In fact one of the restaurant’s great advantages is the fact that it can cater for large parties of up to 150 guests. Wecan also offer great outside catering options too. One more experience not to be missed is our ‘all you can eat buffet’ featured every Tuesday and Thursday evening - £9.95 for a complete Indian style banqueting adventure!

Our Mission:

At The Everest we realise that not everyone enjoys the same tastes and flavours and it is with great pride that our expert chefs can create any dish to your exact specifications, including catering for allergies or just a dislike perhaps for certain ingredients”. We continue to look forward to all our clients old and new where you will always receive the best Everest welcome. Ash Hussain It is not hard therefore to see why the Everest has maintained it’s position as the flag bearer for Indian Cuisine within the Gloucestershire area for almost three decades! Tel: 01242 221 334 ~ Email: NOSH - Volume 1 ~ Issue 1


Tiffins of Montpellier

By Alan Hunter What’s in a Name? The word Tiffin is a an old English term for a second breakfast or lunch and is now applied in its modern day sense to any light type of meal!

Days of The Raj:

It originated in British India and is today found primarily in Indian English. It began ‘life’ as an expression required when Indian custom superseded the British practice for afternoon tea, therefore used to describe a new style of eating experience!

Here there is a complete array of scrumptious fare on offer to satisfy every appetite! New owner Karen hails from ‘up north’ but has made her home and presence felt very much here now in Cheltenham and continues the style of Tiffins that began some 17 years ago.

Unique Style:

It derives from the obsolete English slang for ‘tiffing’ - taking a little drink or sip, but when used for lunch, this does not always necessarily mean a ‘light meal’

Karen’s very own professional creativity displays itself in real terms of quality and individual style with a mission to use as much fresh local produce as is possible when designing her menus for our pleasure.

In certain parts of India even today tiffin generally refers to ‘between meal snacks or sizable packed lunches’ for working men, school children or for family outings. The containers used were called ‘tiffin boxes’ and originally ‘tiffin wallahs’ used complex systems to transport sometimes thousands of them to their respective destinations.

From simple and delicious combinations such as melted Brie with cranberry over crispy bacon in a freshly baked wholemeal baguette; a hearty ‘full English’ with Gloucester sausages or lighter styles for lovers of freshly prepared salads or vegetarian food in mind, all served efficiently in a warm and vibrant atmosphere.

No need of course to travel that far or become

Tiffins has it all!

NOSH - Volume 1 ~ Issue 1


involved in anything more strenuous or complicated to enjoy a Cheltenham ‘tiffin’ experience - just visit your very own Tiffins of Montpellier.

Tiffins of Montpellier CAFE MENU


(served with regular coffee/orange juice/breakfast tea and toast) Full English Breakfast £8.00 Breakfast Baguette / Bagel £8.00 Fresh Fruit Salad (with Natural Yoghurt) £6.90 Freshly Baked Croissant or Pastry £4.80 Fried Eggs, Tomato and Mushroom Ciabatta £7.00 Muesli (with Toast & Preserves) £6.00 Toast (with Butter & Preserves) £4.80

Homemade Soup of the Day (Served with bread) £3.50

Jacket Potatoes

Baked Beans & Cheddar Cheese £5.50 Cottage Cheese & Pineapple £5.50 Prawn Marie Rose & Avocado £6.30 Tuna Mayo with Lemon & Dill £5.50


Bacon, Chicken & Avocado £7.50 Hot Griddled Chicken Tikka with Mango Chutney £7.60 Hummus & Carrot £7.00 Smoked Salmon, Cottage Cheese & Watercress £8.00 Tuna Mayo, Lemon & Dill £7.00 Warm Goats Cheese with Sundried Tomato £8.00


Coronation Chicken & Mango Chutney £6.90 Goats Cheese & Sun Dried Tomato £6.90 Prawn Marie Rose, Watercress & Avocado £6.90 Tuna Mayo with Lemon & Dill £6.00 Hot Griddled Chicken Tikka & Mango Chutney £6.90 Hummus, Carrot & Mixed Leaves £6.00 Greek Salad £6.00

Sides / Nibbles

House Side Salad £3.00 Olives £2.00 Bread with Balsamic Vinegar & Olive Oil £3.00 NOSH - Volume 1 ~ Issue 1



(all sandwiches are served with either White, Granary or Wholemeal bread, if you wish to have your sandwich served on a Bap, Bagel, Baguette, Ciabatta or a Wrap please let your server know. There is a small supplement for Baguette £1.00 or Bap / Ciabatta 50p)


Baked Ham £4.00 Cheddar & Coleslaw £3.70 Coronation Chicken, Mango Chutney & Iceberg £4.60 Egg Mayo & Salad £3.80 Goats Cheese, Sundried Tomato & Iceberg £5.90 Hummus, Carrot & Salad £4.10 Prawn Marie Rose & Salad £4.40 Roast Beef & Horseradish £4.40 Smoked Salmon, Watercress & Lemon £5.80 Tuna Mayo with Lemon & Dill & Salad £4.00 Turkey, Stuffing & Cranberry Sauce £4.40


Bacon £3.30 “Gloucester” Sausage £3.70 Chicken, Bacon, Avocado & Cream Cheese £6.00 Triple Decker Club £6.10 Triple Decker Tuna Melt £6.10 Ham & Cheese Toastie £4.60 Cheese & Tomato Toastie £4.30

Hot Baguettes / Ciabattas

Bacon, Brie & Cranberry £5.50 Chicken Tikka, Mango Chutney & Iceberg £5.30 Mozzarella, Beef Tomato & Fresh Basil £5.00 Griddled Steak, Mushroom, Onion, Iceberg & Mustard £6.30 Melted Brie & Tomato £4.80

Ice Cream

All Ice Creams and Sorbets are by Movenpick Vanilla Dream Strawberry Swiss Chocolate Passion Fruit & Mango Sorbet 2 scoops of any combination £3.50 3 scoops of any combination £4.00

Hot Drinks Coffee

Regular £1.80 Americano £2.10 Cappuccino £2.10 Espresso £1.80 Double Espresso £2.10 Flat White £2.60 Latte £2.30 Macchiato £2.00 Mocha £2.50 Additional Shot of Coffee 30p Syrups Cinnamon / Gingerbread / Vanilla / Amaretto / Hazelnut 30p


Breakfast £1.60 Earl Grey £1.70 Fruit / Herb £1.70 Lemon £1.70 Liptons Lemon Ice Tea £2.00 Hot Chocolate £2.20 With Cream & Marshmallows £2.50

Cakes & Snacks

We hold a selection of Tray Bakes, Cakes, Croissants and Pastries please ask your server for todays availability Tray Bakes / Cakes £2.00 Croissant / Pastries £2.00

Toast & Preserves £2.20 Toasted Teacake with Butter £2.50 Cookie £1.00 Muffins £1.60

Soft Drinks

Still / Sparkling Mineral Water £1.30 Coca Cola / Diet Coke £1.30 Lemonade £1.30 Apple / Orange Tango £1.30 Bensons Apple Juices £1.90 It’s Just Apples Apple & Rhubarb Apple & Cinnamon Apple & Mango Bottle Green Presse £1.90 Elderflower Cox’s Apple Lemon & Lemon & Lime Leaf Pomegranate & Elderflower Fresh Orange Juice £1.30 Orange / Apple / Ribena Juice Cartons £1.00 Snapples £1.90 Strawberry & Kiwi Guava Mania Pink Lemonade Mango Madness

Crisps & Chocolate Walkers Crisps 70p Tyrrells Crisps 80p Tyrrells Popcorn 80p Mini Cheddars 80p All Chocolate Bars 70p

NOSH - Volume 1 ~ Issue 1


Do you know the Muffin Man? By Alan Hunter “Do you know the Muffin Man” begins the 1820 song, chanted by children whilst playing the ‘Muffin Man’ game and is still remembered as a popular nursery rhyme today! Victorian households had many of their fresh foods delivered and hot muffins would be brought d o or - t o - d o or by ‘The muffin man’. How traditional values have changed! - but not at our own ‘Muffin Man’ here in Cheltenham. Quietly situated in a cosy but spacious basement back drop in the famous Regency Royal Crescent, The Muffin Man is still one of Cheltenham’s best kept secrets - until now!

The Best of The Best! Robert and Lawrence have been steadily building a sound and loyal following of lovers of the finest foods since they began their ‘quest for the best’ in NOSH - Volume 1 ~ Issue 1


Artisan style cuisine over 5 years ago. From the purest wood-roasted coffee beans provided by a specialist supplier in Witney - ground to order for each cup to give you the finest flavour every time - to the dry-cured Gloucester Old Spot Bacon that hails from one of the region’s only certified ‘Glos’ Old Spot’ breeders this sets the theme of originality and individual focus on the attention to detail that are absent on so many menus of other dining establishments.

Full and Proper! The rind is snipped free from the bacon and ‘crisped’ separately, then to be re-united and accompanied by the freshest free range eggs from Sherston Farm in Tetbury this forms the heart of their true British style breakfast. Finished with toasted homemade sour dough bread made with wild yeasts in the traditional ‘Pain au Lavain’ style, cut thick and adorned with their own Muffin Man Marmalade, this is aptly named the ‘full and proper.’ Leaf tea and a glass of local Benson’s

Apple juice washes down the treat to complete this unique culinary adventure.

Fine, Fresh and Local! Sunday Roasts of Cotswold Rib of Beef - Muffin Man High Tea of home-made warmed scones topped with Cornish and Cotswold clotted cream - the delights continue on to fill an menu original in style and displaying ingenuity and creativity, whilst utilising as much of the local Cotswold fresh produce as possible. A hand-picked list of quality wines supplied by Cheltenham based D’Arcy Wines along with a selection of beers to include a local brew by Cheltenham Brewers - Battledown Bitter - are all there to enhance and complement. When I asked Robert to try and sum up their speciality in a sentence, the answer was: “Good, honest wholesome food - served well” So Do You Know The Muffin Man? If you don’t then you should - it is an experience not to be missed!

BREAKFAST AND ALL DAY Sourdough Toast with Marmalade or jam ~ £1.85 “Full” Fried Egg, Bacon, Old Spot Sausage, Tomato, Mushrooms & Baked Beans with Toast & Muffin Man Marmalade ~ £7.95 “Meat Free Full” 2 Fried Eggs, Tomato, Mushrooms, Fried Bread & Baked Beans with Toast & Marmalade ~ £6.95 Rhubarb compote with yoghurt & fresh muesli ~ £3.60 Bacon & fried eggs on a toasted muffin ~ £5.75 Salmon with Scrambled Eggs on a toasted muffin ~ £6.95 Eggs (how you like them) on toast ~ £4.50 Grilled Tomatoes and Mushrooms on toast ~ £4.95 Bacon or Sausage sandwich ~ £4.50 Soft Boiled Egg with toast & Marmite ~ £3.50 COFFEE Coffee • Americano ~ £1.85 ~ Large ~ £2.35 Cappuccino • Latte ~ £2.10 ~ Large ~ £2.60 Espresso ~ £1.70 ~ Double ~ £2.00 Espresso macchiato ~ £1.85 Iced Americano ~ £1.95 Iced Latte ~ £2.20 Vanilla, Hazelnut or Caramel syrup ~ 25p Hot Chocolate ~ £2.40

Sunday Lunch

TEA Yorkshire Tea from Taylors of Harrogate OR Everyday Tea from Twinings ~ £1.85

Roast Rib of Beef, Roast Loin of Pork + Full Menu

LEAF TEA English Breakfast • Decaffeinated English Breakfast • Earl Grey • Duchess Earl Grey • Lovers Leap Ceylon • Margaret’s Hope 2nd Flush Darjeeling • Jasmine Blossom Green Tea • Peppermint Herbal • Egyptian Camomile • Delicious Berry Fruit • More Zest Herbal ~ £2.00

18th November

NOSH - Volume 1 ~ Issue 1


NOSH - Volume 1 ~ Issue 1




With as many as 20,000 different ‘beers’ in the world and still on the increase, produced in over 15,000 breweries in some 180 different styles from across the globe, your Nosh magazine would not be complete without a comprehensive beer section. We are delighted that Leigh Norwood of Favourite Beers, Cheltenham has agreed to become our ‘Beer Editor’ for Nosh Magazine. On the shelves in his ‘Favourite Beers’ emporium in Hewlett Road, Leigh has something in the region of 850 different beer, lager and cider products from every corner of the beer making world - an Aladdin’s cave for lovers of the hop! As a key organiser of the Cheltenham Beer festival, a member of the ‘Guild of British Beer Writers’, and a regular judge at the ‘International Beer Challenge’ and many beer festivals, there is no-one more qualified than Leigh to keep us up to date with what’s happening in this ever growing industry. Leigh will tell you on an issue by issue basis all there is to know about the wonderful brewing business and the life within, so I will let him do the talking and tell you ‘What’s brewing!’ When talk at the pub gets around to the subject of beer then classic European beers always create a major talking point. The likelihood is that the beers being talked about generally come from one of only a few countries. Usually it is the likes of the UK, Belgium, Germany and Czechoslovakia that will be the source of the beers under discussion, and why not? After all it is these countries that have long brewing histories and traditions, are renowned for their classic styles and true to form have produced some outstanding beers over the years. Note: Did you know that the worst beer in the world (according to is “Natural Light” made by mega-brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev. (Strictly speaking, Miller’s Olde English) So what is the best - ask Leigh of course!

NOSH - Volume 1 ~ Issue 1


What is Beer?

By Leigh Norwood Beer is the most popular alcoholic beverage in the world and is the third-most popular drink after Water and Tea. Modern day beer is essentially made using four very simple components – water, grain (usually barley), hops and yeast. Small or indeed quite large variations in the character and quantities of each of these components can have a profound effect on the resultant beverage. The basic process of combining these components together – known as brewing, consists of four basic stages:

is removed from the mash tun using processes known as lautering and sparging. 3. Boiling: For this stage, the ‘wort’ is moved to a brew kettle or copper where it is boiled together with hops for a period of about 60-90 minutes. The boiling process is where chemical and technical reactions take place including sterilization and the release of hop flavours and bitterness. Hops added late in the boiling process will also add to the aroma of the resultant beer.

4. Fermenting: This is the final stage in the brewing process and is where the boiled wort is cooled down and transferred to a fermenting vessel where the selected brewer’s yeast is added to the mix. The yeast begins to transform the sugars in the wort to alcohol ‘Beer is the most popular alcoholic beverage in and carbon dioxide and we can the world and is the third-most popular drink finally call our liquid beer!

