Staffordshires Food and Drink Scene.

White’s Coffee Bar reopens with new chef & menu

Among the hospitality businesses across Staffordshire and England who excitedly opened up for outdoor service this week was White’s Coffee Bar at Wolseley Bridge. Sauce caught up with owner Charlotte…

Among the hospitality businesses across Staffordshire and England who excitedly opened up for outdoor service this week was White’s Coffee Bar at Wolseley Bridge. Sauce caught up with owner Charlotte Dewsnap to find out what’s changed since guests were last allowed to dine there.

Based in the courtyard at Oakedge Park, which is also home to Charlotte’s father’s gun-making workshop, White’s has been around since 2016. It began as a tiny coffee counter next door to the family’s sporting goods business. When it became hugely popular, they decided to close the shop and expand the café, serving locally roasted Chartley Coffee and homemade cakes. Many of the bespoke fittings and furniture were made by Charlotte’s brother, Matthew.

Full English breakfast at White's

The quirky venue had a growing band of loyal customers when Covid-19 came on the scene and shut hospitality down last year. One of the silver linings for Charlotte and the White’s Coffee Bar team is that closure has given them the chance to expand even further, relocating the kitchen into a freshly empty unit, extending their coffee counter and increasing indoor seating options. They are not the only changes, with the team also welcoming new chef Luke to the fold.

“Molly has been with us for just over a year, and she started out baking our cakes and tray bakes. She’s got such a flair for it. I put her on an apprentice scheme, so she’s now at college one day a week and works here for the rest of the week,” says Charlotte.

“Our new chef, Luke, has just joined us and helped to set up the new kitchen, as we’ve gone from a tiny space with just a panini press to a full-on industrial kitchen. He’s been a great help and has lots of experience. They’re both real foodies and passionate about the job.”

A new chef and a new kitchen mean there’s a new menu on offer, of course. While some customer favourites from menus past have been kept on, including hearty breakfasts, there are wholesome new additions like a steak ciabatta, homemade lasagna, and chorizo and chicken skewers, as well as their new range of Gunmaker’s Boards.

Gunmakers board with Freedom lager

“We make as much as possible ourselves and try to use local suppliers where we can, so the meat comes from Perry’s butchers, we’re getting Lowndes’ fruit and veg, and our scotch eggs are from Wissage Bakehouse.”

Outdoors there’s a brand new covered wooden canopy softened by ivy and planters, and additional tables in the courtyard, increasing White’s covers to around 80. The extension and renovations will allow Charlotte and the team to host more of their popular theme nights and live music when they’re able, and they’re also hoping to open on Friday and Saturday evenings if all goes well. Also on the cards – when hospitality venues can reopen for indoor service – are Sunday lunches.

So, what was Charlotte most looking forward to about reopening?

“I just can’t wait to see everyone. I can’t wait for all our customers to try the new food, and I think they’ll be so excited to see what we’ve done. And to get all the staff back and just be normal!

“We’ve got the most amazing neighbours here – there’s an antiques shop, beautician, hairdresser, dog groomer, and of course my dad’s gun shop,” Charlotte explains, as if visitors needed any more reason to stop by. “But also because we’re on the shooting ground, people of all ages can come and do that. There are lovely walks near here on Cannock Chase, and Shugborough Hall is literally just down the road.”

White’s Coffee Bar is open Tuesday-Friday 10:00-16:00, Saturday 9:30-16:30, and Sunday 10:00-15:00 from Tuesday 13 April for outdoor service and takeaway. You can book your table over the phone or by Facebook message.

White’s Coffee Bar
Oakedge Park, Wolseley Bridge, ST17 0XS
whitescoffeebar.co.uk

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Catch these local chefs on Great British Menu

The new series of Great British Menu hits our TV screens this evening – Wednesday 24 March – at 8pm on BBC Two. Following the same format as previous years,…

The new series of Great British Menu hits our TV screens this evening – Wednesday 24 March – at 8pm on BBC Two.

Following the same format as previous years, four chefs from each of eight regions of the UK will compete to cook at the prestigious finale Banquet.

The chefs representing the Central region this year are Lincolnshire-born Shannon Johnson, head chef at Hicce in Coal Drops Yard, London, and Wolverhampton-born Sabrina Gidda, who was runner-up for the Central region three years ago and is now executive chef at The AllBright.

The pair will be joined by Staffordshire chef and restaurateur Liam Dillon, of The Boat Inn near Lichfield, and Staffordshire-raised Stuart Collins, chef-patron of Docket No. 33 in Whitchurch, just across the border in Shropshire.

Liam Dillon, The Boat Inn

As Sauce readers will know, Liam has worked in some of the UK’s top kitchens, including Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley, Five Fields in Chelsea and Story by Tom Sellers in Bermondsey. He’s also travelled the world with stints at Quay in Sydney, Noma in Copenhagen, and Eleven Madison Park and Gilt in New York.

