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 patés, 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!

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Trendy tipples and fashionable foods

The 2016 Waitrose food report recently uncovered some interesting insights into how and what us Brits like to eat and drink and the latest must-have trends.

In the past year, we’ve reportedly particularly enjoyed churros, seeds, seaweed, cactus water and coconut flour, to name but a few, with the ‘Instagram Generation’ leading trends. Usual suspects including takeaway-inspired foods remained popular but supermarkets reported a huge rise in those enjoying healthy eating. Alongside familiar salads that continued to top charts, spiralized vegetables enjoyed a surge in popularity as the nation went crazy for courgetti, butternut squash noodles and cucumber strips.

As well as annual trends, the report also described how we shop each month. Unsurprisingly, come summer our intake of alcohol sees a sharp rise. In June, the UEFA European Championships and Rugby Union Internationals contributed to beer sales increasing by almost 9%. August saw a 104% increase in Rosé sales following the Frosé trend, a yummy frozen cocktail of rosé, lemon juice and sugar. We also started to stock up on BBQ items as early as May with sales of meat rocketing up by 41% that month.
When January swung back around many decided to take part in ‘Dry January’ and cut back on the booze, allowing soft drink sales to rise by 47%. That was before we went flipping mad for pancakes in February with a 77% increase in baking ingredients.
Instagram also reported that in early 2016 Sushi, Avocado and brunch items such as eggs were the most snapped foods by far. The report indicated that those aged 18 to 34 regularly post pictures of their meals on social media leading to certain foods becoming incredibly popular. Younger generations are leading the way as 18 to 25 year olds are five times more likely to have shared a picture of their food in the past month than over 55s.
Here at Hunters of Helmsley we’re obviously fans of food and drink that tastes good but also looks gorgeous too! We carry a range of items guaranteed to make the most picture-worthy brunches possible including local bacon, free range eggs and freshly baked bread.

Any #TeaLover will enjoy our selection of beautiful brews from Taylors of Harrogate, Cartwright and Butler, Teapigs and Pukka. We also stock an array of healthy and tasty treats including Yorkshire Provender’s pea and mint soup, Staal smoked salmon and Biona Organic coconut flour, an alternative to traditional flour.

Let’s be honest, whether it’s fashionable or not we are still going to enjoy a lovely glass of wine when we fancy one. We carry a Taste of Paradise sparkling rose, Yorkshire Lass white wine and Strickland Estate red wine to name only a few. A photo of those glistening in a glass would no doubt get mouths watering!

So, if you’re hoping to become ‘Insta-famous’ or begin trending on Twitter look no further… for the rest of us some tasty food and a refreshing drink will do just fine.

Thursday, 3 November 2016

No need to fear, beer is here!

There’s nothing quite like reaching for a perfectly chilled beer after a long day. Us Brits go wild for it, with reports claiming that we guzzle down an average of 15,000 pints every minute (hiccup!)

However, our love affair with the barley brew is nothing new, the origins of beer actually date back to somewhere between 3100 and 3500 BC after it was discovered at Godin Tepe in the Central Zagros Mountains of Iran. Many historians report that in the past beer was considered cleaner than water, meaning the public used it as a major source of hydration. Low alcohol versions were even given to children! It’s also said that more intoxicating and calorie laden varieties were drunk by working men who needed a thirst quencher, pick me up and an energy provider in one quick gulp.

Back to 2016, the Guardian newspaper recently reported that for the first time since records began, more beer is now sold in shops than in pubs, clubs and restaurants. The British Beer and Pub Association found that 51% of the 44m hectoliters of beer sold in Britain were sold by the off-trade. This rise is said to have been caused by shops being able to offer alcohol at a lower cost to the buyer and the growing popularity of drinking at home.

Here at Hunters we love a beer and carry a huge variety of 40 locally brewed bottles. So whether you’re seeking an old favourite or something brand-new and interesting, we have what you’re looking for. 

Why not pick up a bottle of The Great Yorkshire Brewery's Yorkshire Moors, a firm favourite here at 4.6%. We also stock Trebroom Brewery’s range of delicious drinks including Baron Saturday, 5.2%, Kettle Drum, 4.3% and Yorkshire Sparkle, 4%. Last but certainly not least is the Yorkshire Legend bitter, made by the Helmsley Brewery Co. - a local gem!

If beer isn’t your bag check out our range of refreshing Ciders including the various Ampleforth Abbey flavours and Yorkshire Cider from The Great Yorkshire Brewing Company. If you’re in the mood for a wine or two, Ryedale Vineyards Yorkshire Lass white wine and Yorkshire Sunset’s rose are bound to hit the spot. 

Saturday, 1 October 2016

Peas don’t forget it’s Vegetarian Day!

Here at Hunters of Helmsley we’re looking forward to World Vegetarian Day, an occasion that takes place each year on the 1st of October. The day was established by the North American Vegetarian Society (the N.A.V.S) in 1977 and has since gone on to be celebrated in schools, restaurants and homes across the globe.

The N.A.V.S state their cause as hoping to ‘promote the joy, compassion and life-enhancing possibilities of vegetarianism’ whilst bringing awareness to the ‘ethical, environmental and humanitarian benefits of a vegetarian lifestyle’.

