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Here are some of the latest press releases from the people we work with. If you’re a journalist, blogger or writer and would like more information, images or samples, please get in touch.


Forged by fire, Quicke’s announces partnership with Ben Quinn

Amy Brice

Celebrating a new wave in cheese, Quicke’s has announced its collaboration with Cornwall-based chef, Ben Quinn of Woodfired Canteen, who has used his flair over the open flames to create an exclusive collection of recipes. With all dishes featuring a generous wedge of Quicke’s cheese, now made using Cornish Sea Salt from August onwards, this partnership aims to encourage a new generation to embrace outdoor cooking and make the most of the natural abundance around them.

This coming together of fire, land and sea pays tribute to the biggest change in Quicke’s cheese for decades, as the Devon-based cheesemaker continues to craft award-winning clothbound cheddar from ingredients that are a true expression of the land from which they came. Taking this as his inspiration, Ben’s recipes get back to basics with woodfire cooking in the open air, advocating an intuitive approach to all elements of the process, including judging temperature by how many seconds it takes before a hand can no longer be held by the fire.

Spending a few days cooking over coals in both the ancient woodland at Home Farm in Devon and the craggy St Agnes beach in Cornwall, Ben has created recipes including a Campfire Cheese Toastie, a crowd-pleasing Raclette of Buttery Clothbound Cheddar and a Smoked Cauli Cheese made with Oak Smoked Goats' Milk Clothbound Cheese. Finally, Ben’s Cheese Chop stuffed with Extra Mature Clothbound Cheddar provides fledgling fireside cooks with a new classic to pull out, as friends gather around with their plates in hand.

Ben explains:

“The ethos around Woodfired Canteen is all about sharing stories through food, with a focus on people, passion and place. I couldn’t wait to get my teeth stuck into the story of Quicke’s and Cornish Sea Salt, as the collaboration is rooted in the land and sea beneath us and the makers’ passions for the food that they share with the world. The story is just as important as the plate of food, and telling stories around fires to good people leaves more than just a full belly, so we’d really love as many people as possible to try these recipes for themselves. It’s as simple as getting a pan out, lighting a fire, getting a few friends round and giving it a go.”

All of Ben Quinn’s woodfired recipes using Quicke’s cheese can be found at www.quickes.co.uk/blogs/recipes

To watch a film of Ben Quinn introducing the partnership, click here.

The stars are shining over Home Farm, as Quicke’s lands four Great Taste awards

Amy Brice

With the Great Taste 2017 results just announced, Devon-based cheesemaker, Quicke’s is now celebrating, as four of its clothbound cheeses have scooped stars from the world’s most coveted blind-tasted food awards. Coming hot on the heels of the announcement that Quicke’s award-winning cheese will be made using Cornish Sea Salt from this month onwards, three of the new recipe cheeses have achieved a 2-star Great Taste accolade.

Among this 2-star winning trio is Quicke’s Mature Clothbound Cheddar, with judges hailing its “wonderful dairy flavours”, “creamy finish” and “tremendous length”, saying “you can really taste the freshness of the milk.” The panel also heaped praise upon Double Devonshire Clothbound Cheese, declaring it to be “a beautifully made cheese with creaminess and a perfect level of salt”, with one judge noting the “earthiness on the aroma; then on the palate this earthiness gives way to creamy, rich and luscious depth.”

Not to be outdone, Goats' Milk Clothbound Cheese had the judges coming back for more, with a “great tang, very pleasing texture, excellent freshness and complexity”, rounding off a resounding seal of approval from some of the finest palates in the country, just days after the announcement of this ground-breaking Devon-Cornwall collaboration. Finally, Quicke’s Vintage Clothbound Cheddar achieved a 1-star Great Taste award, following 24 months in Home Farm’s maturing rooms.

Mary Quicke MBE commented;

“The whole farm is delighted with this haul of Great Taste awards, after so many years of work in the dairy and maturing rooms to get the addition of Cornish Sea Salt to our cheese just right. We know 2-star Great Taste awards are only given to outstanding products, following a rigorous blind-tasted judging process, so this is wonderful news to receive in the same week that our new wedges line up behind deli counters for the first time. It’s been fascinating to read the judges’ feedback and we can’t wait to hear from our customers as they get a taste of this new chapter in the farm’s history.”

To watch This Land, the new film from Quicke’s, click here.

For more information on Quicke's, please visit www.quickes.co.uk

A new wave in cheese, as the land meets the sea - Quicke’s announces collaboration with Cornish Sea Salt

Amy Brice

Following years of testing, tweaking and maturation at Home Farm, Quicke’s has announced that as of August 2017 its multi award-winning cheese will be made using Cornish Sea Salt. A ground-breaking move in the world of cheese, the use of sea salt adds a new complexity of flavour to the Devon-based cheesemaker’s expertly crafted clothbound cheddar, which is set to tantalise the taste buds of curd nerds everywhere.

