Monday, 16 January 2017

What will we eat in 2017

If you believed everything you read, the food we eat is becoming more wacky, wonderful and weird by the day with new trends coming onto the gastronomic scene constantly. But in and amongst the strangest of suggestions are some fantastic new ideas and tastes which we love to explore at Hunters

Personalities like Deliciously Ella, Joe Wicks and Zanna Van Dijk are filling our social feeds with their clean eating lifestyles and we are loving it! With January being a traditionally healthy month they are just the inspiration we need to keep to our resolutions and make positive changes.


This got us thinking about healthy food trends and what experts are telling us we will love in 2017. Items set to make our taste buds tingle and waistlines shrink include pulses, smoked food and even insects (apparently they’re full of protein!) Here at Hunters of Helmsley we aren’t claiming that everything we eat and love is super healthy but we are fans of enjoying treats that taste good and make us feel good too.


If news headlines claiming that sugar is the devil have you hoping to cut back on the sweet stuff in 2017 take a look at our alternatives. Our selection of maple, date and agave syrups are great solutions when seeking healthier substitutes to processed sugar. If you want to reduce your intake of gluten or have an intolerance, take a look at our free-from range. We have a selection of gluten-free pastas, breads, crackers, pastries and cakes that are perfect for you. 


With the trend for healthy breakfasts set to continue, celebrities will be filling our screens with beautiful brunches. Our fresh farm eggs are lovely poached and will keep you going right through to lunch time. If you want to try something new check out savoury porridge. Using Yockenthwaite Farm oats topped with items including cheese, vegetables and even bacon they are deliciously different! Those wanting to stick to the classics can top their oats with Natural World nut butters. Flavours such as Almond and Coconut, Pecan and Fig, Pistachio or Hazelnut and Carob are our favourites!

As many people become increasingly aware of global issues they are also taking to an increasingly vegetarian – or frequently a flexitarian - diet. We carry a range of Yorkshire Provender broths, soups and bisques amongst others. A particular favourite here is the pea and spinach with fresh mint, a tasty flavour which is perfect for getting those greens in.

So why not try something new this January? If you’re looking for advice and recommendations we love nothing better than a good chat with our customers – and if you’ve spotted an obscure food trend you’re dying to try, we’ll see what we can do to help you out!

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Snap up a Sandwich

They’re the simple, quick and delicious meal option that us Brits go crazy for. Whether it’s filled with bacon for a hearty breakfast, has its crusts removed before being added to a school pack-up or is quickly scoffed at our desks, the sandwich is a national treasure!

Birds Eye recently commissioned a survey into the nation’s top 50 sandwiches in a bid to find out what we’re filling our lunch boxes with and the results are in. The research revealed that the favourite amongst those interviewed is a simple ham & cheese sandwich, with 35.5% of respondents selecting it as the ultimate sarnie.

In second place was the warming fish finger sandwich at 27% and rounding off the top three was chicken & bacon at 26.5%. The previous year’s 3rd place, the BLT, received 21% of the vote toppling down to fifth place. Take a look at the full results below:

1. Ham and Cheese 
2. Fish Fingers 
3. Chicken & Bacon
4. Chicken & Mayonnaise 
5. BLT 
6. Sausage 
7. Cheese & Tomato 
8. Crisp
9. Tuna & Cucumber 
10. Egg & Cress 

Here at Hunters of Helmsley we are butty fanatics and would perhaps even go as far as to call ourselves experts in the field (we sell upwards of 50,000 a year – does that qualify us as an expert?). If you want to make your own, we have a delicatessen in store that is just bursting with sandwich fillers galore. We also carry a wide range of breads and baked goods including gluten free options.

Alternatively we can freshly prepare you a sandwich to take away all day every day. Our selection includes familiar favourites such as tuna, various cheese varieties, smoked salmon, prawn mayonnaise and locally reared hams. But by far and away the best seller is our home-cooked roast beef, served with a little bit of salad and horseradish. Simply delicious.

If you’re in the mood for something different take a look at our daily specials, many of which include combinations you may have never sampled but are guaranteed to love. You might remember our summer special, the South American Bauru sandwich. Locally sourced beef roasted daily on site, combined with melted mozzarella, zingy pickles and juicy tomatoes made it a real favourite here (keep an eye out for seasonal sandwiches in the future!)

