Eat Like Your Ancestors and 2021 Great Taste Award winners!

Eat like your ancestors

Liz Pearson Mann has written a book “Eat Like Your Ancestors” – a sustainable food journey round the West Midlands.

She will be setting up a display about her book in the lobby at Ledbury Heritage Centre this Saturday 30 October.

Eat Like your Ancestors

Liz will be there to tell you more about how the past can show the way for the future.

Date: Saturday 30th October

Place: Ledbury Heritage Centre, Church Lane, Ledbury

Time: 10.30 to 16.00


Great Taste Award winners

Congratulations to these local food and drink producers who have won awards in the 2021 Great Taste Awards:


Willy’s Ltd of Little Marcle for their Apple Balsamic vinegar – 3 stars

Gun Dog Gin for both their Damson and Quince Liqueurs – both 3 stars

Berry’s of the Hop Pocket – formerly Just Rachel Ice Creams – for their Damson and Sloe Gin and their Dark Chocolate Orange ice creams – both 2 stars

Weston’s Cider of Much Marcle – one star awards for Henry Weston Organic, Henry Weston Vintage and Stowford Press Low Alcohol ciders

Friday Beer Co. of Malvern – one star for their Holly Bush Ale

Hops and a Farmers’ Market…

Look out for two local food events in the next few weeks:

“The Scratch of the Hop”

Ledbury Places host an illustrated talk by local author Marsha O’Mahony. Marsha traces the story of hop-farming in Herefordshire, Worcestershire & Shropshire through local archives, interviews and a wealth of unseen photographs.

Date: Thursday 28th October 2021

Time: 6.30pm

Place: The Upper Floor, The Old Grammar School, Church Lane, Ledbury HR8 1DW

Tickets: £7.00 (to include a glass of real ale or soft drink)

Available from:

Hellens Farmers’ Market

Following a successful “try-out” in August, Hellens Manor at Much Marcle hosts another market on Saturday 6th November. This is the successor to the award winning Kempley Market which closed in 2020. Many faces from the old market will be there to tempt you with their local produce – and some new ones as well!

Date: Saturday 6th November 2021
Time: 9.30 to 11.30am
Place: Hellens Manor, Much Marcle, HR8 2LY

On this occasion there will also be a special display of carriages, with experts from the Carriage Foundation on hand to answer your questions.
…and they are selling bacon sandwiches!

October Recipes


1 butternut squash, about 1kg., peeled and deseeded
2 tbsps. olive oil
1 tbsp.butter
2 onions, diced
1 garlic clove, chopped
2 mild red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
850mls. hot vegetable stock
4 tbsps. creme fraiche, plus extra to serve

Heat the oven to 200C / fan 180C / gas mark 6.  Cut the squash into large chunks, deseed, then toss in a roasting tin with 1 tbsp.of the oil.

Roast for 30 minutes, until golden and soft.

Melt the butter with the remaining 1 tbsp. oil, add the onion, garlic and 3/4’s of the diced chilli.  Cook until the onions are soft.  Tip the squash into the pan, add the stock and 4 tbsps. creme fraiche and whizz with a stick blender, or in a liquidiser, until smooth.  Return to the pan and gently reheat, then season to taste.

Serve in bowls with swirls of creme fraiche and a scattering of the remaining chilli.  


Squash is much easier to peel after it has been roasted.  You can easily scrape it off the skin.  Jamie Oliver is a great one for eating the skin as well as it softens when cooked.  Give it a good scrub if you are planning to do that.




250g. plain flour
125g. cold, unsalted butter
50g. caster sugar
pinch of salt and cinnamon – optional


4 barely ripe pears
2 tbsps. soft brown sugar
50g. unsalted butter
1 tbsp. demerara sugar
1 tbsp. flaked almonds


75g. soft, unsalted butter
75g. caster sugar
1 large egg, beaten
20g. plain flour
75g. ground almonds
dash of vanilla extract

First make the pastry.  Rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips, until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.  This can be done easily in a food processor.  Then add the sugar, cinnamon and salt if using. Mix together with cold water (about 50mls.) until you have a dough.  Pat into a round, wrap in clingfilm and put in the fridge to rest for about 30 minutes.

Peel, quarter and core the pears and cut the quarters into 2.  Heat the butter and sugar and cook gently for a few minutes, until the pears soften,  Drain in a sieve, retaining all the sauce.  Cool the sauce in the fridge for later.

To make the frangipane cream the butter and sugar and add the egg, flour, almonds and vanilla.  Beat well until fluffy.

Roll out the pastry to a large circle, no bigger than 4 mm. and put on a greased baking sheet.  Set the oven at 200C / gas mark 6.  Spread the frangipane on the pastry leaving a 2cm. border.  Arrange the pears on top and sprinkle with the demerara sugar and almonds.  Bake for 20 minutes and allow to cool for 10 – 15 minutes.  Serve trickled with some of the sauce and with cream or ice cream.. 



You can buy your pastry if you do not wish to make it but make sure you get all butter shortcrust, it is so much better.  If you make your own pastry make sure the butter is really cold.  I would turn the edge of the pastry circle over slightly to form a rim and stop any juice making the bottom of the pastry soggy.  Drain the pears well.  You could always cook the pears the day before and make the pastry, but let it come to room temperature before cooking if you have done so.   

Notice of our delayed 2020/21 Annual General Meeting

Our delayed AGM for 2020/21 will be held on Monday 18th October at the Market House, High Street, Ledbury at 5.30pm.

You are very welcome to attend.

We will be electing our serving committee for the business year 2021/22.

The committee will be tasked with taking forward the activities of the group with due regard to continuing circumstances, guidance and restrictions.

