Category: Food and Drink

March 16th, 2016 by eastgrinsteadonline

MASTERCHEF champion Peter Bayless will be teaching the secrets of French Patisserie at the Kingscote cookery school on 23 March.

Peter will meet his students with coffee and freshly baked vanilla sables before getting down to hands-on lessons in making several French classics includng:

Gougère de Bourgogne à la mayonnaise ciboulette (little cheesy choux buns with chive mayonnaise)

Pithivier de voilaille (rough puff pastry)

Tarte de demoiselles Tatin ou tarte à l’envers (Tart Tatin)

Choux pastry (profiteroles filled with crème pâtissière and coated with chocolate ganache)

Fruit vacherin (French meringues)

The day includes a late lunch with a glass of Kingscote wine. Sit down as a group with the chef to enjoy the fruits of your labour. It’s an ideal chance to unwind, ask any questions you might still have and get to know your fellow students. There’s even some ‘takeaway’ to enjoy at home.

Courses run from 9.30am to 4.00pm.

A minimum of 6 people booked is required for each course to run – £165 person.

See East Grinstead Online editor Geraldine Durrant’s review of the Kingscote school’s Italian cookery day here:

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March 13th, 2016 by eastgrinsteadonline

THE Gurkha restaurant, which is to take over the former Shapla takeaway in Railway Approach, will be opening its own takeaway outlet “soon” according to posters which are now up in the window.

Photo Roy Henderson

Posted in Business, Food and Drink Tagged with: , , ,

March 11th, 2016 by eastgrinsteadonline

www.tinybudgetcookingLIMAHL Asmall has produced a new, free cookbook full of delicious recipes, which he hopes will help anyone feeling the financial pinch to eat well on a very tight budget.

Limahl, who grew up in Forest Row, says his recipes are dedicated to the 13 million people living on a low income and facing food poverty in the UK – but can be used by anyone.

A self-confessed ‘foodie’, Limahl was inspired to look for ways of making great-tasting, nutritious meals when he was setting up his own business, and money was very tight.

“Food is my passion,” he said, “so I had to find a way to feed myself which meant I could eat well and stay healthy on a tiny budget.”

Limahl and his French girlfriend Tiph Cheveau love to cook together, and he has now put together 67 of their favourite big-flavour, low-cost recipes which he wants to share with anyone who would like a copy.

“I am not advocating a race to the bottom, or seeing how cheaply you can eat for the sake of it,” he said. “But I am saying that if you find yourself in the position of not having much money to spend on food, you can still make really delicious meals without spending a lot.”

Limahstatic1.squarespacel’s cook book is full of tips about how to shop well for less, how to swap ingredients for others if there is something you don’t like or don’t have in the larder, and how to put a meal together using what you actually do have in the fridge or larder, rather than fretting about what you don’t.

And if you follow his tips Limahl says, it is perfectly possible to get by for breakfast, lunch and dinner, on just £16 a week.

“Every worthwhile project needs to fulfil a real world need,” he said, “and by sharing the cookbook we’re taking important steps towards reducing food poverty.”

To find out more go to: And for some great recipes and shopping tips see Limahl’s blog:


Posted in Food and Drink, Health, News Tagged with: , , , , ,

March 6th, 2016 by eastgrinsteadonline
Karen Colcomb on her week in the kitchen – and on her allotment

9870a8cf-dee9-4ec3-aa6c-39509d8e9280IT is such a long time since I have had the time to have a proper day in the kitchen – but today is the day.

There’s lots going on and my husband is going to visit his parents one of whom is quite poorly so what nicer way to offer a hand than to send him along with plenty of goodies – homemade butternut squash soup, beef bourguignon and stem-ginger shortbread.

One of the kids is having a sleepover so as a real treat I am also going to make oreo cupcakes. These are such a simple recipe – and not for every day as they are very sweet – but they would make a good Easter treat.

Makes 12 cupcakes

Pre-heat the oven to 180″c

Cream together 175g of butter and 165g of caster sugar until light and fluffy.

Whisk together three eggs and gradually add these to the butter and sugar mix.

In a separate bowl sift together 40g cocoa, 125g self raising flour and 1 teaspoon of baking powder, then gently fold these into the wet ingredients.

Line a 12 cup muffin tin with cases, place an oreo into one then, divide the cake mixture between them.  Place in the oven for 14-17 minutes depending on your oven – mine took slightly longer.

