Wednesday, 6 December 2017

The gift that keeps on giving…

Ah Christmas – the most magical time of the year!

But also…. a little bit stressful at times, let’s admit it! The entertaining, the endless school events, everyone trying to get their work finished before the big break. And that’s before you’ve got anywhere near the shopping or present buying!

Coming up with new gift ideas for loved ones is never easy. Kids always have lists of things they want, which makes it a lot more straightforward – but when it comes to grown ups, most of us have what we need, or we buy it when we want it! That’s why so many of us fall back on the old favourites. And of course, much as everyone loves a good pair of socks, it’s not the most exciting thing to open on Christmas Day.

But one gift that always hits the spot in our experience is food and drink! Who doesn’t love to get a little treat or two – perhaps something they wouldn’t have every day, or something they’ve never tried before. And unlike some fancy bath salts or a novelty tie, which might not be everyone’s cup of tea, it’s like to get used!

Of course, we would say this, but our hampers do make a fantastic present. We’re always happy to make one up to your own preferred requirements, but we do also have a selection readymade, which can be ordered in the shop, over the phone or online. We can deliver them around the UK – so perfect for that special someone you’re not going to get to see this festive season.

How about A Taste of Yorkshire – great value at just £35. From Taylor's of Harrogate Yorkshire Gold Teabags to Cartwright & Butler Butterscotch Crunch (with a bit of Rhubarb Milk Chocolate and some Yorkshire Heather Honey thrown in) – it’s jam-packed with goodies to give a taste of home to someone who might be missing God’s Own County. It also contains Blackberry and Sloe Gin jam (YUM!), so the jam-packed reference is conveniently true.

We have a Yorkshire Lad and a Yorkshire Lass version – but we’re certainly not saying they can only be enjoyed by someone of a certain gender! We’re pretty sure anyone would devour the contents, which vary from our very own White Chocolate Shards with Strawberry, Sloe Gin and Chilli Jam Cheesey Nibbles to Charlie & Ivy’s Cumin, Chilli & Coriander Bread Dipper, Gourmet Liquorice Bootlaces and Autumn Chutney with Black Sheep Ale.

Cheese lovers will love our Cheese Lovers hamper – a selection of cheeses, combined with some amazing accompaniments. Enjoy some charcoal cheese on a Sourdough Crispbread, or some Yorkshire Wensleydale with Fruit & Nut Torta, alongside some Moscato Grape Nectar.

Is your mouth watering yet?!

We also have some fantastic seasonal hampers, making them the perfect present for Christmas.
Christmas Cheer would make someone’s year. At £130, it’s literally bursting at the seams with some of our favourite goodies. Prosecco, Sauvignon Blanc, Monastier Shiraz – but it’s not all booze! There’s chocolates, tea and coffee, fruit jellies, florentines, crispbread, accompaniments for cheese, savouries, crisps, soup, biscuits, marmalade, tapenade, oil, chutney, Turkish Delight, pate….this list goes on. Enough to see you through January, that’s for sure! And we’re kind of underselling it – to paraphrase someone else this is no ordinary cracker, this is a ‘Toast for cheese with festive spiced fruit and pecans’. And it’s not a bottle of vegetable oil, it’s the rather amazing La Tourangelle Hazelnut Oil. And we love a bit of Branston Pickle, but wait until you try The Fine Cheese Co’s Port, Blood Orange & Pomegranate Jelly for Cheese.

So, if you’re struggling for inspiration this year – you know where to come. Can Santa please take note for my Christmas list too?!


Saturday, 25 November 2017

World Vegan Month: Our vegan (and dairy-free) favourites

Earlier this year we wrote a blog post about the rise in veganism. Although some people still seem to be surprised at how many choose to avoid all animal products in their diet, from meat, fish and eggs, to dairy and honey, it’s a movement which shows no sign of slowing. In fact, the number of vegans has risen over 350% in the last 10 years.

Apparently even Google Trends has seen evidence of a boom – search terms linked to vegan lifestyles in the UK were up 90% last year on the year before, and were significantly higher than those looking for information about the paleo diet, gluten-free or even vegetarianism.

The great thing for Vegans now, as opposed to a decade – or even just a few years ago – is the choice of food available. Gone are the days when you were limited to a boring plain salad or tomato-based pasta. Vegan restaurants and cafes are popping up in towns and cities across the country, which is no surprise given there’s well over half a million British vegans out there looking for somewhere interesting to eat!

Another good thing about vegan products is they’re always suitable for those with a dairy intolerance – making them doubly popular in our experience.

So, this World Vegan Month, we’ve scoured the streets (not literally, we found these products everywhere from a food show to a friend’s kitchen) for what we think are some of the tastiest Vegan (and therefore dairy-free) foods out there.

·        Granny’s Secret Ajvar pepper and tomato spreads - We are a little bit addicted to this in the store – which means we always over-order so the stock doesn’t run out! We’ve noticed that once you try this, you can’t go back, and so the same customers keep returning for more. It comes in classic or spicy varieties and is great as a dip or spread. Has to be tasted to be believed – it will revolutionise your sandwich!
·        Vegan chocolate – Being vegan doesn’t mean you have to give up all chocolate – you might just need to go darker! Yum! Booja Booja luxury chocolate truffles are amazing – from champagne or almond and sea salt to rhubarb and vanilla fool, you’d be a fool not to give them a try. King Monty uses creamy rice milk to create a delicious dairy-free bar and the So Free range uses plant alternatives to create a variety of different flavours, including a milk chocolate – perfect if you’re actually not keen on the more bitter dark choc.
·        Anila’s Indian sauces, pickles and chutneys – For an easy to make dinner idea, that tastes authentic (and much nicer than any takeaway), the Anila’s sauces take some beating. We particularly lovely the flavoursome Spicy Korma (which, as it suggests, is a spicier version of the usual Korma) and the mouth-watering Aubergine Pickle. Perfect with poppadoms!
·        Nut butters – Nut butters are all the rage, and we can see why. They’re so versatile (from spreading it on your morning toast, to adding it to recipes), they’re good for you and deliciously more-ish! We love Natural World’s Pecan and Fig or Hazelnut and Cacao varieties, as well as Meridian’s Almond or Cashew Butter.

So, if you fancy giving them a try, why not pop in? Or if you don’t live locally, we’re happy to arrange to send things out – so give us a call on 01439 771 307.


Thursday, 26 October 2017

We need you!

(It can’t only be us that pictures Lord Kitchener pointing at us every time we hear that?)

