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Fergus the Forager creates a batch of ‘hedgerow ketchup’


Take a bite of the Big Apple’s most delectable cuisine


Olly Smith What makes this wine expert tick when buying his bottles


Why botanical distilleries are on the rise in the South East




Mary Gwynn goes in search of the perfect seasonal pie

Malt Masters Tonbridge Brewery puts its hops and barley to good use

“We all have to eat to survive, so you need to eat well...”



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How to win a signed copy of the celeb chef ’s latest book

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What’ll it be, then?


ow, now that

exceeds the traditional ‘mother’s ruin’

we’ve gone to

these days.

two issues of

I’m told that I don’t serve the right

Gastro a year,

drink in the right glass; a good beer

you realise

tastes the same to me whatever I drink

how much we have going on and what a

it from, but for those who like to imbibe

busy time it is ahead!

out of the correct vessel, we’ve got you

Hopefully you’ve been to see the newly refurbished Mark Cross Inn. It

covered there as well. There are some delicious recipes in

was in a sorry state after a fire, but

here, using seasonal ingredients from

now looks amazing and has a menu to

our development chef; you’ll also see

match. We’ve also been busy over the

them on our menus, along with an

summer, opening up our beach bar and

assortment of other lovely delights that

barbecue shack at The Rose & Crown

will make your mouth water.

in Orpington.

Make sure you get in early and book

We have another exciting edition for

your Christmas party, then straight after

you to get through, with the delightful

for Burns Night in January, followed by

Nathan Outlaw on the cover – a true

Valentine’s Day in February, and even

English professional chef who’s worked

Mother’s Day in March! And remember,

with Rick Stein, and whose restaurants

if you ever get stuck for a present, any

come with the best views too!

time of the year, one of our gift cards

Since gin is the drink of the moment, we have a great write-up on some

always goes down a storm. So, enjoy the read, which is best by

of the brands that are making waves

the fire with a little tipple. I’m off to sort

locally, and why its reputation far

Brexit, and then I’m off down the pub!


Brian Keeley-Whiting

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06 GRAND DAYS OUT Top National Trust sites for the family to enjoy near us

20 RECIPES Try your hand at these W&H dishes in your home kitchen

36 TRICKS OF THE TRADE Tunbridge Wells chef serves up his recipe tips and advice

09 FRONT OF HOUSE Catch up on all of the latest news and events from W&H

28 MOCKTAILS Five alcohol-free drinks from Frobishers to create yourself

42 THE BUSY MUM Columnist Mary Gwynn treats us to her perfect seasonal pie

10 FOOD FOR THOUGHT Immerse yourself in these great gourmet experiences

30 BREWERY TOUR Find out how your favourite beers are made in Tonbridge

45 FOODIE FACTS Tantalising trivia you may not know about food by numbers

13 DAY IN THE LIFE It’s fishy business as usual in the heart of Hastings’ arcade

32 GIN DISTILLERIES Botanicals are big business in South East regional counties

46 GASTRO GUIDE How to drink the right tipple in the appropriate glassware

15 NATHAN OUTLAW The Michelin-starred chef talks exclusively to Gastro

34 HEALTH & NUTRITION Nutritionist Kate Arnold talks IBS and effects of ‘bad bread’

49 PRODUCER PROFILE Eggs, wine and camping at Far Acre Farm in Marden

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The Gastro team Editor Frederick Latty Head of Design Rowena Cremer-Price Production Manager Hannah Patterson Editorial Director Richard Moore Commercial Director Nick Moore


Contributors: Craig Matthews Kate Arnold Patrick Hill Mary Gwynn Bruce McMichael Fergus Drennan Jonny Gibson Ella Walker David Sexton

49 50 FARMERS’ MARKETS Bruce McMichael talks about the perks of shopping locally

64 HOTELS Where to stay near a W&H site in Kent, Sussex or Surrey

ONE MEDIA AND CREATIVE UK LTD 16 Lonsdale Gardens, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN1 1NU 01892 779 650 •

54 FORAGING Fergus Drennan whips up a batch of ‘hedgerow ketchup’

66 PROPERTY Dine in style when you buy one of these stunning homes

Whiting & Hammond Gastro Magazine is owned by Whiting & Hammond Ltd and published/distributed by

56 OLLY SMITH What the wine expert most values when buying bottles

68 GOURMET GIFTS Foodie additions to the home for you to snap up right now

58 WINE AND GAME Jonny Gibson pairs grapes with meat and mushrooms

72 TOP 10 Local country estates that will take your breath away

60 TRAVEL Embark on a foodie journey of a lifetime to New York City

One Media and Creative UK Ltd. All rights reserved. The views expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the owner or publisher. All prices are correct at the time of going to print. Neither the publisher nor the owner can accept responsibility for any errors or omissions relating to advertising or editorial. No part of this publication may be reproduced without prior written consent from the publisher. No responsibility is taken for unsolicited materials or the return of these materials whilst in transit.

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Westerham Road, Bessels Green, Kent TN13 2QA 01732 452 081 @kingsheadbg @Kings_Head_BG @kingshead_besselsgreen

THE CRICKETERS INN Wrotham Road, Meopham, Kent DA13 0QA 01474 812 163 @TheCricketersInnMeopham @Cricketers_Inn @cricketersinn

Explore nearby...

Chartwell As the family home and garden of Sir Winston Churchill, Chartwell contains pictures, books and personal mementos that evoke the professional and personal life of the former prime minister. Every winter, a new temporary exhibition explores Churchill in more detail, drawing on further items and objects.

Explore nearby...

Owletts Welcome to the family home of the renowned architect, Sir Herbert Baker. An extraordinary example of a Kent country home, the Charles II house preserves the architectural influences of its famous owner. Standout features include the oval stained-glass window, electrical empire clock and 17th-century plaster ceiling.


Deans Lane, Walton-on-the-Hill, Tadworth, Surrey KT20 7UE 01737 819 003 @TheBlueBallTadworth @TheBlueBall_ @theblueball_

Explore nearby...

Box Hill With lots to see, Box Hill is the perfect place to discover a family walk and explore the Surrey Hills. There are views across the surrounding countryside forming part of the North Downs, plus plenty of wildlife and plants, including the Adonis blue butterfly and bee orchid.

Don’t forget to follow us on @whitinghammond, @Whiting_Hammond and @whiting_hammond To find out more about Whiting & Hammond, visit

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Farnborough Way, Oprington, Kent BR6 6BT 01689 869 029 @BR6RoseandCrown @TheRoseCrown_ @therosecrownpub

Explore nearby...

Petts Wood and Hawkwood An oasis of peace and tranquillity awaits at this haven of natural history, which is full of birds, butterflies, amphibians and plants. A stone memorial sundial can be found, commemorating William Willett, the leader of the movement to have British Summer Time recognised. -and-hawkwood

THE CHASER INN Stumble Hill, Shipbourne, Kent TN11 9PE 01732 810 360 @TheChaserInn @thechaserinn @thechaserinn

THE LITTLE BROWN JUG Chiddingstone Causeway, Kent TN11 8JJ 01892 870 318 @thelittlebrownjug1 @LittleBrownJug1 @thelittlebrownjug

Chiddingstone Village One of the oldest and prettiest villages in Kent, Chiddingstone is a beautiful example of a Tudor one-street village. The entire area was bought by the National Trust in 1939 to ensure its preservation, and today retains its half-timbered sides, gables and stone-hung, red-tiled roofs. chiddingstone-village

Mark Cross, East Sussex TN6 3NP 01892 852 423 @TheMarkCrossInn @TheMarkCross @themarkcross

15 Friday Street, Langney, Eastbourne, East Sussex BN23 8AP 01323 766 049 @farmfridayst @farmfridayst @farmfridayst

Toys Hill Comprising over 200 acres of woodland as part of the Lower Greensand Ridge, Toys Hill is a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest due to its abundant wildlife. It’s a marvellous place to enjoy a relaxing walk, and admire views over the Weald of Kent.

Explore nearby...



Explore nearby...

Explore nearby...

Scotney Castle This country house, romantic garden and 14th-century moated castle is set in a beautiful wooded estate. With the glorious backdrop of a fairytale castle, you can relax in a picturesque garden, or venture into wonderful woodland and parkland, with more than 770 acres to explore.

Explore nearby...

Birling Gap and the Seven Sisters Discover one of the longest stretches of undeveloped coastline on the South Coast at the world-famous Seven Sisters chalk cliffs. Spectacular, unspoiled views of the sea can be seen from all angles, while the beach below is ideal for rock pooling. -the-seven-sisters

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BARBIE ON THE BEACH Our beautiful barbecue shack and beach bar is now open at The Rose & Crown in Orpington, offering a full menu including homemade pizzas!

For the ultimate private dining experience, any time of the year, book one of our private dining huts at The Little Brown Jug in Chiddingstone Causeway, The Kings Head in Bessels Green, or The Blue Ball in Tadworth (they’re even booked out on Christmas Day!).


The Kings Head in Bessels Green is now offering the Deliveroo service, so you can get your favourite W&H meals, any night of the week, without leaving home!

The phoenix has risen from the fire! After seven weeks of hard graft, The Mark Cross Inn is finally back up and running, and looking better than ever. We took the opportunity to make a few changes while it was closed, so come and have a pint and take a look.

Don’t forget these key dates for your diary...

Breakfast at W&H – Saturdays and Sundays, 9.30am to 11.30am Burns Night – Thursday January 25 Valentine’s Day – Wednesday February 14 Mother’s Day – Sunday March 11

To keep up to date with the latest Whiting & Hammond news and events, visit, or follow us on social media: Facebook Twitter @Whiting_Hammond or Instagram @whiting_hammond

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Thought FOOD FOR

HERE ARE SOME TOP CULINARY PICKS, PRODUCTS AND PLACES TO IMMERSE YOURSELF IN OVER THE COMING MONTHS Shop... Snap up some seasonal treats at Chegworth Farm Shop in Tunbridge Wells. Opened in May 2016 along the Georgian spa town’s historic Pantiles promenade, this is the third site to be launched by family-run fruit farm Chegworth Valley, which boasts further outlets in London’s Borough Market and Notting Hill district. A selection of the best local and regional specialities is on offer, including seasonal fruits, vegetables, salads and leaves, and award-winning juices. Fresh bread is delivered daily, plus there’s a wide range of meats, dairy, whole foods, vegan specialities and sauces to enjoy, alongside lots of other delicacies.

Sip... If you’re a fan of whisky, you won’t want to miss an order from Master of Malt. Based in Tunbridge Wells, the award-winning online spirits retailer helps its customers to make informed decisions about what they choose to drink, by way of industryleading expertise and knowledge from 30 years in the trade. It’s not all about whisky either, as there are plenty of rums, cognacs, gins, tequilas, vodkas, beers, wines and more on offer as well. Plus, you can even opt for samples and tasting sets, in order to determine which tipple ticks the right boxes for you.

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Taste... Fun, entertaining and relaxed tastings and courses are readily available at Surrey Wine School. The local, independent wine education company specialises in hosting events in Guildford, which are open to everyone and anyone. No previous experience is necessary, and the focus is on learning about wine in a laidback, informal environment. Since it isn’t tied to any wine merchants or retailers, the school prides itself on offering impartial advice, concentrating on flavour, aroma and taste profile, to explain how the characteristics of any given grape can be influenced by climate and local winemaking styles. Prices start at £22.50.


Recognised as one of the leading specialist tour operators in the UK, Inntravel helps voyagers to discover the roads less-taken on ‘slow holidays’. Foodie options for 2018 include An Italian Food Adventure (from £965), where you’ll experience the culinary heart and soul of gastronomic Italy on a self-drive of Emilia Romagna – one of the country’s lesser-known pockets, but home to some of its finest foods. Elsewhere, Catalonia’s ‘Cava Country’ (from £795) is a week-long, two-wheeled adventure, on which guests will visit not only world-famous wineries, but also smaller family-run operations, where bottles are still painstakingly turned by hand.



