Friday Foodie – Farm Shops and Easter

We have been so lucky with this beautiful Spring weather the past few days. Normally it never happens in the school Easter holidays!  As a family we are getting ready for Easter with visiting National Trust properties and gardens last week and even joining in the egg hunts. Note that the National Trust are now advertising the ‘Cadburys Egg Hunt’ rather than the ‘Easter Egg hunt’ what do you think about the word Easter being dropped? I understand the reason behind it but still find it sad to see!

So Easter bunny shopping or shopping for Easter gifts … since discovering ‘real chocolate’ last year I have been saving my shopping till this weekend as its the Chocolate Fair in Oxted (Saturday) and Denbies Wine Estate, Dorking  (Sunday) 10-4pm. Sue Sheen from Discover Cacao has at last got some of the real ‘bean to bar’ producers selling out of London and I certainly appreciate it. The days of rushing through a bar of Dairy Milk are over for me as I would much rather real chocolate (milk or dark) and to eat a small piece and savour it! Have a look at my Chocolate article  from last year.  Like a fine wine, its better to buy great quality chocolate which may have a higher price tag but is actually better for you.  Chocolate is a treat and should be appreciated. The local Chocolate fairs are growing, this year there are: JK Fine Chocolates, Fifth Dimension, Auberge, Sloe Seduction, Patisserie Linguad, Fine Chocolate Spa, Urban Village, Sylvia & Terry, B is for Brownie, and my personal favourites OCTO and The Chocolatier.  So if you think you know your chocolate or even if you don’t, I would suggest visiting these local events over the weekend, have a try and see what you think. You may be like me who is now fully converted and ‘hooked’ coming back for more, happy shopping!

I have been running Easter baking workshops  at the local Primary schools. On the menu hot cross buns and scones, bread bunnies and delicious simnel cakes with marzipan hidden inside, delicious with a cup of tea.  I am excited about making my own chocolates this week, as homemade always make good presents, taught by Mark Tilling no less!

The last few days (as its Easter holidays) we have been visiting family in Berkshire. We headed to the local farm shop for lunch today which was idyllic surrounded by the English countryside. We sat and enjoyed delicious homemade sandwiches with freshly made bread and I had the quiche which was as good if not better than homemade, (afraid standards are high as I have always been good at quiches).

I love looking round these farm shops and it reminded me of the wonderful choice of products available and how all locally sourced. The chocolate companies I mention above are not often stocked in many shops but are often found in speciality and farm shops as they like to support local business. So I came across this company loveooh who come from Bristol and Cocoa Loco from West Grinstead who I have seen many times before and enjoyed eating too! Saddleback Farm Shop had a great selection of Easter products, all looking very tempting.

So with Easter next weekend I really hope this weather continues, makes life easier for the egg hunts taking place.  Whatever you are doing and whoever you are sharing your chocolate with – Happy Easter!

 

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