A nice bank holiday treat for you and one that I have been meaning to post ever since I stepped foot in the Hobbs House Bakery. When I first started the show I wanted something to kick it off with a bang and what a better duo to feature than the most celebrated brothers in the Cotswolds who can certainly cook up a storm, The Fabulous Baker Brothers. Invited to the Hobbs House Bakery in Chipping Sodbury on Good Friday I was welcomed by the smell of cinnamon and hot cross buns, my eyes bursting with excitement from all the freshly made bread and cakes. I was in my element. Upon meeting Tom Herbert he gave me a tour around the bakery and had a sneaky peak at their newly launched cookery schools. A great insight into the brothers beyond the TV show, I even had the pleasure of seeing their jungle in the bathtub and was treated with a loaf of sour dough and hot cross buns on my travels. Such a lovely and talented bunch the Herberts and they have certainly got an exciting summer ahead with the announcement that they are taking the Cotswolds to America!
Listen to my interview with Tom Herbert from The Fabulous Baker Brothers here
An interview with: The Fabulous Baker Brothers by Jessbracey on Mixcloud
An insight into my visit
If you missed the latest Teacakes and Talk show that had the special theme of family and friends never fear for you can listen to the whole thing again right here.
Teacakes and Talk Five by Jessbracey on Mixcloud
A big thank you to everyone that listened and took part, especially to Jade Price who is climbing the Three Peaks at the end of May for charity, George Montague ahead of his Cheltenham Jazz Festival performance and of course to my grandparents Nanny Carole and Bampy Dave for talking about baking cakes and making wine.
Looking forward to the next one! Tune in next Saturday 10am-12pm on Stroud 107.9FM.
As a belated Mother’s Day present I treated my dear mum to afternoon tea at Cowley Manor. It’s something she’s wanted to do for a while and as a newbie myself until earlier this year I’ve come to appreciate the tradition of afternoon tea. It’s something us British do very well, especially in the Cotswolds, and after toying between two different locations I came to decide on this one. Featured in Vogue magazine for its best boutique outside of London, award-winning spa and its five star rave reviews as one of the hot-spot hotels in the are, the contemporary interior with a classic exterior invited me in with its bright colours and modern decor.
Pulling up the driveway of the manor house it soon came to my attention that this surprise location was no surprise to my mum, for she had visited the manor house in her childhood days as a brownie, but of course since its multi-million pound renovations some years ago, Cowley Manor is quite the ticket. Allured by its cow print seats, how very fitting, and paper mache faux animal figurines it had a certain charm to it that I’d never seen before.
Choosing a pretty petite table in the bar-cum-dinning area we didn’t foresee the size and scale of the afternoon tea to come. Unlike my previous visit to Ellenborough Park where you could hand select what tea you wanted, at Cowley Manor you were stuck with traditional Earl Grey, but champagne was on the menu of course if you wanted (shame I was driving, otherwise it would have made for quite an experience). Served up on a three tier cake stand, just how it should be, we indulged in four types of finger sandwiches; egg, ham and mustard, cucumber and my favourite cream cheese and salmon, this afternoon tea had a twist in the form of an espresso cup-sized mushroom soup which was delicious. Next it was onto the traditional cream and jam scones, fresh from the oven and still warm they crumbled in your mouth with lashings of toppings, complemented very well by the copious amounts of tea. And for the pier de resistance the selection of cakes and fancies, this was by far the best part. Food envy by all the onlookers with there skinny salads, the luminous pink battenburgs and mini chocolate eclairs were presented with a unique take on a classic, with the millionaires shortbread and bakewell tart forming a delicious quartet of sweets that mum couldn’t quite finish off. That’s the thing with afternoon tea, the portions look minuscule upon first glance but after finishing each later one by one you soon before rather full, but with a sweet satisfaction in the most stunning of locations.
Going for a post afternoon tea stroll we glanced at the manor house shop that stocked local produce and had a peek at the spa and outdoor pool that looked simply inviting. I can only imagine what kind of relaxation treatments you would walk away with from the famous spa. Then heading back to the car my eyes were fixated on the dozens of Hunter Wellingtons waiting to be borrowed for country walk, these are definitely on my wish list so my form of borrowing would last a little longer than a weekend break (I jest of course). Despite the down pour of rain afternoon tea at Cowley Manor was a delight for the eyes and the tummy, and definitely sits on my must visit list of the Cotswolds – especially if your from the bustling city in need of a country retreat.