Nature Queen's Blog

News from the world of Food and Beverages

The Cottage In The Wood, near Keswick, Lake District: hotel review

The talented new chef at this restaurant with rooms offers exquisite meals with molecular and new Nordic elements, but the basics are spot on, too

Providing butter at a spreadable temperature is a skill all hoteliers should have mastered. The rarity with which this simple task is accomplished, however, means that when you do come across a warm, yielding pat of butter, you sit up and pay attention. Clearly, someone is sweating the small stuff. That would be Kath and Liam Berney, owners of Cottage in the Wood (CITW), a whitewashed 16th-century restaurant with rooms in England’s only mountain forest, Whinlatter, west of Keswick.

Continue reading...

Novel recipes: cream puffs from The Garden Party by Katherine Mansfield

Mansfield’s 1922 short story, set around the wealthy Sheridan family’s shindig, inspires Kate to make a dessert from their elegant spread

  • Scroll down for the recipe

That meant the cream puffs had come. Godber’s were famous for their cream puffs. Nobody ever thought of making them at home.

‘Bring them in and put them on the table, my girl,’ ordered cook.

The Garden Party, Katherine Mansfield

Continue reading...

Peak Bake Off? UK’s home baking boom soggy bottom

Analysts say shoppers buying fewer and cheaper baking ingredients less often in sign inflation dampening Great British Bake Off effect

There are signs Britain’s home baking boom may be running out of steam, just as Channel 4 prepares to relaunch one of its main catalysts, The Great British Bake Off.

The amount of baking ingredients, including flour, dried fruits and cake coverings, sold by supermarkets fell 3.8% in the year to the end of March, according to analysts at Kantar Worldpanel.

Continue reading...

10 of the best restaurants in rural Spain: readers’ travel tips

From the mountains of northern Spain to the beaches of Andalucía and across to the Balearics, our readers have discovered fantastic places to eat

The picturesque medieval village of Pedraza, in Segovia, is 75 miles north of Madrid and popular at weekends with Madrileños who pack the numerous asados (restaurants specialising in roasts). My favourite is El Yantar on Plaza Major, serving traditional Castilian dishes but specialising in cordero lechal (milk-fed leg of lamb for a minimum of two people) and cochinillo (suckling pig), both of which are cooked slowly in a wood-burning oven for three hours. Wash it down with Ribero Del Duero, a decent red, and look out into the square – the Four Musketeers was filmed in the 1970s.
It is essential to book a table and choice of roast in advance,
Kevin Rusby

Continue reading...

How to make the perfect vegetarian scotch eggs

This picnic staple is usually nestled in a cocoon of sausage, but should a meat-free option try to replicate it or go off-piste? And what coating gives the crispiest crunch?

It’s an unfortunate fact that many of the best things on the traditional British picnic menu are sausage-based, leaving vegetarian and non-pork-eating guests stuck with bread and cheese. This would be no real hardship were not for the fact that even many non-meat eaters find that scotch eggs have a way of making eyes at you from the other side of the rug, flaunting their bright yolks and crunchy crumb in a way that’s really quite unreasonable.

The popularity of the scotch egg at such occasions is partly explained by the fact that, like the Cornish pasty, or the sausage roll, it’s a robustly portable sure-fire crowd pleaser that is likely to arrive in better condition than the unfortunate quiche or sweating salad; and given the existence of the vegetarian sausage, there seems no good reason that non meat-eaters should miss out. There are a few commercially produced examples on the market, but you can’t beat a freshly made scotch egg, the coating still crisp, the egg just warm – and, in most cases, that means getting stuck in at home.

Continue reading...

Back in the net! Four recipes to celebrate the return of North Sea cod

With the British sea fish given a sustainable tick for the first time in 20 years, here are some quick ways to enjoy it as an occasional treat

Good news just in time for the summer holidays: after decades off the menu, the Marine Stewardship Council has declared North Sea cod stocks sustainable, meaning you can now enjoy the odd portion of Britain’s favourite sea fish without a side order of guilt (top tip: go for mushy peas instead).

Related: Britain's best fish'n'chip shops

Continue reading...