French Flavour hamper

French Flavour hamperIf you’re a crossword fan, subscribe to The Taster and you’ll get a quarterly chance to win a hamper, cookbooks or equally exciting foodie prize, in addition to the free giveaways & competitions available online.

This hamper is the prize for our crossword currently published in our Autumn issue; for a chance to win, either subscribe or get a free copy of The Taster, complete the crossword and send it to us as directed in the magazine.

French Flavour specialises in supplying quality French and UK artisan food products, delivered direct to your door. Cider, artisan beer, garlic, saucisson, olive oils, patés, sea salt, hand-baked biscuits, sauces & marinades. For full details see or ring 01978 356835

Lucknam Park Cookery Course

Lucknam Park Cookery CourseThe beautiful estate of Lucknam Park, near Chippenham in the Cotswolds, is offering a one-day cookery course, worth £175, in its state-of-the-art kitchen. This includes lunch, treats, goodies to take away — and the loan of a Chef’s Jacket & Apron, so you can look the part while learning from professional chefs. Rooms are available at Lucknam Park Hotel, at the usual rates, if you would like to stay overnight. For a chance to win, email your name, address, and the below three phrases to

(Email these phrases to the Editor:)
407 trees line Lucknam Park’s mile-long drive
Lucknam Park has five walled gardens
The Cotswold Way walk is 102 miles long

The deadline is 1 November 2016. Names will be pulled out of a hat and the first to emerge with the three phrases will be the winner. Good luck!

As mentioned, if you would like to enjoy a proper break away, Lucknam Park have a selection of beautiful rooms for you to choose from. Prices from £290 per night; the hotel is located a short walk from the Cookery School. For full details of the hotel and school, see Lucknam

T&Cs: Day courses run from 8:30am-4:30pm (approx), Monday-Saturday. Included are: coffee & pastries on arrival, all ingredients, lunch, a course folder and Cookery School bag. The prize is non-exchangeable, subject to availability, and must be taken by 31 August 2017. The Editor’s decision on the winner is final. The winner’s name and home town will be published in the Winter/Christmas 2016 issue of The Taster.

Lucknam Park Cookery Course

BBC Good Food Show free tickets

BBC Good Food ShowBBC Good Food Show covers some of the biggest, most exciting food festivals in the UK. Every show features cookery demonstrations by celebrity chefs, lectures, talks, special events, and  — what we all want — tastings!

The Taster has 10 tickets (five pairs) to give away, valid for any of this autumn’s shows. Just email your name, address, and The GFS Taster Tickets Code: TASTERGFS to

The deadline is 12 October, and winners’ names will appear in our next (Winter/Christmas 2016) issue. Good luck!

T&Cs: All tickets are general admission excluding Saturday. Tickets are non-refundable and non-exchangeable. Ticket terms & conditions apply. Tickets do not include a seat in the Supertheatre. Organised and presented by River Street Events.

BBC Good Food Show free tickets

Blog 8 May 2015 – Conservative Food Policies

Time For A Hot Sweet Tea!
Conservative Food Policies

The Taster Magazine Daily Update: Conservative Food Policies

Well, that was exciting. Whether it’s congratulations or commiserations, cups of hot sweet tea all round for the shock!

Just to recap — these are the Conservatives’ promises (and a few of their past achievements). However you voted, it’ll be interesting to see how many of these aims are realised in the next five years.

♦ Champion British farmers and food producers aiming to export. The manifesto emphasises opening up new markets abroad, for example in China and Singapore. The manifesto says: “British farming has a well-deserved and world-wide reputation for its top quality produce . . . As the world’s population continues to grow and tastes and diets develop, we believe that there are phenomenal opportunities to sell British food and drink abroad.” More specifically, they will create a ‘Great British Food Unit’ to promote British foods at home and abroad, and push for country-of-origin labelling in Europe.
♦ Help small farmers & suppliers get a fair deal from supermarkets  via the new Groceries Code Adjudicator. This might make some food items pricier if supermarkets pass increased costs on to customers. It’s up to individual consumers to decide whether this is a Bad or a Good Thing!
♦ Support fisheries. Combat illegal fishing, ban fish discards, and aim to add 100 Marine Protected Zones to the 27 set up in 2013, plus other measures centering around EU rules
♦ Reduce bureaucracy. Reduce red tape for farmers and, in relation to food labelling, avoid “burdensome” rules for small producers
♦ Reduce childhood obesity. Promote clear food information to allow people to make better food shopping choices

SOME CONSERVATIVE ACHIEVEMENTS during their past stint in power
Animal welfare. Introduced the Red Tractor labels and “pushed for tough legal action against [EU] countries who have failed to adhere to the phased bans on battery cages for chickens and sow stalls for pigs.”
Small producers. Introduced the Government Buying Standards under which more of the public monies spent on food and catering go to small and local companies, and promoted the ‘protected’ foods scheme (eg Anglesey sea salt, Yorkshire Wensleydale cheese, Melton Mowbray pork pies, Gloucester Old Spot pigs)
 Fishing. — with a little help from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, we think — reformed the EU Common Fisheries Policy and set up the UK’s first Marine Protected Zones, covering over 9000km². 10% of UK seas are now protected, and 25% of English inshore waters. According to the manifesto, “we now have a legally binding commitment to fish at sustainable levels. All this means that today, fishing communities from the Highlands to Cornwall have more security and peace of mind”

And now, we’re going to take a breath and brew a cuppa.


The Taster

Click on COOK for seasonal cooking ideas, or on our CALENDAR for foodie events in May.