When The Sun Goes Down…
Are you a lunchtime or evening meal sort of person? Whether you prefer to call it dinner or tea it makes no difference but I’m guessing the majority of people reading this will have their main meal in the evening. Perhaps the ‘lockdown’ has helped to change your eating habits? I do know that initially (way back in March) we were all suddenly thinking about food and toilet rolls. However, the initial rush and panic seems to be over now and our shopping habits are starting to return to something close to normal. Have you been missing your normal foods though? Many of them have been in short supply and we have been discouraged from nipping out to our favourite restaurants to eat with friends. However, some Lincolnshire companies have come up with some ingenious ways of surviving the lockdown so I thought I would share with you some of the establishments that I know of who are still trading and supplying take-away food and drink for us all to enjoy.
We don’t have to wait for the sun to go down to enjoy our dinner (or is it tea)? but it does pay to plan ahead. If you’re looking for something for lunch, dinner or an evening feast let’s see if we can share some ideas. I’ll list some of the Lincolnshire establishments that I know of but it certainly won’t be exhaustive so if you know someone that I’ve missed out please let me know in the comments below:
Caythorpe Water Mill are providing takeaway pizzas and burgers so if you’re in the area why not pre-book yours today? Just click on the picture to place your order or telephone 01507 451366
Lincolnshire Poacher Cheese provide delivery throughout the UK as well as pre-arranged sales direct from the farm. Click on the logo to go straight to their website www.lincolnshirepoachercheese.com or follow them on twitter @Poachercheese
Mail order Poacher Cheese delivered straight to your door. Click on the picture to go to the Lincolnshire Poacher Cheese Twitter page
Apley Lamb (Near Wragby) offers a free local delivery of freshly boxed lamb cut to order. Click on the logo to go straight to their facebook page or follow on Twitter @ApleyLamb
Post Covid-19 – Are We Ready?
Without doubt things have changed. The way we have lived our lives, the way we have thought, the way we have communicated, the way we have shopped….. A huge proportion of what we’ve done over the last few months has changed compared to what we were doing in February. I never would have thought that I would have managed without my car but since the Covid-19 outbreak my car has been on the drive and hasn’t moved other than to roll it forwards or backwards a few inches to prevent flat spots on the tyres. There will be a time in the not too distant future when I’ll be using it again of course. Being a mobile masseur and Personal Trainer I’ll need to be thinking of ways to see my clients again while keeping them (and myself) safe. We do of course, have the threat of re-infection looming over us so now is the time to make adjustments to help prevent that from happening.
Social media has been a lifeline for many of us as it’s allowed us to maintain contact with friends and followers throughout the lockdown. I’ve used it to collate lots of information and keep in touch with all sorts of people. It’s reminded me just how resilient we are and how well we can adapt. However, we are entering a new era at the moment where some of our old rules and precautions need to be revised. Shops are starting to open again which really is positive news but I wonder how many shop owners and local businesses have really thought through the precautions required for safely re-opening or increasing the staff levels in the immediate aftermath of Covid-19? Social (or should that be ‘physical’) distancing is at the top of our agenda at the moment of course. Those of us who have used the supermarkets recently have become used to it very quickly and the small businesses (butchers, bakers, local food stores) have become adept at restricting the numbers of people allowed in the shop at once.
Recent conversations on social media with Alex of The Specialist Safety Group have made me realise that many of us may not be as ready as we thought we were for the ‘grand re-opening’ of our businesses. Yes, we all know about distancing and restricted entry to our businesses but have we considered other Health & Safety at Work issues too? We don’t want, or anticipate having a fire at work but we have to plan for it. How would fire evacuation change with the new distancing precautions? Perhaps we have a dedicated first responder at work should someone be taken ill. Have rules change with the distancing precautions? Perhaps insurance companies may require us to have new documentation/risk assessments post lockdown? What about cleaning? Will our ‘normal’ cleaning practices need to change? I know my cleaning practices will have to change. My massage couch and exercise equipment will need to be cleaned with different solutions from now on.
If you have any concerns about starting up again and returning to ‘business as normal’ you might like to chat to Alex at the Specialist Safety Group Ltd. He has a dedicated ‘Return To Work Safely’ package that normally costs around £339.00 but by quoting this LincsConnect blog you’ll be able to receive a 10% discount. I’m sure this offer won’t last forever though so contact Alex on 07870 760 145 to confirm your discount. You can also email him at email@example.com or click on the logo above to go straight to the website
Stourton Estates is delivering Venison around the County and orders over £25.00 can enjoy FREE delivery within 20 miles of LN9 5PB
Mountain Abbey Parks Farm Shop selling fresh and cooked meats, chutneys, plumb bread….. You’ll need to click on the picture to follow the link to their Facebook page for a full list!
