Thursday, 20 September 2012

Teacake, Shepreth

Teacake at Shepreth
Picture from Teacake, Shepreth
I've been keeping this little place from you, well, unless you follow me on Twitter, in which case I have been banging on about how great their coffee is for about 6 months now.

I'm very lucky and I know it. This tea room does amazing coffee, homemade cakes and sandwiches is 2 minutes away from my office. I know. So lucky.

Teacake is in a grade 1 listed building, which used to be the old village post office. There is a cosy little dining area and also a pretty tea garden for the warmer months - we've had meetings there which is a much more of an improvement than a boring boardroom, and it comes with cake! The owners, Christine and Maurice, are really interested in food and love to try out new ideas and try to source their ingredients as locally as possible, it is great to see people who really care about their food and it means there is always something new there.

Their coffee is what I really shout about - it is Monmouth Coffee and Maurice is quite the coffee expert, and knowing I'm a food blogger he loves to talk to me about how he makes his coffee and how a proper cup should be made.

Along with the coffee there are an array of freshly baked cakes - Victoria sponge, sticky date (my favourite), gluten free lemon - flapjacks, tiffin, scones and of course teacakes. They have a range of loose leaf teas which you can also buy to take home with you. For lunchtime there are also sandwiches (often made with their own home baked hams or smoked salmon), soups, salads and savoury muffins. For the locals they also handily sell basic groceries including the Cobs Bakery bread and Wobbly Bottom farm goats cheese, which I am a big fan of.

Teacake is just around the corner from Shepreth train station, so easy to get to if you're in Cambridge and a perfect place to go if you're visiting Shepreth Wildlife Park for the day. They are open Wednesday to Sunday, 9am to 5pm. Find them on Facebook. 

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Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Bye Bye Summer

You have been fleeting but I've eaten some pretty nice things along the way. Am now filling my freezer with foraged blackberries and homemade soup, ready for Autumn. We've already made soup twice and the log fire is on, but there is still the odd salad day. Am already getting frustrated with the lack of light now the nights are drawing in, but I'm going to a Food Photography Workshop next week so hoping to pick up some tips.

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Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Paralympics, London 2012

Stepping away from my usual topic to bring you some pictures from our day at the Paralympics last week. We caught four games of football, a game of goalball and did plenty of wandering around the park. We did also unfortunately eat in the biggest MacDonald's in the world and I bought a kitschy little Team GB mug from the shop. I'm really glad we went, soaked up the atmosphere, something we'll always remember.

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Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Brown Butter Tomatoes

Tomatoes go with olive oil, right? That is what I have always though, and whilst it does I was very intrigued by this recipe for brown butter tomatoes which popped up on Food52, and then again on Last Night's Dinner (by the way, I am very glad Jen is blogging again, you should read her blog). Also the simplicity of it appealed to me. I made some quinoa and chopped up lots of fresh basil and parsley, added some olive oil and plenty of seasoning, that made the base of the meal. Good quality tomatoes sliced up on top (not fridge cold, they should be room temperature), pour over the brown butter, season and then some creamy mozzarella to finish it off.

Perfect easy meal on a hot day and the butter surprisingly works very well.

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Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Tiffins Tea Emporium, Long Melford

Tiffins Tea Emporium, Suffolk

I do love a day in Suffolk, it is a very picturesque area of the country and not too far from us but feels like such a change from normality. We were booked for a morning 'Owl Encounter' at Lavenham Falconry, and this fortuitous turn of events meant we could visit nearby Tiffins, who I'd been following/admiring on Twitter for a while.

Long Melford itself is beautiful and the tea room definitely lives up to its surroundings. A pretty little building with a tower of scones in the window, an array of cakes on stands, tea pots and lovely vintage style furniture.

Tiffins is run by the very cheery Kirstie who made us feel really welcome. We started with savoury - a goats cheese and pepper ciabatta for Mr and the intriguingly named Suffolk Ploughmans for me, cheese scones instead of bread - but toasted so the cheese is all melty and lovely - served with 'cheeky chutney' which was a lovely fresh salsa like chutney made with tomatoes. I had some of the Tiffins Blend loose tea and Mr some Suffolk apple juice.

Tiffins Tea Emporium Suffolk

Of course we had to have some cake too - and it was a tough decision - there is such a great choice of sweets - chocolate, coffee, lemon drizzle, victoria sponges, flapjacks, brownes, tiffin (of course) and fruit scones. Mr had a slice of pleasingly orangey Chocolate Marmalade cake with little white chocolate stars, and I had a coffee cake which was tooth achingly sweet - perfect for me. I had a bit of a sugar high upon leaving and then a crash later on in the afternooon...

We really enjoyed our lunch at Tiffins, it is a beautiful place and very relaxed surroundings. You can find them on Twitter and they have a website too. Do visit if you are in the area - Long Melford has some pretty shops and neighbouring Lavenham is a must see.

Oh and here is a picture of one of the owls we met!

Lavenham Falconry Suffolk

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Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Making pasta at The Bread Bin

Pasta Making Class Cambridge

Pasta making has been on my to do list for such a long time, and I've seen lots of recipes I wanted to try but never found the time to get around to it - or maybe conquer my fear of it! So I jumped at the chance when Miss Sue Flay said she knew a local lady, Ruth from The Bread Bin, who taught pasta and bread making from her home, she'd also tasted her fresh pasta, which she sells to people in her village, and vouched for how delicious it was.
Fresh tagliatelle pasta italian

It was great fun, I'm quite used to working with dough and it was much easier to make than a pastry or a bread dough. Just eggs and flour slowly worked into each other, rested in the fridge and then rolled out and taken through the stages of a pasta machine.

The pasta machine part gets a bit tricky as the dough gets thinner and longer but as long as you work carefully and have plenty of space on your work surface you'll be fine. And if it breaks, well, you can start again or you just have slightly different shaped pasta!

Pasta making class Cambridge

Ruth is a fantastic baker, she bakes all kinds of things for her family and also to sell - breads, breadsticks, pitta, flavoured pasta. She has a real passion for real bread and uses the best ingredients and sources them locally. Her knowledge of all things made with flour is encyclopedic! Miss Sue Flay baked breadsticks whilst I did the pasta, and the bread dough she used can also be shaped to make lovely fluffy pittas - something I must try.

Pasta making class Cambridge

You can find Ruth on Facebook, where you'll find details of her courses and also make bread orders to pick up on Fridays, ready for the weekend!
Pasta making class Cambridge
Photo by Miss Sue Flay
We've been enjoying eating the pasta I made - tagliatelle, bows and little cups of pasta - since the class last week. And now I am on the hunt for a pasta machine.

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