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
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.
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.
I have just discovered the perfect little 30g bar of chocolate. Made with certified organic cacao sweetened with coconut blossom sugar, it feels good for me. Better still, 3% of the Bedfordshire based company profits go to UNICEF. My favourites are this 70% Raw Peruvian Chocolate with Pomegranate and the 100% Raw Peruvian Cacao Bar with Mulberry. Find some for your Valentine.
Whenever I go to Great Yarmouth I call in at Northgate Fish to see what Paul Williams has caught in his boat. As well as being a local fisherman for over thirty years he's also a Caister lifeboatman and knows all about the sea. It's also the only place I know that you can still buy a traditonal Yarmouth bloater or a Red Herring which he smokes in his own smokehouse at Caister
Landing on the doormat at SuffolkFoodie HQ last week were a couple of sample cartons of the new limited edition Apple, Mint & Lime juice drink from The Cracker Drinks Co. Forever sceptical about anything labelled as low calorie, with no added sugar and ready made in a carton, we got stuck in. We are happy to say that we were more than impressed. With deliciously sharp lime and true flavours of mint and apple, this is a brilliantly blended ready made virgin mojito, and a perfect base for a quick, easy peasy rum cocktail ... now you're talking!
Jamie Oliver sent us a useful guide to buying olive oil which we have shared on our facebook page. For special occasions we really like one we bought in Sicily; Lorenzo No 5 is expensive but Inspector X gives her daughters a bottle each for Christmas. Each bottle says 'I dedicate this bottled essence of olives to my son, Lorenzo, with all my love' Manfredi Barbera.
Took dad for a drive to see his favourite east coast fisherman - Dean Fryer - one of Rick Steins food heroes. All fishermen are heroes in our minds - up at 2am seven days a week in good weather, with no guarantee of any income. We bought sea bass, rock eel, a lobster and some small dover sole. Within twelve hours of being caught the sea bass were on the barbecue.
Who would refuse an invite to visit Green and Blacks stall at the Christmas Fair in Bury? It took a while to find them but we persevered and were more than rewarded by a couple of tastes of the various bars they produce and two bars of their thin Sea Salt chocolate to take home. Really nice guys on the stall too. This company were the fore-runners of the chocolate trend that has now made it possible to try specialist chocolate from all over the world - and this is still some of the best.
I couldn't resist these Nar Valley grown tomatoes from Swaffham High Street greengrocers. All shapes and colours with a kilo for £4.
I just drove home way too fast because I had a loaf of freshly baked bread in the back of my car.The smell was tormenting me and I wanted to cut myself a slice and spread it with butter.The loaf of Pakenham bread (made with Pakenham Mill flour) had just been baked by Mark Proctor from The Friendly Loaf Company which is based in Rede.The smell of a bakery always brings back childhood memories of visiting my Grandad in his bakery in Ixworth. Mark told me all about his Barm bread, which is an ale leavened bread.I'll try that next time. He also told me he has a job vacancy for a bakery assistant, to help him in the bakery and learn the art of breadmaking.Now that is a fine opportunity....