We’ve got a little favour to ask our wonderful customers… We’re delighted to have been nominated for the Farm Shop & Deli Awards 2018. But, we need some votes to help us win it! And we’re told it’s quality not quantity that counts… (same could be said for a lot of things in life).

There’s 13 categories, and we’re nominated in the delicatessen one (no surprise there you say!). There’s some tough competition, as you’d expect. God’s Own County isn’t short of some amazing food shops on its own, but Yorkshire is actually in with the wider North East region too, so there’s a whole host of favourites in there. We wouldn’t like to be the judges choosing between the 18… (although OBVIOUSLY if we were the judges we know who would win. Nudge nudge, wink wink).

The awards, which are in their fifth year, aim to draw attention to the many highly driven and passionate local businesses across the country. They focus on independent, specialty retailers who sell regional fresh/farm produce or have a delicatessen counter. They particularly celebrate the highest levels of service, product knowledge, initiative, innovation and community involvement in the sector. Much as we’re actually just very modest Yorkshire-folk and it sits a bit uneasy with us to blow our own trumpet (despite our new trumpet-featuring logo), we’d like to think we’re okay at some of those!

So…members of the public are being asked to vote for their favourite retailers to help them get through to the next stage of the competition. Regional winners will be chosen, who will then progress through to a national competition to have the chance of being crowned ‘Farm Shop & Deli Awards Retailer of the Year’. This will be announced at the Farm Shop & Deli Show, Monday 16th April 2018 at Birmingham’s NEC.

I’m sure it goes without saying that we would love to win one of these awards! As a small business owner you put your heart and soul into it, and we really are passionate about what we do. It’s always a fantastic boost for the whole team to receive a nomination for an award, and we thank everyone of you who votes for us and puts us forward for things. It means more than you can know!

So if you have a spare couple of minutes, and you feel like doing so, you can vote for us at: http://www.farmshopanddelishow.co.uk/fsda18entrants. Choose the North East region or search for us by name. Voting closes on Tuesday 31st October 2017 and one lucky voter will be entered into a draw to win a “foodie hamper” (which sounds quite mysterious – wonder what it includes??)

Thank you all – and let’s keep everything crossed!



Trick or treat – frogs’ legs or sushi?

It’s that time of the year again – the time when kids across the world are sent out to beg for sweets and then come home on a sugar high that will see them through until Santa delivers the selection boxes.

What’s not to love about a bit of trick or treating – and of course parents can maybe get away with ‘sharing’ a few of their offspring’s sweet treats (there’s got to be some perks to spending hours with the face paints creating the world’s cutest werewolf.

And, of course, the shops (ourselves included) are jam-packed full of chocolate and lollipops and jelly sweets in the shape of pumpkins, spiders and bats!

But, according to some research we spotted, maybe we’re underestimating exactly what constitutes a treat for youngsters nowadays...?

Restaurant chain Giraffe undertook some research into children’s eating habits which revealed some surprising results. A third of parents said their children are culinary adventurous and half said ‘they will try most things’. They obviously didn’t question me or my offspring.

As a result, most British kids have tried curry, crayfish and olives by 5; mussels and quinoa by 6; and sushi by 7 – along with tacos, oysters, squid and Japanese katsu - all at a much younger age than their parents would ever have done. I still know plenty of grown-ups who wouldn’t try an oyster!

The survey found that around one in five kids had tried paella and tapas when holidaying in Spain. One in 20 had apparently given frogs’ legs a go. Just over a quarter were competent with chopsticks (something I’m still not consistently able to do!)

How much of this is down to pushy parents is a matter of debate – one in five parents said there was competition with friends over whose kids were most adventurous with food. And, of course, many - 40 per cent - said they loved posting pictures of the exotic food their children had tried on social media. How Instagram-able is a Happy Meal? And it’s fair to say exotic ideas for your child’s lunchbox abound on Pinterest.

So, this Halloween, maybe put away the Haribo and fun size chocolate bars, and start handing out the mini tubs of Hummus, and snack packs of edamame beans or sushi. Sounds like they’d go down a treat!


Sunday, 15 October 2017

Ramen – isn’t he one of the Egyptian Pharoes?

There was a news story came out this week about how many Brits don’t know their ramen from their enchilada, which made us laugh.

We’re not quite sure where these 1,500 people that Deliveroo polled have been, but apparently they think Wonton is Chelsea FC’s new signing, an enchilada is an animal found in South America, and a falafel is part of a jet engine (is anyone else hearing the Friends episode where Rachel empties an entire plane because Phoebe says there is something wrong with the left Phalange?) And, quite frankly, you don’t want to hear what people think ramen is.

We could understand a little more that the Vietnamese noodle soup Pho caused some confusion. One in seven thought it was an exotic type of fish, while one in 10 thought it was the name of a character from Game of Thrones. Well there are some odd names on the show – Hot Pie anyone? And we could kind of see where people were coming from with Frito Misto, the Venetian dish of lightly fried fish, with some declaring it was the Italian for “cold and foggy day.”

But surely everyone’s heard of Falafel? Nope, on top of the one in 33 who thought it was part of a jet engine, one in 25 said it was probably the name of a Russian poet. It’s not even from the right part of the world.

We actually laughed out loud at the fact one in ten people mistook the Thai hot and sour soup Tom Yum Goong for an up and coming snooker star from the Far East. Brilliant.

Despite those mistakes, a pretty high 86 per cent said they had international tastes when it comes to food, with the favourites being Chinese (58 per cent), Italian (56 per cent), Indian (50 per cent), American (35 per cent) and Mexican (34 per cent).

Apparently the average Brit spends £86 a month on take-aways. As much as we love the odd treat from one of the local takeaways, we also love to cook up a storm in the kitchen - as you’d guess really given our line of work! Whether it’s from scratch or from a jar, there’s some great ingredients out there to make a delicious international feast fit for a king (or Ramen, the Egyptian Pharo).

Of course, we’re passionate about great Yorkshire fayre, but we also appreciate the fantastic range of foods available from all over the world. We have a large variety of international foods from across the globe – Italy, India, Thailand, Malaysia, America, France, Spain, China, Africa - come and take a look at our Aladdin’s Cave second floor. You won’t find a genie in a lamp, but you may just find some edible treasures!



Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Rice or roast

This next week marks the start of two foodie ‘awareness weeks’ (not that we think either of these things need awareness – they’re pretty well known!)