Fully online and sold locally around the County you can easily get your hands on some of these award winning botanical chocolates. simply click on the logo to go straight to Fionas’ website to learn more or click this link Sciolti Chocks to follow on Facebook
Sandhams Wine Merchant in Caistor offer both in store (social distance rules apply) and mail order options with a huge range of wines and easy to navigate price list. Click on this link to go to their Facebook page or click on their logo to go straight to the website
Docks Beers is more than just ‘beer’ but you’ll need to visit their shop to discover their full range – and it’s all delivered too! If you fancy a gin, they’ve got that covered too. click on the logo to go straight to their website/shop.
For more information about Docks Beers click on the photo to go to their facebook page or follow them on twitter @DocksBeers
Message In A Bottle deliver a huge range of drinks across Cleethorpes & Grimsby. From local to international beers, gins, rums…. You need to check their website for a full list. You can find them on Facebook by clicking on their logo or or on Twitter @miabcleethorpes
This picture says it all so just click on it to go straight to the order page. Enjoy
Let’s Get Back to Doing What We Do Best
I don’t know about you but I’m really ‘chomping at the bit’ to get cracking again. I love helping people and making them feel better whether that’s through exercise, massage, injury rehabilitation or injury prevention. Many people will have been suffering with stress related problems since the lockdown and my diary is already starting to fill with new clients who are suffering with neck, shoulder, back and sleep issues as a result of the lockdown. If you are in need of help please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or pay a visit to my website www.mandarintherapies.com or www.mandarinfitness.com where you’ll get a better idea of what I have to offer. I’m also on facebook of course Mandarin Therapies & Mandarin Fitness so feel free to follow me there too.
CLICK ON THE PICTURE TO PLAY THE FULL VIDEO
When I say I have a website; if you visit it you’ll quickly notice that it’s a very old site. I do have a new one but I would much rather be doing my fitness and therapies than ‘wasting time’ on the website stuff! Am I alone? Does anyone else put off doing admin ‘stuff’ in favour of getting on with the real work?
As a sole trader I really value my time with clients and would much rather be doing what I do best than shuffling paper and files! Needless to say, much of my admin work gets put off to the last minute before getting actioned. I know I shouldn’t but…!
Perhaps I should consider the services of a Virtual Assistant (VA)? I’ve been chatting to Nikki from www.Time4U-VA.co.uk who certainly seems to have the admin sorted! My muddled, dyslexic brain is reflected on my muddled and (seemingly) disorganised desk. Unlike Nikki who is adept at multi tasking with a clear desk. Is there such a thing as desk envy?
Perhaps it’s time to re-think my working practices? I know that I’m going to have to work very long hours (and probably 7 days a week) to catch up with the backlog of work over the months between now and Christmas. I’m guessing that my experience will be mirrored across many industries and not least by the food & drink industries. Let’s face it, Lincolnshire has some fine artisan food and drink producers as well as some fantastic restaurants and bars. Preparing and serving or delivering these fantastic products is a passion for most but I wonder how many really have the time for updating menus and completing the admin? Don’t get me started on book keeping! Thankfully I don’t have payroll issues being a sole trader but I can imagine they will be a necessary evil for many businesses. Perhaps ‘now’ is the time to consider how we are going to tackle the admin while staying on top of our game with our work. Perhaps Nikki can help you?
Click on the logo to go straight to the website
Fully Online – You can order your No 12 Chocolatier handmade chocolates online now and receive them in the post. That’s an offer you can hardly refuse! Follow @No12Chocolatier on Twitter and just click on the picture to go straight to the online shop.
Uncle Henrys Farm Shop is providing a home delivery service within a range of 10 miles but don’t let the Gainsborough address fool you as it’s situated on the A15 and the delivery range is quite extensive. Click on the picture to follow them on Facebook or follow them on twitter from here: @unclehenryslinc
Brakes Food Hub in Grantham provides the full call & collection service for all of your food shopping from fresh to frozen to cake to…. you’ll need to click on the picture to go to their website to see more. Offering a call and collect service 7 days a week. Tel 0344 800 4900 (option 4) place your order. Follow @John_Nicky on twitter too for more updates.
