Here's a very tasty Christmas party menu for you instead of the usual soggy sprouts and insipid catering quality turkey. The Giggling Squid in Bury St Edmunds invited me to try their Christmas menu last week so I went on the opening 'locals night' of the massive annual Christmas Market and Fayre. Feeling all festive and with the town buzzing, the restaurant was full to the brim. I took Mr SuffolkFoodie who loves Thai food and we both ate off the Christmas Evening menu, which priced at £29.95 a head including a glass of Prosecco is great value. By the way, where is all this Prosecco coming from, apparently us Brits drink a third of all produced. I hope it's not going to run out.
- Bags of gold ...crispy spiced chicken parcels
- Prawn satay ... I could just eat the peanut sauce by itself
- Beef rib Massaman ... the highlight of the meal
- Exotic mushrooms ... garlicky and chilli hot
- Prosecco and muddled berry cheesecake
- Molten honeycomb semi-freddo
With the help of my amazing niece Afiya Frank (pictured) I'm in full swing with my Little House of Cooking Cafe. For those of you that don't know I get stuck in for a couple of months from the end of October until Christmas running the cafe during the Christmas Festival at Blackthorpe Barn, Rougham. It's been so busy, baking madly with no time to blog and hardly time to sleep. Come and visit us if you get time, we are open from 10am until 4pm everyday up until and including 22nd December. It's not just cakes, we serve a very good Welsh Rarebit too!
- Home made soup every day
- Citrus almond and polenta cake ( no gluten)
- Pecan tarts
- Hot chocolate ... the works
- Al fresco on craft weekends
- Mulled wine caravan for craft weekends
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.
We have been sooooo busy over the last few weeks but had no time to tell you about it. We have moved the website to a new template with a much better looking Cook Book recipe page and a newsletter... sign up to receive news about our events as we write it. The Inspector entered the Mr Cutlets competition at Meatopia and got through to the the finals of six chefs with her Red Poll Shin and Tail stew and dumplings; the meat was from Elmswell butchers and had to be cooked on an open fire at the competition to select who would have the winners space at Meatopia. We went to the Cereal Killer Cafe (before it was attacked by anarchists !!!) Framlingham Sausage Fest, the Urban Food Fest in Shoreditch where we met Henry whose mum makes the sauces for Pan n Ice, and now we are at Blackthorpe Barn where our Little House of Cooking has been doing a pop-up cafe seven days a week for the Christmas shop, Christmas trees and Craft Fair and will be there until Tuesday 22nd of December. See you there!
At Suffolk Foodie we like a party and we recommend starting your festive season in the most delightful way with All Manor of Events in Henley, Suffolk. Manor Barn are hosting a number of Mary Poppins inspired Christmas Parties.The supercalifragilisticexpialidocious themed nights will include arrival drinks, a mouth-watering three course meal, a disco and .... "drum roll" .... they have a choreographer from Strictly Come Dancing working with them to create some fabulous entertainment for you. Prices vary from £40.00 to £45.00. The dates still available are Saturday 29th November, Friday 5th December, Thursday 11th December, Saturday 13th December, Thursday 18th December and Friday 19th December.
All Manor of Events in Henley, outside Ipswich, are holding Christmas in Oz themed parties. This is a really original place to go for the staff Christmas party. Each year the theme is different and we really enjoyed the chance to spend the evening in Oz. The food was very good ( Christmas menu ) and the decor brilliant.
Would you like a stand at Church Farm Barn Christmas market? Are you an Artisan producer? Ruth Williamson and her husband Paul are holding a Christmas Market in their barn at Church Farm, Bradfield Combust on the weekend of December 14th and 15th. Throughout the month of December they sell their farm grown Christmas trees and homemade fir wreaths from the barn.
Suffolk-based wine educator Neil Courtier of Grape Sense gives us his Christmas and New Year favourites for the festive table below. Neil runs wine-tasting workshops and has one coming up on Saturday morning 26th January 2013 at the Active Business Centre in Bury, called 'An Introduction to Wine Tasting'. This would be a great birthday present for me but unfortunately I am going to be in the Caribbean (says suffolkfoodie in a sad voice...) Call him on 01359 270318 or contact him here through his website.
Domaine Vincent Dampt - Chablis 2011 Burgundy – France - £ 12.55 (here you will get a 10% discount if you mention Grapesense) Corney & Barrow – Newmarket – Vincent Dampt is a rising star in Burgundy, check out this classic, steely, mineral enhanced Chablis, that’s beautifully balanced, by a touch of buttery richness & pin-point acidity. Try with smoked trout, roast turkey (with a white wine gravy), or guinea fowl.
Jul. Ferd Kimich – Gewürztraminer – Spätlese 2010 Pfalz – Germany - £ 12.99 Peatling's - Bury St Edmunds - A fruit-inspired Gewürztraminer, that's beautifully focused. A degree of natural sweetness (only a tad) makes this a perfect companion with a smooth duck-based pâté.
Jim Barry - The Lodge Hill – Shiraz 2010 Clare Valley – Australia - £ 12.49 / buy 2 bottles £ 9.99 – Majestic – Should you decide to enjoy a prime-joint of British beef this Christmas, tuck into this blackberry-soaked Shiraz, with notes of eucalyptus & liquorice. Full-bodied, yet it has ‘sweet’ tannins & total integration.
Domaine Michel Lafarge - Bourgogne – Pinot Noir 2009 Burgundy – France - £ 13.99 (again with a 10% discount for Grapesense) Corney & Barrow – Newmarket – From a great Domaine in Volnay, a cherry-scented Pinot, ripe, rounded & accessible, with food-matching potential too – a great match with pheasant, or venison casserole.
Champagne – Les Pionniers – Vintage 2004 - £ 25.99 / £ 22.99 (until 1st January 2013 ) Co-Operative – Toasty, complex Champagne, with notes of maturity – baked lemon, a trace of honey & a nutty finish. Great vale & should accompany smoked salmon to a tee!
Vistamar - Late Harvest - Moscatel 2012 Limari Valley – Chile - £ 6.24 / buy 2 bottles = £ 4.99 per ½ bottle – Majestic – Snap-up this peach, honey, lemon & grapey Moscatel, which has attractive acidity to underpin the sweetness. Yummy!
I eat a lot of bacon in my job as an Hotel Inspector. But all those breakfasts eaten in my line of duty have not put me off a good rasher of bacon when I get home
Dry Cured Back Bacon finished in Black Treacle and Beer.
Hill Top Smokehouse had a tasty looking stall at the Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fair at the weekend. There is an online shop, so order yourself some award winning goodies for Christmas. Or if you are passing by either of the family run butchers shop's R J Smiths of Needham Market or Byfords Traditional Fresh Foods of Rayleigh, Essex pop in and buy some.