I am so happy to unveil our new range of 15 organic teas and herbal infusions. The ritual of drinking tea brings calm, comfort and revival. As our lives become ever busier, I cherish the moments when we can take time out from a busy day to sit quietly and enjoy a restorative cup of tea. Each variety of tea requires a different approach and to honour the care and skill of our producers, I wanted to share some tips on achieving the perfect cup.
As we gathered the honey from our hives in the summer, we were mindful of the remarkable effort that goes into every precious golden drop. The hard work of the bees begins long before harvest and at Daylesford we are committed to supporting our favourite pollinators throughout the year.
For me, there is no comparison to the classic English rose, picked straight from the garden and brought in to the home as part of a simple posey. Our cutting garden at the farm is filled with organic seasonal blooms and is now open for pick-your-own afternoons every Wednesday throughout September and October.
All good honey is said to have restorative, even healing properties, but certain batches of Manuka honey from New Zealand have been shown to have special antibacterial qualities – the Maoris traditionally put it on cuts to help fend off infection. Taken from our cookbook A Love For Food, this is admittedly not a cheap cake to make, but apart from being good for you it has a very distinctive, acquired flavour, quite potent and floral, from the Manuka.
Our busy bees have had a great spring and summer this year, with plentiful hedgerows, orchards and good flying weather in the early season all contributing to a bountiful harvest. The fields of wildflower and lavender that we have at Daylesford, together with the second flowering of clover and Sainfoin have also bolstered their reserves, making this one of our best years yet for our estate honey.
There are few things more important in life than good health and wellbeing, and yet so often these areas are neglected. On Monday 11th September we shall be meeting at our Notting Hill farmshop to talk about different ways to achieve a healthy balance in life.
At Daylesford we are looking forward to celebrating autumn at our HARVEST FESTIVAL later this month. Our excitement is being fuelled by the hedgerows and verges ripening with the mellow fruitfulness of the season. The early glimpses of the bright, glossy berries peeping out of our hedgerows are a sign of the colourful and delicious bounty to come in the full flush of Harvest.
This autumn also sees the return of Organic September – The Soil Association’s annual campaign dedicated to organic food and farming. It is a fantastic initiative and one that I hope will help encourage people to embrace sustainable principles – not just for the benefit of our own good health, but also for the good of our animals and the environment that surrounds us.
As we approach Autumn, now is a great time to get out in to the countryside and forage for berries to put in to crumbles, pies and smoothies. This vitamin C rich smoothie is made with blackberry, mint and honey and equipped with all of the soothing and nourishing benefits of our organic milk kefir, which we make fresh on the farm from the milk of our pedigree British Friesians.
Sarah Myerscough Gallery is somewhere that I love to go to discover inspiring works by contemporary artists and makers. In today’s world of high technology, it’s reassuring that craft still has a distinct and powerful role to play in art culture and I have always felt that it is important to support these handcrafted skills. This autumn we shall be welcoming Sarah Myerscough to our Bamford stores for a specially curated exhibition of works by international artists and designers.
In November 2015 we launched Agricology – an online and in-field platform offering practical information and advice for farmers about sustainable British agriculture. It is a fantastic, much needed initiative and I am very proud to be a founding trustee. Over the past two years the website has grown into an interactive, online resource centre, brought to life by a regular stream of industry news, educational resources and blog posts and a monthly video diary of agriculture at Daylesford provided by Richard Smith, our farm manager.
Tom Kitchin is a chef who I truly admire and a trip to his Edinburgh restaurant, The Kitchin, is something that I always look forward to. The youngest Scottish chef to ever win a Michelin star, Tom’s cooking brings together everything that I love about food: quality seasonal produce, sourced from local suppliers and served simply, in a beautiful and relaxed environment.
Autumn is traditionally a time to give thanks for our food and I always try and spend as much time outside as possible, reconnecting with the source of where so much of our food comes from. With an abundance of colourful, fragrant fruits and vegetables in season – such as plums, squashes, pumpkins, cobnuts, hedgerow berries, tomatoes, beetroot, not to mention wild game like venison, grouse and partridge and more – the traditional Harvest months of September and October bring a final glorious display of nature’s bounty before the first frosts of winter arrive.
