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

Hampton Estate Naturally Reared Produce News October 2017

Welcome to our October newsletter as the leaves flutter from the trees and you can’t see a tennis ball past 7.00pm at that last late summer evening game.   Our October Beef Day will be on FRIDAY 27th October and at the moment we have plentiful supplies of our delicious pasture reared incredibly healthy beef but as the orders roll in stocks will dwindle. In other words do try and order as soon as possible to avoid any disappointment.

How about a 10kg family bag which holds such a good amount of steak, joints, stewing steak and mince?  Or a similar but smaller 4kg convenience bag? Im probably trying to push water uphill by suggesting a Hampton barbeque bag although I’m pleased to report that we have a prodigious order for Hampton 100% beefburgers for the Puttenham Bonfire on Saturday 4th November.  We will also be supplying Hampton Herby sausages for the irresistible hot dogs.  Probably the best firework display in Surrey and well worth a visit if you haven’t been.

As always Bridget, Will and Helen are brilliant at juggling individual orders and we welcome the challenge.  A special sirloin roast can be put to one side if needed, an order for a slow cooking brisket, three kilos of mince, a kilo of liver and two kilos of braising steak can be accommodated with ease or simply two rump steaks and a roasting joint for six.  Anything and everything is possible at this stage.

Why not add some sausages, either Herbies or Beef Bangers, and then venture into Hampton wild venison?  A haunch, or some diced or mince are so all so easy to cook and there are many excellent recipes available, especially on line which will have you reaching for the juniper berries, Maldon salt and a good handful of rosemary.  We can provide the main ingredients, all you have to do is alert your wonderful imagination, sort out the recipe and then have a think with a large glass of red and send us your order.

Our hop harvest is complete and I’m delighted to report that not only did all the new equipment and processes work but that both the quantity of the harvested crop and importantly the quality are reputedly extremely good.  Phew.  Having built and commissioned the first new oast house in Surrey for over a hundred years, having updated the majority of our harvesting equipment and having extended the hop garden by another 9 acres there were always going to be teething problems this harvest.  We were not let down on this front, but our great hop team pulled out all the stops and the final bine was picked at about 11.00pm on Friday 24th September.  All hops are now dried and baled, including all the hops we picked for The Hogs Back Brewery.  We do however have good stocks of fresh Hampton Fuggles hops for home brewers vacuum packed in 100g packets which we can send out to any home brewer looking for the best ingredients.  Do you know of anyone who might be interested?

And continuing on the hop theme the BBC came to film the Hogs Back Brewery and The Hampton Estate talking at the Farnham Food Festival at the end of last month in Castle Street, Farnham. This is for The Farmers Country Showdown programme which airs in the New Year at about 3pm in the afternoon, and will show exciting footage of me dishing out hops for a scrumple and sniff session to the good folk of Farnham who have gathered round the food theatre and more importantly the Hogs Back Bar.  The free tasting of Hogs Back beer went down well and after the talk and tasting there was an evocative aroma of hops wafting down Castle Street.

Elsewhere on the farm the cows are finishing the grass paddocks on the Hogs Back and below the church in Seale, and we will be bringing them back to the sandier (and therefore drier) fields in the park for the winter as the month goes on.  We have just sold 16 heifers to another farmer in East Sussex which gives us a few less mouths to feed over the winter and we will be weaning the calves born this year at the beginning of November.

Also at the beginning of November will be the 2017 Christmas Fair at Myrtles Courtyard.  The date is slightly earlier than usual, FRIDAY 10th NOVEMBER, and Myrtles will be transformed into a cornucopia of gifts, stalls, present winners and some wonderful refreshments.  Bridget will be serving homemade Hampton beef lasagne for lunch at the fair.  Do put the date in your diary.

Just to recap, beef, venison, sausages, offal (the best liver ever) and rabbit will all be ready for you to pick up on Friday 27th October.  Fresh coffee, tea, yummy cakes and biscuits will be ready from 10.30am and by 12.00ish we will be opening the red.  Please, please, please email or phone your order to Helen and we can have it all ready for your arrival.  office@hamptonestate.co.uk or helenjackson@hamptonestate.co.uk will reach us perfectly or do ring us on 01483 810465.

We really look forward to seeing everyone on the 27th.

