A few weeks ago before we boarded our flight to Thailand, we had the privilege of joining Leffe at the beautiful Soho Farmhouse, a retreat regularly referred to as an adult’s Disneyland, located in the heart of the magnificent Oxfordshire countryside. Not only that but we were graced with the presence of Valentine Warner, chef and Serene Evans-Charrington, food historian.
The reason for this gathering of foodie minds you may ask? To come together and celebrate the art of slow cooking! The world is a fast and frantic place these days, with a demand for everything to be ready at a click of the fingers, nothing more so than food. We’ve become quite lazy in our ways, looking to the iPhone for deliveries from our favourite restaurants, rather than to the larder to see what we can rustle up in the kitchen and it was time to get back to the good old ways.
The weekend was about the art of cooking and appreciating everything that involves, whether it be foraging for ingredients in the incredible gardens of Soho Farmhouse or the time and care taken to craft the beautiful flavours of Leffe’s famous beers. With that being said, we weren’t settling for the AGA this time. Valentine and Serene had beaten us to the farmhouse and had been busy at work, excavating a firepit so that we could really immerse ourselves in the days of old. Buried deep into the earth was nothing more than a metal grill, charcoal, wood and bricks to provide the immense heat that allows you to cook a flavoursome Curried Firepit Lamb. We left Val to prep the lamb whilst we enjoyed all there is to offer at the Farmhouse. Take a look below at what he got up to.
We were content with the horse and cart rides and the Soho Farmhouse pool for entertainment, whilst the lamb roasted away into the early evening. Take a look at that pool!
We were blessed with gorgeous blue skies and the best of the British summer, so after a freshen up, it was time to indulge in a glass of Leffe, as the final preparations were made to the feast. Val had been rather sneaky and snuck a few extra dishes into the firepit, which would accompany his beautiful curried lamb. Our favourite being the Braised Lamb’s Hearts with Leffe Brune and Smoked Paprika, plus the incredibly indulgent Pommes Boulanger and a beautiful Artichoke, Goat’s Cheese & Truffle Pizza for the vegetarians. We obviously got involved in both!
We can honestly say it was one of the finest feasts we’ve ever enjoyed. Everyone was in agreement that it had been the perfect day and a huge success. By the time we had finished, the hours had faded away into dusk, as the garden was bathed in candle light and all involved were sipping Leffe late into the evening, putting the world to right and swapping tall tales of everything food and more.
Obviously, we’re fully aware that it’s not every day that you can build a firepit in your back yard but the weekend certainly put things in perspective. Whether it was meticulous planning or just a brilliant coincidence, we were afforded no signal at Soho Farmhouse, severing the tether to the outside world and allowing us to fully kick back and enjoy the slow life.
We The Food Snobs x