Launching on 18th September, National Rice Week aims to highlight the nutritional benefits of rice, and ways to cook it. We have to say, rice can be an understated staple – you can get stuck doing the same old boiled rice as an accompaniment to bulk out a meal, rather than enjoying it in its own right. So maybe it’s a good thing to have a week celebrating rice and all the things you can do with it! Hot or cold, sweet or savoury – they’re all good…

How about using it to make some sushi? We have everything you need in store to create your own nigiri or maki rolls. Or why not try some sticky jasmine rice with a fresh thai green curry? Maybe it’s a good incentive to make your own instead of opting for a take away this weekend.

Risotto is always a winner – and we have the easiest, tastiest ready-to-go risottos going! Simply add water to the packs and simmer for 10-15 minutes for a quick, satisfying supper in no time! Choose from Mediterranean  vegetable and mushroom varieties.

As rice week comes to a close, British Roast Dinner Week kicks in on 24th (of course it would have to start on a Sunday!). Who doesn’t love a roast dinner, but it has to be said they’re a lot of hard work. If you’re going to go to all that effort, you want to make sure it’s the best of the best. You can’t have roast beef without horseradish or mustard – we think XXX is perfect for the job. Roast lamb? Got to have some mint sauce. Tracklements do a lovely fresh mint jelly, or Cartwright and Butler do a perfectly balanced traditional mint sauce. Just the thought makes your mouth water! Roast pork – bring on the apple sauce. We love Stokes brand brambly apple. And then we come to chicken or turkey. Of course, cranberry sauce is a well-established favourite, and we do a great variety. But we also do a
delicious, Hunters’ brand peach chutney which tastes amazing with poultry. Maybe not so much with gravy, but perfect for using up those leftovers with some delicious fresh bread and butter or a salad.

If whipping up a roast dinner is going to take more time than you have, why not pop in for one of our famous deep-filled roast beef sandwiches? We perfectly roast the beef on site, so it’s still slightly pink – the smell is enough to get your stomach rumbling! Served with your choice of accompaniments, choosing one of our best-sellers will definitely never leave you feeling hungry. In fact, you wouldn’t be alone if you could only manage half and had to share the rest with a lucky friend (or save it for later if you’re not feeling that generous).

So, whatever this week inspires you to eat, pop in to Hunters and let us help you make an ordinary meal extraordinary!

These are a few of our (least) favourite things…

The world would be a boring place if we all liked the same things…. But, it has to be said, that when it comes to foods, many people seem to dislike the same things!
When we looked at some research done by BBC Good Food, the list of the top 10 most hated foods has several items which won’t be a surprise to anyone – including brussels sprouts, liver, marmite, tripe, celery and mushrooms. (Although, I personally love several of those, and those I don’t, other people in the Hunters team do – so they’re of course, by no means universally loathed!)
But there are some quite surprising entries on to the ‘food hell’ list. We’re looking at you curry, pasta and fish. And we’re not the only ones with eyebrows raised given they all also made it on to the top 10 food heaven list as well! But, of course, that just goes to show – what is one man’s cup of tea is another man’s venti, no foam, mocha, caramel macchiato (so to speak. Unless you love both of those, in which case that analogy doesn’t work very well).
If you look further back in time, other surveys point to the now hugely popular avocado as being high on the dislike list (you’d struggle to find many cafes and restaurants which don’t include it on their menu somewhere nowadays), along with olives and black pudding – all of which are foods of the gods, surely?
Sometimes I wonder if it’s a case of not having tried the food (let’s be honest, it’s easy to see why you might not want to tuck into a snail or a cockle at first glance) – or having bad childhood memories which have put you off for life. Maybe it’s worth a second try? We have some fantastic olives in store which are truly delicious – why not try our green olives stuffed with sun dried tomato, always a favourite on the deli.
It seems odd that pasta and curry would be on the food hell list – after all, there’s so many varieties of each. If you don’t like the spice of a Vindaloo, there’s so many milder versions available. And with curries from India, Malaysia, Thailand, Africa and Indonesia – to name but a few – to choose from, surely one would tickle your taste buds?
And it’s the same with pasta – on its own it can be a bit bland admittedly – although we do stock some wonderfully authentic Italian brands which are great just with a splash of oil and a generous grating of parmesan. But we also have dozens of delicious sauces to choose from – how about rich roast vegetable or red pepper, garlic and green birds eye chilli – a quick, easy and tasty supper. Fantastic flavours and none of the hassle!
So, if you have an item you’ve always just assumed you disliked (I was in my 30s before I could appreciate a good olive – now I can’t get enough of them!), maybe it’s worth another try? Come and have a chat and we’ll find you a version of your nemesis you might just be able to get on with!


Friday, 25 August 2017

These are a few of our favourite things (about Helmsley)

Helmsley is a fantastic place to spend a bank holiday – whether you’re planning a whole weekend here or just the day. After all, how many times do you get to visit somewhere that was named the Best Market Town in the whole country? AND which is home to the best small shop in the country (that would be us! Officially – we didn’t just claim the title for ourselves, we went to the House of Commons to be awarded it and everything!)

No matter what your interests are, there’s so much to do in and around town. If you love the great outdoors there’s the whole of the North York Moors National Park to explore on foot or on bike. Work up an appetite and then head back to town to visit one of the fantastic coffee shops, tea rooms, pubs or restaurants. We’re spoilt for choice in Helmsley (believe me, we know – it’s hard to live or work in town and not put on weight with all the delicious things on offer!). We even have our very own brewery, where you can sit and enjoy a pint and chew the fat with owner Kyle. (as in, have a good chat – it’s not some bizarre Helmsley snack…)

If it’s a sunny day, you should head to Helmsley’s Open Air Pool. We’re very lucky to have what is one of only 100 remaining public lidos in the UK, here in town, and it’s very popular with locals and visitors alike. Even if the weather isn’t great, it’s heated so it’s still worth a visit in the summer months when it’s open. There’s something quite nice about an open air swim in the rain! The Feversham Arms Hotel also has a beautiful open air pool, which is open to residents and spa users.

Helmsley Castle is a history lover’s dream. You can follow how it evolved over nine centuries, from Medieval fortress and luxurious Tudor mansion to a Civil War stronghold and Victorian ruin. There’s plenty for youngsters to discover too – and lots of space to explore! Nearby we also have the spectacular and atmospheric Rievaulx Abbey and Rievaulx Terrace, one of Yorkshire’s finest 18th-century landscape gardens.

If you’ve got green fingers – and even if you haven’t – the Helmsley Walled Garden is very special. Five tranquil acres, set in the shadow of Helmsley Castle, all lovingly tended by the dedicated team of gardeners and volunteers. It dates back more than 250 years but was brought back to life following years of neglect. There’s also a fantastic cafĂ© on site, where you can sit and admire the view while enjoying some freshly made Yorkshire goodies.