1. Malting: In this stage, the grains of barley are made to germinate  by soaking in water, and are then halted from germinating further by kiln

after Water and Tea.’

drying which heats the malt until the desired colour is attained. Malts range in colour from very pale through crystal and amber to chocolate or black malts. Malted grains develop the enzymes required to modify the grain’s  starches  into sugars during the next stage of the brewing process. 2. Mashing: In this stage, a defined mixture of milled or crushed malted barley (and sometimes other grains) is mixed with hot water in a vessel known as a ‘Mash Tun’ where it is heated to allow the enzymes in the grain to break down the starches and produce fermentable sugars. Once this has been achieved, the resultant liquid, known as ‘wort’ NOSH - Volume 1 ~ Issue 1


There are further processes such as conditioning, filtering, packaging etc. which can happen at the brewery, but the above describe the basics of brewing. Once again, variations in any stage of the brewing process can have marked effects on the final product and it the real art of the brewer to create their own remarkable beverages across a massive variation in colours, aromas, and tastes resulting in wonderful beers that range from crisp golden lagers to strong dark chocolaty stouts. Beer - A reason for the beginning of Civilisation? It is commonly acknowledged that the early roots of

civilisation took hold about 12,000BC when tribes began to move from being hunter-gatherers to becoming farmers. It is also known that the earliest crops that were farmed in Mesopotamia (the cradle of civilisation) included ancient wild ancestors of wheat and barley. Wheat and Barley (like many other cereal crops) can undergo spontaneous fermentation due to wild yeasts in the air, so it is highly likely that our ancient ancestors discovered the ability to create beer-like beverages as soon as they started to harvest these crops. Indeed chemical tests of ancient pottery jars reveal that beer was definitely being produced about 7,000 years ago in what is modern day Iran and the one of the earliest known recipes ever discovered was for beer – this was found on a 3900-year-old Sumerian poem honouring Ninkasi, the patron goddess of brewing, and describing the production of beer from barley via bread.

So, whilst the common perception is that our ancestors first settled down to farm so that they could make bread, what if the truth is that their real drive was to make beer – BEER, the root of Civilisation!

Early European history Beer became a vital product for all of the graingrowing civilizations of Eurasia and North Africa and was an important part of everyday life. However, as the great civilisations evolved around the Mediterranean, beer was gradually replaced by wine as the alcoholic beverage of choice for all but the working classes as viniculture was developed into an art form. In Northern and Eastern Europe, where the climate was not so ideal for grape growing, beer continued to hold sway and became a staple drink, particularly as water sources could not always be relied upon to be healthy. The development of beer in these areas diversified around cultural, political and national boundaries and led to distinctive brewing traditions being built up in what can now be appreciated as the five great northern European

brewing nations: The Czech Repulblic, Germany, Belgium, Scotland and England. In future articles I shall provide a guide to the development of national styles of beers in each of these great brewing nations and give examples of some of the great beers to try. NOSH - Volume 1 ~ Issue 1


Why Open a Specialist Beer Shop?

By Leigh Norwood In April 2009, I first shared with some friends and family an embryonic idea I had of opening up a Specialist Beer shop in Cheltenham - many of them thought that I had finally flipped! “But you’ve got a really well paid job”, “There’s no money to be made in retail”, “We’re in the middle of a recession” and “What do you know about running a shop” were just a sample of the responses I got. So why was I even thinking of it? Job Satisfaction By the late “nougthies” I had reached the point where the job I was doing (33 years as an IT software specialist in the aerospace and communications industries) just wasn’t exciting me anymore. The politics and bureaucracy were getting me down, and I had begun to lose the motivation to get up in the morning. So I needed a new direction to give me that all too elusive ‘job satisfaction’. Why Beer? Beer has been a passion of mine for many years – I was introduced to Real Ale by my late Father-inlaw, Ivor Addis in the late 1970’s. He used to take great pleasure in introducing me to the real ales available at the time (Donnington Ales served in their own Cotswold pubs being a definite favourite of his). I attended my first Cotswold Beer Festival at Postlip Hall in 1979 and have been a devoted attendee to that and other beer festivals ever since. NOSH - Volume 1 ~ Issue 1


I have been a member of the fundraising group for Cheltenham Samaritans for over 33 years, and for the past eight years I have been a key organiser of the Cheltenham beer festival (now held annually at the Old Patesians rugby club and having so far raised over £80,000 for the local branch). Over the years, and particularly since being involved with the beer festival organisation, I got to know many people involved in the brewing industry – the brewery owners and the brewers, publicans and distributors and many of the local CAMRA group. What struck me about everyone involved in this trade was the absolute passion that they all had for their craft and that they were all willing to help each other out. I decided that this was an industry I could quite happily work in. Why a Specialist Beer Shop? After briefly considering starting up a micro-brewery (I had once been a keen home brewer) or running a pub, I settled on the aim of opening a shop that would provide the range of beers and services that I had always wanted to be available locally. Shouldn’t Real Ale be drunk in a pub? One of my favourite leisure activities is to enjoy a social pint or two of well-kept ale in a good pub, and in good company. There are however, many times when you just can’t get to a pub, particularly when you have a family, and there are other

occasions when a beer at home can be a real treat (particularly pairing it with food). As such I have for many years been searching for good bottled beers to drink at home. The problem was, that although in recent years the number of quality bottled beers had increased tenfold, I always had to travel a great distance to find outlets that presented a decent range and which has someone who knew something about the beers they were selling. There are some great specialist beer shops in the UK (good examples of such emporiums can be found in York (they have two!), Sandbach in Cheshire and Newton Abbot in Devon), but there were none close to home.

beers. This was supplemented with about 80 different bottled ciders and a small range of English wines.

Product growth Since opening we have responded to increasing customer demands and now stock well over 850 different products. This expanded range includes over 400 UK bottle beers from over 100 breweries, featuring a whole range of exciting styles, from light hoppy bitters through to the darkest of Stouts. We have one of UKs the largest selection of fantastic Belgian beers (over 120) and we have created individual sections for American craft beers (over 70) and German beers (over 30) as well as branching out into the more esoteric world beers from countries like Norway, Japan, Denmark and Italy. involved in

‘What struck me about everyone this trade was the absolute passion that they all had for their craft.’ In recent years, supermarkets have caught up with the popularity of bottled ales to a certain extent, but they all tend to stick to the same limited range of ‘safe’ (and often heavily pasteurised) beers, with very few of the over 1800 currently available bottle conditioned ales on their shelves. I also doubt if there are many supermarket assistants that can offer any informed advice on the beer that they sell. The Result After 18 months of planning, on Friday 8th October 2010, “Favourite Beers” opened at 105 Hewlett Road in Cheltenham (it was previously a ‘Bottoms Up’ off-licence). We originally opened with a range of just over 450 bottled beers primarily from the UK but with a large Belgian section and a reasonable range of other international NOSH - Volume 1 ~ Issue 1


The Cider selection (looked after by my daughter Rosie) has also moved on and as well as over 100 bottled ciders we usually have about eight or nine draught ciders available for take-away. Our English Wine selection continues to grow and we have now found ourselves to be Gloucestershire’s specialists in Meads! Knowledge One of the areas we pride ourselves on is the knowledge of our products and being able to easily impart that to our customers. All of our beers have individually created labels featuring detailed tasting notes, coloured style indicators and symbols indicating Bottle Conditioning, Vegan friendly, Organic and Gluten free beers. All of the staff in the shop are well trained to provide helpful advice to customers to ensure that they get exactly the product they are after. I am a member of the British Guild of Beer Writers and a regular judge at the

International Beer Challenge as well as many beer festivals. Rosie this year judged at the International Cider Challenge. Events We don’t just sell beer and cider though, we have also built up a thriving social side around the shop – we hold regular tasting evenings and ‘Meet the Brewer/Cider Producer’ events, in fact our biggest growth area in the last year has been responding to requests for bespoke tasting evenings for corporate bodies, social groups or just collections of friends who want an interesting evening out with a difference. To get word of these events out we have embraced social media and we now have well over a thousand followers and Friends on our Twitter and Facebook accounts. We also publish an email newsletter to a growing list of subscribers, keeping them informed about things happening at the shop.

Awards It is always nice to get recognition that you are doing something right, but we were somewhat amazed that in our first full year of business we were nominated as a finalist in the ‘Independent Beer Retailer of the Year’ category at the 2012 Drinks Retailing Awards. We were even more amazed when at the awards ceremony held at the Dorchester Hotel on Park Lane, our name was read out as the winner of the award! At the 2013 awards we were successful again coming away with the ‘Independent Cider Retailer of the Year’ award whilst narrowly missing out on retaining our Beer Award and also just losing out after being one of only two finalists for the ‘Green/

Ethical retailer of the year’ award – won by Marks & Spencer. The Future It has been hard but rewarding work getting to this point, after early struggles to cope with a worse than expected recession, recent signs are that the business is now becoming financially viable. Our customer base has been expanding and we receive generally very positive feedback from them. We have many regular customers and some who travel more than 50 miles to buy their beers from us. One common reaction from some of the people who come into the shop for the first time is that they enter the shop, stop, look around, open their mouths wide and exclaim . . .Wow! Many times we have had the shop described as ‘a big boy’s sweet shop’! The only general negative comments that we get are that our prices are higher than those of the

beers in supermarkets (what did they expect!). We know we can’t compete with supermarket prices and as such we tend to avoid stocking the beers and ciders that can be easily picked up at your local Tesco’s or Sainsbury’s. However, if the discerning Gloucestershire drinker wants an ever changing, massive range of high quality bottled ales and ciders to choose from, and they want to talk to someone who is as passionate as they are about what they are drinking – they know where to go! Please support us – this sort of specialist business will only survive if people make use of it for more than just ‘special occasions’. By supporting us, you are also supporting the local brewing industry. Tell your friends, spread the word and enjoy your beers and ciders. NOSH - Volume 1 ~ Issue 1


A Tale of Two Beer Festivals

By Leigh Norwood There doesn’t seem to be a weekend that goes past in Gloucestershire during the summer months where you can’t find a beer festival (or two) to attend, this was not always the case however. For many years only two festivals were writ large on the calendar – the Cotswold Beer festival held at Postlip Hall near Winchcombe (started in 1977 and always held towards the end of July) and the Frocester Beer Festival (started in 1980 and always held on the August Bank Holiday weekend). The Tewkesbury Winter Ales festival was added to the list in 1998, but it is only really in recent years that the number of festivals has really snowballed and leading the way in that revolution was the Cheltenham Beer Festival which was first held in 2006. The Cheltenham and Postlip beer festivals were held just a week apart this year and provided two very different experiences: Cheltenham Beer Festival – Saturday 13th July This beer festival has been organised for the past eight years by the Friends of Cheltenham Samaritans as the primary fundraising vehicle for raising the money necessary to keep the Cheltenham and District Branch of the Samaritans on a health financial footing. It is held at the Old Patesians Club on Everest Road in Leckhampton which has a roomy clubhouse and plenty of grassy spaces, overlooked by the majestic Leckhampton Hill. NOSH - Volume 1 ~ Issue 1


For once, the festival got the hot and sunny weather the organisers had been dreaming of (unlike the last four summers) and the atmosphere of the event was very laid-back with a real ‘festival’ vibe. About 800 people turned up throughout the day for the single ‘session’ to enjoy the 51 beers, 12 ciders/perrys and Pimms bar. Excellent live music was presented throughout the evening in the club house and a very entertaining pop-up theatre group provided performances throughout the afternoon. Despite the very hot weather (in the 30’s during the afternoon), the beers were in excellent condition and were severed at ideal temperatures for which the organisers must be heartily congratulated. The beer of the festival (voted for by a panel of specialists on the Friday evening) was the excellent ‘Mosaic IPA’ from Bristol’s Arbor Ales whist two other Bristol brews – ‘Milk Stout’ and ‘Southville Hop’ (both from Bristol Beer Factory) were runners up. The beer list was superb with a great range of styles and beers from some of the most ‘progressive’ breweries in the land (Marble, Dark Star, Thornbridge, Red Willow, Art Brew). On the Cider front the public voted with their taste buds and the 50Litres of Lilly’s excellent Perry ‘Bee Sting’ disappeared in not time. This is a very family friendly and laid-back beer festival – the vast spaces of open grass enable people

to spread out (although many took advantage of the shade offered by the provided marquees during the peak of the afternoon sun) and children (and adults) had plenty of space to run around and enjoy themselves. Many people also took the chance to watch a game of Rugby League which was being held on one of the pitches. Initial estimates from the organisers are that they hope to have raised over £10,000 for Cheltenham Samaritans to add to the £65,000 they have already raised through this event in the past seven years. There really cannot be a more idyllic and picturesque location for a beer festival anywhere in the country and perhaps the world. Punters are dropped off at the end of a small lane and have a brisk half-mile walk to build up a good thirst, before first being greeted by the elegant sight of Postlip Hall – a Jacobean Manor house which is now home to a community of eight families. From the lawns outside the manor house you descend a set of steps to a superb Medieval Tithe Barn which holds the array of over 80 beers and 20 ciders. Out of the other side of the Tithe Barn, you are greeted with a pleasant lawned area with a stream running through it – fantastic.

Like the Cheltenham Beer Festival, ‘Postlip’ was also blessed with the impact of our 2013 ‘heatwave’, with dry, warm and mostly sunny weather throughout the weekend. This did seem to have a slight impact on the beer quality with a few beers being served very slightly above optimum temperature but generally all were in good condition. The beer selection was good although

perhaps a bit more conservative than that found at Cheltenham with only a few of the more progressive brewers represented. On the Thursday night a panel of tasters voted for the best Gloucestershire Beer at the festival, which this year went to Old Sodbury Mild from the excellent Cotswold Spring brewery. Throughout the festival people were invited to vote for their own favourite beer which this year was won by Ysgawen from the Welsh brewery Purple Moose. The Cotswold Beer Festival had undergone many changes this year in particular around ticket distribution and transport which ultimately led to lower numbers than has been the case for most of its history. Many stalwarts who have been attending the festival for years gave it a miss in 2013 but this gave a lot of people who have struggled to get tickets in the past a chance to revisit or witness this superb event for the first time. I think it is testament to the culture that has built up around beer festivals like the two above that although you get hundreds of people, in close proximity, drinking copious amounts of strong ales and ciders – you very, very rarely get an inkling of any trouble. Two of Gloucestershire’s finest beer

festivals - Great locations, good beers and ciders, friendly relaxed atmospheres – how can you go wrong? Happy Beer Hunting - Leigh Norwood - Favourite Beers of Cheltenham Remember to always drink responsibly! NOSH - Volume 1 ~ Issue 1


The Sandford Park Ale House A PUB WITH A DIFFERENCE

By Leigh Norwood Craft Beer Bars

In the last few years there has been a rising trend across major cities in the country for the opening of new, so called ‘Craft Beer Bars’. These tend to be aimed at attracting a new, younger beer drinking crowd who are choosing to drink artisan beers instead of mass-market brands. The beers on offer tend to come in many forms of packaging including cask (real-ale), bottles and a large proportion in keg. Now ‘keg’ has been a dirty word for many beer aficionados since the introduction of bland, massproduced beers in this format in the 1960’s and 70’s, and indeed the ubiquitous nature of this form of beer packaging led directly to the creation of the Campaign For Real Ale (CAMRA) in 1971. In 2013 however, kegs are regularly being utilised to distribute some of the best, tastiest beers from some of the most forward thinking small breweries in the country. These beers may not be real-ale to purists (that is a whole other article), but they do seem to be here to stay.

