Late October 2011
No doubt we are in autumn, though the log fire in Kingthorpe Manor Farm’s comfortable sitting room didn’t need to be lit – but bedrooms were as warm as breakfast toast! So despite the summery temperature in the daytime, salads have given way to autumn vegetables for dinner and autumn fruits for desserts.
Our hosts, business partners Patrick and Glenys, reminded us that this was our seventh visit in the past twelve months, but who’s counting? We’re simply grateful to have respite from the rigours and bustle of Birmingham! We describe the food here in some detail to show prospective visitors what can be put on the table when as a diner you don’t have a choice of menu – a positive bonus for us, as we are happy to be guided.
Our first evening started with a demi-tasse of parsnip and red onion soup after a dip of good olive oil and balsamic vinegar. This gave us the opportunity to try some olive bread brought by Patrick when returning from a trip to Essex. Chicken plus rösti and kale drew on more local ingredients – very local in the vegetables from the Kingthorpe Manor Farm garden. Pear and damson crumble ended the meal, which of course was followed by a choice of teas or coffee. Congenial fellow dinner guests from Nottinghamshire (enviably not too far to travel for them) meant relaxation all round this evening. When not cycling on this weekend they were staying in the shepherd’s hut at Kingthorpe Manor Farm (which we are always intending to look at ourselves, without actually getting round to doing so; it is always occupied, seemingly!).
The second day started with breakfast: fresh berries and melon pieces plus cereal and full Lincolnshire breakfast – bacon, sausage meat (from Patrick’s Iron Age crossed Tamworth pig, black pudding and (a particularly nice detail) apple ring, eggs of choice (from the ducks and hens scratching about outside), tomato and bubble and squeak. Toast and fresh locally made marmalade or honey (from a farm near Market Rasen) finished a leisurely morning repast. This demanded activity during the day – in our case visits in the Horncastle area and to places associated with Tennyson. (Copies of a leaflet describing a trail are held at Kingthorpe Manor Farm).
Dinner the second evening started with a seasonal demi-tasse of roasted pumpkin soup, and then another souvenir of Patrick’s trip to the Essex coast – moules marinieres. Tasty fish followed -gurnard, strangely a fish not yet fashionable. It came with capers, green beans, and savoy cabbage cooked with toasted sesame oil. Apple strudel completed the meal - Howgate Wonder apples and Greek-style yoghurt and honey.
Our final day started with Craster kippers as an alternative but no less filling breakfast. (See our warning about the vast portion sizes in a previous review. Patrick would no doubt have served us a pair of kippers each). Our final meal in the evening started with red pepper and red onion soup. This set the scene for the reappearance of the Iron Age porker, this time in the form of a very tender casserole, which had been simmering in the range all day as we had been off in search of historic churches within a thirty mile range of Kingthorpe Manor Farm.
On our last day, we headed back to Brum after a short detour to pick up goats’ cheese we’d ordered from British Cheese Award gold-medal cheesemakers at Goatwood Dairies at Langton. We also loaded up the car and headed back replete with beef, lamb and pork for the freezer from Minting Park Farm meats, which is run by a charming and very friendly and knowledgeable couple, also prize-winners. Both places are within three miles and have supplied Kingthorpe Manor Farm with food we’ve eaten there in some of our six previous stays.
We’ll be back soon for number eight if you are counting!
Karen O’Rourke & Paul Dolan
- Also Known As:
- Kingthorpe Manor Farm Market Rasen, Lincolnshire