October news – pumpkins, quince, vodka & more

6th October 2017


We love October, often settled with sunshine and our views over the mead to the trees in their autumnal colours are just glorious.  Pumpkins and squash may hog the limelight but there’s wild mushrooms, the start of hearty root veg as well as pears and apples – have you tried any of the three new British varieties yet – Sweetie, Pirouette or Raspberry Ripple?



Quince are also now in the shop – can’t be eaten raw but once cooked the flesh softens and turns a sunset colour with a wonderful delicate fragrance – best known for quince jelly or membrillo to go with cheese, we love them though braised with a lamb stew, roasted with pork or poached in an apple pie.



Pumpkins & Squash – numerous varieties in glorious nobbly shapes, sizes and colours.  They take a long time to grow through the summer becoming sweet and nutty by harvest time and a delicious ingredient for both sweet and savoury dishes.


  • Healthy – few calories, no saturated fats or cholesterol, very powerful antioxidant with lots of cancer fighting flavonoids. Rich in vitamins A which aids healthy vision, C and E, high levels of Vitamin B complex which is essential for many healthy functions within the body. Pumpkins seeds too are good for you as they contain plenty of omega 3 fatty acids for healthy heart and cardiovascular system whilst their high content of fibre keeps the digestive system working well.
  • Varieties – the dark, fluted green acorn squash, round kabocha, blue/grey-skinned crown prince – perfect for roasting, the sweet onion or uchiki kuri squash and the small round gem squashes for baking whole with the middle hollowed out and stuffed with bacon or cheese, herbs and nuts.
  • Serve – cooked they produce a dish of glorious colour and deep flavours that go with anything from lamb chops, grilled chicken, as a salad with chickpea and feta, with a dish of lentils, in ravioli with pine nuts and spinach, a bowl of comforting soup with chorizo and egg, roasted for pumpkin ice-cream or pureed for pumpkin tart – try Dan’s recipe below.
  • Halloween – we’ll have a huge selection of pumpkins for you to choose the ideal shape and size for your spooky designs too.


In the Shop


Candles – two new makes for you:

Rathbornes, founded in Dublin in 1488 and the world’s oldest candle company that has illuminated Irish streets, homes, lighthouses and churches for 500 years.  Today the luxury candles are still hand-poured using a special beeswax blend and essential oils; with 4 wicks they give 60 hours of beautiful fragrance such as watercress & thyme, white pepper honeysuckle & vertivert, Dublin tea-rose oud & patchouli.

St Eval candles are handmade on a traditional working farm on the north Cornish coast – unique, beautifully fragranced and inspired by nature – bay & rosemary, white jasmine, bergamot & nettle. Charming gift ideas include their candles in gold and silver cauldron pots.  Also make their own hand-made soaps and lotions from plants extracts, natural ingredients and pure essential oils which are packaged in gift sets too.




With a bit of skilful carpentry giving a bend to our drinks display, we can now stock more drinks for you – do take a look

From Chase Distillery – which is Britain’s first single-estate distillery where the drinks are created entirely from seed to bottle at William Chase’s Farm in Herefordshire –

  • Chase vodkas – the signature Chase, voted the World’s best vodka at the prestigious World Spirits competition in San Francisco, also Rhubarb, Marmalade and Naked the old English apple
  • Williams gins – Pink grapefruit, GB Extra Dry and Elegant 48, made using the original Chase or Naked Vodka as the base rather than buying in a readymade neutral grain spirit
  • Elderflower liqueur, perfect for cocktails or in a dessert.
  • Incidentally William Chase, a potato farmer also started Tyrrells crisps.



New beers from Haresfoot and Big Drop Brewery, greater selection of the premium Fever Tree tonics and mixer drinks – and there’s whisky to come!



Christmas – for the early birds, inspiring Christmas stock is starting to arrive:


  • brand new Bean and Pod divine gourmet chocolates – handcrafted, hand filled milk chocolate caramel peanut bites and toffee caramels, chocolate honeycomb, dusted pecans, hazelnut pebbles, salted pumpkin seeds – suitable for vegetarians – so yummy we don’t think they’ll keep until the festive season!
  • The Walnut Tree boxes of luxury chocolate-dipped lemon peel, orange slices, stem ginger and mango as well as marron glace and almond brittle.