Craft in Cheltenham

Many people are now saying that Cheltenham has finally caught up with the times with the opening earlier this year of the Sandford Park Ale House at 20 High Street on the site of the old EXS nightclub. It certainly ticks all of the boxes of what people are calling a craft beer bar – It has a fantastic range of up to 23 draught beers, 3 draught ciders and an extensive selection of bottled beers from around the world. The draught beers include up to nine cask ales dispensed by hand pull and some amazing keg beers from Belgian, Germany, the USA and the UK (including artisan lagers and stouts). But is it really a craft beer bar? or is it just a new pub (the first in Cheltenham for many years), where the emphasis is on good beer in whatever for it comes – cask, keg or bottle. NOSH - Volume 1 ~ Issue 1


I caught up with Grant Cook, who is the driving force behind the Sandford Park Ale House or indeed just the ‘Ale House’ as it is now becoming known around Cheltenham and asked him for his thoughts. ‘I am quite happy for us to be known as a craft beer bar, our pub ethos is to provide a great selection of beers in the best format possible’. Grant and his team have certainly provided that since they opened at the end of April, with over 300 different real ales having been served and a whole host of interesting foreign beers having been made available to an ever appreciative customer base. Just as interesting is the total absence of big brand name beers at the bar – no mass produced lagers or stouts in evidence at all. Grant added ‘We want to make interesting beers from across the country available – we always have some from local brewers and we have a few regular beers from the likes of Oakham and Purity but I’m always interested in new beers from breweries with a proven track record. We are also keen to try keg beers from great breweries – the latest IPA from Kernel brewery in London being a great example.’


The interior is laid out with a large main bar room, set around a central staircase. The décor is modern, clean and bright with tasteful furnishings, complete with a bar billiard table. There is an additional cosy snug on the ground floor, with a feature wood burner. Upstairs is a large function/TV/overflow room. Beyond the bar, there is a small patio area with stairs leading down to a pleasant and roomy beer garden with plenty of outside seating. I asked Grant what his guidelines were for designing the layout of the Ale House - ‘I wanted to create a nice stylish place with a great atmosphere, no loud

music, no slot machines and no TV in the main bar, although we do have a TV in the upstairs room for specific sports events’. Downstairs there is an additional small ‘tasting room’ which will be utilised for some of the future tasting events. Just to show that the pub is also up with the latest technology and ‘Automated Beer Board’ is available in the bar which provides a realtime update of the beers currently available.

The long road to the Ale House

Having spoken at length to Grant about his background, it would seem that opening the Ale House is the culmination of a great personal journey that started for him back in the late 70’s in his native Surrey where he and a few friends would seek out interesting local beers. This passion continued at University where he chaired the ‘Real Ale Society’ and ultimately led to his involvement in various incarnations of the CAMRA organised ‘Great British Beer Festival’ where in the early 90’s Grant was instrumental in expanding and improving the offerings from their foreign beer bars. After several years in the computer industry and a fair bit of travel where he witnessed how beer was being served around the world, Grant had built up enough savings to set up a pub where he could use this knowledge and emulate aspects of the GBBF, serving a selection of fantastic real ales but also having a good range of foreign beers. His first purchase in 2000 was a ‘free of tie’ lease on a pub in Leicester which he re-christened ‘The Swan and Rushes’. This quickly built up a good reputation and two years later Grant added a second pub – the Criterion. Grant met his partner Heidi at the Swan and Rushes and once she had successfully completed her PHD they decided to take a year out for a world tour – Grant sold the Criterion and put the Swan and Rushes in the hands of a management company whilst they were away. On their return Heidi secured a job in Cheltenham and they decided to relocate to the town and to start looking for the perfect freehold property for their dream pub. It was a long time coming, the Swan and Rushes was finally sold in 2011 and a few months later the EXS nightclub came on the market. An offer was accepted but Grant, like many, suffered from the poor economic climate with banks being unhelpful for the necessary financing. As a result, a company was set up with family and friends investing in private equity to provide the necessary money to not only buy but also to fund the necessary structural and refitting work on the grade II listed building. No corners were cut and taking a long-term view the refit was carried out to a very high standard.

The first four months

Since opening on St Georges Day – 23rd April 2013, the success of the Sandford Park Ale House

has been incredible. The fantastic expanded garden space with plentiful seating proved ideal to take advantage of that rarest of things – a good British summer and initial business has been beyond anything Grant could have wished for. Feedback has been almost universally positive, with word of mouth recommendations quickly spreading throughout Cheltenham’s beer drinking aficionados and beyond.

Not Just Beer – Great Food too

A couple of months after opening the upstairs kitchen was commissioned and two high class chefs hired to provide the fantastic food offering for the Ale House. They currently offer two menus - the first being for quick light lunches which includes such delights as ‘Cheese Platter’, ‘Olives’, ‘Terrine of the Day’ and a selection of tasty salads. For those who desire something a little more substantial an ever changing ‘specials’ menu is available which has recently included such tantalising delights as ‘Goulash Soup’, ‘Barbary Duck’ and ‘Lamb Tagine’.

The Future

It is early days in the life of this exciting new drinking venue, but already they have plans for the future including beer events, large and small - ranging from talks and tasting sessions, brewery evenings with UK and foreign brewers and beer/ cider festivals (although you could argue it is like going to a beer festival on a normal evening at this venue!). An annual fixture at the Swan and Rushes was Grants’ Cider and Cheese festival featuring 40 ciders and 40 cheeses - expect to see something similar at the Ale House in the spring. Food events will be high on the agenda as well, with plans already being made for a Belgian evening featuring ‘Moules-frites’ accompanied by a selection of Belgian beers. Additionally there will be a whole host of food and beer matching events to look forward to over the coming months.


The arrival of a venue like the Sanford Park Ale House has been far too long in coming for a town with such a discerning array of food and drink enthusiasts as Cheltenham. Its initial success has shown just how much we needed a venue like this and I don’t think it will be too long before it has competition. One interesting knock on effect is that it appears to have raised the bar somewhat for other pubs in the town, with many of them responding very favourably to the challenge with both the quality and range of beers available. Indeed Cheltenham does now seem to be punching well above its weight in the UK beer scene – we not only have this great venue but we also have the CAMRA national club of the year (Cheltenham Motor Club) and the national award winning Beer and Cider shop (Favourite Beers) – all within a half mile radius. Long may the beery growth of Cheltenham continue. NOSH - Volume 1 ~ Issue 1



Whittingtons Brewery was established in early 2003 as part of the Three Choirs estate, which is set in 75 acres of rolling vineyards in the Gloucestershire countryside. The brewery is named after one of Gloucestershire’s most famous sons, Dick Whittington. Legend has it that Dick was born in the hamlet of Pauntley, near to the site of the vineyard, and lived in nearby Gloucester before embarking on his adventurous life in London. Our beer names concentrate on Whittington’s cat, Puss, who became as famous as Dick Whittington himself! Whittingtons is a five-barrel brew plant, which is one of the smaller brewery sizes. A full mash tun method is used to brew our three beers: a 3.6% ABV ‘session’ ale, a richer 4.2% ABV premium beer and our seasonal pale ale. Only locally sourced hops are used, with First Gold being the primary hop variety. Malts from traditional English floor maltings are also a vital ingredient at Whittingtons, and our head brewer has selected the Maris Otter variety as the best base for our beers. The use of these natural ingredients is in keeping with the classic image of Great British Beer, and here at Whittingtons we intend uphold the traditional methods of brewing, which give our beers a flavoursome, rich hoppy character. NOSH - Volume 1 ~ Issue 1


Whittingtons is proud to be associated with SIBA, The Society of Independent Brewers. “SIBA is not in the business to make money for itself - it is to help brewers sell more beer whilst giving you, the consumer, a wider choice of beer with the unbeatable quality that you deserve.” If you want to visit Whittington Brewery then you could do no better than to enjoy a full day out and create a complete adventure by combining a 3 Choirs Vineyard experience - as the are one and the same! Treat yourself to an overnight stay, lunch or dinner in the most beautiful vineyard surroundings that is 3 Choirs! You can taste the wines and buy the beer to take home in handy containers for your own delight or party pleasure. Three Choirs is on the B4215, two miles from Newent, Gloucestershire. We are within an hour’s drive of Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff and most places in between, just 15 minutes from Junction 11a on the M5 and less than 10 minutes from Junction 3 of the M50. If you are using Satnav/GPS our postcode is: GL18 1LS

Thornbridge Jaipur India Pale Ale (5.9% abv) THE IDEAL BEER FOR A HOT & SPICY INDIAN DISH

By Leigh Norwood The beer options in many Indian restaurants tend to be limited to some fairly bland, mass market lagers, often with names that suggest they are made in the Indian sub-continent, but in reality they are usually created in large industrial scale breweries in Burton or Faversham. Whilst the sweet malt base, subtle hops and clean crispness of a good lager can be an ideal accompaniment to lightly spiced dishes, if you want to really accentuate the flavours in some of the great Indian dishes available, try an India Pale Ale (IPA). One of the very best IPAs available at the moment in the UK is Jaipur from the Derbyshire based Thornbridge brewery. This beer is a traditional golden IPA with a slight American twist. It has a good level of carbonation and makes use of pale Marris Otter and Vienna malts and American Warrior, Chinook and Cascade hops. These hops produce a light tropical fruit aroma along with sweet grapefruit malt sweetness. On tasting, there is an immediate bitter impact from the high alpha Warrior hops which leads into a delightful citrus grapefruit led sharpness – all of which is superbly

balanced by the sweet malt base. The bright flavours of Indian spices such as coriander, cardamom and tamarind are a perfect match for the citrus notes produced by the American hops with a natural, mutually beneficial enhancement occurring. The heat of the spices and chillies are lifted from the palate by the robust bitterness of the hops which help to accentuate the overall flavour experience, whilst the carbonation helps to cut through the richness of the ghee used in many dishes. Jaipur is an ideal match for all Mexican and Indian Food, Strong Oily Fish, Burgers, Barbeques, Thai currys, Spicy Seafood – in fact, anything with a strong flavour and a bit of heat. The brewery was originally based at Thornbridge Hall near Bakewell in Derbyshire and the name of the beer comes from the Indian city where Thornbridge Hall owners Jim and Emma Harrison were married. It does however seem to be an amazing co-incidence that this beer provides such a perfect match for the foods that originated from that part of the world. NOSH - Volume 1 ~ Issue 1



By Alan Hunter Inaugural Brew:

The Teme Valley Brewery produced its first gyle (batch of beer) in 1997. At that time, the Clift family owned the brewery, The Talbot Inn at Knightwick and a farm at Lulsley Court which was harvesting roughly a thousand bales of hops a year. It made sense for the brewery to use only hops grown at Lulsley and, when the farm was sold, the brewery’s beers continued to feature only hops grown in Worcestershire. This, That, T’Other and Blonde! (see below - conversation overheard at the bar) The portfolio of beers has waxed and waned over the years, but since a threefold expansion of equipment in 2010 has settled on four permanent cask beers (This, That, T’Other and Talbot Blonde) and three bottled beers with occasional seasonal brews. THIS (3.7%) is an easy drinking pale beer with a vivid hop aroma. NOSH - Volume 1 ~ Issue 1


THAT (4.1%) is a chestnut coloured robust, nutty best bitter. Both are available in cask and as bottle conditioned beers where yeast is left to produce a gentle carbonation to give a head when poured carefully. T’OTHER (3.5%) another beer brewed by us and to be found on the bar is gently bittered for a light flavour. THE TALBOT BLONDE (4.4%) is a golden colour with a proud hop flavour from Northdown hops. The last bottled beer available on a permanent basis is Wotever Next? (5%) which, after 16 years, is surprisingly “on trend” being very dark and bitter – a beer for sipping rather than quaffing. We also create an early season brew a ‘green hop beer’ - The Hops Nouvelle.

Local Produce:

With three hop growers within a mile of the brewery and being located 200 yards from the River Teme (or literally in the river in 2007) we are in the heart of Worcestershire’s hop farming. During hop harvest – September and October – we are able to use hops before they are dried on a kiln. When harvested, hops are 80% moisture and deteriorate rapidly. To preserve them for the year ahead, they are dried on a hop kiln and baled to exclude oxygen. During kilning, much of the flavour and aroma is lost, although the hops remain pungent for use in the brewery. By collecting hops within minutes of picking and pitching them into the beer immediately, we capture some of the fragrance which is usually lost. These green hop beers add another dimension to the beer and are only available for a short period in the autumn. To celebrate the end of hop harvest we hold a beer festival in October featuring green hop beers from ourselves and other breweries. This year it will fall on the weekend of Friday 11th October, with live music on Saturday evening and The Teme Valley farmers’ market will run alongside on Sunday 12th.

Brewery Visits:

Visitors are welcome to view the brewery on a tour, but we are busy people so it is best to arrange a visit in advance. Christopher Gooch - Brewer at The Talbot Teme Valley Brewery! 01886 821235 Conversation overheard from ‘new’ visitor to the The Talbot Hotel bar! “Can I have the same again please?” “What did you have?” “That - was the reply (pointing to the beer This)” “No that is This - You are asking for That” “I am pretty sure I had that last time” “Yes, so you said, but you pointed to This when you asked for That” “Yes, but I would like an Other” “Please can you make your mind up, we’re busy” “Oh b------x” “Sorry sir, that’s out of stock. Next please”.

NOSH - Volume 1 ~ Issue 1


NOSH - Volume 1 ~ Issue 1


Apple Press

Cider has a long and fascinating history in the UK and it had been assumed that cider was introduced after the Norman Conquest, but it is now thought to have been here long before they invaded our shores. However, it is true to say that the Normans had the most positive effect on the history of cider making as Northern France was renowned for the volume and quality of its apple orchards and vineyards. After their conquest of England in 1066, the Normans introduced many changes including the making and of course drinking of cider. The popularity of cider grew steadily with new varieties of apples introduced, and cider began to figure in the tax records at this time. Drink of the People! It became the most popular alcoholic drink and production spread rapidly. By 1300, there were references to cider production in the counties now known as Buckinghamshire, Devonshire, Essex, Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Kent, Norfolk, Somerset, Suffolk, Surrey and Sussex and in most other counties as far north as Yorkshire. Paid in Cider! Cider was produced in substantial quantities on most farms as every farm would have a few cider apple trees as well as cooking and dessert apple trees in the orchard and it became customary in the 18th Century to pay part of a farm labourer’s wage in cider -a typical allowance on a farm would be 3 - 4 pints per day. Labourers were rated by the amount they drank; one comment was that a 2 gallon a day man was worth the extra he drank and in certain areas a farm worker could receive one-fifth of his wage in cider. This practice ceased in the latter part of the 19th century. A Toast! So ‘up the apples and pears’ - if you can after a few pints of ‘scrumpy’ - and lets raise a glass - of cider of course- to the dedicated makers of this wonderful thirst-quencher who keep another of our great traditions alive! Welcome to our Apple Press!