In 2017, Liam returned to his hometown as chef owner of The Boat Inn. Since then he and his family have worked to convert the roadside pub into an award-winning modern British restaurant. It’s currently the only restaurant in Staffordshire to hold 3 AA rosettes. Liam’s menu for the show pays homage to local pioneers such as Lichfield-born Samuel Johnson, famous for his early Dictionary of The English Language.

“I grew up watching the programme, dreaming of being a chef so it’s a bit surreal, but also an honour, that here I am, years later, a professional on the show,” Liam told Sauce. “I enjoyed every single second. It was exciting, stressful… I was surrounded by some amazing fellow chefs…it was actually a privilege to be part of the programme.

“I am also extremely proud to be flying the flag for Staffordshire, and representing my home town of Lichfield. It’s been a tough year for everyone, especially those working in the hospitality industry. Here at The Boat Inn we’ve made many changes both to the decor and the menu. We’ve also invested heavily in outdoor dining and I and the team can’t wait to open the doors again and welcome people back.”

Liam Dillon, The Boat Inn.

Stuart Collins, Docket No. 33

Stuart Collins grew up in Wheaton Aston, near Penkridge, and has worked with household names from Gary Rhodes and Michael Caines to Gordon Ramsay over the course of his career. After a working-stage at City Rhodes, he went to Gidleigh Park and then onto Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, before helping set up Ramsay’s New York restaurants at The London NYC, where he became Head Chef at Maze.

In 2017, Stuart and his wife Frances opened their own restaurant, Docket No. 33, which has featured in the Michelin Guide GB & NI for two consecutive years. It offers a carefully curated tasting menu with a focus on local and seasonal ingredients. 

Stuart and the team have kept busy over the past few months with their ‘Docket at Home’ offer, a weekly-changing menu that guests finish at home. A sell-out every week since launch, the team plans to continue to offer the meal kits even after reopening the restaurant in May (subject to government guidelines).

“This year’s brief was really exciting and a great opportunity to learn more about the amazing innovators and inventors from the Central region,” Stuart told Sauce. “To then create dishes, using local ingredients, to represent their success is a privilege.

“There was some seriously good competition in the kitchen, showcasing the creativity and skills of the chefs from our region.”

Stuart Collins, Docket No. 33.

 

This year Great British Menu will celebrate British innovation, with 2021 marking the 30th anniversary of Sir Timothy Berners-Lee’s invention of the World Wide Web and Helen Sharman becoming the first British astronaut to go into space. Former judge Andi Oliver will be presenting, with Rachel Khoo taking her place on the panel. We hope you’ll be joining us in cheering on our local chefs!

To book The Boat Inn or order from their Heat at Home menu, go to: theboatinnlichfield.com

To book Docket No. 33 or Docket at Home, please visit: docketrestaurant.com/no-33

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Treat the Queen in your life this Mother’s Day

Although Mother’s Day might be a little different this year, food and drink businesses across the county are still pulling out all the stops to make sure that special lady…

Although Mother’s Day might be a little different this year, food and drink businesses across the county are still pulling out all the stops to make sure that special lady in your life is treated like the absolute queen she is. Take a look at the list below for some Mother’s Day gifting inspo.

Tea-LC from The Slamwich Club 

The Tea-LC Mother’s Day Box from The Slamwich Club is the perfect foodie bundle to show her you’re thinking of her – or if you’re lucky enough to live under the same roof, you can indulge together! Featuring a selection of sandwiches, savouries, sweets and tipples, for just £45 this is the perfect gift for mums who love a little indulgence. The box is also presented in stunning packaging and tied with a pretty bow, so it’s ready to drop off on their doorstep. Collection only from The Slamwich Club between 11am and 12pm on Sunday 14th March.

 

Gift vouchers from Whitmore Tea Rooms 

Whitmore Tea Rooms outside Newcastle-under-Lyme have sold out of their popular Mother’s Day Afternoon Tea this year, but fear not. The team have introduced gift vouchers so that you can celebrate with mum a little later in the year. From traditional afternoon tea, to something with a little bit of *fizz*, these make the perfect last minute gift for that special woman in your life. Available for collection or sent via post. Call 01782 680433 to order.

 

Buckets of love from Just Perfect Wines

Just Perfect Wines, based in Stoke-on-Trent, specialise in premium prosecco, sparkling wines and spirits from artisan Italian and English producers. In addition, they sell the most fabulous gift sets, handcrafted chocolates from Noble and Stance, and handmade ceramic gifts by Dimbleby Ceramics of Stoke-on-Trent. Our favourite Mother’s Day gift is the Fitz Pink Sparkling English Wine Ice Bucket Hamper, and we’re absolutely positive that your mum will love it too.