Read... Nigella Lawson returns with her most recent book, At My Table: A Celebration of Home Cooking. Packed full of comforting, warming and inspirational recipes, this latest collection of dishes celebrates the food that the popular TV cook loves to make for friends and family, from new spins on old classics, to a whole host of fresh ingredients. So, whether you’re whipping up an Eastern Mediterranean chopped salad, trying your hand at a batch of ‘emergency brownies’, or putting a fresh twist on your next sticky toffee pudding, you can pick up your copy now, priced £26 (RRP), from


Bake... Learn how to bake fresh bread at The Epsom Bakehouse. Friendly, informal classes range from an introduction to bread-making, to Italian breads and sourdoughs. Whether you’re mastering the versatile tin loaf, or trying your hand at a tangy, long-fermented sourdough, you’re bound to find an option that suits your goals. No prior experience is required, and sessions are open to all abilities, with equipment and ingredients already provided, accompanied by a delicious lunch; plus, you’ll get to take home all of the bread that you bake, along with detailed notes and recipes. Prices start at £85 per person.

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Fishmonger DAY IN THE LIFE OF A...

Paul Saxby, owner of Arcade Fisheries in Hastings, talks us through the day-to-day operations of his family-run fishmonger, which has been set in the heart of the town’s Queens Arcade since 1937

So, Paul, what does your average day look like? I don’t think there are many ‘average days’. There are four full-time members of staff, and the first job is to go down to the fish market in Hastings, which is two minutes from the shop, where we source our ice from. All of the ice that comes into the shop for laying out the retail display comes from the market daily, and then will be used for icing up orders. When we get in the shop in the morning, we’ll be on the answer phone, because we serve quite a lot of restaurants, pubs and hotels, so one of the guys will take the list of orders, start putting them together, and get them onto the van for delivery. We then have to put a display out in the meantime. How long are your days? Weekdays start at about 6am to 6.30am, and finish at 5.15pm for the staff. At the weekend, it’s normally a 4am to 4.15am start, and then we usually wind down and finish at about 6pm to 6.30pm. On a weekday, we’ll check what’s come in, what the boats have landed and what we want, and see what’s happening with the smoker, which is again a couple of minutes from the shop. We deliver as far as Frant, up around Rye, into Hastings and out to Bexhill, so once the van’s loaded for the pubs, restaurants and hotels, it can be out for three or four hours delivering. Throughout the day, we’ll get calls from

the boats about what’s been landed. I might be on the phone ringing Scotland because there’s no mackerel locally, so we’ll try to get them from a company up there. We’re all working as a team and all have our roles, trying to bring the whole thing together. What about weekends? It changes at the weekend, because we do a lot of farmers’ markets, so there’s a different dynamic to it. We’ll be at the market re-icing, loading up the gazebos and tables, setting up the counter, and getting everything ready. We do lots of markets, so I love the change of environment. I go to Penshurst and Tunbridge Wells, all the way down to Shoreham in West Sussex, and up to West Malling and Aylesford. When we come back from the market, we end up doing a second restaurant run for anywhere that’s a little bit far or out of the way. Quite a lot of the restaurants that we serve are in Rye, so sometimes on my way home, they’ll want a top-up order. I’ll finish the market, unload the gazebos, wash everything down and then do deliveries, so it can end up being quite a long day. But I love serving the public; it’s a melting pot of people, and you see all sorts of characters, so at the markets is where I like to be. To find out more about Arcade Fisheries, visit

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Chef out of water

Ella Walker sits down with celebrity chef Nathan Outlaw to discuss fish, Michelin stars, school meals and his most recent book, Home Kitchen WINTER ’17 | 15

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cookery book – a book that had all of the recipes that you needed for life.” It features some fish, of course, but is also packed with nostalgic classics like toad-in-the-hole, soups, risottos, how to do a proper Sunday roast (yes, chicken included), plus desserts – including his daughter’s sticky toffee pudding – which is to be expected when Outlaw’s last-nighton-Earth meal is, without question, trifle. Throughout the writing process, he had his children (Jacob and Jessica) in mind, imagining the kind of cookbook that they’ll need when, eventually, they go off to university or college. “If they took this one book,” he says, “there’d be enough in there for them to survive.” It’s a very tasty safety net too, considering that cooking is no longer

taught comprehensively in schools. Outlaw, 39, explains that he’s ‘fortunate enough to be old enough to have done cookery lessons at school’, but says that it’s disappointing how children tend to get just a term of Food Technology classes each year now, and are rarely taught basic kitchen skills in detail. “It’s not really like it was,” he muses. “We all have to eat to survive, so you need to eat well; it’s a no-brainer, really, but it seems to be something that’s a little bit lost in schools now.” After honing his filleting skills alongside Gary Rhodes and Stein, at just 25 – an age that doesn’t seem quite so young when you consider that he was cooking for paying customers at 14 – Outlaw launched his first restaurant, The Black



pparently, Nathan Outlaw still can’t quite master the art of roasting a chicken. This is a man who has a two-Michelin-starred restaurant, was mentored by Rick Stein, and has written four cookery books. And he can’t roast a chicken? “It always turns out differently every time,” says the Kent-born, Cornwall-based chef, with a laid-back, self-deprecating laugh. Don’t be taken in – Outlaw can handle chicken; he just doesn’t do carbon-copy, identikit chickens. But when you’re best known for your seafood, who cares? His latest book, then, Home Kitchen, is something of a detour. “I wanted to write a book that covered all of the bases if you had no other

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The thing with the whole Michelin process is that you don’t know anything about it; you don’t know when they’ve inspected and you can’t talk to anyone – there’s no feedback form or anything like that! So, it’s nice to know that you’ve been recognised for what you’re doing, but it’s more for all the guys who work with me, because they work really hard to maintain a certain level

you can get fish on your doorstep at home as quick as I can get it into my restaurant. “The more education that people get, and the more they see different things being cooked, we’ll start to see people eating other species of fish.” Not that he minds people scoffing the usual battered cod and chips, though, and he happily admits: “I love fish fingers!” But even a seafood virtuoso like Outlaw can be fazed occasionally. “The most bizarre thing that I’ve ever eaten is probably these really big frogs in Singapore,” he remembers. “They

were alive and they cut them up in front of you, and then stir-fried them. It was a bit weird, although tasty – everyone always says it tastes like chicken, but it was a bit odd that it was just plucked out of a little tank, then cut up and chucked into a wok. You didn’t want to think about it too much!” Nathan Outlaw’s Home Kitchen, photography by David Loftus, is published in hardback by Quadrille, priced £20. Available now. To find out more about Nathan Outlaw, visit



Pig. Within a year, he was also a first-time dad (to son Jacob), and the recipient of a Michelin star. “It’s a bit surreal at first,” he says, recalling what it feels like to be awarded a star – his Port Isaac-based Restaurant Nathan Outlaw currently holds two, the only UK seafood restaurant to do so. “The thing with the whole Michelin process is that you don’t know anything about it; you don’t know when they’ve inspected and you can’t talk to anyone – there’s no feedback form or anything like that! So, it’s nice to know that you’ve been recognised for what you’re doing, but it’s more for all the guys who work with me, because they work really hard to maintain a certain level.” According to online food publisher Great British Chefs’ recent survey of 5,000 foodies, people are becoming increasingly adventurous when it comes to the foods and ingredients that they’re willing to try. Outlaw says that he can definitely see that culinary confidence reflected in his restaurants (he’s got four in the UK and one in Dubai). “People are far more educated about food, and they seem to want to know more about what’s on the plate,” he explains. “When I started cooking, you had your usual meat and fish, but now people would know what gurnard was, for example, or they’re quite happy eating mackerel next to something like turbot or cod. People are much more open.” However, while people are more experimental ordering off a menu, ‘there’s a lot more work to be done at home’. “It’s difficult, because I think sometimes that people end up at fish counters and supermarket meat counters, and they go with the safe option that they know, and I do understand that,” says Outlaw. “The excuse that I used to get was, ‘I can’t eat any fish because I live in [landlocked] Oxford’, or something like that, but now



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Try this Outlaw recipe at home...


INGREDIENTS 2 mackerel fillets, gutted, filleted, pin-bones removed


4 slices smoked streaky bacon, large dice

DIRECTIONS • For the tomato stock, place the tomatoes, vinegar, garlic, sugar and chilli into a bowl. Season with salt and stir until mixed. Spoon the tomatoes into a large piece of muslin cloth, and hang over a bowl in the fridge for at least six hours, or overnight. Reserve the liquid collected from the tomatoes • For the mayonnaise, mix the egg yolks, mustard and vinegar together in a bowl until well combined. Slowly add in the olive oil until the mixture thickens, and then whisk in the cream. Add 150ml of the reserved tomato stock to the bowl • Pour the contents of the bowl into a saucepan over a low heat, whisking continuously until heated through. Allow to gently simmer • Meanwhile, place a frying pan over a medium to high heat and add a dash of oil.

Once the pan is scorching hot, add the bacon and fry until crisp, then remove from the pan. Add the mackerel fillets, skin-side down, then add the bacon back to the pan and cook for one minute • Add the cherry tomatoes, drizzle with a little oil and sprinkle with salt, then cook for a further three to four minutes. Remove the mackerel and tomatoes from the pan and set aside • Add the lettuce and samphire to the same pan and cook for one minute • To serve, ladle the warm mayonnaise into the middle of the plate, then add the bacon, tomato and lettuce mixture on top. Finish with the mackerel and a small drizzle of olive oil. Sprinkle the torn basil leaves and serve Recipe courtesy of Great British Chefs. For more inspiration, visit

Win a signed copy of Nathan Outlaw’s Home Kitchen! In celebration of Nathan Outlaw gracing the cover of Gastro, we’re giving one lucky the reader the opportunity to win a signed copy of the chef’s latest book, Home Kitchen! To be in with a chance of winning this fantastic prize, all you have to do is send us your name, phone number, address and email, and you’ll automatically be entered into the draw!

8 cherry tomatoes, halved 2 little gem lettuces, leaves separated 110g samphire 10 basil leaves, torn Salt Olive oil

FOR THE TOMATO STOCK 8 vine tomatoes, ripe and roughly chopped 2 tbsp white wine vinegar 2 garlic cloves, chopped 1 tbsp sugar 1 red chilli, de-seeded and chopped Salt

FOR THE MAYONNAISE 3 free-range egg yolks 1 tsp English mustard 1 tsp white wine vinegar 300ml light olive oil 50ml double cream

You can enter by emailing your details to, or by posting to: Whiting & Hammond Head Office The Little Brown Jug Chiddingstone Causeway Kent TN11 8JJ Closing date for the competition is Friday April 8 2018. Good luck and we look forward to receiving your entries! Terms and conditions apply.

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seasonal variations With the arrival of autumn and winter comes warming, wholesome and delicious dishes that are sure to put a smile on your face – here are some of ours to see you through the coming months



Baked pumpkin, tofu and maple-glazed autumn salad SERVES 4-6

Preparation time: 15 minutes Cooking time: 40 minutes



1 small pumpkin, peeled and diced into 1.5cm cubes 4 sprigs thyme 2 onions, peeled and thinly sliced 50ml vegetable oil 1 pack tofu, cut into 1.5cm cubes 4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped ½ tsp turmeric ½ tsp cinnamon 1 tbsp paprika 200g kale, picked and washed 80ml maple syrup 50g chestnuts, chopped 50g pecans, chopped

• Lightly oil a large baking dish. Place the pumpkin, thyme, onions and vegetable oil and roast on 160°C for approximately 35 minutes, or until soft • Drain the water from the tofu and rinse, then cut into small cubes and put in a bowl. Top with the garlic, turmeric, cinnamon and paprika to combine, leaving to marinate for 30 minutes • 10 minutes before ready, boil a pan of salted water.

