Hampton Estate Naturally Reared Produce News October 2018

As I write this it is such a beautiful autumnal morning and everyone on the farm has been taking photos of the sunrise, cloud formations, golden leafed trees and spiders webs. It is just one of those mornings when the countryside hums with beauty and as we all have the ability to take a quick picture then why not record it? A couple of the results are above and our album of evocative countryside images is fast filling up on Instagram. If you’re on Instagram or just getting started follow us @ hampton_estate to keep up with estate activities.

Let’s hope that it is just as lovely on Friday 2nd NOVEMBER when we all look forward to seeing you when you pick up your beef order. We will be open from 10.30am for freshly brewed coffee and slices of Bridget’s cakes and biscuits. A winner for us this weekend was a delicious pumpkin cake which I’m pretty sure will make its debut for a beef day on the 2nd.

We have two beef carcasses hanging in the butcher’s cold store, letting the meat mature and relax whilst we take your orders by email or phone. We are confident that it will be mouth wateringly delicious when you take the first bite, but will it be from a sizzling sirloin steak, your finest slow herb infused braised casserole or a tomato and onion based prime mince bolognaise? We know that our customers are great chefs and use innovative recipes but it all starts with the best ingredients.

At the moment we have every joint, steak, roast, or offal, in fact any piece of beef that you might want, ready to be ordered. We have Hampton beef bags for sale both 10kg and 4kg which have handy amounts of steak, joints, braising and minced beef and are always popular. Alternatively please make up your own order of bespoke beef, perhaps a roasting joint, some braising steak and a couple of kilos of prime mince? Beef supplies as you have gathered are excellent today, but as the month progresses and your orders come in more and more will be spoken for and we hate any customers to be disappointed for want of a quick email or phone call to the office. Do add a packet of Hampton Herbies or Hampton Beef Bangers to your order, don’t forget that we are selling Special Beef Pies in both family and individual sizes on 2nd November and they go like hot cakes, and think about a piece of wild Hampton venison for a special treat. The beef world is your oyster!

The herd is finishing off the last of the late summer grass and we are gradually moving them to the drier fields in the park above the house for their winter grazing. Once the grass is finished we will feed them oat straw from our fields on the Hogs Back, which we baled in the summer, and which they thrive on. Our next cattle related job is to pregnancy diagnose all the mums which involves bringing all the cows into the corral where the vet will scan them and hopefully give us an approximate due date. We can then start planning our calving programme for the spring.

On the property front we have both a one bedroom cottage and a two bedroom cottage to let at Binton Farm Cottages, and a three bedroom cottage to let in the middle of Seale. All are in good order and all the details are on the Grantley letting agent’s website. We also have one vacant office at Shoelands Farm Offices. It is just over 1000 square feet, has lots of parking, excellent broadband, and we welcome well behaved dogs at the complex with their well behaved owners! All details from Churchods in Farnham.

All of us really look forward to seeing you on 2nd November. Please put your order in and do ring the office if any culinary advice is needed on the beef front. Fresh coffee from 10.30am and let us hope that the sun will be shining and the colours will be spectacular.

Best wishes

Bill and Bridget

Posted in Newsletter

Hampton Estate Naturally Reared Produce News September 2018

With everyone back from holidays and now back to school or heading to university I hope that a reminder of our next beef day at the end of the month is helpful. We look forward to seeing you on FRIDAY 28th SEPTEMBER for our end of summer/ thinking about autumn collection day, when the fresh coffee and home baking will be ready for you from 10.30am. And the best tasting beef from the most contented beef herd will also be ready for you in all its glorious and varied cuts and joints.

Hampton Family Beef Bags (10 kg of steak, joints, mince and stewing) or 4kg Convenience Bags (the same mix of beef, just a bit less) are currently available, but if this sounds too much then just let us know what you would like. We put together individual orders every month ranging from a kilo of prime minced beef to a whole topside joint or anything else needed. We can add a packet or two of our Hampton Herby sausages or Hampton Beef Bangers, both of which fly off the cold store shelves every month, and possibly a Hampton wild venison fillet which is the most flavoursome and tender meat imaginable.

Offal is always packed and ready to collect and Hampton liver is outstandingly good for those who are tempted. I know that there is also an oxtail needing a home this month. A rare delicacy.

