FOOD (AND MORE) BOXES, DELIVERED TO YOUR DOOR.
Customers with these companies currently receive free
copies of The Taster along with their vegbox & food deliveries; plus you can pick up free copies at selected outlets
Order a vegbox and ask for a free Taster
Pillars of Hercules – Organic Café & Vegboxes, Fife
Organic farmshop, cafe and restaurant in Cupar. Delivers vegboxes around Fife. Also offers camping, vegboxes, wwoofing and farm trails. Recently awarded “UK Best Small Organic Store;” wares include organic wine, beer & cider as well as foodstuffs; organic flowers and potted plants including culinary herbs; you can request specific plants by ringing or emailing Judy. Restaurant now does veggie breakfasts from 9am.
Frequent these excellent establishments and pick up a free Taster
Edinburgh School of Food & Wine
Scotland’s oldest, most prestigious cookery school, which also supplies free copies of The Taster to students. Like most of our Cookery School friends, the ESFW is approved by ICSA (the Independent Cookery Schools Association) and therefore keeps to ICSA’s high sustainbility standards. Provides everything from full cookery courses to one-day special classes such as Champagne Day, Glenfiddich Gourmet or Entertaining With Style
Loch Fyne Oysters (Cairndow, Argyll & Bute)
“At Loch Fyne Oysters, we pride ourselves on our provenance, quality and sustainability. Loch Fyne started with one inspirational idea; to grow oysters in the clear, fertile waters of Loch Fyne. We have developed into a cluster of businesses whose success is built on an honest approach to superb quality food. The company has always abided by the guiding environmental principles established by the founders, John Noble and Andy Lane. We are determined to ensure that only the very best produce, farmed and fished to the highest quality and environmental standards, reaches the kitchens and plates of our customers.”
Stay at this hotel & pick up a free Taster
Taigh Ailean Hotel, Isle of Skye
“Whether you’re planning a climbing holiday, needing a base to explore the Hebrides or just want to get away from it all, stay with us and we’ll make sure you’re well looked after.” Home-cooked food and a fine selection of malt whisky and Scottish gin
For more details, see their website
For organic veg deliveries:
Riverside Market Garden
A small friendly concern with a new ethical model for making food for the local community. For just £50 you can become a shareholder, too. Provides a small number of vegboxes around Cardiff, delivered alongside The Welsh Food Box Co (see below)
The Welsh Food Box Company
The best of local Welsh farm produce, including fruit & veg, dairy, meat, fish, store cupboard, bakery & household items. Was one of the first Organic Box Schemes in South Wales; recently named one of the best veg box schemes in the UK by The Independent
OR: frequent these excellent establishments and pick up a free Taster
68 Eastgate Street. Beautiful decor, very chic, good wines, imaginative food, with vegetables and flowers grown on its own allotment round the back. Great wine list, too
The Copthorne Hotel, Cardiff
A luxury, lakeside hotel; plus plenty of free copies of The Taster – can’t get much better than that
Currently hosting this year’s biggest UK wine contest, the English and Welsh Wine Competition. Pick up our current Autumn issue to see the results!
Or if you fancy doing something different:
Food classes, outings & experiences at various venues around South Wales; from knife skills to foraging on coast and field, to smoking your own charcuterie or making your own jam.
Frequent this excellent establishment and pick up a free Taster
Jordans Mill, Broom
Holme Mills, Langford Road. A unique food heritage attraction with something for all ages. Tour the historic flour mill, explore the gardens, meadow and woodland, relax in the Riverside Café and browse the Mill Store. As they say, “not just your run of the mill day out!”
Passionate trio devoted to real food and growing it naturally. They use low-energy, organic techniques to grow seasonal produce for customers in Chester and the surrounding areas. They also promote good food practice and work with local schools to educate children about good food choices.
OR: frequent this excellent establishment and pick up a free Taster
The Wine School of Cheshire, Chester
43 White Friars. Our very own wine columnist, Richard J Smith, founded and runs the Wine School, which provides wine tastings, masterclasses, and special and bespoke Wine Events. See the website to make bookings or buy gift vouchers.
Wilmslow Cookery School
Daytime, evening, weekend and children’s classes provided by husband and wife team Sarah & David Bridge, who have over 40 years combined experience within the catering industry and learnt their trade under the guidance of the Roux Brothers
Gluvian Farm Organics
Family-run farm provides organic beef, lamb and seasonal vegetables, free-range eggs, fruits from a Heritage Orchard and Hedgerows, and homemade produce, via box deliveries and a small farmshop. The homemade produce includes scones, bread, cakes, Cornish splits, brownies, saffron buns, quiches and pies. The family has farmed their land for generations, and they also do – no small point, this – ‘Ansome’ homemade Cornish Pasties!