The combination of richly yolked organic hen’s eggs, crispy, salty pancetta and our new-season broad beans ensures that this protein-rich take on a Caesar salad is not only filling but wonderfully satisfying too. I love this as a quick mid-week supper dish, or piled onto big platters as part of a leisurely lunch with friends on summer weekends.
Amber Locke is an artist whose stunning, colourful images I have always loved. Her geometric works are created with artfully placed fresh fruit, vegetables, flowers and foliage and celebrate the beauty and colours of nature in its prime.
There is something very special about coming together at the end of the summer to give thanks for what our gardens and pastures have produced and I am looking forward to our Harvest Festival on Saturday 23rd September. Good food and traditional family fun are at the heart of the festival and I am particularly excited about our Honey Show, held in honour of our bees who have been working hard all summer to pollinate the wildflowers and crops on the farm.
A good risotto has to be one of the best ways to celebrate seasonal ingredients. During July and August, our Market Garden is laden with delicious peas, beans and fresh herbs – all of which lend themselves perfectly to a bright, filling and utterly delicious summer risotto. Always remember, a good risotto is one that is well seasoned and cooked slowly with love.
Eating well has a huge effect not only on how we feel, but also on how our how our brains and bodies function. This August we shall be considering the relationship between good nutrition and wellbeing at our Feed Your Mind day at our Cookery School. Designed in collaboration with our resident nutritionist, Rhaya Jordan, this course will include plenty of expert advice on how to incorporate important nutrients in your home cooking.
This summer we are holding a special series of children’s floristry classes, which are a wonderful way to encourage budding floristry skills in children aged 5-12. On Thursday 20th July our floristry team are holding Children’s Jam Jars: a fun morning exploring the market garden to learn about how plants grow and to gather flowers, before making pretty jam jar arrangements to take home.
Animal welfare is central to everything that we do at Daylesford and I am very proud of the fact that our animals live a happy and content life on the farm– roaming freely in the fields and living of a grass based, organic diet. This summer we shall be considering the subject of meat and the conscious consumer at our Daylesford Discusses evening on Monday 24th July.
This beautiful layered pudding combines tart and effervescent Sparkling de Leoubé Rosé wine and sweet floral elderflower with rich delicious organic cream. We like to decorate it from within with fresh raspberries and pretty edible flowers for a stunning summer treat. If you do not have a narrow terrine mould as we have used here, small dariole moulds or ramekins will work perfectly.
As new fish counters launch throughout Daylesford farmshops, our resident nutritionist Rhaya Jordan explains why sustainable seafood should be a regular part of a varied, balanced and delicious diet. Easily prepared, quick to cook, packed with lean protein and a rich source of omega 3 fatty acids: fish may just be the perfect fast food. Eating fish is associated with longevity; the longest-living populations in the world tend to be cultures that have plenty of seafood in their diets.
The Market Garden is somewhere that I love to escape to whatever the time of year, but it is during the summer months that the garden really comes to life, overflowing with vibrant fresh, organic produce. Spread over 25 acres, the garden is tended to by our Head Gardener, Jez, and his team and between them they grow and produce over 300 varieties of fruit, vegetables and salads using entirely organic, sustainable farming methods.
I have always believed that the best way to encourage young people to embrace an active lifestyle, healthy living and wellbeing is to make sure they have fun. The vital issues of health and nutrition will be brought to life at our farm this summer, as we welcome Stroud rugby star Sam Viggers to host a number of Wellbeing Workshops for Children.
This year has been possibly our best ever crop of strawberries in the Market Garden. With temperatures soaring over the previous few weeks, our strawberry varieties have ripened beautifully and are exquisitely sweet. To celebrate the bounty of summer our Cookery School has created three seasonal recipes that make the most of this favourite summer fruit.
Flower pressing is a traditional pastime that has been enjoyed for generations and is something that I love to do with my grandchildren. Join us at the farm this Saturday 8th July to explore the Daylesford estate and gather beautiful blooms for pressing, to create pressed flower designs that can be used to make cards, window art and keepsakes to take home.
