Newsletter Christmas 2012
There is no doubt that is has been quite a year for us all with the Jubilee followed by that sports tournament in London that we are not actually allowed to name for fear of being sued by the image rights police!! For us here however it has been an even more exciting time as in March my wife, Charlie, produced a son Albert Jack Pattisson. He has settled in jolly well but has clearly already realised the enormity of the task of being the youngest brother of Nancy and Edith. More of them later
New products for Christmas
Smoked Mackerel Pate an old favourite of the smoked fish world and one for which, until now, I have never found a recipe that really does justice to the quality of our fish. This is a hybrid from our own kitchen here and my parents' old recipe that was hugely popular in their restaurant in the 80s. It really is delicious being both slightly coarse and creamy with just a hint of lemon. I do have to warn you though, that to say that it is utterly addictive and moreish doesn't really cover it!
Smoked Scallops is the second, and most exciting, addition as this really is an original product. I have always adored scallops and have been convinced for a while that if a very subtle smoke was applied to them whilst being cooked over an open fire they could be superb. Unusually for me I think I've been proved right! We literally sear them over a hot log fire and smoke them for a mere ten minutes. The result is stunning, the fish keep their natural sweetness whilst holding the gentlest smoked flavour. Then they can be eaten either cold, or heated through for a hot option. These are a triumph - even if I do say so myself.
Perfect for presents as well as your table
Whether it is a stunning Cheshire Baked Ham, a Veritable Feast Hamper or a single pot of trout pate our goodies can be sent straight to your door or to the doors of your family and friends as brilliant gifts. We hand write all our labels with your messages or, if you send us your own cards we will include them - whichever you prefer. With our full range of hampers, and of course our wonderful sides of salmon, we really can ensure that both you and your friends have a genuine gastronomic treat over the Christmas period.
A 10% Christmas Offer
It would be silly for me to pretend otherwise, or to ignore the challenges facing everyone in our current economic climate. Therefore, I have decided that we would like to offer you a discount of 10% of the total order value (including carriage) off all orders placed before the 1st of December. It does not matter how big or small your orders are. If you place your order by close of play on November the 30th you will receive 10% off the delivered value of your purchase. So dive into our new brochure and start highlighting what you would like to have.
As I write the eel numbers are not good this year and as a result we can, sadly, only offer you the 100g and 200g fillets and only the 400g whole eel. As you no doubt remember the extraordinary rain of April, June and July meant that the eel population migrated early - it simply had no choice - as a result the larger eels that we would normally offer whole are simply not about. It is only a temporary problem, but a frustrating one none the less. The eels are still delicious but I would encourage you to order whole eels early as I think it is a distinct possibility that we may sell out this year.
The Girls and Bertie!
Laden with the huge responsibility of having a baby brother the girls have both adopted slightly different techniques in how to guide Bertie in some of the key lessons of life. Edie has gone down the route of, when caught red handed doing something wrong, acknowledging that denial is futile and she relies on huge blue eyes, a smile and an answer that takes all angry wind out of her mother's sails. She demonstrated this beautifully recently when having been given one chocolate brownie in the garden she crept into the house and ate a further ten! When confronted by her mother with "Where are all the brownies Edith? Do you have something to tell me?" she smiled at her mother, and, from under raised eyebrows, replied "Yes I have" (long pregnant pause) "they were very nice". Nancy on the other hand simply makes it clear that unless you have an intellect to keep up with her ever changing role play you are destined for a life of exclusion from her games. On one fateful day recently she was Tom Daley, Zara Phillips, Jess Ennis, Harry Potter and Janet (from the secret 7) all before lunch. I lost the ability to see straight once Tom Daley started doing dressage and Harry Potter became an Olympic weightlifting champion. As for Bertie he is jolly, round and utterly relaxed. He has his mother's nature and his father's appetite.