When cooked leave to cool.

For the buttercream mix together until smooth 100g soft butter and 200g icing sugar.  To this add 1/2 pack oreos that have been made into crumbs.  Use this to top the cool cupcakes and then place half an oreo on top.

On the allotment plot not much is happening right now,  but March is the month for sowing lots of seeds either in the propagator or the cold greenhouse.

On my list this weekend are more flowers, herbs such as parsley and dill, purple sprouting broccoli for next year, peas and cucumbers.

It is tradition that the first early potatoes of the year are sown on Good Friday but this year Easter is early so it will be interesting to see who takes the chance of the weather warming up a little.

A couple of weeks ago I sowed leeks, sweet peas and broad beans and they are just starting to pop up.  And all my tomatoes, chilis and flowers, sown around the same time, have also put on a bit of a spurt now the light levels have increased.


Posted in Food and Drink, News Tagged with: , , , ,

March 3rd, 2016 by eastgrinsteadonline

THE Shapla Indian takeway in Railway Approach which closed last week, is to reopen shortly as a takeaway outlet for the Gurkha restaurant in the London Road.

Photos Roy Henderson

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February 28th, 2016 by eastgrinsteadonline

THE Shapla Tandoori takeaway at 94 Railway Approach served its last customers this weekend. Fans of the popular fast food venue took to social media to regret the closure of the shop which has been open for more than 30 years under proprietor Mr Khan.

One regular customer told East Grinstead Online “It was the best and the cheapest Indian takeaway in the town and we have used it often for years – I just don’t know what I am going to do now.”


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February 28th, 2016 by eastgrinsteadonline

WHEN it comes to food, small is indeed beautiful. Consumers are increasingly looking for quality over quantity, and artisan fare, micro breweries and farmers markets are all on the up among discerning foodies who value craft and care over bogofs.

And so too are Supper Clubs. Pop-up restaurants, where talented chefs entertain paying guests in their own homes, are a great way to enjoy a dining experience which combines excellent cuisine with the chance to meet new people in a relaxed atmosphere.

Sam Bilton, who runs Repast from her beautiful home on the outskirts of Haywards Heath, invited me to sample her Venetian Feast on Friday night.IMG_6471

Sam is a terrific cook, and a member of the Guild of Food Writers with a keen academic interest in the history of food and its preparation.

So it is no surprise that the themed evenings she hosts monthly are inspired by events as diverse as the Titanic, Magna Carta or even the Mexican Day of the Dead.

Dinner is served in her own dining room for up to 12 guests, and on Friday night Sam had customers from Brighton, and even Portsmouth, keen to enjoy a unique evening out.

The atmosphere was that of a dinner party, and fortified with a glass of Sam’s rhubarb Bellini, we were soon all talking around the table like old friends not hungry strangers.

Sam’s husband Neil is front of house, and he made a very amiable host as he presented each course with a few words about what had inspired it, and its ingredients.IMG_6474

Everything Sam serves is made from scratch, and locally-sourced. And in the summer her garden, which is currently being redesigned, will provide many more of the ingredients for her meals, in addition to the chickens which she  keeps.

Her sourdough bread was a chewy and tasty accompaniment to the first course – crisply delicious squares of black polenta with squid ink topped with salt cod, and white squares topped with sauteed wild mushrooms. Comforting, savoury and all too easy to have “just one more” of.

Venice, on the spice route, was famed in Medieval times for its rich flavours, and the fish course served next was as good as it was unusual – firm slices of lightly-pickled plaice fillet served with saffron onions, raisins and pine nuts.

IMG_6476It was a combination of flavours I hadn’t tried before but it was a palate-tinglingly good dish – and a very pretty one too.

Sam’s use of spicing is clever and subtle: her main course of Lamb Ragu, served with soft pillows of butternut gnocchi and seasonal vegetables, was succulent and infused with warm layers of gentle flavour.

A welcome pause between courses allowed a moment’s breather for the final hurdle – a dish of frittelle in a rhubarb coulis.

These little almond-flavoured fritters resembled a trio of plump dumplings, but proved to be crisp  puffs of mouth-watering deliciousness to end the meal – and left just enough room in the “pudding stomach” for Sam’s pretty petit fours of raspberry and pistachio-flavoured meringues which Neil served with coffee.

After she had finished in the kitchen, Sam joined her guests at the table to talk about her menu and what had inspired it – in this instance Venice: Recipes Lost and Found by Katie and Giancarlo Caldesi, a book she recommends to anyone interested in Italian’s rich cooking history.