Gelston Lamb deliver in the Grantham/Sleaford areas. Click on the picture to go to their Facebook page or follow them on Twitter for more updates @GelstonLamb
Teaspoon Tea Company have a free local delivery service and a full mail order selection including tea, coffee, gift packs, gift vouchers, birthday cards, chocolate by @No12Chocolatier honey by @ArtisanHoneyCo and quite a bit more. Click on the picture to go to their website. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised
Anderson’s Family Butchers are providing a ‘text and collect’ system in Heighington. Simply text our order then collect when it’s ready. 07983003435 or 07880745083 – click on the picture to follow on Facebook
The Inn On The Green, Ingham (on the outskirts of Lincoln) are providing a local takeaway service of food and drinks. Click on the photo to go straight to the order form and you can follow them on Facebook The Inn On The Green Ingham
The Bowl Full Tapas restaurant will be providing pre-paid take away meals from 15 May. Click on the picture to go to their Facebook page or follow them on twitter @BowlFullTapas
Browns Pie Shop – Orders are cooked and delivered cold for re-heating at home. Orders can be delivered or collected. Click on this picture for more info or call 07809 477126 to pace an order
Cafe Portico are now providing take away pizza for your delight. Orders taken from your car (or on foot if you’re walking there), cooked to order and delivered fresh to you when it’s ready. All made possible with mobile contactless payments. Click on the logo to visit their Facebook page or go to their website for the latest menu www.cafeportico.co.uk You can also follow them on twitter @CaffePortico
Grow Your Own
Isn’t it fantastic that we have all of these lovely local Lincolnshire restaurants, cafes and takeaways who’re working hard to serve us during the lockdown and beyond. They really have been up against it and are a testament to the resilience that has been so evident during the lockdown. Being in Lincolnshire we’re lucky to have such wide open spaces with lots of farmers producing some superb crops for us and for the local restaurants. Wouldn’t it be nice though if we could produce some of the fruit and vegetables for ourselves? Not all of us are able to enjoy a large garden so perhaps a vegetable patch isn’t a high priority when we need to consider making our space into a multi purpose area for children to play and for us to relax. However, having chatted to Simon (you may remember him from previous blogs) I think he’s found the perfect solution. If you have space for a straw bale in your garden or yard it appears that you have space for a vegetable patch!
Having looked around Simon’s website I’m at a loss as to what to include here. Not only does he run StrawbaleVeg growing courses from your own home (corporate events too) but he sells own brand seeds at realistic prices. I was very impressed to learn that while some others had increased prices significantly during the lockdown Simon kept his prices static. Well done Sir, I’m very impressed. It’s little things like this that catch my attention and impress me the most. I digress – who would have thought that you could grow your vegetables in a concrete yard or in such a small space? Obviously Simon did and I think it’s a fantastic idea. I was going to include pictures of the vegetable seeds that he supplies but there are far to many to list here. If you click on the picture above you’ll be taken straight to the www.strawbaleveg.co.uk website where you’ll be able to make your won selection and have them delivered.
Click on this picture to purchase The Strawbale Gardeners Handbook Vol 1
Would you believe that Simon has also produced an eBook which can be downloaded by clicking on the picture above ‘and’ a DVD that can be purchased from the website www.strawbaleveg.co.uk – you have been busy Simon!
Curry Jacks provides a mobile service around the Lincoln area on a Pre-Order basis. Take a look at their Facebook page for regular updates by clicking on the logo or follow on Twitter @CurryJackscaf
Damons, Doddington Road, Lincoln will be offering a drive through service from Thursday 21 May 20. Call ahead with your order (01522) 887722 or click on the menu to visit their website
Doddington Hall Farm Shop are still open for your shopping but please obey the social distancing rules. Follow them on Twitter @DoddingtonHall or click on the logo to find them on facebook.
