Out and about in Autumn

It’s been a busy few weeks and somehow we’ve found ourselves in November. Between us both coming down with colds and a hectic time at work we’ve managed to get out and about to enjoy what Autumn has to offer in East Essex and South East Suffolk. I thought I’d share few of the highlights. Some of them will be worthy of full blogs, but this is a taster while it’s still fresh in the memory!

Produce

Apples
Our first port of call for local apples was Lathcoat’s Farm shop in Chelmsford. They grow a huge range of apple varieties on site. The shop has a whole room which is mostly dedicated to apples and pears – the only problem is choosing which ones to go for!

Game
I don’t know if it’s just me, but it seems that word is getting out about game, and we’ve definitely begun to embrace it. On our ‘Game weekend’ we pot-roasted a pheasant in marsala and braised venison shoulder with madiera, mushrooms, bacon and chestnuts. All of the meat came from our local butcher, Holt’s in Witham, which is well worth a visit if you’re in town – as well as great meat, they have a well-stocked deli counter and sell fresh fruit and veg.

Shopping

Blackwell’s Farm Shop
Drive into the car park at Blackwell’s Farm Shop and you’re greeted by a gaggle of geese in the field by the shop. The shop stocks a wide range of meat, fruit and vegetables, cheeses and other, mainly local, produce. Among our purchases were a selection of beers from the Maldon Brewing Co., Suffolk Gold cheese, the meatiest sausage roll I have ever seen, plus some great value rump steak and the most tender, delicious pork shoulder joint.

The Food Company
We’d lived in Witham for about six months before we found The Food Company down the road in Marks Tey – I’m not sure how it took us so long! It’s a gem especially if there’s a speciality or local ingredient that you’re trying to get hold of. They have an incredible patisserie, deli and bakery counter, plus meat, fish and vegetables.

Suffolk Food Hall
We had an early bonfire night on Saturday and the Broxstead bangers and fresh finger rolls from the Suffolk Food Hall were the  perfect food for it. We’d been to Suffolk Food Hall once before but just as it was shutting for the day, so it was great to see it fully stocked with great fresh produce and buzzing with people. Next time I’d really like to try their Cookhouse Restaurant, which has quite a view over the River Orwell.

Eating out

The Sun Inn in Dedham
So this wasn’t a new discovery, more one of our absolute favourite pubs in a really beautiful part of the world. The food at the Sun Inn is fantastic, but on top of that there’s a great selection of real ales, open fires and a wonderful atmosphere. If I could move into their oak room I would – curl up with a book or paper and a pint and hide from the cold outside. This weekend we enjoyed salt cod fritters with an almond pesto and frisée lettuce, and a pumpkin risotto with cinnamon and caramelised red onions – yum!

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