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By Phaedra Neal We spend a day with George Perry, Managing Director of Perry’s Cider in Dowlish Wake, Somerset who tells us all about the art of traditional craft cider-making in the West Country. No trip to the West Country would be complete without a visit to a traditional cider farm. Having navigated the winding, narrow country lanes passing tractors, horses and cars that are clearly not accustomed to be being driven on the left-hand side of the road - you would be forgiven for feeling in need of a strong drink by the time you pull up outside the beautiful 15th century thatched barn which has been home to Perry’s Cider since 1920. Parking up in the orchards there is a delicious sweet smell of apples ripening on the trees, scenting the air of the village of Dowlish Wake. Managing Director George Perry is hard at work in a hot and loud bottling line alongside his father –John Perry. Casually dressed in shorts and a Perry’s Cider t-shirt George, 32 years old, directs me over to their Tea room, housed in a converted barn, where he proceeds to devour the largest, most chocolate-laden chunk of home-made Rocky Road I have ever seen, explaining that he started work at 7am and hadn’t yet had time for any breakfast. Revived by chocolate George proceeds to tell me a bit about the history of cider-making. NOSH - Volume 1 ~ Issue 1


Somerset, he explains, is renowned for being one of the best cider apple growing areas in the country – there are references to grants being awarded for cider presses in the county as far back as 1230. Over the centuries the popularity of cider has risen, and fallen and risen again. In the mid-nineteenth century it was mostly considered to be a refreshment for farm labourers in Somerset and made up a part of their wages but increased investment in cidermaking research and orchards from the likes of the Royal Bath and West of England Society and National Association of Cider Makers started to have a more positive impact on the industry from the early 1900s onwards. Cider-making business started to grow in the 1920’s and 30’s, though by the 1950’s the large majority had either collapsed or been bought out by the larger producers. The survivors included the likes of Bulmers of Hereford, Taunton Cider, Gaymers of Norfolk – though these have all since been bought out and… Perry’s Cider. George Perry explained: “Perry’s Cider was founded in 1920 by William Churchill when he acquired the family farm and started making cider as a side line to his blacksmith’s business. The company was later taken over by his nephews, Henry and Bert Perry, who started to push the business forward and experiment with craft ciders. It was thanks to this experimentation and investment in modern

efficient machinery that Perry’s Cider survived. After Bert and Henry passed away the company passed onto Henry’s wife, Marguerite and two sons Andrew and John Perry – my father. “The ciders we make today are still based on the same techniques and methods that Henry and Bert developed and the cider is still pressed using two hydraulic presses they purchased in 1950 – having squeezed out well over 7 million pints of cider each they are – to be honest - nearing the end of their cider making days!”

Brown and Morgan Sweet - from our own 35 acres of orchards right through to December and here on the farm we’ll be pressing the apples nearly every day. Its hard, wet and often cold work and just the start of the craft cider-making process.” We move back into the Farm Shop – or more specifically the cider tasting corner. It’s now 12pm – perhaps it’s too early for cider I ask? My question is politely ignored. Clearly not then!

Having sampled some of the delights on offer in the tea room with its charming stone walls, milk jugs of flowers, kilner jar lights and open plan kitchen we move outside to where, in Autumn, the cider is made. A collection of old carts currently hides the Apple Pit where harvested apples are pushed into a deep channel for a quick rinse before travelling through a mill where they are mashed to a pulp. This pulp is then built into a ‘cheese’ using the traditional rack and

I’m handed what appears to be a shot glass. I think that perhaps he’s going to be stingy with the tastings before I realise there are 18 different ciders and that they all average around 6% ABV. First up it’s the draught ciders. Small wooden tasting barrels contain samples from the main wooden barrels behind the counter. We start with the dry and its like an assault on my senses. It has a sharp astringency that immediately drys the mouth and hits the back of the tongue leaving a lingering taste of apples. Its not unpleasant but perhaps too dry for my tastes. We move through the draught ciders – dry, medium dry, medium sweet,

cloth method, before being squeezed in the presses to produce up to 9,000 litres of juice a day. George explains: “We’ll be moving the carts and lifting the boards at the end of the week ready for our first batch of cider apples – the Morgan Sweets. We harvest the apples – Redstreak, Dabinett, Tremlett, Michelin,

medium vintage and sweet vintage. Each one has its own unique aroma and lingering taste and is nothing like the cider I remember as a teenager in the park on a Friday night, not does it resemble the large scale producers such as Magners, Bulmers and Kopperberg.

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“The big boys have done a fantastic job of raising awareness of commercial ‘cider’ in the UK and increasing interest in the market as a whole. As a result we see more and more people taking an interest in traditional craft ciders. The main difference is that ciders produced by the mainstream companies will contain on average

Star in the national Great Taste Awards and has also very recently become available in Waitrose stores throughout the country. We also try the Dabinett, Morgan Sweet and Premium Vintage which have all recently won awards in both the Great Taste Awards and Taste of the West Awards. All are unique in their own right and the only one

about 35% apples, be sweetened with artificial flavours and glucose and watered down to make a fairly bland, albeit easily drinkable product.

that makes me shudder rather than smile is the Tremlett – apparently also known as the marmite of the cider world.

“Our ciders are made from 100% apples and 100% juice – no added water or artificial sweeteners. They are left to ferment in barrels using their own wild yeasts and then left to mature for anything up to two years. With a traditional craft cider what you’re getting is a completely natural product that reflects the flavours of the apple, the orchards they were grown in and the barrels they are stored in, fine tuned by traditional cider-makers who understand the art of blending well balanced, flavourful ciders.”

By now my stomach is rumbling and I can see that George is anxious to check on how things are going in the bottling line. A queue of other cider producers wishing to check on the progress of their products appears to be forming – investment in a state-ofthe-art bottling line five years ago means they bottle for a large number of other cider producers across the West Country who don’t have the means to do so themselves. George recommends the tea room’s Perry’s Platter which does not disappoint. Three different types of local cheeses, three different types of local meats, fresh salad, pickled onions, chutneys, an enormous basket of fresh breads and half a Perry’s Apple juice (cider is also an option for those that aren’t driving) for less than £10. Looking around its clearly a popular choice, though plenty of others are also tucking into giant slabs of homemade quiche or hearty cream teas. The staff are warm, friendly and helpful and inform me that all the produce is available to purchase in the farm shop where I head next.

We move onto the bottled ciders and I’m drawn to the artistic Grey Heron label. The cider is naturally sweet and slightly sparkling made from a blend of their Redstreak and Dabinett apples. From this we move onto the Single Variety ciders and we’re on a roll now, with each new cider having a different, fresh taste that slips all too easily down the throat. I’m particularly drawn to the Somerset Redstreak which, it turns out, has very recently won a Gold NOSH - Volume 1 ~ Issue 1


The shop is large and well stocked and with my mind already turning to Christmas I spot beautiful gifts for all ages – hand carved walking sticks by Classic Canes, beautiful kitchen produce from Bliss – ceramic bunny shaped butter dishes and bird shaped milk jugs and of course lots of local produce, much of which is also award-winning. I contain my excitement and go for some of the cheeses, meats and chutneys I had at lunch.

PERRY’S CIDER RECENT AWARDS Great Taste Awards 2013 Two Gold Stars: Premium Vintage Two Gold Stars: Single Orchard One Gold Star: Somerset Dabinett One Gold Star: Somerset Redstreak Taste of the West Awards 2013 Gold: Premium Vintage Gold: Somerset Dabinett Silver: Morgan Sweet Bronze: Somerset Redstreak Bath and West Awards 2013 First Place: Premium Vintage First Place: Single Orchard

A SOMERSET CIDER TOUR: Perry’s Cider Mills Dowlish Wake Near Ilminster Somerset TA19 0NY

Returning later on I ask George to tell me a little more about other cider-makers in the region: “We’re surrounded by top-class cider producers in Somerset and the surrounding counties of Dorset and Devon and each one makes their own unique blend. Its worth going around and visiting a few as each place has its own unique personality – some are very much farm gate establishments, people who make a few gallons every year and stick up a sign on the side of the road advertising Scrumpy. Others are more specialised and more geared up for the tourism trade. There’s certainly no shortage of producers around here!” From my own research I know that just up the road is the Somerset Cider Brandy Company, also home to Burrow Hill Cider and the infamous Cider Bus of Glastonbury Festival. A little further away is Sheppy’s Cider who produce cider on a much larger scale and have an excellent museum on site as do Rich’s Farmhouse cider. Real Cider enthusiasts will insist that no cider tour is complete without a visit to Roger Wilkin’s Cider Farm for a taste of some real Somerset farmhouse scrumpy.

Somerset Cider Brandy Ltd & Burrow Hill Cider Passvale Farm Burrow Hill Kingsbury Episcopi Martock TA12 5BY Sheppy’s Cider Three Bridges Bradford-on-Tone Taunton Somerset TA4 1ER Wilkins farmhouse Cider Land’s End Farm Mudgley Wedmore Rich’s Farmhouse Cider Mill Farm Watchfield Highbridge TA9 4RD NOSH - Volume 1 ~ Issue 1


NOSH - Volume 1 ~ Issue 1


Whole Foods

The Whole Foods Connection! As I am sure you know by now our mission here at Nosh is to highlight all we can discover that is the best of food and drink available in Cheltenham and the Cotswolds, in terms of products and establishments that display them all in such a variety of fashions. Also what is really inspiring is that larger and more powerful institutions have come to recognise the individuality of our town and its surrounding land of plenty - including all its artisans of course! One such recent pioneer into this stadium of food and drink paradise is the American based company called Whole Foods. The Whole Foods concept arrived here in Cheltenham 12 months ago and has firmly established itself as a most professional ‘outdoor’ market style trader - indoors. Set in the Gallagher Retail Park trading arena, Whole Foods presents a great shop window for all locally produced fare of the highest quality alongside other exceptional goods from further afield. This complements the Whole Food presence created first in the United States - then London and Glasgow and now here in Cheltenham - only the best will do! To keep in touch with all that is Whole Foods, you need just to take a trip to the store! Here you will find a complete adventure on your door step - a taste of everything to tantalise the most discerning of food and drink explorers - and don’t forget the Pumpkin Pie competition on October 29th for you budding Nosh home cooking experts. Followed by the Whole Foods in-house Pumpkin carving competition for kids {no cheating now} on the 30th. Look in-store for all details

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This November Whole Foods Market marks the first anniversary of its store in Cheltenham where it has settled in on the Gallagher Retail Park. Cheltenham was Whole Foods Market’s first store in England outside of its existing London stores (plus one in Glasgow) and put it firmly on the map at the heart of Gloucestershire and the Cotswolds. With its American heritage and being the world’s largest natural retailer, many may have been surprised to find over 330 locally sourced products from Gloucestershire as well as a staggering 50 products just from Cheltenham itself; but this is one of the many things that has stood Whole Foods Market apart from its competition. In the store our fresh foods, butchery counters and fishmongers are going from strength to strength with their commitment to working with local suppliers and high animal and aquaculture welfare standards. Did you know that we sell the majority of our fresh produce loose and unwrapped to encourage shoppers to feel it for ripeness and quality? And to keep the produce looking its best all day there’s a ‘wet wall’ gently NOSH - Volume 1 ~ Issue 1


spraying a mist over the greens. The fresh produce section is where the store’s fresh juice bar (the ‘Juice Spa’) makes juices and smoothies to order including the ‘Double Green’ and the ‘Cranberry Blitzen’ – packed with nutrients to get your day going with a real ‘zing’!

Health and Beauty Beyond food, drink, coffee, home made bread and fantastic juices, Whole Foods Market is also known for its commitment to stocking the best natural health and beauty body care and supplements. Whole Foods Market seeks out products that reflect the latest innovations in the market and all the products sold meet the strictest standards for products safety. They are also kind to the environment and ensure excellent results. Well known natural brands for men and women including Melvita, Balance Me and Ren sit alongside lesser known products sourced especially for Whole Foods Market under the ‘Exclusives’ brand.

A store with so much more…

Whole Foods Synopsis!

Whole Foods Market is not just a food store; it’s a place to shop, relax and have fun. The Acorn Cook Centre is the store’s own cookery and events venue where classes for children (and others too!) take place. You’ll find classes ranging from baby yoga to imaginative writing for adults. The Acorn is also a brilliant venue for children’s birthday parties and the team offers all natural food and drink plus great entertainment.

“Whole Foods - The Whole Deal” is Just one of the many watchwords that this most dedicated purveyor of the finest of quality foods has brought to Cheltenham - for our pleasure. So much variety and so much of it from local suppliers - it is like a trip down memory lane!

Whole Foods Market is also passionate about supporting the local community and educating children about great food. We’ve been encouraging children to get cooking and this term our ‘Kids in the Kitchen’ programme will reach its goal of teaching 1000 Gloucestershire school children how to cook. The programme, funded by Whole Foods Market Cheltenham, has been touring Gloucestershire schools over the past year in partnership with local charity, The Wiggly Worm. Children all over the county have learnt basic cookery skills, how to eat healthily and have cooked and eaten dishes such as rhubarb and apple crumble and vegetable couscous with harissa dressing.

Come and see for yourself this Autumn what Whole Foods Market Cheltenham has to offer. Tastings, cookery classes, children’s activities as well as the weekly shop are all available under one roof seven days a week.

Everything that is fortunate enough to be chosen to deck the stalls in this food and drink lovers paradise is meticulously researched and sourced from only those producers who reach the highest standards of Whole Foods expectations. Large enough to provide everything we need in terms of top quality products across a wide and intriguing spectrum - but small enough to care! Wastage is not something either that abounds here, in fact all produce that approaches the strictest of freshness ‘best before’ dates is offered to charitable institutions well inside the quality criteria set another unique Whole Foods standpoint that is of great benefit to the community.

So let us introduce you to just a few of some of the specialist producers that help provide Whole Foods in their ‘quest for the best’ - The Whole Foods Food and Drink Heroes! NOSH - Volume 1 ~ Issue 1


Adeys Farm Organic Meats

By Alan Hunter A Vision:

Two years of careful planning and attention to the importance of the finest detail of excellence in every aspect, formed the objective to transform a large Gloucestershire farm in order to fulfil their aspirations to become one of the region’s foremost organic producers. Today is proof of mission accomplished as Tim and Caroline Wilson have a well established reputation for providing consistently high standards of produce from their 600 acre farm near Berkeley in Gloucestershire. “We’re both passionate about organic farming,” explains Caroline. “But we wanted to go the extra mile to create an organic livestock farm that positively supported the local ecosystem at every level”. We rear traditional breeds such as Gloucester Old Spot pigs, Aberdeen Angus beef and Suffolk/ Hampshire lamb. We have been farming organically 30 years with19 of those at Adeys Farm. Our animals remain in family groups and reach a natural maturity to provide superior flavoured meat which is then well-hung to enhance its flavour and succulence. NOSH - Volume 1 ~ Issue 1


A Dream Come True:

It is a wonderful time of year to buy Adeys Farm Organic Gloucester Old Spot pork and dry-cured bacon/ham as our pigs get extra rations of apples and apple pulp left from cider making from the 3 organic apple orchards on our farm. Gloucester Old Spots have long been the traditional apple orchard pig in the Severn Vale and our pigs absolutely love it, guarding jealously over the best trees - and of course they enhance the flavour of our awardwinning pork too! Also our hay meadows boast over 40 varieties of plants and grasses to give our all our meat a wonderful sweetness. As well as continuing to attend farmers’ markets across the county, Tim and Caroline are now also making preparations for a number of summer fairs across the region with their organic burgers and sausages. These popular local events are very fitting for a company that is a champion when it comes to flying the flag for organic excellence - “We supply the farmers markets in Cheltenham and Stroud but a major and most important outlet for us is the Whole Food Market at Gallagher Retail Park in Cheltenham. To find out more, contact Tim and Caroline at Adeys Farm on 01453 511218 or 873400

MWF catering moonlighting A6 postcard


When planning any event, you need a caterer


who understands your specific needs.






As a discerning corporate or private client you expect the best. Mudwalls have the


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procure and provide the food


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eautiful food Beautifully prepared

your event exceptional. Office: 01789 491078 • Mobile: 07831 293956

In association with

Mudwalls Farm Produce

An introduction by Alan Hunter: I met George Beach and his energetic team at a Whole Foods Market outdoor extravaganza one overcast September Saturday.

Whole Foods Market up to date with what is in season and focusing on the best produce and the most suitable varieties as well as introducing the best local growers and farmers to the store.

