You may have sensed by now that we are rather keen on cooking and good food and probably err on the side of self-indulgence. We get a weekly organic veggie box from Riverford, which we really appreciate, although it must be admitted that at this time of year we also have a glut in the garden – mainly at the moment of courgettes and beans not to mention plums and soon it will be apples and damsons…
Anyway, we discovered that the Riverford Field Kitchen was coming up to Riverford Stockley Farm in Cheshire to host a series of lunches and dinners in a yurt. We had heard very good reviews of the meals provided and hadn’t ever actually been in a yurt so decided to give it a try. Stockley Farm is perhaps an hour and a half’s drive, but a wonderfully scenic route on a good day ‘over the top’ past the Cat and the Fiddle which is meant to be the highest pub in England. And our experience proved well worth the journey.
The said yurt turned out to be a rather beautiful circular creation with an ash frame. Eighty people sat at ten tables fanning out from the centre where stood a large wood burning stove – which was very definitely not needed today. The main course was chunks of delicious grilled chicken on a white bean and tomato sauce (I am sure there was a more poetic name but I didn’t master that) and numerous plates of quite equally delicious fresh vegetables, potatoes and garlic, carrots with caraway seeds and everybody’s favourite on our table, thinly sliced green beans and Parmesan cheese. All this was prepared in an impressively small field kitchen and served by a very competent and friendly young team who really made one feel they were genuinely enjoying serving us.
The puddings were almost literally to die for: extremely rich chocolate brownies, Eton Mess with blueberries and great chunks of meringue, and a plum clafoutis, light as a feather. The last was a new one to all on our table, but everyone made a mental note to try it out. Seriously good coffee followed, then feeling very well-fed and somewhat sleepy we wended our way home. There was a lot of (all organic) wine and beer on sale, but because of the drive we steered clear of that.
Douglas’s Barn is available to book for short breaks 3 or 4 nights between 2 and 20 May 2016. Bookings usually start on a Monday or a Friday but if you want a break that starts on a different day get in touch. We are very flexible with bookings.
There are some new attractions added to the list of treats available with the Premier Cottages special privileges card. Amongst them are Renishaw Hall, Thornbridge Hall Gardens (new discounts), Hassop Station Cafe, Village Green Cafe Eyam, Carsington Water Sports and Leisure, Hartington Cheese Shop.
There are still a few free dates at the end of March/April in both Tom’s and Douglas’s Barns. Short breaks, 3 or 4 nights, which are not normally available are on offer. Please look at availability and give me a call or book on line.