As well as rolls, baps and freshly baked loaves, our lunchtime menu is full of other tasty treats that are sure to fill the spot. Try our delicious homemade quiches, deep filled pies, flaky pastries and special sausage rolls before washing them down with a cooling (or warming) drink from our wide selection.

So….is it midday yet?

Saturday, 31 December 2016

Happy New Year from Hunters of Helmsley

Fireworks stream across the sky, champagne bottles pop and friends toast to a fabulous 2017, it must be New Year’s Eve!

As the 31st December is about to hit us, our thoughts have turned to waving goodbye to a somewhat questionable 2016 and welcoming a prosperous 2017. In order to do this in the correct manner we must be equipped with a tempting tipple - that’s where Hunters of Helmsley come in! Whether you’re a wine connoisseur, a beer buff or a soft drink sampler we have exactly what you need.

If you want to flex your muscle and show off your vast knowledge of beers, ales and lagers look no further than our extensive collection of 40 locally brewed bottles. Our selection includes Cropton Breweries Yorkshire Moors, 4.6%, Baron Saturday, 5.2%, Kettle Drum, 4.3% and Yorkshire Sparkle, 4% as well as last, but certainly not least, the Yorkshire Legend bitter, made by the Helmsley Brewery Co.  

We also have a variety of fruity ciders including a special selection made by the Monks at the nearby Ampleforth Abbey as well as ranges created in the Orchards of Husthwaithe, Cropton and the local Ryedale Vineyards.

If you prefer some wine time take a look at our large in-store collection. Vinos on offer include Yorkshire Country fruit wines, Ryedale Vineyards Yorkshire Lass white wine, Yorkshire Sunset’s Rose, Fleurie, Chateau Caronne Ste Gemme Haut- Medoc and a classic Chablis Premier Cru.

Spirit drinkers can choose from a bunch of ‘the stronger stuff’ such as Sloe Gin from award winning local producer SLOEmotion, Masons Dry Gin or Bowmore Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky to really warm your cockles. Those having a non-alcoholic drink needn’t be upset if they find themselves as the designated driver. We offer a range of refreshing treats including Fentimans, Folkingtons, San Pellegrino, Belvoir and La Mortuacienne’s with delicious flavours of cherry cola, pomegranate and rose lemonade.

Finally, does anything spell celebration more clearly than a bottle of fizz? We will be sipping on a ‘Taste of Paradise’ come the 31st, this English sparkling wine is beautifully dry and real party starter. If you want to take a trip to Italy via your glass try the Vetriano Prosecco, it boasts bubbles that are to die for!

So now that the beverages are sorted, all that’s left to do is grab a glass and boogie on down come midnight. Have a very happy new year from all of us here at Hunters of Helmsley.

Don’t trash the turkey

As Christmas lunch approaches the family will wait in anticipation for the main event, a juicy and (hopefully) beautifully cooked turkey. Enjoyed with roast potatoes, vegetables aplenty, stuffing and of course lashings of gravy, the best meal of the year for many of us!

However, a recent report by technology firm Smarter shockingly indicated that families will chuck £1.72billion worth of food and drink this Christmas. As food lovers, we think it’s such a shame to throw away food that’s just waiting to be reimagined and enjoyed once more. With that thought in mind, this week we’re turning our thoughts to leftovers, the days after Christmas and the tasty treats that will fill them.

We’ve seen a trend for festive thriftiness recently with greats such as Nigella Lawson and Jamie Oliver making time in their Christmas specials to share leftover recipe ideas. A favourite of ours came from the naked chef himself who created a Turkey Risotto on his show this week. Full of flavour and easy too, you can check out Jamie’s recipe yourself here, pop in store to pick up the risotto rice you will need as well as other ingredients. Nigella enjoys a Turkey Pilaff with pomegranate and dill. This quirky recipe will love the addition of delicious Yorkshire Rapeseed Oil available here at Hunters of Helmsley.

