Longacres – Bevan’s Butchers and Caffe Amore

Bevan's Butchers cropMy favourite place to buy meat is Bevan’s Butchers at Longacres Garden Centre.  Bevan’s was founded at the end of the 19th century but the current business was established in 1929 with the opening of a shop in Kingston which is still open today.  There are only 4 shops and Bevan’s at Longacres, Bagshot only opened in 2010 but it has state of the art equipment and refrigeration.  The beef is 30 day aged on the bone for maximum flavour, the lamb is the best salt marsh lamb.  Also on offer is free range pork, chicken and duck together with a variety of game and sausages made to old family recipes.  Favourites in our house are the Moroccan sausages and the Greek spiced marinaded butterfly leg of lamb.  They will even vacuum pack meat for the freezer. Bevan's Butchers long shot At Longacres in addition to the meat they also offer a good selection of fish such as:

  • Salmon Supremes
  • Tuna Loin Steaks
  • Sliced Smoked Salmon
  • Rainbow Trout Fillets

Pies cropped Cheeseplus a huge selection of pies, cooked meats and a great array of different cheeses. This really is a foodie’s paradise, full of delicacies you can’t find elsewhere so it is definitely worth a visit if you like to cook. Very conveniently this butchers is adjacent to the main food hall where you can buy foods from around the world.  If you feel lazy and can’t face the supermarket you can pick up all the basics here for a quick shop and find some different foods you won’t find elsewhere. There is a wonderful café next door also, it is called Caffee Amore.  The service here is really excellent.  The staff are very friendly and helpful and the food is wonderful (including pizzas cooked in a brick built wood burning pizza oven).  We are very fond of popping in here for breakfast and in the summer we often sit outside on their patio.  They also have amazing cakes and do some gluten free options too.  I’ll write a bit more about the café another time.

Of course there is the garden centre too when you get bored with exploring culinary delights :-).

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South Hill Park Food Festival

A few weeks ago I paid a visit to the South Hill Park Food Festival.  This event was in its second year and it took place as usual in the mansion and grounds that comprise South Hill Park Arts Centre.  It is a truly beautiful location and luckily on my doorstep.

South Hill Park Italian gardensThe weather for once was just perfect.  A beautiful summer’s day  without being too scorchingly hot.  Although there were some stalls inside the mansion, it was great to be able to be outside, especially as South Hill Park has a huge terrace where you can take full advantage of that rare phenomenon, the Great British summer!

It was wonderful to see the Oxford Cheese company with their delectable selection of cheeses.  Oxford Cheese co logo Oxford Cheese co cheesesI do really enjoy the Oxford Blue cheese but  this company also has some other cheeses worthy of mention.  The Oxford Isis is a full fat soft cheese which is actually washed in honey mead which infuses it with a distinct flowery aroma.  In addition to the cheeses, there are some biscuits for cheese that are a definite upgrade on your normal biscuit.

In addition this company sells cheeses from other cheese companies, including farmhouse cheddar and oak cheddar.   It is so difficult to choose so always worth buying a couple to try.

Make sure you visit the Oxford Cheese Company at their stall in the Covered Market, the next time you visit Oxford.

Delights of Italy were at the festival and I really do like this company.  They actually have a shop in Holme Grange Craft Centre, near Wokingham and they sell all things culinary and Italian along with a number of things non-culinary but still very Italian.  My most recent purchases from this comIMG_0226pany include an Italian leather red bag and some Murano glass necklaces plus some biscotti.  They do a wonderful range of pastas, Reggiano Parmigiano, vinegars, biscuits, coffee, flavoured oils plus expresso cups and storage jars.  If that wasn’t enough, you can even book yourself on a cookery class or go to a language class.  I did a pasta sauce class and really enjoyed learning how to make a pesto and a classic tomato sauce.  A warning though, you will probably never buy pasta sauce again if you take this class!

Another interesting company I spotted was Med Foods.  They had a mouthwatering selection of olives, Turkish Delight, baklava, nuts, dried fruit, sun-dried tomatoes, virgin olive oil, licorice, fudge, crackers, peppeIMG_0221rs, and confectionery.

According to their website, they import 1,200 pallets per year of fine gourmet Mediterranean foods.

They regularly attend food festivals so look out for them.

I really am hoping the food festival will be back next year but in the meantime, South Hill Park is well worth a visit.  It is a unique centre for the arts and if culture is not your thing, simply go along to make the most of summer and have a drink on the terrace.  I can definitely vouch for their Sunday lunch but do book it is very popular!

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