Very best wishes

Bill and Bridget

Posted in News & Events

Hampton Estate Naturally Reared Produce September 2017

Beef, beef, beef is available on Friday 29th September at our next Hampton beef day and we are now taking orders. Come and collect your beef, have a cup of fresh late summer coffee and enjoy a slice of Bridget’s latest cake at the same time.

Our grass fed, mooching around the fields, 30 day hung beef is mouth-wateringly good, as so many of our great customers know, and as always your order can be made up of exactly what you want.  A 10kg mixed bag is perfect for some, but it is equally easy to order a kilo of steak, or a special joint, or simply two kilos of mince.  Our 4kg convenience bags hold exactly these ingredients plus some stewing steak and are remarkably convenient for many.  We can supply exactly your own beef need, and add Hampton Herby Sausages or Hampton Beef Bangers (six in a pack), and don’t forget those Hampton 100% beef burgers.  We will be ready for you.

Hampton Wild Venison, all roe deer, is in good supply and Bridget and I have been enjoying it with friends throughout the summer. Venison steaks with a late summer salad and roasted peppers are a must, and it’s so easy to cook.  Just remember a high temperature for the venison and it continues to cook for ages once taken off the heat, wrapped in foil and ‘standing’.  Do allow for this.

All the cows and their calves are eating the late summer grass in front of the house, which is plentiful at the moment, and makes for an extremely bucolic scene.  In the bright September sunshine their brown coats are so vivid against the green grass that it is quite a sight.  Every cow has now calved, including the stragglers (technical term for late) and we have just taken the bull out of the herd as he should have served all the cows since 1st June when he was reintroduced to all his girls.  That’s probably as much information as everyone needs on this subject!

Given the proximity of Hampton Estate to Farnham where we have always banked and where everyone supports the inestimable Elphicks Department Store, we are pleased to be part of the Farnham Food Festival this year.  Our beef day on 29th September is also being promoted by the festival as a Hampton Estate Tasting Day.  We will be cooking joints for sampling and looking forward to welcoming new customers and interested individuals to Hampton to give them the Hampton beef shopping experience.  We know that you will give them a warm welcome.

Before then we are joining the Farnham Gin Festival at the Farnham Maltings to promote Hampton produce, and be an alternative local producer to the fabulous gin distilleries that have been popping up throughout Surrey and Hampshire over the past few years. See you there.

The final day of the Farnham Food Festival is Saturday 30th September when Castle Street will be full of stalls and producers and I will be talking with Rupert Thompson of The Hogs Back Brewery about hop growing around Farnham.  Watch out for the food theatre at the top end of Castle Street at about 11.00 am.

Elsewhere on the estate we are selling School Hill Cottage in Seale. The former blacksmiths shop was converted years ago into a delightful two bedroom cottage, with a large south facing garden and terrace, and has bags of potential.  Local estate agents Andrew Lodge (Farnham) will be marketing the property on behalf of the estate farnham@andrewlodge.co.uk.

Logs are always for sale from the estate woodlands. Our logs are predominantly from silver birch trees and have been well seasoned, and kept in the dry. They burn really well and we sell them by the pick-up load for £120.  Do order with your beef!

Bridget and I really look forward to seeing you on 29th September for beef, venison, good conversation, delicious cakes and coffee and fingers crossed for sunshine.  Do place your order by email to Helen, helenjackson@hamptonestate.co.uk as I have a funny feeling that demand will be high this month and there will be little on the shelf.

Very best wishes

Bill and Bridget

Posted in News & Events

Hampton Estate Naturally Reared Produce Newsletter August 2017

A very big thank you to all those who supported our Friday night Pop Up Restaurant last week. Beef in a bap went down a treat and it was wonderful to see so many friends enjoying an evening at Myrtle’s Courtyard in holiday mode. I think that the final tally was 166 diners eating 201 baps and Bridget roasted 30 joints of silverside, top side and top rump, all of varying sizes. The useful tip is to rely on a meat thermometer which was a huge help and incredibly accurate. Once the joint is registering 50 degrees centigrade in the thickest part whip it out and let it stand.

And Im delighted to report that silverside, topside and top rump are all available at our next beef day which will be on FRIDAY 18th AUGUST. Our beef bags are all ready to be ordered, in the 10kg, 4 kg or barbeque varieties, and we are also ready for any other beef request that you have. Just some mince is fine, or a kilo of braising steak, or a mighty bespoke barbeque order of 50 100% beef burgers and 75 Hampton Herby sausages is eminently copeable with.

