Be photographed with your Valentine at Apley Farm Shop – news flash !:
“Steve Watts of A Decent Exposure will be available for portrait photos of happy couples at Apley Farm Shop on Saturday 13th February as well as on Sunday – Valentine’s Day! He’ll be offering to photograph you on our Skylark Nature Trail (weather permitting of course!) or in the courtyard and taking you through a range of natural poses. Whether you’re holding hands, cuddling up together, looking into each others’ eyes or holding the traditional red rose, Steve is sure to get some really great pictures, and you’ll have some good fun with him as well!
Sessions will last up to 15 minutes and 6”x4” mounted prints will be available to purchase on the day for just £5 each – he’ll even shoot in romantic black and white for you. Larger prints are also available to order.” What a perfect present to give each other.
Alternatively, Big Little Things have a nearly-sold-out-already range of personalised presents – so drop in asap to their shop in Apley Farm Shop’s courtyard.
Whenever we can, we head off on after-school adventures. We get on a bus or tube & pop up in a totally different part of London like moles. Today, we’re off to China Town, then home for pancakes. Here are a few recipe ideas:
Smoked haddock pancakes
2 pancakes per person as a main course
For 4 people, ½lb haddock (cooked & smoked)
½ pint pancake batter (for 8 pancakes)
- 2 tablespoons chopped celery (fry with others in butter)
- 4 oz mushrooms (thinly sliced)
- 3½ oz unsalted butter, melted
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 14-16oz tinned tomato (add to others)
- Sugar, salt, pepper, lemon juice, grated cheese
Simmer mixture A to a thick puree.
Remove skin from haddock & flake it
Add haddock to tomato mixture } to filling
Add lemon juice to sharpen }
Melt remaining butter over pancakes
Garnish with lemon & parsley
Serve with peas
Lemon savoury pancakes
Fill with freshly made filling
Top with sauce or grated cheese
Heat pancakes through in hot oven for 30 mins or grill, covered with foil.
Potato pancakes, for a strong breakfast or light lunch
Grate 1½ lb potatoes for 4-6 people.
Remove excess moisture
Add corned beef, bacon & onions
Blend flour into egg yolks, add to the pot mix
Heat in deep pan of oil.
Sole aux crepes
12 filets of sole for 6 people
Seasoned flour for sole
Fry seasoned sole
Roll pancakes & slice into ½” strips cross-ways.
A few other alternative pancake ideas
Fill like Spring rolls
Rum & pineapple pancakes
Or just for the basic mix – 4oz flour, 2 eggs & ½ pint milk
Source [of some]: The Cookery Year, Published in London by the Reader’s Digest, 1973 – a very old favourite of Gavin’s !
It’s pancake day (Shrove Tuesday) on Tuesday (9 Feb) – we of course have all you need ! Cake of the week sounds awesome – squidgy chocolate & pomegranate torte. Dish of the week is Apley faggots with red onion, mash potatoes, peas & gravy. Cheese of the week is Colston Bassett Stilton (£2.25 per 100g).
Phil’s just sent me these planting photos – good to see the new garden year beginning & tomatoes being planted for our first tomato festival 24-25 Sept. Amazing to think 3 years ago (5 Feb 2013) he was felling trees & building bonfires to clear the gardens after 60 years out of use.
To help make the most of our current offers in the farm shop, here’s a summary:
- Café – Tuesday Specials two main courses for £12.00 and two puddings for £6.00. Valid to 30 June
- Dine at home – The Meal Deal for 2 – £20. Valid to 30 April
- 200 free loyalty card points when you sign up to an Apley Farm Shop Loyalty card 1 Feb 2016 to 30 April 2016
- Free small standard tea* or coffee* when you buy any 9 hot drinks when stamped in coffee/tea card. Expires 31 Dec 2016
- Free tea* or coffee* when you spend over £10 online & create an account. Expires 31 March
- Free coffee with any cake for Harper Adams first year / fresher students. Expires 31 July 2016
I recently received this email with great feedback for Zoe, our Creamery Cafe manager:
I would just like to thank one of your very hardworking members of staff whose serves me most weeks in your cafe. She always acknowledges my arrival for my usual coffee and serves me promptly even when very busy. I only have a short break on my travels and appreciate this very prompt service. Good service is the reason why most of us visit again. Thank you very much 😊
Good service is the reason why most of us visit again – that’s the important bit isn’t it. Huge well done to Zoe & her team !
