In the pink. Make elderflower cordial

Elderflower cordial or syrup recipe

How to make elderflower cordial

If you want a non-alcoholic drink that is refreshing, what do you choose?  I often go for an elderflower option. Did you know it’s easy to make elderflower cordial or syrup at home? It’s the perfect time to go on the hunt and pick elderflowers.

Beautiful pinky purple elderflowers
Beautiful pinky purple elderflowers – perfect for cordial

What truly inspire me are the flowers on the purple leaved elder (sambucus nigra) in my garden. Each time I walk past, the flowers zapp their scent my way. I just had to do something with them. Of course, if you’ve not got a purple leaved elder, the standard white flowers will do very well. But as you see, the flowers from the purple leaved elder make a fetching pink hued drink.

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Make the most of asparagus

120 asparagus spears known as a hundred

What does it take to create great asparagus? I visit the Vale of Evesham which has PGI status to find out.

Discovering Cotswolds food and drink

Cotswold Cookery Book

If you visit a new area, where do you choose to eat and drink? Of course you ask people you meet, but with an area as large as the Cotswolds, you’ll inevitably not find all the gems.

Cotswold Cook Book

The Cotswold Cook Book will help. It celebrates the amazing food and drink in the Cotswold and includes more than 40 recipes. I’ve been reading through and getting very hungry. I’ve also started to plan visits to many of the places mentioned. What better way than to read a recipe and think, “I’d like to visit and try more”.

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Gourmet pizzas and ciders at the Stable

Cider tasting board, West Country Porker, Neptune's Fortune

Cider tasting board, West Country Porker, Neptune's Fortune
Cider tasting board – a perfect match to pizza

My dream job

Andy Briggs has my dream job. He tours the region seeking out the very best local produce – meats, charcuteries, cheeses and other delights. He loves meeting producers and tasting their products to gain inspiration. He’s the creative chef behind Stable Pizza’s recipes inspired by this wonderful produce. With 17 different locations, local really does mean local. Each restaurant has a specially tailored menu including a GCHQ pizza for Cheltenham.

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Capreolus Distillery – Prepare to be amazed

Barney working with the still at Caproulus Distillery

Spirit of the Year 2016

Drive down an ordinary road in Cirencester, park and walk down the path to Capreolus  distillery (Capreolus is the latin name for a roe deer). To one side is the area where the ingredients are processed. On the other side is the distillery itself. It’s housed in the lean-to greenhouse of Barney Wilczak’s childhood home. The garage is now designated a bonded warehouse – there can’t be many of those in Gloucestershire.

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Top 7 foods and drinks you’ve got to try

Inspirational food and drink producers

Think about autumn, and no doubt that phrase “Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness” will pop into your mind – can you remember the rest of the poem? No me neither, but it does evoke that golden time at this time of year.

The days are much cooler but they can be so sunny and crisp. Today I went to a Harvest Festival for the first time in many years. This Harvest Festival was a little different. It was organised by Jolly Nice at Frampton Mansell between Stroud and Gloucester. It’s aim? To celebrate their local producers who create a fascinating range of products stocked in the shop.

The day was dry, thank goodness, after the torrents of rain yesterday. It was the perfect opportunity to sample, discover and indulge. So let me share seven producers you should really seek out. Many sell online and at local farmers markets in addition to Jolly Nice.

Top 7 foods and drinks to try this Autumn

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