This Devon-Cornwall collaboration is the latest enhancement in Quicke’s long history of cheesemaking, as the whole team from the fields to the dairy have continued to craft outstanding cheddar from just four ingredients. Careful herd selection and planned grazing has produced exceptional quality milk to combine with Quicke’s natural rennet and heritage starters, with Cornish Sea Salt now in the mix to create a bright and unique flavour profile.

Mary Quicke MBE explains;

“We are really excited by the move to Cornish Sea Salt in our cheese and are delighted to be the first to do this after so many years in the making. Cornish Sea Salt has a unique mineral-rich flavour that initially hits the palate and then withdraws to enhance other ingredients, which gives us an extra complexity of flavour. Just like in cooking, Cornish Sea Salt adds a lovely brightness and pleasing complexity in the salt flavour and you really notice an extra zing at the end. Harvested out in the ocean, it’s concentrated nature without the impurities you find in pan-dried sea salt. As an unexpected benefit, the sea salt is also more demanding to mix into the fresh curd than table salt, so this stage has required even more love and care from the team. We are noticing a greater roundness in the flavour that we are putting down to that extra work.”

A coming together of heritage, provenance and innovation, Quicke’s and Cornish Sea Salt are ready to inspire the next generation of food lovers as the new wedges hit the shelves in August. Teaming up with Ben Quinn from Woodfired Canteen in Cornwall, Quicke’s will be releasing a suite of recipes designed to harness the cheddar’s unique flavour profile, a cheese as at home in the kitchen as on the cheeseboard.

For more information on Quicke's, please visit www.quickes.co.uk

Lyme Bay Winery welcomes new quality manager

Amy Brice

Award-winning Devon-based winery, Lyme Bay Winery, has announced the appointment of new quality manager, Jimmy Lewis, who will bring a wealth of industry experience to the growing team. This new role caps off an eventful month for Jimmy, having just received the prestigious ‘Member of the Month’ award from the International Food Safety & Quality Network, the world’s leading networking and information website for food safety practitioners.

Jimmy’s appointment comes as further demonstration of Lyme Bay’s continuing commitment to quality standards, following the news of last month’s BRC Global Standard certification, which is regarded as the highest benchmark for best practice, quality and safety in the industry. Achieved due to the winery’s pre-existing and ongoing drive to produce exceptional drinks to the highest quality and standards, Lyme Bay is currently the only English wine producer to hold this seal of approval.

Liam Idzikowski, head winemaker at Lyme Bay Winery, says;

“Bringing Jimmy aboard the Lyme Bay team has brought in a fresh and experienced pair of eyes to help us continue striving for better quality and higher standards. His vast technical experience in the large-scale food industry offers the company a new and rigorous approach to cider and winemaking that will support us in our ongoing mission to produce the very highest quality drinks.” 

For more information about Lyme Bay Winery’s products, please visit www.lymebaywinery.co.uk

Flower power flourishes at The Queens Arms, as chef takes inspiration from the soil

Amy Brice

From pansies to parsley, roses to rosemary, this summer’s menu at The Queens Arms in Corton Denham, Somerset, is brimming with fresh flavours and floral flourishes, gathered from the pub’s own kitchen garden. New head chef, Steven Mesher, has forged stronger ties than ever with the gardening team, visiting the plot on a weekly basis with owners, Jeanette and Gordon Reid, so that the kitchen can be led by the land.

Diners can enjoy the best of the season at The Queens Arms at any time of year, but with a bumper crop of edible flowers now blooming, handpicked petals are bringing a wave of colour, texture and delicate tasting notes to the pass. Dishes including rump of lamb with fondant potato and rainbow chard as well as seared scallops with brawn, chorizo and sea vegetables, are adorned with these freshly cut flowers, from the peppery orange petals of nasturtiums to purple violas, with their lettuce-like flavour profile.

With the majority of this destination dining pub’s fruit and vegetables now coming from its kitchen garden, located just a short stroll away within the walls of Corton Denham House, the plot’s influence has grown into every corner of the menu. Garden strawberry mess with basil meringue offers guests an authentic taste of summertime in Somerset, while freshly picked mint is tucked behind the bar, ready to be brewed in herbal tea or mixed into a cocktail with Black Cow Vodka, ginger beer and lime, for a Dorset Donkey with a kick. On weekends, visitors can sip the day away on the terrace with a Sipsmith Summer Cup, soaking in the views as they savour strawberries, apples and mint straight from the garden.

For more information on The Queens Arms, please visit www.thequeensarms.com.

