Using locally produced food is really important to me and my guests love the fact that breakfast – and all the meals I cook – are sourced from a wealth of local produce.
The Cotswolds is well known for its wonderful farms and artisan food producers and the Vale of Evesham, sheltering just below the Cotswold escarpment, is famous for its fruit and vegetables. The Vale is a wonderful patchwork blanket of apple and pear orchards, glasshouses, furrows of green vegetables and home to the ‘queen’ of all vegetables – asparagus. There you will find as array of roadside stalls piled high with the freshest seasonal produce.
There are some fabulous local small-scale producers and farmers within a 50–mile radius to keep me well stocked. Top of the list is Gloucestershire Old Spot, reared in near-by villages and prized for its sweet flesh as well as the best tasting rashers and sausages. (Supposedly their characteristic grey spots appeared when apples fell onto the pigs whilst grazing in the orchard. Hhhmmm!).
More great tastes are: Cotswold lamb, beef, soft fruits, the finest rainbow and brown trout – freshly caught and also traditionally smoked – artisan breads, honey, award-winning cheeses including cheddar and soft Brie-style cheese to die for….
LOCAL FARMERS’ MARKETS
When you browse around Cotswolds Farmers Markets and farm shops you will see how spoilt for choice I am! You can find out more about them and local food suppliers and outlets here.
And, closest to home – in the Old School back garden – we have our own egg-laying bantam and hens. I use their eggs to make my own cakes, cookies and preserves whenever possible.