Category Archives: Food

Mushrooms: A Seasonal Delight

‘Tis the season for richer game-flavoured dishes thanks to in-season game meats and woodland crops. Our forests are generous with a wealth of delights for us to choose from and we explore the seasonal delight of mushrooms.

There are hundreds of common mushroom varieties such as button and brown mushroom buts some of the tastiest include field mushrooms, morels, oyster mushrooms and blewits. Field mushrooms are delicious with sautéed butter and herbs and are found in summer and autumn in rich open manured grasslands grazed by horses or cows. Morels are best cooked with a touch of cream and chopped chives – they have a light honeycomb pattern and a delicate scent. Oyster mushrooms are found in later autumn and have a very mild flavour – they are delicious fricasseed or sautéed with garlic or finished with cream on a steak.

Mushrooms are so versatile and go well with many other ingredients such as shellfish, poultry and meat. Wild game (also in season) with wild mushrooms is an especially good match – they are made for each other. Mushrooms are also a great option for vegetarians.

The flavour texture and scent of wild mushrooms, available either dried or fresh are very distinct – cultivated mushrooms are more widely available but are no match for the unique appeal of their wild cousins!

The Colours Of Autumn

There is so much choice for fresh produce in September and to celebrate the wonderful crop of seasonal vegetables, our kitchen team showcases the best in season to create the colours of autumn on your plate.

Just as the heady days of Summer wane, crops spoil us with a wealth of colourful health-giving produce that are prime for creating comforting, warming dishes ideal for crisp mornings and chilly afternoons.

Succulent, lip-smacking raspberries and pears are ideal on top of muesli or to create an energising smoothie. We’ve showcased this on our vegetarian menu with our delicious dessert: ‘raspberry and beetroot with marinated strawberry in port with wild strawberry sorbet’. Also you might spy a raspberry or two in our afternoon tea cakes!

The tartness and fleshiness of plums and greengage make up our dessert of walnut praline and greengage coulis with sautéed plums.

The fresh produce in autumn makes creating vegetarian recipes easy. For example, layering vegetables in a baking dish with garlic and herbs to create a vegetable gratin is very easy yet supremely tasty and health-giving. Kale, potatoes, squash and swede are really filling too.

Afternoon Tea: A Very British Tradition

Today marks the start of Afternoon Tea week. Rebecca Galland, Restaurant Manager at The Vineyard, takes us back in time to the origins of this most delicious British tradition.

Afternoon Tea

Afternoon Tea

Afternoon tea all started with Anna, the 7th Duchess of Bedford, in the early 1800’s who coined the phrase of having the ‘sinking feeling’ which was how she felt in the middle of the afternoon when breakfast had been worked off.

At that time there were only two meals a day one in the morning and one in the evening. Dinner was served later and later in the day. To remedy her feeling, Anna started having tea, usually Darjeeling, and a cake in her boudoir in the afternoon. She enjoyed it so much that she began to invite her friends to join her at her country house Woburn Abbey where she and her husband Francis Russell, 7th Duke of Bedford, lived in the Summer. Eventually when the season ended and she returned to London she the continued this habit in the city. More and more people started to hear of it in her social circle and in the 1840’s Afternoon Tea quickly became fashion amongst the wealthy classes.

It is worth noting that this ‘Afternoon Tea’ that Anna started is not to be confused with what is known as ‘high’ tea which usually refers to the meal the lower classes would have, complete with a hot dish, followed by cakes and bread, which was all about the height of the tables.

Nowadays, Afternoon Tea is usually served on a stand and it led to a phenomenon that has swept the globe, albeit still a very British tradition.

Fresh and in season: Peas

We only buy what is in season at the time, to be as close to the natural environment as possible. Peas are in season between June and July. Executive Chef Daniel Galmiche advises how best to enjoy them.


In-Season Peas

I always look forward to the change of seasons and how that is reflected on our plates, especially when it comes to side dishes and salads. Each season brings its own special selection of vegetables. The fresh, the earthy, the tender, the robust and the sweet, there is always something delicious and new to enjoy.

Peas are one such vegetable that add a wealth of flavour and texture and are available June to end of July. Whether steamed, sautéed, roasted, baked or grilled, the possibilities are endless and the bonus of growing them yourself is that you gain all of the flavour. Lightly blanched really retains their texture and are wonderful to eat alone.

Peas are best when not prepared with too much fuss. Lightly blanched or boiling briefly and they can be added to stews and risottos or pasta.

Or – peas and pancetta, what a wonderful combination. Indeed, fresh peas are really versatile and so much tastier fresh from the garden and used in more innovative ways.

For wine matching, a fresh Loire Sauvignon Blanc can go well with creamy pea risotto, whereas a more exuberant herbaceous Marlborough version can go well with a heavier pasta. For a pea salad, a not-too-leesy Picpoul or Albariño would work well too – the clean and neutral notes would enhance the delicate pea flavours…bon appetit!