FAB Craft Beer from Fiskerton are busy delivering boxed beer as well as bottled beers around the Lincoln area so why not click on the picture to follow them on Facebook or perhaps follow them on Twitter too @FABcraftbeer
The Garden Tea Room in North Hykeham is providing a Lincoln and surrounding area home delivery service for a modest £2.00 and they also have cakes, cheesecakes and lots more goodies to choose from. Click on this picture to follow them on Facebook and take a look at their menu below:
Burton Waters is the home to The Greek House who are now providing takeaway meals. Have a look at their menu and pre-order on 01522 542758. Click on the menu to follow them on Facebook
Imperial Teas of Lincoln are providing FREE DELIVERY on their mail order teas and coffees right now. That’s a great offer that can’t last forever so be sure to get your order in quickly. You can follow Imperial Teas Lincoln on facebook or on Twitter @Imperial_Teas Click on the logo to go straight to website to make your order – If you like your coffee strong I can personally recommend the Voodoo Comet.
Lincolnshire Brewing Company – delivering a selection of beers to suite every taste or collect directly from Langworth. Click on the picture to find them on facebook or follow them on Twitter @LincsBrewCo
MaCH Indian Restaurant (Wragby Road) are now offering a takeaway service. Click on the logo to find them on Facebook or go straight to their website to place your order www.machrestaurant.co.uk
Ole Ole Tapas Bar offer a delivery and (social distancing) collection service for their meals. Click on the logo to go to their Facebook page and click on the link here to go straight to their menu/order form www.oleolelincoln.co.uk or call them on 01522 534222
Lincoln & Gainsborough – Redhill Farm Shop offer a delivery and contactless collection service with safe in-store shopping too. Click on the picture to go straight to their website or follow them on Twitter @RedhillFarmPork
Sammys Chinese takeaway is set to open again on 20 May with social distancing rules in place (of course). Click on the picture to go to the ‘Lincoln food To Go’ Facebook group page. You can find Sammy’s Kitchen at Unit 11 Lambeth House, Woodhall Drive and you can call to make your order on 01522 567333
Cafe Shanti Vegan restaurant are now doing take away hot and frozen food (including breakfasts and curries) so why not order yours today? you can call them on 07735161481 or find them on twitter @Cafe_Shanti and Facebook by clicking on the picture
Veg Out Lincoln provides a delivery service in the Lincoln area including a vegan inspired recipe box and plant powered food plan. Gemma will have her new online booking site and new website ready very soon but in the mean time you can contact her through twitter @vegoutincoln or click on the picture for a link to her book
Beaumon’t Deli on Bridge Street in Louth are open to take your orders. You can follow them on Facebook Beaumont’s Deli or call 01507 355927
Takeaway Weekends. Call 01778346952 to order or click on this picture to go to the website
Cote Hill Cheese delivers cheese and milk locally. Click on the picture to go to their Facebook page
Minting (near Wragby) Farm Shop has a collection service with your safety in mind. Give them a call today to place your order. Click on the logo to go straight to their website
Lymn Bank Farm handmade cheese. FREE delivery on orders over £20.00. You can follow them on Twitter @lymnbankfarm or click on this logo to go straight to their Facebook page
FREE DELIVERY. Go too www.postacheese.com for details and your order form or click on this picture to take you straight there.
A Little Luxury Distillery is still taking orders for Gin & Rum which will be delivered direct to your home. Click on the picture to go to the shop or follow on Facebook A Little Luxury and Twitter @ALittleLuxuryLt
A real pub providing real beer. Buy a bottle and bring it back to get a refill – what an excellent idea. Click on the picture to find them on Facebook for an up-to-date- list of times and ales
Takeaway Afternoon Tea from @TheElm_Tree just outside Spilsby. Click on the picture to find them on Facebook and don’t forget, you can buy gift vouchers too!
Woodhall Spa Bakery & Delicatessen provides fresh bread, cakes meats and much more. A gem in the Woodhall Spa crown offering Safe Distancing shopping. Click the picture to go to their Facebook page
The India Village restaurant and takeaway are providing takeaway meals during the lockdown. If you would like to order your meal click on the logo to go to the website or follow them on Facebook India Village. Alternatively you can give them a call on 01526 354657 or 01526 352223
The Tea House In The Woods is providing a range of foods from Afternoon Tea to Roast Meals and they’re all Take Away too with strict social distancing rules. click on the picture to go to their website or give them a ring on 01526 354455. You can also find them on Facebook at Tea House In The Woods
All this talk of food has made me quite hungry! This list is going to be added to but I’m going to get myself something to eat now. Bon appetite everyone and please don’t forget to let me know if there are any takeaway/safe shopping food outlets that need to be on here as I can add them later.