Keveral Community of Growers
Half a mile from Seaton Village, near Looe. This community was set up in 1973, and now consists of about 10 adults who own and manage the farm, living in a farmhouse, static caravans, a wooden cabin and barn conversion. As well as fruit and veg, the farm offers camping and also carries out woodland and tree work, with the orchards providing apple juice and cider
OR: frequent Rick Stein’s cookery school, or the excellent Etherington’s, and pick up a free Taster
Padstow Seafood School
Rick Stein needs no introduction: a byword for excellence in seafood cuisine, supported by its proximity to the abundant coastal waters off Cornwall. But the courses on offer at the school venture into many other areas too: Indian curries, Far Eastern, Italian, Indian street food, Spanish tapas, patisserie and bakery sessions. You don’t have to live in Padstow — the school also offers lovely guestrooms so you can stay overnight
This striking-looking building is a great example of an eco-conscious food enterprise. Its poultry is free-range, its beef is pasture-fed, and many of its grocery items are created by local craftspeople. It has a lot of Cornish delicacies, in particular, such as Cornish sea salt, Cornish chocolate, puddings, cookies and pickles. They also do Christmas hampers.
Frequent these excellent establishments and pick up a free Taster
Lucy Cooks Cookery School
How about a visit to the beautiful Lake District, incorporating a day course at this fab little Cookery School? Near Kendal, it has “a fresh and vibrant approach, where you will be inspired, educated and above all entertained!” Lots of one-day courses on offer, suitable for all levels — novice to Nigella.
Low Sizergh Barn – Farmshop and Tea Room
This venture includes a working farm and farm trails, as well as a nationwide online shop which is definitely worth a look, offering local specialities such as BlueBird beer (which The Taster dimly recalls, from a walking holiday in the Lake District, as quite excellent), Kendal mintcake and Sticky Toffee sauce, plus some intriguing-sounding things like Toffee Vodka and Damson Delicacies.
This small market garden just outside Okehampton grows crops “in tune with nature, without using any chemicals, artificial fertilizers or pesticides; taking care of the soil, wildlife and environment.” They offer farmgate sales of organic free-range chicken & duck eggs, plus home-grown and local, seasonal and organic veg, fruit and flowers. Customers can buy produce at the farm or at the Okehampton Farmers’ Market every 1st and 3rd Saturday each month. “Try our famous mixed salad – a mix of many different leaves, flowers, herbs and other salady yumminess packed with nutrition and bursting with flavour!” All details are on the Okehampton market website
This family farm grows a wide range of fresh, affordable, organic veg, salad, herbs, fruit and also eggs from three flocks of chickens which roam on the clover leys. Shillingford also has an online shop and, last year, won the ‘Best Box Scheme’ in the Soil Association’s national awards. Find them also at Exeter Farmers’ Market every Thursday (8am–2pm)
Fancy a cookery course? Try this excellent establishment and pick up a free Taster
Ashburton Cookery School
Inspirational cookery courses from the wonderful Ashburton, with 40+ courses to choose from, suitable for beginners as well as experienced home cooks. The aim is to “teach you to cook with imagination, passion and enjoyment.” Founded by Stella West-Harling, one of the original founders of ICSA (Independent Cookery Schools Association), the governing body for UK cookery schools
Home Farm Cafe
Another brainchild of Stella West-Harling. Set near Bovey Tracey, in beautiful parkland on the edge of Dartmoor National Park, the café is open every day for brunch, lunch & afternoon tea with the café transformed to an intimate candlelit Restaurant on Thursday, Friday & Saturday Evenings. Uses rustic seasonal ingredients, 85% of which are locally sourced. “The food manages the rare feat of being reasonably priced and tastes fantastic”
Manna From Devon
Established in 2005, this Cooking School and Bed and Breakfast is run by Holly and David Jones. Both the School and Bed and Breakfast are open throughout the year. Cooking skills are taught to small groups in the relaxed environment of a Victorian home overlooking the beautiful River Dart in South Devon
The Community Farm
Vegboxes available from this outstanding enterprise. If you go anywhere near Bristol or Bath squeeze in a visit to The Community Farm, or Bath Farmers’ Market, where it has a stand. It’s an inspiring example of a sustainable farm, involved with local people and mindful of the environment. It provides organic produce boxes, farm trips for schoolchildren and volunteering for adults, and is powered by Ecotricity (Britain’s greenest energy supplier). Who knows, you might even join the 500 co-owners who have invested in the project. For as little as £50, they have a say in running the farm. (Find Bath market on facebook at tinyurl.com/BathFM)
Over Farm (around Gloucester)
Farmshop with a lot of events, an Entertainments Barn and petting animals (always a massive stress-buster. The Taster has observed even hard-bitten City types pretending they’re only there for their children, but are actually slowly relaxing and succumbing themselves to the charms of feeding a baby goat or piglet). As Christmas approaches, you can also meet Father Christmas “and enjoy a magical Christmas tractor trailer with his elves” – sounds fab to us!