As we enter high summer the bees are at their prime. Despite many negative stories surrounding the plight of the bees, many farmers and beekeepers are adopting a suite of measures to give our essential pollinators an opportunity to thrive.
There is little more refreshing in the summer months than the cool clinking of ice cubes in a jugful of homemade elderflower cordial. The hedgerows and verges are brimming with their cloud-like heads at the moment and when picked on a sunny afternoon their sweet, floral fragrance is a reminder of quite how idyllic the English summertime can be.
On Saturday 20th May we threw open the gates to our Cotswolds farm for our annual Summer Festival. And whilst the weather was a little wet, our spirits were not dampened, as we all came together to celebrate farm life and the Great British Summer. This year’s festival was all about bees and we welcomed a number of experts to the farm, from beekeepers to craftsmen, gardeners and farmers, all of whom share our passion for protecting these vital pollinators.
This Sunday 18th June, we shall be bringing a taste of the Cotswolds to central London at the Marylebone Summer Fayre. From 11am to 5:30pm, the streets of Marylebone will be transformed with live music, dancing, food stalls and fun activities for children.
Charred Wrapped Vegetable And Cheese Parcel A simple, yet impressive dish that makes the most of new season chard, leaks and carrots.
Artisan skills lie at the heart of Bamford and we are incredibly proud of the craftsmen who we work with across the world, from Scotland to Italy, Nepal and India. On Saturday 25th June we shall be offering a behind the scenes look at Bamford and sharing the incredible journey that each beautiful product takes from conception through to finished article.
Throughout the year at Daylesford, we make sure that our bees and other pollinators have a plentiful supply of plants upon which to forage. In early spring, snowdrops, crocuses and of course blossoming fruit trees offer sought after sweet nectar while in the summer wildflower meadows and pastures rich in sainfoin and clover provide a feast for the bees.
Earlier this year we launched an exciting new competition entitled From Land to Craft in celebration of our love for natural materials, traditions and craftsmanship. The competition was unveiled by Bamford in March and invited artists and craftsmen to apply for an artist-in-residence program, during which time they could create a collection of works inspired by the Daylesford estate.
London Food Month is a fantastic new festival, which launches this June and celebrates the capital’s vibrant culinary culture. As part of the month long festival of events we shall be holding a special evening at our Notting Hill Farmshop, which will celebrate the many different ways that fermented foods can be made and enjoyed.
This gently fragrant ice cream is sweetened with Daylesford honey from our own beehives. Special enough to be served as a stand-alone dessert, dusted with bee pollen, it is also heavenly alongside grilled summer peaches, lightly poached apricots or freshly hulled strawberries.
As the seasons change I look forward to morning walks in the market garden to plan seasonal dishes for the days ahead. Our 25-acre organic market garden is the source of over 250 varieties of heritage fruit and vegetables and so there is much to choose from.
In celebration of this week’s Chelsea Flower Show we are hosting a beautiful pop-up flower stall outside our farmshop on Pimlico Road. Our Head Florist will be present throughout the week to offer advice and create seasonal blooms, bouquets, floral headdresses and crowns with English flowers. We will also have a great display of bee friendly plants, arrangements, pots and tools for the garden available for sale throughout the celebrations.
Simple, light and refreshing this summer salad includes bee-friendly herbs and flowers as garnishes. In the Market Garden, we support our bees by growing flowering crops and allowing our salad brassicas to flower. Just as the bees rely on our efforts, we depend on their ability and hard work to pollinate crops. By maintaining a growing diversity, we create a source of nectar to keep these valuable pollinators on site.
I am so happy to share with you our third E-book containing five seasonal recipes, all inspired by the relationship between our gardens, our pollinators and our plates. With borders and beds abundant with edible flowers and fragrant herbs, we create food and nourishment for our bees and interest in our cooking.
I am delighted to be supporting Skye Gyngell’s brilliant new initiative, TABLE, which shares many of my thoughts and passions for tackling food waste and sustainable growing, farming and eating. TABLE is being held at Somerset House from 17th-21st May and celebrates the simple joy of being able to eat well together, regardless of background and social means.