 

The best of Staffordshire from Canalside Farm

Treat your mum to a luxurious hamper full of her favourite food and drink with the Canalside Staffordshire Hamper, available in medium or large. Featuring Staffordshire-made products such as Mrs Povey’s jam, Grove Estate Wine, Staffordshire honey and Just Crisps to name a few, this will make the perfect gift for mums who love local, quality produce. Alternatively, get in touch with the team and they will be able to help you select the perfect individual gifts for that special someone, pictured below. Plus, beautiful hand-tied bouquets will be available to purchase from Friday 12th March. Head over to the website to place your hamper orders and choose your collection date, or call 01889 881747.

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Fine dining at home

It’s no secret that we are all missing our favourite restaurants. There’s nothing quite like getting all dressed up and heading out to eat amazing food with our family and…

It’s no secret that we are all missing our favourite restaurants. There’s nothing quite like getting all dressed up and heading out to eat amazing food with our family and friends. Although there is certainly light at the end of the tunnel, we aren’t there just yet. So in the meantime, why not bring that restaurant experience right to your doorstep and enjoy quality, fine food at home. Hey, you could even coordinate your deliveries with your family and friends and host a virtual dinner party on Zoom!

 

Sauce Supper Club – Lichfield, Staffordshire

Sauce Supper Club’s Dine at Home food boxes are the epitome of bringing sumptuous food to your doorstep. Each box contains three luxuriously prepared dishes by chef Tom Shepherd, ready for you to stir, bake and re-heat at home. It includes a detailed set of instructions so you can perfectly prepare your dishes in your kitchen. Tom changes his menu weekly and uses only local, seasonal produce.

Plus, you’re in for a treat if you order in time for the 26th and 27th February as Masterchef 2020 Winner, Bart Van Der Lee, takes over the Sauce Supper Club kitchen to create two stunning menus (meat and veggie).

The Dine at Home food boxes are available every Friday and Saturday, and offer local and nationwide delivery. Head over to the website here to order.

 

Aktar at Home – Birmingham

Aktar at Home is the new eat at home service by Michelin-starred chef Aktar Islam, from the renowned Opheem restaurant. Enjoy a choice of Indian traditional curries, a classic British Sunday roast, or even sample a selection of world class ingredients with the brand-new Meat Box.

UK-wide deliveries are taking place every Thursday, so make sure you place your orders by the end of Wednesday to get it in the same week. Visit the website here for more information.

 

Little Seeds at Home – Stone, Staffordshire

Experience flavours from around the globe with Little Seeds at Home. Every week, chef Jake Lowndes and his partner Sophie Hardman develop the most sensational, three-course themed menus to bring the delicious taste of far-away lands right to your doorstep. So far, they’ve done Nordic, Italian and Portuguese cuisine to name a few, so keep an eye on their socials to see where in the world your tastebuds will travel next!

To order, choose your menu (meat or veggie) and order by noon on Wednesdays. Your food box will then be ready to collect on the Friday or Saturday. They also offer local delivery to select postcodes. For more information and to order your next ‘virtual trip’ across the globe, click here.

 

Peel’s on Wheels – Hampton-in-Arden, Solihull

Enjoy the Michelin Star experience from the comfort of your own home. Peel’s Restaurant at Hampton Manor have introduced their new Peel’s on Wheels delivery service, bringing you a three course Michelin-starred experience for you to enjoy in your own kitchen or dining room.

The three-course meal box will arrive on your doorstep on Friday, ready for the weekend. Simply heat up your meal in the oven and warm the sauce in the pan. Nationwide delivery is available, so no matter where you are in the UK, you can enjoy the Peel’s experience at home. Click here to order and finalise your Friday night plans.

 

Docket No. 33 – Whitchurch, Shropshire 

Enjoy a changing, weekly three-course set dinner menu and an impressive selection of wines from Docket at Home. Chef Stuart Collins creates the most sensational menus using only the best local and seasonal produce, to ensure perfect quality in every meal. Docket No. 33’s impeccable dinners are served chilled, along with simple instructions, ready for you to re-heat or cook, to ensure the best possible quality.

As well as wine and food, cocktail lovers needn’t be disappointed as their stunning pre-made cocktails are available to order too!

Docket at Home is available for collection from their premises in Whitchurch every Friday and Saturday. Place your orders online here.

 

Lighthouse Restaurant – Ashbourne, Staffordshire

Chef Proprietor, Jon Hardy, continues to produce incredible three-course ‘heat at home’ meals for you to enjoy in the comfort of your own kitchen at just £25 per person. Meals must be pre-ordered and can be collected at a later date that suits you. Kept under wraps for the ultimate suspense, the Lighthouse Restaurant releases their exclusive menus each week via email, so join their exclusive mailing list here for a delightful surprise in your inbox: https://bit.ly/2N8NII8

Give Jon a call on 07545 565496 to order and arrange your pick-up date.

 

Elite at Home – Chester, Cheshire 

Elite Bistros have recently launched their brand new ‘Elite Bistros at Home’ experience, meaning you can sit back, relax and enjoy luxurious fine food from your favourite restaurants. The Elite Bistros brand encompasses restaurants across Cheshire, including the Sticky Walnut in Chester, Wreckfish in Liverpool and just slightly further afield, Kala in Manchester, to name a few.