An idyllic den for children to doodle, discover and play the day away

Amy Brice

A world away from video games, televisions, tweeting and bleeping, a shepherd’s hut from Dorset-based master hutmakers, Plankbridge, can provide children with a cherished hideaway where they can embrace the great outdoors. Whether playing hide-and-seek, counting butterflies or catching up with homework over the holidays, these timeless structures are a perfect base for small feet to run around and for big imaginations to run wild.

Endlessly adaptable, the Victorian-inspired shepherd’s hut can be easily transformed from an office, bedroom and studio when the weekend rolls around or the grandchildren come to stay. Bespoke designs, with the little ones in mind, can include inventive storage solutions so there’s plenty of room for the toy box, while fold out beds and folding desks will create a blank canvas for everything from trainsets to paint sets.

Fitted with a 75mm insulated cavity wall, constructed using a breathable carbon-neutral material made from 80% recycled bottles, these outdoor playrooms will be cool in summer and cosy when the temperate drops. A den for all seasons, the shepherd’s hut can extend the use of the garden throughout the year, giving more time to enjoy the simpler things in life and make memories with the family, whatever the weather.

Plankbridge shepherd’s huts start from £16,500 and measure 12' long. Longer and bespoke designs can be quoted for.

For more information about Plankbridge Hutmakers please call 01300 348414, email enquiries@plankbridge.com or visit www.plankbridge.com.

A digital detox on the Dorset coast – no Freeview, just sea views

Amy Brice

A world away from the frenetic pace of the daily grind, The Seaside Boarding House in Burton Bradstock is a place to escape the smartphone and succumb to the soothing charms of this coastal hideaway. With each bedroom a haven of comfort and tranquillity, no televisions are found within, instead inviting visitors to soak up the spectacular picture frame view outside their windows or immerse themselves in the calming pleasures of a good read.

Harking back to a simpler time, this restaurant and bar with rooms is an oasis of relaxed sophistication, offering guests a rare opportunity to recharge their batteries in sumptuous style. Each of the eight bedrooms are designed to inspire a slower pace from the moment the suitcase is stowed, equipped with a deep claw-foot bath, super king-size bed with Devon-made natural mattresses and piles of feather pillows, working in harmony with the ever-present lullaby of the sea.

Downstairs, a fine restaurant and proper bar look out onto the terrace, featuring many a playful nod to The Seaside Boarding House’s marine heritage, combined elegantly with hand-picked influences from throughout the past century. Welcoming sandy feet, windswept dogs and weather-beaten walkers returning from the undulating majesty of the South West Coast Path, which passes just outside the door, the kitchen offers a daily-changing menu inspired by the south west’s fisherman, farmers and makers, while the bar staff are on hand to mix and muddle the night away.

A rare retreat, offering visitors the chance to escape their screens and reawaken the senses with a lungful of sea air, the rhythm of crashing waves and the awe-inspiring panorama of Lyme Bay, The Seaside Boarding House offers a truly stimulating setting for a digital detox.

For more information on The Seaside Boarding House, please visit www.theseasideboardinghouse.com

Mob grazing the pastures, hoof and claw, Birds & Herds writes new chapter in free range eggs

Amy Brice

Re-establishing the natural order of grazing animals and poultry working in harmony with the land, The Traditional Free Range Egg Company’s brand new Birds & Herds free range eggs are produced as happy herds and traditional birds restore the south west’s pastures, one acre at a time. A natural extension to the Somerset-based free range egg producer and supplier’s multi award-winning Free Collection, which are produced using the traditional flat deck method, Birds & Herds further demonstrates owners Dan and Briony Wood’s commitment to ensuring a sustainable future for food and farming, while continuing to champion other like-minded family-fun farms across the UK.

Healthy, content and soaking up the best that the region’s pastures have to offer, the traditional birds take on a vital role in the centuries-old cyclical practice of mob grazing. The cycle begins with herds staying bunched together and on the move, chomping and trampling to create a natural mulch, which allows the soil to absorb rainfall more effectively, while locking carbon safely away in the ground.

As the herds move onto fresh pastures, the traditional birds ramble out of their mobile sheds, which are on wheels, and set to work fertilising the land and stimulating new shoots by scratching through the manure, spreading nutrients to every corner of the field. Along the way, the birds get to enjoy a hugely varied salad bar of vegetation, as well as nutritious grubs and bugs that can be harmful to other animals, cleaning the land ready for the herds to eventually return.

