The Chester Grosvenor team test festive food from Cheshire
PUBLISHED: 00:16 09 December 2011 | UPDATED: 20:25 20 February 2013
We went to the Michelin-starred Simon Radley at the Chester Grosvenor restaurant to ask executive chef Simon Radley, head chef Ray Booker and pastry chef Luke Frost to pick out the tastiest treats around COMPILED BY THALIA THOMPSON
A hamper packed with local goodies makes the perfect Christmas gift. We went to the Michelin-starred Simon Radley at the Chester Grosvenor restaurant to ask executive chef Simon Radley, head chef Ray Booker and pastry chef Luke Frost to pick out the tastiest treats around
COMPILED BY THALIA THOMPSON
Best on test
Mrs Bournes Mature Cheshire
8.84 per kilo
Made in Malpas
This traditional crumbly Cheshire cheese has a powerful full-on flavour that mellows out in the mouth, leaving a rich and almost sweet aftertaste. Delicious.
11.50 per kilo
01270 841 500
Made in Hatherton, Nantwich
Blue veins run through this golden orange tinted cheese but the taste is very mild and sweet. A good light flavoured cheese.
Tiresford Guernsey Gold
Golden Cheshire Brie
Made in Tarporley
With a mild nutty flavour and creamy texture this attractively golden-coloured cheese is made from Guernsey milk and easily holds its own against French Brie.
Larkton Hall Cheese
14.00 per kilo
Made in Hampton, Malpas
Made from unpasteurised milk, this lightly acidic alpine style cheese is very pleasant and more-ish. Would make a good breakfast cheese.
Best on test
Aballu Artisan Chocolatier
5.00 for 10
Made in Wrexham
With a beautifully smooth ganache filling, these delicious truffles come in a host of flavours. The toffee pudding truffle was particularly good, capturing the essence of the pudding perfectly.
Toffee and hazelnut biscotti
2.90 for 5
Made in Middlewich
Generously studded with whole hazelnuts and with perfectly balanced caramelised flavours coming through from the toffee, these are very more-ish biscuits.
2.00 for 6
Made in Norley
Excellent presentation a box of these would make a lovely gift. The sponge is beautifully light, there are some interesting flavours and the toppings arent overly sweet.
Hazelnut and Belgian milk chocolate hot chocolate sticks
2.25 for two
01244 534 352
Made in Broughton
The hazel and chocolate flavours work very well together and stirring these chocolate lollipops into a cup of hot milk brings a touch of theatre into making a hot drink.
A taste of Christmas
Best on test
Pant Glas Preserves
Pink grapefruit and cranberry marmalade
Made in Llanasa, Flintshire
A great balance of bitter and sweet, with a very pretty colour and plenty of whole cranberries giving extra definition to the texture. A lovely marmalade and the small sized tasting pot makes it an ideal stocking filler.
Mincemeat with brandy
Made in Crewe
A well-rounded and flavoursome mincemeat, the spicing is subtle rather than overpowering. The ingredients include orange marmalade, adding to the fruity taste.
Eddisbury Fruit Farm
Cheshire apple juice with mulled spices
0845 094 1023
Made with apples grown and pressed on the farm
Lovely Christmassy aroma. Strongly spiced with cloves, cinnamon and ginger, this could be added to a cocktail or to red wine for an almost instant apple gluhwein.
Purple Laura Creations
Mulled plum jam
Made in Congleton
A very good plummy flavour with extra depth coming from the red wine and the very mild and gentle spices. The jam has a good texture with plenty of big chunks of plum
Best on test
Silky raspberry liqueur
Made in Mollington
With its unmistakable aroma of raspberry and refreshing natural fruity taste, this would be delicious in a cocktail or poured over ice-cream, but its almost a shame to do anything but drink it as it is
Mulled cranberry and orange cordial
Made in Sandbach
A fabulous pink-orange colour and subtle warm spicing from cloves, nutmeg and cassia. This makes a lovely non-alcoholic drink and can be served hot or cold.
Willington Fruit Farm
Winsors premium blend
Made from apples grown in Willington
Wonderfully full orchard flavours in this delicious cloudy apple juice made from fruit grown and pressed on the farm. An excellent all rounder.
Hawarden Estate Farm Shop
Katy apple juice
Made from apples grown on the Hawarden estate, Flintshire.
This pale coloured single variety juice has a refreshing crispness to it perfect for people who prefer a sharper taste to a drink.
The print version of this article appeared in the December 2011 issue of Cheshire Life
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