Hunters love to enjoy vegetarian fare from across the globe and we are proud to stock veggie delicacies to appeal to herbivores and meat-eaters alike!

Starting out with something deliciously hearty during the run up to the winter months, who could resist a cheese and leek puff pastry? Packed full of flavour, these homemade delights are freshly baked in Helmsley and sure to tantalise your taste buds!

Speaking of cheese… why not pick up a fabulous fromage to accompany your tasty vegetarian meal? Some parmesan could add pizzazz to pea risotto, whilst zingy stilton is sure to give your favourite broccoli soup a touch of opulence, and a classic quiche could only be made even more delicious with the addition of a quality cheddar cheese.

Perhaps you’re longing for a warming bowl of soup to savour whilst autumn creeps in? 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.

Those seeking something slightly unusual can take a look at Macsween’s Vegetarian Haggis, a real treat come Burns Night, or any other night of the year for that matter! And once you’re full to the brim with savoury sustenance it’s good to know that many chocolates are suitable for vegetarians. We carry a vast range of the sweet stuff including treats from Yorkshire Lauden, Whitakers and Ampleforth Plus.

Thursday, 25 August 2016

The nation goes crazy for coconuts!

You may have noticed the coconut, a treat once saved for tropical shores, seems to be everywhere at the moment, with new products springing up and growing in popularity every day.

As celebrity chefs, including superstar Joe Wicks, sing the praises of the coconut in its various forms it seems the British people are also jumping on board with this particular superfood trend and we don’t blame them!

Recent figures have shown that Britons are currently spending more the £100 million a year on coconut products. Numbers break down to over £60 million being spent on coconut water, £16.4 million on coconut milk and £14 million on coconut oils. However, did you know that the term coconut can refer to the entire coconut palm, the seed, or the fruit, which botanically is a drupe, not a nut.

With so many potential uses for the coconut, artisans across the world are creating new products almost every day, many of which are focused on being health foods. Whilst research continues on the exact health benefits of coconut products one thing is for sure, they taste great! Here at Hunters of Helmsley we love the versatile coconut and have an array of offerings for you to discover and enjoy.

Those being inspired by the new series of The Great British Bake Off can rustle up innovative showstoppers with Biona’s Coconut Palm Sugar and Shepcote’s Raw Thick Cut Chipped Coconut or Desiccated Coconut. If you would like to create a gluten-free bake Biona’s Coconut Flour is an excellent option, the flour can also be used to create tasty pizza bases minus the wheat.

If you’re preparing Asian inspired cuisine nothing beats the great taste of coconut. Blue Dragons range of Creamed Coconut, Coconut Cream and Coconut Milks come in various sizes and are perfect for creating a tasty sauce, or cooling down a recipe with one too many chilies! That mid-week stir-fry can be freshened up with Taylor & Colledge Coconut Extract Paste, a definite fridge staple! Tiana’s Coconut Butter also offers an excellent alternative to traditional fats with some using it to top their morning toast.

An interesting substitute to usual cooking oils is Biona’s Coconut Oil, the perfect accompaniment to your frying pan or roasting tray. Coconut oil is also a beauty must-have with its deep moisturising properties allowing it to be a luxurious moisturiser and hair conditioner. Celebrities including well-being ‘guru’ Gwyneth Paltrow also swear by coconut oil in order to create that perfect Hollywood smile. It’s apparent whitening properties can be unleashed by use a technique called ‘pulling’…

As well as edible entities coconuts also produce the base for an array of interesting and delicious drinks. We carry both Rude Health and Koko coconut milks, both of which are free from dairy meaning they are the perfect solution for those with a lactose intolerance or allergy.

So, as the nation continues to go wild for coconut products why not give them a try yourself? Come see us in the shop and we’d be happy to recommend our favourites!

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Fire up the coals and call over the neighbours – it’s BBQ season!

As news channels fill up with reports of the second heatwave of the summer, forecasters are predicting some areas of the country could see temperatures soar to a whopping 35 degrees! With this in mind it’s an ideal opportunity to take some well-deserved time in the great outdoors and light up the BBQ.

It would appear us Brits love a good barbie - during 2015 it was reported that we indulged in over 130 million of them. That number accounts for the average family hosting 9 barbecues each summer! In fact, barbecues are now the UK’s number one home leisure activity with hordes of hungry households choosing to dine outdoors.

Here at Hunters of Helmsley we love a good BBQ and never miss an opportunity to make the most of the rare British sunshine. We don’t think anything can bring together families, friends and communities like some delicious food and perhaps a couple of ice cold drinks. All of the preparation can be thirsty work after all!

Following the collection of some show stopping meat pop in to check out our variety of BBQ extras, each one bound to sit perfectly alongside your al fresco feast. On offer you will find fresh breads, a range of sublime cheeses guaranteed to impress even the most discerning cheese lover and patés, relishes and pickles just waiting to top the perfect sandwich. For those looking to enjoy something slightly different, we highly recommend classic pork sausages served alongside Hunters own Red Onion Marmalade, trust us, this unusual combination is a winner! 

We all know that after a long day of hard work a well-deserved drink is sometimes on the cards. An ice cold beer and BBQ go hand in hand and needn’t be saved for the weekend. After-work or mid-week barbies now account for more than 48% of all BBQ occasions. Let’s face it, we know that when the sun is shining we should make the most of it while we can!