Dan Wood, managing director of The Traditional Free Range Egg Company, explains;

“Incorporating traditional hens into the mob grazing practices that many forward-thinking cattle and sheep farmers are now embracing is a really exciting step in free range egg production, and something we are extremely proud to be pioneering in our efforts to ensure a sustainable future for independent family-run farms. The story goes much deeper than producing exceptional free range eggs though. Birds & Herds essentially encourages animals to behave like they did centuries ago; with the herds sticking together to avoid predators while they graze on varied herbal lays and the birds coming through afterwards to work through what’s left behind, in the process protecting our land, enhancing biodiversity and minimising our carbon footprint.”

Birds & Herds free range eggs come in beautiful natural shades within half dozen packs and are currently available from independent retailers across the UK, including delis, farm shops, butchers and grocery stores.

For more information, please visit www.thetraditionalfreerangeeggcompany.co.uk.

A refined taste of the British seaside, as restaurant with rooms makes waves in Dorset

Amy Brice

Welcoming sandy feet, windswept dogs and weather-beaten walkers who have worked up an appetite, The Seaside Boarding House in Burton Bradstock is a unique destination with a timeless feel, now serving up two scoops of quintessentially British summertime to its visitors. Bringing its guests a few steps closer to the dramatic panorama of Lyme Bay that opens up right outside its doors, a new cliff top ice cream bar will be open this summer, providing a rugged setting for guests to enjoy a firm favourite from the restaurant’s daily-changing menu.

A delicate drizzle shipped straight from the kitchen, The Seaside Boarding House’s sea salted caramel sauce offers just a glimpse of what lies within. A distillation of this most elegant and charming of coastal escapes, the salted caramel sauce is made to a closely guarded recipe and marries perfectly with the handmade vanilla ice cream that keeps the ramblers, swimmers and sand castle builders coming back for more.

Those venturing inside can find a restaurant, bar and terrace providing an oasis of relaxed sophistication, all meticulously moulded according to the vision of managing director, Mary-Lou Sturridge. This distinctive style, featuring lovingly renovated furniture and fittings from the early 1900s to the present day, with a playful nod to marine life and coastal heritage, is a thoughtful combination of the old and the new, echoing a simpler time with far-reaching seascapes that live long in the memory of those who visit from far and wide.

An ideal retreat for everyone from passers-by to dinner guests sampling a menu that champions produce from Dorset’s fishing boats, farms and smallholdings, this is a place to soak up the views, enjoy long walks along the neighbouring South West Coast Path and return to the call of the bar’s classic cocktails.

For more information on The Seaside Boarding House, please visit www.theseasideboardinghouse.com

The shepherd’s hut goes global, as Plankbridge reports increase in exports

Amy Brice

Once a commonplace sight on Victorian Britain’s rural landscape, the shepherd’s hut has experienced a rapid revival in recent years and is now attracting interest from every corner of the globe. Dorset-based master hutmaker, Plankbridge, has reported a surge in orders and enquiries from overseas, with its distinctly British boltholes now stationed everywhere from Wisconsin in the USA to the sun-drenched southern coastline of Portugal.

Painted in a light citrus yellow to blend elegantly into its natural surroundings in the Algarve, the 14’ Island Bothy hut features a full-size double-bed, wood burner and lots of cupboard space, to allow its owners to make the most of their homely hideaway. With temperatures often exceeding 30°C in summer, the hut’s 75mm insulated cavity also helps keep the interior cool, providing a space for respite and relaxation as the sun beats down.

Constructed using a breathable carbon-neutral material made from 80% recycled bottles, the insulation is just as effective as the temperature drops, a welcome feature in a pair of Plankbridge huts that have made their way to the French Alps. Cosy and warm under their snow topped corrugated iron roofs, the huts offer guests a sauna in one and a massage treatment room in the other, quite a contrast to the Victorian originals which provided shelter for shepherd’s during lambing season, as they tended their flocks on remote farmland.

At home in its natural surroundings around the world, the shepherd’s hut’s timeless 12’ by 6’6” footprint has proved to be endlessly adaptable, with Plankbridge now exporting offices, studios and extra bedrooms to customers as far away as Australia and the USA. Recent orders include huts being shipped to Denmark, Switzerland and New York, as this quintessentially British symbol of rural heritage continues to help people across the globe to get one step closer to the great outdoors.

For more information about Plankbridge Hutmakers, please visit www.plankbridge.com.

Lyme Bay Winery raises a glass, following BRC Global Standards certification

Amy Brice

Devon-based Lyme Bay Winery has achieved an internationally recognised certification from BRC Global Standards at its first attempt, receiving a Grade A for its winery in Shute near Axminster, where the company produces its entire range of multi award-winning country wines, English wines, ciders, meads and liqueurs.