Place the washed kale in the boiling water and boil for two minutes. Drain immediately, glaze in a frying pan with the maple syrup, and dress with the chopped nuts

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Baked New York-style cheesecake with clementine compote SERVES 12

Preparation time: 25 minutes Cooking time: 45-50 minutes Ingredients For the cheesecake base 135g plain digestive biscuits 60g unsalted butter, melted Cheesecake 845g full-fat soft cheese 200g caster sugar 60g corn flour 2 vanilla pods 5 free-range eggs 375ml double cream For the clementine compote 4 clementines, juiced 3 tbsp caster sugar 8 segmented clementines

Directions • Start by lining a 10-inch by two-inch spring-form cake tin on a baking tray with baking paper • Blitz the digestives in a food blender until fine crumbs, then add the melted butter until mixed all the way through. Place evenly across the bottom of the tin, ensuring that it’s completely smooth, and place in the fridge for 30 minutes • Preheat the oven to 145°C. In a mixer, beat the soft cheese, caster sugar, corn flour and vanilla pods on a medium speed, adding one egg at a time to make sure that they’re fully incorporated. Once the eggs are added, add the cream and mix until incorporated, being careful not to over-mix, as this will cause cracks

• Pour over the biscuit base, and gently shake the tin to level the filling. Place in the middle of the oven for approximately 45 minutes until set (you should have a slight wobble in the centre, with a nice golden top), then allow to cool • While cooling, place the clementine juice and caster sugar in a saucepan on a gentle heat, until the sugar dissolves and the juice starts to thicken. Add the clementine segments and remove from the heat. Allow to cool, then place on top of the cheesecake for decoration (we like to add strawberries and drizzle some of the clementine sauce on the plate as well)

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Venison loin with celeriac fondant , and puree, braised red cabbage and blackberry jus SERVES 4 Preparation time: 40 minutes Cooking time: 1½ hours

Ingredients For the red cabbage 500g red cabbage, thinly sliced 420g cooking apples, peeled, cored and chopped small ½ clove garlic, chopped very small Pinch of whole nutmeg, freshly grated 1 cinnamon stick Pinch of ground cloves 1½ tbsp brown sugar 35ml wine vinegar 75ml red wine

For the celeriac fondant

For the celeriac purée

80g unsalted butter 400g celeriac, cut across the circumference at 4cm thickness, and then cut into a rectangle (3” by 2”) 1 clove garlic, crushed 1 sprig thyme 1 sprig rosemary 4 juniper berries 50ml water

200g celeriac, cut into small pieces 10g unsalted butter 75ml whole milk 25ml water Salt and pepper For the blackberry sauce 225g blackberries 200ml red wine 200ml brown chicken or veal stock 1 heaped tbsp runny honey

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For the venison loin 2 x 350g venison loins 20g unsalted butter Sprig of thyme Clove of garlic Salt and pepper for seasoning Directions For the red cabbage • Add all ingredients to a large pan. Bring to a simmer, then cover with a lid, lower the heat and cook for 1½ hours, stirring every so often. Remove the lid and continue cooking for 30 minutes until tender For the celeriac fondant • Preheat the oven to 180°C • In a large frying pan on a high heat, melt the butter until it begins to foam, then place the rectangle of celeriac in the pan and colour. Carefully turn over, add the garlic, herbs and water, and loosely cover with a piece of tinfoil, before cooking in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes, until cooked in the centre. To check this, insert a small knife to ensure that there’s no resistance, and that it feels soft inside For the celeriac purée • In a large saucepan on a medium heat, soften the celeriac pieces in the butter for five minutes, covered with a lid

• Add the milk, water, salt and pepper and cook on a low heat for 10 minutes, until the celeriac is completely soft • Remove from the heat and, with a slotted spoon, place all of the celeriac in a blender with a little of the hot milk and blend to a smooth purée For the blackberry sauce • Place three quarters of the blackberries in a heavy-based saucepan with the red wine and stock, and bring to the boil • Simmer for about 10 minutes until the blackberries have softened

• Push the mixture through a fine sieve and discard the seeds and pulp • Return the sauce to the saucepan with the honey, then boil again until reduced by half and thickened to a smooth sauce • Use the remaining blackberries for garnish

For the venison loin • Sear the venison loins in a pan and colour quickly to seal all of the juices. Add the butter, thyme, garlic, salt and pepper, and cook for a further two minutes • Place in a preheated oven at 180°C, until the loin reaches 52°C in the centre when checked with a temperature probe • Rest for 20 minutes, then divide the loins into equal portions To serve • Put a swipe of purée on the plate, then place the fondant and red cabbage, with the sliced venison on top. Place the blackberries on top of the venison, dot some of the celeriac purée, and drizzle the blackberry sauce over to finish

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Parsnip and vanilla soup with seeded bread loaf SERVES 4

Preparation time: 30 minutes Cooking time: 2 hours

Ingredients For the bread 500g mixed grain flour 1 tbsp sesame seeds (plus extra for the top) 1 tbsp poppy seeds (plus extra for the top) 1 sachet fast-action yeast 1 tsp salt 300ml lukewarm water 2 tbsp olive oil 1 tbsp sugar Semi-skimmed milk to glaze For the soup 25g butter 25g vegetable oil

the time to make a soft dough. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, but not sticky. Leave in a covered bowl to double in size (in a warm room, this should take about an hour) • Preheat the oven to 180°C. Oil a 1.2-litre loaf tin; once the dough has doubled in size, remove from the bowl and place in the loaf tin, then allow to double again for approximately 45 minutes. Make a few slashes on the top, brush with the milk and sprinkle with the remaining seeds. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until the loaf is risen and golden (when you tap the top, it will sound hollow) Sprig of thyme 2 sticks celery, washed and finely sliced 1 large onion, peeled and finely sliced 1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed 8 parsnips, peeled and cut into 1cm cubes 500ml semi-skimmed milk 1 litre vegetable stock 1 vanilla pod Salt and pepper to taste Directions For the bread • Mix the flour, seeds, yeast and salt into a large mixing bowl. Mix the water, oil and sugar in a jug and pour into the dry ingredients, mixing all

For the soup • Gently melt the butter and vegetable oil in a saucepan. Add the thyme, celery, onion and garlic, and gently cook for approximately 10 minutes, until soft • Add the cubes of parsnips to the pan, as well as the milk, vegetable stock and vanilla pod. Cook on a low heat for approximately 30 to 40 minutes, until the parsnips are cooked. When cooked, remove from the heat, remove the vanilla pod and process until smooth. Season with the salt and pepper to taste. Serve in a deep bowl, alongside the seeded fresh bread

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Roasted cod fillet with Jerusalem artichokes, mussels and chorizo SERVES 4

Preparation time: 45 minutes Cooking time: 1 hour Ingredients


For the roast artichokes 400g Jerusalem artichokes, washed and peeled 10g butter 25ml vegetable oil 2 cloves garlic 1 sprig thyme 1 tsp lemon juice 10g dill, chopped For the artichoke purée 200g Jerusalem artichokes, washed, peeled and diced (2cm) 75ml vegetable stock 75ml semi-skimmed milk For the cod 2 tbsp vegetable oil 4 cod fillets Salt and pepper

• Preheat the oven to 180°C • Start by preparing the artichokes, halving the large ones and leaving the small ones whole. Place in a roasting tray and toss with the butter, oil, garlic and thyme. Roast for approximately 40 to 50 minutes, until tender inside and crisp outside. To finish, add the lemon juice and chopped dill, and toss • While the artichokes are cooking, start the purée by adding all of the ingredients to a pan, and bringing to a gentle simmer. Once soft, blitz in a liquidiser until smooth • Once the above is five minutes from being ready, start cooking the cod • Lightly coat a non-stick frying pan with the vegetable oil over a medium to high heat. When the pan

is hot, season the cod fillets with the salt and pepper and place skin-side down. Cook for two to three minutes until golden and crisp, then carefully turn over and cook the other side for another two to three minutes. Once the fish becomes opaque, it’s ready to serve • When the cod has been flipped to cook on the other side, start the mussels • In a pan, add the oil, chorizo, garlic and shallot. Cook on a medium heat until the shallot and garlic are cooked, then add the mussels and white wine. Cover with a lid and cook for approximately two to three minutes, until all of the mussels have opened (don’t serve any mussels that haven’t opened). Reduce the stock by half and add the cream, then bring to the boil and serve as a sauce

For the mussels and chorizo 2 tbsp vegetable oil 50g small diced chorizo 1 clove garlic, peeled and thinly sliced 1 small shallot 500g shell-on mussels, cleaned 100ml dry cooking wine 100ml double cream

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Chicken, bacon and leek with smoked mash and mushroom sauce SERVES 4

Preparation time: 35 minutes Cooking time: 50 minutes

100g wild mushrooms 150ml dry white wine 300ml double cream 1 tbsp freshly chopped parsley Salt and freshly ground black pepper For the chicken, bacon and leek

Ingredients For the mash 4 thin slices pancetta 3 large potatoes, King Edward or Désirée 50ml double cream 75ml milk 75g smoked butter Smoked salt to finish For the mushroom sauce Drizzle of vegetable oil 15g butter 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped 1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed 125g button mushrooms, wiped and sliced


1 tbsp vegetable oil Seasoning 4 chicken breasts, skin on, bone off 16 baby leeks

• Start by placing the pancetta on a piece of baking paper upon a flat tray, then cover with another piece of baking paper, and place another flat tray on top. Cook in a preheated oven at 180°C for 14 to 18 minutes, or until crisp. Set aside for later • For the mash, put the potatoes in a saucepan, cover with cold water and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer until tender. Meanwhile, heat the cream and milk in a saucepan on a medium heat, until the liquid has reduced by half, then stir in the smoked butter • Drain the potatoes, tip back into the pan, and return to the heat to

remove any further moisture. Sieve or mash the potato until smooth, or put through a potato ricer if you have one. Add the warm smoked butter cream to the mash until you have a good consistency – you may not need to add all of the cream. Season to taste with the smoked salt • For the sauce, heat the oil and butter in a medium saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until soft, then add and cook the mushrooms, before adding the wine and reducing by half. Add the cream, parsley, pepper and a good pinch of salt and bring to the boil. Cook for five to eight minutes, or until reduced by half, stirring occasionally and watching that the cream doesn’t over-boil • For the chicken, bacon and leek, preheat the oven to 180°C. Gently heat a frying pan with the vegetable oil, then season the chicken breasts, before placing skin-side down in the pan and colouring until golden. Turn over and cook the other side for one minute, then place in the oven and cook for approximately 12 to 14 minutes, or until an internal temperature of 75°C has been reached • While the chicken is cooking, place the leeks in a pan of boiling water and cook for four to five minutes, or until tender

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Top of the


‘DRY MONTHS’ OF NO DRINKING CAN BE A TOUGH CHALLENGE FOR MANY. TO MAKE IT EASIER, WHY NOT TRY YOUR HAND AT THESE DELICIOUS MOCKTAIL RECIPES FROM FROBISHERS JUICES? 1. Cranberry Caboose Ingredients ● Frobishers cranberry juice (250ml) ● Top-up of lemonade ● 1 tsp grenadine syrup ● Wedges of lime and lemon, and a black straw to garnish ● Serve in a highball glass Combine the cranberry juice, lemonade and grenadine syrup in a shaker half-filled


with ice and shake well. Strain into an ice-filled highball glass, garnish and serve.

2. Bumbleberry Cinnamon Punch Ingredients ● 1 tbsp sugar ● 1 tsp cinnamon powder ● Frobishers bumbleberry juice (250ml) ● Top-up of ginger beer ● Squeezed juice of half a fresh orange


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● Slices of orange, a cinnamon stirrer, and a sugar and cinnamon-coated rim to garnish ● Serve in a punch glass or brandy snifter Mix the sugar with the cinnamon powder in a saucer. Wet the outside rim of a punch or brandy glass with fresh orange. Dip the rim of the glass into the sugar and cinnamon mix, and turn the glass gently until the rim is covered. Combine all of the Frobishers bumbleberry juice with the orange juice in a shaker with ice and shake well. Strain into the punch or brandy glass filled with ice, top up with the ginger beer and stir. Garnish with a slice of orange and a cinnamon stick stirrer.