Forgotten sprouts, carrots and mash can also be reinvigorated by simply frying up into an old favourite of bubble and squeak! If you’re done with traditional tastes and are looking for something slightly unusual, add a splash of fresh orange juice to a turkey curry - delicious! 

As well as paying homage to the more creative recipes we wanted to give special mention to the traditional favourite of all turkey leftovers - the Christmas sandwich! We carry a range of freshly baked breads in store that will be just perfect as the base to your very own masterpiece. Add Hunters of Helmsley Hot and Spicy Chutney to really make that sarnie sizzle!

Alongside leftovers, it can also be nice to bring something new to the table, especially if you have a house full of hungry guests. Cheese is a guaranteed crowd pleaser and our selection really is something! Whether you’re seeking a smooth and creamy Wensleydale or a bold and confident Yorkshire Blue we will have what you’re looking for. If pastry will please the whole family choose from our selection of traditional  Pork Pies, Slow Roast Pork and Ampleforth Abbey Cider pies and sausage rolls – many with an unusual twist to make them extra special. No soggy pastry and tasteless sausage meat here!

After all of that you might be tempted to enjoy something sweet. Try mixing the last few spoonful’s of your Christmas pudding with melted dark chocolate, a splash of amaretto and a sprinkle of cinnamon before wrapping it in filo pastry. Pop it in the oven until crisp and serve with Brymors Dairy Ice-cream, super easy and oh so tasty!

Happy Christmas!

That really takes the biscuit

We were reading the paper with a cuppa recently when we saw a story that shocked and appalled us… According to a report by The Grocer magazine biscuits sales are down!

New figures have shown that British people bought 48 million fewer packets in the last 12 months when compared with sales from previous years. This means, in other words, that the value of overall ‘everyday’ biscuits dropped by nearly £26 million during 2016. Sales of chocolate biscuit bars are also down a massive £11m as many embrace the healthy lifestyle buzz.

However, sales of luxury or more ‘special’ biscuits such as Jaffa Cakes, Oreos and seasonal treats are selling increasingly well. Savoury biscuits also continue to soar in popularity as fresh and fancy flavours make their way onto the marketplace.

With all of this in mind, we began to think about the history of the humble biscuit and where it all began.

Biscuit is a term used for a diverse variety of baked, commonly flour-based food products. The Old French word bescuit is derived from the Latin words bis (twice) and coquere (to cook) and means ‘twice-cooked’. This is because biscuits were originally created in a twofold process: first baked, and then dried out in a slow oven. This term was then adapted into English during the Middle Ages to become the word bisquite which would represent a hard, twice-baked product.

The recipe for biscuits was originally developed because there was a significant need for nutritious, easy-to-store products that sailors could be sustained by during long voyages. These so called ‘sea biscuits’ were allegedly the base for the digestive, rich tea and hobnob biscuits that are currently suffering from a fall in sales.

However, whilst some stores may be struggling with biscuit sales, our customers have been enjoying biscuits aplenty. But then, there isn’t a boring bourbon in sight at Hunters of Helmsley!

Some of our favourites are Butler and Cartwright’s huge selection of exquisite biscuits. These beautiful bakes range from the outrageously opulent dark chocolate to the everyday but delicious oaty crumbles. Many are also available in gift tins which could make the perfect pressie for a loved one, or for yourself! If you’re looking for something classic and reliable look no further than some sweet and satisfying Scottish shortbread, we love Walkers familiar Scottie Dog tins and of course our very own Hunters of Helmsley Handmade Rhubarb & Custard Shortbread Biscuits take some beating.

Nothing goes quite as nicely with the perfect cup of tea as Borders Butterscotch Biscuits, the mixture of a sweet and salty flavour is to die for! Alternatively, Grandma Wild's Tea Cup Tin Chocolate Chip Biscuits  gain rave reviews.

With all of that in mind, perhaps we don’t need to worry too much about the great British biscuit, they’re just too delicious to ever truly disappear!

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Hunters of Helmsley celebrates Small Business Saturday

Small Business Saturday will roll around once again on the 3rd December and as a small business ourselves, we can’t wait!