Sam’s upcoming evenings include a Seventies-based menu for March – her own take on what she laughing calls “the decade that taste forgot” – and later in the year she will be featuring meals based around the anniversaries of famous historical events such as the Great Fire of London (1666), the Battle of Hastings (1066) or England’s victory in the World Cup (1966).

To find out more go to:

Geraldine Durrant



Posted in Food and Drink, News

February 23rd, 2016 by eastgrinsteadonline

Peter Andre proved he can dance as well as sing, on StrictlySINGER and reality star Peter Andre, who co-owns the New York Coffee Club in the London Road with his brother Danny, is planning to open a restaurant chain later in the year.

Peter, who has appeared in his own reality show My Life, and most recently in Strictly Come Dancing, said in an interview with Best magazine that he wants to bow out of the limelight and concentrate on building his food empire.

He said he has enjoyed owning his two coffee shops –  one in East Grinstead and one in Brighton which is currently being relocated – and that he now wants to try something bigger in the food field.

“I love food and I love people,” he told the magazine, and will announce his plans in more detail later in the year.


Posted in Food and Drink, News

February 22nd, 2016 by eastgrinsteadonline

tania-mcnabb-fine-and-scandi-260x370FINE & scandi, the Forest Row-based mobile caterers, have had their trailer stolen from Lower Road in the village.

The unit is believed to have been taken sometime after 11pm on Saturday night, and would have had to have been hitched up and towed away by people who “knew what they were doing” said Alice Slatter, whose sister Tania MacNabb owns the business.

Alice put out an appeal yesterday for information leading to the recovery of the vehicle which is the basis for Tania’s business.

“I’ve no doubt it will have been stripped of its stickers and will be an ordinary white trailer by now,” she said, but the family wants to hear from anyone who might have seen it being stolen or anyone acting suspiciously in the area.

Tania MacNabb – a half Swede with a “huge passion” for Scandinavian food and culture  has been running her business since August 2014.

Day-to-day, the unit is parked up in the Lower Road car park in Forest Row where they serve hungry locals breakfasts, lunches, snacks, cakes and hot drinks from Monday to Saturday. fine and scandi food wagon 450

But with the business growing, fine & scandi is also increasingly on the road, and Tania has taken their beautiful trailer and delicious fast food to a number of festivals, markets and private events.

She previously lived in Gothenburg, Sweden, and was raised on Scandinavian food and delicacies.

“My grandparents and mother were amazing cooks and bakers, so the tastes, flavours and even smells have always stayed with me. By starting fine & scandi, I wanted to realize my dream of running my own food business, but also to honour my heritage, and bring something new and exciting to my hometown.”

But with her trailer gone, Tania’s dreams – and her livelihood – are in tatters today, so if you have any information at all about its whereabouts, please contact her via her website.



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February 9th, 2016 by eastgrinsteadonline

THE West Sussex County Council Wellbeing team has come up with some great recipes to celebrate Pancake Day which are both simple to make and healthy to eat.

Pancake Batter:

Serves: 8 

125g wholemeal flour

Pinch of salt

1 egg

300ml semi-skimmed milk


Place the flour, salt and egg in a mixing bowl and beat well.

Gradually add the milk until the mixture is smooth, thick and creamy.

Rest the batter in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before cooking (this allows the gluten in the flour to get to work – giving your pancakes a great texture).

Heat a small frying pan until it is really hot, then turn the heat down to medium.

Melt a small knob of butter in the pan, coating the pan well.

Add a ladleful of the rested pancake mixture, swirling the pan to coat the surface with a think, even layer.

Allow to cook for 1 to 2 minutes until brown.

Toss the pancake or use a palette knife to flip it over.

Cook until the other side has browned lightly.

Choose from one of our healthy fillings below and enjoy!

Fillers and toppers

Puree mixed berries in a blender.  Warm the mix in a pot on the stove. Add ½ teaspoon of honey for sweetness and drizzle away.

Open a can of juicy sliced peaches (in juice not syrup) and a generous scoop of Greek yoghurt.

Slice up a ripe banana, sprinkle with vanilla extract, and top with a handful of your favourite chopped nuts.

Fresh berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries) with a dollop of Greek yoghurt.

Spread a good dollop of cashew or almond butter and add chopped banana.

