Get Cooking with Your Hamper

by Alice 11. September 2014 20:12

Lift the lid on one of our hampers, and you’ll not only find an array of tasty nibbles – you’ll also open up a world of culinary possibility!

From imaginative condiments to ingenious ingredients, the contents often inspire our whole family to get together and try making something new.   

Take the Trotters Honey Mustard and Summer Harvest Cold Pressed Rapeseed Oil from our Artisan Harvest Gift Box, and voila! Simply shake these flavourful creations together and you’ll have the perfect salad dressing.

Strathearn Oaked Highland Gin

The star of this hamper may just be the bottle of Strathearn Distillery Oaked Highland Gin –we’ve found that it just needs spritz of tonic water to make a great accompaniment to your salad. 

If want to give your culinary efforts a little firepower, you’ll love the Hot & Wicked Artisan Hamper. Simply Add Chili have created a devilishly versatile melting pot of Strawberries, Scotch Bonnet and Habanero which can be used in everything from Asian to Mexican dishes.

For anyone aiming to keep their spread as Scottish as the artisan ingredients, why not combine your Thistly Cross Cider with the chilli paste to make a truly innovative broth for West Coast mussels? Go on, you might just be pleasantly surprised!

© Jana Reifegerste via Flickr Creative Commons

A tad more classic, The Whisky Sauce Co.’s Scotch Whisky Syrup from our Scottish Artisan Fayre box is the ultimate grown-up garnish. We love to drizzle it over everything from haggis, neeps and tatties, to Sunday Roasts and big beefy burgers. 

Ardent bakers, fear not, you won’t be left in a pickle! In fact, we predict any cake connoisseur will be a very jammy baker indeed when they get their hands on SuperJam’s delicious Scottish preserves.

Their 100% Strawberry Pure Fruit Spread promises to be the jewel in the crown of any Victoria Sponge, and also comes in the Hot & Wicked Artisan Hamper

© Carwyn Lloyd Jones - Dylunio Creadiglo via Flickr Creative Commons 

If you’re feeling adventurous – or you’ve been swept up by ‘superfood’ fever – the Blueberry & Blackcurrant 100% Pure Fruit Spread from the Scottish Artisan Fayre box also goes down a treat!

Sweet or savoury, simple or daring, our hampers have the potential to bring a totally different dimension to your cooking!

Trotter's Delicious Condiments - From the Kitchen to Your Hamper

by Alice 8. July 2014 18:15

As the well-known saying goes, “when life hands you lemons make lemonade.” In this case however, Byam Trotter made delicious condiments instead!

Before he started supplying his condiments for our artisan hampers, Byam was making mostarda, a traditional Italian condiment made with candied fruit. 

Without the finances to rent anywhere, his parents’ kitchen became his workspace.

At 22 years old, Byam had just graduated from university in Manchester but, like many other graduates, was finding work hard to come by. 

Selling homemade mostarda to local farming shops seemed like a good way of making money - and before long it blossomed into a full-time business. 

Soon after, two chefs were employed and the business moved into a renovated fish and chip shop just 4 miles from the family home. 

The business quickly expanded from mostarda to include a large range of fine condiments: tea, orange marmalade, wild garlic pesto and even mojito marmalade.

Trotter’s Independent condiments proved to be so popular that they are now in demand the length and breadth of the UK. 

If you should find yourself nesting up north in Shetland, or settling down South in Somerset, you’ll certainly find Trotter’s condiments spoken about favourably. 

Although Byam does not do the cooking himself anymore, the good practice that made the condiments so popular is still strictly maintained. 

Every batch the company creates is made in the same small pots that were once used in his parents’ kitchen back in 2009.

This wholesome approach is precisely what gives the range its fresher, more natural taste.  

Because of all this, we at Highland Fayre are delighted to have Trotter’s condiments in our artisan hampers, if for no other reason than they are downright tasty!


St. Andrew's Brewing Once Again

by Alice 23. June 2014 18:55

Here at Highland Fayre we love products that have been created by passionate, hard-working people. 

We also love it when those products are absolutely delicious – and that’s exactly what Eden Brewery’s fine range of craft beers are.

Owner Paul Miller set up the company in 2012 – exactly 110 years since the coastal town of St. Andrew’s last laid claim to brewery ownership.

His aim was a simple one: to make an exciting range of high-quality beers that the town could be proud of once more.

Taking inspiration from the Haig’s distillery that once stood on the same site - he implemented the brewing methods of yesteryear into their process. 

This allowed Eden to create a fantastic range of traditional, contemporary and exciting progressive beers. 

And as far as making the town around them proud, they certainly succeeded. In just a few years they built up a passionate and eager fan base of loyal customers.

The customers were particularly taken with Eden’s desire to create new, distinctive flavours. There have been several batches of special ‘one-off’ beers that were almost instantly snapped up once unveiled.

Siobhan Macleod, Eden’s commercial manager, believes the most rewarding part of brewing the beer is seeing the entire process completed on site in front of her own eyes. 

"Everything from the brewing and bottling to the labelling is done by the small team of dedicated staff on-site".

We highly recommend you try Siobhan’s favourite drink – the Oak Wood Rum Barrel. 

"It is a lovely summery beer with a fruity flavour - it reminds me of being abroad with great weather".