Please don’t forget that we also have good supplies of wild Hampton venison. Our Roe deer make fantastic meat and it is definitely worth a try if you have never ventured into this territory. Will is our number one venison butcher and has been busy carving the most tender venison steaks which barbeque brilliantly with the minimum of fuss. So long as the heat source is hot you are guaranteed good results. Add some seasoning to the meat, some fresh herbs, a drop of oil and by the time you’ve finished your first glass of red you have supper virtually cooked.

For the adventurous there will be offal for sale, and savouring fried liver is for some the ultimate delicacy, whilst the same dish for others is a complete no no. Liver, tongue, oxtail, and even heart are all for available to order for Friday 18th August.  Just email your order over to Helen, or do ring if it’s easier. We are always up for a beef chat.

The farming year is brewing up for our hop harvest and this year it is all change. Since planting our new hop garden in Puttenham, thereby almost doubling our acreage, we have also invested in a new oast house, (the first new hop oast in Surrey for 100 years), a new hop picking shed and picking machine, new tractors and trailers and we are now working out how to make our hop picking even more efficient and streamlined. Please look out for tractors and trailers on the Seale/ Puttenham road from Tuesday 29th August for at least a fortnight, as we move as many hops as quickly as we can to be picked in our new Bruff hop picker. They will then be dried in our four, state of the art self-levelling kilns before being pressed and packed in bales.

This year we are able to sell freshly picked and pressed Hampton Fuggle hops to the discerning home brewer. We will be vacuum packing a small quantity of our finest hops in 100 gm packs and these will be for sale from harvest onwards for £5.40 per pack. This will be the first time that local Hampton hops are available for local brewers who are searching for the best possible hop product.

We will also have hop bines for sale, direct from the oast, and do ring to reserve your bine. It will make a terrific 365 dried flower arrangements once hung, but be sure to do that the day you pick it up and it will gently dry in situ, giving you a wonderful aroma.

VACANCIES FOR HOP PICKERS. I am still looking for a few more enthusiastic hop pickers to join the team this year. The work is well suited to students returning broke from holiday and looking to earn some money before the university term begins again. We start on Tuesday 29th August for approximately two and a half weeks. Please get in touch if you would like to be considered.

Having harvested our own hops we will then be picking and drying the hops at The Hogs Back Brewery. They have different varieties which ripen slightly later and this fits in well for our system. Watch out for hop tractors and trailers coming from the other direction at this point, down from the Hogs Back towards Puttenham.

Do put FRIDAY AUGUST 18th into your diary and do send us an email with your order, or ring to place your order, of naturally reared Hampton beef. Our next beef collection day will not be until Friday 29th September so it would be a smart move to stock up now. Fresh coffee, cakes and sausage tasters will be ready from 10.30am and STOP PRESS there is more of Molly’s Country Pate available if you have run out, do add a pack to your order.

We all look forward to seeing you on the 18th

Very best wishes to all

Bill and Bridget

Posted in News & Events

Hampton Estate Naturally Reared Produce Newsletter July 2017

FRIDAY 21st JULY is our next beef day and the meat is slowly maturing in our butcher’s coldstore and will be at its very peak for your order. Pasture fed beef is recognised as the highest quality red meat and our meadows on the Hogs Back and in The Park are full of grasses, wildflowers and herbs, rich in vitamins and minerals, which naturally gives our meat that extra flavour.  Plus they live outside all year round and are not under any pressure whatsoever. A great life!

Come and join us for fresh coffee, cake and sausage tasters, or a cup of tea if you prefer, and we will also have 2017 Hampton Elderflower to drink if the hot sun continues. We will be open from 10.30am and look forward to a catch up with everyone, especially all those who are receiving our newsletter for the first time and will be picking up produce.

Our 10 kg family bags of prime Hampton beef are ready for ordering containing steaks, joints, stewing steak and minced beef, and so too are our 4kg convenience bags which comprise the same ingredients but on a smaller scale. Our barbeque bags are always popular with steak, sausages and beef burgers all in one handy hessian bag, and each order is accompanied by a bunch of fresh garden herbs cut that morning from the Hampton walled garden.

But if 10kgs and 4kgs sound too much then please order whatever amount you like. No order is too small, and a kilo of prime minced beef and 4 beefburgers is absolutely fine. Do order a roasting joint for a special occasion or even a fillet though there is often a waiting list for this particular delicacy.