Vintage crockery Afternoon Teas is rarely used these days, but is exactly what Apley Farm Shop staff lay tables with for Valentine’s Day. This year, teas are available Saturday & Sunday 13 & 14 February in the Creamery Cafe, the quieter Corn Loft Conference Room & even the Old Dairy – the courtyard’s beautiful central building. Valentine’s lunches in the Creamery Cafe are only available on Sunday 14 February. Call 01952 730 345 to book or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you’re popping in this weekend, Dish of the Week is Chicken breast with saute savoy cabbage, smoked bacon & mushroom tarragon sauce & Julie’s Cake of the Week are peanut butter squares – yumm ! If you are after smaller portions, just ask for the midweek ‘£12 meal for two‘ offer.
Apley Cookery Club with Gilly Clayton is tomorrow Sat 6 Feb in the Conference Room, 10:30-12:30pm & Tuesday 9 February is Shrove Tuesday. We have all you need in the farm shop to make yours at home or enjoy them in our Creamery Cafe – they’ll be the menu for sure !
Apley Walled Garden is waking up from its quietier months. Phil’s got a new mobile, so has been sending me these great on-the-spot photos to keep me up to date. I love these daily photos, as they tell a real story of the gardening year from the man himself doing all the spade work (excuse the pun!).
As a tiny thank you to the chefs who’ve agreed to come & give demonstrations on bank holiday Monday 2 May at our First Apley Bake Off, Phil is offering our Grown-to-Order service for free. So Chris Burt of the Peach Tree, Momonoki & Havana Republic in Shrewsbury, he’s growing Japanese mooli radishes. They’re already in the ground, but will take 70 days to come through. They may only just about be ready in time !
Ground preparation for heritage carrots: The red, yellow and white have been sown in the polytunnel already.
The whole crop of red veined sorrel will be labelled & sent to our own Creamery Cafe at Apley Farm Shop as and when our Head Chef Matt orders it. It’s another good example of our Grown-to-Order service. Chefs decide what they need (in advance, so it has time to grow!), tell us & we grow it !
This week, I’ve been confirming a fabulous line up of demo chefs for the First Apley Bake Off on bank holiday Monday 2 May (10-4pm).
Demonstrating chefs include Chris Burt of the Peach Tree Restaurant in Shrewsbury, James Sherwin who made it to the finals of Nigella Lawson’s The Taste TV show, Suree Coates who won the 2015 Midlands Thai Chef of the Year, Stuart Philips who runs Apley Estate’s Hundred House Hotel in the estate village of Norton, Lajina Leal who has rapidly established herself as a leading supplier of spices & curries to Shropshire’s restaurants & Gilly Clayton who runs our monthly cookery club.
They’re all lined up to give a demo & then pop into the Have-a-Go tent where the first 8 who sign up get to have a pop-up masterclass in culinary skills. I can’t wait to see that happening – I’m sure there will be a lot of fun.
The competitive element is essential of course in any Bake Off, so getting practising your cakes, sweet tarts or savoury tarts & bring them into the Competition Tent by 2pm on the day, to be judged by chef James Sherwin.
At Apley Farm Shop, we always have something for the children: The Pigg’s Playbarn staff will set up a messy cookery corner where they can get creative (under the close watch of their parents!).
I’m sure it’ll be a wonderful foodie day for everyone !
Apley Farm Shop’s big heart was caught on camera as it was being installed yesterday. Is it the biggest – has anyone seen a bigger one ? !
Still need to book in for your Valentine’s Day lunch (Sun 14 Feb) or Afternoon Teas (Sat 13 & Sun 14 Feb) – just call Zoe on 01952 730 345 ext 2 or email her on email@example.com.
Apley Farm Shop is just installing today probably Shropshire’s largest heart – made of laurel leaves. Phil Allen, our Head Gardener, made the chicken wire frame, Gavin pruned a laurel shrub in the garden, then yesterday the children helped me decorate it. The Apley Estate will send 2 men with a very long ladder to hang it from the beams in the farm shop & finally Tina will add the finishing touches as it’s rather fragile ! So it’s another example of the fabulous Apley team work !
Here’s Francis with it, fresh back from his rugby lesson.
For Valentine’s Day lunches & Afternoon Teas, just call 01952 730 345 – ext 6 is the office or ext 2 is the cafe (book with Zoe).