Drizzle dark chocolate (72% cocoa or more) with chopped banana.

Freshly sliced mango, passion fruit, a dollop of Greek yoghurt and a drizzle of honey.

Sliced fresh strawberries, toasted almonds and a dollop of Greek yoghurt.

Cinnamon, honey and freshly squeezed lemon juice.

Cinnamon Apple Pancakes

Serves: 8 

1 kg cooking apples, peeled, cored and diced

½ tsp. ground cinnamon, plus extra for dusting

15g brown sugar (or 1 Tbsp. honey)

1 knob of butter

Pancake batter (as above)

8 dollops of plain, live, full fat yoghurt.


Place the apples in a pan with 1 tbsp. cold water, the cinnamon and brown sugar (or honey), stir well, cover and cook over a low heat for 10 minutes, stirring from time to time until the apples soften.

Meanwhile, heat a non-stick pan, add the oil and cook the pancakes as directed above. To assemble, place a cooked pancake on a plate, spoon a little of the apple mixture over, fold the pancake into quarters and spoon more apple over the top.  Serve with a dollop of plain, creamy yoghurt.

Savoury Spinach Pancakes

Serves: 4     

220g cherry vine tomatoes

150g spinach leaves

200g crumbled feta cheese

100g pitted black or green olives.

Mixed herbs


Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/Gas6.  Place  cherry tomatoes in a roasting tin, drizzle with olive oil and seasonings and roast for 10 minutes.

Using a handheld blender stick, whiz spinach leaves with the rested pancake batter until combined in the mixture evenly.

Cook as directed overleaf.

Fold over the flat cooked spinach pancakes and scatter with feta cheese, roasted tomatoes and olives.

Posted in Food and Drink, News

February 8th, 2016 by eastgrinsteadonline

ISABELLE Hamlin, a 14-year-old pupil from Imberhorne School, beat nine competitors in the Rotary Young Chef district semi final on Saturday to come out winner.

Both Isabella, and Amanda Heather from Sackville School, had qualified for the semi in an earlier competition organised by East Grinstead Meridian Rotary.

Three professional chefs judged the ten young chefs who were competing for one of three places in the District final at Weybridge on 13 February.

The competitors had to cook a three-course meal for two on a budget of £15.

Isabella’s menu was warm, sweet figs filled with creamy herb ricotta, wrapped in parma ham with a honey dressing, followed by fresh handmade pasta with pancetta served with spinach and coated with Grana Padang cheese, followed by a glass filled with lemon curd on a soft amaretti biscuit base topped with a fluffy lemon mousse.

Chef Giovanni Fontebasso, who oversaw the three judges, described the meal as having sensational flavours and contributed significantly to her total score.

Izzy, as she likes to be called,  will prepare for the Rotary District final by selecting her ingredients at Sainsburys who sponsored the initial round in East Grinstead.



Posted in EGo Buzz, Food and Drink, News

January 21st, 2016 by eastgrinsteadonline

The Hebridean is a breed of sheep with an historical reputation for producing delicious mutton, and the Hebrideans from the Conservators’ flock are particularly slow growing, fed on the natural heathland vegetation of the Forest and “definitely in a class of their own”.

Boxes of the mutton are now available to order.

A whole box will consist of about 16-18 kg of Mutton, comprising:
•       2 legs – very good as slow roast.
•       Cubed shoulder meat for stews, curries, tagines etc packed as 450g
•       Hot pot cuts on the bone  – loin chops (12), cutlets (14) and chump (rump) steaks (6)
•       Mince for shepherds’ pies
•       Bones, for feeding to pets or to make stock with

Half boxes weighing between 8-9 kg are also available.

The mutton, which will be processed locally, expertly cut and vacuum packed, costs £7 a kg
and needs to be collected from the Ashdown Forest Centre, Wych Cross, RH18 5JP. The collection date will be confirmed once all the orders have been received.

To place an order contact the Forest Centre on 01342 823583 or

Posted in Food and Drink, News Tagged with: ,

January 19th, 2016 by eastgrinsteadonline

SAINSBURY’S has issued a customer notice recalling loaves of its Wholemeal Bread 800g (Thick & Medium Sliced) with a best before date of today.BREAD1 

A spokesman for the supermarket said “Our supplier has made us aware of the possible presence of tiny metal pieces in a small number of the above products.

BREAD2“As a precautionary measure, we are asking customers who have purchased this product with the best before date, to return it to their nearest  Sainsbury’s store, where they will receive a full refund.

