Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Maids Head Hotel Marie Curie Norfolk Knobbler Cook Off

City College Norwich students Katie Carruth and Robyn Jackson, who won October’s Maids Head Apple Cake Bake off, returned to the hotel in Tombland, Norwich, on Monday to take part in a Marie Curie Norfolk Knobbler cook off to create a new dish for the hotel’s Wine Press Restaurant. The Maids Head also announced that Marie Curie will be the hotel’s charity for 2017.

Katie Carruth and Charlie Hodson in the kitchen
Robyn worked alongside Marcin ‘Magic’ Pomierny, Maids Head Head Chef and Katie was paired with Charlie Hodson, Norfolk Food & Drink Champion.  Each team had 10 ingredients to create and cook a dish in one hour; the main ingredient was the Norfolk Knobbler sausage, from Archer’s Butchers. Sausage sales are raising money for Marie Curie in Norfolk.

Marcin 'Magic' Pomierny with Robyn Jackson in the kitchen
Robyn and Magic produced Norfolk Knobbler sausage croquets with fondant potatoes, stuffed with Norfolk Dapple cheese and celeriac mousse, caramelised shallots and beetroot and cider sauce.

Katie and Charlie created Norfolk Knobbler rissole with herb potato rosti, beetroot and apple chutney, celeriac puree and a Norfolk Dapple tuile.

Judges Hugo Stevenson, Marie Curie Community Fundraiser, Jamie Archer, Archer’s Butchers, Sam Cossey, City College and Christine Malcolm, General Manager, Maids Head then tasted each dish, which was paired with Winbirri Pinot Noir from Norfolk.

Marcin 'Magic' Pomierny and Robyn Jackson with their winning dish
The judges chose Robyn and Magic’s Norfolk Knobbler sausage croquets, which will be on the Wine Press menu from Tuesday, November 29 for a week and will return to the menu for a month from January 2.  The Maids Head will donate £2 to Marie Curie for every Norfolk Knobbler dish sold in the restaurant.

The Norfolk Knobbler winning dish
Robyn Jackson, City College student said: “It’s amazing that the dish I worked on will be on the Maid’s Head menu. I am very happy. It was a great opportunity to work with Magic. He gave me lots of ideas.”

Christine Malcolm, General Manager, Maids Head Hotel said; “ We are really pleased to be working with Marie Curie. Our cook off with the City College students was an excellent way to launch our partnership. I would also like to thank Charlie Hodson for supporting today’s Norfolk Knobbler cook off. Robyn and Magic’s dish, just had the edge on Katie and Charlie’s. Congratulations to both teams on their excellent work against the clock. We will be developing a range of food related fundraising opportunities with Marie Curie. Our staff will be getting involved in sporting fundraising challenges as well.”

Hugo Stevenson, Community Fundraiser Marie Curie Norfolk said: “We are absolutely delighted that the Maids Head has chosen Marie Curie as its charity for 2017. It is wonderful that we are going to be working together to raise money to help support our local nurses, who provide care in Norfolk.”

Hugo added: “Both teams did incredibly well this afternoon, developing the Norfolk Knobbler from every day dining to fine dining.”

The Norfolk Knobbler combines Archer’s traditional Norfolk pork sausage with Candi’s Chutney’s parsnip and chilli chutney. Tim Allen of Morley Farm, South Creake supplies the pork for the sausage.

Maids Head Hotel, t. 01603 209955, www.maidsheadhotel.co.uk.

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Meet Father Christmas at Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden Norfolk Broads

Father Christmas arriving at Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden on his lawnmower 

Father Christmas will be visiting Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden at South Walsham in the Norfolk Broads (NR13 6DZ) on Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 December, 2016. He will arrive on his lawnmower on both days at 11am, then will head down to his woodland yurt tucked away among the trees and will stay there until 4.30pm.

You can also meet reindeer Comet and Blitzen and have a wander through the garden, before returning to the tearoom for hot chestnuts, hot chocolate, mulled wine and some seasonal fare.

There will be live music near the tearoom over the weekend featuring Broadland Youth Choir, Hemblington Harmony Community Choir, Broadland Brass and Wensum Valley Handbell Ringers; also visit the elves' workshop with free Christmas crafts and face painting.