Our Special Beef Pies are an autumn favourite made from prime Hampton stewing steak, herbs, a splash of good old red and topped off with golden pastry, and they are definitely on the menu for you to order. They come in two sizes, a family pie feeds four and an individual feeds one. We will also have good supplies of the Hampton Homemade range, comprising a homemade bolognaise to which you just add the pasta of your choice, or homemade casserole mixture. Just add spuds. Both come in easy to freeze containers and feed at least two hungry mouths.

Our hop harvest finished in record time and we were very fortunate to have a great student team this year who worked wonderfully hard and were blessed with sunny days throughout. Virtually everyone on the Estate is needed for the hop harvest and every tractor no matter how venerable is used which gives Ted Corner our resident mechanic some head scratching moments. The hop picking machine ran far better than its inaugural season last year and given the weather, hop drying in the new oast was fairly straightforward. The only downside was the very light yield, i.e. not many hops, but every hop grower in the country is in the same boat which is comforting. And then we welcomed the Mayor of Guildford to officially open our new hop oast last Friday evening, which also included a blessing of the buildings and machinery by the Rector Stephen Thatcher and with formalities concluded the barbeque started. Hampton 100% beef burgers and Beef Bangers were enjoyed by everyone, complimented with Hogs Back TEA and Harvey’s Best Bitter whilst others sampled Greyfriars Vineyard sparkling rose, also from the slopes of the Hog’s Back. A very big thank you to everyone who came to support and to Phil Kemp of Vantage Point Magazine for the superb photographs.

Please put FRIDAY 28th SEPTEMBER into your diary and most importantly please ring 01483 810465 or email Helen helenjackson@hamptonestate.co.uk to place your order as we are very aware of those who have come on spec in the last few months and have been disappointed.

We all look forward to seeing you from 10.30am onwards and the garden is always available for a walk around on a beef day should you wish.

Best wishes

Bill and Bridget

Posted in Newsletter

Hampton Naturally Reared Produce Newsletter August 2018

It’s still sunny, still hot, still a wonderful summer, which I think will usurp the great summer of ’76, and it’s good to know that all our beef and venison is proving very barbeque friendly. We have had great reports back of sizzling steaks, bountiful bangers, delicious diced steak kebabs, rattlingly good ribs and victorious venison. Our congratulations to those brilliant chefs who have striven for perfection and we are delighted to supply the raw ingredients.

And now there are more fresh supplies of prime Hampton beef, wild Hampton venison, Hampton herby sausages or beef bangers and Hampton 100% beef burgers which will be ready for you on FRIDAY 24th AUGUST. Opening time as always will be 10.30am and the coffee will be fresh, the elderflower cool and the cakes baked. Im not sure what this month’s cake will be but there are all sorts of fruit in the garden ripening nicely, and an inspirational recipe will follow.

Last month’s uptake of venison steaks was impressive and I am grateful to everyone for ordering so efficiently. I suspect that prime steaks and barbeque bags (which contain steaks, sausages and beef burgers) will do the same this month because 24th August is the start of the Bank Holiday weekend which traditionally sees the barbeque lit and the family gathered.

Just order whatever you need which could perhaps be a single rib joint or a kilo of Hampton mince, possibly a wonderful topside joint  to feed 25 (Bridget and I cooked one last week for a supper party for 24 and it went down well), or a restock of sausages and steaks. We will also have Hampton special beef pies in large (feeds four) or small (feeds one) ready for you to order and Hampton Homemade bolognaise and casserole mix.

Do send over your order as soon as you can as we really hate to disappoint anyone who comes on spec and finds nothing left.

Also on 24th August we will be welcoming a new local venture Nibbs Elderflower Gin and there will be tastings. What more could you want? Nibbs use freshly picked elderflower (from the Hampton Estate) lemon and lime to create a speciality cocktail gin with a refreshingly natural taste. www.nibbsspirits.co.uk.  We look forward to seeing Nikki and Richard who are the Nibbs Team and I’m sure will be keen for you to try.

On the farm the hops are racing to maturity and it is likely that we will be harvesting them by the time of the beef day. Our student hop pickers have been primed for an early start and a SOS has gone out to Greek beaches and Scottish mountains to get them back to Surrey ASAP. Last year the buildings and equipment were all ready in the nick of time for the hop harvest. This year we are hopefully more ready and have scheduled a Grand Opening of the Hampton Hop Oast and Picking Shed, the first such building to be built in Surrey for generations. This takes place on Friday 7th September at 6.30pm and everyone is invited. There is a link to our invitation here and RSVP to Helen (helenjackson@hamptonestate.co.uk) as we would love to see you, show you the facility and together enjoy local beers and Hampton 100% beef burgers.