I am so happy to share with you the launch of our new floristry workshop at the farm. Built next door to our new Garden shop, the workshop celebrates the art of floristry and will be home to a huge variety of floristry workshops throughout the year.
Make the most of springtime’s bright green shoots in this recipe, which combines heady wild garlic and tender nettle leaves. Finishing the fluffy gnocchi off by pan-frying in a little butter gives a wonderful textural contrast to this simple yet stunning dish. Just the thing to tuck into after a morning of foraging.
Wild food at this time of year is a feast for the tastebuds, with sweet, sour, savoury, bitter, floral and peppery flavours providing a real taste journey. Here are some of my favourite things to forage for in Spring.
Our Summer Festival is an event that I look forward to every year – a day when the farm comes to life with stalls, workshops, debates, crafts, farm tours, dog shows and, of course, lots of delicious food. This year’s festival takes place on Saturday 20th May and will be a special celebration of bees and the vital role that they play over the summer months.
Bees are essential to life as we know it and much of the food we grow at Daylesford would not be possible without our most vital pollinators. With their populations in sharp decline, we must do everything we can to encourage and support the humble bee.
With the hard frosts of winter behind us, and buds on branches bright and green with new leaf, this time of year is full of expectancy and excitement as springtime unfolds into full bloom. Bringing bulbs into your home not only creates an incredible scent, it also reminds us that this is the season of revival and new life. At Daylesford, we like to forage for nature’s seasonal offerings to include in our floral arrangements. Here is our step-by-step guide on how you can create a seasonal table centrepiece that would be perfect for an Easter table.
Exploring the market garden with my grandchildren always gives me great joy and is a wonderful way to teach them about where there food has come from and how it is grown. This Spring, we are inviting children of all ages to come and explore the Market Garden at the farm, from 11am until 1pm on Saturday 29th April.
This delicious, simple recipe is taken from my daughter Alice’s new book: “One Gun Ranch, Malibu: Biodynamic Recipes For Vibrant Living”.
I am incredibly proud of my daughter Alice, who has just launched her first book: One Gun Ranch, Malibu: Biodynamic Recipes for Vibrant Living. The beautiful book tells the story behind One Gun Ranch – the biodynamic farm founded by Alice in Malibu in 2008 – and shares Alice’s passion for biodynamic farming, eating and living.
I am so happy to announce the launch of an exciting new project at Bamford, which celebrates our love of natural materials, traditions and craftsmanship. Our Land to Craft competition invites artists and crafts people to apply for a six week artist-in-residence programme, during which time the winner will create six pieces inspired by nature and the Daylesford estate.
A favourite at our Cookery School, this simple recipe makes the most of one of our most cherished spring ingredients, asparagus. We love to serve this as a protein-rich breakfast, a first course at a dinner party or even as a light spring lunch with a glass of crisp white wine and slice or two of organic sourdough.
This April we are holding a special supper at our Notting Hill farmshop, which will consider the issue of food waste. Taking place on Wednesday 26th April, the topical dinner will bring together a panel of experts and people from the local community to discuss the issue of food waste, whilst dining on delicious, organic food that might once have been thought of as “waste”.
After the ‘hungry gap’ of late winter, the arrival of vibrant forced rhubarb brings welcome colour and tart flavours to our plates. For our Cookery School team, this means placing large bunches into their baskets during their daily trips to forage our organic Market Garden for their course ingredients.
This Spring, Rita shall be joining us at the farm for a special interior design workshop on Thursday 27th April. During the day Rita will guide you through a range of design aspects in the home, covering furniture layouts and mixing furniture and upholstery, followed by entertaining at home, buying china and glass, colour, wallpaper and picture hanging.
With winter almost behind us, we can begin to look forward to the joys of spring. Easter is a time of new life and there is no place quite like a farm to see this happen. New-born calves are taking their first tentative steps on spindly legs, our chicks are beginning to hatch from their protective eggs, and our lambing season is now upon us, bringing with it a harmony of tiny bleats to the farm.
Spring is the time for children to discover their green fingers and this March we are holding the perfect class for inquisitive young minds.
