March news – new menu, teas, meats & gin

7th March 2019

Wasn’t that a glorious glimpse of Spring – hope we see more soon.

In the Café

Our new menu is now available with delicious new home cooked dishes as well as a few of your favourites – all making the most of the wonderful seasonal produce and ingredients that Dan sources locally wherever possible.

It also includes our specials – a meat, vegetarian and fish dish and selection of homemade desserts that will change weekly.

Traditional Afternoon Tea  

Our new Afternoon Tea has a delicious spread of homemade savoury and sweet delights served on a three-tier plate.  Enjoy finger sandwiches, savouries, cakes and pastries, a scone with clotted cream and homemade jam and choice of tea or coffee; a glass of Prosecco always adds to the occasion.

Served from 12 noon, Mondays to Saturdays, bookings are not required.

£19.95 per person, glass of Prosecco £4.25

Please call us to chat through dietary requirements.

01920 821246

In the Shop

Traditional Meats

Our local supplier Bridget B’s is now supplying us with an extensive range of different cuts of quality meat.  Along with her small expert team that includes four master butchers, Bridget farms award-winning livestock – beef and sheep and also sources other meats from neighbouring farms, so we’re able to offer you cuts such as:

Lamb – racks, cutlets, minted chops, steaks, boned and rolled shoulder, roasts

Chicken – thighs, legs, breasts, fillets, parcels, spatchcock

Beef – sirloin, different steaks, skirt, mince and beef burgers

If you’d like to place a meat order it will arrive the following day. For beef wellington, place your order by Wednesday for the weekend.

Teas

Love a good cup of tea?  New loose-leaf teas and teabags from our local suppler Tealicious you might enjoy:

Herts Delight, a rich strong, full flavoured tea that has been specially blended for Hertfordshire’s hard water.

Don’t Panic Organic, a 100% organic leaf tea from Assam

Teacaf, a naturally decaffeinated blend which offers the real taste of tea without the caffeine

Breakfast Blend teabags, a classic combination of hearty Assam and fine Ceylon in a compostable tea bag.  Tealicious has found that compostable tissues break down in just 90 days, whereas most teabags contain up to 25% plastic and are biodegradable which may take decades or centuries to break down.

Our full range of loose-leaf teas are British Brew, Breakfast Blend, Afternoon Tea, Darjeeling, Assam, Yunnan Green, Early Grey, Ceylon, Chamomile Smile, all available to buy in the shop and served in the café.

The teabags are only available in the shop.

Gin

Always delighted to try a new local gin – and we’ve found two!

Jake’s Gin a family run business from Chrishall Distillery was born from a love of gin, passion for plants and fascination with the art of distilling and named after the family spaniel. A well-balanced London dry gin with 21 unique botanicals from exotic Moroccan lemon verbena, Iranian orange flowers to rosemary and hawthorn picked in the garden. Handcrafted in their copper still Gladys, it is complex and elegant with juniper, coriander, citrus and floral notes. Serve neat over ice or with premium tonic water, makes a mean cocktail too.

Cranes Drinks, again a local business run by twins Ben and Dan Ritsema and based just north of Royston.  Cranes Cranberry Gin is made from over 50 premium cranberries per 70cl bottle.  Handcrafted in small batches, it’s smooth, fruity and deliciously sharp, perfect for a G&T and refreshing cocktails.

The Cranes Cranberry and Blood Orange Liqueur is rather delicious and smooth too – add to a glass of prosecco for a great cranbellini.

The business is called Cranes because cranberries were originally called crane-berries due to the blossom of the cranberry vine resembling a crane’s head.

In the Garden

Plants now in for Spring cheer include hellebores, iris, tulips, anemone, lavender, hydrangea, a number of herbs as well as jasmine, mimosa, willow and olive trees.

Cheese Tasting – 23 March

An opportunity for you to taste our cheeses of the month as well as Focaccia breadsticks, both rosemary and plain flavours – perfect for dipping or enjoying with a bowl of soup.

Cheeses of the Month

We have four cheeses that carry the 20% discount this month – look out for the red star.

Perl Wen (v) – One of Wales’ best loved soft cheeses – buttery, mushroomy, salty cream that melts into a tangy citrus centre with a soft downy rind.   Made by Caws Cenarth to a Caerphilly recipe but then matured like a Brie to give it a uniquely delicious texture and taste.  As it matures the flavours deepen and it becomes creamy with a lovely lemony centre. Gorgeous baked and eaten with warm baguettes and dollop of chutney.

A crisp white is the order of the day suggests Rob our Corney & Barrow wine guru and what better than their Petite Gasconne Blanc? A long-time favourite from the brilliant communal group Producteurs Plaimont (standing for the territories this group occupies Plaisance Aignan and Saint Mont). The vineyard sites are tempered by cool breezes down from the Pyrénées that encourage the slow and gentle ripening of the grapes – this wine is fresh and zingy with white flower and lemon character, perfect for that citric core to the Perl Wen and enough in terms of zip and acidity to go right through the texture of the cheese.

Cashel Blue (v) – Jane and Louis Grubb have been making this cheese on their farm in Tipperary since 1984 and it’s Irelands original farmhouse blue. An easy-eating blue cheese with a pleasantly buttery texture and the balanced amount of blue veining adds a lift to the rich full-flavoured paste.  Works well crumbled onto salads or to snack on with grapes.

A slightly fatter, riper red is in order here and the Corney & Barrow Puertas Antiguas Shiraz is a great example; soft-textured, above all, this Shiraz bursts with black fruit, violet notes and a hint of peppery spice which should meet harmoniously with the properties of the cheese when served alone, or with plain as well as black peppered crackers. A real treat!

Le Cret Gruyere – This is the traditional hard cheese made from milk of cows that graze the Swiss mountain pastures where the unique composition of the grass is reflected in the cheese.  Matured for 12 months it has a sweet, nutty flavour with hint of fruit.  Lovely as it is with fruit and crackers, it is one of the finest cheeses for baking having a distinctive but not overpowering taste, such as in a quiche, also a good melting cheese for fondues or traditionally used in French onion soup.

Chardonnay and Gruyere is a truly lovely yet all together under appreciated coupling. A typical expression of Petit Chablis then is the best bet here: Corney & Barrow’s firm & taut example from Domaine Millet, with its layers of ripe fruit and minerality provides the perfect combo however the cheese is served – delicious all!

Black Bomber (v) – Snowdonia Cheese flagship cheese is an award-winning ‘cheddar with attitude’ and proving to be a popular cheese of the month. This strong extra mature cheddar packs a powerful punch yet is surprisingly mellow, full of flavour with a bite and long-lasting aftertaste. Rich, slightly sweet and creamy and very moreish. Wrapped in black wax retains a moist smooth texture, distinctive from other traditional cheddars which are usually more crumbly.

With vibrant, cherry-plum notes and a spicy, liquorice finish, the Bodega Ruca Malen Malbec has an array of flavourful qualities to match, with a body and firmness, too, that should meet the character and structure of the Black Bomber soundly.  

 

 

 The Pearces