Introducing The Modern Tea Ceremony

This July, we will introduce new luxury teas to our Afternoon Tea experience from Lalani & Co. Far removed from the ‘English Cuppa’, more like a fine wine or whisky, their batch teas come from family-run gardens throughout the world and are chosen for their exquisite flavour from particular elevations. This is the first in a new series on artisanal tea.

Lalani Teas

Lalani Teas

Buying tea is very much like buying whisky: some are blended and some are single-batch. Also like whisky, you get various qualities and styles, and this all comes down to the people who grow the plants as well as the plantation’s location.

The pleasure comes in the taste and there is a gulf of difference between PG tips and single batch darjeeling or oolong for example. Season, soil, elevation and producer all affect flavour characteristics and the best teas express the best flavour of their region: some batches will be exceptional, some will be average, some will be low end. This spectrum occurs even within a year on the same garden.

The very best single batch teas are made as a luxury craft with the same artisan skill as a family vineyard or a small whisky distillery. Single batch teas also offer seasonally changing flavour profiles, much as with fine wine, offering expression of their terroir which whispers its provenance story to you palate with every sip.

Throught the world’s tea trade, most batches are sold into the markets and blended, but some will be kept as single batch teas. These are normally the better tasting batches and are what will be used here.

When you taste a batch and know the story behind it, it opens up a whole new enjoyment and understanding of tea and flavour.

Sweet, fresh and in-season raspberries

A superfood, with many antioxidants and flavonols, raspberries play a part in many dishes and are in season from now. Whilst naturally sweet, they have a low sugar concentration and have a strong flavour profile so an interesting match for many foods. So says Daniel Galmiche.

Raspberries are in season now

Raspberries are in season now

With all of the delicious desserts and patisseries available from my homeland, there is still something irresistible and also wholesome about choosing juicy raspberries for pudding. Nature’s sweetener, they’re very versatile and are strong enough to be the stand-out or to match the strength and richness of creamy dishes or dark chocolate flavours. The best is to choose fresh berries so ripely-picked that they make your lips and teeth pink.

A fantastic match for lime, where the sweetness of the berries complements the zing of lime zest, the colour of this fruit is also very appetizing. They are also sensational with a crème brûlée as raspberry, despite being naturally sweet, this fruit also has a high acidity and complements perfectly the richness of such dishes.

And of course with summer sun, perfect excuse for a raspberry-embellished aperitif, such as demi-sec Champagne with a dash of raspberry puree or a single berry. And in terms of matching with wine, on their own raspberries go well with a sweet Loire or German wine. How about Côteaux du Layon?

In season now until September, you will be lucky if you have a raspberry bush at home in your garden or allotment. They are so easy to grow and just a few raspberry plants will reward you with plenty of fruit from midsummer until mid-autumn.


The seasonal wonders of mackerel, tuna and crab

Fish plays a big part on our menu and sustainable line-caught or certified organic fish, including hand-dived scallops is something we are committed to and believe in strongly. Here, Executive Chef Daniel Galmiche highlights  the wonders of mackerel, tuna and crab and their wine pairing, all in-season now.

The sustainability of fish is a big issue these days and is very important that I find the right suppliers who will provide the best possible fish that is also sourced from sustainable stocks. It is too easy to forget that most species are overfished and therefore becoming expensive, as well as increasingly rare.

The beautiful mackerel with its black and blue stripes, full of omega-3 fatty acids and packed with goodness is delicious grilled, smoked, pan-roasted, whole or in fillet form. Lime works with the flavour of the fish really well. Depending on how it is served, medium-bodied crisp whites such as Muscadet, Gavi di Gavi or Picpoul de Pinet work very well with this fish.

I also adore tuna, especially blue fin tuna which is incredibly rare. I source yellow-fin or skipjack tuna instead. I love tuna raw, pan-fried or marinated and it is delicious also in a Niçoise salad. This fish works well with rich full-bodied whites such as Australian Chardonnay, or light-bodied reds such as a New Zealand Pinot Noir.

Crab is now in season and when selecting crab meat to buy, as with every fish, it is so important to buy fresh, quality produce from a good source. Crabs should look undamaged and feel heavy for their size. Again this works well with aromatic medium-dry whites such as South African Chenin Blanc or crisp dry whites such as unoaked Chardonnay.

Fresh, delicious, seasonal asparagus

Locally-sourced and seasonal produce is absolutely our aim, with 90 percent or more of our foodstuffs hailing from Britain, and local farmers very much being our main suppliers. Executive Chef Daniel Galmiche has ‘picked’ the star vegetable of the moment- asparagus.