“No other products or date codes are affected by this issue, and we apologise for the inconvenience this may cause.”

Posted in Business, Food and Drink, News

January 17th, 2016 by eastgrinsteadonline

250px-Lasagne_-_stonesoupAbove: It’s been a soggy January on the allotment, so Karen seeks solace in the kitchen

THERE was a sad start to the week with the passing of iconic legend David Bowie, a huge talent so many of us across generations have grown up with.  I have been very fortunate to have seen him live twice in 1987 and 1990 – a true showman who will be much missed by many.

After cursing all the rain and trying to find jobs to do on a very soggy plot, this week has seen some drier and colder weather which will hopefully give time for the plot to dry out a bit –  I bumped into a fellow plot holder and between us decided we should try to grow some rice as it has been so wet.

Every family has go-to comfort food recipes for when the weather turns cold and all we want to do is settle down with fluffy slippers and an open fire.  A warm and welcoming kitchen is the place to be in such cold weather.

Our house is a busy place with dogs and teenagers coming in and out so finding the time to enjoy a meal together is getting harder and harder.

It was so refreshing one evening this week when both teens came through the front door and commented on what a great smell was coming from the kitchen and guessed we were having homemade lasagne for tea.

It is an instantly-comforting meal and once the meat sauce is made really takes no time at all to prepare.

Most families have their own version of a classic bolognaise or ragu.  I make mine with a base of finely chopped onions, carrots, celery, garlic and mushrooms which I gently sweat for about twenty minutes in a little olive oil. I then add sliced mushrooms and dried oregano and cook gently to remove some of the moisture from the mushrooms.

To this, I add tomato puree and cook for a few minutes to remove the raw taste, then the minced beef to brown. The last ingredients are a good glug of red wine, half a beef stock cube and a tin of chopped tomatoes.  Once seasoned, I place covered in the oven for about an hour on a medium heat.  This tastes even better if made the day before.

The next part comes down to personal taste.

I have used a ready-made cheese sauce to layer with the meat but generally make my own bechamel sauce and add grated cheddar and dijon mustard.

I then layer both sauces with lasagne sheets, finishing  with a layer of pasta topped with the cheese sauce and grated parmesan.

Covered with foil, which is removed for the last ten minutes, I then cook for about 40 mins on 180’c. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

Have a good week all,


Posted in Food and Drink, News

January 17th, 2016 by eastgrinsteadonline

Posted in Business, Food and Drink, News Tagged with: ,

January 10th, 2016 by eastgrinsteadonline

WITH the official end of Christmas just four days ago, High Street photographer Frazer Visser says Sainsbury’s are already stocking hot cross buns…which means it can’t be long before the Easter eggs are also on display.

Posted in Business, Food and Drink, News

Farmers' Market Banner
January 7th, 2016 by eastgrinsteadonline

THE Farmers Market is back in the town centre after the Christmas break this morning, with another new trader – Jacob’s Ladder.

Jacob’s Ladder, which sells of organic and biodynamic meat, eggs, flour and bread from farms in Kent and Sussex, will be trading from the Busses Beef stall, so if you want some top quality, locally grown produce, pop along this morning.

And next week there is another new trader starting – we’ll let you know who as soon as we have had confirmation.

Above: the new Farmers Market banner


Posted in Business, Food and Drink, News Tagged with: ,

January 7th, 2016 by eastgrinsteadonline

ACCLAIMED food writer and chef Ursula Ferrigno will be bringing her class on Italian cooking to the Kingscote vineyard on 27 January.

Ursula, who has a passion for teaching and a love of all things Italian and healthy, will be covering the rudiments of proper Italian food including how to make:

luscious, creamy risotto, including brodo

gnocchi three-ways

pasta hand-dried and hand-cut – tortellini, ravioli, tagliatelle

pasta frolla for crostata (seasonal tart)

The Kitchen Academy at Kingscote is located in the stunning 15th century Tithe Barn which has a state-of-the-art kitchen equipped with AGA ovens and purpose-built mobile workstations.

The 9.30am to 4pm cookery courses, which are £165, are designed to be accessible to all levels of ability.

  • If Italian isn’t your thing, there will be a Sushi Masterclass with Jethro Carr, below, at Kingscote on 24 February.
  • IMG_1760

Posted in Food and Drink, News Tagged with: , ,

January 3rd, 2016 by eastgrinsteadonline

I have been stuck, quietly and grumpily, indoors since Boxing Day with what seems to be a trapped sciatic nerve.