The oats growing on the Hogs Back are about to be harvested and we will bale and store the straw for winter feeding which we hope will all happen this week whilst still gloriously dry.

The cows continue to enjoy the hot weather. Grass growth is at an all-time low but luckily we have good stocks of hay and lucerne for all our animals to feed on, before mooching around the fields finding a bit of greenery under a hedge or tree. Their coats look fantastic.

Two weeks ago an eagle eyed member of the Hampton team spotted a Lilac Breasted Roller Bird perched on a fence post off the North Downs Way. This sub-Saharan visitor is a rare sight for England but very photogenic as the picture at the top of the newsletter testifies. Helpful for me as it had completely disappeared by the time I got anywhere near.

Come and see us on Friday 24th August, do put your order in as soon as you can. There will be coffee and cake from 10.30am and we all really look forward to seeing you.

Best wishes

Bill and Bridget

Posted in News & Events, Newsletter

Hampton Estate Naturally Reared Newsletter July 2018

Last month’s newsletter waxed reasonably lyrically about a bucolic landscape, grass waving in the breeze and the start of an English summer. This month we are looking at high savannah instead of traditional parkland, the grass is hot and dry and no one would be surprised if there was the sighting of an elephant or giraffe grazing in the park.

Come and see for yourself at our next Beef Day on FRIDAY 27th JULY when we will be open from 10.30am onwards and the coffee will be fresh and the cakes just baked. The beef too will be all ready for you and already Hampton prime steaks and 100% beef burgers are flying out of the door for the barbeque aficionados. They will have added a couple of packs of Hampton Herbies or Beef Bangers and this month we also have a good stock of high quality locally made Surrey charcoal for sale.

We have our traditional 10 kg Beef Bags made up and ready, or our 4kg Bags with a variety of steak, joints, mince, stewing steak and herbs ready to be ordered. Or try a Hampton Barbeque Bag which holds steaks, 100% beef burgers and sausages and is all pretty convenient.

Alternatively simply order whatever you want be it mince, steak, joints, stewing steak, even offal in the form of delicious liver, oxtail, kidney etc. No amount is too small and we have lots of customers who drop in to pick up half a kilo of prime Hampton mince. You don’t have to buy a cow, half a cow or even quarter of a cow. This is quality not necessarily quantity.

But we would all recommend buying some Hampton wild venison, culled on the Estate and simply mouth-watering. A haunch cooked on the barbeque at a good heat with herbs and a little oil will be sensational. Likewise venison steaks are so easy to cook and will be appreciated by everyone lucky enough to get a taste. Go on, order today.

Hay making has never been easier and all the hay bales are now stored in the Dutch barns under cover. We broke all records for baling, starting some days at 8.00am after a hot night with no dew, and finished baling at 10.30pm after a hot afternoon and still no dew. Compare this to our usual baling timetable when we start at 11.00am after the dew dissipates and finish at 6.00pm, if lucky, as it starts to fall again. There was no time pressure to get the bales quickly inside as no rain was forecast and we could finish baling before we started carting, a very rare treat. We will feed the hay in the winter to the young stock, grass fed beef at its best.

The cows look remarkably well as they forage for grass and browse the hedges, and they are also enjoying some Lucerne (alfalfa) left over from last year to keep their protein levels up. With a bit of shade, a swishing tail and plenty of water a cow’s lot is a happy one despite the heat.

Do come over and see us on FRIDAY 27th JULY for beef, sausages, venison, beef burgers, bones for the dog, coffee, elderflower and of course Bridget’s cake. Do put your order in now by phone (01438 810465) or return of email and Will, Helen, Bridget and I really look forward to seeing you for a summer catch up.

Best wishes

Bill and Bridget

Posted in News & Events, Newsletter

Hampton Estate Naturally Reared Newsletter June 2018

This evening we opened the double gates in the middle of the park and the herd nipped through smartly. The herd being one pedigree bull, thirty four pedigree cows, thirty three calves and five home grown replacement heifers who have joined the herd for the first time. The grass is up to their collective middles and they are loving the rich sward of meadow grasses which we have been storing up for this moment.  It’s a bucolic scene of waving grassland, low boughed ancient oak trees, the glimpse of the first of this year’s fawns with an ever observant mum, and a buzzard watching the goings on from his lofty perch. This must be bovine heaven.