No visit to Helmsley would be complete without heading to the wonderful, multi-award winning National Centre for Birds of Prey in Duncombe Park. See rare and endangered species and watch daily flying displays with everything from owls to eagles taking to the sky.

And of course, one of the best things about Helmsley is the wonderful independent shopping! There’s so many shops in town that are one-offs, offering products and service you just won’t find elsewhere. From boutiques and bakeries to gift shops and homewares, there’s something for everyone. It’s a great place to come present shopping as it’s full of inspiration and new ideas. Of course, we may be biased, but we can recommend a great deli which is jam-packed (excuse the pun) with goodies – whether for you or some other lucky soul!
For more information and ideas about what to do in Helmsley go to www.visithelmsley.co.uk. Hope to see you this weekend!


Thursday, 17 August 2017

Is the dinner party dead? Or just having a post-food nap….

We spotted some research back in July which caught our eye. Apparently, the dinner party is ‘dead’ and will soon be consigned to the history books…

The survey, conducted by Anglian Home Improvements, showed that more than eight out of 10 of us think informal kitchen suppers have replaced the dinner parties of old.

There are even rules for modern day entertaining – apparently serving anything on a stick is not acceptable, and you should never discuss TV, work or children (what’s wrong with a bit of Game of Thrones chat over a pineapple and cheese hedgehog?)

Some of the advice we could get on board with though – for example, not texting at the table, complementing the chef, serving olives from the local deli rather than a jar (we do offer a great range!) and making sure what you serve is seasonal.

Apparently we host an average of 36 supper and lunch parties at home every year – splashing out an impressive £3K on food and drink for our pals, according to the poll. Saturday night is the nation’s favourite time to entertain, followed by Friday night.

We’re inclined to agree that entertaining is just as likely to be an informal kitchen table catch up as a more formal three course meal (although we certainly don’t think those have gone the way of the dodo just yet). Ultimately, like with all choices related to food and drink, it depends what you enjoy. If you enjoy cooking chicken breast in parma ham (another no-no according to the survey for some reason), and your guests enjoy eating it then go for it.

It certainly seems that Saturday is the day for entertaining and come the weekend we’ll often have people pop in for inspiration on what food to serve. Always popular is a selection of antipasta and nibbles, and platters bursting with roasted vegetables, cheese, meats and pates served with fresh bread, crispbreads and crackers and a selection of pickles and chutneys on the side. Delicious!

We’d highly recommend some of our traditional Macedonian Meze from Pelegonia to make some mouthwatering bruschetta – the Aivar is a sweet red pepper variety combined with aubergine, which goes with pretty much everything. A perfect starter or something to nibble.

So, is the dinner party dead? We think not. But whatever your idea of an ideal meal to share with family and friends, we’re sure we can help with some fresh thinking. Although we will always love a prawn cocktail…






Monday, 14 August 2017

A spot of afternoon tea

14th August marks the start of Afternoon Tea Week – definitely a week we can get behind!

The tradition dates back to the 1840s when the Seventh Duchess of Bedford found herself a bit peckish in the long gap in between lunch and dinner at 8pm. And so Afternoon Tea was born. I wonder if she knew the legacy she was creating? (her and the Earl of Sandwich should be very proud!)

Everyone loves afternoon tea. Whether it’s the full on sandwich fingers and 17 different types of cake or it’s ‘just’ a well made cuppa with a scone smothered in jam and then cream (that way round please, it’s the only way), it’s all good.

It needs to start with the perfect cup of tea of course. We’re partial to a bit of Yorkshire Tea, unsurprisingly, and we also love Taylors of Harrogate, Pukka and Twinings. We even sell loose leaf tea so you can brew a proper pot. And we’ve a tea for every mood – whether you like an Earl Grey or a Wild Apple and Cinnamon, we should have something to hit the spot.

For an extra special cup of tea, the Flora range takes some beating. If you’ve never tried a flowering tea, you’ve no idea what you’re missing! When placed in boiling water, not only does it create a subtle green tea of your choosing, but a hidden flower uncurls in the cup. It’s very beautiful, and one cup of tea which should really be enjoyed in a wine glass, not china!

Of course, the clue to afternoon tea is in the name – tea – but if you’re more a fan of coffee we won’t tell. You can buy loose beans from us by weight, and we’ll even grind them for you. The Brazilian Sweet River is a popular choice. Taylors of Harrogate have some great ready to grab bags for your cafetiere from the relaxed Lazy Sunday to the strong and smoky After Dark. Grumpy Mule offer some award-winning blends, including organic and Fairtrade.

Cakes is something we have plenty of at Hunters, have no fear. We have some great fruit cakes from the Harrogate Cake Co (every afternoon tea stand needs a slice of tea loaf), and we’d highly recommend the new range we have in from famous Cotswolds’ bakery Huffkins. Apricot and Almond Fruitcake anyone? Or how about Chocolate and Orange or Pecan and Cherry?

We have our own range of biscuits, and we don’t like to boast, but they’re pretty amazing. Rhubarb and custard shortbread, chocolate crumbles, lemon and white chocolate shortbread, apple and cinnamon oaties – whether you’re a dunker or a cruncher, they’re definitely more than moreish. We also stock the delicate Swedish favourites Annas Thins – cappuccino, orange and almond varieties. They’re great on their own, but you can also pair them with cheese or fruit.

An afternoon tea should really include a good quality scone – and the best quality preserves and cream. How about Blackberry and Elderflower Jam, Apricot, or even a spot of Tutti Frutti? Or if a traditional strawberry or raspberry jam is what you need to call it a cream tea, we have plenty of those too. You could go crazy and try it with our Three Fruit Marmalade or even *whispers* a lemon curd. But we don’t want to upset the status quo. (as in the norm – we don’t think Francis Rossi cares much what you have on your scone).

So go on….treat yourself. You only live once and if you can’t enjoy Afternoon Tea Week, well, what’s the world coming to?!



Monday, 7 August 2017

Far Eastern Flavours

Far Eastern foods have seen a surge in popularity over the last decade – and it seems to be showing no sign of slowing down.

We spend over £500million a year on buying noodles and rice to cook at home. And from Yo Sushi to Wagamama, Japanese restaurants are now a frequent sight on most city high streets, while nearly every town can offer up a tempting array of Chinese and Thai food.