Mandarin Therapies provides a bespoke mobile complementary therapies service from the comfort of your own home. Gift vouchers are available now then book your massage for later in the year. Mandarin Therapies “Feel the difference”
Local Lincolnshire Honey
When it comes to shopping do you buy locally produced food wherever possible or do you search for the cheapest available? It’s a tough call but I would much rather support a local producer than a foreign import.
A recent acquisition of mine is honey. Yes, I plead guilty to buying supermarket honey sometimes but that is usually led by convenience and not taste. We all know that there is no such thing as ‘superfoods’ or ‘wonder cures’ but honey seems to consistently crop up when it comes to choosing the nearest thing to a superfood that you can get. Naturally produced local honey from the Artisan Honey Co is really delicious and, containing its own natural preservatives, you’ll be pleased to hear that it doesn’t need any additional ingredients to make it taste nice.
Lincolnshire not only provides the country with a very large proportion of its food but it is also a huge producer of nectar for the bees. Looking at the global eco system and the concern about the decline in the number of bees it’s really heartening to know that Lincolnshire is playing its part when it comes to feeding nature and helping to look after our planet. Managing the hives to ensure future honey production obviously has the benefits of ensuring the safety of our bees too.
This isn’t an ‘eco blog’ by any means but I must admit that I’m very conscious about what we’re doing to our planet and how we could better protect it. With that said, I wonder if you are aware that the UK imports 90-95% of the honey we consume? I’m sure you’ll agree that’s quite a shocking figure. The carbon footprint of our honey must be enormous and the fossil fuels burned to transport it must surely be huge. Until I looked it up I was completely unaware of how much of our honey came from abroad. As I’m typing this I’m beginning to realise even more how important it is to ‘buy local’. I know Si of @ArtisanHoneyCo sources his honey locally. After all, it is his business and he has a duty of care for the bees that provide his income. Without them there would be no Artisan Honey Co and we would be deprived of another source of top quality UK (Lincolnshire to be specific) produce.
With the ever increasing demand for different flavours it makes sense to transport some of the hives out of Caythorpe for the bees to explore new locations. The large expanses of oil seed rape will obviously provide a good source of pollen but we may have relatively small quantities of heather or Lavender so a short ‘hop’ across a County makes sense. Unblended (flavours from a single floral source) allows us to appreciate the subtle differences in flavours rather than having a generic honey taste that the blended varieties produce. let’s face it, that short hop is a much better scenario than a large hop across countries or continents!
How Do You Take Yours?
Producing honey since 2011 – although mine will be lucky to last a few days!
Honey on a plain cracker is going to allow us to pick up the subtle flavours more easily than on a strong tasting bread but I have to admit that I’m rather partial to honey on toast. I asked a question on Twitter at breakfast time “Runny or set honey on my toast”? Needless to say, the results were not conclusive so I had one slice of toast with runny honey and the other with set honey. It seemed like a very good idea. Someone suggested runny honey in the coffee but I like my coffee strong and bitter so I gave that one a miss. However, I can confirm that they are both very nice neat – but don’t tell anyone that I did that!
I opened this as soon as I got it home and I can assure you that it isn’t going to be long before these jars are empty.
The Coronavirus is the reason for this honey journey by the way. If you’ve ever had a bad throat where it felt as though you’re trying to swallow razor blades you’ll know how I felt. Si recommended a honey spray (which I used neat) to sooth the symptoms. The spray contains alcohol and the combination certainly helped to anaesthetise the area. I combined the spray with a small amount of neat runny honey (not both at the same time) which acted as a coating for my throat and certainly made it feel much better. Thankfully I’ve recovered from the virus now so I’m back to relative normality.
Beeswax candles, polish and much more. Click on the picture to find The Artisan Honey Co on Facebook
From honey on your toast to beeswax candles and more. You can click on the picture to chat to Si on Twitter at @ArtisanHoneyCo
With all this talk about honey and my mind wandering around the subject of food it’s only right that I should include this message from the University of Lincoln Chaplaincy. It’s a reminder that there are still people in desperate need of assistance in our County. While many rushed out to panic buy food at the start of the Coronavirus pandemic it has become evident that there was no need to panic as food is still plentiful. It’s a great shame that the refuse services reported a significant rise in food being thrown away by the public after the big rush with much of the food being untouched or even unopened! With most buying restrictions being lifted now perhaps you can afford to buy a few extra tins or packets of food to donate? A little goes a long way when we all work together
If you would like contact the University of Lincoln Chaplaincy click on the picture to find them on twitter
Any donations, no matter how big or small will be gratefully received at any of the sites below. If you’re new to donating be sure to let them know that you saw the post on #LincsConnect
Stay safe everyone and remember, if a journey isn’t essential, ‘don’t do it’
Easter – A Celebration Of Hope
Some words of hope from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
“…Easter isn’t cancelled…”
We may not be able to go to church, see our friends or share our table with family for an Easter feast but…
This Easter is bright and sunny but our holiday destinations remain closed. Beaches and countrysides are deserted and church doors locked; It’s easy to focus on the negatives that come with these unprecedented times isn’t it? However, NOW is the time to start planning for the future!