Regarded as the highest benchmark for best practice, quality and safety in the industry, this certification is used by over 25,000 suppliers to the food industry in more than 130 countries, to demonstrate exceptional standards in areas such as food, packaging, storage and distribution, retail and consumer products, with Lyme Bay Winery the only English wine producer to hold the much-coveted seal of approval.

Achieved due to its pre-existing culture of excellence, as well as an ongoing commitment to ensuring that all products that are made at the West Country winery are done so to the highest quality and standards, this certification puts Lyme Bay Winery in a position to lead the way in raising the bar across the industry, while putting a spotlight on the exceptional range and diversity of drinks that are being produced in the UK.

James Lambert, managing director at Lyme Bay Winery, explains;

“It is clear from increased press coverage, rising consumer interest and great success in major awards that our industry is at the start of something very exciting. What we need to do now is push for producers to match the increased commerciality of the produce, with an increased focus on quality standards. Lyme Bay will be at the forefront of that drive. We are delighted that, with this BRC accreditation, we can now honour the trust that we have worked so hard to establish with our existing customers, by offering them the highest possible level of quality assurance.”

Michael Heighway, production manager at Lyme Bay Winery, who oversaw the BRC implementation, adds;

“Achieving BRC is a significant achievement for Lyme Bay Winery and I’m also delighted with the result on a personal level, as it reflects the massive amount of work that everyone has dedicated to the improvement of our products and processes over the past few years. Holding BRC accreditation gives us confidence in our ability to produce goods of the highest quality and means, even more importantly, that we can pass that assurance on to our customers who can now see the standard we are working to. At Lyme Bay, continual improvement has always been our goal and BRC thoroughly endorses this whilst challenging us to keep pushing forward in the pursuit of the highest quality standards.”

For more information about Lyme Bay Winery’s products, please visit www.lymebaywinery.co.uk

From truckles to trophies, Quicke’s scoops seven more awards

Amy Brice

Distinguished Devon-based cheesemaker, Quicke’s, has added yet more silverware to the Home Farm trophy cabinet this month, landing a Silver award at the British Cheese Awards for its Mature Clothbound Cheddar, along with six awards from Taste of the West.

Among the wedges to win over the Taste of the West panel was Quicke's Goats' Milk Clothbound Cheese, which landed a Gold award and garnered particular praise from the judges, who described it as “very aromatic and full of pasture flavours with a very nice finish”, while also noting its “enticing and appealing aroma.” A string of Silver awards followed for Quicke’s Vintage Clothbound Cheddar, Mature Clothbound Cheddar and Double Devonshire Clothbound Cheese, along with Highly Commended awards for the cheesemaker’s Elderflower Clothbound Cheddar and Devonshire Red Clothbound Cheese.

Mary Quicke MBE commented; 

“We might be 14 generations in at Home Farm, but we’re always striving to refine what we do, so these latest accolades are a well-deserved pat on the back for everyone at Quicke’s, from the fields to the dairy. Careful herd selection and planned grazing have provided our cheesemakers with outstanding quality milk to work with and this is treated with the upmost respect as its combined with natural rennet and heritage starters, before making its way to our farm’s maturing rooms. I must say, it’s particularly pleasing to see the awards coming across our full range of clothbound cheeses, from our 24-month matured Vintage Clothbound Cheddar right through to the Elderflower Cheddar and Devonshire Reds, as we want every Quicke’s product to be exceptional and a true expression from the land from which it came.”

This recent haul of awards comes hot on the heels of Quicke’s success at the Artisan Cheese Awards in April, where the cheesemaker picked up a Gold award for its Extra Mature Clothbound Cheddar, a Silver award for its Oak Smoked Clothbound Cheddar and a Bronze award for its Goats' Milk Clothbound Cheese.

For more information about Quicke's, please visit www.quickes.co.uk.

From the back garden to the open sea, The Queens Arms’ new menu champions the best of the south west

Amy Brice

Bringing together hand-selected produce from across the region, The Queens Arms in Corton Denham has launched a brand new menu to mark the owners’ eighth anniversary at the helm. A reflection of the nation’s changing tastes and evolving approach to eating out, the menu is a collaboration between owners, Gordon and Jeanette Reid, and new head chef, Steven Mesher, with many of the dishes inspired by the abundance of fruit, vegetables and edible flowers grown in the pub’s kitchen garden, as well as Steven’s background working closely with fishmongers on the Dorset coast.

Brimming with seafood, steak, salads and sticky treats, with plenty of floral flourishes along the way, the new menu offers guests the freedom to dine as they choose, with a range of small plates designed either as starters or to be shared with friends, including seared scallops with brawn, lardo and sea vegetables, alongside globe artichoke with Winslade cheese, red pepper and aioli.