Hampton Herby Sausages and Hampton Beef Bangers are all ready for ordering (packs of six) and there are also supplies of Hampton Wild Venison in the form of diced or minced venison, haunches, steaks and fillets. These will be frozen because we hang, skin and butcher venison throughout the month. The meat is mouth-wateringly good and barbeques brilliantly. Well worth a try, totally wild and pretty much fat free.

And as a special this month we are pleased to be selling Molly’s very popular pâté. Made with pork liver, Hampton herbs, a good red wine, and that special secret ingredient, Moll has excellent supplies, and there will be tasters available so that you can try before you buy. Why not add a pack of pâté to your order?

On the farm our hay is made, baled and stacked, and it’s time for the second cut of the lucerne, which also will be baled and wrapped, and all this summer produce will be ready for the cows to eat during the winter. We are down to five cows still to calve and fingers crossed they will all have produced by the end of the month. The grass fields are drying up with the scorching sun and lack of rain, but the cow’s coats are extra shiny and they can always find shade under an oak tree and are past masters at sitting in the best breeze spot in each field.

Our hops keep growing but would love a good rain, and the new oast and hop picking machine are nearing completion ready for this summer’s harvest. Decorative hop garlands will be available to buy direct from our hop gardens in Puttenham from the middle of August and we will also be selling dried and pressed Fuggles hops for home brewers and local micro-breweries in handy vacuum packs. This is in addition to bulk contracts with our regular brewery customers and we are always pleased to be supplying the local Hogs Back Brewery which makes such delicious beer.

We always need  a bit of extra help during hop picking and please let me know if you are looking for, or know someone looking for temporary work at the end of August for approximately three weeks. Our start day for harvest has yet to be determined and depends totally on the weather but I expect to start in the last week of August at this stage.

This is the perfect time of the year to be filling up your log store. We are busy filling up our own log sheds with fantastically dry timber which has been air dried for over a year and if you need a load or two do order now. Our red estate pick up will deliver and you will be ahead of the game.

Bridget and I along with Molly, Will and Helen really look forward to seeing you on Friday 21st July when the chat, the pâté starters, the sausage tasters and the fresh coffee will keep us all going. Do order your meat now to be sure, either by email office@hamptonestate.co.uk or by phone, 01483 810465.

Very best wishes

Bill and Bridget

Posted in Newsletter

Hampton Estate Naturally Reared Produce Newsletter June 2017


As you will know our June beef day has been postponed but we thought a quick update from us all at Hampton to give you a countryside fix without actually visiting might be useful.

Also to point out that we are taking orders for our next beef day on Friday 21st July, do put the date in your diary and we look forward to seeing everyone.

The cows and calves are luxuriating in early summer grass and are a great sight stretched out in the park. We have just fly sprayed them to give protection from those annoying pests which persist around their heads and udder defying the deft flick of a tail.

We have nine cows still to calve in the next month which will take our total to 37 calves this year. This gives us a good supply of male beef animals for future beef days and a great choice of replacement heifers for our herd in two years’ time. We will also sell young stock to other Sussex cattle breeders during the summer which certainly helps cash flow and lightens our numbers for the winter.

Locally we are delighted to be back at The Seale and Sands Show on Saturday 1st July selling Hampton 100% beefburgers and Hampton Herby sausages. Our rolls come from the local Good Taste bakery in Tongham, salad from our garden and add a dash of mayo and mustard and lunch is fixed. We will be cooking from 1pm and the cheffing team can’t wait to see you.

But before then there is the small matter of haymaking which will see us out in the grass fields on the southern slopes of the Hogs Back mowing and turning our meadow grass. The big round bales will give us high quality winter feed for the cattle but we need a good spell of dry weather that will last for more than 48 hours in order to begin. There is a constant eye on the skies.

Meanwhile our Fuggles hops are growing well and our new hop gardens in Puttenham are finally complete. We have erected 9 acres of new hop garden which takes our total to 24 acres, and all the new chestnut poles have been cut from estate chestnut coppice. It is very rare for a farm to be able to do this so most new gardens use imported timber, but luckily our foresters came up trumps with excellent straight home grown poles which should last for twenty years plus.

Inside the wirework the hop plants are flourishing and growing as we hoped, and we are now planning for harvest at the end of August when the new picking and drying facility will come into play. It is a year like none other in the hops as we are changing every aspect of production which has been pretty much the same since the 1960s.

We will report further on this in due course!