I can’t say it any better that the words sung by Heather Small so I won’t try. Here is are an excerpt of the lyrics from her famous song ‘ Search for A Hero’. Have a read and if you have a mind, click on the lyrics to follow the link to her recording on YouTube. Pure inspiration
M People – ‘Search for a hero’ Click or tap on the lyrics to go to the video on YouTube
Taking inspiration from our Monarch and reading these lyrics perhaps it’s easier to see a brighter future. Easter 2021 will be upon us before we know it! It will surely feel strange when we reflect on 2020 and what we missed and the loved ones we may have lost but 2021 ‘is’ our future so lets get planning.
What will your priorities be for next Easter? Perhaps we shall reflect and realise that we don’t need all the trappings of an affluent society. Will it be a simpler and more joyous occasion as we celebrate with our family around the dining table? It’ll be a time to celebrate what we have and what is good about life. A time to remember all the heroes who kept us going and gave us hope. From all the outstanding members of the NHS who ‘stepped up to the mark’ and did what they had to do to save lives, to the police who kept our society safe and ‘all’ of the key workers, volunteers and small businesses who, without their selflessness we would have been in a much worse position.
What Will You Look Forward To?
If we are planning now for all the nice things in life will our priorities have changed? Having realised that we can survive very well without spending so much money will we be happier with a family walk in the countryside or a family outing to the coast, City or towns? Whatever we do to celebrate, I hope it is with family and friends and whatever your faith may be, I hope it is a happy time for you.
Take Care and Stay Safe
“…Easter isn’t cancelled…”
Chocolate tasting in Lincolnshire with Katherine Laverack. Do I have your attention now? I suspect there aren’t many people who don’t like chocolate but apologies to those of you who don’t like it or can’t eat it. However, when we’re out shopping it seems very difficult to avoid it. So much so that we hardly even register in our mind that it’s there!
If you’re like me you’ll enjoy sitting down to watch something on TV and will quite possibly end up eating more of it than you really should. That is of course until you’re educated in the art of real chocolate eating…
Louth Chocolate Tasters
They say ‘ignorance is bliss’ and that may be true but once you’ve been educated there is no going back. I’m a chocolate lover so imagine my excitement when I was invited to join Kathryn @KathrynLincs for a chocolate tasting evening. The group meets in Louth for a chocolate tasting evening but other venues are available as well as online courses.
Let’s get to the important bit – ‘chocolate’. The meeting was held in The Brown Cow Louth at 7.30pm. It all sounds very formal doesn’t it? in reality it’s just a group of very friendly people with a common love of chocolate.
I had no idea what to expect but I took my seat and waited in quiet anticipation. Well, that’s not quite true. We were all getting into conversations with people around us and there was a very friendly buzz in the room.
Meet the members
If any of you have been to a wine tasting event I suspect you’ve a good idea how my chocolate tasting evening was going to go. We each had a couple of information sheets with details of the evenings chocolatiers as well as a separate page for making notes. You’ll see my note page below with my scribbled reminders on. It doesn’t look very pretty but then my hand writing never is!
Note taking for future reference and comparisons
As you can see from the heading on my note paper, the focus for the evening was Canadian chocolate. Perhaps I should elaborate; This was some of the finest Canadian chocolate and the selection certainly surpassed my expectations.
From Canada To Lincolnshire
Let the tasting begin
If you hadn’t already noticed from my notes above, would you have known that you’re actually meant to suck the chocolate in order to experience the full flavours? Being used to the standard Cadburys or ‘posh’ Belgian chocolates my instinct was to put the chocolate in my mouth, chew it and swallow. It’s a good job Kathryn was on hand to educate me in the finer art of chocolate tasting!
One Square Or Two?