3. Grapefruit Gunner Ingredients ● Frobishers grapefruit juice (250ml) ● Squeeze of a wedge of half a lemon


● 5 dashes Angostura bitters ● Top-up of ginger beer ● Serve in a highball glass over chunky cubes of ice, with a curl of lemon and a short black straw In a highball glass with ice, add the grapefruit juice, lemon juice and Angostura bitters. Top up with the ginger beer and stir. Serve ice-cold and garnished with the curl of lemon and short black straw.

4. Cherry Ginger Mojito Ingredients ● Half a lime, muddled ● C rushed ice ● Frobishers cherry juice (250ml) ● Top-up of ginger beer ● Slices of lime, a sprig of mint and a stripy straw to garnish ● Serve in a tulip highball glass


Muddle the half-lime in a tulip highball glass and top up with crushed ice. Add the Frobishers cherry juice and top up with the ginger beer. Garnish with the sprig of mint and lime, and serve with the straw.

5. Mango Mule Ingredients ● Crushed ice ● Frobishers mango juice (250ml) ● Top-up of ginger beer ● Slices of lemon to garnish ● Serve in a highball glass Fill the highball glass with the crushed ice and add the Frobishers mango juice, then top up with the ginger beer. Garnish with the slices of lemon. For more mocktail recipes and ideas, head to


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Once upon a


How much beer do you produce at Tonbridge Brewery?

In brewing terms, this is a 12-barrel brewery, which means that we produce around 48 firkins [casks] every single brew, two or three times a week. The brewery consists of a cold liquor tank, where we chill water down at the end of a brewing day, a hot liquor tank, where we heat liquor up for brewing, a mash tun, a boil kettle and four fermenters. Our tanks hold 2,500 litres, so we’re nudging up to an annual consumption of around half a million pints.

Paul Bournazian, director of Tonbridge Brewery in East Peckham, talks us through how he and his team go about creating the perfect batch of real ale PHOTOGRAPHY BY CRAIG MATTHEWS

What’s the first step of the brewing process?

The mash tun is really where the whole process starts. The core ingredients in beer are water, malted barley, hops and yeast, so this is where the water and the malted barley come together. They’re mixed and start to work together on converting starches into sugar; later on, that sugar gets turned into alcohol when it’s fermenting. What comes out from the reaction between the water and the malted barley is something called wort [extracted liquid containing sugars to be fermented],

which can be any sort of colour. The colour and the taste is always the result of the different kinds of combinations of malt that we might use.

Then what happens?

At the beginning of the boil in the kettle, we add a small amount of hops, which give the beer its bitterness. Towards the end of the boil, which takes around 80 minutes, we add hops at different stages, depending on the different recipe. Around 10 or 15 minutes before the end, that will tend to give more of a hoppy flavour to the

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beer, and then right at the very end, it will contribute to the aroma.

Does it take a big team to pull off?

Three of us are full-time, and then we’ve got two part-time guys, who do three or four days a week, mostly driving, cask cleaning, brewing, and a little bit of selling when they’re out on the road as well. There’s also one other part-timer, who’s semi-retired and comes in largely to do cask washing for us. The biggest time consumer in brewing is cleaning; after we’ve run a brew, every one of the vessels has to be cleaned out.

Do you always use fresh hops for your beers?

For 10 to 11 months of the year, we have to rely on dried hops, because there’s only one hop harvest. During one harvest a year, we have a chance to get some fresh hops straight off the

vines, and bring them into the brew process on the day, which gives a much more intense flavour.

Where does it go after the kettle?

Once the heat has been switched off, we transfer the beer into a fermenter, after it’s been through a heat exchanger, where we rapidly cool it from 90°C+ to below 20°C. We’ve got four fermenters, so at any one time, we could be brewing somewhere in the region of 8,500 litres of beer. The unfermented beer will come into one of the fermenters, where we’ll add the yeast, and it will sit in there for an average of four days. That will then ferment out, at which point in time we’ll start to chill it down; the chilling down process will help to drop excess yeast and proteins out. It then goes into the cask and sits in our store room for a couple of weeks, where the secondary fermentation and

conditioning will take place. The bitterness will become more rounded, the flavours will develop, and the natural carbon dioxide will develop from a little bit of remaining sugars and yeast that go into the cask.

And the key to storing it correctly?

Our store room is temperature controlled at around 17°C all year round. You don’t want it too cold, because you need a certain temperature for the beer to condition up, but you don’t want it anywhere above 20°C. It’s out of here between two and five weeks after we’ve made it, and then hopefully consumed pretty quickly! To find out more about Tonbridge Brewery, visit

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Spirit of a revolution Gin has enjoyed a widespread resurgence lately, with local and regional distilleries all contributing to the conversation. Read on to find out why botanicals are such big business where we live...

Why have we seen such a rise in gin culture in recent years? Marcus Howes, 1606 Gin: Similar to the rise in craft beer, gin revival can be attributed to the provenance of products, which in turn has driven the expansion of smaller distilleries and brands throughout the UK. Also, consumers are looking for special experiences and servings, many provided by premium brands, to give them the high-quality spirit that they desire. In addition, the ever-popular G&T continues to rise in popularity, fuelled by the increase in the range of tonics entering the market, in an attempt to offer consumers a more refined G&T. Will Edge, Greensand Ridge Distillery: Gin is becoming increasingly popular, in part because it requires less time and equipment than other fine spirits, and also because many new distilleries haven’t begun to release their barrel-aged spirits

yet, and so product launches and marketing budgets are directed into un-aged spirits – predominantly gin. This focus on gin has meant that many brands that don’t have their own distillery have launched into the market to gain market share. Kim Reason, Anno Distillers: The craft gin sector is a fantastic place to be at the moment, and it’s without a doubt that gin truly is the ‘in’ spirit. Gin has had a rocky history, but the gin drinker has changed with the rise of craft gins; they appreciate the smoothness created by using small, specially designed copper-pot stills to take out the impurities, and using methods such as vapour infusion of botanicals, to get different levels of complexity in the taste. Ian McCulloch, Silent Pool Distillers: We’ve seen a huge increase in consumer interest in where their food and drink comes from, whether it’s organic, fresh, local, farm-based or imported – and

that includes spirits. Because gin has the capacity to be expressed in many different ways, it enables an almost endless variety to come to market. Small distilleries, where visitors can see the magic happen as the gin is created, are an important and physical manifestation of provenance, as it’s actually happening before your eyes.

How does this translate on a local level? Jefferson Thomas, Emporia Brands (Mayfield Gin): As a result of its history, the inclusion of new ingredients in gin isn’t just being different for the sake of being different, as it would be for any other spirit; the trend in recent years towards consuming exciting local food and drink has helped gin more than any other drink, and Mayfield Gin, with the inclusion of Sussex hops, discovered growing wild in local hedgerows, is a fine continuation of a long tradition.

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GASTRO DRINK Will: For us, provenance is really important, so the fact that our distillery is based in the Weald, and our flavours are driven by the region, is at the heart of what we do. Being based close to where our farmers are based is important, so that surplus produce can travel the minimum distance to get to us for processing. Kim: One of the most exciting factors that’s led to the popularity of the spirit is the amazing range of flavour profiles that can be created. We take great pride being based in Kent, the Garden of England, and use local water and botanicals in our spirits, to celebrate the plethora of amazing flavours that we have available to us here, from the samphire on the coast, to the Kentish hops. There’s almost no limit on the botanicals that can be used, and some flavours coming through are extremely weird and wacky! Marcus: Localism is big these days, and the provenance of a local gin is important to customers, who are showing a greater interest in their origin, and the botanicals used to make them. The Garden of England inevitably has an abundance of botanicals that distillers can marry together to produce unique gins, and there are distilleries based in this area, and the South East in general, that take advantage of this.

What are your hopes and predictions for the gin trade going forward? Will: The market in gin will continue to evolve, and as consumers dig deeper into brands’ stories, my expectation is that those of us who make our spirit on a craft basis will gain more support. At the same time, other categories of spirit will evolve and go through the same renaissance that gin has, and we will certainly be a part of that revolution. Marcus: The gin renaissance doesn’t show any sign of waning, at least on the consumption front. However, small producers don’t have the economy of scale to reduce costs and maximise efficiency in the event of a depression in the market. Let’s face it – at premium prices of up to £40 a bottle, the brand needs a very good reason to justify this cost. Currently, there

are 140 gin distilleries and 500 brands in the UK, so who knows how much longer this growth can continue? Ian: We’re fortunate enough to be in the middle of the ‘gin and jag’ belt, and it helps that most of our local consumers know what gin is. The good news is that these people are great advocates for what we’re doing, as word of mouth is the best advertising, after all. We’re seeing consumers grasp the new gins, as they explore and sample out on their gin journey, and long may that continue.

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Nutrition Insight

IBS, OR JUST BAD BREAD? Nutritionist Kate Arnold explores irritable bowel syndrome’s relationship with celiac disease, or whether it can be avoided by eating ‘a bread that suits you’


read, or more commonly, wheat and gluten, are the most common ingredients that patients talk about, and not necessarily in a good way! Seemingly harmless, they may cause digestive problems like bloating, headaches, fatigue, nausea and IBS. More often than not, bread is avoided due to a self-diagnosis of wheat or gluten intolerance, without really knowing what exactly is causing what symptom. Is it actually the grain, or something else entirely? Are we becoming a nation

of wheat-intolerant, gluten-intolerant people, or are we all hypochondriacs? A RECENT HISTORY OF BREAD MAKING Changes in bread making have been quite drastic over the last 40 years. In 1961, the Chorleywood bread process was created, which used chemical additives, intense energy and high quantities of yeast to produce the maximum amount of loaves in the shortest time. Most bread in the UK is made by this method, or one that uses

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similar additives, plus of course, what’s being sprayed onto the crops has totally changed how we produce bread. So, what’s the problem? The trouble comes if dough isn’t allowed to ferment for several hours. Natural bacteria doesn’t then have a chance to destroy harmful elements in the dough, and therefore make important nutrients available to the human body. There’s also the addition of genetically modified enzymes, added to flour and dough to make loaves larger and more ‘squishy’, so that they have a longer shelf life. Worryingly, some recent research has suggested that transglutaminase, an enzyme used in baking and food manufacturing, might change the gliadin protein in wheat flour into a form that may be harmful to the human body. Even organic loaves are made in the same way, but can contain lower amounts of pesticides and additives. Modern roller milling is extremely efficient at stripping away the nutrient-rich outer layers of wheat grains, leaving behind not much more than starch and gluten. Compared to whole wheat, refined white flour can be highly depleted in nutrients. The average amounts of vitamins lost are: 93% vitamin E; 87% vitamin B6; 81% vitamin B2; 80% vitamin B3; 70% iron; and 56% calcium. Hopefully, you can now see that bread isn’t all that it appears to be. To be fair to manufacturers, millions of loaves have

to be made every day, and need a good shelf life, so some vitamins are re-added. The ingredients needed to make bread are simply flour, water, yeast and a little salt. Artisan bakeries have increased in popularity over the past few years, but a loaf doesn’t come cheap. Go to for more information. CELIAC DISEASE If you think that you have a problem digesting bread and have vague symptoms, go and see your GP, who can arrange a blood test – this will include tissue transglutaminase antibodies. You may also need a biopsy, which is taken while doing an endoscopy. Remember, when you’re testing for celiac disease, you’ll need to have eaten gluten daily for a period of six weeks before testing, otherwise the test will be void. Celiac disease isn’t just a bit of bloating; it’s actually classed as an autoimmune disease. Symptoms can include: bloating; abdominal pain; nausea; diarrhoea; excessive wind; heartburn; indigestion; constipation; any combination of iron, vitamin B12 or folic acid deficiency; tiredness; headaches; weight loss (but not in all cases); recurrent mouth ulcers; hair loss (alopecia); skin rashes; joint or bone pain; neurological (nerve) problems such as ataxia (poor muscle co-ordination); and neuropathy (numbness and tingling in the hands and feet).