But what about if you fancy cooking up a Pan Asian feast at home? Don’t worry – Hunters is here to help! Much as we very obviously adore our local Yorkshire produce, we do also love to experiment with flavours from around the world, and if you head upstairs in our Helmsley shop, you’ll find shelves dedicated to the very best products from around the globe.

If it’s Thai that tickles your fancy, we have some great curry pastes from Thai Taste. As well as Red and Green Curry, why not try Yellow Curry or Tom Yum Paste – you can create the famous soup, or use it as a delicious marinade. if you’re making everything from scratch, stock up on Shrimp and Tamarind Paste, Sriracha Sauce and palm sugar to create your own masterpieces. Don’t forget the sticky rice or rice noodles!

If you’re turning Japanese, as the 80s song declared, we stock everything from Rice Mirin and Miso to Wasabi and Umeboshi paste. (We also sell a wonderful Wasabi Mayonnaise, which is great if you like a kick you can add to your everyday meals!). Why not try some of Clearspring’s organic tofu and soba noodles? Panko breadcrumbs from Blue Dragon are perfect if you fancy making a chicken Katsu. We also sell tempura mix, to create the light and crispy batter famous in Asian cuisine.

Create Chinese dishes that knock the local takeaway out of the water with our shelves offering everything from fish and oyster sauce to hoisin. And not forgetting a few prawn crackers to nibble along the way!

If you fancy eating Malaysian tonight, we sell Nasi Goreng Paste, to help you capture the flavours of the much-loved fried rice dish, Kicap Manis and Laksa or Rendang Curry paste from the wonderful Malay Taste range.

Those with food intolerances needn’t miss out. We stock gluten free soy sauce to help those with allergies enjoy Far Eastern flavours. The Great Taste award-winning Natural World Coconut Cream takes some beating when it comes to creating creamy curries, in our opinion – and is great for those who follow a dairy free diet.

Whatever you feel like cooking up, we’re happy to help (that is, explain what products you might want to try – we’re not coming to your house to chop up veg or anything…).


Think of the money you’ll save on takeaways!

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Head to Hunters for a n-ice (cream) pint



They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder – or should that be beerholder… And we’ve got a beauty of an offering for customers this summer!

In honour of International Beer Day on 4th August, we’ve got an exciting new product launching. Beer and ice cream may not sound the most likely of combinations – but that’s what we’ve done!

Visitors to our famous ice cream window on Helmsley’s Market Place can choose from an alcoholic or non-alcoholic Ginger Beer Float, available from 4th August until further notice.

Just the other week, we were all reminiscing in store about the Coke Floats we used to enjoy as a child – so it seemed like a great idea to combine the two!

We like to be thorough, and so we’ve done a few taste tests to find the best balance (hic…) and we think we’ve come up with the perfect mix. It’s all down to incorporating the very best ingredients. We’re using Crabbies alcoholic or Fentimen’s non-alcoholic ginger beer, served in a takeaway glass, topped with either rich and creamy vanilla or tangy ginger ice cream, both from local firm Brymors. The cost is £3.95 for an alcoholic version and £3.50 for the soft drink variety.

All variations of combinations are utterly delicious, and very refreshing on a warm day. We think even those who wouldn’t normally bat an eyelid at a beer celebration will be pleasantly surprised, and it’s something a little bit different for the beer traditionalists. (We know some may say Ginger Beer isn’t technically a ‘beer’ but the name has got to count for something….and regardless, the taste is fantastic!)

Ale in a day’s work.

Wish you were beer?

(sorry, we’ll stop now….)

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Great Yorkshire Food (and not a Yorkshire Pudding in sight)

It’s one of our favourite days of the year – Yorkshire Day!

Of course we love the day which celebrates all things Yorkshire, being a Yorkshire brand through and through, as well as having Yorkshire owners born and bred.

We are very lucky to have some of the best food and drink in the world produced right on our very doorstep. When we say we could fill our shelves 10 times over with more wonderful Yorkshire produce, we’re not exaggerating! It’s one of the reasons we like to keep refreshing our stock with new ideas (but don’t worry, we try not to get rid of any old favourites either!). Yorkshire food isn’t all about the Yorkshire Pudding (although don’t get us wrong – we love them too!)

With at least 70 per cent of what we sell coming from Yorkshire, you don’t need to look too far to find some Yorkshire goodies to enjoy this August 1st.

You can start with a morning cuppa from Yorkshire Tea (of course!) or if you’re a coffee drinker, Taylors of Harrogate offer a perfect brew.

Grab some Yockenthwaite Real Nutty Granola, made up in the Dales, or some locally reared bacon or free range eggs to enjoy with fresh bread made by the Derventio Bakery in Malton. We even have locally made butter and of course Hunters own range of delicious thick cut marmalades and fruit preserves.

If you’re feeling peckish by lunchtime why not grab one of our famous deep-filled sandwiches? Our roast beef and horseradish is the best seller, and we roast our own beef and ham on the premises. The smell is divine! Grab a packet of Yorkshire Crisps and one of our delicious, fruity Chubby Hunters and you’re set!

If you’ve room for a little afternoon snack, why not try one of the Harrogate Cake Co’s delicious bakes? The Pink Himalayan Salted Caramel is to die for, or you can’t beat tea loaf. Or we’ve plenty of proper Yorkshire Parkin to tuck in to!

If there’s time for a pre-dinner tincture, how about a G&T with one of the locally produced Masons or SLOEmotion flavoured gins? Or maybe a beer from the Yorkshire Heart brewery or Helmsley Brewing Co? Or if wine is more your thing, we have a great range from the award-winning Ryedale Vineyards. A glass of Yorkshire Lass anyone?

Dinner time comes and the world’s your oyster! Or maybe Yorkshire’s your shellfish is more accurate for this particular post. We’ve meats and sauces and oils and accompaniments from around the region to allow you to cook up a storm – whether it’s a light and healthy salad, or a curry with a kick.
For dessert, there’s always the deliciously creamy Brymor ice cream, or why not stock up on some cheese, biscuits and chutneys? Our range of Yorkshire cheeses includes the very best of Wensleydale and Swaledale and all kinds of other dales.  

Evening comes and surely there’s space for a little treat – why not try our own range of delicious chocolates – a Milk Chocolate Maple and Pecan Leaf perhaps or a Dark Chocolate Violet Cream?

And if you can manage all that….don’t worry, we’ve barely scratched the surface - there’s plenty more to tuck into tomorrow!

Happy Yorkshire Day!