Now able to enjoy extended serving times too, diners can select mains either ‘from the grill’, including rump of new season lamb with anchovy butter, fondant potato and rainbow chard, or ‘off the hook’, with dishes such as seared wild sea trout, gem, broad beans, peas and bacon. A choice of salads is also available, headed up by a delicate combination of rosary ash goats cheese, roast peach, thyme and focaccia.

Having earned a reputation for innovation during their eight years in Corton Denham, Gordon and Jeanette have now become the first in the area to introduce an additional menu served from midday until 6pm, recognising a growing desire for casual dining options throughout the day. Humbly titled ‘breads and buns’, the menu boasts everything from 6oz burgers to a croque monsieur made with Longman’s cheddar, as The Queens Arms continues in its tradition of serving exceptional quality crowd pleasers with a twist, together with more inventive dishes to tantalise their diners’ taste buds.

The home-grown theme continues right through to dessert, with sweet treats such as garden strawberry mess and basil meringue arriving fresh from the plot just metres away, all washed down with an elegantly assembled list of liqueurs and dessert wines, for those looking for a sip to savour at the end of the night.

The Queens Arms’ extended serving times for its new menu are midday until 9.30pm Monday to Saturday and midday until 8pm on Sunday. 

For more information on The Queens Arms, please visit www.thequeensarms.com.

Sparkling silverware for new-look Jack Ratt at International Cider Challenge

Amy Brice

Devon-based Lyme Bay Winery’s newly rebranded Jack Ratt Sparkling Cider has received a Silver Medal in the Design and Packaging category at this year’s International Cider Challenge, an awards scheme which celebrates the best ciders across the globe. Commended for its impact, originality and innovation, this fresh new design, which will be appearing on shelves later this month, celebrates the dramatic history of Lyme Bay on this rugged stretch of the Jurassic Coast.

The traditional west country carbonated cider takes its name from notorious 19th century smuggler, Jack Rattenbury, who hid his contraband in caves and sunken barrels off the coast, retrieving them by ‘creeping’ the ocean floor with a grappling hook. The new-look bottles have been created to better tell the story behind this cider’s bold and refreshing flavours, celebrating the heritage of traditional cider making and the area’s swashbuckling past.

As well as receiving high praise for its creative design, the Jack Ratt Sparkling Cider also scooped a bronze award in the Medium Cider, Taste category. Made using a blend of freshly-pressed juice from local apples, including Tramlett’s Bitter, Foxwhelp and Tom Putt, all of which would have been used in cider making during Jack Rattenbury’s lifetime, the Sparkling Cider was commended for its fizzy and refreshing taste, rich amber colour and fresh apple-like aroma. The awards for Lyme Bay Winery’s Jack Ratt cider range didn’t stop there, with the Scrumpy picking up Bronze in the Medium Cider, Taste category and Vintage Dry receiving a Gold Trophy, the highest possible award, in the Dry Cider, Taste category. 

The new look Jack Ratt Sparkling Cider, RRP £2.55 for a 500ml bottle, will be available from mid-June from independent retailers, including delis, farm shops, butchers and grocery stores across the UK, and online at www.lymebaywinery.co.uk


Golden girls ramble, dabble, forage and waddle their way to Taste of the West Awards success

Amy Brice

The Traditional Free Range Egg Company scooped five Gold awards for its entire Free Collection in this year’s Taste of the West Awards, spelling yet another clean sweep for the Somerset-based free range egg producer and supplier. Owners Dan and Briony Wood picked up Gold for their Waddling Free duck eggs, Rambling Free hens eggs, Naturally Free organic hens eggs, Foraging Free quail eggs and Dabbling Free goose eggs, with this latest haul of awards providing another feather in the Woods’ cap as they continue to work towards a sustainable future for independent family-run farms employing the traditional flat deck method.

Receiving praise from the first glance with their “beautifully clean egg shells”, the Free Collection won the judges over with both appearance and taste. Commenting on the Dabbling Free goose eggs, judges described them as having “huge yolks” and a “lovely mild flavour”, while the Waddling Free duck eggs were dubbed “egg-sactly as a good duck egg should be, with a wonderful appearance”, with further notes including “all uniform in shape”, “lovely yolk and white” and “delicious taste”.

Dan Wood, managing director of The Traditional Free Range Egg Company, explains;

“It’s fantastic to have our entire Free Collection awarded the highest rating in Taste of the West once again, up against so many other celebrated food and drink producers in the south west. It is a real testament to the consistent quality and exceptional taste that can be achieved using traditional farming methods and we hope this latest haul will provide a boost for all free range egg farmers using the traditional flat deck method, both in the UK and beyond.”