Elite Bistros deliver every Friday via courier throughout the UK. Orders are open every week from 9am on Fridays until 10am on Tuesdays, with all orders being delivered on the following Friday. Browse the menu and place your order here.

 

Antona at Home – Birmingham

Enjoy the full Michelin experience at home with the Antona at Home dining experience, brought to you by chef Andreas Antona, from the renowned Simpsons Restaurant in Birmingham. Using only seasonal and sustainably sourced ingredients, the dishes on offer are the true definition of quality fine food. You can also order exclusive wine to pair with your meal to make your experience extra special.

To browse the menu and place your orders, click here.

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Cosy night in for two?

We all need a little extra love in lockdown 3.0, so why not make Valentine’s Day extra special this year and celebrate the only way we can… with a cosy…

We all need a little extra love in lockdown 3.0, so why not make Valentine’s Day extra special this year and celebrate the only way we can… with a cosy night in!

Clover Café, Stone

Sweet or savoury? Clover Café have introduced two delightful Valentine’s Boxes for you and your sweetheart to enjoy at home. The ‘Pie Only Have Eyes For You’ Sweet Box, which includes delicious sweet treats such as Brownie Bites, Mississippi Mud Pie Bombs and Oreo Kisses, is just £20 for two people. Or, for those who can’t resist savoury treats, choose the ‘Wrapped In Clover’ Savoury Box which is £35 for two people, and includes Charcuterie, Cheeses, Dips and Crackers to name a few of the scrummy items on the menu! The lovely team at Clover Café have also made veggie, vegan and allergy friendly options too, so get in touch to make your requests. To order, drop them a line on Facebook here or give them a call on 01785 747950.

The deadline for ordering your Valentine’s Boxes is Tuesday 9th February, and all boxes will be ready for collection on Saturday 13th February between 3pm and 5pm. Payments must be made in advance.

 

The Duncombe Arms, Ashbourne

Crank up the heat this Valentine’s Day and enjoy The Duncombe Arms’ new ‘Heat at Home’ Valentines Menu with your other half. The Duncombe Arms have really pulled out the stops with this luxurious menu, featuring dishes such as Smoked haddock soufflé & chive butter sauce, Whole steamed lobster with new potatoes and aiolo, and to finish, Apple tarte Tatin and toffee sauce. There are other options to suit all tastes, so take a look at the menu here to find your perfect combination. Each order will include a few simple steps to finish off your meal at home.

Pre-order any time before 12pm on Wednesday 10th February. All orders will be available to collect from The Duncombe Arms between 2pm & 6pm on the 12th, 13th or 14th February. Give the team a call on 01335 324275 to place your orders.

 

Gallagher’s Deli & Kitchen, Leek

If you want to really impress your partner this Valentines Day, but don’t want to spend hours and hours over a hot stove, why not order from Gallagher’s Deli & Kitchen and have them do all the hard work for you? Gallagher’s Deli & Kitchen are offering a beautifully constructed four course menu this Valentine’s Day for just £70 for two. All you have to do is follow a few simple steps to finish off at home, light your candles, pop your bubbly and enjoy a cosy evening with your love. With dishes such as Baked Queen Scallops with Herb Breadcrumbs and Pickled Grapes, and Melting Chocolate Fondant with Vanilla Ice Cream, Honeycomb and Blackcurrants, you will earn some serious brownie points!

To order, email eat@gallaghersdeli.com or send a message on Facebook or Instagram. Collection will be available between 2pm and 6pm on Saturday 13th or Sunday 14th February.

 

Little Seeds, Stone

If you’re feeling extra indulgent this Valentine’s Day, why not try Little Seeds at Home Valentine’s Day Meat Box? With six stunning courses of Bread, Starter, Fish, Main, Dessert and a Little Treat, plus a bottle of prosecco, you’ll certainly impress your sweetheart this Valentine’s Day. To browse the menu and place your orders, head over to the Little Seeds At Home website here.

The Valentine’s Boxes are priced at £45 per person, and two boxes must be purchased on one order to include the bottle of prosecco. Please place your orders by 6pm on Wednesday 10th February. Boxes are available for collection on Friday 12th February between 12pm and 2pm, or on Saturday 13th February between 10am and 12pm. Delivery is also available for selected postcodes in North Staffordshire for just £5 (check out the website for details).

 

Staffordshire Oatcake Company, Stoke-on-Trent

Fancy trying something different this Valentine’s Day? Enjoy a romantic and fun cooking session together and try your hand at making your own oatcakes! The Staffordshire Oatcake company produce traditional, pre-made oatcake mixes for you to make your very own oatcakes at home with a few simple steps. For just £4.95, the oatcake mix makes approximately 12 oatcakes, so you can have a traditional Staffordshire feast with your partner! The only thing left to decide is which fillings you’re going to enjoy with them. Head over to the website here to place your order.

