There’s nothing like the English weather to keep us on our toes! Despite the chilly end to April, that earlier welcome burst of warmth triggered the growth of our own asparagus and we’re now picking a delicious crop. Labour intensive to grow, hand-picked to protect the delicate spears it is, with its distinct intense savoury flavour, one of Britain’s most delicious and versatile vegetables.
Prepare: Break off any woody ends and use for extra flavour in soups and stews or shave the ends with a peeler and reveal the tender inner flesh.
Healthy: A real super-veg loaded with nutrients, folic acid, potassium, vitamins A, C, E and K, a source of fibre, a natural diuretic and contains glutathione a detoxifying compound that helps protect and fight against certain cancers.
Cook: Toss in a little olive oil and griddle or barbeque, roasting develops a lovely rich flavour, or steam or boil for 3 or 4 minutes.
Serve: Simply with good butter and squeeze of lemon, or soy and chilli, with hollandaise for a touch of luxury, try raw too in a crunchy creamy salad or smoothie, add to risotto, toss into pasta dishes, make into lasagne with crab or bake into a quiche with smoked salmon.
In the Café
We’ve a new drinks list for you and introduced some fabulous wines from around the world including Romania.
With the help of Corney & Barrow we’ve chosen five whites, six reds and a rosé. They are all available by the glass too – three sizes 125ml, 175ml and 250ml.
You can enjoy new prosecco in 125ml glass and champagne by the bottle.
New beers are from the East London Brewing Company – a 10-barrel microbrewery and Calvors lager from Suffolk.
The Thirsty Farmer craft ciders are proving popular. Made by the Fear family who for generations have been in Somerset but to diversify the industry moved and invested in orchards in Nottinghamshire.
Do hope you enjoy the new drinks as much as we do – they are all available in the shop too.
In the Shop
There are so many interesting craft drinks on the market, we’re quite spoilt for choice when deciding our selection –
New beers from Brentwood Brewery, East London Brewing Company and Haresfoot.
As well as the Thirsty Farmer ciders there’s the refreshing Lilley’s Cider made in Somerset who produce a diverse range of traditional and experimental blends – such as strawberry, rhubarb, peach and elderflower, apple and blackberry.
With a promise of sunshine for the bank holiday, we’ve new barbeque and hot sauces for you to try as well as a range of marinades, salad dressings and mayonnaise from quality brands such as Bay Tree, Stokes, Big Sam and Franks.
New ideas are the stylish canvas tote bags – handy for shopping, a picnic or the beach.
Pretty scarves in cactus print with beaded tassels or pineapple print
Attractive salad bowls made of mango wood with wipeable melamine insides.
In the Garden
Plants now available:
Vegetable: ‘Gardeners delight’ tomatoes, sweet and chilli peppers, runner beans, sweetcorn, courgettes and herbs
Perennials – agapanthus, hydrangea, delphinium, peony, clematis, lupins, hosta, pelargonium, osteospermum, French and English lavender
The succulent aeonium
Cheeses of the Month
We have three cheeses of the month that carry 20% discount – look out for the red star:
Rollright – a farmhouse washed rind cheese with a semi soft, buttery texture and blushing orange tender rind and rich flavour. Made by David Jowett at King Stone Dairy in Little Rollright, Oxfordshire, who as one of the wave of young cheesemakers is producing what will become a classic regional cheese in the future. The farm has a mixed selection of cattle with many Swiss Brown, an ancient breed from the Swiss Alps whose milk is ideal for cheesemaking.
Rob from Corney & Barrow recommends their delightful Pinot Grigio from premium Romanian wine estate Recas Cramele to accompany this particular kind of cheese. A new wine to C&B it has opulent aromas of grapefruit and peach, with fresh flavours of melon, apple and zesty citrus which will play prettily over the fuller notes of the cheese, whilst marrying deliciously with the softness of texture within. Light whites always a bright idea for any semi-softies.
Stoney Cross (v) is a truckle of mould ripened cheese, very similar to a French Tomme de Savoie. Creamy in texture with sweet flavours and a distinctly earthy finish. The cheese is named after an old World War II airfield near Lyburn Farm where it is made in the New Forest and has won many awards for subtle flavours and smooth texture.
As one for an old ally! Family-run, boutique winery The Lane, set amongst the Adelaide Hills of South Australia, produces a frankly gorgeous Shiraz-Viognier that will see the Stoney Cross just right. A complexity as well as a fleshy softness abound in the wine, whose dark-fruit and white pepper notes will impress upon the cheese a character of its own – while picking up those lovely subtleties of texture and flavour and accentuating them in the cheese.
Ubriaco Prosecco is a traditional Italian cheese made in northern Italy’s Veneto region. Known as ‘drunken cheese’ it is bathed in gallons of dry, sparkling Prosecco along with skins, seeds and leftovers from the winemaking process to extract the unique sweet and delicate aroma of the wine. Made with unpasteurised cow’s milk cheese it is matured for minimum 2 months developing a soft, supple texture which ages to a firmer, crumbly one. Goes well with potatoes and polenta.
Let’s go for the Cecilia Berretta Prosecco – an obvious choice states Rob. This characterful sparkler is defined by its delicate orchard fruit & sweet almonds nose. In the mouth the wine is fresh and persistent, with a charming roundness that defies its price point, and bellies its value. Perfect to zip through the softness and suppleness of the cheese. A perfect way to toast springtime!