Disappointing the weather may have been but George and his catering demonstration certainly brought the afternoon to life!

It is so important for Whole Foods Market’s customers to know where their produce comes from and to be assured that it is not only fresh but has been grown to the highest standard always.

The event catering service George offers consists not only of top quality cuisine - using of course all the best in local produce including Mudwalls finest - but in association with ‘Moonlighting Party Pieces’, the ‘show’ is completed with a fully stocked cocktail bar and disco. Professional service - and with a smile - rounds off the ‘party parcel’ and provides the perfect recipe for any celebration style! So here is George to introduce you to Mudwalls: Welcome to Mudwalls Farm Produce where we make sure that all of the produce we handle is fully assured in terms of its freshness, quality, provenance and claimed accreditations. Working with Wholefoods Market we bring our years of experience and knowledge to assist them in giving their customers exactly what they want. George Beach, Mudwalls Farm MD, has been working in the procurement of fresh produce for over 25 years and spends a lot of time keeping

Mudwalls Farm grow and procure for and distribute to, a wide range of customers throughout the UK;. Multiple Retailers, Wholesalers, Restaurants and Caterers. Our team focuses on providing local and seasonal produce as well as procuring from around the world to give all of our customers consistent reliable and credible products. Mudwalls Farm is accredited by NSF Cmi Assured produce & the Soil Association. The Farm is 250 acres comprising of top fruit stone fruit, vegetables & arable.

Tel: 01789 491078 Mobile: 07831 293956 Email: Mudwalls Farm, Dunnington Alcester Warwickshire B49 5PA NOSH - Volume 1 ~ Issue 1


Severn Cider

Now proudly selected by Cheltenham Whole Foods Market!

Each Friday and most Saturdays you can join us to see this timeless tradition of cider making.

Produced by a Gloucestershire family in Awre, Severn Ciders and Perry are pressed from carefully selected heritage fruits, with no water, chemicals or added colouring - so is also suitable for vegetarians!

The skill is in the selection of the best varieties of fruit, which Severn Cider has passed down the generations, coupled with the skill of the cider maker in producing a ‘clean’ cider, removing by hand anything that could spoil the final

“We are passionate about making a quality craft cider and perry to provide a great experience when enjoying a drink just to relax, with a meal, as an aperitif or socialising with friends. We also believe in sustainability and are conscious of our carbon footprint. All our fruit is sourced locally and the waste pulp stays in the village and is recycled. Our bottled ciders and perry have all won top awards at major competitions and a well respected ‘perry’ judge described our perry as “one of the best he’s ever tasted.” We invite you to visit to see how Severn Cider and Perry are made! The harvest and cider making season is just beginning and we will be making perry first and then cider from the end of September through to the end of November or even up until Christmas. NOSH - Volume 1 ~ Issue 1


In Gloucestershire at this time of year you can see orchards of beautiful ripe cider fruit, except this year the pears are in very limited supply due to last year’s weather conditions and this year’s cold spring - so traditional perry will be hard to find next year. However this year there is a very good crop of apples, so there will be plenty of good cider and for real cider lovers we have a wide range of draught ciders also available at Severn Cider . Please contact us on 01594 510282

or for your nearest stockist. The Old Vicarage Awre Gloucestershire GL14 1EL

Nurses Cottage Drinks

There can be no better example of how passion can be turned into reality than the story of Nurses Cottage Drinks! Nurses Cottage Drinks has been an incredible success story for Lucy and Andrew Rollett. From an initial idea to make simple delicious fruit based cordials and Pressés, the awards for their creations have surpassed their wildest dreams - and here is a list here of just some of the accolades showered upon them: • The Great British Food Revival 2011 - “We were very lucky to be featured alongside Raymond Blanc during his visit to the Vale of Evesham whilst filming for the GBFR during August 2011” • Gold Taste Award 2009 – Elderflower Pressé (1 star) • HEFF Diamond Award 2009 – Mulled Plum Potion • The Guide Of Fine Foods Great Taste GOLD One Star award 2012 – Elderflower Pressé Elderflower and Gooseberry Pressé. • Cotswold Life Food & Drink Awards 2012 – Elderflower Cordial

From Small Beginnings! Nurses



Little Comberton in Worcestershire (historically where a nurse used to live and have her practice) Lucy and Andrew began this pioneering process to create timeless classic cordials, with their ‘modern original Plum Potion’ enhancing the range of these most exotic but traditional concoctions!

Now these natures delights are sold locally everywhere - in farm shops, restaurants, delis’ and at Pershore Farmers Market - and of course at our very own Whole Foods Market in Cheltenham! Another unique approach to promote these delicious creations, Lucy and Andrew also sell their drinks at music festivals, displayed and served from in a 1950’s vintage converted ice-cream trailer!

Flavours of the Country Side! Nurses Cottage style determines that all drinks are made with great taste in mind and great ingredients as the priority, representing the very best that the fields, hedgerows and orchards have to offer - an invitation you can’t resist! NOSH - Volume 1 ~ Issue 1


NOSH - Volume 1 ~ Issue 1


Dine In

They say nowadays that the new Dining Out is Dining In but we at Nosh reckon that both these areas of essential everyday entertainment are of eqivalent importance, so that is why they have equal representation here in your new Nosh Magazine. You will see from our cover quote of George Bernard Shaw -”There is no sincerer love than the love of food” and we of course agree - this is just one of our Nosh mantras! We have included lots of different aspects of food and drink for your pleasure - from artisan market traders, locally and from further afield, to professional chef’s recipes; Whole Foods Food and Drink Heroes with all their diverse and original style personally crafted produce; to soft drink specialists; expert wine merchants - out of town but not out of reach; sizzling cider and perry makers plus our own advice and guidance on all things food and drink. As we have already established without contradiction, Cheltenham and its surrounding countryside of the rolling Cotswold Hills has an abundance of delights of the finest quality, so join us here and discover just some of the individuals and their fare that light up what this great area stands for and has to offer us all. This first publication of Nosh is just the start of our journey so please follow us future issues where we will discover and introduce you more of this inimitable region’s sometimes hidden secrets! Happy Eating and Drinking and remember when enjoying alcohol - always drink responsibly!

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The Cassoulet A CLASSIC LANGUEDOC DISH By L’Artisan Chef and Owner -Yves Ogrodzki Cassoulet is a traditional French ‘rustic style’ dish with a history firmly embedded in the Languedoc region of southern France, an area influenced over time by so many diverse cultures that the food and wine is as varied as the country itself.

INGREDIENTS: • 1 raw French garlic sausage • 300g of Toulouse sausage • 200g lean belly pork • 250g fresh pork rind • 800g duck confit with fat • 800g of dry beans • coarse salt • pepper • 4 onions, peeled • 1 carrot, peeled • 8 cloves garlic, peeled • 1 bouquet garni [parsley stalks/bay leaf and a sprig of thyme, tied together with kitchen string] • 1 bunch of parsley - washed [use the stalks in the bouquet garni] • 3 large tomatoes - blanched in boiling water for only 10 seconds - remove and plunge into cold water - when cold they can be peeled easily! • 100 g of bread crumbs • 2 cloves

METHOD: • Preheat the oven 4/120 °. • Crush 4 cloves of garlic • Place beans in a large pot, cover with cold water, bring to a boil over high heat, drain and rinse with cold water before putting them back in the empty pot with the carrots, onions studded with cloves, 6 cloves of garlic, pork rind and bouquet garni. Cover with cold water and bring to boil. Lightly salt and simmer for 1 hour. • Then add the sausage and pork sausages - continue cooking 30 minutes - remove the pan from heat and reserve. NOSH - Volume 1 ~ Issue 1


• Blanch the belly pork in a pan of cold water placed on high heat. When boiling, drain and set aside. • Peel the tomatoes and remove the seeds, crush them and keep aside. Mince or really finely chop the remaining 2 onions. Cut the pork into cubes. • In a skillet placed over high heat, add 3 tablespoons of fat for confit and brown the pieces of duck. Collect and reserve. Keep the remaining fat confit and set aside. • Sweat the onions in the pan for 3 minutes then add the tomatoes and 4 crushed cloves of garlic. Pour 10cl juices from the beans and cook over low heat about 15 minutes. • Drain the beans and keep the liquor, remove the bouquet garni, onions and rind. Cook it with the cooking juices. Add beans with tomatoes and mix. Cut the sausage into 1 cm. • Line the bottom of a casserole baking dish with pork rind. Remove the meat, sausages and beans by alternating layers. Finish with a layer of beans and sprinkle with 3 tablespoons fat confit. The stew should be slightly covered with liquid, if necessary, add the juice from the beans or some chicken stock. • Bake the casserole for 3.30 hours by adding some of the cooking juice if necessary. • Chop the parsley and mix with the bread crumbs. • At about 3/4 of the cooking cover with the bread crumbs. Return to oven and brown the surface. Serve immediately “There are many variations of Cassoulet, all attached to a particular terroir [region or area in France] I personally add garlic and parsley in the bread crumbs. Try my recipe with a good full bodied red wine from southern France of course, and I think Alan’s recommendation of Marcillac makes an excellent partner”.

Duck a l’Orange By Alan Hunter The best type of duck to buy if you can is a Gressingham; this is a cross between a Peking and Wild Mallard and has around 20% more meat ratio, so everybody gets some!

INGREDIENTS FOR 4: 1 duck of your choice 6 torpedo shallots Sprig of thyme Small bunch parsley Freshly milled sea salt 1 juicy sweet orange cut into quarters Gently prick the skin of the duck with a fork and liberally season with the salt. Place the duck on top of the shallots and oranges in a roasting tin with the lid on, into a pre-heated oven – 150 degrees – for 1 hour - remove and strain off juices. Replace in the oven with the lid off and increase temperature to 180/200 degrees for 30 minutes [this will crisp the skin] or until cooked to your liking. Remove fat from meat residue – the fat to be used for roasting the potatoes and the residue to be added to the sauce! A trick of the trade is to put the strained off juices/fat into a suitable container and place in the freezer. The fat will freeze on top of the residue and can then be easily removed!


1 bay leaf Sprig of thyme 1 juicy orange as above - quartered 1 clove garlic finely chopped I red onion, finely chopped Cup of red wine ½ cup of concentrated orange juice


Most Duck will come with the giblets conveniently

sealed in a bag concealed inside the Duck carcass. These should consist of the liver, heart and neck. Remove from the bag and place the neck in a saucepan of 1 ½ pints of water with the chopped onion, garlic, bay leaf, thyme and 1 Knorr chicken stock cube [crumbled] and orange pieces. Bring to boil and simmer, when reduced by half add the red wine and reduce further by 1/3rd, then strain into a clean saucepan and add the orange juice. Simmer for 15 minutes until the sauce has thickened, just enough to coat the back of a spoon! This should then be light but concentrated with the oranges and red wine flavours. Serve with mushy peas, potatoes roasted in the duck fat, sweet potato and celeriac mash, and buttered baby turnips - such a banquet! Also try this little extra: Gently pan fry the liver and heart in butter and olive oil with a clove of crushed garlic, finely chopped red onion, dried rosemary and thyme - with a little of the red wine and concentrated orange juice, all seasoned with freshly milled black pepper - the consistency must be thick. ‘Zap’ with a kitchen blender to a coarse paste and place equally into 4 small wine glasses. Melt enough unsalted butter just to cover each and when cooled, place in the fridge to set. Serve on a side plate dressed with fresh rocket and drizzled with splashes of concentrated Balsamic. Accompany with hot toasted Ciabatta – this is your very own home-made duck ‘foie gras’ terrine. Try with a chilled dry sherry such as a ‘fino,’ or my favourite choice – Manzanilla on cracked ice. The simplicity of this fine and driest of all the sherries, from Spain’s Sanlúcar de Barrameda region, complements the richness of the pâté so well – a great and simple first course! NOSH - Volume 1 ~ Issue 1



remove from the blender and place into a container.

For the cod: • Centre cut cod fillet from a 2kg plus sized fish

To prepare the saffron potatoes: 1. Peel the potatoes. Using a knife, trim into a barrel shape.

For the tomato dressing: • 4 baby plum cherry tomatoes • 200ml light olive oil • 1 clove garlic (sliced)

2. Place into a pan of cold water with the garlic and a pinch of saffron and salt. Cook until soft, then chill over cold water.

For the saffron potatoes • 8 large new potatoes • 1 clove garlic (sliced) • Saffron

To prepare the cherry tomatoes: • Slice the tomatoes in half and season. Drizzle with a little olive oil and place into a warm, low oven and leave for about six hours until soft.

For the cherry tomatoes • 10 baby plum cherry tomatoes • light olive oil • salt and pepper

After preparation, cook the cod:

Baby vegetables: • 4 spears asparagus (peeled and blanched) • 6 baby fennel (cooked and pulled apart) • 8 baby carrots (peeled and cooked) • 4 baby beetroot (peeled and cooked) • 200g baby spinach • 10g butter (for vegetables) • soft butter (to brush plate) • beetroot powder


1. Remove the cod from the clingfilm and with a hot non-stick pan, add a little oil and place the cod skin side down into the pan. 2. When you have some colour on the skin, turn the gas/electric down to low and leave for five minutes. Turn the fish and cook on the other side for a further four to five minutes, until cooked. 3. With a pastry brush, lightly brush the softened butter over the plate and dust with the beetroot powder. Shake off any excess powder.

To prepare the cod: 1. Trim the cod fillet into a neat, long even piece.

To assemble and serve: 1. In a warm pan, wilt the spinach and season. Dry in a cloth so no excess juices leak onto the plate.

2. Lightly salt the fish, roll tightly in clingfilm and place in the fridge for six hours. Remove from the fridge, wash the salt off and re-roll in clingfilm. Cut into four equal pieces.

2. Warm the potatoes and vegetables in a pan make sure the beetroot is warmed up in a different pan so that it does not bleed onto the vegetables. Season and add a little butter.

To prepare the tomato dressing: 1. Warm the oil with the garlic in a pan

3. Place a small amount of spinach in the middle of the plate then arrange the cod on top.

2. Place the tomatoes into a blender and blend until they are broken down. Slowly pour the garlic infused oil into the tomatoes as the blender is still going - this will emulsify. When thick and smooth,

4. Dress the plate with the baby plum cherry tomatoes, vegetables and potatoes as pictured. Drizzle some of the tomato dressing around the plate.

