‘Sweeter after a frost’ is often said of our winter veg as they respond physiologically to colder temperatures. Root veg such as carrots and parsnips react by converting their starches to sugar; the cabbage family – kale, greens, Brussels sprouts and cabbage increase the amount of sugars and other substances in their cells and this sugar solution acts like anti-freeze making them taste much sweeter; whilst winter leeks go dormant during cold spells then resume growth becoming sweeter when temperatures rise.
Serve Any number of ways to make the most of glorious veg-based fare that is full of flavour and substance, healthy and cheap too – in soups, roasted for salads, in bakes and casseroles, as chips, with cheese in a gratin or lasagne, risotto or stir-fry.
We are beginning to feel rather festive –
In the Shop:
Festive Tasting Day– Saturday 2 December, 10.00 am – 4.00pm
Tantalise your taste buds at our Christmas tasting day – a range of our suppliers will be sampling their delicious award-winning festive produce and on hand to answer your queries. Christmas meats – turkey, beef, pork and lamb as well as other poultry and game, pies, seasonal cheeses, wines and spirits, chocolates and more. Come on down and join us for what promises to be a delicious way to prepare for Christmas.
We’re now taking your orders for turkeys, goose, meats, whole and half cheeses, pies and hampers.
Online – if you’d like to place your order online please complete the order form. To place the order we require a deposit – £30 for turkeys; £15 for all other meat orders.
For your ease you will be able to pay the deposit via Paypal
Once we receive your order form and notification that a deposit has been paid, we will send you a confirmation email with your order number – if you do not hear from us within 5 days, please contact Helen: 01920 821246
Alternatively, you can download the order form, complete, bring in and pay the deposit when next in the shop; Order forms are also available in the shop – please do call or talk to one of our staff if you have any queries.
If you’d like to order one of our hampers – please ask one of our staff.
An inspiring range of gourmet products, tree decorations, cards, advent calendars, wrapping paper, seasonal treats and perfect gift ideas for you.
Our Christmas pages with full details and opening times will be on our website shortly and regularly updated as more products arrive.
In the Café:
Winter Afternoon Tea – Come in from the cold and enjoy an afternoon tea with us– we have a choice of two options for you:
Our Festive Afternoon Tea. Begin with a warming shot of mulled wine or glass of prosecco before choosing one of our eight loose leaf teas or coffee. A selection of delicious finger sandwiches and seasonal savoury bites will complement the sweet treats such as vanilla and chocolate choux buns, Christmas trifle and mini mince pies. Available middle of November – from midday until end of service, Mondays-Saturdays, £23.95 per person includes a welcome drink.
Our Traditional Afternoon Tea with warm handmade scone served with jam and clotted cream, selection of finger sandwiches and our home baked pastries with choice of tea or coffee. Available from 3.00pm Mondays-Saturdays, £13.95 per person.
Special Festive Lunch Menu
Our specials menu throughout December will include freshly cooked festive dishes with a selection of starters, turkey, beef, fish as well as vegetarian dishes and scrummy desserts.
If you’re wishing to eat in the Café please ring and book a table to avoid disappointment – Tel: 01920 821246
18 November – Lilly’s Christmas Puds
From a small family producer in Essex, these award-winning Christmas puds are light and fruity – made with a minimum of 55% juicy fruits, ginger and spices laced in brandy and reduced sugar, they also contain no artificial sweetners, preservatives, mixed peel or chopped nuts and make a tasty and healthier end to the Christmas meal.
The gluten-free version is also deliciously light and fruity too.
2 December – Festive Tasting Day – see above for details.
We’ve three cheeses for you this month that carry the 20% discount – look out for the red star.
Vacherin – the season is back. Vacherin Mont d’Or is made with rich, unpasteurised milk between 15th August and 15th March when the cows have come down from their high summer pastures in the Jura mountains. This unctuously delicious cheese has a melting voluptuous texture with a resinous flavour from the spruce bark that is it wrapped in whilst it matures. Enjoy just as it is or if you purchase in a box, it is delicious baked – push a few garlic cloves and rosemary into the cheese, add splash of white wine, wrap in foil and bake 160⁰C for 15-20 minutes – mop up with crusty bread or vegetable sticks
With this gloriously decadent cheese, the temptation is to reach for the great sparkling wines of the world. Gil from Corney & Barrow would be with you on this but also suggests you try the fantastic Petit Chablis from Domaine Millet. This estate has been in the hands of the Millet family since the 1960s and they now own 9ha in Petit Chablis. This particular vintage shows classic stony and mineral characters but is also lightly honeyed and creamy from the ripened fruit. The palate is tangy with crushed sea-shell and stone fruit and the acidity is crisp, balancing the richness of the Vacherin cheese.
Montagnolo (v) is a triple crème rich, decadent soft cheese that is surface ripened and marbled with blue veins and grey natural crust. It combines the texture and rich taste of a triple-crème brie with the distinct lightly biting flavour of a blue. Has won the Supreme Champion award at the International Cheese Awards.
With this Champion cheese Pinot Noir is the prime variety to match. Gil strongly recommends the delicious Bourgogne Rouge from Olivier & Marc-Emmanuel Cyrot at Domaine Cyrot-Buthiau, an estate that has been producing wines from around the Pommard region for the last 100 years. This wine comes from a 1.5ha vineyard just outside of Pommard and offers a wine of exceptional quality for its classification. 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.
Coastal Cheddar (v) – this unique tasting cheddar is made by Ford Farm in Dorset. Aged for minimum of 15 months to give it a deliciously sweet flavour. Often has a distinctive crunch which are the calcium crystals that form naturally as the cheese reaches maturity. Has won numerous awards in the UK and as it is the biggest selling branded Cheddar in the USA has helped the farm twice win the highly prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Export.
Gil has enjoyed this cheese many times – and looks forward to many more; it’s bold and complex characters deserve a wine of similar stature. With this in mind, he is pairing the cheese with VinaMar’s Cabernet Sauvignon from the Maipo Valley in Chile, just south of Santiago. Intense and fruity, this wine offers ripe red and purple fruit aromas with complex, concentrated and juicy raspberry and spicy blackberry flavours on the palate. Long and full, yet still elegant on the finish.