Sussex Life - - Gourmet Life -

This month Framfield-based Bignose & Beardy are ask­ing lo­cals to donate ap­ples in re­turn for a bot­tle of cider. The men be­hind the moniker tell us more

We launched Bignose [Steve Stark] & Beardy [Phil Day] in 2015.

We are en­thu­si­as­tic am­a­teurs hav­ing fun with a hobby that has grown faster than we ever ex­pected. As a re­sult, we have dif­fi­culty in find­ing the time re­quired – so we just keep things at a pace we can man­age.

A key fac­tor of Bignose & Beardy is to give pur­pose and life to what oth­er­wise would have been waste fruit from the gar­dens and small re­dun­dant or­chards in the lo­cal area around Framfield.

Bignose & Beardy cider is made with 100 per cent juice, us­ing the nat­u­ral wild yeast from the skins of the fruit – un­pas­teurised, un­fil­tered and ma­tured for at least ten months. We make small 1,000 litre batches and, be­cause the yeasts are un­con­trolled, every batch is dif­fer­ent.

Pick­ing ap­ples is hon­est, hard and sat­is­fy­ing work.

Press­ing days are even harder – of­ten 12 hours of shov­el­ling and lift­ing, but to taste sweet fresh juice as it flows from the press is just re­ward, an ex­pe­ri­ence few will have savoured.

We wanted Bignose & Beardy to be about shar­ing the knowl­edge of how cider is made and give peo­ple the Bignose & Beardy are fi­nal­ists in the Cel­e­bra­tion of Sus­sex Life Awards, see page 128 for more. Visit big­nose­and­


Tom, the Truf­fle Hunter, and his dogs will be lead­ing guests out to search for truf­fles across the 16,500-acre Cowdray Es­tate on Fri­day 19 Oc­to­ber. Guests are warned that the event will in­volve a fair amount of scram­bling around in the woods in muddy ter­rain, so ap­pro­pri­ate footwear will be re­quired. After all that ex­er­tion, par­tic­i­pants will most likely be pleased to de­camp to the es­tate’s café at 6.30pm to en­joy

op­por­tu­nity to join us in pick­ing ap­ples, press­ing, juic­ing and the fi­nal bot­tling.

It’s a great way to get out­side, meet other peo­ple, learn some­thing new and drink good cider.

Septem­ber and Oc­to­ber sees the Bignose & Beardy Ap­ple Ap­peal take place.

Many peo­ple have ap­ple trees in their gar­dens and more fruit than they know what to do with – we can pro­vide a home for that sur­plus. So, if you bring us a sack of ap­ples we will give you a bot­tle of cider dur­ing the ap­peal. We also have pick­ing days tak­ing place in Septem­ber and Oc­to­ber as well as our Was­sail event tak­ing place in Jan­uary and a Wak­ing the Cider party in July. a lav­ish truf­fle-themed meal cooked by head chef, Ben Jupp. Also on the café’s menu is an ar­ray of newly award-win­ning prod­ucts.

Half a dozen prod­ucts made by the Cowdray Farm Shop & Café team have re­cently been recog­nised by the Great Taste Awards 2018, with two stars awarded to both the Cowdray break­fast sausage and the Seville or­ange mar­malade Bakewell tart. Judges de­scribed the sausages as “hearty and gen­er­ously sized” and the Bakewell tart as “great bak­ing and great flavour with a de­li­cious sticky tex­ture”. The es­tate’s cheese, leek and potato pie, Mo­roc­can parsnip and chick­pea pie, col­lar ba­con and trea­cle tart all re­ceived a highly-ac­claimed sin­gle star. After the win Ru­pert Titch­marsh, gen­eral man­ager of the Farm Shop and Café, said: “It is true recog­ni­tion for the pas­sion we hold for our prod­ucts and brand.”

See page 133 for more de­tails on Cowdray Farm Shop and Café’s nom­i­na­tion in the Cel­e­bra­tion of Sus­sex Life Awards’ Farm Shop of the Year cat­e­gory.

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