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By Alan Hunter I have said this many times and it never changes one of the most enjoyable and inspiring aspects of researching new areas of food and drink is not only the detection of something a little different, but the road it takes you down thereafter! One such journey began recently at our very own Cheltenham Food and Drink Festival. Amongst all the wonderful experiences tasting and discussing so many different products - and in such a vibrant and pleasurable atmosphere - my taste buds were alerted to a very distinctive attack of chilli! I was sampling David’s Chilli Oil, for the first time, and although I reckon I can knock up a mean chilli oil myself, this had the edge to most I had tried before - mine or anyone else’s - and it was local! So I was determined to meet with David after the event and further investigate how his style of Chilli oil was so unusual , this led to an incredible journey of local food discovery! David of course, as all the inventors of something really special do, kept the secrets of his individual recipe firmly out of the conversation, but did tell me where two of the ingredients essential to the heart of his chilli oil came from. First was the oil itself - Charlie and Lawrence’s award winning Cotswold Gold Rape Seed Oil. Cold pressed and natural, local and delicious, it forms the vehicle for the rest of the cast. Next came the source of the chillies - The Cotswold Chilli and Herb farm - Farmcote - of which I had never heard. So a visit was planned! We travelled down roads that became lanes that narrowed into tracks as we ventured further into the hills above Winchcombe. When we finally

arrived we were greeted with the most amazing array of herbs and chillies of every type - with some very unusual varieties that had previously escaped my knowledge! We drank tea on the terrace that encompasses a wide arc panorama of the valley below and displays a horizon not only the Malvern Hills, but on a good day - and this was a glorious one -to the west the Black Mountains. This is where the adventure began to unfold with not only the intriguing stories of family history and the passion for a hobby that became a cottage industry, to the revelation of Farmcote chilli festivals, local butchers in Winchcombe making chilli sausages and burgers, deliciously subtle chilli ice cream and chilli pickle products - all on sale to those who can find the place - not easy but definitely worthwhile! One of the other products on sale at Farmcote that stood out also for me, was a lime and chilli pickle with such an impressive explosion of Asian style herbs and spice flavours - also made not far away in the hills of Whitchurch overlooking Ross on Wye, so I had to meet the maker! Later the next week I tracked down Saleem, the creator of this delight, at the Farmers Market in Cheltenham and was astounded at the array of home-made products that formed his display. Not only are there many relishes so unique in style, you can also savour hot samosas and other spicy delights ably crafted by Saleem’s wife. So where would we be without all these individual artisans of such diverse and unique approaches to food and drink and our gratitude also must extend to the people who organise the opportunity of bringing them together, in arenas such as Cheltenham Food and Drink Festival and the Farmers Market - every two weeks on a Friday! NOSH - Volume 1 ~ Issue 1



By Alan Hunter It was the Spanish conquest of the West Indies and Southern and Central Americas that brought these fiery little monsters to the world food table. Before this they were cultivated quietly for thousands of years and formed a major part of local dishes across these continents particularly Mexican cuisine, known as one of the oldest cuisine in the world. All shapes and sizes in different hues of reds, yellows and greens some coffee brown moving to dark chocolate and then to rich black - chillies are now dominate the new and old world cooking styles in their diversity. So versatile they can blend with almost any other produce or ingredients to form the most appealing combination of flavours even ice cream! It is said that Chillies when eaten in any form, release endorphins from our brains that flush our emotions with feelings ranging from mild contentment to extreme happiness even excitement!

NOSH - Volume 1 ~ Issue 1


I have to say I fully agree with that observation as not only does eating a really well created and finely cooked spiced meal provide immense pleasure, but just the anticipation of booking a table at your favourite Indian restaurant is enough to raise the spirits. Also listening intently for the door bell to ring as you eagerly await your specially chosen take-away delight to arrive provides excited anticipation beyond belief - table laid with plates empty and waiting, or trays for laps in front of the telly - pleasure beyond belief. But beware - the humble looking chilli in the wrong hands can be a dangerous sport! There are probably over 400 different types of chilli and are one of the most cultivated crops around the globe - from Thailand and Indonesia to India, Mexico, the Caribbean, the Far East, Japan and the Americas and of course - The Cotswolds!

Chilli Heat: In 1912 Wilbur Lincoln Scoville [1845-1942] an American Pharmacist, developed a method for measuring the strength of capsicum in a given pepper, which originally meant tasting a diluted version of a pepper and giving it a value - known as ‘The Scoville Organoleptic Test’. Nowadays it can be done more accurately with the help of computers to rate the peppers in, but still in Scoville units, which indicate parts per million of capsaicin. The fiery sensation of chillies is caused by capsaicin, a potent chemical that survives both cooking and freezing, but apart from the burning sensation it also triggers the brain to produce endorphins, natural painkillers that promote a sense of well being. The Scoville scale begins at zero with the mild bell peppers. Until the year 2000 the Guinness Book of World Records had the world’s hottest chilli pepper as the Red Savina Habanero. Generally these peppers range from 350,000– 570,000 Scoville Units, as compared with a score of 2,500–5,000 for the Jalapeno pepper. The record breaking pepper was produced by GNS Spices Inc in 1994 in Walnut, US and measured at 577,000 Scoville units.

New Chillies on the Block! Recently however several super-hot peppers have challenged for the record. Experts at the Defence Research Laboratory in the army garrison town of Tezpur in the NorthEastern state of Assam, claimed a locally grown Naga Jolokia was nearly 50 per cent more pungent than the Red Savina Habanero at a blistering 855,000 Scoville units. Seeds of the same NagaBih Jolokia pepper [sometimes also called the Bhut Jolokia] cultivated at New Mexico State University, have stood-up to testing and in February 2007 a specimen registering a staggering 1,001,304 Scoville heat units was officially acclaimed by the Guinness World Record as the new worlds hottest pepper.

Simply Red Hot! Naga Jolokia is nearly twice as hot as the previous holder, the Red Savina. This has now been overtaken with various crosses of the Trinidad Scorpion and the Naga, giving the Infinity, Naga Viper and the Trinidad Scorpion”Butch T”.

NOSH - Volume 1 ~ Issue 1


Mutina A taste of Tuscany in Cheltenham

By Alan Hunter If you want an experience of all that Italy has to offer in terms of the finest regional cuisine with a smattering of original and authentic Italian wines to match, much closer to home, then you have to look no further than your very own Mutina supermarket and delicatessen here in Cheltenham. Quietly situated just out of the town centre on the London Road, Mutina is an Italian paradise of everything your heart could desire. If you have travelled Italy or visited just once, then all of your memories will flood back as you enter Mutina - the aromas atmosphere and are simply enticing.

A Family Business:

The family of Jessica, Steve, Lorena and Daniele have roots in the region of Emilia Romagna, in fact the name Mutina is taken from a town north-west of Bologna - the real home of Bolognaise and NOSH - Volume 1 ~ Issue 1


the cuisine style taken of course from this city of its origin - and no, there is no such dish as ‘Spaghetti Bolognaise’. This is just an English invention - an adaption of the classic dish Ragu alla Bolognese, of which Jessica and her partners have won top awards with their own Grandmother’s recipe, one of which was at the ‘BBC One Show Cook Off’, along with other major accolades for their own recipe Lasagne awarded by The Guild of Fine Foods- and you can try them both in store at Mutina.

Tuscany re-visited:

As we have been talking about Tuscany in this first issue of your Nosh Magazine, whist you are there savouring all that is Mutina, why not take home some real Tuscan delights such as delicious Salame Toscana - a full flavoured course salami; Salame di Cinghiale - a rich wild boar salami; Tuscan sausages with a hint of fennel

Salsiccia Toscana; the Tuscan soft cheese Caciotta Toscana and the wonderful Pecorino di Grotta - wrapped in straw and matured deep in Tuscan caves! To complete this experience of true Tuscan fare, your visit to Mutina would not be complete without Toscana virgin olive oil poured fresh from the vat, balsamic from Modena and freshly baked ciabatta to soak up this inimitable duet of gastronomic pleasure, all washed down of course with generous slurps of Tuscan wine - here my recommendation from Mutina would be ‘Tenuta Sassoregale Maremma Toscana Sangiovese 2010’ - a bit of a mouthful - just like the wine itself! Deep scarlet red in clolour with orange highlights, it displayed all the Sangiovese character that you could wish for - tart ‘just picked’ cherry, red plum, strawberry with a hint of ripened fig and although this wine had not yet reached its best just yet, it formed a great partnership to our Mutina ‘anti pasti’ banquet. From Acciuga and Aceto Balsamico to Zabaglione and Zafferano - Mutina is a complete culinary alphabet of everything Italian at its finest and it is not difficult to see why the Mutina team describe their passion as “a 360 degree journey of home-made simple Italian fare and at very competitive prices.

“Benvenuto sul nostro Osteria” We can now enjoy all the delights of Mutina by booking tables for a ‘private dining experience’. Just give them a call or pop in and have a chat to discuss you r Italian favourites and they will create an evening for you - from

authentic pizzas to original pasta and much much more.

Coming Soon!

If you wish to further your adventures in Italy, whether for the first time, a return to where you have been before or the wish for a new journey of discovery, then with the help and guidance of Mutina, soon you will be able to choose your location with confidence. The Mutina team will help you plan your vacation with their specialist knowledge of the best and most authentic places to stay; a relaxing spa holiday perhaps; or if you want develop new cookery skills of regional Italian cuisine or maybe learn how to create the local types of pasta; not forgetting of course trips to surrounding vineyards. This is a new and exciting initiative planned by Mutina and Italians call it ‘Tour Enogastronomico’. So keep in touch with us at Nosh and you can follow the progress of this next Mutina episode - A True Taste of Italy! Mutina Address: 76 London Road Cheltenham GL52 6EQ Tel: 01242 255816 Email: Web: www.taliansuper market.

NOSH - Volume 1 ~ Issue 1


Traditional Ragú alla Bolognese

By Jessica Iubini-Hampton at Mutina The earliest documented recipe for a meat-based sauce or ragú served with pasta was created by Pellegrino Artusi, a writer, banker and all round businessman in 1891in Imola near Bologna, where he spent some considerable time. He characterised the sauce as Bolognese - ‘of Bologna’! published in 1891 and it was always served with a broader style pasta known as ‘horse’s teeth’ - now of course the traditional pasta is tagliatelle! The sauce initially used fillets of veal with also pancetta, butter, onion, and carrot. The meats and vegetables were to be finely minced, cooked with butter until the meats browned, then covered and cooked with broth. Artusi stated that the taste could be made” even more pleasant by adding small pieces of dried mushroom, a few slices of truffle or chicken liver cooked with the meat and diced. As a final touch, he also suggested adding half a glass of cream to the sauce when it was completely cooked to provide a smoother finish and then served with flakes of the finest Parmigiano Cheese. Jessica from Mutina in Cheltenham has a completely authentic and traditional family recipe for handed down from her grandmother and not only has she has very kindly shared it with us here at Nosh, Jessica wants you at home to create your own. • We will have a cook off sometime soon - so keep a look out for all the details in our Christmas issue!

For 6 people you will need: 250gr pork mince 250gr beef mince 100gr pancetta Arrotolatan (available to buy in our store) 1 carrot 1 small onion 1 celery stick 3 tbs EVOO 50gr butter 1 glass of red wine 1 glass of whole milk 250ml broth 30gr tomato purée Salt and pepper to season Chop up very finely the celery, onion and carrot; add the oil and butter in a big and tall pan and once the butter has melted add the mix of veg. Chop the pancetta very finely (or ask at the Deli where you buy this) and add in the pan together with the pork and beef mince. Let the meat brown and then add the wine. Once the wine will have evaporated add salt and pepper to taste. Little by little add the broth as needed; dilute the tomato puré in some broth and add to the pan. Mix well and leave to cook for 30 minutes on medium heat. Keep adding broth and once that’s finished you can add the glass of milk and let cook for a further 5 minutes. The longer you leave your ragú to cook, the better it will taste. We cook it for 3 hours but it’s up to personal taste and choice. NOSH - Volume 1 ~ Issue 1


Pasta Fresca By Alan Hunter People are often put off by the time consuming aspect of making their own fresh pasta. Rather than thinking of it as a chore, slow down and consider that the process is really very relaxing. Put some music on in your kitchen and take your time, it can be a fun and rewarding experience.

Which flour for which pasta?

Prep time 1 Hour/ Total time: 2 Hours/ Serves 4

• Strong flour - a good strong white bread flour is the most commonly used flour for pasta making. The pasta can be made with or without eggs because there is enough strength in the gluten in a good flour to hold the pasta together. The eggs are not essential and merely make a richer pasta.


100 g (3/4 of a cup) of flour per person. The best flour to use is durum wheat flour, but plain flour works fine. 1 egg per 100g of flour - for 4 people use 3 cups of flour and 4 eggs!


Make a mound with the flour and form a large well in it. Break the eggs into the well with a pinch of salt. Fork the eggs and the flour together, adding the flour from around the eggs until you have a smooth dough add a drop of water if necessary. Add a small amount of flour if the mixture is too sticky then use your hands. Knead the dough for 10 to 15 minutes, until it is smooth, firm, and elastic. Rest for 15 to 30 minutes. Divide the dough into 2 balls, use a rolling pin to roll each into a strip. Pass this dough through the rollers of the manual pasta machine to the proper thinness (usually the last but one setting). IMPORTANT - allow the dough to rest for a minute or two between each roller action. Once you have the desired thickness, allow the dough to rest once more (dust with a little flour if needed) For 15- 30 minutes before using the machine cutters. Allow to dry on dish towels for 1-2 hours making sure the strands are well separated. Cook for 3-5 minutes in plenty of boiling salted water. Keep tasting until al dente! Your Pasta is ready! NOSH - Volume 1 ~ Issue 1


• Selecting a flour from which to make pasta is not easy without some understanding of the different flours. In general terms there are 5 choices when selecting a pasta making flour:

OO flour - This is the one that the purists use and is also the one recommended by Antonio Carluccio. OO signifies a very fine soft white flour - low in gluten. • O flour - Halfway between a strong flour and OO flour. It is usually a blend of a very strong flour such as durum and a softer white wheat flour. Because of the strong flour it will contain more gluten than OO flour and will generally make pasta without the addition of eggs. • Durum flour - Comes from durum wheat which is a very hard high gluten variety. It is used commercially for blending with other flours as in O flour above and for the manufacture of dried pasta. Many varieties of dried pasta list their ingredients as durum flour or durum wheat semolina (in pasta terms it’s the same thing) and that is all. It is generally not used in a domestic situation and the late Elizabeth David, one of the finest cookery writers this country has produced. • Semolina - comes from the heart or endosperm of the wheat grain. Durum wheat semolina is used for dried pasta because it is very high in gluten and as semolina is ground fairly coarsely, it absorbs less water. It therefore dries faster, keeps it’s shape and will cook without falling apart - and it needs no eggs!