Welcome to Hampton summer and our June newsletter which gives notice of our next beef day on FRIDAY 22nd JUNE. Not long to go until that day and already we are taking orders for Hampton Naturally Reared grass fed, long hung, absolutely delicious beef. Hampton bags including the ever popular Barbeque bags with steaks, 100% beef burgers and Hampton Beef Bangers inside are ready to be ordered as are our 10kg family bags and 4 kg convenience bags. These hold joints, steaks, mince, stewing and braising steak and are becoming a sought after Surrey sensation, so do order as soon as you can.

Our bespoke ordering service is very much open for business; just order whatever amounts of cuts, joints, mince, stewing, braising, skirt and even diced that you want and we will pop it into a bag. For instance a kilo of mince, two roasting joints and a kilo of rump steak could do the trick.

Our other very popular meat is Hampton wild venison which is bought by increasing numbers of customers who are coming back time and again for more. Our venison is all wild roe, all culled on the estate by our extremely skilled marksman Paul, and butchered by our own extremely skilled Will.

Hampton Herby sausages and Hampton Beef Bangers are being made to order as I type and we should have good supplies, but just to make sure do add them to your order. Having kept our prices static for some time the June beef day will see a slight rise in prices in line with our beef production costs and the beef market.

May at Hampton was scout month. We welcomed the Woodland Woggle which saw 800 runners stream through the park and round the woods raising money for Farnham scouts, and we also hosted Camp Frantic which is a major camp for the Guildford, Farnham and Cranleigh districts where 1200 scouts of all ages camped for the weekend and enjoyed a myriad of activities and games. We saw lots of beef customers at The Ride in the Park which was a beautifully warm Sunday and witnessed lots of young cyclists and scooterists hone their skills on the Hampton drives before enjoying a wonderful tea put on at Myrtle’s Courtyard by the WI. At the end of the month we had a terrific day at The Surrey County Show where the Hampton Estate Farms sponsored the Beef Championship, which we felt was apt, and would give another farm the limelight!

We all look forward to seeing you on FRIDAY 22nd JUNE from 10.30am for fresh coffee, cakes (recipe at this moment unknown), biscuits and sausage tasters plus some good chat. The Green Egg could well be puffing and the lavender on the bank in the courtyard will be ready for approval. Come and have a look around the garden as the border should be full of colour and before any of the above do send in your order to Helen who is ready and waiting.

With best wishes

Bill and Bridget

Posted in News & Events, Newsletter

Hampton Estate Naturally Reared Produce Newsletter May 2018

Our May Beef Day on FRIDAY and SATURDAY 25th and 26th MAY will be a beef day with a difference and we really look forward to seeing you.

Firstly it will be held on two days so that as many as possible can join us, with the usual hours of 10.30am to 4.00pm on Friday and 9.00am to 12.30 pm on Saturday. Secondly it will be a frozen produce day comprising every normal cut and joint, stewing and braising and prime minced beef, all ready for transferring to your own freezer. The reason? The rather desultory spring has not seen the cows adding that last touch of condition and fat that we would like and in order to ensure maximum quality for you we are allowing the cows to continue growing through the month (normally the carcass is already hanging by now). We do however have good stocks of beef in our freezer.

Come for coffee and cake on Friday morning as usual, or for a change why not visit us on Saturday morning and who knows it could be bacon sandwich time.

We will also have lots of fresh Hampton Herby sausages to go with Hampton 100% beef burgers which will be perfect for your first barbeque of the season if you are lagging behind in the barbeque stakes.

Hampton wild venison supplies are building again after our last collection day and more and more customers are commenting on the fantastic taste of venison and its ease of cooking. Our wild roe deer are so much smaller than fallow or red deer and pack a punch on the taste front which is absolutely exquisite. They are not farmed in any way and live on rich pickings within the estate, browsing on leaves, brambles, green shoots and hopefully not too many roses. Venison is well worth a try if you haven’t tasted it yet and very simple to cook. Have a go!

The team here at Hampton were delighted with the success of our Hampton Homemade range. Pies, bolognaise and casserole all flew out of the door and the first feedback has been very positive indeed. Thanks to all who have been in touch and I am pleased to report that pies, bolognaise and casserole will be on the menu again on 25th and 26th May all retailing at the same price of £10.00 per go (small pies are £4.00 as usual). Pots of either bolognaise or casserole will give three hearty portions and we always reckon that a pie serves four. Do order as soon as possible to ensure that our chefs are prepared.