A very Merry and Happy Christmas
Newsletter March 2012
With spring most definitely in the Air and Easter less than a month away I thought it was high time I wrote. I have to admit that to some extent I am using this missive to distract my brain from the fact that Charlie, my wife, is at home 11 days over due. The baby, that it would appear is just as stubborn as its sisters Nancy and Edith, has clearly decided that it is important to put a marker down early that it does what it wants when it wants. So, whilst we await the safe arrival of number three I thought I should make a few suggestions for your Easter menus and entertaining.
Hot Smoked Sides of Trout: big fish, up to four or five pounds, are grown especially for us in Devon. After marinating in brown sugar and whisky the sides are roasted to a golden brown, over an oak fire which produces a fabulous rich flavor. Each side comes ready trimmed, de-boned and weighing a minimum of 300gms - many of them are larger- and will serve four hungry people as a main course - ideal for a family gathering. Warmed slightly, to let the juices run, and then cut into steaks they make a wonderful meal. The code for ordering is LT and the price, is £9.00 per side (£8.50 each for two or more sides).
Do remember that our hampers and hams are available all year round. This Christmas we sold a record number of the Cheshire Hams: dry cured and marinated in brown sugar, they are so moist and sweetly flavored that they melt in the mouth. At a minimum weight of 1.6gms, they serve 12 to 14 people - perfect for Easter if you have a houseful of people. Their price is £32.50
Goose & Plum Sausages. These have been a revelation and have become one of our most popular offerings. The sausages are made on the farm where they grow the geese. A beautiful farm up on the hills between Yeovil and Dorchester. The stunning views the geese enjoy day in and day out its not surprising they taste so good. All we have done is roast them over the open fire which keeps them moist and they are truly delicious hot or cold. These are £7.50 for a pack of 4 or £7.00 if you buy 3 or more packs.
Our Shop and Restaurant. It has been very exciting seeking out, in addition to our established range, new local items such as cheeses, chutneys, chocolates and a delicious selection of wines as well as our own home made take away soups and meals. Meanwhile a contented hum emanates from the restaurant. It gives us such pleasure to see people deep in conversation; really enjoying them selves and we look forward to setting up tables outside to greet the arrival of spring. In the run up to Easter we shall be open all week from Monday to Saturday, including Good Friday, but closed on Easter Sunday and Easter Monday.
Easter open day. Saturday March the 31st, from 10am until 4pm, a perfect opportunity to taste all the products we have to offer. With a glass of wine in hand you can look round the smokery and shop to your hearts' content before having lunch with us in the restaurant.
All that remains is for me to wish you a very happy and peacefull Easter
Newsletter March 2011
It is with a great deal of relief and delight that we can finally say goodbye to what has been a very long and somewhat extreme winter here in the West Country. My confidence that we are now significantly in the spring season is because Edith our younger daughter (just two) recently presented me with three huge handfuls of immaculately picked pink and blue hyacinth flower petals. When I suggested that they might have been better left on their stems she simply looked at me and said "no daddy hands smell nice now"; she was right they smelt glorious but the decimated stems that were left behind her all over the garden must have wondered what on earth they had survived the brutal winter for.
The best thing about Easter being so late this year is that we will be well and truly into what my wife Charlie's family call "sunny day lunch season" and to that end I have put a few things on offer that will help such gastronomic gatherings go with a swing. Our cold smoked salmon 100g pack will be at the reduced price of £6 per pack and £5.75 per pack when you buy three packs or more. Also our hot smoked chicken breasts will be at the price of £8 per pack and £7.75per pack when you buy three packs or more. It is such a wonderfully versatile product and perfect in salads, either hot or cold. Alternatively, you could make our delicious coronation chicken, the recipe for which you can find on our web site www.brownandforrest.co.uk. Finally I would like to offer you our whole lamb fillet; it is brined in brown sugar, sherry and honey before Tim cold smokes it and then roasts it over an open fire. It is a stunning product and with the new season, British lamb, is simply ideal for an Easter feast. This will be at the reduced price of £12.50 for a 400g fillet. All of these offers will be available until the end of May.