For more information about The Traditional Free Range Egg Company, please visit www.TheTraditionalFreeRangeEggCompany.co.uk

The Seed Fund serves up food for thought, as Class of 2017 is announced

Amy Brice

Jam-packed with sauces, snacks, soft drinks and single origin chocolate, The Seed Fund Academy has announced its Class of 2017, with 13 fledgling food and drink businesses now set to benefit from an intensive educational summer programme, hosted by a group of leading industry experts.

Having impressed the mentors during the first round of judging, these hand-picked start-ups will be offered a series of seminars, workshops, industry visits and meet-the-buyer events. Designed to help food and drink’s future stars transform their big ideas into big business, The Seed Fund Academy will provide expert guidance from buyers, marketers, investors, accountants and established entrepreneurs, while also encouraging the Class of 2017 to share their experiences and bring fresh ideas to the table.

Partnering with Great Taste for the first time this year, The Seed Fund has reached out further than ever before, compiling an Academy line-up that reflects the nation’s evolving tastes and changing needs from the food and drink industry. The Seed Fund Academy’s 13 members for 2017 include:

  • Barmies, Nottingham – baked snacks made from 'beer barm'
  • Bullion Chocolate, Sheffield – single origin chocolate
  • FIREPOT by Outdoorfood, Ryall, Dorset – dehydrated meals for outdoor adventure
  • Funky Elephant, London – fresh Indian sauces and marinades
  • Gaia Pulses, London – organic pulse-based products
  • Grounded Drinks, London – 100% raw fruit water
  • Happy Butter, Totnes, Devon – organic ghee
  • Ma Baker, London – micro bakery
  • MiiRO, London – dairy and gluten free, raw chocolate coated lollies
  • Northumberland Honey Co, Haltwhistle, Northumberland – bee-to-bottle sparkling mead
  • Olly’s Olives, London – naturally cured olives
  • Oompf Energy, Upwey, Dorset – 100% natural energy bars and balls for athletes
  • The Urban Cordial Company, London – handmade small-batch seasonal cordials

Fresh from the pitches that landed them a place in this year’s Seed Fund Academy, these 13 start-ups will now immerse themselves in a summer of business development, spending time with well-respected industry professionals and business leaders, such as Guy Tullberg from Tracklements, top baker Tom Herbert, Renée Elliott from Planet Organic, John and Tortie Farrand from the Guild of Fine Food, Primrose Matheson from Primrose's Kitchen, Nicki Stewart and Mark Wiltshire from Diverse Fine Food and Jayne Noblet and David Webb from branding consultancy, The Collaborators.

Jayne Noblet, owner of The Collaborators and founder of The Seed Fund, explains;

“With record entries and an incredible first round of judging, it’s been quite a year for The Seed Fund already, but we know the best is yet to come. Having partnered with Great Taste to reach out across the whole of the UK for the first time this year, we’ve been blown away by the innovative products and driven individuals that have come before us, very much reflecting the changing face of food and drink today. We can’t wait to get stuck into The Seed Fund Academy and help them to find their way to the next level, as our mentors continue to give their time to nurture the next generation of talent that’s emerging in our industry.”

Following this year’s Seed Fund Academy, one eventual winner will be announced at the Great Taste Golden Fork Awards Dinner in September, receiving a further year of support.

For more information about The Seed Fund, please visit www.theseedfund.co.uk.

Sweet success for Lyme Bay Winery at this year’s Taste of the West Awards

Amy Brice

Lyme Bay Winery is celebrating following the announcement of this year’s Taste of the West Awards, bagging five prizes for its Traditional Mead and its elegant range of luxury liqueurs. Up against some of the most respected wine, spirit and liqueur producers in the south west, the Devon-based winery came away with one Gold award, one Silver award and three Highly Commended awards for a host of its unique traditional recipes.

Top honours this year went to its rich and creamy Salted Caramel Liqueur, which scooped Gold as it seduced the judges with its “lovely colour” and “butterscotch aroma”. This lavish liqueur, which is subtle yet decadent, was described as “very moreish and very pleasant”, with judges agreeing that it was “wonderfully creamy”. Lyme Bay’s smooth and richly scented fruit liqueurs were also a hit with the judges, as Damson, Elderflower & Lemon and Cherry Brandy all won praise for their tantalising, full-bodied flavours. Finally, the winery’s well-balanced Traditional Mead was also Highly Commended by judges, who clearly appreciated its deliciously honeyed flavour and deep golden colour.

James Lambert, managing director at Lyme Bay Winery, commented;

“Creating delicious drinks using locally sourced produce and traditional methods is at the heart of everything we do at Lyme Bay, so it’s very rewarding for our team’s efforts to be recognised by such a prestigious scheme in the region. We enjoy pushing the boundaries by introducing new natural flavours and refining our techniques, in constant pursuit of something really special, making awards like these all the more satisfying for our wine-making team here in Devon.”