But don’t forget that our green hop garlands will be available for sale during the hop harvest and collectable from the new hop oast, a 365 day dried flower arrangement, and we are also hoping to sell small amounts of dried and packaged hops to local home brewers. More news on this to follow.

Our Riding Permit Scheme which allows horse riders access to private estate paths and links with local bridleways and Puttenham Common is becoming increasingly popular. Its aim is to help riders avoid the local lanes wherever possible and allow riding in a safe environment. Do call the estate office for more information as places are available.

Look out for the new biographical film of AA Milne where a Hampton cottage was used for Christopher Robin’s grandfather’s cottage, and also later in the year for the remake of Howard’s End on TV. A riveting car scene was shot in the park and we all drooled over the 1913 Humber which was used, and apparently horrible to drive.

We will send out our July newsletter at the beginning of next month and a reminder for FRIDAY 21st JULY when coffee, cakes, sausage tasters and well informed chat will be the order of the day.

Very best wishes

Bill and Bridget

Posted in Uncategorised

Hampton Estate Naturally Reared Produce May 2017

Our May beef day will be on FRIDAY 26th May and Bridget, Will, Kate and I look forward to seeing everyone for coffee, cake, tea, sausage tasters and a good old chat, and we would also like to load you up with the best beef and naturally reared produce imaginable.

Hampton Barbeque Bags are proving extremely popular at the moment and with a kilo of steak, 12 beef sausages and 8 beef burgers they really do cater for all the family in a very convenient way. Personally I will barbeque just about any cut of beef, from a slow roasted herb encrusted brisket which will also benefit from a whiff of oak chip in the fire to a searingly hot rolled sirloin which takes a fraction of the time but will still be pink and tender in the middle. Beefburgers are really handy for barbeque catering and in a Tongham bakery roll with Hampton salad and a good dollop of mayo they epitomise the English barbeque. Sausages certainly add to the melee and either Hampton Herbies or Hampton Beef Bangers hit the spot, especially with English or Dijon mustard. We really have everything for your perfect beef barbeque, and all ready for you to collect.

A more adventurous barbeque entails a haunch of Hampton wild venison or a slab of venison steaks, a drop of oil and a hot barbeque. It can also be the justification for that really special bottle of red which really does need drinking about now, and you have a guaranteed wow factor for all friends and family lucky enough to be invited. Go on, have a go.

Last month every bag of fresh liver shot off the coldstore shelves and we received rave reviews. It really was incredibly delicious fried with bacon and a shallot and you could feel the goodness. It’s ridiculously cheap and well worth exploring if you aren’t yet an aficionado. We also have oxtail and tongue, both of which make delicious dishes and these alternative cuts are bursting with flavour. I put it down to the cow’s diet of completely natural foods (grass, hay, lucerne) and an outdoor life at all times of the year.

So we have lots of beef available, in all the usual forms (10kg family bags, 4 kg convenience bags, barbeque bags) plus any mixture of joints, steaks or cuts that you can think of. Don’t forget that we will always have prime minced beef and stewing and braising steak too. Add sausages (beef or pork) and venison fillet, haunch, steaks, diced and minced, and you have the whole array of Hampton Naturally Reared Produce to select from. We await your order eagerly by email, phone, letter or carrier pigeon.

Around the farm work continues in the hop gardens where the young hops have been trained up the strings and are now launching themselves to the top of the trellis work. Hops are particularly susceptible to downy and powdery mildew at this time of year and also the hop damson aphid is expected to arrive any day to start causing hop havoc. Luckily we employ an excellent specialist agronomist to advise us on how to tackle these issues and we spend a lot of time this month inspecting the hops to get an early warning of any such gremlins.

In the new hop building work is progressing with the installation of the hop picking machine and the kilns, which we use for drying the hops. We were heartened during our recent tour of a hop farm in Tasmania to find that they use identical drying methods as our own, especially as they farm 850 acres of hops and we are now up to a heady 25 acres.

Sadly the Ride in the Park due to take place on Sunday 21st May has been postponed for 2017 however anyone wanting good physical exercise should apply immediately to The 2nd Farnham Hale Scouts who are once again staging The Woodland Woggle here at Hampton on Sunday 14th May. It is a 10k fun run and has proved extremely popular over the years with approximately 500 runners taking part last year and significant funds raised for the Scouts. The course takes in the bluebell woods and starts with a veritable sprint past the house.