Easter Open Day
This year we are having just one Easter open day on April the 16th between 10am and 4pm. All our products will be available to try as well as a glass of wine which you can sip whilst Tim gives you a guided tour of our smokers and explains how he does what he does. We will again be joined by our friends at 'Bgood to your Hands' whose range of beautiful products have become such a success and if you have not tried them this is your opportunity to do so. The restaurant will of course be open all day and our neighbours Hambridge Antiques and Richard Dennis Pottery will also be open for the duration. It is a perfect excuse to explore the Levels a little more with visits to Muchelney Pottery and The Cider Brandy Company being absolute musts.
As ever I would like to close with a little news of Nancy our elder daughter who is now fast approaching the serious age of five. Having been given some binoculars for Christmas, family walks have become even more punctuated than they were before. Every possible bird that is spotted has the lenses trained upon it. If you don't then know the exact genus, species, nesting habits and differences in plumage between the male and female, you are left in no doubt, by a withering stare that you are clearly a complete waste of everyone else's oxygen. On top of that if one doesn't then spot the hordes of marauding pirates that clearly attack from behind nearly every hedgerow you "will never become a musketeer, and don't deserve to be". Swashbuckling has never been such hard work!
May I wish you a very Happy Easter and sincerely thank you for your continued support and custom which I appreciate so very much.
Newsletter March 2010
At last we appear to be saying goodbye to the Arctic like conditions that feel as if they have been with us for months. Christmas seems a very long time ago now and it is with real pleasure that I can report that it was our best ever across all areas of the business and for that we are very grateful to you for your continued support. With my brain now properly tuned in to 2010 and the fast approaching Easter celebrations, thanks to hourly conversations with our eldest daughter Nancy about exactly where the Easter bunny lives and does he know Father Christmas, I have lots to tell you about.
Goose and Plum Sausages. We have another new product to offer you Theresa who runs our shop and restaurant and Kay who is in charge of slicing and dicing went on a farm shop tour just before Christmas and discovered these. They are from a local Goose farm that make their own sausages and when we tasted them knew we had to have them. As luck would have it we had our Christmas open days about a week later so gave them a proper test and completely sold out by lunchtime on the Saturday. All we do is roast them over the open fire; they truly are out of this world served either hot or cold.
Arctic Char. This side of hot smoked Char has exceeded our most optimistic of expectations with it becoming our fourth most popular product and selling well over two hundred sides at Christmas. I had one lady who wrote to tell me that she had been a customer for twenty years, had always adored our duck, trout, eel and salmon but now had a new favourite. She said she wished to register her annoyance as it had thrown her menu planning completely!
Packaging. At long last we have started the overdue process of no longer using polystyrene in our packaging. It is almost impossible to get rid of and is about as environmentally friendly as Jeremy Clarkson! I have to admit that my friends and family would be unlikely to describe me as an 'eco warrior', and that I am actually quite keen on Mr Clarkson. However, even I feel slightly less guilty knowing that we have reduced our polystyrene usage by two thirds and that will, hopefully, be reduced to nothing within the year.
Our Shop and Restaurant. As I write we are awaiting to hear if we have been granted planning permission to extend our shop significantly. This will give us the opportunity to really develop into a fine food shop with a much wider range of goodies to sell. I will keep you posted. Meanwhile a contented hum emanates from the restaurant - it gives us so much pleasure to see people deep in conversation, really enjoying themselves - and we look forward to setting up tables outside to greet the arrival of spring. Over the Easter holiday, we shall be open Monday to Saturday in the week before Easter - including Good Friday, 10th April but we will be closed on Easter Sunday and Easter Monday.
Mothering Sunday and Evening openings. Following the success of last year we will be open for Lunch on Mothering Sunday the 14th of March. It was great fun last year and the weather was so lovely we had lots of people eating outside! Once again this year we will be having our ever more popular Smokery supper evenings the first of which is Friday May the 14th. If you would like to join us for either of these events then please contact us as soon as possible as experience tells us that they will be booked up very quickly!