It’s hard for GPs to diagnose, as you can see that the symptoms are varied, and some quite common. If you’re not celiac, but suspect that you have issues with gluten, you might want to swap your current loaf and see if the symptoms go. There will be a bread out there that doesn’t cause symptoms. Rotate bread types (pita or flattened breads often have less yeast, so try rye, spelt or gluten-free), and more often than not, you’ll find a bread that suits you. Bread is so useful that it seems a shame to eliminate it totally from the diet. Should I cut gluten out of my diet? Before we all start getting seriously neurotic, the only time when you should really cut out gluten is if you’re celiac. However, there are many shades of grey in how people respond to foods, and in some cases, it might be worth having a gluten-free, or certainly low-gluten, diet. Firstly, I’d try to eat the best-quality gluten you can, i.e. a decent loaf (as discussed above). If you feel like you’re better gluten-free, then fine, but be careful not to slip into buying gluten-free foods, thinking that they’re healthy. They can still be packed with sugar and salt! Kate Arnold Nutrition is a nutrition consultancy specialising in gastrointestinal health and fatigue disorders. To find out more, call Kate on 01323 310 532/01323 737 814, email, or visit

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“IT ALL STEMS FROM THE CLASSICS...” Patrick Hill, head chef at Thackeray’s in Tunbridge Wells, talks about adding a contemporary twist to traditional desserts PHOTOGRAPHY BY CRAIG MATTHEWS

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the ham is fatty and salty, and the pineapple is fresh, sweet he classics are often the best! There’s a reason and sharp. It’s all about finding balance in writing dishes. why they’ve stood the test of time – using Some of the classics need help with that, and that’s where simple flavours that we all know work, and knowledge comes into it. putting our own spin on them to make them I had a good footing when I was younger with my family, amazing. From a corned beef and piccalilli in as much as they were all ‘sandwich’, to a boozy good cooks, and always put sherry trifle, we can use fresh, homemade dinner on the modern cooking techniques table. I suppose, looking back, and knowledge to elevate that this may have sparked my them to the modern day, interest in cooking – watching exciting our customers, We always like to push my mum make cottage pie, or without alienating them. her love of using the slow cooker I find great excitement boundaries and try new for casseroles and chilli; my when someone orders, say, flavours in cooking dad and his superb, monstrous a ‘corned beef’ pressing sandwiches; my nan and her with sweet mustard sausage and onion pie; my dressing, chard cauliflower other nan and her lemon drizzle and confit breadcrumbs, cake; and my granddad and his and it brings them back to barbecues (even if it was raining). their childhood of having I could probably look back on dishes that I’ve written a corned beef sarnie at their nan’s. We always like to push previously, and see that I’ve taken bits from all of these boundaries and try new flavours in cooking, but it all stems different experiences of food in my younger years. from the classics. Taking all of this into account, I’m going to show you Take yourself back to having birthday parties as a child, and how to make one of our recipes – a dish of chocolate and your mum doing the classic ham and pineapple hedgehog; cherries that we all know works really well and love – and very basic, I know, but working with that, you can think about demonstrate how I put my own modern spin on it... how and why it works, and write a dish from it. It works, as

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Kentish cherry parfait

Dark and milk-chocolate mousse, Griottine cherries, chocolate and beetroot matchsticks, cherry sorbet SERVES 6

Preparation time: 2.5 hours, plus overnight setting/freezing

Cooking time: 1 hour


BLACK MUSCAT An under-appreciated Muscat variety – and one of the very few black-skinned Muscats – that’s virtually black in colour, with a rose-like aroma, very intense on the palate, and full of fantastic rich, velvety fruit. The reason why I’d pair this wine with our cherry dish is because the heady dark cherry and ripe fig would cut through perfectly with the creaminess of the parfait. This wine also has a hint of chocolate on the edge, which would suit the light chocolate soil in our dish.

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• Melt the chocolate in a bowl • Whisk the egg and yolks until pale • Place the sugar and water into a heavy-based pan and boil to 118°C, then pour this over the eggs and keep whisking • Pour in the melted chocolate, then the cream • Mix all together and set in the fridge

Sugar thermometer Bowls Whisk Rubber spatula Baking trays Silicone mats Blender Mixer Half-sphere silicone moulds Piping bags Chocolate spray gun (optional) Ice cream maker (optional) 100g milk chocolate 100g dark chocolate 25ml double cream 25ml cherry or balsamic vinegar • Melt the two chocolates in a bowl together • In a separate pan, bring the cream and vinegar to the boil, and reduce by half • Combine the cream mix with the chocolate and stir • Pipe into matchsticks and allow to set in the fridge

CHERRY SORBET 500ml cherry purée 250ml water 250g caster sugar 10g glucose 2.5g Stab 2000

• Place all of ingredients into a heavy-based pan, bring to the boil slowly, then take off • Place into an ice cream maker and churn until ready, then store in the freezer • Be careful not to over-churn, otherwise your sorbet will be icy and hard to scoop

BRANDY SNAP 25g sugar 25g butter 25g golden syrup 25g flour ½ tsp ginger

• Place all of the ingredients into a pan and cook until melted • Poor onto a silicone mat (or sheet of greaseproof paper) on a baking tray, and bake until golden-brown • Cut into your desired shape

MILK-CHOCOLATE MOUSSE 225g milk chocolate 225g double cream 1 gelatine leaf 55g caster sugar 130g pasteurised whole eggs

• Melt the chocolate in a bowl • Semi-whip the cream • Soak the gelatine in ice-cold water • Whip the sugar and eggs in a mixer until thick and ‘ribbony’ • Add the chocolate, then fold in the cream, melt the gelatine in a pan with a little of the cream, and add to the mix • Pour all into a tub and place in the fridge

175g 70% chocolate 1 egg 3 egg yolks 125g caster sugar 40ml water 250ml double cream

CHERRY PARFAIT 200ml double cream 2 gelatine leaves 80g egg yolks 50g caster sugar 20ml water Cherry purée to taste

• Semi-whip the cream • Soak the gelatine in ice-cold water • Whisk the egg and yolks until pale • Place the sugar and water into a heavy-based pan and boil to 118°C, then pour this over the whipped yolks and keep whisking • Throw in the soaked gelatine (the heat from the sugar will melt this) • Fold in the cream and add the cherry purée to taste • Pour into silicone moulds and freeze


200g sugar 200g ground almonds 150g plain flour 100g cocoa powder 120g melted butter • Mix all of the ingredients together, spread onto a silicone mat (or greaseproof sheet) on a baking tray, and bake at 180°C for 10 to 15 minutes • Allow to cool and smash into crumbs

CHOCOLATE SPRAY 300g white chocolate 300g cocoa butter

• Melt both the chocolate and cocoa butter together • Pop out the cherry parfaits and push two spheres together to make a ball • Push onto a skewer, and into something to make it stand up (e.g. a potato) • Put the chocolate mix into the spray gun and spray a thin layer all around the sphere, until coated


200g fresh cherries 50g Griottine cherries 10 sprigs micro-lemon balm • This dessert is good for dinner parties, as everything can be prepared in advance, and put together when ready. • Have fun plating and wow your guests!

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easy as pie THE BUSY MUM:

Local author and food writer Mary Gwynn serves up a delicious homemade pie recipe, and explains why it fits the bill for the colder months ahead


aving enjoyed a proper summer of sunshine and the attendant joys of eating al fresco, my thoughts turn happily to comfort cooking and eating with the arrival of autumn, shorter days and colder nights. And what could be more comforting than a homemade pie, with a piping hot savoury filling and flaky, buttery pastry shell? I do love a good pie, especially a plate version with pastry on the base as well as the top, so that the filling, with all of its juices, is enclosed in a crisp case to keep it succulent. And here I enter the great pie debate; cheating by cooking a separate pastry lid, which is then sat on top of cooked filling, just doesn’t cut the mustard. It is not – and never will be – a pie. From my research into 100 years of recipes for the WI, however, I do agree with Mary Berry that a pie is still a pie if it only has a lid, as long as that pastry lid is cooked from raw on top of the filling, which itself may have been precooked. Being able to buy good-quality puff pastry made with butter means that a satisfying pie can be rustled up in a very short space of time (buying ready-rolled sheets makes it even easier). This winter, I’ll enjoy making versions with game, classic steak and kidney, and of course, a family favourite, fish pie – we like smoked haddock topped with parsley mash.

These all involve a bit of planning and work cooking the filling, but with a few shortcuts, it’s possible to make a family pie in very little time, using leftovers. And if I make a large one, then the following day it can be sliced and served cold in a packed lunch, or with salad for a working version at my desk. I made this pie to use up cooked chicken thighs left over from a party, with a block of pastry from the freezer, quickly defrosted with a blast in the microwave (be careful to do this in short 15-second bursts, as it’s all too easy to end up with a melted, unusable mess that has to go straight in the bin). The real game-changer for flavour was the addition of large quantities of fresh herbs, particularly tarragon, a classic partner for chicken, and capers for added punch. I was in a hurry, so just folded the pastry over the filling, rather than going to the trouble of ‘knocking up’ perfect crimped pastry edges and decorating the top with leaves and swirls, as I would do for a special occasion. This was a kitchen table version, but no less good for all of that! I served it with glorious mashed potato made with plenty of butter, and runner beans from the garden, but over the winter, it would go just as well with shredded steamed cabbage or broccoli.

The real game-changer for flavour was the addition of large quantities of fresh herbs, particularly tarragon, a classic partner for chicken, and capers for added punch

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• 250-300g cooked chicken • 30g butter • 2 leeks, sliced • 2 rashers good-quality streaky bacon or 50g cubed pancetta • 2 tbsp plain flour • 150ml vegetable or chicken stock • 4 tbsp crème fraîche • 6-8 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley, tarragon and chives • 2 tsp capers, chopped • Squeeze of lemon juice • Salt and freshly ground black pepper • 350g puff pastry made with butter, thawed if frozen • Beaten egg to glaze


Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan oven 180°C/gas mark 6. Cut or tear the chicken into large pieces. Melt the butter in a large non-stick pan and add the leeks and bacon. Cook gently for three to four minutes until soft and pale. Add the flour and stir for a minute to cook. Off the heat, gradually stir in the hot stock, then return to the heat and simmer gently for a minute or two, stirring until thick and smooth. Stir in the crème fraîche, chopped herbs, capers, lemon juice and seasoning. Add the chicken and leave to cool. If in a hurry, transfer this mix to a large plate and spread out to cool down fast. Roll out the pastry thinly on a lightly floured work surface, and cut a circle about 10cm wider than a 20cm pie plate from one side (I use a tin plate as it conducts heat better for a crisp base, but you can use ceramic as long as you cook it on a preheated baking sheet). Use to line the plate, leaving the pastry hanging over the edges. Spoon in the filling and fold the pastry over to cover. Brush the pastry edges on the dish with cold water, then lift the remaining pastry over to cover the filling. Tuck it in around the edges. Chill for 15 minutes to allow the pastry to rest if you have time, then brush with the beaten egg and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until crisp and golden. Cook’s tip: This is my basic recipe for chicken pie, but depending on what’s in the fridge, I might add sliced chestnut mushrooms, sautéed until just soft in a little butter, or maybe some tinned sweetcorn or cooked broccoli florets. You can also make it with shortcrust pastry instead.

Mary Gwynn is a local author and food writer. She writes regularly for Waitrose Weekend newspaper and has published several cookery books, including The WI Cookbook: The First 100 Years and The Busy Mum’s Cookbook. She is on the committee of Penshurst Farmers’ Market. For more recipes, follow her on Twitter and Instagram @busymumcooks, or visit

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Here are some fun titbits and trivia gems that you may not have known about food in numbers

There are more than 10,000 varieties of tomato in existence

Globally, the average person eats 173 pounds of meat per year

Over 60 species and 8,000 varieties of grape are available around the world

In excess of 7,000 apple varieties are grown across the globe

There are more than 600 pasta shapes produced worldwide

Britons eat 300million portions of ďŹ sh and chips annually

A watermelon is over 92% water by weight

The average hot dog is consumed in six bites

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Glassware The GASTRO Guide to...

Ever wondered what the difference between a highball and a hurricane is? Well, ponder no more, as we round up 10 essential glasses and the drinks for which they should be used

Hurricane glass – the name of this glass stems from the Hurricane cocktail, which was created in New Orleans. Taller and wider than a highball glass, it’s shaped similarly to a vase or a hurricane lamp, and is also made to hold concoctions such as the Singapore Sling and piña colada.

