Nick Walton's runs the gorgeous Bagthorpe Farm, not far from the Norfolk coast, and rotates his crops regularly to get a rich diversity of soils, plants and wildlife. Bagthorpe Farm is situated in the beautiful unspoilt countryside of rural North Norfolk, situated close to Sandringham and Houghton Hall estates. Bagthorpe is a family-run 300 hectare mixed organic farm, growing fantastic organic vegetables, cereals and beef cattle. They started converting the land into organic production over 30 years ago and therefore have a huge amount of experience in growing great produce. Bagthorpe is blessed with a wonderful natural environment, which they have strived to enhance with their farming methods and environmental projects over the last 30 years. Their mission is to produce healthy nutritious food in an environmentally sustainable way, growing a range of organic vegetables, cereals and beef cattle. They produce a wide range of organic vegetables at Bagthorpe that quite literally come in all shapes and sizes, as they are truly organic. Current crops include early and maincrop carrots, brown and red onions, early, maincrop and salad potatoes, together with parsnips, beetroot and golden beet.
The West Barsham Estate in North Norfolk is home to the Barsham Brewery. Susanna Soames’s family have owned and farmed the land here for generations. In an area renowned for its top-quality agricultural soil, North Norfolk’s sea air and unique micro-climate, they are able to poduce some of the best malting barley in the world. This brewery is only 20 minutes away from Blakeney on the North Norfolk coast, which was a little seaside village we would always go to as kids, it’s a beautiful part of the Norfolk coastline. The small team of 3 spend almost a year nurturing and growing a wide range of crops, from sugar beet to oil seed rape, wheat, vining peas and barley. When the summer arrives their team embark upon the annual tradition of harvesting. Come rain or shine, darkness or light, using a combination of traditional and modern techniques, the job gets done in time for the arrival of Autumn. The Maris Otter Barley is malted down the road at Crisp Maltings and returned to the state of the art brewery situated within one of the Estate’s ancient farm buildings. The malt is blended with beautifully pure water from their own bore hole and hop varieties from around the world to craft a collection of very local beers - “Norfolk born and brewed”. Their home and heritage run through each and every part of their business. Their signature blue and brown bottles are inspired by Susanna’s Great Grandfather’s racing colours from his days as a successful racehorse owner in the 1930’s, and their beers are now named after significant places and personalities (human and animal!) that have marked life on the West Barsham estate for over 100 years. We use their stout beer Robin Stout in Muse’s sour dough to give it a final twist of flavour along with the four types of flour and treacle.
In the Suffolk town of Bungay you can find the wonderful Fen Farm Dairy. Where on the beautiful Waveney River Valley the Montbeliarde cows graze on the beautiful marshland. The Crickmore family have been at the farm for three generations producing wonderful raw milk products. This is where we are getting Baron Bigod, a creamy, white bloomy- rind cheese handmade by Johnny and this team. It’s the only traditional raw milk Brie-de-meaux style cheese production in the UK and its delicious. The cheese is made by hand in small batches, very early in the morning so they can use the raw milk still warm, straight from the cow at the perfect temperature for cheesemaking. The mould cultures are added to the warm morning’s milk and it is gently gravity fed into small vats just a few metres from the milking parlour, where the rennet is added. The curds are carefully hand-ladled into large moulds, using traditional pelle-a-brie ladles and the young cheeses are hand salted and then aged for up to 8 weeks in a cave-like environment. Baron Bigod is truly unique to their farm. Its flavours, aromas and characteristics are influenced by their own cow’s milk and the rich variety of grasses and herbs that grow on the grazing land of Stow Fen. The Crickmores' newest venture is its "old cow" and whey-fed beef, retired dairy cows and bullocks, are fattened on the waste whey and skimmed milk from their cheese and butter making. The whey-fed meat is not only delicious but helps them to reduce waste.
Flourish is located in a quiet little place on Cooks Pen Parm in Hilderhsam, Norfolk. The person in charge of this beautiful farm is Calixta Killander who is a highly qualified and passionate gardener. Flourish grow a huge range of plants to keep the farm diverse and healthy with vegetables, salads and herbs. All the flowers that are grown there all attract beneficial insects that assist with the pollination of the crops. Calixta will always farm in the most thoughtful way possible, so that the produce is delicious without compromising the health and productivity of the farm. Flourish is one the most unique suppliers because of the methods they use to farm and cultivate the lands. Calixta uses a traditional plough and team of horses called Bill and Ben, these beautiful Comtois horses, are a French breed, which are traditionally rather small and compact. However, what they lack in height, they absolutely make up for in personality. The use of horses reduces the dependence on fossil fuels, as the horses run on grass and hay. The the most important and valuable part of the farm’s fertility cycle is that their manure is used for the compost which enriches the soil, so that the crops are nutrient packed and are as healthy and delicious as possible. All the produce is harvested to order, picked and packed by hand and then delivered in less than 24 hours which guarantee’s the produce is super fresh and keeps its flavour to the maximum.
Hodmedod is a company based in Suffolk in the small charming town of Beccles. The name reflects the words East Anglian background and represents part of the forgotten heritage of the indigenous pulse, grains and beans. They work with amazing organic farmers and farms around East Anglia, all promoting sustainability with organic growing. They supply a whole host of grains and pulses. Many of the farms that are supplying Hodmedods are in and around Norfolk.