Monday, 3 July 2017

The rise of the vegan

You don’t have to look that far back to find a time when vegetarians were considered ‘unusual’ and vegans were a very rare find indeed.

But in the last 10 years, the number of vegans – who eschew all animal products, including meat, dairy, eggs and honey – has risen by almost 250 per cent to 500,000 people.

And it seems like vegans are often in the news. Famous bloggers are covering the internet with recipes tasty enough to tempt even a passionate meat eater. Forest Green Rovers has become the first league football club where the sale of all animal products is banned. No meat pies for fans there!

Celebrities are happy to vocalise why they’ve gone vegan – and it’s not just Gwyneth Paltrow, but people like Brad Pitt, Alicia Silverstone, Woody Harrelson, Liam Hemsworth, J-Lo, Tobey MacGuire, Pamela Anderson, Alec Baldwin, Ariana Grande, Miley Cyrus and Michelle Pfeiffer.

There’s even plenty of vegan sportspeople to look to for inspiration – especially for those worrying the change may leave them lacking in energy or protein. They include Venus and Serena Williams, Novak Djokovic, Jermain Defoe, Phil Neville, and looking back a few years the medal and grand slam winning Carl Lewis and Martina Navratilova enjoyed meat-free diets as they competed.

Young people seem to be driving the trend in particular, with 40 per cent of vegans aged 15-34.

The reasons for going vegan vary – animal welfare, environmental concerns, wanting to lose weight or improve health, cost-cutting and just a plain dislike of the taste of animal products are all common reasons.

But, in reality, for some people the choice doesn’t have to be cut and dry. Some try to eat vegan during the week, and are a bit more relaxed on weekends. Others are vegan, except for the occasional egg provided by a friendly free-roaming chicken in a neighbour’s garden. Maybe you’d love to be a vegan, but you just can’t give up cheese – well then don’t. There are no hard and fast rules, and people should be able to eat the way that suits them without feeling guilty. In fact, the term flexitarian was thought up for people who are largely vegetarian but occasionally enjoy a bit of meat.

If you are vegan, or you fancy trying out some vegan products, we have plenty in store at Hunters of Helmsley. Create a fresh and tasty salad from our deli bar, or why not grab a carton of Yorkshire Provender soup? We also sell coconut and almond milk – we’ve tried them all and we think the best are the Rude Health range. Upstairs we have crispbreads and crackers, pastas and rices, pulses and grains galore, along with chutneys, oils, vinegars, spices, herbs, sauces, preserves – everything you need to zing up a lunch or add a splash of flavour to dinner. We have jars of antipasti and pickled veggie delights and products from around the world to try.

We even have a dedicated dairy-free section, which is full of snacks and treats – so there’s no need to miss out on a biscuit, cake or sweets if the mood takes you.


So, vegan, vegetarian, meat-eater, pescatarian, flexitarian – whatever best describes you, you’re sure of a warm welcome at Hunters. And we’ll always find you something to make sure you leave our door excited to get home and eat!

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Foodie fibs

There was a recent bit of research out which revealed that millions of us Brits like to tell a little white lie now and then to appear more cultured than we really are.

According to the survey, which was carried out by MSC Cruises, these little porky pies included what books people have read, films they’ve watched and even where they’ve travelled, with one in five claiming to have been somewhere they haven’t. You better hope the person you’re speaking to on that occasion hasn’t really been there then!

But apparently quite a few of us are also fibbing about what foods we like to eat. Almost a third of Brits are making out they enjoy things they secretly hate, to make themselves seem like a foodie.

When we looked at the top 20 list of things they pretend to like, it turns out we actually do like pretty much all of it! (OK – personally, I’m not a big fan of oysters and sweetbreads aren’t my thing, but rare steak, smelly cheese and dark chocolate – delicious!)

So, the top 20 are:
1. Sushi
2. Dark chocolate
3. Rare steak
4. Quinoa
5. Oysters
6. Craft ales
7. Smelly cheese
8. Hot chillies
9. Avocado
10. Granola
11. Raw Vegetables
12. Sweetbreads
13. Kale
14. Korean food
15. Kimchi
16. Sashimi
17. Courgetti
18. Rye Bread
19. Bowl food (Congee)
20. Aged meat 

But maybe it’s because people aren’t trying the good stuff. Properly done sushi, a delicious Granola like the ones we stock from Yockenthwaite, a good quality Kimchi (Biona's)– we’re pretty sure we could change most people’s minds.

We reckon it’s possibly that people haven’t even tried some of these, but they’re wanting to appear up on current trends. Of course, it’s each to their own, and if you don’t like smelly cheese, a big slice of Stinking Bishop is probably never going to appeal. But why not go outside your comfort zone and try something new today? We’ve got lots of ideas and inspiration waiting for you….and we’re always happy to recommend our own favourites!


And next time someone tells you they’ve read War & Peace, watched Romeo and Juliet and visited New Zealand (which apparently are the top fibs told) maybe just have a question or two ready to see if they’re being entirely honest!  

Some like it hot

But just how hot is too hot? We think we have the answer…

The ‘world’s hottest chilli’ was unveiled at this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Called The Dragon’s Breath chilli, it comes in at 2.4 million Scovilles (SCU), which is the measurement used to classify a heat of a spicy variety. As a comparison, that’s 200,000 SCU hotter than the current record holder, and if you are a fan of say, a Jalapeno, that would be around 2,500-8,000 SCU. So, if you imagine multiplying that ‘heat’ by about 400 and you’ve got an idea what it would be like!

Something tells me not many people will be rushing to try Dragon’s Breath as a raw snack, although I’m sure some true chilli lovers will be able to find a good use for it in their kitchens!

Here at Hunters we do like a bit of spice – and we have something for everyone, whether they’re nervous of trying anything too fiery or whether it’s a case of the hotter the better!

One brand we love is Rafi’s Spicebox. Rafi, who was originally from Hyderbad in India, had a talent for combining Indian and Malaysian flavours, which she passed on to her sons, who run the business today. The brand’s handmade curry mixes make for an absolutely delicious dinner idea, and beat a takeaway a million times over. The main meal packs, which include everything from a Balti and a Biriyani to a Goan Green or Malay Rendang Curry, feed 4-6. They include all the spices you need, ready blended, and you just need to add the relevant ingredients. Meaning you can tailor it to your own likes and dislikes!

