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Devonshire Arms Food & Wine Week

Brace yourselves: from 1 to 7 December it’s Food & Wine Week at The Devonshire Arms Hotel in North Yorkshire (pictured).

The hotel is set to welcome a galaxy of star chefs, including Andrew Pern from The Star Inn, Mark Birchall from L’enclume, James Mackenzie from The Pipe & Glass Inn and Tim Bilton from The Spiced Pear. And events over the week will range from a dinner cooked by five Yorkshire chefs to a War of the Roses lunch, cooked in collaboration with Nigel Haworth from Northcote Manor, and a dinner with Bibendum, with wines matched to a tasting menu cooked by Devonshire Arms’ head chef, Adam Smith.

Find out more here.

Top 5 Thanksgiving side dish recipes

Whether you’re celebrating Thanksgiving here in the UK or across the pond in The States, we have some great ideas for you to accompany your Thanksgiving turkey. We have covered all options from traditional spoon bread, winter vegetables and mash to more elaborate and modern chicory gratin and stuffed squash.

1. Sweet corn spoon bread with cucumber relish

Sweetcorn spoon bread with cucumber relish

2. Chicory gratin

Chicory gratin

3. Spiced tray-roast winter vegetables

Spiced tray-roast winter vegetables

4. Sweet potato mash with chilli, ginger and garlic butter

Sweet potato mash with chilli, ginger and garlic butter

5. Sage, pine nut and rice stuffed squash

Sage, pine nut and rice stuffed squash

What to eat with sherry: popcorn

What to eat with sherry

Tio Pepe and gourmet popcorn specialist Pop have come up with a pairing us sherry heads can’t resist: matching the savoury notes of fino to three festive popcorns. If you want to try it yourself visit Bar 44 in Cardiff, Larderhouse in Bournemouth, Bar Pepito in London and Ambiente in Leeds between 1-24 December.  For £5 per person try a glass of Tio Pepe and three servings of popcorn.

Here are Pop’s Matt Guerente’s tasting notes:

Pigs in blankets: the smoky, salty flavours of the hickory-smoked bacon matches with the sherry’s dry notes
Roast turkey with lemon and thyme stuffing: the lemon gives a citrus lift that compliment’s Tio Pepe’s savouriness, giving way to the bitter, floral thyme
Blue cheese and celery: Stilton’s saltiness is a fantastic match for the sherry, its powerful flavour mellowing on the plate – enhanced by the sherry’s palate cleansing properties.
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An antidote to the march of generic ‘German’ markets across the UK, next week sees the launch of a brand-new festive town called Winterville, in London’s Victoria Park. Running from 2 to 31 December it will include a covered outdoor ice rink, a Ferris wheel, a pub, a Dutch-style spiegel tent hosting a range of entertainment from pop-up panto and comedy to live gigs and an indoor roller disco.

Alongside, there will be street food. Lots of it. From Mei Mei’s Street Cart (pictured) and Voodoo Ray’s pizza by the slice to Anna Mae’s classic macaroni cheese and Madame Gautier’s fine French fare.

Best of all though will be the on-site Hot Cider Bar, blending West Country Real Cider with handpicked spices to produce a truly festive taste sensation, from classic hot spiced to hot salted caramel, hot buttered rum cider and (whisper it) cold or non-alcoholic versions.

Grilled mackerel with chickpea salad

Grilled mackerel with chickpea salad

We went on a great course last night to sharpen up our Indian cookery skills. The Urban Rajah’s Spice Academy teaches you how to blend spices to make garam masala and many other delicious Indian recipes. A great tip is to add black cardamom as well as green cardamom as it adds a smoky depth in flavour. We will be posting more Indian cooking tips from Urban Rajah soon, so watch this space.

Here’s an olive recipe using garam masala. The spice blend gives the mackerel a light Indian fragrance.

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Eat in a castle

Set between the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District, Augill Castle in Cumbria (pictured) has long been a comfortable hotel to break a long journey north or south, with 17 cossetting bedrooms and unpretentious but indulgent dinners. If you live locally, or you’re self-catering nearby, you can now dip into the experience without staying overnight.

From this month the hotel is opening its doors to non-resident diners on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, with a menu that ranges from Yorkshire lamb tagine to Lancashire fish pie (both £14). Unusually you can choose to eat on a sofa by the fire, at your own table in the hotel’s conservatory bistro or, if you want some company, round a giant communal table in the castle’s Blue Dining Room.


Steak and Honour double mushroom burger

Double mushroom burger

This delicious double mushroom burger is inspired by Steak and Honour, a burger van with a difference that roams around the Cambridge area. Don’t be fooled by the name, Leo Riethoff cares just as much about the veggies stuffed between the locally baked brioche buns as he does the meatier offerings. The ever-popular mushroom burger, with its smoky, charred, flat-mushroom filling, is a great vegetarian option.

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