The Family Ride in the Park is taking place again here at Hampton on Sunday 20th May from 2pm to 5pm. All drives will be closed, apart from the Cuttmill entrance, and cycling and scooting, roller-skating, in line skating, and any other type of fun self-propelled means of personal transport can be practised in safety. The garden will be open, ice cream and teas are ready and waiting for you at Myrtle’s Courtyard and well behaved dogs on leads are welcome. Bring all the family and all money raised is for the United Parish. It will also be a chance to meet our new Rector, Stephen Thatcher who will be around all afternoon and is looking forward to saying hello.

Around the farm the hops are really growing fast in this wonderful sunshine and we have a dedicated team of Polish workers who are training the hop shoots up the strings by hand. With 15 working hard we should be through by the end of the week and are then into the major nurturing season, when it’s possible for a hop plant to grow a foot in a week!

Timber extraction has finished in Landthorne, close to the North Downs Way and the paths and tracks are being repaired by a large caterpillar tractor which is making short work of the mud and ruts. We will then be putting up new signage and fencing to delineate the proper route of the North Downs Way as it wends through Hampton woodland and fields. We are hoping for new trees to naturally regenerate on the site, and will give them time to achieve this, before replanting ourselves.

To recap, two days for beef and natural produce collection on FRIDAY 25th May and SATURDAY (morning) and please send over your order as soon as possible by return of email or phone. All beef and venison will be freshly frozen, all sausages will be fresh as will the Hampton Homemade delicacies of pies, bolognaise and casserole.  All will be utterly delicious and Bridget, Helen, Will and I really look forward to seeing you for fresh coffee, cakes, biscuits and chat.

With very best wishes

Bill and Bridget

 

Posted in News & Events, Newsletter

Hampton Estate Naturally Reared Produce Newsletter April 2018

Easter is over, the primroses are out, the daffs are still waving and the clocks have gone forward, all of which should create a healthy whiff of spring in the air. However, we seem to be stuck in a spot of a low pressure, rain inducing don’t put the barbeque out yet cycle which we will all be glad to see the back of and makes us all still think of casseroles rather than a light beef carpaccio with salad.

I am very pleased to report that beef casserole supplies will be available, along with every other joint, cut, minced, diced, and steaked beef at our next BEEF DAY on FRIDAY 27th APRIL.

We have Hampton beef bags, of the 4 or 10kg varieties which are always popular and give variety and a backup store of great tasting beef. Both have steaks, joints, minced and braising and of course can be added to on the day. Many of our customers like to ‘go bespoke’ and order a specific cut or joint and we are delighted to accommodate your every bovine wish. A sirloin joint for 12 is always popular, and so too is 10kgs of prime mince or at the other end of the scale half a kilo of stewing steak. We are infinitely flexible and can normally put together exactly what anyone needs. It’s a challenge we enjoy and we don’t mind small, medium or large orders. You are all wonderful customers.

Hampton Herby sausages and Hampton Beef Bangers come in packs of six and we always seem to run out so do order as soon as possible and Hampton wild venison supplies are starting to grow again. Wild roe deer from the estate is culled by our very experienced gamekeeper Paul in order to control numbers, preserve young trees and maintain a healthy wild deer herd. We have a very loyal venison following and given its wonderful taste it’s easy to see why.

And at this point I normally mention Hampton Special Beef Pies but this month I can do more than that as I announce the latest Hampton Naturally Reared Product. Roll of drums, crashing of cymbals; ‘Hampton Homemade.’

We are expanding our range to include not just beef pies but also Hampton Homemade prime beef bolognaise and Hampton beef casserole as ready meals, cooked and packaged and ready to freeze or eat. The main ingredient will of course be our own beef but added to this will be the best local vegetables to create mouth-watering wholesome family favourites from tried and tested recipes. The meals will be handily packed in helpful amounts for two or three people and our April beef day will see them on sale for the first time. Take the hassle out of cooking for once, enjoy Hampton culinary handiwork and soak up the praise! This is new and fun and is to fulfil a demand a number of customers have made.

Out and about on the farm we have had 17 beef calves to date, all fine fit specimens and no particular calving issues. We will only interfere in the calving process if we think there is a problem, and as we are watching the expectant mothers on a very regular basis throughout the day we soon know if a problem might arise. All mothers and calves are doing well and feeding off a rich diet of lucerne and meadow hay which will give plenty of protein to stimulate the natural milk production of each mum. We have 20 more to calve and hope that by the end of the calving season we will all be enjoying warm sun, dry conditions and a good flush of grass. In other words, spring.

And we are hoping for warm sunny conditions for the annual Hampton Ride in the Park, when we close the drives and invite everyone to take to their bikes, scooters and roller-skates for safe biking, the garden will be open and ice creams and teas are on sale. This all happens on SUNDAY 20th MAY from 2pm. So do put the date in your diary. All proceeds go to the United Parish funds.