After a successful year in 2019 with an excellent Ledbury Celebration event in July and very popular evening Farmers Food Market running in St Katherine’s and the Barn (see photo above), we had hoped to continue with similar activities supporting our local food economy through 2020.

Instead our major activity has been to provide a Food Information Page on our website. This provides a listing what local producers and retailers are doing in terms of local deliveries, call and collect, food takeaways, outdoor eating etc. to help people – and businesses – to get through the pandemic safely.

Thanks to all of you who have continued to support local producers, local retailers and local hospitality businesses through this time. It is encouraging to see how well these businesses have coped and survived, and that we are now welcoming new businesses on the local food scene.

Use this link to access the Agenda for this meeting.

Use this link to access the 20/21 Income and Expenditure Account.

News update – Big Apple, Photo Exhibition, Café closes, Shop in a Bus

The Big Apple Harvestime Event – is taking place on Saturday and Sunday 9th and 10th October around Much Marcle.

Full details of the programme have now been released and are available at

It’s a great event for savouring all that’s apple and enjoying the wonderful countryside below Marcle Ridge.

Do go!

Photo Exhibition Reminder – We are mounting a small exhibition feature life at three local farms as part of Ledbury Market House’s participation in this year’s national Heritage Open Days. It’s open on Tuesday and Wednesday this week.

Cameron and Swan Café Closure – Louise and her team have been providing great local food at Cameron and Swan for more than 8 years, appreciated by locals and visitors alike.  They have been regular participants in our annual Ledbury Big Breakfast event. 

Sadly Louise has had to close the café for health reasons.  A new business will be moving into the premises.  Our thanks go to Louise and her team for feeding Ledbury so well.

Picture: Louise with Big Breakfast potato rostis

A shop in a bus – If you live in the Newent area you will be interested in the Blue Bus venture that just started.  The bus, operated by Market To Your Door, tours local villages stocked with a large range of local produce on its itinerary. All markets run from 10am until 12noon and each hosting venue will be offering refreshments of their choice.

The monthly itinerary is:

  • 1st Friday: Upleadon Village Hall
  • 1st Saturday: Harts Barn, Longhope
  • 2nd Friday: Good News Centre
  • 2nd Saturday: Oxenhall village hall
  • 3rd Friday: Pauntley Village Hall
  • 3rd Saturday: Kempley village (Layby near village hall)
  • 4th Friday: Good news centre
  • 4th Saturday: Rudford village hall

Find out more on Facebook at @markettoyourdoor

Recipes for September

Venison and Apple Casserole

1lb./ 450g. cubed venison, dusted in flour
2 tbsps. oil
8ozs. / 225g. shallots, peeled
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
8ozs. / 225g. diced bacon
2 carrots, peeled and chopped and 2 leeks, chopped
small tin chopped tomatoes
3 tbsps. brandy
3/4 pt. / 15fl. ozs. good beef stock
desert spoon tomato puree
1 desert spoon juniper berries
2 – 3 Bramley or Cox’s Orange Pippins cut into chunks
Pepper and salt to taste

Heat the oil in a pan and fry the venison until well browned, remove to a plate. Add diced bacon to the pan along with the shallots and garlic. Crush the juniper berries just enough to release their flavour and add to the pan.

Return the venison to the pan, add the vegetables, tomato puree, tin of tomatoes, stock and brandy. Bring to a gentle simmer, put on a lid and cook for 1 1/2 hours. Add the apples to the pan and simmer for a further 30 minutes. If the sauce needs thickening mix some cornflour with cold water and add, stirring all the time. You could cook this in the oven on a low heat if you would prefer to do so.

Fresh Plum Cake

225g. / 8ozs. self raising flour
1 tsp. gd. cinnamon
100g. / 4ozs. hard margarine or butter
50g. / 2ozs. sultanas
50g. / 2ozs. soft brown sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
2 large eggs
4 tbsps. golden syrup
225. / 8ozs. plum, stoned and chopped

Preheat oven to 160 / Gas Mark 3.

Grease and line an 8 inch square baking tin. Rub the flour, half the cinnamon and the margarine together. Add the sultanas and 50g. / 2ozs. soft brown sugar and stir. Beat eggs and syrup together in a separate bowl, add plums, then stir into the flour mixture.

Transfer to tin and level surface. Mix the rest of the brown sugar and the cinnamon and sprinkle over the top of the cake. Cook in the centre of the oven for 45 – 50 minutes and then test. It should be risen and just firm to the touch.

Cut into squares to eat. This is best eaten warm with ice cream though you can eat it cold. It works just as well with apples and rhubarb.

Food Group celebrates Ledbury’s Food Heritage

As part of Ledbury’s contribution to this year’s Heritage Open Days, we are joining with Ledbury Town Council to celebrate the long heritage of local food production.

We are mounting a photo exhibition at the Market House when it is open to the public for Heritage Open Days.  The photos will reflect on local food production today at three farms in the Ledbury district. 

The exhibition is on 14th and 15th September.

Growing food has been a vitally important feature of Ledbury’s life for 900 years – for 400 years the Market House has been a centre for trade in local food.

This exhibition picks up the Heritage Open Day theme of “Edible England” and reminds us that local food production remains just as important today.  It visits three local farms – a sheep farm, a vegetable grower and an orcharding farm.  The photos show different seasons in the farming year.

The photos are the work of local photographers Pat Strauss and Ed Mustafic and previously featured in our exhibitions at The Master’s House, Ledbury.

Place: The Market House, High Street, Ledbury

When: Tuesday 14th and Wednesday 15th September

Times: 1100-1300 & 1400-1600

Make it a day visiting heritage buildings in Ledbury – and visiting one of our cafes for lunch!  Find details of heritage sites at: