Saturday, 18 March 2017

The cherry on the cake – help us be cream of the crop with the Great British Food Awards

We’re absolutely delighted to have been nominated for the second year in a row as Best Independent Retailer in the North of England in the Great British Food Awards!

We were over the moon to be awarded a highly commended last year, but how amazing would it be if this we got crowned overall winner?!

Well to be in with a chance, we need to ask YOU, our loyal customers and friends to vote for us! To do so, you need to log on to before 17th July. It should only take two minutes and you can vote in as many or as few categories as you like. As an added bonus, voters will also be put into a prize draw to win one of 36 prizes worth £7,000, including holidays, hampers and kitchenware. So it’s well worth doing!

There are five Northern businesses in the category, and to us it was no surprise that three of us are in North Yorkshire! There’s so many fantastic foodie businesses in the region, we’re extremely lucky to have it all on our doorstep. 

The awards, which are now in their fourth year, celebrate the country's finest home-grown ingredients, as well as those who produce and cook with them, and includes categories covering food writers, TV personalities, cookbooks, restaurants and retailers. Results will be announced in September, and celebrity judges include John Torode, Rachel Allen, Val Warner and Nathan Outlaw.

We love what we do, and good food and drink is our obsession – especially when it’s locally produced. We’re so lucky to be able to combine our professional live with a personal passion. Winning awards is lovely, but we feel like we’ve won the jackpot every day! But we couldn’t do it without you, our loyal customers. So thank you for your support – it means more than you could know!

Saturday, 4 March 2017

Spring into action this season

Lambs are starting to leap through green fields, the days are getting longer and the weather is beginning to warm up. Spring is almost here!

Of course, for us foodies the season also brings with it Easter weekend, a time for feasting with family and friends. As the bank holiday weekend draws closer and balmy evenings spent in the garden become a possibility we’re thinking about all things Spring.

If you’re planning a couple of get-togethers over the long weekend you’re sure to need plenty of beverages ready for thirsty guests. We love a refreshing Masons Gin paired with an icy cold Fever Tree tonic water or how about a delicious Sloe gin from SLOEmotion? The brand’s Yorkshire Fruit Cup No 7 mixed with lemonade tastes of summer days!

Those seeking a perfect bottle of wine will be spoilt for choice. We carry more carefully selected (and personally tested, of course!) Sauvignon Blancs, Merlots, Pinot Grigios, Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs than you could need and are on hand with expert knowledge should you want it. For beer lovers, our selection of 40 locally brewed bottles includes ales, beers, lagers and ciders sure to suit a variety of palettes.

Following a night full of lovely drinks, a big brunch could well be in order. We recommend Ian Taylor’s free-range farm eggs, poached and served with locally reared back bacon and freshly baked bread. All of which are available in store and guaranteed to fuel you ahead of a walk around Helmsley’s beautiful countryside to clear those cobwebs!

A charcuterie board is a guaranteed crowd pleaser that will turn any gathering into a celebration. Enjoy smooth Somerset Brie on top of a Peter’s Yard Crisp Bread, or how about a slice of Port Salut or some Stinking Bishop to really tantalize your taste buds. Add some green olives bathed in garlic oil and herbs or stuffed with pimiento peppers for a taste of the Mediterranean. And finish by bringing some perfectly aged salamis to the table. We have a huge selection in store that can be chosen and sliced to perfection before you bring them home, you can even have a taste to decide which one is your favourite before you buy.

Those looking to feed the masses with a quick but luxurious meal should look no further than our selection of pastas and sauces. We have an extensive range of authentic delicious bronzed and egg  Italian pastas that can be quickly cooked and served, the ideal dish to have squirreled away should unexpected guests come calling. Add some truffle oil or grated truffles to really liven up the dish. Alternatively, a baked camembert can be quickly prepared and enjoyed in a relaxed sharing atmosphere, perfect to enjoy by a roaring fire should the British weather elude us!

Of course, Easter also brings along with it a lot of the nation’s favourite sweet treat, chocolate! Keep your eyes peeled for a full blog on our Easter offerings or head in store to check out our selection of eggs and much, much more. 

Saturday, 25 February 2017

Healthy living made easy

We recently read that one in five people chose to diet and eat healthily as their New Year’s Resolution on January 1st. However, statistics have shown that the majority apparently broke their resolution within 9 days, whoops… If you’re one of the many that cracked, do not fear, Hunters of Helmsley is here!

With the treats we have in store, healthy eating needn’t be a bind. We have snacks, drinks and meal ideas to get you back on track and loving a very healthy lifestyle. So, what are we waiting for? It’s time to crank up the spiralizer, dust off those old trainers and prepare to post every meal we eat onto Instagram.

We’ll start with something to quench a thirst and keep you going. We have a huge range of teas that are great for providing vitamins and minerals whilst keeping you hydrated. We’re loving Tea Pigs, Taylors of Harrogate and Cartwright and Butler to name only a few alongside our own delicious blends ranging from the herbal to the ever so fruity.

Enjoy a light dinner or lunch of a warming bowl of Yorkshire Provender soup. Many are gluten free with delectable flavours including beetroot with horseradish, carrot and butternut, chicken and butternut and even vegan Moroccan vegetable tagine, yum! Our Ian Taylor free-range fresh farm eggs could be the perfect snack when boiled and served with spinach on the go, or as a base to lots of fab recipes. Whip up a vegetable filled omelette, scrambled eggs on wholemeal toast or flour-free banana pancakes using egg whites. If you’re missing a great British fry up, swap it for a satisfying brunch of poached eggs and Staal Smokehouse smoked salmon, full of good fats.

Those feeling conscious of supermarket nasties will enjoy taking to the kitchen to make their own bread whilst simultaneously filling their homes with that unmistakable smell. Use Wessex Mill’s wholemeal rye flour, Side Oven’s stoneground organic wholemeal or Biona’s coconut flour as the base to a brilliant bake. That way you know exactly what you’re eating and can be sure that sugar hasn’t snuck its way in. Alongside bread, a healthier option to satisfy a savoury craving comes in the form of Scrubbys vegetable crisps. These crunchy creations are gluten free and offer fewer calories without sacrificing taste - we love the four vegetable blend.

If you’re stocking up on lunchtime salad ingredients, our Brianna’s home style dressing is an absolute must. Options in-store include poppy, Dijon honey mustard and creamy blue cheese for those seeking something indulgent on top of all that goodness. For a tangy treat, Little Doone’s sweet balsamic vinegar is just perfect drizzled onto ripe vine tomatoes. If you want to add some pizazz to your meal enjoy venison steaks. Venison has the highest protein and lowest cholesterol count of any mainstream meat and is also extremely sustainable, win win!

So even if you did fall off the healthy eating wagon in January, it’s never too late to get back on track!

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!