At long last winter is on its way out. Everywhere we turn buds are swelling, crocuses are nudging through the grass and there’s a breath of sunshine on the breeze. We can’t wait for the foodie bounties that Spring brings with it. We pride ourselves on our focus on seasonal ingredients and there is so much to look forward to this spring. Our chefs are putting together a whole range of seasonal dishes guaranteed to delight. Let’s have a look at the special ingredients due to grace our menus this spring.
Every year we look forward to the Jersey Royal season and this year is no exception. We’ll be serving up these little beauties from April until June . Grown on the island of Jersey for 140 years there are just 20 farmers harvesting these little potatoes. Jersey’s soil is light and aerated, with many farmers using seaweed harvested from the beach as a natural fertiliser. We love their texture and depth of flavour and can’t wait to get cooking (eating!).
Another seasonal favourite has to be asparagus. Fresh really is best with this delightful spring perennial, so enjoying British asparagus is a treat to be relished during its brief season. The season starts on St George’s Day (23rd April) and lasts for just 8 weeks. When the spear reaches the optimum height it’s carefully cut by hand so as to preserve the precious crown for years to come. The cool, crisp weather we’ve experienced over the Winter season means that we can expect a bumper crop!
Nutbourne is a family run nursery in West Sussex growing the most incredible tomatoes. Specialising in heritage and unusual varieties such as Pigeon Heart, Ox Heart and Pineapple Marmande, we think their tomatoes are the best there is. All of their vines are pollinated by bees and are insecticide free. Amazingly the vines grow up to 30 ft long through the season with an average growth of 2ft a week. That’s a lot of tomatoes!
Soon the woods will be suffused with the telltale scent of garlic as the ransoms (wild garlic) grow. This wild plant is an adaptable ingredient – the delicate white flowers quite as delicious as the lush green leaves. We can’t wait to put it to good use along with the other seasonal treats, such as purple sprouting broccoli (PSB to the cognoscenti), savoy cabbage and all manner of radishes.
The seasonal bounty isn’t contained to vegetables. From the port that it was landed in, to the boat and even the skipper, you can find out your day boat fish’s provenance when you order. And when it comes to cheese, you’ll be spoilt for choice. We’ll be focusing on some beautiful and varied cheeses such as Tor Pyramid, Rutland Red, Kentish Blue, Tunworth and Winter Dale Cheddar.
With all this and more heading into the kitchens, we’re confident that a season of foodie delight lies ahead of us. We can’t wait for you to join us and get stuck in!