Kernow sashimi is an amazing fish supplier down in Cornwall in the seaside town of Truro on the South West coast of the UK. This small family business was set up by Chris Bean, who has spent over 30 year of fishing and advisor for the United Nations world food program. Chris and his son Dylan specialise in top quality sustainable fish, landed by small day boats from Helford, Coverack and Cadgwith. Static nets and large meshes ensure practices are kind to the sea habitat and catch mature fish, allowing them time to breed, and creating a sustainable future for fishing to year come. Kernow sashimi supply maybe the best fish supplier in the country and working with a supplier who is so dedicated to their job and passion is great to see. They are based in Helford which is just shy of a 7-hour drive from London, the catch changes every day, when their boat “Lady Hamilton” is back on dry land, Dylan contacts us to confirm the fish of the day. The fish is put on ice to stay as fresh as possible and delivered to us in less than 12 hrs.
Leigh’s Bees was established by the expert beekeeper, Leigh Goodsell. Leigh’s family moved to Norfolk when he was nine years old and he quickly met a life-long friend at school who kept bees. Within a couple of years Leigh had saved sufficient money to buy his first hive. Recalling the purchase, “they were the evillest bees in history. I’m not quite sure how anyone could have sold them to an 11-year-old. They stung everyone within a 100 meter radius, including my mother who believed the old wives tale that telling the bees the news of the house was the way forward. Basically, they wreaked havoc – but I learnt a lot from them and I was hooked”. You will find every jar of Leigh’s Bees honey just as the bees created it, the honey is unprocessed, apart from coarse straining to remove impurities and, where necessary, gentle warming to allow the bottling. The carefully placed beehives enable Leigh’s Bees to forage a specific range of nectar depending on the time of year and location. That may be sea lavender from the saltmarshes of the North Norfolk coast, swathes of summer flowering blue borage flowers, the Derbyshire heather moors or the ivy-clad hedgerows and woodland of their ‘winter base’ at Narford. They know the origin of each jar of honey, all of which are unblended because they believe that the bees know best. In this way the different honeys retain their own unique tastes.
Allan and Sue Miller both worked full time as chefs for 20 years before becoming growers of Micro Cress. Their transition from one profession to another was brought about by the need for a more consistent product. They decided to grow cress themselves in a small greenhouse in their back garden and began supplying the restaurant they worked in. Having successfully grown Micro Cress for use in the restaurant, with very positive feedback, they were asked by a wholesaler if they were able to grow in a larger volume. Allan and Sue decided to invest their time and money into their business, which is when ‘Nurtured in Norfolk’ really began. Allan and Sue chose micro herbs that where strong in flavour and still looked appealing on the plate with varieties that are most popular because of their robust flavour, such as coriander, lemon balm, baby mint, ruby frills mustard, fennel, garlic chives, red vein sorrel and basil. The range of micro cress has now been extended to over 70 different types. All together there are over 280 different edibles in the range. Now 10 years on, in a 4-acre nursery, the business has gone from strength to strength, with the help and support of numerous wholesalers. A work force of 60 plus fulltime committed staff now produce a niche range to keep up with the ever-growing demand for new, unique and innovative products. All the products have been grown on a natural soil base that is of a high quality benefiting from nutrients that are present throughout the growing stages and therefore extending the shelf life. Biological controls are used throughout the growing process to keep the crops clean and pest free and so making sure that all the crops have the most flavour and being micro they certainly do pack a punch.
Old Hall Farm is a beautiful farm in Suffolk near the town of Bungay. The Mayhew family have been farming in Woodton since the mid 1940's, and started out with a small suckler cow herd, chickens for egg production, and pig rearing, as well as farming over 500 acres of arable land. Whilst on a family holiday in 2016, Stuart and Rebecca Mayhew spent time on a friend's dairy unit in Scotland and fell in love with the idea of having their own herd of Jersey cattle. Their first cow, Freya arrived in November 2016 and they haven't looked back since. The cows are milked once a day, in the morning, and this means that the calves has ample opportunity to get the milk it needs from its mother throughout the rest of the day. The benefits of keeping cows and calves together are vast, but essentially, it's best for the calf and its mother, and it allows for a more symbiotic relationship between cow and human. Tom can vouch that he has never seen such friendly cows, they all have their own names, which they of course all answer to and will come and give you a friendly nudge to show they heard you. Stuart and Rebecca produce amazing raw milk products from cream and butter to milkshakes. Muse uses their wonderful thick cream and milk for the ‘Just Down The Road’ course and we also make our own cultured butter from their cream which is made every morning for the restaurant to serve alongside our homemade sour dough bread.
The Rare Tea Company was founded in 2004, by Henrietta Lovell (known as the Tea Lady), to source and supply the world's best tea - direct from farmers and their tea gardens. The aim is to benefit both the people who craft the tea and their customers who drink it. It is their goal to help tea gardens flourish like vineyards, and for customers to appreciate tea like fine wine. Good tea may cost a little more but the difference is worth every penny. All of their tea is crafted by skilled men and women on independent farms for the best flavour, not the cheapest price. They travel the world to seek out the best teas. Unique terroirs, direct trade and sustainability make up the three cornerstones of their business; their ambition is to redefine what good tea means and must meet three criteria:
Difference Coffee was established in the UK in 2015 by Amir Gehl, a foodie turned coffee expert. What started as a simple curiosity of how arabica coffee is graded has resulted in a small roaster renowned by both specialty coffee aficionados as well as many of the world’s best fine dining establishments. Gehl’s sourcing philosophy is based on the 100 point grading system created by the Specialty Coffee Association. Simply put, he seeks out the world’s highest point scoring Arabica beans by bidding for coffee competition champions at auctions and befriending legendary coffee estates, the coffees of which he then roasts to order. His collection comprises of some of the world’s most coveted beans, including the Champion coffee from the annual Kona Coffee Competition in Hawaii, the legendary Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee, and the most revered Panama Geisha of Hacienda La Esmeralda. His roastery recently became the supplier for both the UK Michelin Award ceremony and the Best Chef Awards.