 

Moorlands Graze Box, Staffordshire Moorlands

The Moorlands Graze are rising to the occasion of love with a stunning Valentine’s Graze board! The Valentine’s Grazer board, ‘Brie Mine’, hints towards a delectable spread of cheese and will be launching soon*. Moorlands Graze also have other stunning options such as the #MoorlandsVeggie, #SmokeandSpice and the #StaffordshireKnotBruncher to name a few. Head over to the website here to browse their excellent selection of Grazer Boards.

*Update: The Valentine’s Graze board, ‘Brie Mine’, is now live and available to purchase here.

 

Smoke & Rye, Stone

The Smoke & Rye Valentine’s Banquet Box is the perfect way to treat your own King or Queen this Valentine’s Day. For two people, the box is £69.95 and includes 14 items including Slow smoked beef short rib, Smoked pulled pork sliders, Buttermilk Slaw and Chocolate & Bourbon cherry cookie dough to name a few. Check out the menu here.

The Valentine’s Banquet Box will be available to collect between 4pm and 10pm on Sunday 14th February, and must be pre-ordered. Availability is limited, so get in touch on 01785 501254 or email them at bookings@smokeandrye.net to place your order now.

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Staffordshire Christmas Gifting Guide

There’s three weeks to go until Santa Claus comes to town, and if you haven’t already, it’s time to get your skates on and start Christmas shopping! After a devastating…

There’s three weeks to go until Santa Claus comes to town, and if you haven’t already, it’s time to get your skates on and start Christmas shopping! After a devastating year, local businesses across Staffordshire need your support more than ever this Christmas, so take a look through our Staffordshire Christmas Gifting Guide for all the inspiration you need!

Couture Bakehouse

What’s Christmas without beautiful, buttery shortbread? Jenny, founder of Couture Bakehouse, discovered her Granny Gwen’s traditional shortbread recipe in a handwritten recipe book years after she passed away. Jenny decided to give it a try for herself and it has since become a firm favourite with her customers. The whole slab of shortbread – yes, that’s right, a whole slab – is 7” x 5” and is perfect for sharing with family and friends as you binge watch Christmas films! It also makes a beautiful stocking filler gift, as it is wrapped in cellophane and tied with a pretty red bow.

The shortbread slab is £9.95 inclusive of postage costs, and is sent first class with Royal Mail. They are posted out weekly on Wednesdays and Jenny can also include a bespoke message to your recipient. The last Wednesday for posting will be 16th December, before she takes a well earned break for Christmas. As well as shortbread slabs, Couture Bakehouse also has brownie and shortbread gift vouchers available to purchase.

To order, email couturegroupltd@yahoo.co.uk or text, call or WhatsApp 07794 497491.

 

The Good Life Meat Company

Give the gift of quality charcuterie this Christmas with The Good Life Meat Company. Their Charcuterie Platter Christmas Gift Bags will certainly ensure that your recipients (or yourself!) have the best dressed festive grazing table. Helen and Andy have teamed up with other local businesses to bring you two sensational gift bags this Christmas.

The medium gift bag contains two packs of The Good Life Meat Company’s award winning charcuterie, a pack of Moyden’s cheese* and a jar of Stokes pickle*. Priced at £18 plus postage, this truly is the perfect gift for foodies! The large gift bag features three charcuterie packs, a spicy spreadable n’duja, two packs of Moyden’s cheese* and a jar of Stokes pickle*. The large gift bag is priced at £30 and the impressive spread really will steal the show at Christmas parties!

Postage costs are £8 for one gift bag of any size, or £10 for 2-3 gift bags. If you’re local, you can also collect directly from their premises near Sugnall Walled Garden, or receive delivery if you’re within 5 miles of Eccleshall. All parcels will be posted out for next day delivery on Monday 14th December. Orders can be placed by contacting Helen at helen@goodlifemeat or give her a call on 07720 638410. You can also visit the website to order. *Please note that some varieties may differ from those pictured. For more details, contact Helen.

 

Scrumbles

All I want for Christmas is a sweet treat box from Scrumbles Cake Shop, *drools*. Sarah and Beth have really pulled out all the stops with their luxurious Christmas treat boxes for the festive season, and we really hope we find one of these under the tree on Christmas Day!

They’ve created four different cakes boxes for all tastes. First up is the Children’s Treat Box, which is £10 and includes a Christmas tree brownie, a Rudolph hot chocolate cone, a stained glass window gingerbread tree decoration, a ‘build your own’ mini gingerbread house kit, a candy cane, chocolate coins and a chocolate Santa Claus!

A delightful twist on the traditional mince pie are Scrumbles’ Mince Pie Cookie Cups, priced at £8 for a box of four. So if you’re not a fan of pastry but would love to try mincemeat encased in a gorgeous spiced cookie, these are the perfect choice.