Much in the way St. Andrew’s is now a town proud of their brewery, we’re proud to bring you Eden’s craft beers in our artisan hampers. 


Welcoming Thistly Cross Cider

by Alice 12. June 2014 19:15

Thistly Cross Ciders were created on the back of two inspirational words, “why not?” That encapsulates exactly what artist Peter Stuart and farmer Ian Rennie thought when they opted to collaborate in 2008. 

Their desire to give things a go has seen them creating delicious flavours since they first began. As a result Thistly Cross has now won several awards for the high quality of the unique cider they make. 

The long journey from their humble beginnings at rain-soaked farmers’ markets has proven a very worthwhile venture. Their reputation is steadily rising and the company is well on the way to becoming a household name.

 

The company is based on South Belton Farm in the heart of the picturesque East Lothian countryside. Their policy is to only use real fruit in the cider press and there are no artificial flavourings in any of the drinks they produce. The freshness of the ingredients presents itself in the taste from the first sip to the final drink.

For the serious connoisseur, a flavoursome non-alcoholic elderflower cider is available.  This is made with real elderflowers.

With summer just around the corner, Thistly Cross are creating an enticing cider made from garden-fresh strawberries hand-picked from their very own farm. Of course, they believe cider is there to be enjoyed all year round and have an extensive variety of flavours to suit this.

We chose Thistly Cross Cider for our artisan hampers because every batch is made with care, passion and a healthy dose of creativity. Now picture yourself in a comfortable garden chair, the sun beating down and an ice-cold, fruity cider in your hand. We certainly can’t think of a more pleasant way to spend an afternoon.


The Island Bakery

by Alice 6. June 2014 18:05

A floating paradise off Scotland’s west coast, Mull is a haven for wildlife spotters, hill walkers and, more recently, biscuit lovers!

 

Founded in 2001, Island Bakery has been producing small batches of organic biscuits ever since.

 

 

Described by founder, Dawn Reade, as ‘pure organic indulgence’, the biscuit baking process is even powered using local woodchip and hydro-electricity…talk about feel good and taste good!

 

Traditional with a twist, Dawn wanted their biscuit recipes to be organic yet indulgent:

 

“How the biscuits taste is the most important thing which is why we’ve developed fun recipes like apple crumble and chocolate limes.


“At the time, organic biscuits had a reputation of being packed full of good stuff but not very tasty. We made it our mission to change this which is why Island Bakery biscuits are made with organic goodness but are indulgent too…every biscuit should be a little bit indulgent!”


More recently, Island Bakery’s packaging has undergone something of a facelift. Decorated with quirky, fun characters which express the unique personality of Mull, Dawn explains what inspired their rebrand:

 

“We want every Island Bakery biscuit to be a taste of Mull. Our packaging should be no different! There are so many reasons for visiting the island and so many characters you meet along the way, we wanted to share them with the world and our biscuit boxes seemed the perfect place to do this.”


Lovely as an accompaniment to a cup of tea or coffee, Island Bakery biscuits can also be used as a delicious ingredient in a host of recipes, as Dawn explains:

 

“My personal favourite is using Lemon Melts as a base for a yummy lemon cheesecake. I’ve also had customers say they like to add our Apple Crumbles to natural yoghurt topped with fruit compote. For the ultimate ‘cheat recipe’, use our Chocolate Gingers as a key ingredient in homemade tiffin; the unexpected ginger kick always creates a talking point!”

 

To whet your taste buds even more, take a look at Dawn’s biscuits as part of our artisan range.

Introducing Hebridean Sea Salt

by Alice 27. May 2014 02:42

Wind swept. Rugged. Remote.

 

The Isle of Lewis is arguably one of the most beautiful islands in the Outer Hebrides.

 

A whirl of white sandy beaches, heather moorlands and serene sea lochs, you can see why Lewis draws visitors from all over the globe.

 

Alongside beautiful landscapes and bountiful wildlife, Lewis is increasingly establishing a name as the island of food and drink.

 

 

Leading the way is Natalie Crayton of Hebridean Sea Salt.

 

Founded on the shores of Loch Erisort in 2011, Natalie was inspired to start her sea salt business after trying – and failing – to source a Scottish salt for cooking.

 

With the majority of table salts laden with additives and anti-caking agents – which can leave a bitter aftertaste – Natalie managed to create a salt that was locally sourced and 100% pure as well.

 

“When people try Hebridean Sea Salt for the first time they often think it’s quite sweet. Some people describe it like ‘eating the ocean’!


“The waters of Loch Erisort have Grade A certification, meaning they are cleanest you can find. No purification required! Our salt is locally sourced, just steps from our door, from some of the most serene waters and unspoilt landscapes in the world."


As well as Natalie’s Pure Original sea salt, the company have also diversified; creating a series of delicious naturally flavoured salts that include Peat Smoked and Seaweed Infused varieties.

 

 

“People are increasingly using naturally seasoned salts as a quick and easy way to add a burst of flavour to their food.

 

“We’re also seeing people becoming more adventurous with salt, full stop! One of our favourite recipes is the ‘Hebridean Sling’. Simply pour 6cl of peated whisky – such as Talisker – into a cocktail shaker. Add 2cl of cherry brandy and the juice of half a fresh lemon. Shake over ice and pour into a Peat Smoked Salt rimmed highball glass.”


We’re delighted to include Natalie’s wonderful salts in our new Artisan Range.