Martini glass – the form of a cocktail glass derives from the fact that they’re ordinarily served chilled. Accordingly, the stem allows the drinker to hold the glass without affecting the temperature of the drink, and the wide bowl under their nose ensures that the aromatic element has the desired effect.

Old Fashioned glass – also known as a ‘rocks glass’, this short tumbler is for the enjoyment of tan spirits over ice. It takes its name from the famous Old Fashioned, a cocktail made by muddling sugar with bitters, then adding whisky or brandy and a twist of citrus rind.

Highball glass – taller than an Old Fashioned glass, but shorter and wider than a Collins glass, a highball glass is a tumbler used to serve highball cocktails and other mixed drinks, comprising a base spirit and a larger proportion of non-alcoholic mixer. It can generally contain between 240 and 350ml.

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GASTRO GLASSWARE Snifter – if you like your cognac, brandy, whisky or bourbon, then this is the glass for you. The short-stemmed glass has a wide bottom and narrow top, helping to trap the aroma, while the rounded bottom allows the glass to be cupped and warmed in the hand of the drinker.

Champagne flute, coupe and tulip – whereas a Champagne flute can be identified by its tall, tapered, conical shape, or elongated, slender bowl, a coupe (supposedly modelled on the breast of French queen Marie Antoinette) is more shallow, broad-bowled an saucer-shaped. The tulip, meanwhile, has a wider, flared body and mouth.

Collins glass – here’s a tumbler that’s made for mixed drinks, particularly the eponymous Tom Collins cocktail, which consists of Old Tom gin, lemon juice, sugar and carbonated water. Typically, the infusion is served ‘on the rocks’ (poured over ice), and garnished with a slice of lemon and a maraschino cherry.

Schooner – in Australia, a schooner usually holds three quarters of a pint of beer, but is commonly a vessel for sherry in the UK. The drink is served as either a ‘clipper’ (the smaller measure), or a schooner (the larger measure), based on servings from the fortified wine’s naval history.

Pilsner glass – tall, slender and tapered, a pilsner glass is smaller than a pint, but its shape helps to reveal the beer’s colour and carbonation. The broad top aids in maintaining the head, and the glass can also be used for many other types of light beers, including pale lagers.

Weizen glass – originating in Germany, a weizen glass is the go-to option for a wheat beer. Narrow at the bottom and slightly wider at the top, its width helps to release the beverage’s aroma and provide room for the thick, fluffy heads that tend to be produced by wheat beers.

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Far and away

on the farm Based in Marden, Far Acre Farm offers free-range eggs, locally produced wines and camping for kids and grown-ups alike. Jennie Creasey talks more about life on a family-run agricultural enterprise

Tell us the background of Far Acre Farm My husband and I bought the farm in 2003, and thought it would be a good pocket of land to start up our own egg production business. We’ve still got our hens, but decided that, in addition, we needed to make the other pieces of land work; the chickens have 10 acres to range in, but we had another couple of pockets of land – just under a hectare – which we decided to make into a vineyard in April 2010. In 2014, we set up a campsite on the neighbouring piece of land.

They’re very well looked after, and everything is to a higher standard.

How many eggs do you tend to produce? We have 8,000 hens, which lay close to 2.5million eggs a year. We purposefully went over their minimum free-range requirements to give them extra space, and they’re also Freedom Food-accredited, with a non-GM diet.

Do you sell your wares at local farmers’ markets? Farmers’ markets have been brilliant for direct egg sales. It’s lovely to sell direct to people and educate them on how things are done. We’ve had amazing support from our customers, and it’s a lovely way of meeting them. We’ve also

What makes your vineyard stand out among other English wine producers? Our niche is that we can do things on a smaller scale. There’s no way that we can compete with the big boys of the industry, who are creating tens of thousands of bottles of wine in a year, but we’re going for a really high-quality, much-loved product, and people are beginning to see that.

started selling our wine at the markets now, so it’s all tying in beautifully, and the campers in the campsite know that we provide eggs and wine too. Why is Marden and the surrounding county so perfect as a setting? Kent is an amazing area to have an agricultural business, not only because there are pockets of land for it, but also because the terroir for the wines is on a par with the Champagne region. The climate has warmed enough to encourage white wines to flourish in the South East, and there’s been a massive increase in vineyard plantations in the last few years, where people have realised that the region can make very good wines. To find out more about Far Acre Farm, visit

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Field and farm on the plate

As autumn turns to winter, Bruce McMichael discusses the benefits of shopping at your local farmers’ market, even in the colder months

isit a farmers’ market or farm shop early in the morning, and you’ll often find a chef – perhaps even in their familiar uniform of whites – moving from stall to stall, seeking the best fresh produce for the day’s menu. They’ll frequently chat with stallholders, who range from farmers and fulltime producers, to foodie enthusiasts, keen to use their cooking skills to earn some extra income at the weekend. They all share a passion, though, for good-quality ingredients and cooked food that excites the shopper. Kent-based chef Matthew Kearsey-Lawson knows all about local food, with experience on farms, new product development, and building his own food business making chutneys, jams and spreads. He’s regularly seen behind a stall at farmers’ markets like Tonbridge, and hosting cookery demos onstage, such as the popular Live Kitchen at the Kent County Show. “Farmers’ markets are friendly, accessible places,” he says. “Whether you’re shopping or setting up in


business as an artisan jam maker, baker or hot food seller, they’re great places to visit, meet friends and family, and buy the best local, seasonal produce.” Menus, daily specials and chef’s tasting menus all need these good-quality, fresh ingredients. As the seasons change from the abundant harvests of autumn, to earthy, wintry crops like beetroot, cabbage and Brussels sprouts, chefs are keen to reflect what’s happening in the fields and farms on their plates. Many of these ingredients are used by Matthew to create tart preserves and condiments, as well as chutneys, lively relishes, jellies and marmalades. He works with Kentish cobnut producer Alexander Hunt of Potash Farm, near Sevenoaks, to produce a range of spreads and oils that are sold all year round. The cobnut season is short, lasting into late autumn, but produces a defining ingredient of the region. Seasonal gluts from the vegetable gardens, allotments and farmers’ markets are few and far between during the shorter days of the British year,

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either side of the New Year. However, there’s still plenty of fruit and vegetables to pick or buy, including carrots, potatoes and kale, and spring greens into March. Game is also in season, with huntsmen offering pheasant, venison and rabbit directly to chefs at the kitchen door, or on popup stalls at your local farmers’ market. A lot of this produce is suitable for fermenting, an ancient way of preserving food for the lean times of late autumn and winter. Beets, radishes and carrots are all great for pickling to preserve their goodness, and adding a vinegary punch to the earthy seasonal menus, especially those roast pork recipes, complementing the sweetness of the must-have apple sauce. Alternatively, why not take home a bag of sweet chestnuts to roast on the fire and share on wintry evenings? As the winter digs in, early frosts produce the sweetest parsnips, a perfect match with Jerusalem artichokes to go with a roast, or perhaps the Christmas turkey. While the short days of the New Year allow us to indulge in hearty stews

and comfort food, there’s also roast venison with kale, and/or fish pies with shellfish, landed in our local ports of Rye and Whitstable. With many of us living in towns and too frequently missing the changing seasons, visiting farmers’ markets, and perhaps having lunch in a country pub, is a great opportunity to connect with the landscape of your region. Plus, you might just spot a chef sourcing the best local ingredients for your lunch! To find a farmers’ market near you and times of opening, go to the Kent Farmers’ Market Association website at Bruce McMichael is a food writer and the manager of the Tunbridge Wells (Town Hall) Farmers’ Market, which is held on the second and fourth Saturday of the month. He blogs at

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Where the wild things are Fergus Drennan, a.k.a. ‘Fergus the Forager’, takes us on a playful journey into truly unique and flavoursome foods that are ‘cultivated, feral and wild’


or the past 200,000 years, until within the relatively recent blink of a wild historical eye, our diet, palate, daily foods and relation to them (and hence our very nature and existence) has been defined by the uncivilized, unruly, rich, intense, exuberantly self-propagating, fecund, unbounded, free, spontaneous and tenacious spirit of those very ingested wildings – the plants, fungi, seaweeds and animals of these lands and waters. The modern world finds us, in some respects, tamed, domesticated, and a somewhat curtailed species, our senses no longer so finely attuned to the immediacy and urgency of the full-flavoured moment; no longer honed to the moon’s waxes and wanes, the hungry wolf’s howl, or the thrumming seasonal heartbeat of rhythmic cycles, ever foregrounding a back-dropped, imminent possibility of death become life. But wild foods, with their impossibly rude vibrancy, nuanced tastes and textural subtleties; with their exquisite beauty and kaleidoscopic riot of colour possibilities, have come full-circle. In the modern kitchen, be it in a domestic setting, gourmet restaurant, gastro pub, humble campervan, or impromptu fire and surroundings (forest, beach, riverside, or wherever you can get away with it), foraged foods approached with a spirit of play

and creative inspiration can still imbue us with their unique and unpredictable wild qualities. Indeed, the nearer to the source of your wild harvest; the nearer to fire and its smoke; the nearer to the sound of crashing waves and the taste of the sea’s salt in the air, the nearer to a full-fledged wild recipe you will have come. Hedgerow, as a realm of ketchup possibilities, is a concept that stretches from the formal, yet slightly ragged (more or less), species-diverse garden, park or field boundary, to that small tree thicket over there, or that motley crew of plants jostling for attention, as one’s gaze wonders from the sea, landwards, to the first substantial clusters of colonising shrubs. It’s the woodland edge or woodland remnant; the overgrown allotment, or disused and now barely navigable alleyway; it’s a lone crab apple on an upland moor, or recumbently sprawling Rosa rugosa hugging the high beach shingle; it is, indeed, anywhere the likes of elder, sloe, bullace, damson, cherry plum, seabuckthorn, wild raspberry, dogrose, hawthorn, dewberry, guilder rose, wayfaring-tree, Duke of Argyle’s teaplant, Juneberry, wild service tree, whitebeam, rowan, gean, wild pear, strawberry tree, feral fig, and feral walnut can be found.

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• Elderberry juice (boiled and used as is, or concentrated) • Bullace plums (mashed raw and pulp passed through a sieve) • Blackberries (as above) • Rosehip extract (boiled for 10 minutes after just covering with water, mashing and passing through a fine cloth) • Cherry plums (mashed raw and pulp passed through a sieve) • Haw berries (mashed up with the other fruit and pulp passed through a sieve) • Sloes (mashed up and pulp passed through a sieve) • Caramelised onion purée • Red wine vinegar Note: A good ratio is 1/3 pulped hedgerow fruit, 1/3 caramelised onion purée, and 1/3 red wine vinegar. A deeper red colour, if desired, can be achieved by adding more elderberry juice, or more blackberries (on this occasion, mine turned out somewhat pink, but tasted great). I used both dark blue/black bullace plums and green bullaces (just to celebrate seeing the hedgerow thicket of shrubby plants in my neighbourhood produce fruit for the first time in 30 years).

The elderberry juice needed heating to boiling point for a couple of minutes to make it safe to eat (I then quadruple-concentrated it), and the rosehip extract was made by boiling and mashing the hips, before straining off and reducing down the liquid to concentrate the flavour. The straining is essential to remove the fine hairs that cover the seeds, which can irritate you internally. The rosehip extract can also be made using fresh, raw hips, blended with some water and passed through a fine cloth. Apart from that, it really is just a case of mashing all of the fruit together, squashing the pulp through a sieve, and combining with all of the other ingredients by mixing them thoroughly in a bowl. Of course, of the non-wild ingredients, the caramelised onion purée also requires advanced preparation, and there’s a bit of an art to doing it well. Cook finely sliced onions in a deep pan for about 45 minutes. Once the juices have boiled off, allow the onions to stick to the bottom of the pan for a few minutes, then stir through, using the onions themselves to clean up the bottom of the pan. Repeat four or five times, then liquidise and allow to cool. If made outside, because raw ingredients are involved, the ketchup will last up to two weeks if refrigerated on the day of making (before it starts fermenting), or for ages if boiled (by placing on a trivate and starting in a pan of cold water) for five minutes (time the five minutes from when the water boils).