Meanwhile on the filming front E. M. Forsters Howards End filmed here last weekend for a day, using a glorious vintage Humber which was filmed on the drive. As always it is astonishing just how many people it takes to film one car with two occupants, but the proof will be in the pudding when it is aired on TV in 2018 and we are all wowed.

Friday 26th May is the next day for your diary for the best Surrey beef and we all look forward to seeing you at Hampton for coffee and cake from 10.30am.

By 11.30 there will be sausage tasters and by 12.30pm the red will be open. It must be the most tempting way to shop.
Our next beef day will be on FRIDAY 21st JULY.

Very best wishes to all.

Bill and Bridget


Posted in News & Events

Hampton Estate Naturally Reared Produce Newsletter April 2017

Our wonderfully yellow daffodils are being buffeted by the spring breeze here in the park but the sunshine is winning and the grass is beginning to grow which will make the Hampton pedigree cattle even happier.

Our April beef day is on FRIDAY 28th APRIL and orders are now being taken. Orders for joints and cuts of prime beef, orders for minced and diced beef, orders for pies and sausages, orders for barbeques (beef burgers and sausage combo) and orders for mouth-watering venison.

We still have our popular 10kg and smaller 4kg beef bags available, featuring steaks, joints, mince and braising, as well as our delicious barbeque bags, holding beef burgers, steaks and sausages. All you need is some charcoal and a dust down of the Webber (make of barbeque) some good matches and a supply of delicious beer, which we can advise on too!

Our Hampton wild venison supplies are good at the moment , and infact a venison barbeque springs to mind which would be stunningly delicious and a little out of the ordinary. How about a haunch of venison, marinated overnight and popped onto a hot barbeque where charcoal is mixed with seasoned oak just to give a bit of extra flavour? It all sounds extremely promising, and add some Hampton Herby sausages or beef bangers, some whole skewered peppers drizzled with rape seed oil and the taste buds will be delighted.

My last newsletter in March anticipated the 2017 calving season and I’m delighted to report that healthy calves have been born almost every day since. Our record was six in 24 hours which coincided with the sunniest day in March and I think lulled the mums into a false sense of security. Little did they know that the next day would be driving wind and rain but by then we had cows and calves under cover enjoying some well-deserved hay and special cow cake. We expect the cows to calve outdoors in the maternity field, which is an extremely hygienic and natural environment, and 48 hours after calving we will ear tag each calf for identification, de horn them for safety, and castrate the boys, for obvious reasons. It’s a hard life! Each calf then stays with his or her mother for the rest of the summer, drinking milk and becoming accustomed to grazing. It’s all a wonderfully natural process.

At the other end of the farm the new hop gardens are really taking shape. We have such a limited time span between being able to get onto the hop gardens with machinery after the winter and the hop plants growing away too fast. This year we have had hop poles and wirework to put up, hooks to be secured to the wires, and then the usual stringing of the garden which ensures that each plant has a structure to adhere to as it grows skywards. To make sure that they grow skyward the young shoots need training or twiddling in a clockwise direction to start them on their climb and this will be done by casual labour at the end of the month or early May depending on temperature. By midsummer’s day we expect them to be at the top of the wires, 16 feet off the ground.

And talking of next month do put the ever popular Ride in the Park into your diary for SUNDAY 21st MAY, 2pm to 5pm here at Hampton with the garden open and the drives closed to all but pedal power traffic. It’s an opportunity for everyone learning to ride a bike, scooter, skateboard or roller-skates to use the private drives in safety, to enjoy the garden and an ice cream, and return to Myrtles Courtyard for a reviving cup of tea and cake. Parking is at Myrtles Courtyard and every one of every age is more than welcome. All proceeds from the day will go to the United Parish Funds.

On Bank Holiday Monday 29th May at Stoke Park in Guildford there is the Surrey County Agricultural Show, the biggest one day show in the country, full of superb livestock, horses, food and everything a good agricultural show should provide. Visit www.surreycountyshow.co.uk and see just what is on offer, book your tickets with discount on line, and enjoy a rare rural day in the middle of Guildford. Hampton Estate has long been a supporter of the show and Bridget and I plus most of the wider family will be there on the day.

Do remember to place your order for beef, sausages, and venison as soon as possible and we will have freshly brewed coffee and cake, biscuits and sausage tasters ready for on FRIDAY 28th APRIL from 10.30am.

This will be a perfect opportunity to restock after Easter.

Very best wishes

Bill and Bridget

Posted in News & Events