For more information about Lyme Bay Winery, please visit www.lymebaywinery.co.uk

Plankbridge’s Wildlife Watch scoops four-star award at RHS Chelsea Flower Show

Amy Brice

Dorset-based Master Hutmaker, Plankbridge, has been presented with a four-star award for its wildlife friendly tradestand exhibit at RHS Chelsea Flower Show. The Victorian-inspired shepherd’s hut, which is surrounded by pollinator friendly plants, such as Foxgloves, Bugloss and Primula beesiana, all supplied by Sherborne-based Castle Gardens, was commended for its inspiring and innovative design, attractive planting, significant scale of endeavour and high quality finish. Looking to engage with the next generation, the tradestand exhibit also features two bug hotels, which were built by a Dorset Wildlife Trust Forest School.

Richard Lee, co-founder and owner of Plankbridge Master Hutmakers, explains; 

“Jane and I really enjoyed the wildlife friendly gardening aspect of bringing this tradestand exhibit together. The plants were placed in rustic pots, including a galvanised bath from Jane’s family farm, showing how you can combine old and new materials to create a tranquil space fit for modern day use. Our beloved bug hotels and bird’s nest really helped set the scene for visitors and made sure that wildlife was at the heart of our exhibit. This award is a fantastic result for the whole team and everyone involved in bringing the stand to life, and we hope that this exhibit will inspire more people to think about wildlife when they are planning their gardens.”

The Plankbridge Wildlife Watch shepherd’s hut will be on display at Tradestand AR586 from Tuesday 23 – Saturday 27 May 2017.

Each year at RHS Chelsea Flower Show, 250 tradestands are judged by long running exhibitors, successful retailers and visual merchandisers, to encourage high standards of presentation and to inspire design ideas at home.

For more information about Plankbridge Hutmakers, please visit www.plankbridge.com



A summer for the senses to savour, as Great Taste Markets head to RHS Flower Shows

Amy Brice

Nestled beyond the blossoms, borders and butterflies, there will be a host of award-winning food and drink at three of this year’s historic RHS shows, as the Great Taste Market comes to RHS Chatsworth Flower Show, RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show and RHS Tatton Park Flower Show. Bringing everything from juice and gin to cheese and chutney, the Great Taste Market will be the only food offering at these shows this year and promises to tantalise taste buds with recent winners from Great Taste, the world’s most coveted food awards.

Showcasing the finest food and drink, in amongst inspirational show gardens, butterfly domes, talks, demos and marquees flooded with flowers, these events have treats in store for all the senses, bursting with the fragrant, the beautiful and the downright delicious. Hosted by the Guild of Fine Food, organisers of Great Taste, these artisan markets are a must-visit for those in search of exceptional food and drink, bringing together a collection of some of the best tasting products from the UK and beyond.

Anyone wishing to taste 1- 2- and 3-star award-winners, whether tempted by sweet treats or with a penchant for pies, can visit the shows on the following dates:

RHS Chatsworth Flower Show: 7 - 11 June 2017

RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show: 4 - 9 July 2017

RHS Tatton Park Flower Show: 19 - 23 July 2017

For tickets and more information about RHS Flower Shows, visit www.rhs.org.uk/shows-events.

A hideaway for creatures great and small at RHS Chelsea Flower Show

Amy Brice

With the latest figures from The State of Nature Report (September 2016) revealing that 50% of the UK’s native species are in decline and 15% are at risk of extinction, Dorset-based master hutmaker, Plankbridge, will demonstrate how its Victorian-inspired shepherd’s huts can work in harmony with a wildlife friendly garden at this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

Drawing inspiration from the agricultural heritage of shepherd’s huts, which would have been a firm fixture on the countryside’s landscape during the 19th Century, this 12’ by 6’6” moveable space, built faithfully to the Victorian originals, sits well within its natural surroundings and offers the perfect bolthole for reconnecting with nature.

Enabling wildlife friendly gardeners to extend the use of their gardens throughout the year, this shepherd’s hut also adds to the welcoming environment for birds, bees and butterflies alike, with the addition of bird boxes, bug hotels and log piles around its exterior.

Botanical prints, inspired by The Country Flowers of a Victorian Lady, adorn the soft furnishings and interior walls, while a knee-hole desk for binoculars and shelves packed with books about wildlife make this the ideal retreat for bird watching, counting bugs and planning the season’s wildlife friendly planting.

The Plankbridge wildlife watch shepherd’s hut will be on display at Tradestand AR586 on Monday 22 May for Press Day and then for the public to see from Tuesday 23 – Saturday 27 May 2017.

For more information about Plankbridge Hutmakers, visit www.plankbridge.com.