So whilst domestic chores have piled up around me, I have happily sat propped up full of pain killers looking through seed catalogues and reading books I had  for Christmas – Honey & Co a Middle Eastern baking book, and The Thrifty Foraimage (1)ger by one of my favourites Alys Fowler.

And seed orders for next season are taking shape, as well as orders for seed potatoes, onion sets and a batch of raspberry canes.

So having been out of action, I thought  – for something different this week – I would list some of the garden and growing places I would like to visit this year.

First up in January is RHS Wisley: the butterflies are in the glass house from 16 January to 6 March. We went a couple of years ago and is well worth a visit.

Perch Hill Farm, Brightling near Robertsbridge:  the farm is owned and run by Sarah Raven and is a beautiful place to visit in spring and early summer.  Lots of contemporary plants are used as are old favourites but in quite modern ways.  If you do an open day, lunch is always very good, as is the shop.

Chelsea Flower Show 24-28 May: always a treat

Charles Dowding – No dig gardening course:  Based in Shepton Mallett, Somerset, Charles is an expert on no dig gardening and alternative growing techniques such as planting by phases of the moon.

Great Dixter, Northiam near Rye:  The garden of the late Christopher Lloyd.

Sissinghurst: the gardens of Vita Sackville West and Henry Nicolson.

I am also hoping  to set up a proper herb garden at home to give extra flavour to all that I cook.

A long list of plot jobs over the next few weeks includes winter pruning, manure spreading, tidying, creating the new cut-flower bed and creating the new raspberry bed, a few broad bean seeds to be sown for an early spring crop and, in a few weeks, tomatoes and chilis.

Happy New Year,


Posted in Food and Drink, News Tagged with: , ,

Queueing outside Fry's for the turkey
December 24th, 2015 by eastgrinsteadonline

IT was barely light when the queue started to form outside Fry’s in the Lingfield Road this morning as customers arrived to pick up the makings of their festive feast.

Steve Pond caught the dawn scene for us – and found a picture of Fry’s in 1905 where the birds and beasts were hanging outside ready for the big feast.


Posted in Business, Christmas, Food and Drink, News Tagged with: , ,

IMG_5989 2
December 23rd, 2015 by eastgrinsteadonline

NOON on 23 December is statistically the busiest shopping hour of the year at the nation’s supermarkets, and true to predictions, the traffic at Sainsbury’s was nose to tail in and out of the car park at lunch time today.

Marshals in hi vis jackets were on hand to direct shoppers to anywhere there was a vacant space, and lots of cars simply decanted women clutching shopping lists who were obviously going to summon a lift home when they had finished – however long that took.

But inside the store spirits were high. The aisles were crowded but there was a definite “after you” air of Christmas good will to all shoppers,

and no real queues at the pay points which were all open.

Posted in Food and Drink, News Tagged with: , ,

December 19th, 2015 by eastgrinsteadonline


Andy Somerville of the High Weald micro brewery

cuIC9lvc_400x400THIS time last year Andy Somerville was a micro-brewer fitting in his love of craft beer around a full-time job with a firm making laboratory equipment.

But after testing the market for his premium product for 18 months, brewing in the evening and at weekends, Andy has now been able to give up the day job, move to larger premises and make his dream of becoming a full time brewer a reality.

Andy, whose company is called High Weald Artisan Brewery,  is a huge enthusiast for the new craft beer movement, which has seen a growing appreciation among beer drinkers on both sides of the Atlantic for top quality brews produced locally by craftsmen who love what they do.

“Going full-time was a hard decision when you have a young family to support,” admitted Andy, ‘but during the summer I reached the tipping point where I felt I could finally afford to make my hobby, my job.”

And since then Andy has been supplying shops, restaurants and pubs across Sussex – including East Grinstead’s own newest micro pub, The Open Arms in Railway Approach,  Market Square and the weekly Farmers Market in the High Street.

“People like local-sourced, quality produce made on a small scale, and they understand that when you buy something made on an industrial scale by a supermarket you are paying a lot of money for an inferior product.

“I’ve been going to a lot of farmers markets over the past year and you can see from people’s faces that when they taste proper cheese, home-baked quiche or honey they recognise it is miles apart from anything they can buy at a supermarket.”

