What a wet summer. This has be one of the worst summers I have known, and that is saying something after the flood of 2007. We have got harvest in after a string of problems, from blocking up machines to things snapping all together a right nightmare. We were pushed right to the line and the weather did not help.

In the end we managed to get the whole of the harvest in over a month later than last year. This meant that Cotswold Gold was put to one side and I was on a combine for the end of harvest, due to most of the students having to go back to Uni. Sadly this wet weather has turned a great looking crop in to a low yielding one. This is such a shame as you spend all year growing it for it to be ruined at the last hurdle. I have been driving around and have seen fields that have still not been cut. I feel for those farmers.

Farming is a strange business.

You spend all year growing your crops at the mercy of the weather and using everything you have to help get the best out of your land and the crops. Once the crop has grown and is ready to be cut you have a two month window to get it all cut and in. So a farmers income is reliant on a two months window with the weather being kind and the price being right. There is a high risk and now I am sure you can see why farmers are seen as grumpy and never happy with the weather.

Harvest is just one side of farming that is happening at that time. We are also looking to get next years crop in the ground to get established before the frost comes and stops everything from growing. This is normally done at the same time as harvest but this year due to the weather more work has had to be done in the fields to mend the soil damage that has happened with the heavy machinery compacting the wet soil. This has had many knock on effects and we are still not all drilled up and waiting for the break in the weather. It must come this side of Christmas….!?

Restaurant Ramblings.

I have been incredibly lucky in the last few weeks to visit two restaurants, that use Cotswold Gold, that have just blown me away.

L’Enclume, Lake District

The first was l’enclume (http://simonrogan.co.uk/) set in the Lake District.  We have been supplying them for a

few months with the plain rapeseed oil, and so tied in a delivery with a  lunch with a WOW factor. The taster menu had been tailor maid for us. This was to showcase the dishes that CG is used in. It must have been the oil that made it so good…! I had never tasted food like this. L’enclume have just been awarded their second Michelin Star, and well deserved. The flavour that impressed me most and still to this day makes my mouth water was their home made charcoal infused Cotswold Gold Oil. This was drizzled on venison carpaccio with a mustard mayonnaise. It just melted in your mouth.

The Suckling Pig was the best piece of pork I have eaten. Cooked perfectly with an amazing crisp to the crackling. I can taste it now as I write this. What sets L’enclume apart from the rest is a huge number of their ingredients are foraged from the local area or grown in their own garden. We were incredibly lucky to have been invited after lunch to have a look at their gardens in the rain.

The Cotswold House, Chipping Campden.

The other restaurant was The Cotswold House. I have been lucky enough to go to both their Grill side and the fine dinning side. Both I would recommend. Last week four of us went to experience the fine dinning side cooked by David Watts. Dave recently won The Chef to Watch Award in the 2013 Good Food Guide Awards and you will soon see why if you go and sample his food. David has gathered his skills from a Frenchman, who also loves to cook with Cotswold Gold, Raymond Blanc, for whom he worked under for 15 years.

The food was outstanding with great variety and flavours that merge so well together. My personal favourite was the grouse and the Lamb. Grouse was something I had not eaten before. The smokey flavour of the leg really got the taste buds working overtime. The Lamb though was melt in your mouth food. Sadly I did not manage to take any photos of this food as it looked amazing on the plate and enticed you in to eat every last bit of it. I can not praise this food enough you will just have to book in and go and try it for your self. All four of us came away with our passion for food enhanced and taste buds enlivened.

David has been a great supporter of Cotswold Gold since moving to the Cotswold House, with the oil being promoted on the grill menu and also in the Oxford Times this week with; “Since moving to Chipping Campden, Dave has become particularly impressed by Cotswold Gold extra virgin rapeseed oil, which he now uses for most of his dishes. Whilst he accepts there are times when adding a little butter can enhance a dish, he prefers the health-giving properties of rape seed oil.” Helen Peacocke

I would strongly recommend experiencing ether or both of these restaurants as don’t just take my word for it try it your self and you will see….!

With an amazing summer to be British with both the Jubilee and the Olympics we are proud to say that on the farm, the family of Alex Gregory who is now an Olympic Gold Medalist, live. We were hoarse by the end of the race and cheered him all they way through to the finish line. As a congratulations we gave him a bottle of CG and he later tweeted the below picture with the comment, “Two Cotswold Golds .”

So with the wet and wind setting in and the nights getting longer we turn are attention to Christmas. Look out in John Lewis for the Lemon and Smoked infused oils that are being sold under the brand of Paxton and Whitfield with a ceramic dish which is an ideal present. We are also about to be launched in WholeFoods Cheltenham which is opening on the 7th November. This is a new and exciting store for the area following on from the brands great success in Kensington and over in the USA. We look forward to promoting the brand as a stockist.

We start our Christmas shows this weekend in Marlborough and will now be constant till Christmas. Keep an eye out for the free tickets that are available online through facebook and twitter as we would be happy to send them out for free so you can enjoy.

Hope to see you all at a food show soon and if you have not tried our new range of Drizzle oils yet they really are a must.