Cheese Tasting – Friday 20 October

Ben our Cheeseman from Rowcliffes will be giving you the opportunity to try our cheeses of the month – see below.


In the Café

As seasonal ingredients are changing, Dan and the team are creating delicious new dishes for the menu:  Venison and wild mushroom stew with wilted greens and horseradish dumpling; toad in the hole with creamed potatoes, onion marmalade and buttered kale; grilled chicken Caesar salad; warm salad of figs and artichoke; fried gnocchi with pine nuts, sundried tomatoes, spinach and blue cheese.  Hope you’ll be able to pop in soon for lunch.


Please book a table particularly at weekends to avoid disappointment –  01920 821246




 Cheeses of the Month

We’ve three cheeses for you this month that carry the 20% discount – look out for the red star.



Cave Aged Goat’s Cheddar – this fantastic goats’ cheese is made at Ford Farm in Dorchester with pasteurised goats milk.  Firm cheddar style texture it is aged for up to 3 months in the famous Wookey Hole Caves in Somerset giving it a wonderful rich and nutty flavour with hints of caramel and distinctive yet not overpowering ‘goat’ flavour.  The only cave aged goats cheese made in the UK, it has already won numerous prestigious awards.

Gil, our wine guru from Corney & Barrow recommends that as this amazing cheese needs a wine with good acidity and mouth feel the Lowry’s Pass Chenin Blanc from South Africa’s Western Cape will be the wine to drink.  It is fermented in stainless steel and bottled immediately after to preserve its fruit and freshness.  The nose is open and aromatic with plenty of fresh citrus fruit and the palate is zingy and refreshing with grapefruit, lime and some nettley notes.  This zingy freshness will cut through the rich and nutty characters of the cheese leaving you wanting more.



Ashley Chase Truffler – the latest innovative cheese from Ford Farm is this heady combination of cheddar blended with 2 premium truffle based ingredients – a black truffle and mushroom salsa provides texture and colour and the aromatic black truffle flavoured oil infuses the cheddar with the unmistakeable earthy and heady flavour of this much prized ingredient.  Enjoy as part of a cheeseboard and with fruit.

A cheese this decadent demands an equally extravagant wine.  The gorgeous Pinot Noir from Domaine Cyrot-Buthiau in Burgundy does exactly that.  This wine is made from grapes grown just outside the permitted area of Pommard and the quality of the fruit shows more than a hint of its illustrious neighbour.  The nose shows pretty, perfumed, red and black berries with a light smokiness underneath. The palate displays excellent structure and minerality showing complex notes of crushed forest fruits, earth and spice.  These flavours will marry beautifully with the earthy qualities of the cheese.


Stony Cross (v)– washed-curd, natural rind cheese made by the artisan Lyburn Farmhouse cheesemakers in the New Forest using milk from Holstein-Friesian cows.  It is similar to the French Tomme de Savoie, hard yet creamy, the rind gives hint of mushrooms and earthiness to the sweet warm buttery flavours of the paste.

The award-winning Stoney Cross takes its name from a disused WWII airbase in the New Forest near the Farm.

Rioja is Gil’s seasonal wine for this time of year and with the Stony Cross cheese it will match perfectly.  The 50/50 Rioja Joven from Belezos offers those classic characters of raspberry and strawberry alongside a hint of vanilla and smoke.  The method of production leans towards the modern and as a result the fruit is very expressive and bright.  There is a good level of acidity as well which will clean the palate after every mouthful.


The Pearces



Pumpkin Tart

450 g pumpkin – diced, cooked and puréed

2 large eggs and 1 extra yolk

100g soft dark sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

½ tsp nutmeg

½ tsp allspice

½ tsp ground ginger

225ml double cream

350g sweet shortcrust pastry


Preheat the oven to 160⁰C.

Line a 12” loose-bottomed tart tin with the pastry.  Chill for 15 mins.  Bake blind – line the pastry with baking parchment and baking beans, bake for 15 mins.  Remove the beans and paper and cook for further 10 mins until the base is pale golden.  Cool.

Whisk eggs and yolk.  Add sugar, spices and cream, mix and then add pumpkin purée.  Stir to combine.  Pour into the tart shell and cook for 30 mins or until the filling has just set.

Leave to cool and serve with cardamom and orange cream – add ¼ tsp ground cardamom and fresh orange zest to your cream.