Brownie lovers! For £12, you can indulge in Scrumbles’ Brownie Box… or give it as a gift, of course. This box has six wonderfully festive flavours of brownies, including ginger and salted caramel, marzipan, tiramisu, Baileys, chocolate orange and After Eight. We think we are in love!

Last but not least, there is the Blondie Box. For those who don’t like the chocolate overload of traditional brownies (are you mad!?), blondies still offer that gooey, fudgey goodness but with a light vanilla flavour. Scrumbles’ Blondie Box is £12 and offers six Christmassy varieties including gingerbread, white Toblerone, eggnog, mince pie, white chocolate orange and Lindt.

You can purchase your boxes online and collect them from Scrumbles Cake Shop in Leek. If you just can’t make up your mind about which box to get for your loved ones, Scrumbles sell gift vouchers over the counter. Head over to their website here to order your treat boxes.

 

Just Perfect Wines

A glass of fizz is an absolute must at Christmas, but a bottle is even better! Just Perfect Wines have created the ultimate Christmas Prosecco Treat Bag for fizz lovers, filled with fabulous treats. It includes: two mini bottles of prosecco DOC made by artisan winery Furlan; a 50ml bottle of cherry brandy liqueur which pairs beautifully with the prosecco for a festive cherry fizz; a box of exquisite prosecco truffles which are lovingly handcrafted by the artisan chocolatiers Noble and Stace of West Sussex; and a box of sensational cranberry rocky road chocolates, handmade by Langley’s Rocky Road in Cornwall. All packaged up in a jute bag, tied with a ‘Merry Christmas’ ribbon and priced at just £23.95 plus £4.95 postage, this really is the perfect gift for prosecco lovers.

As well as their Christmas Prosecco Treat Bag, Just Perfect Wines have a virtual ‘Christmas Gift Shop’ on their website so you can browse their other festive best buys including the Christmas Whinberry Gin Treat Bag and wine gift sets to name a couple. Plus, if you spend over £60, shipping is free!

To get your hands on their fabulous gifts, head over to the website here and place your orders. Please note that the last day for orders to arrive before Christmas is 17th December.

 

Dalton’s Dairy

Dalton’s Dairy in Staffordshire are famous for their impeccable ice cream… you really can’t beat relaxing in the sunshine with a tub in the summer! But did you know that the family run business also produce their own butter, milk, cheese, honey and jam?

Nestled on the outskirts of the southern Peak District, the family pride themselves on the quality of the milk produced by their happy cows, and no Christmas Day is complete without their produce. A bacon sandwich on Christmas morning slathered in Dalton’s salted butter, traditional bread sauce made with Dalton’s whole milk for Christmas dinner, Dalton’s luxury ice cream for dessert, and of course, a cheese board featuring their amazing Staffordshire cheese (made in Cheddleton by Staffordshire Cheese Co using only milk from Dalton’s cows) as you nestle down and watch Christmas films with the family in the evening.

And if you want to give the gift of quality dairy produce to your loved ones, Dalton’s Dairy also have gift vouchers available to purchase on their online shop.

 

F & B Bakes

Keen foodies Beth and Fumbi specialise in creating luxury brownies with unique flavour combinations, perfect for grown ups. Fumbi was a quarter-finalist in MasterChef 2017 and continues with his passion of making delectable desserts which are inspired by his travels around the world. As well as their usual brownie flavours, such as pistachio crunch, cherry, and triple chocolate to name a few, the duo have incorporated festive additions to their usual collection this Christmas, featuring Baileys, spiced nuts and espresso flavoured brownies! These scrumptious brownies will certainly turn heads this Christmas, and would pair perfectly with a festive liqueur by the fire.

F & B Bakes offer boxes of 3 (£6), boxes of 9 (£16) and boxes of 16 (£22), all including any three flavours of your choice, so you can mix and match your favourites. These prices are inclusive of local delivery charges around Stafford. Your final ordering date is 21st December, and they will be delivered to you on the 23rd December.

If you’re a little further afield, they also offer UK wide 1st class postage for their box of 3 (£10), and their box of 9 (£20). The final ordering date is the 18th December and they will be delivered on or around the 21st December.

To order, head over to their Instagram page and send them a message, or email fbbakes@gmail.com.

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The friends connecting their community through food

Thus autumn, before Lockdown 2.0, Sauce met Amanda Turner and Gemma Heath, co-founders of Collective Skills Project, to find out more about their projects building community through food in Hartshill…

Thus autumn, before Lockdown 2.0, Sauce met Amanda Turner and Gemma Heath, co-founders of Collective Skills Project, to find out more about their projects building community through food in Hartshill and Penkhull.

Firm friends Amanda and Gemma met through their work for a Thames river boat event company, and launched their community interest company (CIC) Collective Skills Project in 2019. Their aim is reducing loneliness and isolation by bringing people in their local communities together to develop and share key life skills.

