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Fill your boots…

September 3, 2013

Those of you who have stayed with us before will know how proud we are of our award-winning breakfasts here at Three Abbey Green. From fresh Bath Bakery bread to free range eggs from The Good Egg Company; The Orchard Pig pressed Somerset apple juice to Cherry’s yummy homemade marmalade and Simi’s delicious jams – we believe breakfast really is the most important meal of the day, and you won’t want to start the day without it!

One of the great things about sourcing local homemade preserves is that we’re never sure what delightful new concoction we will be presented with next! Whatever is in season, Simi can take it from bush to bottle to breakfast in no time flat and it’s sure to taste great. Provenance is important to us, so it’s lovely to know that the same hands that delivered the latest batch to our door also picked, preserved and packaged every jar:

“Generally I make the jam within 24 hours of the fruit being picked…We don’t have a freezer or a car so I pick, carry home, make a batch in my maslin pan, bottle it then deliver it, mostly on foot”, says Simi. “I usually send a photo of the jam making process as well so that you can see your jam from tree/bush to jar.”

Simi's Jam

Here is Simi’s photo detailing how she makes her blackberry and apple jam. It really is as tasty as it looks!

“I’m from Azerbaijan in Iran and we have a long tradition of preserving,” Simi continues. “I run preserving workshops and classes from my home.  I make a lot of different Iranian pickles too. There are many sharp pickles flavoured with herbs and garlic which I grow myself.”

Simi’s website is full of delicious recipes as well as information about her cookery classes and workshops, which run during the daytime (10am – 2pm) or evening (6pm – 10pm). Classes for groups of 4 or more cost £60 per person, or for groups of 2 or 3, £90 per person. One to one tuition is available for £150. I can’t wait to try my hand at one of Simi’s tasty recipes – I fancy whipping up some courgette pancakes; thanks Simi!

If you’re inspired by Simi’s ‘bush to bottle’ production method and want to try it for yourself, there are some great places near Bath where you can pick your own fruit and veg – a great excursion out of the city that’s sure to end with something tasty on the table!

  • Chosen Hill Farm, Chew Magna (30 minutes from Bath by car). Family run pick-your-own farm overlooking Chew Valley Lake, offering a range of soft fruit and vegetables as well as a farm shop selling local produce.
  • Druid Farm, Stanton Drew (also about 30 minutes’ drive from Bath). Farm shop and pick your own with 25 different vegetables and fruits as well as flowers. Call on 01275 332125 for more information – and don’t forget to check out the Stanton Drew stone circles while you’re in the neighbourhood!
  • Manor Farm, Shepton Beauchamp, near Illminster (around 1 hour 15 minutes from Bath by car). A bit further afield, but set in a beautiful location and off the tourist trail. A taste of the real Somerset!

And finally, if you want to give the cooking a miss and would rather prefer to see and be seen, it wouldn’t be September in Bath without the Jane Austen Festival! The festival runs from the 13th to the 21st September 2013 and includes the familiar staples of the Grand Regency Costumed Promenade and the Regency Costumed Masked Ball, as well as walks, talks, workshops and entertainments, from etiquette and dancing lessons to a Regency Costume fashion show and a particularly intriguing walk entitled ‘Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: An Adventure’! I can’t wait for that one…

2013 is the 200th anniversary of the publication of Austen’s most famous novel, Pride and Prejudice; so this year’s festival is sure to be, to quote another well-beloved English author, “a party of special magnificence”! I look forward to seeing you there.

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