Tickets are £6.50 adult, £5.90 concessions, £7 per child to visit Father Christmas and receive a present (includes garden entry). Booking is essential to visit Father Christmas. Buy tickets here or t. 01603 270449.

Friday, 18 November 2016

Advent Moving Feast at Norwich Cathedral and the Maids Head Hotel

Marcin ‘Magic’ Pomierny, Head Chef Maids Head Hotel, The Dean of Norwich, the Very Reverend Jane Hedges and Chris Hedges in the Priors Hall 
The Maids Head Hotel and Norwich Cathedral are combining to stage a special Advent Moving Feast on the evening of Saturday, November 26, 2016.

The Dean of Norwich, the Very Reverend Jane Hedges and her husband Chris Hedges, are hosting the first course in the ancient Priors Hall, before guests are escorted across Tombland, to the equally historic Maids Head Hotel, for the main course and dessert. Diners will also be regaled with historic tales of the Priors Hall, Cathedral Close, Tombland and the Maids Head Hotel during the meal.

Chris Hedges is chef for the first course, producing a variety of soups with scones, before handing over to the Maids Head team led by Head Chef, Marcin 'Magic' Pomierny, who are offering a choice of main courses including Norfolk turkey, seared monkfish and roasted butternut squash. A selection of desserts is also on the menu including stem ginger pudding, orange & candied nut salad, Christmas ice cream and chocolate sauce.

Places are still available for the Moving Feast, for more information contact Maids Head Events t. 01603 272008, events@maidsheadhotel.co.uk.

The Dean of Norwich said: “Chris and I are looking forward to hosting our travelling dinner guests and to sharing with them a little of the history of Priors Hall. Chris loves cooking and entertaining and telling stories and he has some delicious soup recipes up his sleeve for next week.”

Christine Malcolm, General Manager Maids Head Hotel said: “We are delighted to be working with The Dean and her husband on this special Advent Moving Feast. It will be a wonderful evening of storytelling and excellent food.” 

The Maids Head has had a very long relationship with Norwich Cathedral. The first Norman Bishop, Herbert de Losinga, lived on the hotel's site. His palace eventually became the Murtel Fish Inn, which was the Maids Head’s predecessor. The Prior's Hall at the Cathedral dates from 1284 and the first official mention of the Murtel Fish Inn was in 1287.

Curly Sheep's Bad Hair Day – debut children's book from Norwich author

Curly Sheep's Bad Hair Day is a new children's book written and illustrated by Norwich author and artist, Sandra Derry. It is the first in a series of books by Sandra, who grew up on a farm, aiming to introduce children to countryside life. Curly  Sheep's Bad Hair Day is beautifully illustrated. It explains, in a fun way,  how and why sheep get sheared.

Sandra approached Kinsale Infant School for feedback, when she was writing the book and creating the illustrations.  The reviews from children at the school are included on the back cover.

To thank the children, Sandra visited Kinsale Infant School to present copies of the book to her band of reviewers.

Sandra Derry explained: “I grew up on Valley Farm, Henham, always surrounded by animals, mainly cows. I love all things farm and country and wanted to develop a series of children's books, which introduce young children to the countryside. Curly Sheep explains why sheep get sheared. I am working on the next book in the series called Molly Moo the independent cow.”

Sandra Derry with her review panel at Kinsale Infant School Norwich

“I would like to thank the children at Kinsale School for giving me feedback. It really encouraged me to keep going, finish the book and plan Molly Moo.”

Curly Sheep's Bad Hair Day, price £9.99, ISBN 9780995618701, is currently on sale at Jarrold Norwich, Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden at South Walsham, and is available from allthingsnorfolk.com.

Sandra is also an expert seamstress and is the author of Know Before You Sew. She is the sewing 'guru' for Let's Talk magazine.

Sandra is staging a solo art exhibition at Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden at South Walsham in the Norfolk Broads from Tuesday, January 31 to Sunday, February 5. Her paintings all inspired by countryside themes.

Sandra Derry  'Great Trees' - part of her exhibition at Fairhaven Garden in January