Saturday, 31 December 2016

Happy New Year from Hunters of Helmsley

Fireworks stream across the sky, champagne bottles pop and friends toast to a fabulous 2017, it must be New Year’s Eve!

As the 31st December is about to hit us, our thoughts have turned to waving goodbye to a somewhat questionable 2016 and welcoming a prosperous 2017. In order to do this in the correct manner we must be equipped with a tempting tipple - that’s where Hunters of Helmsley come in! Whether you’re a wine connoisseur, a beer buff or a soft drink sampler we have exactly what you need.

If you want to flex your muscle and show off your vast knowledge of beers, ales and lagers look no further than our extensive collection of 40 locally brewed bottles. Our selection includes Cropton Breweries Yorkshire Moors, 4.6%, Baron Saturday, 5.2%, Kettle Drum, 4.3% and Yorkshire Sparkle, 4% as well as last, but certainly not least, the Yorkshire Legend bitter, made by the Helmsley Brewery Co.  

We also have a variety of fruity ciders including a special selection made by the Monks at the nearby Ampleforth Abbey as well as ranges created in the Orchards of Husthwaithe, Cropton and the local Ryedale Vineyards.

If you prefer some wine time take a look at our large in-store collection. Vinos on offer include Yorkshire Country fruit wines, Ryedale Vineyards Yorkshire Lass white wine, Yorkshire Sunset’s Rose, Fleurie, Chateau Caronne Ste Gemme Haut- Medoc and a classic Chablis Premier Cru.

Spirit drinkers can choose from a bunch of ‘the stronger stuff’ such as Sloe Gin from award winning local producer SLOEmotion, Masons Dry Gin or Bowmore Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky to really warm your cockles. Those having a non-alcoholic drink needn’t be upset if they find themselves as the designated driver. We offer a range of refreshing treats including Fentimans, Folkingtons, San Pellegrino, Belvoir and La Mortuacienne’s with delicious flavours of cherry cola, pomegranate and rose lemonade.

Finally, does anything spell celebration more clearly than a bottle of fizz? We will be sipping on a ‘Taste of Paradise’ come the 31st, this English sparkling wine is beautifully dry and real party starter. If you want to take a trip to Italy via your glass try the Vetriano Prosecco, it boasts bubbles that are to die for!

So now that the beverages are sorted, all that’s left to do is grab a glass and boogie on down come midnight. Have a very happy new year from all of us here at Hunters of Helmsley.

Don’t trash the turkey

As Christmas lunch approaches the family will wait in anticipation for the main event, a juicy and (hopefully) beautifully cooked turkey. Enjoyed with roast potatoes, vegetables aplenty, stuffing and of course lashings of gravy, the best meal of the year for many of us!

However, a recent report by technology firm Smarter shockingly indicated that families will chuck £1.72billion worth of food and drink this Christmas. As food lovers, we think it’s such a shame to throw away food that’s just waiting to be reimagined and enjoyed once more. With that thought in mind, this week we’re turning our thoughts to leftovers, the days after Christmas and the tasty treats that will fill them.

We’ve seen a trend for festive thriftiness recently with greats such as Nigella Lawson and Jamie Oliver making time in their Christmas specials to share leftover recipe ideas. A favourite of ours came from the naked chef himself who created a Turkey Risotto on his show this week. Full of flavour and easy too, you can check out Jamie’s recipe yourself here, pop in store to pick up the risotto rice you will need as well as other ingredients. Nigella enjoys a Turkey Pilaff with pomegranate and dill. This quirky recipe will love the addition of delicious Yorkshire Rapeseed Oil available here at Hunters of Helmsley.

Forgotten sprouts, carrots and mash can also be reinvigorated by simply frying up into an old favourite of bubble and squeak! If you’re done with traditional tastes and are looking for something slightly unusual, add a splash of fresh orange juice to a turkey curry - delicious! 

As well as paying homage to the more creative recipes we wanted to give special mention to the traditional favourite of all turkey leftovers - the Christmas sandwich! We carry a range of freshly baked breads in store that will be just perfect as the base to your very own masterpiece. Add Hunters of Helmsley Hot and Spicy Chutney to really make that sarnie sizzle!

Alongside leftovers, it can also be nice to bring something new to the table, especially if you have a house full of hungry guests. Cheese is a guaranteed crowd pleaser and our selection really is something! Whether you’re seeking a smooth and creamy Wensleydale or a bold and confident Yorkshire Blue we will have what you’re looking for. If pastry will please the whole family choose from our selection of traditional  Pork Pies, Slow Roast Pork and Ampleforth Abbey Cider pies and sausage rolls – many with an unusual twist to make them extra special. No soggy pastry and tasteless sausage meat here!

