Sunday, 19 February 2017

Hip hip hooray, it’s pancake day!

Whip out the old frying pan, pancake day is just around the corner!

Taking place on the 28th of February this year, Shrove Tuesday precedes Ash Wednesday and is linked to the festival of Easter. Traditions stem back thousands of years with events beginning by a bell being rung to call people to confession. This came to be called the ‘Pancake Bell’ and is still rung today. Anglo Saxon Christians would then travel to their churches and take part in confession before being ‘shriven’ (absolved from their sins). Following this process, some would choose to fast for 40 days. Many people still choose to take part in lent and give up luxury items for 40 days during the run up to Easter.

Of course, all of this is very interesting but here at Hunters of Helmsley we’re always keen to know where food comes into it. The familiar ‘pancake day’ was thought up as a way of finishing off any perishable rich foods, like eggs, milk and sugar in order to avoid waste. Whilst we may not be quite as thrifty or strict in the modern world, we do still love to celebrate pancake day!

In order to create the perfect pancake we must start with the basic mix. Take fresh milk, free-range local eggs (available in store) and flour. We have lots of different varieties including regular, coconut, buckwheat, rice and tapioca, ideal for those with allergies or intolerance's. We also have an array of oils that will make flipping a piece of cake.

Once cooked it’s time to indulge with some terrific toppings. We have an array of fruit and chocolate sauces, date, agave and maple syrups and sugars. We also have a variety of nut butters from the amazing Natural World. These delightful butters come in Almond and Coconut, Pecan and Fig, Pistachio or Hazelnut and Carob.
For those seeking something savoury and satisfying, add some pizazz with tasty cheese. A striking blue can really hit the spot whilst a mellow cheddar compliments tangy Marmite or chutney beautifully. Finally, why not create a real show stopper by flambéing your pancake in rum or cognac, delish!

So, pop into Hunters for everything you need this pancake day. You’d be flipping mad not to! 

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Love is in the air with Hunters of Helmsley

The romantics amongst us are looking forward to Valentine’s Day coming around once more on the 14th of February.

There, St Valentine fell in love with the jailer’s daughter and sent her a goodbye letter signed ‘from your Valentine’ on February 14th, the day of his execution. Of course, his ending sentiment has filled greeting cards for centuries since with people young and old sharing the love.
Lovers across the nation are set to send cards and gift their partners with flowers, teddies, trinkets, trips away and much more. At least they better be, or they’ll be in big trouble…

Here at Hunters of Helmsley, food and drink is more our thing so we’re stocking up shelves with pressies guaranteed to keep you in the good books. Treat the love of your life with a box of Butlers chocolate, adorned in special Valentine packaging. Make them melt with everyone’s favourite Lindor balls, available in 6 flavours chocolate

Why not spoil the love of your life with a hamper full of goodies – and if you’re lucky they might share! There’s ready made hampers which can be delivered across the country, or we’ll happily make you your own full of your favourite’s favourites!

Those wanting to bring a bit of sparkle into their relationship, can pop open a bottle of Taste of Paradise sparkling wine and make it extra special with Wild Hibiscus flowers filling up the bottom.

Finally, those looking to spoil their other half with a slap-up meal can pop instore for cooking advice and all the ingredients needed for a romantic feast. We have a selection of treats including smoked salmon, meats and cheeses that will make a beautiful platter. Pheasant, fish and beef will make an excellent centrepiece for a posh dinner whilst Chapman's fish Wellingtons provides an easier an extremely reliable option.

With that in mind, all that’s left to do is enjoy spending quality time with your special person.

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Making Dry January Fun

The Dry January phenomenon seems to have sprung up quite suddenly, however, those in Europe have been participating for some time. Following WW2, the Finnish government launched a campaign called ‘Sober January’ as part of its war effort and this practice was carried on through the following years.

Here in the UK, many now pledge to keep away from drinks and ask people to sponsor them on their ‘Dry-athon’. Charities including Cancer Research and Alcohol Concern support those undertaking the challenge and gain lots of donations in the meantime. Many also choose to put down the glass in order to detox and enjoy a healthier lifestyle whilst also losing a few pounds.

Whatever your reasons, here at Hunters of Helmsley we want to make sure that you see the month out with tasty non-alcoholic treats that your taste buds will thank you for.
 Take a look at our wide range of soft drinks including Fentimans old fashioned lemonade, cherry cola and dandelion and burdock to name a few. Folkingtons sparkling Elderflower is sure to provide a refreshing lift whilst their range of juices are a real treat. San Pellegrino’s Limonata, Aranciata and Aranciata Rosa are guaranteed to ensure you don’t miss any of the stronger stuff.

On top of all that, Belvoir’s lovely bottles and La Mortuacienne’s selection of extra special lemonades will fill the void in a celebration.

If you need something warming and comforting, brew up a cup of tea and chose from our huge selection of beautiful brews. Options from Twining’s and Pukka include peppermint, green teas, fruit and classics such as English breakfast and Earl Grey. You’re sure to have a pep in your step after a steaming mug of coffee, we stock Taylors of Harrogate and Grumpy Mule amongst others, and have a selection of instant, ground and beans instore.

After that we hope you’re feeling ready to take on the last few days of Dry January, we’re all behind you! And if you’re a bit behind the times you can always go for a Dry February

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!