Fancy a cookery course? Try this excellent establishment and pick up a free Taster
The Bertinet Kitchen Cookery School
A few years ago, this bakery/cookery school won the South West Tourism Award for Best Tourism Experience. On some courses you can actually cook alongside the illustrious Richard Bertinet, French chef & baker and author of several award-winning cookery books. The website also has suggestions for accommodation if you need an overnight stay
Forward-looking farm with big plans for its Food And More project, plus a shop selling own-grown, local, seasonal, fresh, fair trade, organic, free range, UK produced, provenance, eco-friendly foods.
Fancy a cookery course? Try this fantastic school:
Season Cookery School
Learn to cook in the “fun, relaxed, but professional” setting of a beautiful estate which includes the Lainston House Hotel (one of the Exclusive hotel range), so you can stay overnight if you want to make a weekend of it. Half- and full-day classes, and also — a very nice idea — classes where parents and children can learn alongside with each other
The Novelli Academy
Masterclasses (maximum of six students), tasting and demonstration classes, for every level of student. Jean-Christophe still takes some classes himself (the website also lets you know which food festivals he’ll be attending).
Kent Cookery School
Dine with them, take a cookery course, or hold a party – based in Ashford, Kent Cookery School has lots on offer. There’s also a Chef’s Table option — get a group of friends together, and dine while the Chef provides the theatre of cookery around you
Rosemary Shrager’s Cookery School
Tunbridge Wells. This School (and patisserie) is situated in the Pantiles, a unique and very beautiful colonnaded, pedestrian-only series of squares that date back several centuries. The School offers classes and a Dining Room, plus event spaces for private parties. On the sustainable side, the School supports local suppliers and produce, sources the best of the season’s crops, and keeps the carbon footprint and food miles low.
The Farmer’s Box
Delivers boxes of fruit & organic veg, fresh and direct from the grower, across West Lancashire, Liverpool, Southport, Cheshire and Manchester. “Organic farming produces safe and healthy food in a natural environment. Buying organic vegetables direct from your local farm means fresher produce for you, and, by cutting out the supermarket chain, better prices! Each week we put different vegetables into our boxes, depending on the season and weather. Favourites such as carrots, potatoes, cauliflower and broccoli will make up the basis of each box unless you request otherwise. Fresh organic vegetables delivered direct to your door, from field to table within 24 hours of harvest!”
Long-established and reliable organic delivery firm. Seasonal fruit & veg, cruelty-free eggs, dairy, household items and eco-aware products. Virtually all your regular shopping needs met by fresh, ethical, organic and healthy items. For London groceries, look no further
Click & Collect sustainable fish scheme. One of just three CSFs (Community Supported Fisheries) which, along with Soleshare (north London) and Catchbox (Brighton & Hove) work with small-scale responsible fishers to bring truly fresh fish within reach of landlubbers. Cutting out middle-men means smaller fishers receive fair prices, and rewards those who do no damage to the marine environment. It also gives shoppers a chance to try a wider-than-usual range of fish (eg gurnard, dab and huss)
Or if you fancy a cookery course . . . ask for a free Taster here:
Leith’s School of Food & Wine
Prue Leith’s school — offering courses for professional chefs, enthusiasts and amateurs. The name “Prue Leith” says it all, really. We’re particularly pleased to say the Autumn 2016 issue of The Taster includes some advice on sustainable food shopping & cooking, too
Michel Roux Jr Cookery School
“Join us for a day devoted to one of life’s pleasures – sharing great food in good company. At our cooking school you’ll discover it’s easier than you think to create delicious meals and we’ll give you skills to last a lifetime.” For just £995 you can spend a day cooking alongside Michel himself (don’t worry! — there are cheaper options). See the website also for some fantastic recipes
Billingsgate Seafood Training School
The world-famous Billingsgate doesn’t just train chefs; it also caters for enthusiasts and amateurs with classes on knife skills, how to fillet like a fishmonger, sushi & sashimi, and (our favourite) Cooking For Friends. See also its details of outreach classes for primary and secondary schools
English Wine Tasting Tours
Get out of the city! EWTT sorts out all the hassle and takes you by coach from London to vineyards in Kent or Sussex for talks and tastings. A great idea, we think; and surprisingly economical
Cookery School at Little Portland Street
Learn how to cook good food using sustainable, high quality and primarily organic ingredients. The only London cookery school awarded the maximum 3 Stars for sustainability from the Sustainable Restaurant Association.