May heralds asparagus season

Late spring is harvest time for asparagus, both green and white – a mere seven or eight week season – and the best is whatever you can buy locally. You can often get hold of it throughout the year, but as ever I like to get seasonal, locally sourced produce, not only because it truly does taste better.

Green asparagus has more of an intense nutty flavour than white varieties and really works well with creamier sauces, such as hollandaise. I like to keep the flavours simple so you can appreciate the freshness and flavour of this wonderful vegetable.

Preparation is key and often it will naturally snap between your fingers at just the right place – to do this, when you cut it, hold a spear from both ends and bend.

When you cook asparagus, remove the bundle from the pan and plunge it into ice cold water. This helps to keep the chlorophyll (and therefore the goodness and colour) locked in.

Depending on how it is prepared, this vegetable is best served with a lovely glass of medium-bodied Sauvignon Blanc, such as white Graves when served simply, or white Burgundy when served with Hollandaise sauce. Currently we have a number of asparagus dishes available at The Vineyard.

And…when the asparagus season is over, leeks make a great alternative!

Create your very own Easter nest

Chocolate - 580 x 288With Easter just around the corner, impress your friends and create your very own Easter nest by following our Head Pastry Chef, Anthony Millon’s step by step instructions and recipes.


Chocolate mousse

Ingredients: 100g dark chocolate, 1 egg yolk, 200g soft whipped cream

Method: Melt the chocolate (slightly warmer than luke warm, but do not boil or burn), add the yolk to the chocolate, and mix and add cream to the chocolate and yolk .

Honey cream

Ingredients: 25g honey, 25g sugar, 75g double cream, 100g soft whipped cream.

Method: Use a pan and bring the honey and sugar to the caramel stage on the stove once the sugar starts to colour and you have a strong honey smell stop cooking. Heat the double cream in a microwave or on the stove until warm. Add this to the honey and sugar and leave until cold. Use a large pan to do so as this is likely to double in size. Leave to go cold. Once cold, add the soft-whipped cream through, and place into a piping bag with a star nozzle.

Rhubarb compote/purée

Cook the rhubarb with sugar until soft, and use as compote. Or alternatively once cool, blend and pass through a sieve to make a purée.

Step by step instructions

image1Crack the eggs two thirds of the way along, take the egg yolks and whites out and put the shells to one side.




image4Wash the shells and leave them to dry.




Easter nest -image 1Left: Raw Rhubarb, peeled.

Right: Strawberries, lime juice, crème fraîche and sugar
Mix these together

Crushed chocolate eggs


New Picture (42).jpgTop: Vanilla Ice Cream, Strawberry, add the mixed strawberries with lime juice, crème fraîche and sugar.

Bottom: A spoonful of mixed berries; blackberries and raspberries


New Picture (43)Top: Add chocolate mousse, pipe use a piping bag with a star nozzle.

Middle: Add crushed bits of meringue on top of the strawberry mix.

Bottom: Add rhubarb purée

New Picture (44)Top: Add decorations eg. crushed mini eggs and edible flowers

Middle: Drizzle raspberry coulis over the top of the meringue.

Bottom: Add the honey cream, pipe using a piping bag with a star nozzle.

New Picture (45)Bottom: Once the honey cream has been added, add the raw rhubarb (peeled) on top.




New Picture (47)Place in a cardboard egg container; add straw and extra chocolate eggs.



I hope you enjoy making these Easter nests and have a very happy Easter. Enjoy afternoon tea over the Easter holidays for just £25 per person.

Happy Cooking!

Anthony Millon
Head Pastry Chef at The Vineyard




Wild Garlic is in season

I love this time of year when wild garlic is in season. The white flowers are really pretty and I love the soft garlicky flavour they produce when cooked; it’s not as strong as the everyday garlic you’ll find in supermarkets. The flowers are not only fantastic with salmon and lamb, but are also great in salads. You can also eat the leaves and the stem, both of which can be used in cooking.

Found near streams, wetland areas, in nature reserves and also funnily enough you will find it growing in woodland areas amongst bluebells. It’s great to be able to walk through the woods and smell the wild garlic.

There’s so much that goes well with wild garlic, but my particular favourites are cooking up a garlic veloute and a small parmesan espuma, parfait! Look out for wild garlic infused dishes at The Vineyard soon.

I am also hosting the Magnificent Seven Dinner on Friday 20th March together with seven of my very best suppliers all providing one ingredient that will be used in each dish.A wild garlic veloute and morels Fricassee is the first course matched with a fantastic Rioja. The garlic is kindly being supplied by Mash Purveyors.  Discover more about the dinner and view the full menu online

I’d love to hear all about what your wild garlic recipes so please message me on Twitter @danielgalmiche.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Daniel Galmiche
Executive Chef at The Vineyard