In the Basket

The joys of cheese on toast

AFTER months of lockdowns, and with the gradual reopening of pubs, cafes and restaurants, we can now look forward to enjoying eating out. But it is also a chance to look back at how we all spent our time and for many it seems that Cheese On Toast was an important part of our lockdown…

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A world of chocolate in Somerton

WE were driving through Somerton, on our way back from some photography for our new book, Deepest Somerset, when we spotted a sign for a new chocolate shop. Who can resist? Well, not us. New Street leads off  Broad Street, to the east of this pretty ancient town, once the capital of Wessex. It’s a…

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Oranges are the only fruit

FRIENDS who have come to visit have twice recently brought pots of their own newly-made marmalade – quite the nicest present. What prat suggested marmalade was no longer a popular taste? Shaftesbury-based chef and cookery writer Philippa Davis bought her Seville oranges when they came into the shops in January and then got busy catching…

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Aphrodite’s golden fruit is the apple of Philippa’s eye

I WILL admit I go through obsessional phases with certain foods. Looking through my October menus, despite there being a broad range of occasions – think Jewish New Year to partridge shoot suppers – there has definitely been a leaning towards one particular ingredient. Pomegranates, anchovies, star anise, honey, caraway, venison are some of the…

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A hit of the black stuff

MACCLESFIELD in Cheshire holds its Treacle Market on the last Saturday of every month; it’s a relatively new invention, aimed at bringing back life to one of the most attractive small towns that orbit Manchester.  It reminded me of our own Frome Independent, the market stalls trickling down the hills and congregating wherever there’s a…

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Bistro-style at Turnbulls

CHEESE expert Charlie Turnbull has given his Shaftesbury business a makeover, redecorating and converting the cafe area to a bistro while keeping the deli/cheesemongers side of the enterprises. Charlie, who was born on a farm in Surrey and trained as an accountant before realising he had a nose (and an appetite) for cheese, opened Turnbulls,…

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A whole lot of cheese!

IN late November I joined some 250 white-coated cheese assessors from across the globe, assembled at the NEC to officiate at the World Cheese Awards. Nigh on 3,000 cheeses, (2,727 to be exact) spread across 62 judging tables meant approximately 42 cheeses for each judging team to assess within two and a half hours. It’s…

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How to poach a pheasant…

OUR “personal chef” (we wish!) has been back to the Highlands cooking for various grouse, partridge and pheasant shoots and in this Postcard Recipe she shows how to make the most of pheasant in season … I should quickly clarify the title as I have already had to dig myself out of trouble from the gamekeeper…

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