After all of that you might be tempted to enjoy something sweet. Try mixing the last few spoonful’s of your Christmas pudding with melted dark chocolate, a splash of amaretto and a sprinkle of cinnamon before wrapping it in filo pastry. Pop it in the oven until crisp and serve with Brymors Dairy Ice-cream, super easy and oh so tasty!

Happy Christmas!

That really takes the biscuit

We were reading the paper with a cuppa recently when we saw a story that shocked and appalled us… According to a report by The Grocer magazine biscuits sales are down!

New figures have shown that British people bought 48 million fewer packets in the last 12 months when compared with sales from previous years. This means, in other words, that the value of overall ‘everyday’ biscuits dropped by nearly £26 million during 2016. Sales of chocolate biscuit bars are also down a massive £11m as many embrace the healthy lifestyle buzz.

However, sales of luxury or more ‘special’ biscuits such as Jaffa Cakes, Oreos and seasonal treats are selling increasingly well. Savoury biscuits also continue to soar in popularity as fresh and fancy flavours make their way onto the marketplace.

With all of this in mind, we began to think about the history of the humble biscuit and where it all began.

Biscuit is a term used for a diverse variety of baked, commonly flour-based food products. The Old French word bescuit is derived from the Latin words bis (twice) and coquere (to cook) and means ‘twice-cooked’. This is because biscuits were originally created in a twofold process: first baked, and then dried out in a slow oven. This term was then adapted into English during the Middle Ages to become the word bisquite which would represent a hard, twice-baked product.

The recipe for biscuits was originally developed because there was a significant need for nutritious, easy-to-store products that sailors could be sustained by during long voyages. These so called ‘sea biscuits’ were allegedly the base for the digestive, rich tea and hobnob biscuits that are currently suffering from a fall in sales.

However, whilst some stores may be struggling with biscuit sales, our customers have been enjoying biscuits aplenty. But then, there isn’t a boring bourbon in sight at Hunters of Helmsley!

Some of our favourites are Butler and Cartwright’s huge selection of exquisite biscuits. These beautiful bakes range from the outrageously opulent dark chocolate to the everyday but delicious oaty crumbles. Many are also available in gift tins which could make the perfect pressie for a loved one, or for yourself! If you’re looking for something classic and reliable look no further than some sweet and satisfying Scottish shortbread, we love Walkers familiar Scottie Dog tins and of course our very own Hunters of Helmsley Handmade Rhubarb & Custard Shortbread Biscuits take some beating.

Nothing goes quite as nicely with the perfect cup of tea as Borders Butterscotch Biscuits, the mixture of a sweet and salty flavour is to die for! Alternatively, Grandma Wild's Tea Cup Tin Chocolate Chip Biscuits  gain rave reviews.

With all of that in mind, perhaps we don’t need to worry too much about the great British biscuit, they’re just too delicious to ever truly disappear!

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Hunters of Helmsley celebrates Small Business Saturday

Small Business Saturday will roll around once again on the 3rd December and as a small business ourselves, we can’t wait!

Celebrated in early December, Small Business Saturday is a perfect counterpart to Black Friday and Cyber Monday which predominantly favour large companies. In contrast, Small Business Saturday encourages shoppers to head to independent businesses to begin their Christmas shopping.

Whilst originally observed in America in 2010, the UK have been joining in and enjoying the goings on since 2012. And it’s proving a great success. In 2015 UK customers spent £623m with small businesses, an increase of £119m or 24% when compared with the date in 2014 and a significant rise when compared with other days throughout the year.

Here at Hunters of Helmsley we endeavor to support both small and local businesses. At least 70% of the products available in store are sourced from within Yorkshire itself and the many are from independent suppliers.

We know that our customers love a tipple, especially around the festive season and we stock lots of wines, beers, mixers and spirits from various small businesses. Just a few of our favourites include Ampleforth Abbey, Ryedale Vineyards, Trebroom Brewery and Fentimans.

If you have a sweet tooth (and who doesn’t?!) the lovely people at Mellow Mallows will have just what you’re looking for. Flavours include coconut, salted caramel, passionfruit and gingerbread, delicious! If chocolate is more your thing take a look at our selection from Ampleforth Plus, this enterprise business was set up by Yorkshire-based charity, Autism Plus. As well as making delicious and beautiful treats in some very unusual flavours, this business also gives back to the community and supports those with disabilities.

As a small business ourselves we are proud to stock our own Hunters of Helmsley range. Choose from our selection of toast toppers which includes jams, marmalades, curds and chutneys. If you are looking for some deliciously luxurious patés, varieties include chicken liver, wild boar, pheasant and ostrich. Or if you would like something sourced from the sea, we recommend both our lobster and crab terrines.

We also maintain a plentiful delicatessen and sandwich shop, the perfect place to pop in on your lunch break. The lovely Yorkshire Baker’s slow roast pork pies, brie and sun blushed tomato tarts and various pastry flavours are sure to trump any items bought from your usual high street baker.

