‘Tis the season

Eagle-eyed Facebook followers will know that Christmas is in full swing at the Hundred House. I thought I’d take the chance to tell you more about our stunning new decorations in the Tithe Barn.

Handmade especially for our party and wedding venue, our new decorations are inspired by the colours that surround the Hundred House in winter. A real modern classic.

 

 

Following expert tuition from Denise Purnell of Ginger Lily Florist, our events and wedding guru Joanne Phillips created six new garlands for our barn. Drawing on her years of expertise in the industry Jo chose colours that will be a perfect complement to any colour scheme, as well as bringing extra sparkle to our Christmas party events.

Each pine cone, glittering bauble and dainty bead is hand wired to the foliage.

 

A range of festive trimmings were gathered to create our garlands

Florist’s wire is used to make sure the decorations are firmly fixed.

Each garland takes around two hours to make. I asked Jo for her tips on how create the perfect festive finish.

  • Don’t feel you have to spend a fortune. Simple baubles can be transformed with skillful arrangement.
  • Decide on a theme. A jumble of ideas can look cute and quirky, but keep a common thread, even if it’s just colour.
  • Plan your design before you start. There’s nothing more frustrating than having to start rewiring half-way through.
  • Prepare all your materials, even down to cutting the florist wire.
  • Take care to keep all the decorations front facing.

Florist’s wire, cut and ready to go . Jo recommends preparing your materials before you start makes the job easier.

Pine cones were the trickiest to wire.The key is making sure the wire sits at the base, so the cone hangs true.

Planning your design before you start is the key to things going smoothly.

Beautiful modern vintage style.

So there you have it, simple effective decorations that will bring stunning sparkle to our tithe barn.

More photos of the hotel and restaurant are on their way, plus news about our luscious lunch menus and delightful dinner. If you really can’t wait, have a look on Facebook, where there’s a sneak peek of our festive food.

For information about Ginger Lily Florist have a look at their Facebook page

https://m.facebook.com/Ginger-Lily-Florist-formerly-Rustic-Wedding-Flowers-1415607878686513/?locale2=en_GB

Or follow them on Instagram

https://www.instagram.com/gingerlilyflorist/

 

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Cheery Chutney

Chutneys are used in so many ways at the Hundred House, whether they’re enhancing our home made paté, giving a bit of zing to our scrumptious lunchtime sandwiches or complimenting our selection of cheeses, we love the curious combination of sweet and savoury that only a chutney can give.

Assembled loveliness
©kam

 

 

Chutney makes a gorgeous gift too, and is a great way of using up a glut of apples or pears from your garden, making the most of homegrown veg, or even just taking advantage of special offers at your local greengrocer.  Here are a couple of my favourites

Beetroot and Orange Chutney

  • 1½ kg raw beetroot, trimmed, peeled and diced (wear gloves!)
  • 3 onions, chopped
  • 3 eating apples, peeled and grated
  • zest and juice 3 oranges
  • 2 tbsp white or yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp coriander seed
  • 1 tbsp ground cloves
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 700ml red wine vinegar
  • 700g golden granulated sugar

Method

  1. In a preserving pan or your largest saucepan, mix together all the ingredients well. Bring to a gentle simmer, then cook for 1 hr, stirring occasionally, until the chutney is thick and the beetroot tender.
  2. While the chutney is cooking, prepare your jars by running through a short hot wash in your dishwasher. Or wash thoroughly by hand, then put in a hot oven to sterilise for 10-15 mins. Once the chutney is ready, let it settle for 10 mins, then carefully spoon into the jars and seal while still hot. You can eat it straight away but it will be even better after a month. Will keep for up to 6 months in a cool dark place. Once opened, refrigerate and eat within 2 months.

Spiced Beetroot and Orange Chutney. Great with cold meats and rich brie and sharp stilton. Making it makes the house smell stunning too !

Recipe from Good Food magazine

Spiced Pear Chutney

Ingredients

  • 60ml/2¼fl oz olive oil
  • 1 tsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 200g/7¼oz sultanas
  • 100g/3½oz raisins
  • 100g/3½oz demerara sugar /or coconut sugar
  • 400ml/14¼oz cider vinegar
  • 100g/3½oz crystallised ginger, finely sliced
  • 800g/1lb 12¼oz pears coared and cut into wedges
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp nutmeg, freshly grated
  • 2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 good pinch of saffron

    Method

    1. Heat a large saucepan with the oil, add the rosemary, sultanas, raisins and sugar and fry them until the fruit begins to caramelise.

    2. Pour in the vinegar and boil on a high heat for three minutes. Then add the rest of the ingredients, bring to the boil, then turn to a simmer and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated. Because of the fruit, this chutney has a tendency to stick to the bottom of the pan, so stir it well and keep an eye on it. Don’t let the pears cook too much; they should keep their shape.