The Cheltenham Festival is one of the highlights of the National Hunt Season and an event that I look forward to every year. This year we shall be celebrating with a special preview evening at the farm, in the company of an expert panel of racing personalities including Telegraph racing columnist Charlie Brooks, trainers Jonjo O’Neill and Graeme McPherson and jockeys Aidan Coleman and Paddy Brennan.
In today’s throwaway culture, the subject of Food Waste has never been more important. On Monday 6th March our regular Daylesford Discusses evening will consider what can be done to help what is a wide spread global issues, with over 1.3 billion tons of food wasted globally each year.
Though not commonly thought of as a superfood, a good stew or ragu is often extremely nutritionally rich. High in protein and beneficial fats, dishes such as this bring great comfort and a feeling of deep satisfaction – both sensations that are thought to help enable us to absorb more nutritional value from our food.
The Wild Rabbit is teaming up with Laurent-Perrier to offer a very special dinner on Tuesday 4th April 2017. Our Michelin starred Executive Chef Tim Allen has created a celebratory seasonal menu that perfectly complements the subtle flavours of Laurent–Perrier’s handcrafted champagnes.
India is a country that inspires so much of what we do at Bamford and this is particularly true of our Spring Summer 2017 collection. Based on a palette of neutrals with injections of coral, the collection is almost entirely crafted by hand and inspired by the colours and shapes of the continent.
Patrick Holden is someone who has inspired me for many years. Founding Director of the Sustainable Food Trust, he is a leading voice in the world of sustainable farming and a much valued friend of Daylesford. This March, Patrick shall be joining us at the farm for a very special supper in the Cookery School.
Seasonal table arrangements are one of my favourite ways to bring nature inside the home and can transform an ordinary table into something extraordinary.
Fruit liqueurs are a winter treat and a great way to make the most of foraged berries such as sloes, black currents and damsons. Join us at the farm on Saturday 25th February for a special evening to celebrate the art of the liqueur making process.
I am looking forward to the return of Collect craft fair this week at the Saatchi Gallery in London, presented each year by the Crafts Council.
Our next seasonal supper club takes place at our PImlico farm shop on Thursday 23rd February and will celebrate our theme of ‘Feed Your Body and Mind’.
This wonderfully light salad celebrates many of our most nutritious winter ingredients. With such vibrant colours, it makes for a beautiful dinner party starter or alternatively, a quick, gentle salad to enjoy of an evening with fresh bread, light pickles and cold meats.
National Nest Box Week is an annual initiative that encourages everyone to put up nest boxes in their local area in order to promote and enhance biodiversity and conservation of our breeding birds and wildlife.
I am so happy to announce the opening of our new Home and Garden Room at the farm. The new barn houses an even bigger selection of flowers and shrubs for the home and for the garden.
A filling and satisfying soup that offers a wonderfully hearty and satisfying bowl around which family and friends can come together. Made using some of our favourite winter vegetables, fibre-rich lentils and the antioxidant properties of fresh turmeric it is truly brimming with nutritional value.
Starting the day with meditation and yoga is one of the best ways to clear the mind and prepare for the day ahead. When I can, I see our resident yoga master Vettri Selvan.
As we celebrate the notion of togetherness, time, nourishment and warmth this season, we thought we would share with you some of our most cherished soup and broth recipes for comfort.
Tumeric is an anti-inflammatory but can be hard to absorb unless you serve it with a portion of good fats too.
Practicing yoga with your child can held create a wonderful bond and is a great way to stretch the body and calm the mind of young and old alike.
With Spring almost in our sights, now is the time to learn new floristry skills to help you make the most of the first blossoms.
As the days become longer after the turn of the year, I look forward to the green winter crops, which are now being harvested from our market garden.
Popular in cuisines all over the world, fermenting is a delicious way to add good bacteria to your diet and support a healthy digestive system.
The beginning of the year offers an opportunity to reset, rebalance and restore. This year we look towards a strengthened commitment to the relationship between our body and mind.
Cold January evenings are the time for curling up by the fire with a good book
Growing up as a child a bubbling pot of broth on a hot stove was a regular sight in our kitchen and a staple of many of my most loved soups and stews.
With the excesses of the festive season behind us, now is the time to nurture the mind and body with wholesome food and mindful deeds.