Three days of gourmet food, cracking music and lush vibes you say?
Like the best pub garden maybe EVER? And not just gourmet food, but a whole festival of Michelin-starred gourmet food?
Well I’m in. I’m not sure there could be anything more up my alley.
Emmett’s Farm, where’s that? It’s a common question I’m asked when I mention my pop-up pitch outside a local Farm Shop. When I point out its location, between Marlow and Bourne End, not far from the A404, in rural Buckinghamshire’s Little Marlow, folk’s recognition is almost immediate.
But, there’s not just a Farm Shop, it’s a proper little destination. Many are familiar with Home Barn, a haven for all things vintage, reclaimed or antique. Then, better known by the ‘shooting set’, is the very manly Emmett and Stone Country Sports Store, or ‘the gun shop’ as I know it, which sits over in the corner, attracting folk driving the most eye catching cars from the filthiest Land Rover to the shiniest sports cars.
Putting Annie Sloan and tweed aside, we get to the foodie interest at Emmett’s Farm. First up, there’s the aforementioned Farm Shop selling local and seasonal vegetables grown right there on the farm. Think pumpkins, squashes and gourds in Autumn (great for cooking as well as Hallowe’en), sweetcorn in August, asparagus in May [calendar]. Then there’s all the other bits and bobs from small local producers; think baked goods, fresh bread and cakes, local honey, preserves, biscuits, cereals, meat, cheese and pies.
Then, right next door sits Marlow’s longstanding Phil Bowditch Butchers and Fish Mongers. These guys not only serve up amazing quality meat, fish and seafood with a smile, they have their own smoker out the back, so this is the place to go for the best smoked salmon, bacon and sausages that I know of ’round these parts’.
All that seems to be missing, is wine! And that’s where I have been filling the gap now and again since May 2014, with the Perfect Friday Wine Pop-up Wine Stall and Wine Tasting. Amazingly, it has actually been sunny and warm for my last few pop-ups, the latest on 16th July, when I introduced the new-in, organic, robust, Spanish red, Quinta Milu Roble from Ribera del Duero. [Read more about Milu and Ribera del Duero].
Between Bowditch, the Farm Shop and I, we really do have all you’d need for a sunny BBQ/ cosy winter weekend at home, not only serving great quality provision with good old fashioned personal service, but leaving you with that feel good factor of shopping local and supporting small businesses. If you are remotely interested in good food and caring about where your food comes from, this really is a great place to find exceptional local and quality produce (an wine) in one place.
I’ll be back at Emmett’s Farm with wine on Saturday 24th September (plus the run up to Christmas 2016, TBA), where I’m looking forward to seeing lots of familiar faces and getting to meet many more local wine drinkers. I always have wines open to taste, there’s no minimum order, I take credit/ debit cards and I’ll even carry your wine to your car boot. If I don’t have the right wine there on the stall, I’ll deliver it later in the week or let me know ahead of time and I’ll have your wine there ready and waiting. I have everything covered, except guarantee of the weather!
So bring the dog, don those Dubarry’s and I’ll see you at Emmett’s on September 24th! If it helps, please do sign up to my newsletter and I’ll remind you nearer the time.
If you’ve ever been to one of my pop-up wine stalls, you will be familiar with just how blue a person’s lips can turn. For some reason, the weather is generally against me and I stand bearing the freezing cold, gales (no snow so far) and rain, purely for the love of wine.
If you’ve never been to one of my pop-up wine stalls and you live local to Maidenhead, love wine or just fancy coming to poke fun at the nutter in the earmuffs selling wine outdoors, please do come and find me. The usual format is me talking a lot about wine, a boot load of wine boxes and several wines open to taste, all under the protective cover of my pop-up stall (or as one kindly customer sneered “Pop-up? It’s a tent!”).
My last outing was at Fernygrove Farm in Hawthorn Hill, between Maidenhead and Bracknell back on a particularly freezing cold April Saturday (yes, Perfect Friday Wine can be drunk on a Saturday, or any day of the week). This was a new wine pop-up location for Perfect Friday Wine with a cafe, florist, farm shop and butcher to boot and I saw many of my lovely, loyal customers up there as well as meeting new ones! I had a whole raft of wine open to taste and buy and had a great day – where there is other brilliant food, there is the desire for fabulous wine. Here’s a reminder of those on taste, all handpicked with springtime in mind.
Casa Silva Pinot Noir Reserva: One of the best value Pinot Noirs I’ve come across, the Casa Silva Reserva from Chile is a delight of cherry fruits, delicious and a lighter for the spring. I hadn’t tasted this vintage (2014) since February myself and I was reminded as to just how fantastic a Pinot this is. I enjoyed the leftovers very much once I’d warmed up on the following Tuesday, when it was still drinking superbly.
Villa Blanche Grenache Rosè: Springtime sunshine marks rosè time! The delicate and delicious Villa Blanche Grenache is Languedoc in origin, Provençal in style, dry, pretty, peachy and great value. From the genius of Calmel and Joseph, this is just as good as their Villa Blanche Picpoul de Pinet and Syrah and went down a storm (likely because it was kept so blimin’ chilled) – definitely the WINE OF THE DAY.
Bluebell Vineyard Estates Blanc de Blancs 2011: It’s Bluebell season, so this award winning Sussex fizz seemed fitting to open. Interestingly, this has been in the press twice since, firstly on Olly Smith’s recommendation on The Daily Mail Online and then ‘Food Matcher’ Fiona Beckett stating what ‘good value’ it is on theguardian.com. As I continue my championing of English Wine, it’s good to see it, the sparkling in particular, getting a louder ‘voice’. This is a class or 5 above the cheap Prosecco that’s enjoyed so heartily in the UK – it’s Champagne method, Champagne grapes and excitingly, from our own fair shores – just don’t call it Champagne (Wine fact: did you know that Taittinger have bought land in Kent to begin planting vines? Even the French are on it).
Calmel and Joseph ‘Les Cuvèes Rare’ La Ruffe 2013: New to PFW this spring and lush, this saw its first outing back in March where I chilled myself (and the wine) to the bone at my Emmett’s Farm Pop-Up in Little Marlow. I must find a way to keep my reds warm enough so that by 2pm they’re not fridge cold. In the words of wine critic Tamlyn Currin, who rated La Ruffe a very high 17+ out of 20: “50% Carignan, 40% Syrah, 10% Cinsault. They didn’t want to pump the wine, so they had to carry it down with a pick-up truck. No filtration. Dark chocolate, peppermint, green herbs. Lots of black chocolate, lots of power, massive structure. Thick velvet-and-portcullis tannins with opulent fruit firmly behind bars at the moment, but it’s definitely there. Tightly bound. Very imposing. A sleeping dragon. Needs five to 10 years. Drink 2019-2026” Although I think it’s rather nice right now (agreed that it will only get better)! Full article on jancisrobinson.com.
So, there we have it. April’s Wine Pop-Up summarised. Where can you find me next? After a while away, I’ll be bringing wine back to Maidenhead High Street on Sunday 8th May, joining the new street food market Eat on the High Street alongside a whole gang of other local food producers. Keep posted on my events page or better still, sign up sign up to the Perfect Friday Wine Newsletter to keep up to date with my whereabouts over summer 2016 and beyond.