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Eating in – Some Local Tips for Weary Cooks

No, we haven’t got an Indian takeaway in Parwich, and don’t suppose we ever shall. However, we have something far better – freshly cooked to order curries by Paul and Evie, whom many of our older (we don’t mean in age, but in the sense of having been Tom’s and Douglas’s Barns guests for some time) may remember from the Gate in ‘the old days’ when they were the landlords.

Paul and Evie retired from pub running to their cottage on the green in Parwich. But you can’t keep a good cook down and they have decided to offer a Thursday to Saturday  making-curry-to-order service . The idea is you telephone them on (01335) 390488 between 5-7.30 the night before, and fetch the curry yourself presumably between the same times the next day. You do have to cook the rice and any side dishes you fancy although I see that to start with (and they hint of more to c0me) they are offering a mango chutney and a tub of chilli chopped onion… And these days you can buy packs of ready cooked rice from the Ashbourne supermarkets (don’t ask me how i know).

This looks like a super extra facility for our guests (and us!). We know for a fact that lots of our guests love to cook, and half of the fun of coming away is cooking at leisure with a glass of nice wine to hand, in a well-equipped kitchen, using carefully chosen wonderful local ingredients they have had fun sourcing. But for even those keen cooks (and I count myself among them) there comes many an occasion when the supreme pleasure would be to sit down to a meal prepared by someone else. The slow-cooker takes you half way there – if you have been out all day the preparation in the morning becomes a distant memory. Then there is always the possibility of having ordered a pre-ordered meal to be brought to your barn from Val Kirkham next door, on 01335 390 458. And now you can order a curry for the weekend from Paul and Evie.

The final tip, unfortunately, is far from local. However, Cook is such a good tip that I happily and most unselfishly pass it on. They deliver here (quite frequently!) but you do have to order at least £35 worth for free delivery. Everything arrives beautifully packed and still completely frozen and many – if not most – of the dishes they recommend your cooking from frozen; most of the dishes are microwaveable. With a bit of careful forethought you could eat like kings but do not a jot of cooking beyond popping food into the over or microwave! This is ready-made food but a serious cut above what one can buy in the supermarkets. It really does taste homemade (and each one comes with a label naming the cook that has in fact made it).

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