Fresh coffee and cake will start at 10.30am on FRIDAY 27th APRIL, we will have your order ready to go and Helen, Will, Bridget and I will be looking forward to catching up with you. Please do send us your requirements, and if you have any queries over what to order we are here to help.

With very best wishes

Bill and Bridget

Posted in News & Events

Hampton Estate Naturally Reared Produce Newsletter March 2018

Our 2nd Beef Day of the year is rapidly approaching on FRIDAY 23rd MARCH which is a week before Easter and you may well need supplies of prime Hampton produce. Who is coming to stay? Is it time to dust down the barbeque? Will a roast rib be just the thing for Sunday lunch? Lots of imponderables, but we have lots of answers in the shape of beef, venison, sausages and even meat pies.

Our 4 kg convenience bags have steak, a joint, prime mince and stewing steak and as we say, its all jolly convenient. A 10 kg bag is a family affair and has the same ingredients, just a bit more. At the other end of the scale come over for half a kilo of stewing steak or a small roasting joint, we are infinitely flexible, or if it’s a party of 10 how about a mouth-watering sirloin joint? We always have Hampton Herby sausages and we always seem to run out of them!

Hampton Herbies are made from free range pork whilst Hampton Beef Bangers are made from pure Hampton beef with a hint of horseradish, and go down equally well. We always run out of them too. Why not try a pack of each to compare and contrast and we will make sure we have lots in stock. Order now.

Our stalkers have been busy and we have excellent supplies of delicious Hampton wild roe venison. A haunch feeds about 6, looks spectacular and even better, its simple to cook. It requires a hot oven, a good sprinkling of salt and pepper and a bit of faith as it’s very easy to overcook. After approximately an hour and a quarter zip it out, wrap in foil and leave to rest in a warm spot for half an hour and it will continue to cook. The result will be deliciousness in the extreme, but don’t take my word for it, have a go!

We also have venison mince and diced, and there is a great recipe for shoulder of venison cassoulet which is a real winter dish and a great favourite.

We should have offal galore and, liver, kidney, oxtail are always popular amongst the cognoscenti and are so easy to cook with excellent results. It is sold frozen as it is returned to us immediately after slaughter as offal is not something that is hung.

Rabbit may be on the cards but currently numbers are thin on the ground. This year we have shot and ferreted 480 rabbits which sounds a lot, but looking back in the Hampton game book for 1932, 3652 rabbits were shot, ferreted and trapped and the following year the number rose to over 7000. I won’t mention what other species were considered vermin at that time but the game book is a fascinating social record for the estate.

In 1932 the Hampton herd of pedigree Guernsey cows was being established by Bridget’s grandmother which continued until 2004 when we changed the system to our naturally reared pedigree Sussex beef cows. Last month, on possibly the wettest day of the winter to date, we blood tested all animals. This involved bringing the entire herd into the coralle in order for our vet to take a blood sample which is then analysed for health status. Everyone was well and truly drenched by the end of the day but I am pleased to report that every animal tested negative and our high health status remains. Meanwhile we are all awaiting the first calving of the year as the mum’s due dates draw near and the cows are becoming more barrel like by the day.

Hop stringing in the hop gardens has begun and we also had a few days of good dry weather to spread farmyard manure on the hop gardens. This increases the fertility of the soil and adds to its structure in the most natural way possible. We will soon be seeing the first hop shoots coming through the ground and this kicks off the start of the 2018 hop growing season.

On Friday 23rd March we will have fresh coffee and cake ready from 10.30am, sausage tasters will follow, there will be a bottle of red or two at lunchtime and your ordered beef will be ready for you to pick up. Do zip your order in to Helen by email and we are more than happy to answer any butchering and beef related questions anyone may have.

Very best wishes and Bridget and I are looking forward to good old pre-Easter catch up.

Bill and Bridget

Posted in News & Events

Hampton Estate Naturally Reared Produce News January 2018

Very Happy New Year to all our wonderful customers and it was great to see so many before Christmas when we held our first ever two day beef event, and then again in the New Year at the New Year’s Day Pop Up Restaurant. Both seemed to go down well, and the Pop Up’s combination of woodland walk and hearty beef daube saw us catering for just over 400 at Myrtle’s Courtyard and the afternoon’s blue skies made for great walking conditions. We didn’t tally up the wonderful dogs on show but numbers and breeds were very impressive and apparently all enjoyed the walk.