    3. Spoon it into clean hot jars, filling them as full as you can, and seal while hot. Store in the fridge.

      Pear Chutney is delicious with hard cheeses such as Comté, or slathered on a pork pie.

 

Recipe from BBC Food

There’s just got time time to make a batch or two ready for Christmas. Alongside a Hundred House gift voucher you’ve got the makings of a perfect food lovers gift.

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Amazing Apples

Do you remember the Apple blossom photographs from our April blog ? Well, harvest time is here !  Whilst it’s sad to wave goodbye to summer days in the garden, the sheer abundance of outstanding Shropshire produce makes Autumn a very exciting time at the Hundred House.

The next few blogs will be dedicated to showing how we  make the most of our delicious local and homegrown produce, starting with our glorious apples.  If you’re anything like me you can’t wait for steaming hot bowl of apple crumble and custard, or succulent, rich roast pork (complete with crackling) beautifully paired with a tart apple sauce.

Whilst modern production and storage methods mean apples are available all year, there is something extras special about the first harvest of our own fruit. Signs for apple pressing days are springing up, and many local communities have wholes dedicated to celebrating this unsung hero.

I wonder what our chefs will transform this beauty in to ?

 

There are around 7,500 varieties of apple in the U.K. !

There are so many ways of using apples, they deserve their own blog.That’s quite a task though so I’ve picked out a couple of favourite Hundred House recipes for you to try at home. The first one is a stunning side dish that works well with pretty much any delightful Autumn dinner you could create.

Braised Red Cabbage with Caraway and Apple

Ingredients:

2 Red cabbages (thinly sliced)

4 onions (thinly sliced)

2 Bramley apples

4 Tbsp. oil

½ Pack of butter

2 Tbsp. caraway

¼ Pint of red wine vinegar

2 Pints red wine

2-3 Tbsp. of crab apple or redcurrant jelly

Zest and juice of 2 oranges

Method:

  1. Sweat onions, cabbage and caraway in the oil and butter for 20 minutes
  2. Add balsamic and reduce by half
  3. Add red wine and reduce to a glaze then add orange zest and juice.
  4. Stir in the jelly then cook further for 10 minutes.

From this…..

 

 

 

Delicious, warming and very good for you !

This recipe will serve a crowd, but it’s easily halved. Any leftovers will freeze well too. It works well as an accompaniment to many autumn and winter dishes but my favourite is when it’s served alongside some deliciously simple roasted duck.

Another favourite is our Apple and Cinnamon Crumble Flan.

 

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Hollowdene Hens

 

Can you imagine how many eggs the Hundred House needs each week? As well being part of our delicious breakfast dishes, we use them in cakes, glazing pastries, sauces, side dishes, you name it, eggs are involved in the kitchen every single day. As you know, we really care about where our ingredients come from and whilst we like to use as much of our own produce as possible, space and time mean we source our some of our ingredients from local suppliers.Over the next few months I’ll be finding out about many of our suppliers and the essential egg seemed like a great place to  start. Peter Jarvis, owner of Hollowdene Hens was kind enough to answer some questions and take some fab poultry pics!

Happy hens mean tasty eggs

HH What can you tell us about Hollowdene Hens?

PJ I’m a former dairy farmer, and went into free range egg production just over 10 years ago. We run 3 separate flocks of about 2000 birds in each. This gives us a continuous supply of varying size eggs. Each flock is re stocked about every 15 months. Effectively this means we are re stocking one flock every 5 months.

HH Why are free range eggs better than other methods?

PJ The hens have the freedom to go out during day light every day. Judging by the speed they rush out every morning, this is something they truly enjoy. I haven’t said much about caged hens. Clearly, they are easier to manage, they eat less (therefore it’s cheaper to produce eggs) due to lack of exercise, but they have no life, other than that of a prisoner.

Here’s to happy hens !

HH What do you enjoy about your job?

PJ   For me, this is a very enjoyable job, although the down side is, it is truly 24/7, 365 days a year. Days off are few and far between.

HH Can the public buy your eggs?

PJ Our eggs are used in many top hotels and restaurants in the Shrewsbury / Telford area and can be bought in many independent shops in this area too. Under the Hollowdene hen’s logo.

HH Finally, do you have a favourite hen?

PJ the two resident cockerels are the only ones we have named. Colin and Stanley! Pictures attached. Stanley is the one posing in the back of the van, next to the egg boxes.

Stanley the Cockerel

 

Free range eggs not only taste better, they really do come from hens that have had happy lives. Thank you Peter for telling us a bit more about Hollowdene Hens, and for taking the smashing photos.  I’m pretty sure Stanley will be ready for a modelling career soon !

Colin the Cockerel

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