Celebrated in early December, Small Business Saturday is a perfect counterpart to Black Friday and Cyber Monday which predominantly favour large companies. In contrast, Small Business Saturday encourages shoppers to head to independent businesses to begin their Christmas shopping.

Whilst originally observed in America in 2010, the UK have been joining in and enjoying the goings on since 2012. And it’s proving a great success. In 2015 UK customers spent £623m with small businesses, an increase of £119m or 24% when compared with the date in 2014 and a significant rise when compared with other days throughout the year.

Here at Hunters of Helmsley we endeavor to support both small and local businesses. At least 70% of the products available in store are sourced from within Yorkshire itself and the many are from independent suppliers.

We know that our customers love a tipple, especially around the festive season and we stock lots of wines, beers, mixers and spirits from various small businesses. Just a few of our favourites include Ampleforth Abbey, Ryedale Vineyards, Trebroom Brewery and Fentimans.

If you have a sweet tooth (and who doesn’t?!) the lovely people at Mellow Mallows will have just what you’re looking for. Flavours include coconut, salted caramel, passionfruit and gingerbread, delicious! If chocolate is more your thing take a look at our selection from Ampleforth Plus, this enterprise business was set up by Yorkshire-based charity, Autism Plus. As well as making delicious and beautiful treats in some very unusual flavours, this business also gives back to the community and supports those with disabilities.

As a small business ourselves we are proud to stock our own Hunters of Helmsley range. Choose from our selection of toast toppers which includes jams, marmalades, curds and chutneys. If you are looking for some deliciously luxurious pat├ęs, varieties include chicken liver, wild boar, pheasant and ostrich. Or if you would like something sourced from the sea, we recommend both our lobster and crab terrines.

We also maintain a plentiful delicatessen and sandwich shop, the perfect place to pop in on your lunch break. The lovely Yorkshire Baker’s slow roast pork pies, brie and sun blushed tomato tarts and various pastry flavours are sure to trump any items bought from your usual high street baker.

And what better date to pop into the shop than Small Business Saturday itself – 3rd December? There’s all kinds of fun and games going on across the town, including fairground rides, fancy dress, treasure hunts and special offers. For more information go to

Don’t forget to follow the hashtag #SmallBizSatUK on Twitter to keep up to date with news and events. 

Friday, 25 November 2016

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Summer is truly a distant memory and there is a decidedly chilly nip in the air. Christmas is most certainly on its way!

That means one thing - whether we like it or not, it’s time to start preparation. There’s so much to do around the festive season but with some careful planning and little bit of help from us, your celebrations will be more magical than even the most perfect merry movie.

We carry a range of festive treats, each adding that certain something to proceedings but in this post we are going to be focusing on hampers. Whether you want to impress a total foodie with a well-thought out selection of goodies or fill up your own cupboards we are bound to have just what you’re looking for.

Add some sparkle with our Christmas Cheer Hamper, jam-packed with delicacies that will be sure to make any Christmas extra special. With festive favourites such as Port, Blood Orange and Pomegranate Jelly for cheese, luxury chocolates and a rather fine bottle of Shiraz, this would make a perfect gift for a loved one - or for yourself! 

Why not give someone a little taste of heaven this year with the Festive Treat Hamper? Butterscotch biscuits and lemon and sundried tomato olive oil will add some pizzazz to any party. For fans of fromage, the Cheese Lovers Hamper is guaranteed to go down a treat. A selection of cheeses including Brie, Whitby Jet with Seaweed and Charcoal Cheese are accompanied by Pickled Pears, Chutneys and Moscato Grape Nectar to name just some of what’s included.

Available all year round, The Helmsley Hamper is a specially selected collection of delicious treats that showcase our wonderful, award-winning town of Helmsley. Enjoy some local pheasant pate, classic Yorkshire bitter, sweet strawberry and rhubarb jam and Hunters of Helmsley Dry White Wine whilst supporting local fare. Speaking of Christmas tipples, we haven’t failed to notice that the nation is going gaga for gin, and we don’t blame them! Surely there is no better time to indulge in some botanical goodness than over Christmas with our G&T Anyone? Hamper. Enjoy dry gin expertly paired with premium Indian tonic alongside a gin and lemon chocolate for good measure!