Our Spring Open Days will be Friday May 7th and Saturday May 8th, from 10 am to 4pm, a perfect opportunity to taste all the products we have to offer. With a glass of wine in hand, you can look round the smokery and then shop till your heart's content before having lunch with us in the restaurant.We Will also be joined by Bgood hand creams which were so popular at Christmas.
Bath and West show 2010: This year the Bath and West show falls entirely in June running from Wednesday the 2nd through to Saturday the 5th. We will be there again serving our light lunches as part of the 'Spirit of the West' marquee which is located just down from the main cheese pavilion next to the main ring. It offers something hard to find elsewhere at the show - in that we have tables and chairs to sit at under cover - and where you can enjoy good real wholesome food (not a chip or burger in sight!) all washed down with a glass of burrow hill cider or delicious local wine and finished off with a punnet of fresh strawberries and clotted cream. Once re-charged you can attack the show with a renewed vigor! We very much look forward to seeing you if you can make it.
New website. Our new website is now fully up and running and I am delighted to say that the feed back we have received has been so positive I am slightly embarrassed we did not do it sooner. Tim, our master smoker, is also our web guru and is updating the site constantly with extra bits of news and special offers from "the smoke". The site also includes our diary of dates for the whole of 2010 right up to the Christmas open day!
I will close this letter, as ever, with news of our girls. Nancy who is now fast approaching the grand old age of four is possibly heading for a career in the legal profession as whatever is said to her she now treats as a legally binding contract and expects us to behave accordingly! The latest and potentially most expensive conversation concerns learning to ride, she assures me that her mother promised that she could have lessons from her fourth birthday onwards and "will have her own pony when she's five, with a stable and field and everything". Edith on the other hand is only interested in two things, eating and having whatever Nancy happens to be playing with at the time. We think she must have some Italian or French influence in her somewhere as whenever she sits down for a meal, if it does not consist of multiple courses, and is less than two hours in length, all hell breaks loose. The really worrying thing is that she is only nine months old!
All of us here would like to wish you a very, very happy Easter.
Newsletter Christmas 2009
It seems almost un-thinkable that it is time, once again to talk to you, but, I have checked, the sweet corn season has been and gone (my favourite thing with far too much melted butter!); what few hop gardens are left have been cleared for another year and Nancy is dragging me down the garden to check on her Pumpkin patch almost hourly to see how big they are before scowling at me when they clearly don't meet her requirements! However autumn brings its own rewards with our full range of goodies that make such wonderful gifts and must-haves for your larders at Christmas.
Thank you so so much for taking the time to contact us with your thoughts on the Arctic char it has been so gratifying to both Tim and me to know that so many of you enjoyed the product as much as we hoped you would. Interestingly one of the comments that have come back to us is that you think it is as good cold as hot, which I was not sure about, and this makes it even more versatile. Perfect for a light Christmas Eve lunch or a stunning addition to your cold cuts feast on Boxing Day.
Our restaurant House white wine has for years been hugely popular -almost as important to our customers' lunch as our food - and last year we started selling it in the shop. Now we rarely sell it by the bottle as people simply take cases of it home with them! Echiverria is a Sauvignon Blanc from Chile and the experts tell me it is "bright, lively and fresh with hints of ripe green melons and freshly cut grass"!!! All I can say is that it is not available in any supermarkets or off licences, is simply delicious and I think that all our customers should have the opportunity of having it on their Christmas table - not just those lucky enough to live locally. It will be available to you in two bottle packs for £22.00 or in cases of six bottles at £55.00
Whole sides of Smoked salmon ( S2). Quite apart from the satisfaction of carving it your self, it keeps beautifully, is moist to the last morsel and good for 10-12 servings (depending upon how greedy you are) . Cheshire Baked Ham (HM) is boned out, properly dry cured, marinated in honey and brown sugar and flash cooked to glazed perfection. It is moist, sweetly flavoured, serves 12-14 people and is another must for your Christmas tables.