This December, Collective Skills Project have launched their latest project in collaboration with Feasted and Sanctuary Ale House, with funding and support from Hartshill and Harpfields Residents’ Association Events and The Community Foundation for Staffordshire. The Teatime Tuesday project aims to help Hartshill residents who are struggling financially due to the impact of COVID-19. The team will be distributing free meal bags containing all of the ingredients to make a hearty, healthy meal from scratch – enough to feed up to four for one meal.

With recipes written by local chef and educator Cris Cohen of Feasted, the bags will contain cards with instructions to create simple, comforting vegetarian dishes including lentil & vegetable cottage pie and broccoli & cauliflower macaroni cheese. Every Tuesday in December and on Tuesday 5 January, there will be 40 bags available on a first come, first served basis from Sanctuary Ale House between 15:00-17:00, but a delivery service is on offer for over 60s who are unable to leave the house.

Teatime Tuesday follows on from Amanda and Gemma’s main autumn project. Through ‘Fallen from the Tree’ they collect unwanted or excess fruit each year from private gardens, allotments and public spaces to be redistributed for free. They ask fruit donors across Stoke-on-Trent and Newcastle-under-Lyme to join them in combating fruit waste, and have been creating a database of gardens, orchards, public and private spaces with surplus or unwanted fruit that can be donated.

This year Gemma and Amanda have done most of the collection runs themselves, as coordinating volunteers has been complicated during the coronavirus pandemic, but the pair are hopeful that next year they will be able to reach more fruit trees and give out more fruit. In spite of the pandemic, they received donations of all sorts of fruit from apples and pears to plums, damsons and sloes – even some walnuts. The produce was given out for free at community stalls and at the first Newcastle-under-Lyme Artisan Market on 18 November. One donors’ apples went to local charitable association Helping Angels, who made a slow cooker apple crumble.

And Collective Skills Project not only connects the community through food. During the first lockdown, Amanda and Gemma coordinated a Community Clay project, delivering 300 packs of clay to households in Hartshill and encouraging people to make decorations that were then hung along the main road to create a pop-up outdoor gallery that all residents could enjoy.

You can follow the Collective Skills Project on Facebook or Instagram to stay up-to-date and find out how you could get involved.

Collective Skills Project
collectiveskillsproject.co.uk

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Which Wine When?

Released in August 2020, Which Wine When is the first book from Staffordshire-born sommelier and food and drink consultant Bert Blaize and chef, writer and marketer Claire Strickett. At first…

Released in August 2020, Which Wine When is the first book from Staffordshire-born sommelier and food and drink consultant Bert Blaize and chef, writer and marketer Claire Strickett.

At first glance it might seem like one of those novelty books a well-meaning but ultimately bamboozled relative buys for your birthday, which you thank them for profusely and never pick up again. But it is absolutely not one of those. 

This is a true reference book and one that if you’re a regular wine drinker it would be wise to have within arm’s reach when you’re planning meals and doing the weekly shop online. It’s a springboard to being able to talk about the experience of drinking wine and understanding which wine to choose when, exactly as it says on the tin.

Which Wine When doesn’t just explain what to pair with venison or roast pheasant (although these bases are covered, of course). It has pairings for everything from chicken nuggets and cheese puffs to Chinese takeaway. And what’s more, Blaize and Strickett very clearly explain not only which wine will work best, but why each pairing works, following up with alternative suggestions under the heading ‘If you can’t get this, ask for…’ and a generic last resort under ‘If all else fails, ask for…’. 

Picking the right wine to complement what you’re eating isn’t some dark and mysterious art with this book to hand – it’s as easy and natural as making spaghetti and meatballs and sitting down in front of Netflix. For which, incidentally, you’ll want a nice Chianti.

It’s written and structured in a way that’s accessible and genuinely useful. It feels long overdue, but the authors seem to be aiming to democratise wine in the same way that a new generation of young chefs have democratised fine dining. Self-consciously anti-snobbish and un-stuffy, the book has a sense of humour backed up by some serious knowledge and an abundantly clear passion for the grape.  

It would make a great Christmas gift for someone who enjoys and is curious about wine but doesn’t take it (or themselves) too seriously. If it’s for someone really special to you, you could even consult the book before giving it alongside a bottle of something that will pair perfectly with their favourite meal. This is one they’ll enjoy reading through on a wintry afternoon and then referring back to for years to come.  

Which Wine When by Bert Blaize and Claire Strickett (Ebury Press) is available to buy online and from all major booksellers. 

Look out for our upcoming Sauce: The Podcast episode with Bert Blaize.

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Slow-braised shin of beef

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Slow-braised shin of beef

Little Seeds Chef, Jake Lowndes, shared this sensational dish for the autumn/winter 2018 edition of Sauce magazine. The slow-braised shin of beef with carrot puree, crispy kale and truffle & chive chips is the perfect winter warmer dish.