First, collect whatever hedgerow fruit you can find. Two of the wild ingredients that I’ve included here required advanced preparation.

This recipe calls for the use of foraged ingredients. If you are unsure of the safety of cooking with wild produce, please proceed with caution or consult an expert. Neither the owner nor the publisher can accept responsibility for guaranteeing the safety of any ingredients or cooking processes mentioned in this article.

This is the kind of recipe that would drive my mother completely mad; she requires exact measurements and preparation instructions, down to the finest detail. But for me, wild foods and wild recipes go in tandem. They’re deliberately, and perhaps necessarily, somewhat vague, because who knows what will be found on the day, or who will be making them? I also enjoy the

fact that they’re a rebellion against the supermarket cult of predictability and standardisation. So, go wild with your recipes and enjoy the consequences! Fergus Drennan is a wild food experimentalist and educator, running regular full-day total immersion foraging courses for the general public and privately. To find out more, visit

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Wherever you go,

you can find great wine... Celebrity wine presenter, columnist and author Olly Smith reflects on the wonders of the ‘extraordinary elixir’, and why it continues to inspire, enthuse and enchant the world over

So, Ollie, tell us how you first fell in love with wine to begin with My first real experiences weren’t until I was a teenager, as we didn’t really have wine in my home growing up. It was a big journey from being excited about wine and who grows it, to thinking about who wants to drink it, and what the best possible wine that I could recommend them at any one moment would be. That became an absolute thrill for me. You’re a bona fide wine expert – what does that mean to you? Being a wine expert isn’t just about saying, ‘This wine is the best wine

in the world’; it’s about listening to what people actually want and like, and what they want to spend, then matching all of those things together to find them a wine that really hits the sweet spot. Is it usually a case of ‘the more expensive, the better’? I’ve always felt that you don’t need to spend a fortune to enjoy great wine. The main thing is that, if you’re spending £20 or upwards on a bottle, you’d expect it to be absolutely amazing; it’s more thrilling when you’re spending a fiver or less, and you find a bottle that absolutely wows people,

because it’s much more of a challenge and not the easiest thing in the world, but you can still find fantastic value. There really are a million and one opportunities to taste so many different flavours at good prices. Where are some of your favourite regions? The two places that I go back to time and time again for interesting flavours and good value are Portugal and Greece. Greece is a real passion of mine; I absolutely love the local wealth of grape varieties that are there, and the fact that we’re now starting to see them not just on independent merchants’ shelves, but also on the mainstream high street. They’re starting to really show amazing character. Are you a fan of English wines? I couldn’t be more thrilled by the whole thing. It’s wonderful to see so many people not just making wine, but making brilliant wine. I’ve now got more English

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GASTRO OLLY SMITH sparkling wine at home in my cellar than I have sparkling French Champagne, not just because I love our country, but also because I think that it happens to be some of the best sparkling wine in the world, which is right on my doorstep. What makes them stand out? The passion for English sparkling wine is palpable. People are really interested and genuinely tuned into the idea that the quality is rivalling some of the very best fizz in the world. We’re blessed with a marginal climate, which enables us to create wines that are on the edge in flavour terms. The fact that we have this brisk, sparkling, effervescent, glorious, shrill, bright style of winemaking means that our wines aren’t just great for today; they’re going to be amazing as they age. You’ve built a career around food and travel – why are they such ideal bedfellows? It’s great to be able to bring wine to a new audience, and expand the audience of wine, showing people that it doesn’t have to cost a lot to be enjoyed, and can come from extraordinary places that maybe they haven’t tasted before. Flavour trails lead the world over now, and wine isn’t just something that we find in Europe, or some of the New World countries like Australia and New Zealand; there’s interesting wine coming from China, India and Mexico, and pretty much wherever you go, you can find great wine. Just look over your shoulder, and wherever you are, you’re very likely to find a half-decent vineyard, which is so true of Great Britain right now – what’s happening with wine here couldn’t be more exciting. Wine and travel is glorious, but it also unlocks so many more levels of enjoyment, whether it’s cycling from vineyard to vineyard, or indulging in a great gastronomic experience. There are so many different ways to look at the wine and get involved on a holiday, which is absolutely terrific. Speaking of gastronomy, you must be a man who knows all about great food and wine pairings... Ultimately, great food and great wine should be fun and an adventure, with a

it’s more useful to let people come to their I’ve always felt that you don’t need own conclusions about how the wine tastes to to spend a fortune to enjoy great them and give them wine. The main thing is that, if guidelines. In the same you’re spending £20 or upwards way that we all have different favourite on a bottle, you’d expect it to be paintings, bands and absolutely amazing; it’s more thrilling movie stars, we all enjoy when you’re spending a fiver or less flavours differently, which is something that’s absolutely key to recognise and be embraced in any group of people. It’s sense of invigoration. I’m all in favour of much more valuable to give them the celebrating the finer things of life, but in confidence to explore for themselves. the spirit of just enjoying it, and the more information and enriching discussions Why do you think wine fascinates that you can have about it, the better, as and inspires so many people the it makes it all the more interesting. world over? It’s really about mixing, matching and There’s always a story to tell about exploring. There are 101 ways to flip a vineyard, and there’s always a bit things on their head, have a bit of fun more to learn if you wish. The theatre and enjoy it. Wine and food both unlock of wine is something that I thoroughly another dimension within one another, and can be one of the greatest pleasures appreciate; it’s another angle on enjoying this extraordinary elixir, on the planet, especially when you’re which has been going for thousands in good company. It sends you on that of years. Whether it’s the Romans or merry journey into ever-deeper pastures the monks, we’ve got a whole load of of enjoyment. history behind it, and an awful lot of knowledge that contributes to every Do you place a lot of emphasis on single glass. learning about the background of a wine before trying it? To find out more about Olly Smith, Context is always helpful, but rather visit than giving specific tasting notes,

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From the grape to the game

Jonny Gibson, owner and head tutor at Sussex Wine School in Tunbridge Wells and Brighton, takes a look at some of the best bottles to enjoy with meat and mushrooms this autumn


love the subtle shift of the seasons as we move from summer into autumn. There never seems to be any consensus on exactly when autumn starts, but for me, something changes around the September equinox. Blackberries are giving way to sloes in the hedgerows, and it’s harvest time again at my secret mushroom spots. On that note, a friend from France has promised to take me truffle hunting, but says that the best time of year is December. Apparently he can do it by sight alone. No trained snuffling pigs or dogs for him. We shall see. Mushrooms are perfect with pinot noir. If you haven’t experienced the joy of a mushroom omelette with flat-leaf parsley and a glass of red Burgundy, or a pinot noir from

Oregon, Martinborough or Otago, then you need to sort that out straightaway (add some bacon or pancetta too if you want to go all out). There’s a real buzz around pinot noir wines from Australia at the moment as well. They chaired the annual get-together of winemakers and lovers of all things pinot in Oregon this year, and I’ve read some very complimentary quotes from respected American winemakers about the high quality of the pinot noirs from Mornington Peninsula and Yarra Valley. (Something to do with a large percentage of current plantings being able to trace the parentage back to an intrepid Aussie, who charmed his way around the Cote de Nuits in the 1880s, and took lots of cuttings back home with him.)

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Jonny’s suggested wines for autumn food Wither Hills Marlborough Pinot Noir 2014 The Wine Society, £10.50 Domaine Treloar Cotes du Roussillon Three Peaks Red 2014 Ten Green Bottles, £12.50 Barbera d’Alba ‘Sucule’ Lo Zoccolaio 2013 Majestic, £7.99 Madiran Odé d’Aydie 2014 The Wine Society, £10.95 Wiston Estate Blanc de Blancs NV Butler’s Wine Cellar, £27.99

If you like game, then this is the time of year to think about buying wines that go well with partridge, pheasant, wild duck and venison. If you’re searing your duck or venison in a pan and then cooking it through in the oven, try Cabernet Sauvignon or a red from South West France, like Madiran or Cahors. These wines go particularly well when you add a bit of pan-fried fruit or sweet, fruit-based jelly or condiment on the side. You might be pot-roasting a bird, in which case you need to keep things moist with the lid on, with a couple of veggies like celery or carrot, and a glass or two of Marsala or Vermouth in the pot. The game can be local, but I’d go for a northern or central Italian red, like Barbera d’Alba or Chianti Classico, or maybe a northern Rhone Syrah. Talking of Sussex produce, the 2017 Brighton Wine Fair in September was the best one yet. The high-ceilinged Albert Room at The Grand Brighton was the perfect setting for a get-together of wine lovers, wine merchants and wine producers from Brighton and Hove, and the Sussex countryside beyond. My personal highlights from a hugely enjoyable afternoon tasting around the room and talking to producers and owners included the sparkling wines from Court Garden and Wiston Estates, and the wines from local merchants Ten Green Bottles, Butler’s Wine Cellar and Twenty One Wines. Make sure you book tickets for next September at as soon as they come out. Jonny Gibson is owner and head tutor at Sussex Wine School. To sharpen up your wine knowledge and enjoy a good evening out, take a look at the tastings and courses coming up in Brighton and Tunbridge Wells at

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A bite of the



Ella Walker heads stateside to New York City, where she samples a veritable melting pot of flavours, feasts and fare

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We sit on plastic red chairs (everything American South ost people go for is red) out on the street, people-watching Southern American food is in full-on the sights – the between trying to stuff humongous crispy revival mode, so if you haven’t time shimmering, bird sandwiches in our mouths. They’re to take in its homeland, Louisiana’s upturned ice cream massive, filled with half a chicken at least, New Orleans, during your US trip, cone of the Chrysler, and dripping with a signature, terracottaNew York will plug the gap. the razor-clam spikiness of the Empire coloured sauce that’s tomatoey, without Promising ‘honest Southern food’, State Building, and the cheesecake being too sweet. It gets smeared all over Root & Bone in the East Village is all wedge of the Flatiron. As you can your wrists and forearms, no probably tell, I’ve come for matter how many napkins the food, and New York you grab. does not disappoint. Move over hipster pop-ups and standalone Over near Hudson Square, It’s the city to live in back in Lower Manhattan, if you crave Chinese restaurants; New York’s hotels are upping their game Harold’s Meat + Three serves takeout with chopsticks at – at a rate that might just make room service defunct decent fried chicken, but their 3am; if you want to sink Southern side dishes eclipse your incisors into giant, it. I wolf down three nuggety sloppy burgers, or gnaw ‘biscuits’ (like savoury scones, on mahogany-coloured stuffed with sweet corn, bacon and spring rustic wood, exposed piping and wire pretzels and obscene, orange corndogs onions, and slathered in butter), before buckets of fried chicken, served alongside from roadside carts. getting started on grilled asparagus golden waffles and molten mac and Manhattan crams its 22.7 square miles spears and traditional creamy grits. cheese. The rural American grub is so with bagel joints and juice bars, coffee moreish and earthy that I’m still chewing shops and donut stalls, gourmet food Family style on the salty, lemony chicken bones when halls, Thai, Vietnamese, Korean – the Don’t like sharing? Family style a gooey Mississippi mud pie arrives. choice is overwhelming. So, how do you – where portions are made for At Harlem’s Red Rooster, the food is more decide on what to eat? This year, all eyes divvying out among your party Technicolor – think crimson sauces that may be on America’s politics, but these – might not be for you, but it’s match the restaurant’s frontage, and bold emerging food trends will be shaking portion sizes – but its fare is no less Southern. only a matter of time before things up too...




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service is less intuitive, but the decor has more swagger – all polished wood, glinting mirrors and parades of flashy glassware. The hotel itself is ideally located for keen shoppers, and runners who want to explore nearby Central Park. Come dinner time, carve through pink strips of salmon and perfectly cooked rib-eye steak, get tangled up in mounds of watercress, and be pleasantly harangued by bold, straightforward flavours.