Hazelnut Macaroons

By Ben Glassonbury of The Queen’s Hotel Our Pastry chef Ben Glassonbury has developed a little twist on the French classic Macaroon by replacing almonds with macaroons and using a chocolate praline to line the centre. It has created a unique selling point which the front of house staff embrace when describing the menu to the guests! Ben has slightly amended this recipe to suite most domestic kitchens, he has replaced the chocolate praline with Nutella, a product in the back of a cupboard in most homes, but a perfect substitute for preparation ease. Recipe To Make 40 halves / 20 macaroons Preheat Oven to 150C – fan assisted oven


• 4x Egg Whites • 70g Caster Sugar • 120g Ground Hazelnuts • 230g Icing Sugar • ½ Cup Pistachios • 1x Jar of Nutella (500g)


Baking Trays/ Parchment Paper/ Piping Bags/ Whisk/Mixing Bowls/Sieve/Spatula/Palate Knife

METHOD: • Whisk the egg whites with a clean and dry whisk and bowl. Essential to be dry to ensure light and airy mix. When the whites have peaked add caster sugar and continue whisking until smooth

glistening peaks appear. • Fold in gently the sieved icing sugar and ground Hazelnuts • Fill piping bag with the mix & pipe to your desired size and shape onto a baking tray, remember to line the tray with parchment or a silicone mat. We stick to the traditional size (50p piece) with a thickness of around 5mm. But its entirely up to you, I have seen on my travels to Paris, enormous plates sized sharing Macaroons with a wide array of colours. • If you would like coloured macaroons this is the point to add it also • Once piped, sprinkle pistachios over each disc to add further colour and texture • Place in the pre heated oven for 14 mins (get your egg timer out!!) • Remove from oven and leave to cool at room temperature. Once cooled, remove using a palate knife and turn them upside down, ready for piping. Be careful they can be brittle. • Pipe your Nutella/Chocolate Praline onto the centre of one piece and carefully sandwich together with another. And there you have it, perfect Macaroons! Notes of Interest - Keep utensils dry, the mix does not like moisture and water will effect the outcome Use parchment or silicone, not grease-proof paper! NOSH - Volume 1 ~ Issue 1


Pumpkin Pie By Sandra Johnson Halloween is a holiday celebrated on the night of October 31st the word Halloween is a shortening of All Hallows Evening also known as Hallowe’en or Hallows Eve. Halloween’s origins date back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in). The Celts, who 2,000 years ago lived in the area that is now Ireland, the United Kingdom and northern France, celebrated their new year on November 1st. This marked the end of the “season of the sun”(Summer) and the beginning of “the season of darkness and cold”(Winter) Celts believed that on Oct 31st the night before the New Year, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred and that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth. The festival would frequently involve bonfires and it is believed that these fires attracted insects to the area which in turn attracted bats, which are now attributed to the history of Halloween. However by the 800’s the influence of Christianity had spread into the Celtic lands and the seventh century, Pope Boniface IV designated November 1st All Saints’ Day, a time to honour saints and martyrs. It is widely believed today that the pope was attempting to replace the Celtic festival of the dead with a related, but Church sanctioned holiday. The celebration was also called All-hallows or AllHallowmas (from Middle English Alholowmesse meaning All Saints’ Day) and the night before it, the night of Samhain, began to be called Allhallows Eve and, eventually, Halloween. From the 19th Century to the present day the 31st October has increasingly acquired a reputation as a night on which ghosts, witches and fairies are especially active.


2 cups of pumpkin pulp purée (see method below) 1 1/2 cup heavy cream or 1 12 oz. can of evaporated milk 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar 1/3 cup white sugar 1/2 teaspoon salt 2 eggs plus the yolk of a third egg 2 teaspoons of cinnamon NOSH - Volume 1 ~ Issue 1


1 teaspoon ground ginger 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom 1/2 teaspoon of lemon zest 9 inch flan dish with sweet short crust pastry case (baked)

Pumpkin Puree (For the filling) Cut pumpkin in half and remove seeds. Place cut side down on a baking tray lined with lightly oiled aluminium foil. Bake at 160 C / Gas mark 3 for 30 to 40 minutes or until the flesh is tender when poked with a fork. Cool until just warm. Scrape the pumpkin flesh from the peel. Mash or puree in small batches in a blender. Alternatively you can press the pumpkin through a sieve to remove any stray seeds or stringy bits. Remove the excess water, and if very watery remove the excess through a muslin cloth ( or similar) You can steam the pumpkin instead, simply chop and steam until tender and again press through a course sieve or use a hand blender.


1. Preheat oven to 200/220c fan./ Gas mark 7 2. Mix the sugars, salt and spices together with the lemon zest in a large bowl. In a separate bowl beat the eggs and then add them to the mixture. Stir in the pumpkin puree. Stir in the cream and then whisk together until well mixed. 3. Pour into the pastry case and bake at 200/220c fan/ gas mark 7 for 15 minutes and then reduce the temperature to 180/160c fan/ gas mark 4. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until the blade of a knife inserted into the centre comes out clean. 4. Leave to cool on a wire rack, the pumpkin pie may puff up whilst cooking but as it cools it will deflate. 5. Serve with ice-cream, crème fraiche or thick whipped cream. Serves 8

Rogan Josh By Alan Hunter For the most tantalisingly exotic Indian and Bangladeshi style take-away food, there can be nowhere finer than Rogan Josh of Cheltenham! Josh Kriri is so proud of his expertise and reputation that he cleverly combined his name with a signature dish so we could recognise the individuality of his own particular style.

Style and Passion:

Rogan Josh is an aromatic lamb dish that originated in Persia and became one of the signature dishes or Kashmiri cuisine. Whilst Rogan is Persian for the colour red and also a term to describe pure clarified butter[ essential ingredient and colour of the dish] Josh means hot or passionate, so what better recipe to build the foundation of such a remarkable journey of success! Josh started out in the family restaurant business at the age of 15 learning all the basic skills required to become efficient in every department of his trade and at the age of 18 he decided to travel.


Josh spent 8 years working around different locations in the UK absorbing as much from others in all aspects of the industry and after much deliberation, decided that there was a niche market for really high quality authentic Indian cuisine for home dining. So after bringing his new and much valued experience back to the family restaurant, Josh decided to embark on a voyage around Gloucestershire to find a suitable premises of his own - this he discovered in the small country town of Newent. Although a run down and almost derelict building, Josh recognised potential and the rest as they say is history. Well established now at both locations not only can we enjoy the finest cuisine either collected or delivered to your door, if you organising a party or celebration, Josh and his team can provide not only the menus chosen by you, but also staff and equipment to serve your guests with that Rogan Josh personal touch - check out these sample menus and a message from Josh himself:

Themed and seasonal parties

Building on 15 years of experience at some of the county’s most prestigious Indian and Bangladeshi restaurants we take pride in the quality of our food and service. All our products are prepared in the traditional meticulous manner by experienced chefs at our professional kitchen based in Cheltenham. We use locally sourced fruit, vegetables and local farm-fresh poultry and lamb. We believe that it is important to support other family-run local businesses. We use biodegradable packaging and environmentally friendly cleaning products to reduce our impact on the environment Rogan Josh’s mobile catering is a company you can rely on to give you full support and attention, particularly for large event/show organisers. Furthermore, we always aim to arrive in good time in order to be ready for service and we don’t stop serving until the event has finished. We ensure that our area is kept clean whilst present, and cleared before leaving. “Rogan Josh’s mobile catering specialise in delivering the exquisite taste of an Indian restaurant for all types of events, including: • Music festivals, concerts, sporting events & shows • Carnivals and fun fairs • Corporate hospitality • Weddings Rogan Josh’s offer a wide range of dishes which can be discussed prior to any event to suit your specific requirements. All dishes are prepared using traditional techniques with locally sourced chicken, lamb, seasonal vegetables or prawns. 26 Winchcomebe Street Cheltenham GL52 2LX Tel: 01242 252452 NOSH - Volume 1 ~ Issue 1



Visit Spirit of Christmas Fair, 5-10 November 2013, at London’s Olympia and discover distinctive gifts and treats at the home of Christmas shopping. The event is perfectly tailored for you to uncover extraordinary gifts of style, design and elegance, with an exciting new collection of independent boutiques, all hand-picked by our expert team and approved by ‘House & Garden’. The Spirit Food Hall Gallery presents an entirely delectable mix of leading artisans, independent producers, Royal Warrant holders and Great Taste award winners, to inspire your festive banquets and gift giving ideas. Delectable Christmas essentials include handmade Cornish cheeses, organic oils and preserves and the finest oak-smoked Scottish salmon, to luxury Christmas puddings, truffles and caviar, not to mention our collection of fine wines, teas, spirits and Champagne. Whatever your Christmas essentials list, you will taste some truly unique examples and discover irresistible mouth-watering food and drink from our experts in The Spirit Food Hall Gallery. In the House & Garden Workshop discover festive food recipes perfect for Christmas entertaining from the likes of Paul A Young, Hotel Chocolat and Louis Roederer. NOSH - Volume 1 ~ Issue 1


Dine in style at Mosimann’s Winter Restaurant - The exclusive Fair menu will use the season’s finest ingredients while the restaurant’s newly located gallery position will offer you the perfect environment in which to share gift ideas over a glass of champagne! Indulge in an exceptional Christmas shopping experience like no other at this boutique event, it’s the perfect place to shop, dine and socialise in style. Nosh readers can enjoy a 15% discount on tickets… Enjoy a very special offer £15.30 per ticket (15% off advance tickets), including a copy of The Fair Book, available on arrival. You can book online at www. or call 0871 230 1089* and quote SE7T to receive this offer.

5 -10 NOVEMBER 2013


Picnic Loaf

By Rachael Rickerby I have to say at the outset that I am constantly looking for inspiration and variety when dreaming up what to cook for various occasions. This following recipe I loosely copied from James Martin and it works perfectly as it is completely portable and it also makes for a great veggie option - just leave out the chicken of course! Serves around 6 – 8.

INGREDIENTS: 1 large round crusty cob loaf 1 medium chicken (roast it yourself or buy precooked) 4 large peppers 2 large courgettes 1 large red onion Jar of basil pesto Fresh rocket and basil Two beef tomatoes Two packs of Buffalo Mozzarella Oregano and basil

METHOD: Cut chicken into quarters, season with oregano, basil, salt and black pepper, drizzle with olive oil, put into a roasting tin and cook at 180 for 45 to 50 minutes or until completely cooked. Leave to cool, then strip from bone. Slice and de-seed peppers, slice onion, season and NOSH - Volume 1 ~ Issue 1


drizzle with olive oil. Roast for approximately half an hour at 180. Leave to cool and blot away excess oil with kitchen roll. Thinly slice lengthways the courgettes, season and put into a hot griddle pan, (or on baking parchment in the oven) until cooked, approx 6-8 minutes. Roughly tear the mozzarella into small chunks, slice the tomatoes. Cut off the top of the cob and keep to make a lid, scrape out the interior bread taking care not to break through the crust. Spread a layer of pesto around the inside of the cob and then start layering the inside with your ingredients, in any order you choose. Each layer should be seasoned to taste and then packed tightly using your fist. Keep going until the cob is full, put a little pesto on the inside of the lid and put on tightly. Chill in fridge for 3-4 hours. You should cut into wedges like a pie and serve immediately or wrap well in foil or cling film and keep refrigerated or take on your picnic. If not presliced remember to take something with which to cut it!


By Nick Stephens INGREDIENTS:

2 medium potatoes Salt and freshly ground black pepper Sunflower oil 4 rashers streaky, smoked bacon Mixed salad leaves 1 pomegranate, deseeded 4 tbsps extra virgin olive oil 1 tbsp Balsamic vinegar 1 tbsp White wine vinegar 1 teasp Tewkesbury mustard 1 tbsp Honey Salt and pepper 1 tbsp Sunflower oil 2 venison steaks


Peel and coarsely grate the potatoes on a cheese grater. Place them on a clean tea towel, roll up and squeeze tightly to remove as much water as possible. Now heat a tablespoon of sunflower oil in a small frying pan, lightly season the potatoes and place in the pan pressing down gently. (A large plain cutter may be placed in the pan and the potato cooked inside it if you don’t have a very small pan.) Cook on a medium heat until golden brown and then carefully turn the Rostii over using a fish slice and brown on

the other side. Keep the cooked Rostii warm whilst cooking the second one in the same way and then keep warm. Cook the bacon until crispy and then chop using scissors. Arrange the salad leaves on the serving plates, sprinkle over some pomegranate seeds and the crispy bacon. Combine the olive oil, vinegars, mustard and honey in a bowl, whisk until smooth and season. Heat the oil in a frying pan and cook the venison steaks to your own preference: approximately 3 minutes on each side for a rare steak and 5 minutes on each side for medium depending on the thickness of the steaks. Alternatively sear the steaks in the pan for a minute and a half on each side and then place into a preheated hot oven: 200 degrees C, Gas mark 6 for 3 – 6 minutes depending upon how well you like your steak cooked. Arrange the Rostii on the serving plates; slice the steak and place on top, pour a little dressing onto the salad and serve immediately. NOSH - Volume 1 ~ Issue 1


NOSH - Volume 1 ~ Issue 1


Spirits In Nosh Magazine we try and bring you as much food and drink information as possible, some you may know and hopefully some you may not. So here is a short section on Spirits, which of course sets the scene for the future in terms of finding local gems and also a regular ongoing adventure into the Spirit World! When it comes to Spirits there are something like over 50 different styles and that does not include the brands that have dipped their toes into this universal phenomenon to bring us all sorts of concoctions. From Absinthe to Williamine { a Swiss brand of Eau de Vie Poire William} - there is so much to ground to cover - and taste of course if you wish! Then we are confronted with all the mixtures of the different styles, another mind boggling array of brands to tempt and tantalise our taste buds - and pockets! Cocktails are of course another ‘spirit’ dimension, as over imaginative barmen blend and juggle their inventions for our entertainment - and sometimes dubious pleasure! But here we must also pay homage to the greatest of all of the most versatile creations ice! Crushed or cubed - some spirits wouldn’t be quite the same without it. So let us throw open the doors to this theatre of delights and watch another part of the colourful Nosh food and drink drama unfold - with a talented cast of players that would bring success to any stage. So please finish your drinks - leave the bar and take your seats - the next performance is about to begin!

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The Spirit World

By Alan Hunter We are confronted at every turn with a multitude of colours shapes and sizes of not just the historical spirit styles we know such as Gin, Whisky, Vodka, Brandy and Rum, but a myriad of mixtures, flavours and new kids on the block - all vying for a share of his extremely diverse and lucrative market - but where did it all start? well, with one process distillation! The earliest distilled beverages are thought to date back to approximately 800 B.C. when Asians distilled rice-based beverages into alcohol. Britain followed in 500 A.D. with mead, a medieval alcoholic staple distilled from honey and perfected by the monks in monasteries everywhere. Distillation is the backbone of spirit production. However, contrary to popular belief distillation doesn’t create alcohol – it only concentrates it. By taking weaker fermented liquids and boiling them, the non-alcoholic content vaporizes more quickly, helping to isolate and separate the alcoholic content. This new mixture can then be aged or flavoured by the distiller. By the 1500s, when the flexibility of distillation began to spread, experimenters let loose and began to create a whole new line of alcoholic beverages. Whisky took advantage of barley and rye’s flavour; warm regions began distilling sugar cane byproducts to create rum; the Dutch discovered the joy of the juniper berry with gin - and the Mexicans leveraged the blue agave to create tequila. NOSH - Volume 1 ~ Issue 1


Thanks to worldwide distribution networks, every geographic region’s staple spirits are now available to most of us locally. So next time you fancy a taste of a fine spirit, think of the thousands of years of history it represents.

What is Vodka?

Vodka is a clear, distilled spirit which can be produced from many different agricultural materials such as grain, wheat, rye, sugar beet molasses, rice and potatoes. Rye and wheat vodkas are generally considered superior. Vodkas alcoholic content normally ranges between 35-50% ABV though the minimum legal required ABV in the EU is 37.5%. In the ‘vodka belt’ (primarily Russia and Poland) vodka is enjoyed neat while in the rest of the world vodka is popular as an ingredient in cocktails and mixed drinks due to its neutral flavour. Origins of Vodka Vodka is thought to have first been made in Russia as early as the 9th century though it would have been used for medicinal purposes and was likely to be a very different drink to the one we know today. The first recorded use of the word ‘vodka’ was in 1405. The word comes from the Russian word ‘voda’ and the Polish word ‘woda’ meaning water. Whisky is Scottish - but Whiskey has Irish and American roots of its own!

