All posts tagged: Stilton

Visiting the glorious Welbeck Estate (in inappropriate footwear).

The beautiful Welbeck Estate nestled in Sherwood Forest is in the heart of the ancient royal hunting grounds – the Dukeries. Welbeck Abbey was founded in 1153 and when dissolved, the Estate became the home of the Dukes of Portland and it continues to be privately owned to this day. Apart from the beautiful natural setting and the stunning buildings it is perhaps best known for the labyrinth of underground tunnels and rooms (including a ballroom!) constructed by the 5th Duke and for its time leased to the MOD for an army training college until 2005. It is once again lived in by members of the extended family who have transformed it into a thriving working Estate which provides inspiring, creative spaces for artisan food businesses, education and the arts. Although the house is private there is much to see to in the open parts of the estate and I was invited along to meet some of the fantastic artisan food businesses which operate out of Welbeck and to visit the Farm Shop. As well …

Food Festival Porn in Melton Mowbray

As you know, I love a good food festival. The trouble is, so few of them are, in fact, any good. Almost every weekend there is a food festival somewhere, I don’t mean Farmer’s Markets or Food Markets, but events described as “food festivals” and usually held in some rather nice location, an old Market Square, a stately home, a country park, a lakeside location. Each one that appears on my social media, lures me in with promises of artisan foods and new foodie treats. I find it hard to resist, and I have been to loads. A lot of them are, though, pretty rubbish. I know it takes time for things to become established, for audiences to build up and for traders to think it worth their while, but still, Food Festivals that charge £6, £8 per head before you can enter to spend more money, and/or are in the middle of nowhere (petrol money, bus fares) and only have 6/7 stalls with traders who resent giving out samples, really, really annoy me. You …

Kiss-Me-Quick Hats, Rock, Chips, Donkey-rides? Nope, Artisan Cheese.

I love cheese and this weekend I discovered a new cheese. Well, it’s not that new, I know it won an award in 2012, but that is still pretty new as far as cheeses go and definitely new to me. It is local, made near the Lincolnshire Coast in a small village in East Lindsay –  Thorpe St Peter –  a stone’s throw from the very traditional British holiday resort of Skegness. Skegness is famous for many things – and for those of us who have grown up in the East Midlands or Yorkshire it has probably been one of our regular day-trip destinations since childhood (I have a photo of my Great Grandmother walking arm in arm along the front from 1931!) The long stretches of sand, the donkey-rides, the “Pleasure Beach”, winkles, cockles, buckets and spades, “Kiss-me -Quick” Hats, End of the Pier shows, sticks of rock, the Illuminations and hot chips burning your mouth on a breezy walk along the prom, bring back happy childhood memories for many of us in this …

Tasty Little Tarts with Colston Bassett Stilton, Smoked Bacon and a smidgen of Sorrel

Sorrel is in abundance in my garden, in fact, all the herbs are so lush this year, the combination of rain, sun and warmth has worked its magic and the pots are overflowing. Sometimes known as “Spinach Dock”, Sorrel is an ancient herb native to this country, with a range of historic medicinal uses, but it is hard to find many recipes that embrace it. It is a sour herb, it is true, and probably a bit of an acquired taste, it should not be eaten to excess, and it is really only the small and tender green leaves that are digestable, once the red tinges appear on the leaves and stalks, it is time to admire if from afar. Sorrel is used in Eastern European and Russian kitchens much more frequently, here it seems a little neglected. With so much flourishing in my garden, I set about combining it with some smoked streaky bacon, and wonderful sharp and creamy Colston Bassett Stilton to create these tasty little tarts. The local fox has recently dispatched …