English Strawberry Season is upon us..
We love all things British, and with Strawberry season landing just in time for Wimbledon, it’s the perfect match. For a truly British celebration, pair our tasty Driscoll’s Amesti Strawberries with our new Hattingley Valley English Sparkling Wine, you won’t be disappointed.
Find these tasty berries on our Specials menu from today, served with dipping Valrhona chocolate sauce or Chantilly cream and finished off with crumbly shortbread biscuits. The perfect strawberry dish. If you haven’t tasted Valrhona chocolate this is a great introduction to the best we can find.
One of our senior Chefs recently took to a trip to Lower Ruele Farm in rural Staffordshire to meet Charles Kidson, the grower, he told us that the variety, and how they propagate the plants is what makes these gems so good. Driscoll’s cleverly breed these Amesti strawberries in the U.S., runners are then produced from high quality genetic plant tips in Holland, and then they are lovingly nurtured into the abundant plants we see on the farm. The Critchley family has owned the farm since 1975, with Charles joining forces in 2005, where he previously managed a salad farm in Shropshire.
Rows upon rows of table-tops are seen in the poly tunnels, which Charles believes to be the best way to grow strawberries, meaning they don’t easily bruise, the air can easily circulate the fruit and it also makes for easier picking. Whilst Trev was at the farm, he got chatting to some of the long serving team, including June. She’s 90 years old and has been working on the farm every single summer for the last 50 years!
Only the most perfect fruits are picked, leaving a 1-centimetre stem attached (perfect for dipping), and carefully placed into the punnets. Each batch is hand-selected for size, quality and uniformity, weighed and packed into containers. All of this happens within one day, meaning strawberries picked that day can be on the way to the pub the very next!
Lower Ruele is amazingly eco-friendly too. Nothing goes to waste, with spare land given to neighbouring farmer’s cows, where they share a reservoir with other British wild life. Even the deformed, un-usable strawberries are made into Bioenergy that helps power the neighbouring village – Strawberry Power!
These strawberries truly look exquisite, with their iconic heart shape and blushing red skin, they are perfectly formed. So what about the taste? I think the proof was in the (sneaky) eating; these are the freshest, most perfect strawberries you’ll taste.
But don’t just take our word for it, come down and give them a try yourself. Book a table, and enjoy them of a bottle of bubbles, perfect to kick start the weekend, or get you over the mid-week hump!