Sleep and eat Move over hipster pop-ups and standalone restaurants; New York’s hotels are upping their game – at a rate that might just make room service defunct. In midtown, surrounded by chain steakhouses and gaudy diners, sits the Clement Restaurant, within the grandly elegant Peninsula, New York. If spending the night, it’s easy to be bowled over by the rooftop pool and spa, views down 5th Avenue, and staff who remember how you took your tea the day before, as well as beds that are crisp with pillowy white bedding. But don’t forget about the food. Dinner here is good – think beautifully seared sea bass and zingy roast apple salad with goat’s cheese. Breakfast is something else! Order the thick, fluffy wedges of French toast crusted in corn flakes, served with individual bottles of maple syrup, or medallions of beef tenderloin (steak for breakfast?), accompanied by caramel-coloured hash browns that don’t hail from the freezer. Even if you’re not staying at the Peninsula, you can still book a table beneath one of the restaurant’s stunning Art Deco-style windows. Just up the road on Park Avenue is Loews Regency Bar & Grill, where the

egalitarian scoffing becomes a ‘thing’ in British restaurants. On the edge of Madison Square Park, away from the hordes that queue for ShakeShack burgers in the middle of the leafy space, is the cosily understated Black Barn. The mentality here is one of farm-to-table, with little faffing in between – and the portions are absolutely colossal. We feast on platters of barbecued beef ribs, each one as wide and thick as a hardback book, foraged mushrooms on chunks of toast, and a bubbling rum and butterscotch bread pudding that pads out my stomach lining, and presumably my arteries. It’s hearty, homely fare that makes you feel well-fed and well-loved, much like at ATRIO, at the downtown hotel Conrad New York, where American chef Gerron Douglas, a former sous chef at the Waldorf Astoria NY, serves hunks of halibut on a mattress of lentils, alongside vats of spaghetti Bolognese, because, he says, nothing ‘makes you feel at home like spaghetti’. He has a point.


Starry modern influences For dinner that’s not quite so in-your-face American, head to the fire escape-latticed streets of Tribeca, where vintage clothing and liquor stores huddle up beside the likes of one-Michelin-star restaurant Batard. Part of the Myriad Restaurant Group famed for London’s Nobu, Batard dishes up ‘new French cuisine’ in a pared-back dining room that hums softly with lunchtime business meetings, and what looks like an old boys’ club of former film directors. (Two courses at lunch is 20 USD, cheaper than at dinner.) A baton of crumbed, crispy lamb neck on a rich swirl of white beans, leeks and lemony lovage is astounding, but it’s the meaty Portobello mushrooms cooked with shallots and drizzled in salsa Verde that makes my taste buds really somersault happily. Nearby in the artsy, indie Nolita neighbourhood, The Musket Room – another one-star Michelin restaurant – serves up modern New Zealand cuisine, while you sit on electric blue leather seats, ensconced by rough brick walls. Its à la carte menu reads more like a sparse shopping list than a collection of dishes, but I can confirm that an assortment of quail, blackberry, bread sauce and onion, once on a plate, is pretty ambrosial.

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HOMES AWAY FROM HOME Thinking of where to stay after your next Whiting & Hammond visit? Look no further than this roundup of magnificent local hotels



Eastbourne, East Sussex

Orpington, Kent

The Grand Hotel Eastbourne, East Sussex

Rowhill Grange Hotel & Utopia Spa

Affectionately known as ‘The White Palace’, The Grand stands imperiously on Eastbourne’s iconic seafront. The coastal hotel exudes five-star elegance throughout 152 rooms, giving guests everything they need for an opulent break by the sea. Perfect when visiting The Farm @ Friday Street

Here’s an impressive 19th-century manor that radiates splendour in every room. Gorgeous grounds, stylish interiors, exquisite dining and an award-winning spa make Rowhill a four-silver star experience, and one of Kent’s finest country retreats. Perfect when visiting The Rose & Crown

Wilmington, Kent


The Bull Hotel Wrotham, Kent A 14th-century inn nestled in the hub of the historic village of Wrotham, The Bull is beautifully unique. Each of the hotel’s 11 rooms is individually styled with ancient beams and roaring fireplaces, ensuring that individuality runs throughout. Perfect when visiting The Cricketers Inn

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Tadworth, Surrey

Mark Cross, East Sussex

THE CHASER INN Shipbourne, Kent

Barnett Hill Hotel

Hotel du Vin & Bistro

Guildford, Surrey

Tunbridge Wells, Kent

The Surrey Hills provide the backdrop for this Queen Anne-style mansion, which dates back to 1905. Housed within 26 acres of gardens and woodland, Barnett Hill enjoys a stunning hilltop location, with panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.

Offering luxurious rooms, this Grade II-listed sandstone mansion sits in glorious Kent countryside, where you can stroll through beautiful gardens, enjoy a drink on the terrace, and unwind in one of 34 unique bedrooms.

‘Contemporary elegance meets functional design’ at One Warwick Park. Luxury guest experiences are brought to life through 39 rooms and suites, alongside a range of entertainment spaces, right in the heart of the Georgian spa town.

Langshott Manor Hotel

Royal Wells Hotel

Horley, Surrey

Tunbridge Wells, Kent

The Tunbridge Wells Hotel

Blending classic character with contemporary design, the 16th-century Langshott Manor oozes luxury in each and every room. There are 22 bedrooms in total, many of which come with Victorian bathtubs, double vanity units, private terraces and four-poster beds. Perfect when visiting The Blue Ball

With spectacular views from its hilltop location, the Royal Wells is just a short walk from the bustling town centre. Here, you can escape from the everyday to an elegant retreat of 27 stylish en-suite bedrooms. Perfect when visiting The Mark Cross Inn

Situated in The Pantiles, The Tunbridge Wells Hotel is an enchanting setting for weddings. If you’re staying overnight, expect supreme comfort in a variety of rooms, be it a family suite, or the opulent honeymoon suite. Perfect when visiting The Chaser Inn

One Warwick Park Hotel Tunbridge Wells, Kent

Tunbridge Wells, Kent

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Amazing Spaces If you’re having guests over for drinks and nibbles or a slap-up meal, here are some top properties with plenty of room for dining and entertaining

29 Bidborough Ridge

Bidborough, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN4 0UT Guide price: £1.25million

This property’s dining room is a traditional space that delivers a sophisticated dining experience, with a serving hatch giving you a glimpse of the kitchen behind. It’s a light, spacious room, with plenty of cupboards, worktop space, an integrated oven and hob, and lots of space for a table and chairs. There’s a deep larder with room for additional appliances, and a door that leads through to the utility room beyond. Flying Fish Properties

55 London Road, Southborough, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN4 0PB 01892 514 189

Cumberland House

58 Frant Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN2 5LJ Priced at: £1.595million

Here’s a classic, elegant detached seven-bedroom, five-bathroom house built by Westoak Homes, and situated on a prestigious road on the favoured south side of Tunbridge Wells. The generously proportioned rooms make the property the perfect setting for entertaining, or simply relaxing into family life. There’s a spacious drawing room, study, well-appointed kitchen with space for a dining table and sofas, and a separate dining room for something more formal. Barnes Kingsnorth Estate Agents 16 High Street, Pembury,

Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN2 4NY 01892 822 880

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Manor Farm House

Lower Haysden Lane, Tonbridge, Kent TN11 9BE Guide price: £1.375million

Set within delightful gardens and grounds, Manor Farm House is a Grade II-listed former hall house. Sympathetically extended, it now offers versatile, spacious accommodation. The impressive double-aspect drawing room has a large window to the front, and a large open fireplace with a bressumer beam. The dining room boasts exposed brickwork and a superb inglenook fireplace, while a door opens to the triple-aspect kitchen/ breakfast room, with bi-folding doors to the rear terrace. Knight Frank Sevenoaks 113-117 High Street, Sevenoaks, Kent TN13 1UP 01732 744 477

Nash Oast

Marden Thorn, Marden, Kent TN12 9LJ Guide price: £1.95million Originally converted in 2001, Nash Oast is a most impressive early 20th-century American oast of wonderful proportions, set in a rural position, with superb recreational facilities. The drawing and dining rooms enjoy a dual aspect, featuring heavily-beamed ceilings and wood-burning stoves, while the family room benefits from direct access to a substantial east-facing balcony. The kitchen/breakfast room by Mark Wilkinson, meanwhile, is equipped with an extensive range of hand-painted cupboards, together with a central island. Savills Cranbrook

53/55 High Street, Cranbrook, Kent TN17 3EE 01580 720 161

Swigs Hole Barn

Yew Tree Green Road, Horsmonden, Kent TN12 1HR Asking price: £1.65million The detached, converted barn of Swigs Hole sits in a glorious rural setting on the village outskirts. The dining room has flagstone flooring and an excellent range of bookshelves, with cupboards below. A timber stud wall divides this space from the family room, which has a double-height glazed screen with French doors to the front, and a single-height glazed screen to the rear, with tall windows to either side. Hamptons International Tunbridge Wells

18-20 London Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN1 1DA 01892 640 316

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Gourmet Gift Guide

Feast your eyes on our latest roundup of kitchen ideas to spruce up the culinary heart of your home






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GASTRO COUNTRY ESTATES Arundel Castle Arundel, West Sussex Boasting breathtaking views across the South Downs and the River Arun, this ancient castle was founded at the end of the 11th century. Today, visitors can come and enjoy a variety of days out, or simply take a serene stroll among the beautiful grounds.

To the manor born

Hole Park Gardens

Chiddingstone Castle

Bradbourne House

Rolvenden, Kent

Chiddingstone, Kent

East Malling, Kent

As one of Kent’s best-known gardens, Hole Park is a wonderful 16-acre garden in a magical parkland setting. Extensive yew hedges and herbaceous borders are just waiting to be explored, along with meadow and woodland gardens, enjoying far-reaching views over hills, woods and fields.

A wonderful place to explore with the family, Chiddingstone Castle is filled with exotic treasures. There are 35 acres of informal grounds, where visitors can wander along woodland walks, or cross the bridge over the lake that leads to the picturesque Tudor village of Chiddingstone.

Here’s a luxury country estate that blends tranquillity and classic elegance in the heart of the Garden of England. Located in the quaint village of East Malling, the Grade I-listed Tudor building is surrounded by 20 acres of beautiful parkland and steeped in history.

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Proud Country House

Salomons Estate

Brighton, East Sussex

Southborough, Kent

A stunning 18th-century Georgian manor set in the beautiful Stanmer Park, Proud Country House is just a stone’s throw away from central Brighton. It’s perfect for weddings, conferences, parties and special events, against acres of woodland and parkland in the heart of Sussex.

Found on the edge of Tunbridge Wells and named after three family generations, Salomons has a rich and eventful history. The former country house has been converted into a series of flexible function rooms that meet every need, without losing any of their Victorian elegance.

Tonbridge Castle Tonbridge, Kent Immerse yourself in Tonbridge Castle, reputedly England’s finest example of a motte-and-bailey castle, with a splendid 13th-century gatehouse. As an ideal wedding venue, the site is surrounded by 14 acres of beautiful grounds, with ceremony options including the Chamber Room, Medieval Gatehouse and Great Hall.


Whether you’re enjoying a day out with the family, or thinking of tying the knot on your big day, there are plenty of inspiring country estates, castles and gardens to explore locally

Groombridge Place Groombridge, Kent Visitors here can enjoy the award-winning gardens overlooking the beautiful 17th-century moated manor house. The formal walled gardens are designed as a series of rooms, many showcasing water features, topiary and statues, from the formal Knot and Oriental Garden, to the wonderfully named Drunken Garden.

Borde Hill Garden Haywards Heath, West Sussex

Penshurst Place and Gardens Penshurst, Kent

Over 200 acres of garden, woodland and parkland set the scene for Borde Hill. Situated in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, its 17 acres of formal garden are designed as several outdoor ‘rooms’, each with its own character, colour and scent.

Built in 1341, Penshurst Place has 10 rooms open to the public, including the medieval Baron’s Hall. The estate is one of the largest privately owned in the South East, with public footpaths, walking trails and a regional cycle route open all year.

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