A Last Gift from Pascal

Pascal with breakfast breads at Chez Pascal 2018

Pascal Clarenne of Chez Pascal fame sadly passed away on Wednesday 7th April.

Many will remember the joy of tucking into one of Pascal’s special pastries, breakfasts or lunches. 

For all of us Pascal has left an unusual gift.

In the latter days of his illness, Pascal was supported by St Michael’s Hospice with whose help Pascal has left us one last recipe – for Raspberry Tart.  Pascal creates the tart in his room at St Michael’s on a video available at https://www.st-michaels-hospice.org.uk/video/pascals-raspberry-tart/

This is probably one of the most inspiring cookery films you will ever see.

We remember Pascal for his support with Janie of the Ledbury Big Breakfast – when the enclosed photo was taken, for steamed up windows in winter, for Ledbury’s little bit of France, for the French onion soup, for pleasing both Ledburians and visitors.

Our condolences go to Janie and the Clarenne family.

If the video delights or moves you please donate to St Michael’s Hospice who made Pascal’s wish possible!

Local Food Updates – Thursday 8th April

Please continue to support our local food producers and food retailers – safely!

We have news of new openings and first news of a new venture. (see below).  We have updated our Local Food Information Page on our website with the latest detailed information click here to access the pageto help you find local businesses that are here to serve you.

Ledbury Country Market operates on Fridays at the Burgage Hall between 10am and noon, and also offers an order and collect service.

Ledbury Charter Market runs on Tuesdays and Saturdays with several food stalls.  More details on our Information Page – or check out the market’s Facebook site – Ledbury Charter Market.

Some of our Local Cafes and Eating Spots are now able to offer outdoor service from the week starting 12th April, including The Malt House, The Nest and The Scrumpy House at Westons.  Several others continue to offer takeaways or call and collect ordering to enable you to continue to enjoy their wares.  

Local Pubs are also able to offer outdoor service where there is suitable space for this including The Farmers Arms, Wellington Heath, The Oak, Staplow and The Walwyn Arms, Much MarcleThe Wellington, Chance’s Pitch is sticking with its Call to Collect service only, as is The Slip Tavern, Much Marcle. For more information – check with your favourite by phone or Facebook to see what’s on offer, booking and collection arrangements etc.

Food Deliveries and Takeawaysdetails of local businesses who provide delivery, order and collect or takeaway services have been updated.

And news of things Old and NEW …

Kempley Farmers Market has been run by a dedicated team for the past 10 years, but they have decided time is creeping on and they are now calling it a day.  Not all is lost however as the Market has been offered a new home at Hellens Manor, Much Marcle.  The trial run for what is hoped will become a monthly market will be held at Hellens on Saturday 3rd July – a date for your diary!  Many thanks to all those who have made this award winning market such a success.

“Shop Safe Shop Ledbury”… All our “non-essential” shops in Ledbury will be open again from 12th April.  Please support them to help make up for a missing 3 months and bring the buzz and vibrancy back to the High Street – keeping a safe distance from others of course.

Maybe one day we’ll be able to do this again!

Good old days
Scene from Ledbury Ox Roast June 2013

Please let us know of any services we have missed so that we can include them in our next update – phone 01531 633637

April Recipe – Slow Cooked Lamb With Beans

Here is a lovely recipe for Easter, or any weekend come to that:

 Serves 6

500g. dried white beans (I used cannellini from Handley Organics)
4 onions, about 750g. quartered
6 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 carrot, peeled and cut into chunks
1 shoulder or leg of lamb (about 2kgs. in weight)
1 tbsp. oil
250mls. white wine
3 large sprigs of rosemary
3 tbsps. chopped parsley

Soak the beans overnight in a bowl of cold water.

They need to be pre-cooked, so put them in a large saucepan, cover with cold water, bring to the boil and cook for 20 minutes.  Drain and reserve the water.

Heat the oven to gas mark 3/ 170C.  Either finely chop the onions, garlic and carrot or blitz them in a food processor.  Sear the lamb in a roasting pan, until it takes on some colour and then remove.  Add the onion mush to the tin, and fry gently for 5 minutes.  Add the beans, stirring them in well and then pour in the wine and 1 litre of the reserved bean liquid.  Tuck the rosemary sprigs in and then place the lamb back on top of the beans.  Season with plenty of salt and bring to the boil.  When it starts to bubble, cover the tin with foil, baggily but with sealed edges and place in the oven for 4 hours or turn down the oven to gas mark 1 / 140C after 3 hours and leave for up to 8 hours.  It will be fine to eat after 3.

Remove the tin from the oven and let it sit for 10 minutes, then remove the foil and transfer the lamb to a board.  Stir the beans and taste for  seasoning, then spoon into a large dish and carve the lamb into shreds and chunks and arrange on top.  sprinkle a little more salt over, scatter over the parsley and let people dig in.


There are so many beans in this that I do not think it needs any other vegetable,  Though Nigella, whose recipe it is, suggests a plain tomato salad to be served afterwards with a little Dijon mustard dressing.  Evidently she loves mustard with lamb!

I think some crusty bread might be nice myself.  Maybe even a green vegetable such as cabbage to go alongside.

I am cooking this myself on Easter Sunday. 

Happy Easter

Ledbury Celebration & Food & Farming Awards

We have some sad news and an opportunity for you to recognise a local food hero.

Ledbury Celebration

Our now traditional annual food festival in Ledbury on the last day of the Ledbury Poetry Festival in early July has become an extremely popular event featuring the very best of local food alongside fabulous live poetry and music, and a taste of heritage.

We were unable to run the Celebration last year due to the Covid emergency, and after looking at all the options we regret that we are again not able to run the event this year. 

