More stunning flowers from The Cutting Garden

More beautiful Dahlias as the warmth and regular rain suits them perfectly. Strong-stemmed, perfectly-formed flowers are picked fresh each morning and the shop is full of stunning bunches put together by Philippa.  Alternatively, there will also be buckets of single stems in abundance should you wish to create displays yourself.  All are available for those shopping in person and the pre-made bunches can also be bought on line for click and collect or local delivery.

Given the warmth, we are sticking with a summery menu for another weekend so lots of fresh seafood again including prime Cornish Cock Crabs, whole day-boat Plaice and the spectacular Crevettes we have been serving “a la plancha” over the last couple of weeks.  There will also be Goan Fish Curry, Cuttlefish in its own Ink and Mussels Escabeche.

A new dish this weekend will be River Kennet Crayfish Cocktail.  The River Kennet is one of the premier chalk streams in the UK – its crystal clear waters run from the West through Hungerford before it joins the Thames below Newbury.  Chalk Streams are internationally rare environments rich in native flora and fauna and under threat from pollution and over extraction as has been increasingly documented in the press recently. One threat often overlooked is the invasive US Red Signal Crayfish released into British waterways in the late 1970s.  Larger than the increasingly rare UK native cray which it has displaced, the Red Signal also carries a virus which can devastate native populations. This, combined with its aggressive destruction of riverbanks and vegetation, poses a very real threat to rivers such as the Kennet.  We are delighted to announce a partnership with a river keeper on the Kennet who is tasked with removing as many Cray as possible to protect the fish stock.  This Autumn we will be assisting by putting these on our menu!  Introduced in the 1970s as a food stuff – albeit for export to Sweden – the Cray from the Kennet are a delicious alternative to the more traditional prawn cocktail!