The brand also offers side dishes such as Bhajee, Saag Aloo, Palak Paneer and Chana Masala. Everything you need to cook up a perfectly flavoured feast in your very own kitchen – and with the minimum effort! That’s our kinda meal…

Another brand we love is Granny’s secret. It’s well worth watching the video of their story on their website! They do lots of jams and juices but we love the Ajvar products best of all. The Avjar Hot, in particular, is a beautifully tasty product that goes with practically everything in our opinion! It’s a roasted pepper spread and it’s 100% natural, suitable for vegans and those following a dairy or gluten free diet. Every jar contains 11 roasted peppers, as well as seasoning, oil and vinegar – and, in the case of the hot variety, a bit of chilli. For those who like things a bit milder, there’s a plain version, one with tomato and spices and a green variety. “Sunshine in a jar” they say – and we agree!


So….as a famous girlband once said….maybe it’s time to spice up your life?!

Monday, 12 June 2017

The best job in the world

Last week we spotted an advert for a job which sounded too good to be true.

The Harris Distillery job description read: “Gin-Lover’s Dream Job: The Isle of Harris is Seeking an Ambassador to represent the spirit of a beautiful, remote Outer Hebridean island just voted Happiest Place in the UK. Best new job if you KNOW London and LOVE Gin. Get paid to spend time in bars and restaurants, be a Special Envoy traveling to the Isle of Harris.”

Well as job descriptions go, it’s a pretty good one! It reminded us of those jobs you sometimes see where you can become caretaker of a beautiful, remote tropical island, or to be an official chocolate taster. Jobs that sound too good to be true (and which they certainly don’t encourage you to focus on at school career’s days).

But then it got us thinking about our own jobs here at Hunters of Helmsley.
To be honest, I think we’re very lucky.

Firstly, we work in the beautiful town of Helmsley. It’s picture postcard pretty, with its babbling brook, imposing castle, beautiful architecture and surrounded by the breathtaking countryside of the North York Moors National Park. Every day we thank our lucky stars we’re based here. And not only that, but we get to work in one of the loveliest, Grade 2 listed, historic buildings slap bang in the town centre.

Secondly, we get to work in a business community which is really something very special. We helped instigate the setting up of Helmsley in Business almost five years ago, and now it has 60 members, a great website for the town (www.visithelmsley.co.uk ), and we even won the Best Market Town accolade at the Great British High Street Awards! But more than that, we have a great community, willing to support and look out for each other, working together for the good of the town. Put that together with the many fantastic local residents who support our local businesses, and again you could say we’re fairly lucky!

Thirdly, at Hunters we’re a pretty nice bunch. Even if we do say so ourselves! We have a good giggle at work, and a great team spirit. Who could ask for more than that?

But there is a final point. There’s all of the above – but also, we get to work with the very best food and drink in the region…country…in fact the world in some cases! And that is our true passion. We love bringing new taste sensations to our customers and encouraging them to try something new alongside the old favourites, which they know they’ll find on our shelves. We also get to scour trade shows and markets and keep our ear to the ground to find the newest and most interesting products and developments. Of course, we have to sample everything we sell, to make sure it’s only the very best we’re offering. It’s a hard job but someone’s got to do it!

So, lovely as that job advert sounds, we think we’ll stick where we are.


If you’re looking for a new challenge, have retail experience and you’re passionate about food and drink, we’re always keen to hear from people who might like to become part of our team! Drop us a line at contact@huntersofhelmsley.com


Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Getting the taste for something new

We’re always getting new products in store – it’s one of things we love to do, and it makes shopping much more interesting for our regular customers!

One of the perks of our jobs is visiting trade events, suppliers and producers, and finding out what new trends are coming, what new products are in development and what’s the thing that no one has yet heard of, but everyone will be after in a couple of months’ time.

But we’re not always that good at shouting about what’s new – and so we thought it was time to talk about recent additions to our shelves, fridges and freezers, and giving a heads up on what’s selling like the proverbial hot cakes.

If you’re a carnivore at heart, we get some great pork products from nearby Hovingham, including black pudding, gammon, pork slices, bacon, coppa and bresaola. Another great meat product is our frozen pates from Albion Artisan Foods. Great to keep in the freezer, ready for when guests come round, or you’re after a light and easy supper or lunch. All of them have a little twist - my personal favourite is the Chicken Liver Pate with Coronation Chicken.

With the weather taking a turn for the better recently, there’ll no doubt be more than a few barbies going on. Once you’ve finished the main course, how about treating yourselves to a barbecue marshmallow set from Mellow Mallow, or a Hamlet barbecue fondue, with deliciously indulgent Belgian chocolate? Makes the mouth water just thinking about it! We also do some delicious vegan marshmallows, and a range of dairy free chocolate, so no one needs to miss out.

Another sweet treat is the Choc Affair chocolate bars – with something for every taste. How about Mango White Chocolate or Blackcurrant and Liquorice Milk Chocolate for something different?

The plainest of meals can be zinged up with the right accompaniment. Some of our current favourites are of the pickled variety. Wild at Heart does a great range of Pickled Samphire, Kimchi and Sauerkraut. Healthy and delicious! If you fancy something with a creamy edge, how about Seaweed and Wild Garlic Mayonnaise?

Pelegonia is an award-winning Macedonian food range, and we love it. There’s antipasta such as grilled aubergines and zucchini, and traditional meze including Aivar, Luteniza and Malidzano, which are great on bruschetta.

If you’re in a rush, our range of ready to eat Freekeh and Quinoa make the great basis for an easy dinner. Healthy grains, which taste fantastic and are simple to serve – the perfect combination!

Of course, a great cook needs the very best equipment – and to make sure their food is shown off at its best! The stunning Stuart Clarkson range of oak accessories are flying off our shelves. Including everything from chopping boards and candle holders to coasters, there’s something very elegant and tactile about their simple design made in the very best wood.

If you’re looking for something to wash all that down with, how about SLOEmotion’s new Hedgerow Gin, full of infusions from around the farm. Not only does it taste delicious, but it comes in a very attractive bottle too.

Hopefully that’s given you some food for thought – we’d love to see you soon to show you more!




Friday, 26 May 2017

The Great British Sandwich-Off

Here at Hunters we’re not afraid to ask the big questions. And one which has been on our mind lately is…. can a sandwich predict the outcome of the General Election?

Well we’re about to find out!

With recent polls failing to predict everything from Brexit to the future president of the United States (who would have guessed how that would pan out?), we decided to conduct our own research into the upcoming general election.