There are still too many risks and uncertainties for a small group like the Ledbury Food Group to take on running such an event, which depends for its atmosphere and success on the free and safe circulation of its many visitors and producers.

Please continue to support our local food and drink producers and retailers – we will continue to gather information on what you can buy or order and from whom on our Local Food Information page.   Look out for our updates as and when restrictions are eased.


Hereford Times Food and Farming Awards 2021

Do you have a Local Food Hero?

Perhaps a local food supplier who has helped you through the past year? 

Perhaps a local food retailer whose produce and service is consistently special?

Or do you have a favourite local café or restaurant? Perhaps one who has gone the extra mile?

You can now nominate your favourite Food Retailer, Farm Shop, Restaurant Café or Tea Room or Producer for recognition in this year’s Hereford Times Food and Farming Awards.

To find out how to nominate your favourite visit: www.herefordtimes.com/awards/foodandfarming

Full details of how to enter are there and are also available in the Hereford Times newspaper with an entry form for posting.

Nominations close at midday on Thursday 8th April.

March Recipes


3 leeks, finely sliced
oil for frying
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
150g. bacon lardons or bacon chopped into small pieces
250g. pearl barley
1 litre chicken stock
200g. chopped curly kale
3 tbsps. creme fraiche
juice of 1 lemon
finely chopped parsley (optional)

  1. Heat a glug of oil in a large, deep frying pan and add the leeks.  Fry for 3 – 4 minutes, then add the garlic, half the bacon and the pearl barley.  Gently fry for a further 2 – 3 minutes, then slowly start to add the chicken stock.
  1. As the pearl barley absorbs the stock, keep slowly adding more.  When three quarters of the stock has been added (this will take 15 – 20 minutes) pour in the remaining stock, then gently simmer until the barley is cooked (another 10 – 15 minutes).
  1. Meanwhile, in a small frying pan cook the remaining bacon and set aside.  Stir the kale into the barley in batches and simmer for a few minutes.
  1. Season to taste, stir in the creme fraiche and lemon juice then serve up sprinkled with parsley if you wish.


You can, of course, make this dish vegetarian by omitting the bacon.

You get more juice from a lemon if you roll it first, don’t ask me why, I was taught that tip at Catering College.

If rice risottos frighten you there are quite a few oven baked risotto recipes to be found on the internet.  They are very successful, I have tried some.


400g. rhubarb
500mls. water
100g. caster sugar
1 tbsp. runny honey
284mls. double cream
3 tbsps. whiskey

  1. Chop the rhubarb into pieces and place in a saucepan with the water, sugar and honey.  Bring to the boil and simmer until thick with strands of broken-down rhubarb.  Leave to cool, preferably overnight.
  1. Whip the cream until it is really stiff and doesn’t move.  Mix the whiskey into the rhubarb and finally fold this into the whipped cream.  I would whip the cream and fold in the fruit at the last minute when ready to serve the dessert and not do it in advance.

February Recipes – Jane’s Borscht and Carrot Puree

Jane’s Borscht

Serves 6

500g. / 1lb. 2ozs. raw beetroot, peeled and grated (or finely chopped into small cubes)
500g. / 1lb. 2ozs. red cabbage, finely shredded
3 tbsps. tomato puree
2 tbsps. red wine vinegar
125g. / 4 1/2 ozs. butter
1.2 litres beef stock (use vegetable if preferred)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, grated
salt and pepper
1 tbsp. brown sugar

To garnish

275mls. / 1/2pt. soured cream

Put the beetroot and red cabbage into a large saucepan.  Stir in the tomato puree, vinegar, half the butter and the stock.  Cover, bring to the boil and simmer for 1 hour.

Melt the remaining butter and saute the onion and carrot until soft.  Add to the beetroot and red cabbage mixture, cover and simmer gently for a further 15 minutes.  Taste for seasoning and add the brown sugar.  Serve garnished with sour cream.

Carrot Puree

This works well as a sauce for lamb meatballs, but is also delicious as a dip with pitta bread or spread over barbecued kebabs.

4 large carrots
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
juice of 1/2 lemon
a few sprigs of fresh mint
4 tbsps. natural yoghurt
freshly ground black pepper, sea salt
2 garlic cloves

Peel and chop the carrots.  Place in a pan with water and bring to the boil.  Simmer until they are very tender.  Drain away the water and return to a low heat.

Add the olive oil and the caraway seeds and sweat for a moment.  Cool before blending with half the lemon juice and then add the mint leaves.  Add more oil if needed.  Turn into a bowl.

Beat the yogurt with some salt and pepper, remaining lemon juice and the crushed garlic.  Make a well in the centre of the carrot puree and put the yogurt mixture into this. 


I tried this puree without the mint leaves with beetroot and it was lovely but took longer to soften the beetroot than the carrots.

Caraway seeds can be found at Handley Organics, they have a very distinctive flavour which I really like.

Thank you for supporting the Ledbury Big Breakfast

Many thanks to everyone who took part in this year’s Big Breakfast at Home, and by doing so supported our local food retailers and in turn our local food producers.

We’ve heard from people who took the plunge and treated themselves to something different from normal to start the day – and enjoyed doing so. 

We’ve seen the smiles from happy retailers and butchers for a good week’s trade.

We’ve already seen some super pictures of your creations – thanks for these to Fran, Norman and Anne, and Jenny (with her precision machine opened boiled eggs) – see these below.  Please continue to send your breakfast photos to bb@ledburyfoodgroup.org.

We’ve heard too that trade was thin at the Ledbury Country Market on Friday – please support if you can this valuable local food asset which continues to meet on Friday mornings in the Burgage Hall see http://www.ledburycountrymarket.co.uk/.

…and in these strange times, please continue to support our local food economy – an enjoyable breakfast is not just for the Ledbury Big Breakfast weekend but for ever.