Hampers. We are delighted to be able to continue offering our complete range of hampers, which you tell us make wonderful gifts, with prices ranging from the Mini hamper at £30 up to our Grande Bouffe at £100. They are packed full of our delicacies and will be delivered to the recipient on the date you require with hand written cards of your own personal messages enclosed. If you prefer to send your own cards to us, we can make sure that they are enclosed in the parcel. One of these really is the perfect present for that person who seems to have everything.
Christmas Delivery Dates and Last Orders. We would like to have your orders in by Monday 14th December. We promise to help as much as we can thereafter but must, of course, first honour those orders received before that date. Deliveries that you request "as near to Xmas as possible" will be posted on the last posting date for first class deliveries - usually around the 18th December. The important thing is that you can be certain that these products will be in perfect condition for Christmas and the New Year.
And now for something completely different
. We are forever searching for new products that meet our criteria of integrity, passion and quality and thus far they have always been digestible. However, this new departure only smells good enough to eat! Bgood Hand Creams are handmade in small batches by Tam Mason a great friend of ours who simply got fed up with looking for "a truly natural product that actually worked". I can't pretend that it was a problem with which I instantly sympathised! But my wife Charlie, having first clipped me round the ear for my lack of understanding, jumped up and down at "a good point well made" and before I knew it my mother, sisters, sisters friends and now the entire staff (myself and Tim excluded!), are positively clamouring for the stuff. So, it is our great pleasure to offer it to you as a mail order product. Available in Sandalwood & Rose or Orange & Grapefruit it comes beautifully packaged in 50ml pots and priced at £10.50. It would make a perfect Christmas gift or a luxurious treat for you.
Christmas Open Days. We hope very much that we may see you at one of our special Open Days on Friday 4th and Saturday 5th December from 10am to 4pm. Do bring your friends and family to sample our complete range of products, enjoy a glass of wine and see the smokery at work.
Christmas Eve Opening we will be opening the shop on Christmas Eve, just from 10 till 2, where there may be a few last minute special offers, definitely a glass of mulled cider and a mince pie.
Evening opening We will be open for Supper on the evenings of Friday the 23rd of October and Friday the 18th of December. These evenings have proved to be such fun so if you can come to either or both it would be lovely to see you.
As ever I will sign off with news of our girls. Edith our latest edition is desperate to be on the move but currently appears to have only one gear - that being reverse! She is perfectly happy to be left and then you hear a very cross cockerel-like crow, your heart stops when, for a split second, you actually can't see her at all, only to find her wedged under the sofa with just her plump, rather red face sticking out.
Nancy when walking past our local butcher the other day with her mother was surprised to see a whole pig carcass being delivered to Andy our butcher. Un-phased, she thought for a moment and said "mummy that pig's not very well is it?" "No" came the reply. "It should really go to the vet not to Andy's shop." Charlie then explained about it being dead and why it was at the butchers! Nancy's eventual response was "Mummy, why didn't its mummy look after it ?"
All that remains for me to say is that I hope we see as many of you as possible on our open days , if not then we wish you, your family and friends a very, very happy Christmas and New Year
Great Taste Awards 2009
Hand Cured Cold Smoked Salmon Gold 2 Star
Hot Smoked Arctic Char Gold 1 Star
Smoked Eel Gold 1 Star
Smoked Eel Pate Gold 1 Star
Newsletter Summer 2009
It has been quite a momentous few months since I last wrote with the main excitement being the arrival of our second child a daughter Edith. She decided to make an appearance on the Monday before Easter blissfully unaware that it was one of our busiest mailing days of the year and already displaying a delicious stubbornness to her character that suggests that if she had known she would not have cared one jot. Nancy is taking the responsibility of being an elder sister very seriously and their mother Charlie makes looking after three children (if you include Mabel the dog) seem as simple a task as shelling peas.
HOT SMOKED ARCTIC CHAR. The other exciting news is that we have a brand new product to offer you. Traditionally found in the northern lakes and fjords of Europe, Canada and America, this is a Salmonidae fish that some bill as a salmon replacement although in my opinion it is simply a stunning white flesh fish in its own right. Initially my thoughts were that it would lend itself beautifully to cold smoking, but in the end the results were out of this world when we simply hot smoked it as whole sides. We use a very light soya sauce and honey based brine and then simply roast the filleted sides over the flames of the fire and gently smoke them for a minimal amount of time. I cannot recommend this delicate and flavoursome fish enough and look forward to hearing your thoughts on it.
