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Village Green News - July 2024

As I write this latest Village Green News, I’m sitting on a train en route to Oxford Uni and my first experience of the Oxford Food Symposium. It began several decades ago and Claudia Roden (whose recipe we use for our orange & almond cake ) is the president. 

I’m excited to be immersed in a whole weekend devoted to food and conversation. This year’s theme is gardens, fruit & flowers and I’ve booked on to a cordial workshop too.


It is a welcome break after a few months that has thrown a few extra curve balls our way at home. Our middle daughter Anna badly broke her leg & it’ll be several months before she’s back to being independent. She spent almost 10 days in hospital, receiving excellent care, but one of the best things about her returning home was being able to cook for her; see her appetite come back after the trauma of the break, and I suppose for me, have a tangible way to look after her. 


Her wish list included some simply cooked salmon, new potatoes and fresh veg and her other favourite - a clear broth flavoured with ginger, garlic & finished with silken tofu & sesame oil. 


Whilst she was in hospital the VG team coped amazingly & really rose to the challenge of being a chef down. We also had the busiest month with several outside catering events running alongside our normal cafe operation. 

Event Catering

It’s always a joy to be asked to be part of your special day; whether it’s a birthday, wedding or memorial tea. Here’s some pictures of our recent work (click to enlarge); if you need catering help with an upcoming event do get in touch via email to

Glorious Grains Salad

One of our favourite salads for this time of year and a recipe we get asked for often is for our Apricot & Date Grain Salad - it’s super quick; can be endlessly tweaked according to what you have in your cupboard or herb garden and keeps for at least 3 days in the fridge.  Give it a go below; 


1-2 bags of Merchant gourmet glorious grains

Chopped dates

Chopped apricots

Harissa paste (we use Belazu) - 1 tablespoon - add more to taste

Lemon  or orange juice

Lemon or orange zest

Olive oil 2-4 tablespoons

Cider vinegar 1-2 tablespoons

Fresh herbs; we love dill/mint/parsley a good handfu chopped finely

Teaspoon of maple syrup

Salt and pepper

Toasted sunflower seeds


Make a simple dressing by mixing the harissa paste, oil and cider vinegar and maple syrup. 


Combine all other ingredients except the fresh herbs in a bowl with the dressing. Adjust seasoning to taste. 


Serve. Will keep covered in the fridge for 3 days. For a simple lunch serve with crumbled feta & baby leaf spinach, poached salmon or chicken breast. 


Allergens; Cereals containing gluten (*freekha/wheat berries/black barley)

Tideswell Well Dressing
Tideswell Well Dressing

Summer Opening 

We have extended our opening hours for Summer as follows; from Thursday 25th July we will also be open for drinks & bakes on Thursdays until the end of August. 


Hoping for some good weather for the next few weeks to make the most of our gardens and the light nights. Such a lovely time of year!

Don’t forget Eyam Wakes Week is the last week of August - I can’t wait to see this year’s well dressings. This well from Tideswell was particularly lovely. 


Wishing you all wonderful Summer adventures and time to pause. 


Much love,



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