I am pleased to report that our first Beef Collection Day of 2018 will be FRIDAY 2nd FEBRUARY and we are taking orders now. Our 10 kg family bags contain steaks, joints, stewing steak and mince whilst our 4kg convenience bags do exactly the same but a bit less. Instead of a bag of beef just let us know the cuts and joints you really need and we will set them aside for you. It’s probably time for a good old roast to get us all through those rather grey February weekends and a double rib or a fine piece of sirloin will never disappoint. But don’t forget silverside and top rump joints which ooze flavour and can be roasted by themselves or pot roasted with carrots, parsnips a good sized onion and a splash of red. It’s all very tempting and really straight forward.

We have good supplies of prime Hampton minced beef for lasagnes, bolognaises and cottage pies, plus stewing and braising steak that will make mouth-watering casseroles and stews. I would always add a bit of shin if possible for long cooking concoctions and again that good old splash of red (having ascertained that it is up to the job with some judicious tasting). And the good news is that by the time you pick up your order it will be February therefore dry January is nicely out of the way.

Hampton Herby sausages are all the rage I’m told and lots of customers enjoyed our alternative Hampton Beef Bangers over Christmas. Just add a couple of packs to your order as they will always come in handy, and for those brave and hardy customers planning February barbeques we will always have fresh beefburgers for you made with 100% Hampton beef.

Which takes me on to offal. If you have never tried cooking offal perhaps 2018 is the year to experiment with the utterly delicious liver, kidney or even a tongue? Oxtails fly out of the door every month they are available (there should be two this month) and there are a myriad of great recipes for cooking these delicacies. Strips of liver, dusted in seasoned flour and fried in butter with a couple of rashers of bacon will make a memorable dish in about 7 minutes. Happy Days.

Out on the farm the cows are about to be visited by the foot trimmer who will do a little manicure work on their hooves. This involves moving them all into the corral from the grazing fields and they are then individually checked over by our consultant foot trimmer who is an absolute expert in bovine pedicures. It’s so important that our cows don’t go lame and by having him over twice a year we are able to keep on top of any problems. We will also be blood testing all cows later in the month to ensure that our high health herd status is maintained. This is particularly important when we sell young breeding stock to other farms who want to know that the animals they buy are of the highest quality. Otherwise the cows are happily grazing some delicious hay made last June together with fresh barley straw which makes for a good feed combo.

In the hops it’s a great time to maintain and mend our hop picking machine. There are new belts to order, pluckers to put in place, chains to tighten and grease and a long list of checks to be ticked off. All these jobs are vitally important and whilst it’s too wet to venture into the hop gardens they are excellent indoor alternatives.  All too soon it will be the hop stringing season and I would love to hear from anyone who would like to work outside from mid-February onwards in the Hampton hop gardens stringing the hops. No previous experience is necessary and all training will be given on site. It is the most rewarding of jobs and suits anyone who is reasonably fit and is looking for a couple of months work. Hours are very flexible and all equipment is provided. Do let me know.

We start on commercial timber works at the beginning of February and will be concentrating in woodlands just to the south of Seale. We will be extracting soft woods made up of Corsican and Scots pine which will go to timber mills in the UK where the wood will be processed for fencing materials. The smaller branches from the trees we will keep ourselves for chipping for our biomass boilers and there will also be material for logs for fires. All this work will be carried out by woodland contractors under the supervision of our very experienced forestry consultant and will ensure that the Hampton woodlands are maintained and nurtured in the most professional way possible.

Fresh coffee and cake will be ready for you from 10.30am on Friday 2nd February when Bridget, Helen, Will and I look forward to seeing all our customers. There will certainly be sausage tasters during the morning and if today is anything to go by the woodburner will be roaring.

Please put your order in but do not hesitate to ring or email with any beef related queries. We will try our utmost to help.

Best wishes

Bill and Bridget

Posted in News & Events

Hampton Estate Naturally Reared Produce News November 2017

BIG NEWS; our December Beef Day is a TWO day event on Friday 1st December and Saturday 2nd December. Friday will be as usual, with coffee, cakes, tea and sausage tasters from 10.30am finishing at 3.30pm. And then on Saturday 2nd December we will open at 9.30am with sausage baps, more fresh coffee and will be open all morning until 12.30pm. Our aim is to give everyone more time to visit especially those whose Friday commitments usually mean they can’t make the famous Hampton Beef Day in all its glory. Bring along the family on Saturday morning, bring along your next door neighbour on Saturday morning, have your photo taken with a Hampton donkey (either Sooty or Azara) and enjoy Hampton mulled wine or hot chocolate. This is the way to do your Christmas shopping!