Smoked Chicken Breast: as many of you know, our smoked chicken breast is delicious, moist and succulent, wonderful as a starter thinly sliced with avocado and vinaigrette or mixed into salads for summer meals or used in coronation chicken - the last very popular in the restaurant. We are pleased to offer the two-breast pack (code CB) at a special price of £7.50 inc. p&p (normal price £8.50)- irrespective of the number ordered.
Our 8oz smoked salmon pâté (code S7) delicious and creamy, fabulous for summer picnics, normally £8.00 Inc p&p, is also on offer at £7.00 regardless of number ordered.
These offers last until the end of August.
Summer Open Days Friday the 31st of July and Saturday the 1st of August
It was a real pleasure to see so many of you at our spring open days and to hear how much you enjoyed them.
As always our full range of goodies will be laid out for you to try and there will be guided tours to see the fish being smoked. You can gain inspiration for summer menus in the shop, which will be stocked full of our smokery products, as well as cheeses, - look out for our new smoked brie - smoked black pudding, olives, pies, herrings and much more. Or simply enjoy a delicious lunch in the restaurant. We very much hope you may be able to join us on one or other of these days (or perhaps both!). Remember too there are wonderful walks all round us on the Levels if you want to make a day of it - or simply need to "walk off" the sampling!
The Restaurant. You can reach us by car, bus, camper van, vintage car, bike, on foot or even by plane (landing strip on nearby field - phone for details!), but however you get here, the tables are out, the umbrellas are up, the warmest of welcomes awaits you - and the lunches are as wonderful as ever. Remember, if you are coming a long way, it is a good idea to book. The next two Open Evenings are on August the 21st and October the 23rd. These evening openings have proved to be hugely popular and are great fun, so if you have not made it to one yet, book a table and come and join us.
Web site www.brownforrest.co.uk www.smokedeel.co.uk
Our new website is almost finished. It has been being built by our master smoker, Tim, who is putting the finishing touches to it as I write. Hopefully you will find that we have brought it bang up to date with it being easier to use and giving you much more information about us and events that are going on? It should go live in the next couple of months and we would welcome your comments when it does.
Finally with the arrival of her younger sister Nancy seems to have developed a desire to help provide for the family! Every Sunday morning she arrives at my bedside shakes me quite gently and says "wake up daddy time to go to the smokery". Leaving the other two girls sleeping we set off on what has become our Sunday morning ritual. I open the cold smokers and she, whilst holding her nose, helps me decide if the salmon sides are done. Then she fills her shovel with oak dust and gives it to me and we set the trail for the next smoke. Having carried out these duties I spend the next twenty minutes pulling her round the car park on our trolley before heading home via the village shop to collect the papers and her "chocolate croissant". I think I can safely say that we truly are a 'family run business'.
I wish you all a long hot summer
Newsletter March 2009
As I start to write this spring and Easter letter to you, we are still in the depths of winter with a good few inches of snow on the ground and I have to admit that Claude, my long suffering bicycle, is having a short sabbatical. With the lanes having become ice rinks, a freezing dip into one of the dykes that line them would have been an inevitability!
Despite the great British press, and our politicians' best efforts to convince us all that economic Armageddon is upon us, we had an excellent Christmas period and for that we are most grateful to you all for your unswerving support. For my part I now refuse to listen to the constant twaddle that appears to be shouted from every rooftop by the gleeful harbingers of doom. To me it is simple, we are here to provide you with the finest ingredients we can find, prepared with the utmost care and delivered with first class service - and just possibly to raise an Agincourt finger or two to the misery mongers!
