Back to Back Issues Page
Essentially England News, July 2009 - Ruins, Garlic and Chillies
July 30, 2009

Ruins, Garlic and Chillies

A cheerful welcome to everyone who subscribed to Essentially England News during the last month! Here you'll find England news, site news, travel tips, reviews and our Recipe of the Month, all in one easy-to-digest email.

So, July’s almost over … funny how time flies. The weather is doing its usual April impression. I’m sure it gets wetter ever year. June is glorious and then – just as the holiday season gets really under way – the heavens open. Never mind, that’s England.

What's New at Essentially England?

I’ve made a couple of discoveries this month which will be appearing on the site soon.

One of which is Farleigh Hungerford Castle, a beautiful castle ruin between Trowbridge and Bath. I never really was a castle, but that doesn’t distract from the peaceful location or the picturesque ruins. And the 600-year-old wall paintings in the chapel are really too good to miss!

Travel Tips and Reviews

I've mentioned this before now, but there are a few tourist spots in England - such as Bournemouth and Poole in Dorset and Dunster in Somerset - who have decided to accept Euros alongside Pound Sterling for goods and services this summer. That's great news for European visitors and great news for those of us who have Euros left over from previous holidays. Almost amounts to free treats, doesn’t it?

And if you like good old-fashioned seaside piers, then you might remember the horrific fire that destroyed Weston-super-Mare's pier last summer. Not something one really wants to see on the news, but - fortunately - work is now well underway to rebuild the pier. It will emerge bigger and better than it's ever been. And a really grand opening is planned for next summer ... so keep an eye out for that.

Fairs, Festivals and Things to Do

August is still a really good month to catch many local food festivals. There's the Egton Bridge Gooseberry Show, the Pershore Plum Fair and two of England's best loved:
The Isle of Wight Garlic Festival and the West Dean Chilli Fiesta.

And if you’re looking for things to do this summer that won’t bust the bank, then bookmark the special offers page from the England Tourist Board. Offers change regularly and some are rather unusual!

Recipe of the Month - Speedy Berry Dessert

During summer - more than during any other time of the year - I want delicious food that's quick. When it's cold and dark outside, I don't mind spending hours in the kitchen, but when the sun shines I want to be outside.

This is where this pudding comes in handy. But it's not just quick, oh no! It's also a stunner both in looks and taste. So no matter if you're hosting a barbecue for friends or a classy outdoor lunch - this will have your guests beg for seconds, and thirds ...

For four you'll need:

  • 450g berries (raspberries, strawberries, blueberries - whatever you fancy) fresh or frozen
  • 284ml double cream
  • 200g best white chocolate
  • 5-6 cardamom pods

If you're using fresh berries, spread them out on a baking sheet and place in the freezer until firm, but not completely frozen solid.

If using frozen berries, remove from the freezer about 10-15mins before you want to serve pudding.

In a thick-bottomed pan warm the cream with the cardamom pods until hot but not boiling. Leave to infuse for 10 minutes, then remove the cardamom.

Keep the cream hot over a very low heat or a pot of hot water. Break the chocolate into the cream and leave it to melt.

When ready to serve arrange the frozen berries on individual serving dishes, then pour over the hot cream and chocolate mix. Where it touches the frozen fruit, it will set a little ....

Decorate with mint leaves and serve immediately. Have plenty in reserve for seconds ...

And Next Month …

I'm finally hoping for a visit to Highclere Castle! This is a little more recent than my usual historical sites, but the story of Howard Carter and the tomb of Tutankhamen has fascinated me since I was little. So I simply have to go and check this out ...

Until next month, keep well and think of England…

P.S. If you think that some of your friends or colleagues might like to read our newsletter, then please forward them this mail. They can read newsletter back issues and subscribe here.

Back to Back Issues Page