School of Artisan Food
Beginner, intermediate and professional courses, also venue hire, based in ancient Sherwood Forest itself (look out for Robin Hood). An outstanding school and registered charity, the school’s teaching chefs include some of the most skilled and experienced artisan producers and practitioners in the world.
21 Station Road, Stannington. Farmshop, coffee shop, click & collect service. Award-winning on-farm butchery, lots of Great Taste awards for their beef, pork and lamb products.
“Deliciously Different” British and exotic meats, welfare-friendly rose veal, wagyu, food club, deli, selection boxes, nose-to-tail. NB check out their Christmas Larder, stuffed to the ceiling with festive food ideas – including suckling pig porchetta (plain, or stuffed with Italian herbs); beef wellington cuts; free range geese; oven-ready guinea fowl and The Taster’s personal favourite, Welsh Wagyu fat – extra special beef fat minus the air miles. For more details, see their website
Hembridge provides a nationwide mail order service to provide organic, award-winning jam, chutney, picalilli, relish, marmalade and honey. All these are made using ‘ugly vegetables,’ reducing waste and giving farmers a fair price for their produce, and everything except the Seville oranges is sourced locally. No chemicals, no animal setting agents — everything is natural, organic and delicious. They do sweet little wood-and-straw gift boxes, too.
If you fancy a cookery course:
Food Of Course
Shepton Mallet. A renowned cookery school which will set you up with skills for life. It also teaches how to cook on board a yacht or in a ski chalet, and it has an interesting “Elements of Cooking” course — an “intensive, one week residential course is designed specifically for those with little or no experience in the kitchen. It is the ideal course to prepare you for gap year and university life, if your personal circumstances have changed and you need to be more self reliant, if you are taking a career break or simply to provide a solid cookery base on which to grow”
Take a cookery course here (and pick up a free Taster)
Tante Marie Culinary Academy & Restaurant
Based in Woking, this school offers “Professional chef courses, Gap Year cookery courses and Lifestyle cookery classes;” the Lifestyle classes cover a wide range of abilities and ages, are taught in small groups and range from evening demonstrations (from just £10) to our Beginners’, Essential Skills, and 10-week Cordon Bleu courses. There’s also a restaurant if you fancy testing out some dishes beforehand!
Order organic veg from Ashurst Organics and get free Tasters
Supply vegboxes full of their own local, fresh and tasty organic vegetables direct from their farm in Plumpton, near Lewes. A small but successful operation (in business since 1994). They also have a “Secret Shepherd’s Hut” (see right), if you need a getaway as well as a vegbox
Down To Earth
A really lovely concept. Down To Earth provides organic veg/fruit/meat & fish/customised boxes, including – for example – organic turkeys and other fowl, sustainably-fished white fish, prawns and tuna, plus (in their shop) a wide range of organic wholefoods, fairly traded goods and locally sourced produce. Basically, anything you buy or order here, you can feel good about helping your own health and the environment.
Lucknam Park Hotel, Spa & Cookery School
Lucknam Park is a beatiful estate near Chippenham, in the Cotswolds. In the Autumn issue of The Taster, we’re offering a Lucknam Park Cookery School one-day cookery course (worth £175) as a prize in our new Competitions Section. To get a copy of the magazine, buy a single copy or subscribe here — or of course you can obtain one for free from any of our friends.
A local, family-run organic box scheme, delivering freshly produced fruit, vegetables, meat, eggs and extras around Swindon, Cirencester and Marlborough. Also run an extensive farm shop in Purton, near Swindon, stocking local produce; and regular Open Days where visitors can meet the cows, chickens & pigs, or just wander through woodlands
Award-winning workers’ co-operative that offers organic fruit and veg deliveries, plus storecupboard essentials, local fresh bread and more
Ramus Seafood Emporium – shops in Harrogate & Ilkley, plus deliveries
It’s not easy finding responsibly sourced fish but Ramus is one answer: even if you can’t visit their shops in Harrogate and Ilkley, they recently introduced fish boxes, delivered to your door, and have set up partnerships with day boat (ie small-scale) fishermen in south-west England. They provide full traceability on all their products.
Swinton Park Cookery School
A castle, a shop, a cookery school, a place in the Yorkshire Dales – the school at Swinton Park has to be among the most picturesque in the UK. Two-day, one-day and half-day hands-on practical cookery courses, and if you want to stay overnight, of course the hotel is immediately to hand.