The History of American Whiskey

The origins of whiskey can be traced back to the

Medieval monks of both Ireland and Scotland, but now, those two countries make their own distinctive styles of their native spirit. So it is with American whiskey the original concept may have been imported from faraway lands, but some 300 years later American whiskey (a spirit that can’t be made without corn which is an indigenous American grain) is a product unto itself. American whiskey started its life as a raw, un-aged spirit that had as its main attribute, the power to spur the courage of the first colonists. And through the years, whiskey has developed into the complex, big-bodied, distinctively American bourbons, ryes, and Tennessee whiskeys that today, are savoured by connoisseurs, sipped by grandmothers, tossed back by barflies, and discovered by almost every American as he or she reaches that magical age of twenty-one. American whiskey, itself, has reached maturity in relatively recent years, after spending a 300-year adolescence being moulded by every major event that has affected its native country. And at times, the reverse is true whiskey has affected the nation itself.

What is Gin?

First and most important is London Gin which is produced by the traditional method described below. Plymouth gin is made in a similar manner. Secondly, gin can be made from any spirit alcohol made from agricultural product which meets the neutral alcohol requirements laid down in the spirit drink regulation. The neutral alcohol must be distilled to a minimum of 96% abv and the residues must not exceed those stated in the neutral alcohol definition. The finest raw materials for this ‘neutral’ spirit are either grain (normally barley or maize) or molasses. The best neutral alcohol has no flavour at all. Thirdly, gin can be produced by simply flavouring suitable alcohol with flavouring substances which give a predominant taste of juniper; this method is technically known as ‘compounding’.

Abundance of Flavours

The flavouring ingredients are all natural and are referred to as ‘botanicals’. The type and quantity of each producer’s botanicals vary according to their own closely guarded recipes; all are carefully selected and tested for purity and quality. All gins include juniper as an ingredient: other botanicals used are coriander, angelica, orange peel, lemon peel, cardamom, cinnamon, grains of paradise, cubeb berries and nutmeg. Typically a fine gin contains six to ten botanicals. Like all gins, London gin should have a predominant juniper flavour. So this is just the beginning and as we develop our Spirit world here at Nosh we will bring you not just loads of interesting information on all things ‘distilled’, but the artisans that make them for our pleasure - and a very local creation is testament to dedication and truly innovative style!

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Scotch On the Rocks By Alan Hunter A ‘wee dram’ of Scotch Whisky History! “In Scotland which abounds with lakes and inlets of the sea and high mountains that occasion frequent rains, the moderate use of Spirituous Liquors has been reckoned cherishing and in some degree most necessary.” - a quote from Seafield MSS - Ayrshire in 1751.

On The Up!

There has been a general decline in the demand for Scotch Whisky over the years, mainly because of the new trends for quirkier brands and blends of spirit based drinks. However the future of this most stalwart of characters looks bright as more distillers are focussing upon new marketing strategies for their individual creations and building new more modern style distilleries to combat this invasion upon ‘Scotch’ - the most major and important of all Scottish traditions! Such is the importance of Whisky in Scotland that there are more quotes from many famous[and infamous] - authors, artists, poets, actors and politicians - all those perhaps who need some extra creative guidance from time to time - than any other single alcoholic drink. In fact Robbie Burns, the most notable of all Scottish bards wrote a 750 word poem just about this ‘uisge beatha’ - Gaelic for ‘water of life’. The making of whisky in Scotland dates back to as long ago as 1494, as documented in the records of Royal income and expenditure known as the Exchequer Rolls, with a quote from these records that states - “eight bolls of malt given to Friar John Cor wherewith to make aqua vitae over the previous year.” This would be enough for 1,500 bottles which suggests that distillation was wellestablished by the late fifteenth century! At the beginning of the 16th century the Guild of Surgeon Barbers was given the exclusive right of distillation in Edinburgh and by the end of the NOSH - Volume 1 ~ Issue 1


century, there was so much ‘usige’ being produced there was an alarming shortage of barley for making bread. To combat this level of production and of course the ensuing consumption, a tax was levied in the middle of the 17th century which only stimulated the need for a source of illegal distillation. Similar to the days of Prohibition of course in the United States. Soon there was ten times more whisky being made than before, some of which was even better than that of the licensed distillers. Secret stills in the Highlands were hard to discover and most farmhouses had their own hidden well from the view of prying investigators. This, as in many interesting aspects of sometimes forced change of development, helped create the five most famous styles of malt whisky that Scotland is so well know for and deservedly proud of: Highland - Lowland - Islay - Speyside and Campbeltown. There is a Scottish song that one of my uncles used to sing whilst enjoying his whisky chaser -’a pint of heavy and a big yin’: Campbeltown Loch I wish yer was whisky Campbeltown Loch Och Aye Campbeltown Loch I wish yer was whisky Then I would drink ye dry And he did over the years, in fact Uncle Rob had replies to most questions regarding drink - always in the positive - When asked when being poured a malt “tell me when to stop - he would without hesitation say - “when it runs over ma fingers” Or when asked “what would you like in your scotch” - he would say - “another yin” There is so much to Scotch Whisky so look for more in your next issue of Nosh!

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Our country is a glorious pasture rich with all types of the most excellent produce and the Cotswold’s, our own back garden, is a shining example of what can be created in the finest of local style. Cheltenham is a great shop window for all this fare, not only to display what is available from our own producers but an open door to any confident trader or merchant to sit side by side with the best. One such arena is the annual Cheltenham Food and Drink Festival where artisans of all styles and from all corners can arrive to proudly present their individual crafts. Bustling with activity this open market place provides a vibrant and exciting atmosphere in a stunning location, right in the heart of our beautiful town - a great opportunity for any entrepreneur to trade their wares - and this year was no exception! The weather threatened but remained sympathetic enabling all sellers and buyers alike to enjoy the full experience. Visitors were treated to an all inclusive food and drink scene from across the spectrum with music and entertainment from local artists and performers enhancing the spectacle. Food demos from top chefs and caterers were joined by wine experts and all manner of professionals to present and educate - a full food and drink adventure! Friday’s Farmers Market Every 2nd Friday of the month, in a tree lined arena in the centre of Cheltenham we are presented with an array of the finest produce creating an exciting cosmopolitan feel to a town so steeped in English history. Cafe style bars nudging up to the market place provide meeting places for shoppers a and a welcome interval to rest and recuperate in between shopping experiences. We need to thank the organisers who provide these ‘market trading’ opportunities for our pleasure!

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The Cheshire Cheese Company

The Potted Game Company

The Chesire Cheese Company has created a unique and fantastic range of contemporary, some say “eccentric” Cheeses for everyone to enjoy. We are accredited VegSoc Approved by the Vegetarian Society and combine the finest of ingredients carefully balanced and perfected to produce unimaginable flavour combinations. All of our range of cheese has been produced in the heart of Cheshire”.

The Potted Game Company is a partnership between two young and talented chefs, Jemima and Rory, united by a shared love of British food and indeed all things edible - especially produce purloined from the wild. During their cooking careers they have both been devoted to sourcing the best, often obscure, ingredients from the pastures, woodlands and hedgerows surrounding their homes. Potted Game is constantly gathering momentum at a remarkable pace, winning awards and lavish praise from professional foodies and amateur gourmands alike and their range of potted preserves can now be found weekly at Borough Market and in the food-halls of Selfridges Oxford Street, Fortnum and Mason and and ever increasing number of farm shops, delis and other independent retailers around the country.


Telephone: 0808 189 0725

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Telephone: 01452 864 110



Food Hampers Direct

Coole Swan

Food Hampers Direct Ltd is a very young company and our enthusiasm for top quality foods and hampers is overwhelming - our aim is simple - we want to bring to you a wide variety of Foods and Food Hampers together, so you will have the best choice that will benefit all occasions.

“Anything that whiskey and cream cannot cure is not worth curing’’ Old Irish Proverb

Our food hampers present the most excellent quality British Food from all of the counties of Britain for you to choose from and we work closely with Artisan producers and suppliers to provide you with unique style British Hampers! Please contact us here at Food Hampers Direct - We will be delighted to hear from you. From individual enquiries to corporate orders - Food Hampers Direct has the professionalism and prime trade contacts to assist you in any food hamper requirement! Special News: We are now in the process of organising our cooler shipping boxes which will be available to the meat, poultry and game Artisan producers to use in order for Food Hampers Direct to be able to get their fresh produce straight from the supplier to your table, we expect to have organic meat hampers on our website by early 2013.


Telephone: 0845 299 6343

Coole Swan is made only in Ireland and based on the Brady family farm in Navan Co. Meath. Coole Swan is a unique blend of Irish Whiskey; Belgian White Chocolate and Irish Dairy Cream. Coole Swan is 100% natural with nothing added. “Our simple aim is to offer the most delicioustasting Irish Cream Liqueur. To achieve this Coole Swan is created from the highest quality, all-natural ingredients which are carefully balanced to deliver a taste that is seriously delicious and gluten free. We created 231 versions of Coole Swan before we finally got it right. Achievement of a great blend is a result of many things: time, patience, hope, despair, inspiration and, perhaps, a little bit of luck. In our journey we experienced all of those! The best way to enjoy Coole Swan is straight from the fridge (which is also the best place to store it). Once chilled Coole Swan is perfect to pour and enjoy. We hope you like it as much as we do? Special offer - buy online and we deliver for Free!


Telephone: 03534 69060111 NOSH - Volume 1 ~ Issue 1


MERINGUES Cotswold Handmade Meringues Jan and Lin epitomise what can be done with skill, flair, dedication and determination, so here in their own words is their own story... “We are a family business dedicated to the quality of our product. The business was formed by our Mother and we, Jan and Lisa, are delighted to be able to take the helm and continue producing the wonderful products she was dedicated to producing for more than three decades. She has given us a wonderful beginning and by never changing the original recipe, has created a reputation for quality and service. We are pleased to say that we provide many of the well known shops and food markets with our products across Gloucestershire and into other counties. Meringues have become more and more flexible, and more and more innovative. We aim to continue creating new and interesting products and recipes with the help of our fantastic product development team to bring new exciting ways to eat our meringues.

SCOTCH EGGS The Handmade Scotch Egg Company The Handmade Scotch Egg company has turned this humble picnic partner into a classic dish to grace the tables for any occasion. These new ‘eggs in the box’ are a complete dining eggsperience not to be missed - you don’t have to ‘shell’ out loads and be ‘scratching’ around to make both ends meat - the only thing ‘cheep’ is the price - and that’s no ‘yolk’! So don’t get into a flap, fly the coup and give as tweet! With over 40 tantalising Scotch egg recipes including vegetarian options we have now allowed our imaginations free-range with this our shop window on the world, with our ongoing campaign to reinstate the humble scotch egg as Britain’s favourite snack continuing at a rate of knots... Hurrah! Not just the finest scotch eggs but so much more in our larder of specialities - from bangers and burgers to quails eggs and quiches - we can provide you with a banquet of culinary delights

Our range now includes tiny meringues through to large bases and interesting flavours that we seasonally change to continue to add freshness to our range. We are always interested in new recipe ideas. We will offer you a free large meringue round if we publish yours, so come and share our passion with us!


Telephone: 01453 836611

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Telephone: 01452 864 110



Pixley Berries


The fruity folk at Pixley are MAD about juice! We only press the best quality fruit and believe the less you mess with it, the better it is for you and most importantly, the better it tastes.

Fentiman’s have been botanically brewing beverages since 1905; a time honoured process which slow ferments herbs, plant roots and natural flavourings to ensure that all the flavour and goodness is retained whilst creating a fuller more invigorating taste.

We squeeze a selection of mouth-watering fruits for our three fabulous drinks ranges:

Pixley Press Our small single serve bottles of Pixley Press are made up of our pick of the tastiest fruits we press. They are handy, fun and range from sweet to tangy.

From Ginger Beer, where Ginger is the No 1 ingredient, English classics, Victorian Lemonade and Dandelion & Burdock, to more contemporary varieties, Rose Lemonade & Cherrytree Cola, there are ten different beverages in the range. Each has developed its own loyal following which comes as no surprise with reviews that cite Fentiman’s as makers of “The World’s Best Cola” & the “Dom Perignon of Tonic Waters”.

Pixley Court At Pixley we were fed up with all the overly sweet alternatives to wine out there so we designed a drink to mimic the dry characteristics of wine, made from the best ingredients and locally sourced. Pixley Court is an expertly blended set of juices intended to be dry rather than sweet.

Owned & run by the third generation of the Fentiman family, each bottle carries the image of “Fearless”, Thomas Fentiman’s prize-winning Alsatian, bearing testament that when it comes to making superior refreshment “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks”; every beverage is “faithful to the originals”

Pixley Berries Cordial Our cherished cordials have a loyal following. This is down to their unsurpassable quality.


Telephone: 01531 670171


Telephone: 01434 609847 NOSH - Volume 1 ~ Issue 1




M&M Vintners


M&M Vintners market their products on a ‘try before you buy’ in shop from £7.99 - £34.99 per bottle. Customers can taste and buy a single bottle or a case. They also market their wines in this manner at numerous local and national exhibitions (see website). They also offer a home tutored wine tasting service for individuals and groups at a nominal fee. They have strongly marketed their retail presence in the local press and through leaflet drops within a 15 mile radius. All wines are tasted and evaluated by the staff prior to selection for retail as quality assurance.

Having talked to Robin at Swig many times about their mission to bring really interesting wines of exceptional quality to our attention and enjoyment, I was able to recently taste some of these little gems especially chosen for their individual character and quality and I will keep you informed of the tasting notes as we go!

They have recently teamed with the Evesham Tourist board to promote our free ‘in shop’ tasting service and also associated ourselves with Google street-view. They now also have a virtual tour of the wine shop and all products have detailed POS labels describing the wines, grape variety and ABV. These are also available on their website. They continue to promote themselves and their wines at major exhibitions, both local and national, including: CLA fair Ragley Hall, Alcester; Midland Game Fair, Telford; Cheltenham Food and Drink Festival. All of their staff treat customers as if each customer were a ‘secret shopper’; as these are used by the managing director to ensure the highest standard of customer service, politeness and product knowledge. Where a member of staff does not know the answer to a question, they will make note of the customer’s details and will contact them once the information sourced to2:54 the pm best Page 164pertinent Blackminster Welcome has M&Mbeen 18/03/2013 of our endeavors, e.g. sourcing a particular wine.

In the meantime take a look at some of the wines already endorsed and supported by other well established professionals in the trade such as the inimitable Jancis Robinson and Mathew Jukes, both famous for their different styles of wine evaluation, but always creative in their judgement of the ‘best value for money’ wines available. It is always a very brave move to place your wines in front of such a specialist audience, but it shows the confidence and expertise of those who have been courageous in their endeavours to seek out something really special! Here’s what they say at Swig: “We are a friendly, independent wine merchant with a reputation for sourcing fine, artisanal wines, many of which you won’t find elsewhere. We have a talent for spotting tall poppies, unearthing rough diamonds and using ungainly metaphors. Our mission is to surprise and entertain, but above all to find wines that punch above their weight. If you 1 would like to receive our offers then let us know”.

A warm welcome to...

M& M

PERSONAL VINTNERS Fine quality wines from around the world


Mike Oldfield and his wife Maria offer aTelephone: totally customer 01386 244034 focussed service, supplying a range of high quality wines that are not part of the-runNOSH - Volume 1 ~ Issue 1 of-the-mill supermarket fare, but sourced from small 150 independent growers.With their taste and try before you buy principle, you can choose from over 300 quality wines


Telephone: 020 8995 7060


Afternoon tea

Afternoon tea at

Cheltenham Queen’s Hotel


Tel: 01242 514754

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