OUR FOOD at Lower Buckton is authentic to the area, reflects the region’s distinctiveness and we feel its integrity remains intact. Our breakfasts and dinners are delightfully delicious and we promise you nothing but the best from our own garden and small-scale artisan producers all of whom we know and obviously like and with whom we share a passion and understanding for their products: fresh, traditional and in season which are prepared to very high standards. We rarely serve anything out of season and nothing which has been imported if it’s available “over here”. Except for the odd lemon for Carolyn’s G&T, there’s nearly always a perfectly acceptable equivalent available in season, locally.
Therefore APPLE JUICE instead of orange juice for breakfast; always either English tomatoes or none and never blueberries and strawberries in the middle of winter.
From time to time we keep our own free-range, rare-breed Berkshire PIGS to produce pork for the table: crackling as it used to be.
BEEF and LAMB are invariably from neighbours’ surrounding fields and slaughtered by our butcher, AH Griffiths in Leintwardine. Slow-grown, free-range POULTRY and DUCK from small-scale farms & organic when we can get it. All GAME is local and wild. Venison in the form of fallow, roe and muntjac deer from the surrounding woods; pheasant, partridge and duck from the sporting estates, a “left and a right” of Lower Buckton. If we’re very lucky, grouse from moorland just over the border into Wales. We never serve game in the close season. We cook wild RABBIT and even SQUIRREL, so don’t forget to put in a request if you’d like to try either. We get the occasional FISH from the Teme and can arrange local (fly of course) fishing for you. Fresh, seasonal VEGETABLES from our garden are available all year and are sometimes augmented from well-chosen producers who attend the local farmers’ markets which regularly pop up in the area. Most of anything we buy off the place comes from within a ten mile zone of Lower Buckton.
We have our own HENS which scratch about and are only fed organic, UK produced grain. Why boast about free-range hens but feed them crap? Sometimes when our lot isn’t laying enough we collect our EGGS from local friends who keep “back-yard hens” which are free to scratch at will and who hold the same ethos as we.
We source our MILK and CREAM from Herefordshire and Shropshire alternating between organic and non-homogenised. Either way, it’s “real milk” and possibly not what you’re used to. We only ever serve full-fat, blue-top unless otherwise requested. While we’re on the subject of dairy, all the cheeses we buy are “total locals” and at dinner we invariably have something hard, something soft and something blue on the platter plus some tangy relish and oat biscuits, both made by Carolyn, of course. You can buy the cheeses straight from the makers in Leominster and Ludlow or even visit the dairies to be see it being made.
Our BACON and SAUSAGES are the stuff of memories and you can nip down to Leintwardine to take some home with you to remind you of Lower Buckton’s fabulous breakfasts. You’ll have to put up with the banter from the butchers but it’s worth the queue. Ask for traditional bacon which is home-dry-cured and those thick sausages are their classic pork with just a touch of seasoning and win awards all over. They do of course make “fancy bangers” which are always in the Winners’ Enclosure at the Ludlow Marches Food and Drink Festival. The 2010 batch of Hedgerow Sausages was a forager’s dream, containing wild haws and won both the experts’ and people’s choice. Also pop into The Ludlow Food Centre to buy food from its various artisan producers and then onto Ludlow for all its speciality shops and Local to Ludlow markets full of fresh, local seasonal food from the area.
We try to make dinners an “occasion” and Carolyn’s food is “country cooking” using her own recipes imaginatively, with skill and making excellent use off fresh herbs from the garden. Guests return again and again to experience her seasonal food.
Henry and Carolyn are longstanding members of Slow Food and Carolyn represented the UK as one of 30 cooks & chefs who attended Terra Madre 2006 at Slow Food’s pinnacle of Food Festivals: The Salone del Gusto in Turin. We subscribe to Slow Food’s ethos of food being good, clean, honest and fair.
Therefore, everything is served in season and is either home-grown/reared/made by them at Lower Buckton or locally sought, bought and caught from small-scale independent growers, producers and suppliers. We do not shop in multi-national super-markets, cash and carries or on-line. All shopping is done at local, small-scale businesses this supporting and promoting the local community. Lower Buckton is a multi-national supermarket-free zone!
Do remember to tell us of any food likes, loves, hates, allergies and dietary requirements in order for us to create food and menus to suit everyone!
So passionate are Henry and Carolyn about food, she evens organises her own Food Festival in partnership with Aardvark books down the lane at Brampton Bryan and the Mortimer Country Food Fair takes place every year on the second Saturday of July.
Items you’ll rarely see at Lower Buckton unless especially requested: Baked Beans
Items you’ll never see at Lower Buckton: margarine or anything which “pretends” to be butter!
Carolyn’s recent TV appearances in connection with “Food at Lower Buckton”…………
ITV1.- My Tasty Travels – 2012
ITV1 – Countrywise Kitchen – 2010
UK TV – Market Kitchen (two programmes) – 2010
UK TV – The People’s Cook Book – 2009
Carolyn’s radio broadcasts and interviews in connection with “Food at Lower Buckton”………..
BBC Radio Hereford & Worcester – The Wincey Willis show – 2012
BBC Radio Hereford & Worcester – The Wincey Willis show – 2011
BBC Radio 4 – Traveller’s Tree – 2010
BBC Radio 4 – The Farming Programme (two programmes) – 2009
BBC Radio Scotland – The Fred MacAulay show – 2009
US Next Trip Radio – The Deborah Howell show – 2009
Way back when in the 1990s Carolyn was up to all sorts of country capers which included…….
Cooking squirrels before it became fashionable and appeared on BBC Radio 4′s “One for the Pot”.
She and her horses Jasper and Ayesha featured on BBC TV’s Countryfile when John Craven was searching for deer…….
She and the horses, Max the dog and Penelope the pig were all on BBC TV’s Holidays Out programme