We Won! You may remember in my last letter I mentioned that my wife Charlie and I had been invited to the final of the Excellence in Food and Drink awards at The Dorchester Hotel where our whole side of un-Sliced Salmon (S2) had been short listed for an award. Well it was just like the Oscars! 350 people dressed in their finest, supping champagne before embarking on what turned out to be a five course superb lunch. Having begun to get into the swing of things, and to convince ourselves that we did not look like the country bumpkins we felt, we were overcome with a mixture of horror, disbelief and joy when "Brown and Forrest" was read out as the winner of our category. One judge said, "You can literally taste the passion that has gone into this product". It was an amazing day and the memory of it still makes the goose bumps rise.
As a celebration we would like to offer you our award winning side of salmon as an Easter special for only £29.00 in the hope that you enjoy it as much as the judges seemed to! Our offer lasts until the end of April.
Hot Smoked Sides of Trout: big fish, up to four or five pounds, are grown especially for us in Devon. After marinating in brown sugar and whisky the sides are roasted to a golden brown, over an oak fire which produces a richer flavour than that of their smaller brethren, the trout fillets (TF) that you may already know. Each side comes ready trimmed, de-boned and weighing a minimum of 325gms - many of them are larger- and will serve four hungry people as a main course - ideal for a family gathering. Warmed slightly, to let the juices run, and then cut into steaks they make a wonderful meal. The code for ordering is LT and the price, including 1st class p&p is £9.75 per side (£9.00 each for two or more sides).
Do remember that our hampers and hams are available all year round. This Christmas we sold a record number of the Cheshire Hams: dry cured and marinated in brown sugar, they are so moist and sweetly flavoured that they melt in the mouth. At a minimum weight of 1.4gms, they serve 12 to 14 people - perfect for Easter if you have a houseful of people.
Our Shop and Restaurant. It has been very exciting seeking out, in addition to our established range, new local items such as cheeses, chutneys, chocolates and a delicious selection of wines as well as our own home made take away soups and meals. Meanwhile a contented hum emanates from the restaurant. It gives us such pleasure to see people deep in conversation, really enjoying themselves and we look forward to setting up tables outside to greet the arrival of spring. In the run up to Easter we shall be open all week from Monday to Saturday, including Good Friday 10th April, but closed on Easter Sunday and Easter Monday.
Mothering Sunday and Evening Opening. After such a success last year we have decided to have more Evening openings the first of which will be Friday 17th April. We have also decided to open for lunch on Mothering Sunday for the first time. If you would like to join us for either of these events then please contact us as soon as possible as experience tells us that they will be booked up very quickly!
Our Spring Open Days are on Friday May 1st and Saturday May 2nd, from 10am until 4pm, a perfect opportunity to taste all the products we have to offer. With a glass of wine in hand you can look round the smokery and shop to your hearts' content before having lunch with us in the restaurant.
Bath and West Show 2009. This year the show falls entirely in May, running from Wednesday the 27th through to Saturday the 30th. We will be there again serving our light lunches in the 'Spirit of the West' marquee. Our lunches offer something hard to find elsewhere at the show in as much as we have tables and chairs to sit on, under cover, and you can enjoy good, real, wholesome food (not a chip or burger in sight!) washed down with a glass of Burrow Hill cider or delicious local wine and finished off with a punnet of fresh strawberries and clotted cream. Once re-charged you can attack the show with a renewed vigour! We very much look forward to seeing you if you can make it - the marquee is just down from the main cheese pavilion next to the main ring.
Finally all that remains is for me to give a little news of Nancy our daughter. Having woken to a world covered in snow recently we had a long conversation over breakfast as to everything she was going to do that day in her wintry new playground. Upon my return from the smoke that evening we had a similar conversation, ticking off all the things she had indeed done, the highlight being the sledging. When I suggested that if the snow was still there the next day I would take her sledging, she broke into hysterical laughter. Having calmed her down sufficiently to be able to understand her she simply pointed at me still laughing and said "daddy can't sledge daddy too fat to sledge" at this point her mother was reduced to the same state as her daughter and I stalked off to pump up Claude's tyres...
All of us here would like to wish you a very, very happy Easter.