May’s news – asparagus, afternoon tea, G&T and more

9th May 2019

This cold snap is certainly holding things up after that glorious burst of spring. Our asparagus, a good eating crop this year isn’t growing so fast at the moment though there’s plenty in the shop for you; in the café Dan is creating delicious dishes – a favourite is with new potatoes, hollandaise, crispy lardons and poached egg.

Our strawberries are well wrapped in fleece and heaters on overnight in the tunnels so they’ll be ready to grow again when it warms up. We have the first of the British strawberries in the shop also the first of the large English vine tomatoes – flavours of British produce are just so good!


In the Café

Traditional Afternoon tea is such a delicious treat and a great way to catch up with friends and family – our new Tea is served on a three-tier plate and full of wonderful savoury and sweet delights. Enjoy with a choice of tea or coffee or a glass of prosecco goes well! Served from 12 noon Mondays to Saturdays, £19.95 per person, prosecco an extra £4.25. If you have dietary requirements, please give us a call. 01920 821246

Gin lovers – our current special drinks offer is a G&T for £5.25. There’s a choice of gins from Warner’s Elderflower, Copper in the Clouds’ Flowerbomb and Pinksters – Cheers!

In the Shop

From the Isle of Wight we are now stocking the Wild Island fine oils, dressings and fruit vinegars. Handmade using the best local ingredients this is a quality range of delicious blends and flavours – such as lemongrass, ginger & chilli, blackberry balsamic, spiced fig that can be used on their own or combined to create tempting dressings, dips, marinades and glazes.

Looking for a gift? We’re rather pleased to have found products by the independent designer Fenella Smith. Working with her brother who draws all the illustrations as well as closely with producers around the world, she designs unique and perfectly crafted items such as her vegan leather washbags and cosmetic bags. Her new bakeware ceramic jugs created in collaboration with the Great British Bake Off winner, John Whaite are beautiful – hand painted, gold edged with a matt navy glaze outer and beautiful dove grey inner finish -a perfect choice for a loved one or friend.

Sophie Allport’s new passport holders are typically stylish as well as useful with plenty of compartments for different travel documents such as ID or health cards.

Gorgeous new home accessories from Gisela Graham add a cheerful splash of colour. Jugs and bowls of all shapes and sizes, carafes, trays, string lights with lemons or chillies– perfect for alfresco eating; we love the pretty aprons too.

In the Garden

Good range of plants now in include jasmine, abutilon, agapanthus, lupin, geranium, pelargonium, fuchsia, our own grown delphiniums as well as herbs – different thymes, curry plants, basil and parsley.

Cheeses of the Month

We have three great British cheeses for you this month that carry the 20% discount – look out for the red star.

If you enjoy a glass of wine with your cheese, Rob our wine expert from Corney & Barrow has suggested some great pairings to try.

Pitchfork Cheddar – a brand new, organic, cloth bound, West Country Farmhouse cheddar from the Trethowan Dairy. Made using raw cow’s milk and animal rennet, it’s a full-bodied cheese with a dense creamy texture, fruity and tangy and a great lingering taste. A beautiful patina on the mottled rind and odd blue vein is proof of its traditional methods of aging. The Trethowans moved production of their Gorwydd Caerphilly cheese from Wales to near the village of Cheddar, Somerset in 2014 and felt compelled to add the clothbound Cheddar to their cheese production, an unusual move for cheesemakers to add a long maturing cheese to the quicker maturing faster turnaround of making Caerphilly as it’s usually the opposite way around.

The name was decided upon because the Trethowan brothers who make the cheese still use pitchforks in the old- fashioned way to toss the curd and mix the salt.

Rob suggests going for the perennial crowd pleaser and in deference to the brothers Trethowan, their Gavi di Gavi – itself made by the brothers Levis (or Fratelli Levis, in italiano). A wine that naturally can accompany a wide range of cows’ milk cheeses, from the softer Saint Marcellin to the harder Grana Padano, it’s one to go for to break the ‘red & cheddar’ paradigm and with its lively acidity and array of stone fruits and white flower on the nose something altogether very fit for the sunny May days ahead.

Brighton Blue (v) – a mild semi-soft cheese with a mellow blue flavour and slight salty finish. The blue green veins deepen as the cheese matures and the taste of the blue strengthens. It has an attractive natural edible rind. Handmade from organic cows’ milk by the family run High Weald Dairy in West Sussex, the cheese has won numerous awards including Super Gold and World Cheese awards 2017/18.

The Barroccio Rosso is Rob’s choice to pair with this cheese, a delightful Nero d’Avola with impressive dried fruit character on the palate – hailing from most beautiful Sicily. Certainly, one for those less eager to open up the Port in summertime, but in search of those alluring developed fruit characteristics to swing with the salty goodness of the blue.

Sussex Marble (v) – a continental style, semi soft creamy cheese also made by the High Weald Dairy. Based on their Saint Giles cheese, which is similar to Saint Paulin/Port Salut but infused with garlic and parsley. Try melted on steak or chicken or use as ready-made garlic butter.

Corney & Barrow’s Petit Gasconne Blanc would be a terrific choice here and most in keeping with the season, if not at its best when melted over chicken as recommended. Delightful green fruits are at the fore in this wine, which bears a good acidity and therefore creates just the right zip to refresh the palate between bites. Simply done and done beautifully.


The Pearces