Charlie will be with us selling every type of cold pressed rape seed oil (go for the truffle oil) http://www.coldpressedoil.co.uk. Hilary and Nancy of Greyfriars Vineyard will join us on Friday 1st with their superb selection of wines, grown and produced by the Hog’s Back. Andrea will be selling her wonderful nature books from Fine Feather Press and Anne-Marie will join us on Saturday morning with Christmas cards, advent calendars and delightful stationery www.thoselovelycards.co.uk just to add a little festive cheer to the proceedings and a chance for some early presents.

Meanwhile the home team will be selling Hampton naturally reared and hung pedigree beef, Hampton Herbies and Beef Bangers, Hampton wild venison, Hampton wild rabbit and yippee, yippee, Hampton special beef pies. It will be a celebration of all good foods and is not to be missed.

Hampton 10kg family bags are available to order immediately and contain steaks, joints, minced beef and stewing steak to keep you well stocked up for every Christmas eventuality. Hampton 4kg helpful bags do exactly the same but with a little less meat. But our speciality is a Hampton bespoke order. Just tell us what you would like and we will put it all together for your arrival. A roasting rib joint for 8, four sirloin steaks, two kilos of mince and four packets of Hampton Herby sausages is perfectly acceptable and won’t phase the team. Equally a kilo of stewing steak is a great order, or half a kilo of Hampton wild venison and two packets of Beef Bangers. Try us out.

Hampton Special Beef Pies come in two sizes, individual and family (feeds four) and all are filled with Hampton beef complimented with Hampton herbs from the walled garden, lots of delicious gravy which includes a very fine red and a special Hampton ingredient which of course I can’t divulge. Don’t forget to add a couple of these to your order.

Our stalkers are also out and about searching for the estate wild roe deer which makes the best venison imaginable. Haunches, fillets, diced and minced venison should be available, fingers crossed. Being wild they take time to stalk, and a safe shot is always needed to bring them down. It’s a very time consuming business, but in our eyes more than worth it for the deliciousness of the meat which is packed with flavour and just so easy to cook.

MORE BIG NEWS; The Hampton News Year’s Day POP UP RESTAURANT is back. New Year’s Day is for getting up late, walking the dog and enjoying a good lunch. We can help. We will have a bespoke dog walk routed through the estate to blow away any cobwebs, then head into Myrtle’s Courtyard for a famous Hampton Beef in a Bap (with horseradish, mustard, gherkins, etc), followed by a fresh apple fritter and cream. YUM. All you have to do is BYO drink and let us know how many of you are coming and at what time. We will be open from 11.30am for walking or eating and last orders will be at 2.30pm and you are welcome to walk after if that’s what you normally do on New Year’s Day. Parking for everyone will be at Myrtle’s Courtyard and there will be signs to direct you to the walk or restaurant. We will only be popping up for one day only, MONDAY 1st JANUARY 2018.

The Christmas Fair at Myrtle’s Courtyard takes place on Friday 10th November (10am-2.30pm) and promises loads of great stalls with every imaginable present for every imaginable member of the family right down to that long lost aunt who has just announced that she will be staying with you after all. Lots of food and drink to try, jewellery, crafts, even the local blacksmith, will all be in attendance and there will be Bridget’s Hampton beef lasagne to try for lunch, or elevenses if peckish.

Cows and calves are all well and we have moved them to their winter grazing fields which are easier to access and never become muddy. Our next job is for our vet to pregnancy diagnose the mums to check that the bull has been earning his keep and at the same time we will wean the older calves as they are now 7 months old and not so interested in mum’s milk.

In the hop gardens we have been carrying out annual repairs to the wirework and structure, a team of Polish guys has cut off all the old hop remnants and we are now burning these up in order to cultivate between the rows. The first dried and pressed hops have left the farm on their way to our brewery customers and we have been blessed with some fantastic weather for all these tasks.

Bridget and I really look forward to seeing all our customers on either FRIDAY 1st December or SATURDAY 2nd December. DO send your order over to avoid disappointment, and if it’s easier do ring us for a chat and some advice. We are always delighted to discuss your meat requirements and see how we can help. We hope that our Saturday morning opening will allow more customers to come over and see how a Hampton Beef Day works and rest assured there will always be something to eat and a hot drink to be had.

Very best wishes

Bill and Bridget

Posted in News & Events