So, next time you pop in for a bite to eat for lunch, you’ve got a serious choice ahead of you. We’ve introduced a range of sandwiches, with one representing each of the main political parties:

·        ConservativesThe Blue Bloomer, jam-packed with rare topside of beef, Harrogate Blue Cheese and Sloemotion Blackberry Ketchup
·        Labour The Red Roll -  a tangy mix of Wensleydale with Cranberries, sweet chilli jam and juicy tomatoes.
·        Liberal Democrats The Democratic Doorstop – a mouthwatering mix of pastrami, sauerkraut, mustard and Gruyere
·        Green Party – The Green Gourmet -  a fresh and filling combination of Villa Verde Gouda with Pesto, salad and green olives
·        UKIP – Pain au Purple – deep-filled with Smoked Applewood cheese, roasted ham and sliced pickled beetroot

As with all of our sandwiches, they are freshly made to order in store on a choice of white or wholemeal bread bun – and as always, about as deeply filled as you can get! (Sharing is a common scenario with our sandwiches, so it’s to be hoped your lunch buddy has the same political tastes as you). Prices range from £3.50 to £4.50.

We can easily sell several hundred sandwiches in a week, so it should give us a good idea of the region’s leanings.

Most exit polls seem to have gotten it quite wrong recently, and it’s getting trickier for anyone to predict how voting on any subject will go. So, we hope you’ll join in with our bit of fun to see which political party is leading the hearts, minds (and stomachs) of the public before the big day!


Tuesday, 2 May 2017

A comforting cuppa – the great British institution

Recently you may have noticed it was National Tea Day. We LOVE a good cuppa at Hunters…but then don’t most of us Brits? There’s something so comforting about a well-made cup of tea in a nice mug or china cup or even a takeaway cup or a travel mug. However it comes, it’s a national treasure.

We love it so much over 200 million cups of the stuff are drunk every single day by us as a nation. (although I probably have about five cups a day, so I contribute more than my fair share towards that figure – apparently that puts me in the top 25 per cent of tea drinkers.)

But there’s two things that that help contribute to a cup of tea being a really enjoyable brew, instead of just a mediocre one. First is the tea used. Loose leaf or tea bags, it’s got to be good quality. We love Twinings, Yorkshire Tea and Taylors of Harrogate. (we also have lots of herbal and fruit teas if that’s your preference – Pukka do some fantastic ones to help refresh and energise or relax and unwind.)

The second component of a great cup of tea is that it’s the right strength for you. Last week saw some research from Premier Inn that revealed the perfect strength of tea. You can see here for the colour chart that reveals that perfect shade of brown.

But surely everyone has their own personal favourite shade? And although the colour chart offers six options (from nearly black to bordering on never seen a teabag in its life), the beauty of tea is there’s a million different ways of taking it. And everyone has their own personal favourite in terms of strength, milk, sweetness and a biscuit to dunk (got to be a oatie biscuit in my opinion). There’s no right and wrong, it’s just not your cup of tea. Literally and figuratively speaking.

It’s quite funny that, despite the fact that we’re Brits so we don’t like to complain, we will happily tell someone their tea-making skills are terrible. Making a good cuppa is like a badge of honour – and arguments are taking place in offices and homes across the country right now on whose turn it is to put on the kettle.


It’s yours by the way – mine’s Taylors of Harrogate Yorkshire Gold with a splash of semi skimmed and no sugar. Thanks!

Friday, 21 April 2017

Celebrate St George’s Day with some great British Food

April 23rd is St George’s Day – a day which is quite often overlooked in our own country (which some might see as slightly odd given the emphasis given to supporting things like National Chocolate Week and National Beer Day - although they both sound pretty good to us too!)

The national celebration of the day dates back to 1415, although it was 1222 when the Council of Oxford first declared the date St George’s Day. St George was persecuted, tortured and killed by the Roman empire for his Christian beliefs, and his death was said to have occurred on 23rd April 303AD. Given this happened in Turkey, quite how his bravery led to him being named patron saint of England is a matter of some debate, but we’re not alone. He is also the Patron Saint of lots of other places, including Barcelona in Catalonia, Russia, Bavaria, Portugal, Lithuania and Hungary.

The legend of St George and the dragon dates back to medieval times. The story is that a dragon was awoken from its sleep and to placate him, the people of the local town offered sheep – and when they ran out, they started offering maidens. Lots were drawn to decide who would be sacrificed and the King’s daughter was chosen. But just as she was about to be given to the dragon, St George came along on his white horse and slayed the dragon to save the princess. Brave indeed!

So how should we celebrate St George’s day? Traditionally people wore a red rose in their lapel, flew the flag and sang Jerusalem.

But what better way to celebrate, we say, then tucking into some traditionally English food and drink?

How about starting the day with a great English fry up? Local bacon and sausages, enjoyed with free range eggs from a local farm, and a loaf of freshly baked bread, made for us by the Devento Bakery in Malton….sound good?

That’s bound to fill you up for a while, but maybe by mid-afternoon you’d be ready for a spot of afternoon tea. Come peruse our range of fine teas – English Breakfast or herbal, tea bags or loose leaf – we can cater to every taste for this great British institution! From Taylors of Harrogate to Twinings, at Hunters we know (and love) our cuppas. (Don’t worry – we do also have some excellent coffees if that’s more to your taste.)


Of course, you’ll need a biscuit, cake, or maybe a scone to go with your afternoon tea. For biscuits, our own range, produced near York, take some beating (even if we do say so ourselves). Try Salted Caramel Shortbread, Lemon Cookies, Apple & Cinnamon Oaties or the ever so moreish Rhubarb and Custard Shortbread – how very British! And if you’ve worked up an even bigger appetite, how about one of our famous deep-filled English roast beef and horseradish sandwiches to start you off?

For dinner, why not enjoy a cheeseboard of English cheeses, paired with some Hunters Hot & Spicy Chutney or Carrot Relish on sourdough crispbread or seeded oatcakes? There’s Whitby Cheese Co.’s Whitby Jet with Chilli, Yorkshire Blue from Shepherd’s Purse, charcoal cheese and lots of goodies from the Wensleydale Creamery.

You’ll want something to drink with your cheese of course, and we do an excellent range of English wines, beers and ales. We’d highly recommend Riding the Striding from the Helmsley Brewing Co, or a bottle of Yorkshire’s Sunset from the Ryedale Vineyard. If cider is more your thing, why not try something from Ampleforth Abbey, or for spirits, SLOEmotion’s Sloe Gin is a winner with everyone.

And to finish off, why not enjoy some locally made ice cream from the guys at Brymor? We even have a diabetic range for those who need or want to watch their sugar intake.

However you choose to spend St George’s Day, we hope it’s a good one – and full of only the very best food and drink!