Actually, a platter was handed around the table and we each took ‘half’ a square of chocolate to smell and taste. This may sound a little odd but the idea here is to taste the chocolate not gorge on it. We each made our own notes (in my case, ‘scribbles’) and discussed what we had found.
I’m sure my notes are very sparse compared to the regular club members. Following the discussion around the table I soon realised that I had not noticed some of the key flavours of each of the samples. Other members were detecting berries and other subtle flavours that I had missed but immediately recognised as soon as they were pointed out to me.
All of the samples on offer were dark chocolate and of varying percentages but it soon became apparent to me that not all dark chocolate is bitter. The Soma Arcana is 100% and not to my taste. I did get the flavours but it wasn’t a chocolate that I would buy. Well, we can’t please everyone all of the time can we?
I did have a favourite though and that was the Sirene Dark Milk Guatemala at 65%. It’s almost identical (to my amateur pallet) to the Sirene Chabil but smother and without the Cardamom. I did say ‘almost’ identical didn’t I? I’m sure the seasoned chocolate tasters will allow me my novice opinion.
After nine samples of half a square each and one hour forty minutes later the evening came to an end. Needless to say, there were a few empty wrappers left over but very little chocolate. A thoroughly enjoyable evening in good company and held in a private room in The Brown Cow pub, Newmarket in Louth. Our hosts were Kathryn www.cocoaencounters.co.uk and Lindsay www.spirechocolates.co.uk and I’m truly grateful for my invitation and education.
Trust me, once you’ve experienced one of these evenings you’ll view your chocolate consumption in a completely different light.
Do It Yourself
If you would like to set up a group in your area please get in touch with Kathryn who will be more than happy to help you. You can book a course of your own by contacting Katherine on twitter @kathrynLincs or by email at email@example.com. You don’t need to be an expert but it’ll help if you like chocolate.
Would you like me to visit your place of work or group? I’m sure you’ll have something very interesting to share with the County and I would really be pleased to help you spread your message. You can contact me through the website www.lincsconnect.co.uk via Twitter @LincsConnect or through Facebook Lincs Connect. I’ll be waiting to hear from you.
Meetings always seem more productive with cake!
An unexpected perk
It’s an unexpected but very welcome perk of the job. I’ve been lucky enough to meet some lovely people through #LincsConnect and the past few days is no exception.
I’ll be writing in more detail over the next few days about each of my meetings but first let me state quite categorically that feeding me at a meeting isn’t a requirement…. but I am, of course, always very appreciative and it would be rude to say ‘no’ wouldn’t it?
I was invited by Kathryn of Cocoa Encounters to visit the Louth Chocolate Tasters meeting on Monday evening. Well, would you turn down an invitation like that? Probably not – so neither did I…
I’m going to be writing all about it later but if you’re feeling a little intrigued you can follow Kathryn on Twitter for updates and info @KathrynLincs
I’m not giving too much away but this is all that was left at the end of the evening:
Anyone for cake?
Sorry, that’s probably another silly question. However, it was a very pleasant surprise and totally unexpected. A 10.00am meeting at Police HQ today (actually, it was about 10.15am because yours truly managed to take a wrong turning) with Assistant Chief Constable Kerrin Wilson. Despite being a little late (a detail that was graciously overlooked) I was treated to a slice or two of orange drizzle cake to go with my cup of coffee. Thank you Kerrin, you’re very kind.
I’m looking forward to seeing what #LincsConnect can do to help @lincspolice in the not-too-distant future and I have to say, if Kerrin’s enthusiasm is anything to go by we can look forward to some quality updates very soon. Why not give @Kerrinwilson999 a follow on Twitter and don’t forget to say “Martin from @LincsConnect sent me” I’m afraid it may not get you a slice of orange drizzle cake though but it’s the thought that counts isn’t it?
At the very least, I can offer you a picture of the cake. You’ll thank me for it later when it doesn’t affect your waist line.
Meetings always seem more productive with cake!
Looking forward, I’ll be writing more in depth blogs about the Louth Chocolate Tasters as well as my meeting with Kerrin. There is also a blog to look forward to about the ‘Book Fest’ which is being organised by Rabbit Hole Brigg and Pink Pig Farm which I think is going to be a huge success and an annual fixture in the Scunthorpe calendars.
That’s it for now folks. Take care of yourself and don’t forget to take care of others too. The #LincsConnect hashtag is here for you to use on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram so be sure to visit it to see what’s going on.