Andy currently brews three beers ‘with a modern twist’ made using only English malt, hops, yeast and the secret ingredient –  East Grinstead water:

Greenstede Golden Ale – a refreshing golden beer, combining British and American hop varieties

Chronicle – brewed using the classic combination of English Fuggles and Goldings hops

Charcoal Burner – a traditional English Oatmeal Stout

So what will Andy be drinking with his turkey this year?

“Well any of my beers would be great with Christmas dinner,” he laughed, “but actually I think I’ll have a couple of bottles of East Grinstead’s Kingscote wine.”

Below: Andy’s striking beer labels were also designed locally by a Lindfield-based Saxon Packaging



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December 6th, 2015 by eastgrinsteadonline

Document14IT’S been a terrible week for plot work so this week I have been concentrating on cooking instead.24-large_default
I belong to several online gardening and allotment groups one of which is The Horticultural Channel.

We all get along very well and have a good rapport about growing as well as other things like cookery, preserving and hobbies such as sewing.  The membership of the group spans the world with members in America, New Zealand, Canada and Europe.

One lady who I have chatted to purchased a Thermomix cook processor last summer and I have been fascinated ever since as to whether it is a cheffy gimmick (as seen on Masterchef) or a useful piece of kitchen equipment.

I cook from scratch most days and was quite sceptical as to whether this machine was worth the hype or the price tag and whether it was just a glorified soup maker.

It claims to mix, make soups, sauces, chop, emulsify, make sorbets, grate and stew.  So I had a two hour demo and in that time made a berry sorbet, seeded bread rolls, a broccoli gratin and red pepper and tomato soup.

We started by making a bread dough. The Thermomix has built-in scales with which we weighed  the water and yeast, and then pushed a couple of buttons and the machine heated  to the correct temperature before we added the flour and salt, mixed the dough, divided it into rolls and left it to prove.

After a quick wash of the jug we ground lentils into a flour which were then reserved for the soup dish.  Next up was a crumb topping for the gratin which whizzed-up bread, a chunk of parmesan and herbs in a matter of seconds.

After this we made a bechamel sauce in super quick time to be used for the gratin.

The Thermomix can actually wash its own processing bowl by heating the water with a drop of washing up liquid and then it just needs a quick rinse under the tap.

The next recipe was a berry sorbet  – we started by measuring sugar into the bowl and using a pre set to whizz the sugar into icing sugar which I have to confess was pretty amazing.

We then added frozen mixed berries and set it to work –  we had a little bit of additional stirring but what came out was a very smooth sorbet which tasted delicious.

Our final dish was a red pepper and tomato soup.  I added chunky chopped peppers, onion and garlic, did a quick pulse to chop and then a saute, and after a few minutes we added stock and tomatoes and left it to cook.  Another quick whizz adding the blitzed lentils made a perfect soup.

Whilst this was cooking we steamed the broccoli for the gratin.

As a very keen cook I was very impressed and could see that it could save time and a lot of effort – ideally it would replace many kitchen items, and it comes with a recipe chip for non cooks to effortlessly make endless recipes.

My other worry was whether it would take the fun out of cooking but I actually thought that it does all the fiddly jobs.

The biggest stumbling block I could see was the price tag at £925 – so  it needs to be a considered purchase.

But having done some independent research they seem to be an almost standard piece of kit in Australian and continental kitchens.  There are other versions made by Tefal and Kitchenaid and it will be interesting to see if they catch on here as much as stand-mixers.


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Derek Kennedy became the new landlord of The Sportsman pub
December 5th, 2015 by eastgrinsteadonline

IMG_5512THE new landlord of The Sportsman pub in Cantelupe Road is former soldier Derek Kennedy.

Derek grew up in Ashurst Wood, where his sister still lives, but has served abroad in the Infantry with the Queen’s Regiment in the Falklands, Germany, Cyprus, Kenya and Gibraltar.

Derek, who remembers first visiting The Sportsman 50 year ago when it was a cafe, said “he didn’t want to see the doors close” when the previous landlord left, so he spoke to the new leaseholder and agreed to take on the licence himself.

He has already started to make some changes, including upgrading the upstairs function room, and repainting and repairing the exterior, and 25 of his customers – who are mainly town tradesmen – are joining him on a charity walk on 20 December.

They’ll be starting at the pub at 10am and taking an eight mile round hike to Forest Row to raise money for Walking with the Wounded – a charity for injured servicemen – before heading back to The Sportsman for a pint…






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