  • Author: Jennifer Darby

Ingredients

Scale

For the beef
6 prepped rings of shin from your local butcher
1 stick of celery
2 carrots
1 leek
2 sprigs of thyme
500ml of red wine
500ml water

For the carrot puree
6 carrots, peeled & diced
60g butter
Water
Salt

For the kale
300g kale
Olive oil
Salt
Pepper

For the chips
Potatoes
Truffle oil
Salt
Chives

Instructions

For the beef

  1. Chop roughly into pieces the celery, carrot, onion and leek.
  2. Sear off the shins on both sides in a hot pan, then place into a deep tray.
  3. Sear off the vegetables and place into the tray with the meat.
  4. Put the red wine, water and thyme and veg then cover the tray with foil.
  5. Cook in the oven on a low heat (around 125 degrees) for six hours.
  6. After six hours carefully remove the shins and pass the remaining liquid through a sieve into a saucepan.
  7. Reduce the liquid and skim any impurities off the top then put to one side.

For the carrot puree

  1. Place the carrots and butter into a pan, cover with water and bring to the boil.
  2. Simmer until soft then drain off.
  3. Place into a blender and blend until smooth.
  4. Add salt to taste.

For the crispy kale

  1. Prep the kale by removing the middle stalk.
  2. Lightly coat the kale with oil, salt and pepper.
  3. Place into a tray and cook in a very low oven at 90 degrees for three hours.

For the chips

  1. Cut the potatoes lengthwise.
  2. Fry or oven bake until crispy, transfer into a bowl and coat with truffle oil, salt and chives to your individual taste.

Bring the dish together

  1. Add a spoon of your carrot puree to the plate first.
  2. Next add a shin.
  3. Spoon over the sauce you made earlier.
  4. Serve with green beans and crispy kale.

Notes

If you enjoyed this recipe, head over to littleseedsathome.com and discover their brand new range of Food Boxes, where you can enjoy the Little Seeds experience from the comfort of your own home.

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World of Wedgwood ready for best Christmas ever

World of Wedgwood have revealed a spectacular line up for their Christmas celebrations this year, and for the first time in its history, World of Wedgwood’s celebrations include visits from…

World of Wedgwood have revealed a spectacular line up for their Christmas celebrations this year, and for the first time in its history, World of Wedgwood’s celebrations include visits from Santa Claus and a ‘Wedgwood grotto’.

Vistors to the Wedgwood Tea Room can indulge with an all-you-can-eat breakfast, complete with a visit from the one and only Santa Claus with his sack of gifts. You and your family can enjoy a Full English breakfast or continental breakfast with unlimited drinks served in the stunning Wedgwood Tea Room. Breakfast with Santa will be running on selected dates from Saturday 5 December until Wednesday 23 December, with five sittings available on each day between 9:00 and 11:00. Priced at just £15 per head, this really is a magical treat for all the family to enjoy quality Christmas time together.

As well as Breakfast with Santa, World of Wedgwood have also revealed that they will be offering a two-course Christmas lunch menu in the Dining Hall, followed by a visit to Santa’s grotto. On the menu, expect traditional roast breast of turkey with lemon and thyme stuffing, pigs in blankets, cranberry sauce and roast gravy, or fillet of salmon en croute wrapped in puff pastry with creamed spinach and tarragon cream to name a couple. For dessert, the Dining Hall have really pulled out all the stops with sumptuous puddings such as raspberry trifle, profiteroles with chocolate sauce, Christmas pudding cheesecake, Bakewell tart and many more. Tables are available on selected dates from Saturday 5 December to Wednesday 23 December with tables available from 12:00 til 15:00. The two-course Christmas lunch is priced at £22 per person.

Wedgwood is synonymous with tea and the quintessential afternoon tea in World of Wedgwood’s Tea Room is enjoyed by diners all year round. From Thursday 3 December to Sunday 3 January, it is served with a fabulous festive twist for £25 per person. There is also a takeaway option for two which comes in a Wedgwood presentation box priced at £30 for two people, making an ideal Christmas gift for those who want to indulge in the comfort of their own home.

The Christmas weekend market takes place on Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 December, from 10:00 to 16:00. Over 40 outdoor stalls of festive gifts and treats from local producers and artisans will feature handcrafted gifts, Christmas cards and decorations, meats, cheeses, chutneys and festive favourites along with street food and music. With free parking and free entry, this is the perfect event to stock up on your quality Staffordshire produce in time for Christmas celebrations at home.

For the late night shopping event on Friday 4 December, from 18:00 to 20:00, the Dining Hall will be open and serving their delicious takeaway pizzas.

Mike Powell, UK Sales Director at World of Wedgwood, said: “We all know what kind of year 2020 has been and we want to give our visitors the opportunity to have some escape this Christmas. We’ve carefully created a programme of events that will entertain and inspire in a safe and comfortable environment for both visitors and staff.”

All events are subject to government Covid-19 guidelines with flexible booking terms and conditions for additional peace of mind.

 

World of Wedgwood
worldofwedgwood.com

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