What to do while Mr Suffolk Foodie is busy at the build up for the Goodwood Revival and I'm left home alone in the cottage rental? Ah ha! Tinwood Estate is on the door step so off I set with my good friend Jeannie who's in the 'Can't Paint Won't Paint' Club with me. We took along Scrappy, over from Barbuda and keen to see all that our green and pleasant land has to offer. Tinwood grows the three main Champagne grapes; Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meuniere. The soil is chalky and the climate perfect for making the Champagne style wine. I wish English Sparkling could have a more romantic and appealing name as it's not allowed to be called Champagne. How about Britagne? I believe there is a campaign to call English Sparkling wine plain and simple British Fizz. Maybe this could be part of the Brexit deal. Anyway, we had a walk through the very straight lines of vines, planted by Germans we were told, as they are better at straight lines. Then back to very stylish decked area for a quick tutored tasting of the three wines which are made for the estate at nearby Ridgeview winery. First we tried the Blanc de Blanc 2015, made with 100% Chardonnay, pale and refreshing and rather appley. Then on to the Brut made with 50% Chardonnay, 30% Pinot Noir and 20% Pinot Meunier. Very refined with a fine stream of tiny bubbles and a hint of toast, this was our favourite of the lot. We finished with the Tinwood Rose, 60% Pinot Noir, 20% Pinot Meunier and 20% Chardonnay, forest fruity and a bit of a quaffer. Tours run everyday and it's well worth ordering the cheese platter when you book online. You can even stay the night!
- view from the deck
- pinot meuniere grapes
- chardonnay grapes
- straight lines of vines
- Inside space for the cooler weather
- Outside in the sunshine
Peckish in Kings Lynn? Then head to Goldings. It calls itself a public house but walking in you might think deli or coffee shop. It is the side kick to the successful and well know Market Bistro next door. With an excellent cup of coffee we had savoury croissants and some rather lovely cakes.
We bought crabs, cockles, sardines, monkfish, squid and brown shrimps. No website but if you are in Kings Lynn you'll find Donaldsons at Austin Fields. Tel 01553 772241. They also sell seasonal game and have a very good delicatessen and cheese counter. Closed on Sunday and Monday. Other days 7am till 4pm.
One of my home grown veggies has enjoyed the heatwave this year. It's the freaky Serpent of Sicily, also known as a cucuzza. Seeds from Franchi - Seeds of Italy. I'm going to see if this one will reach the ground.
I drove last time darling ... it's simply not good enough to expect the designated driver to settle for a J2O or a can of coke, so I am beginning to rate my restaurants, pubs and cafes according to the drinks offered for drivers. Here are a few of the great drinks that I've been offered when driving this summer. Gigembre - ginger syrup, lime and soda. Ghost Ship (available from Adnams). Bee's Knee's Prosecco style fizz (available from Morrisons). Mint Sparkle- apple juice, elderflower cordial, soda water, mint leaves. Virgin Mary - tomato juice, Worcester sauce, tobasco. Shirley Temple - ginger ale, grenadine, orange juice. Homemade lemon barley water. Homemade ginger beer. Seedlip Garden - botanicals without the gin (available from Waitrose). Damson Spritz made with a homemade damson cordial. Fresh Red - Rooibos espresso, apple juice and a squueze of lime. Strawberry Cooler- strawberry, mint and lime. More ideas here.
Three cheers for Arla Foods, owners of Lurpack and Anchor butter who are paying their entire 2018 profit to farmers who are struggling financially due to the summer drought.
Saturday 15th September 2018 ( 2pm to 11pm) marks the return of Star Wing’s popular hop-picking event for the second-year at their brewery in Redgrave, Suffolk. Kicking off at 2pm, all ages and abilities are invited to roll up their sleeves and enjoy an afternoon of picking hops, followed by a hearty hog roast and live music courtesy of The Ludlam Pikes and Mick the Baker Band. As a thank you, the first 50 pickers to arrive on the day will receive a voucher for a free hog roast and a free drink from the bar, including Star Wing’s distinctive ales made from the hops grown from the very soil on which the brewery stands – what better way to be rewarded for your efforts. For more information visit www.starwingbrewery.com or call 01379 890 586.
Here's a new monthly food and flea market for you, to be held at Clare Town Hall on the third Wednesday of every month. Starting on October 17th. Check out their vintage kitchenalia. They'll also be holding a Food and Drink Fair before Christmas and are looking for a caterer to run their Cafe at this event. Anyone out there?
After working all day at Holkham I couldn't leave for home without a hunting out a tasty bit of fish for supper. The problem is everywhere gets booked up in the season and I didn't want fish and chips and hadn't got time for a full 3 course meal. Chancing it I stuck my head in the door at the nearby Wells Crab House and the lovely Maitre D' offered my daughter and I the bar seat (more of a shelf, but a perfectly good place to eat a snack). We ordered four starters: Potted Shrimps (pictured) A crab tart. Smoked Mackerel Fishcakes and Pan fried Scallops with a ham fritter. Perfectly hitting the spot and washed down with an alcohol free Adnams Ghost Ship. More about Drinks for Drivers in another blog.
This week we've been sampling game sausages, sausage rolls and pies sent to us from new food producer Wild and Game. They are a new not-for profit food business aiming to turn us into a nation of game eaters. I'm not sure if there's much converting to do here in East Anglia, where we eat a lot of wild meat, but the game goodies will be available online to pubs, restaurants, small shops and the general public, so great for those that find it hard to visit a decent butcher. "We're keen to make game more prominent in the UK diet", says Steven Frampton, who runs the business with Michael Cannon. Products are supplied frozen and available all year round. Our box arrived on the hottest day of the year, tightly packed in ice, still frozen solid after an overnight delivery. Best of the products we tasted were the sausages, including the pheasant and pear, pheasant and venison and pheasant and white wine. All were a big hit with Mr SuffolkFoodie and notably very good eaten cold the next day. Keep an eye out for their new products. Pheasant Lasagne anyone?
- beautifully packed in ice, arriving frozen
- enormous pasties
- pheasant meat sausage rolls
- 70% meat content sausages
- pheasant and venison sausages