And what better date to pop into the shop than Small Business Saturday itself – 3rd December? There’s all kinds of fun and games going on across the town, including fairground rides, fancy dress, treasure hunts and special offers. For more information go to

Don’t forget to follow the hashtag #SmallBizSatUK on Twitter to keep up to date with news and events. 

Friday, 25 November 2016

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Summer is truly a distant memory and there is a decidedly chilly nip in the air. Christmas is most certainly on its way!

That means one thing - whether we like it or not, it’s time to start preparation. There’s so much to do around the festive season but with some careful planning and little bit of help from us, your celebrations will be more magical than even the most perfect merry movie.

We carry a range of festive treats, each adding that certain something to proceedings but in this post we are going to be focusing on hampers. Whether you want to impress a total foodie with a well-thought out selection of goodies or fill up your own cupboards we are bound to have just what you’re looking for.

Add some sparkle with our Christmas Cheer Hamper, jam-packed with delicacies that will be sure to make any Christmas extra special. With festive favourites such as Port, Blood Orange and Pomegranate Jelly for cheese, luxury chocolates and a rather fine bottle of Shiraz, this would make a perfect gift for a loved one - or for yourself! 

Why not give someone a little taste of heaven this year with the Festive Treat Hamper? Butterscotch biscuits and lemon and sundried tomato olive oil will add some pizzazz to any party. For fans of fromage, the Cheese Lovers Hamper is guaranteed to go down a treat. A selection of cheeses including Brie, Whitby Jet with Seaweed and Charcoal Cheese are accompanied by Pickled Pears, Chutneys and Moscato Grape Nectar to name just some of what’s included.

Available all year round, The Helmsley Hamper is a specially selected collection of delicious treats that showcase our wonderful, award-winning town of Helmsley. Enjoy some local pheasant pate, classic Yorkshire bitter, sweet strawberry and rhubarb jam and Hunters of Helmsley Dry White Wine whilst supporting local fare. Speaking of Christmas tipples, we haven’t failed to notice that the nation is going gaga for gin, and we don’t blame them! Surely there is no better time to indulge in some botanical goodness than over Christmas with our G&T Anyone? Hamper. Enjoy dry gin expertly paired with premium Indian tonic alongside a gin and lemon chocolate for good measure!

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Trendy tipples and fashionable foods

The 2016 Waitrose food report recently uncovered some interesting insights into how and what us Brits like to eat and drink and the latest must-have trends.

In the past year, we’ve reportedly particularly enjoyed churros, seeds, seaweed, cactus water and coconut flour, to name but a few, with the ‘Instagram Generation’ leading trends. Usual suspects including takeaway-inspired foods remained popular but supermarkets reported a huge rise in those enjoying healthy eating. Alongside familiar salads that continued to top charts, spiralized vegetables enjoyed a surge in popularity as the nation went crazy for courgetti, butternut squash noodles and cucumber strips.

As well as annual trends, the report also described how we shop each month. Unsurprisingly, come summer our intake of alcohol sees a sharp rise. In June, the UEFA European Championships and Rugby Union Internationals contributed to beer sales increasing by almost 9%. August saw a 104% increase in Rosé sales following the Frosé trend, a yummy frozen cocktail of rosé, lemon juice and sugar. We also started to stock up on BBQ items as early as May with sales of meat rocketing up by 41% that month.
When January swung back around many decided to take part in ‘Dry January’ and cut back on the booze, allowing soft drink sales to rise by 47%. That was before we went flipping mad for pancakes in February with a 77% increase in baking ingredients.
Instagram also reported that in early 2016 Sushi, Avocado and brunch items such as eggs were the most snapped foods by far. The report indicated that those aged 18 to 34 regularly post pictures of their meals on social media leading to certain foods becoming incredibly popular. Younger generations are leading the way as 18 to 25 year olds are five times more likely to have shared a picture of their food in the past month than over 55s.
Here at Hunters of Helmsley we’re obviously fans of food and drink that tastes good but also looks gorgeous too! We carry a range of items guaranteed to make the most picture-worthy brunches possible including local bacon, free range eggs and freshly baked bread.

Any #TeaLover will enjoy our selection of beautiful brews from Taylors of Harrogate, Cartwright and Butler, Teapigs and Pukka. We also stock an array of healthy and tasty treats including Yorkshire Provender’s pea and mint soup, Staal smoked salmon and Biona Organic coconut flour, an alternative to traditional flour.

Let’s be honest, whether it’s fashionable or not we are still going to enjoy a lovely glass of wine when we fancy one. We carry a Taste of Paradise sparkling rose, Yorkshire Lass white wine and Strickland Estate red wine to name only a few. A photo of those glistening in a glass would no doubt get mouths watering!

So, if you’re hoping to become ‘Insta-famous’ or begin trending on Twitter look no further… for the rest of us some tasty food and a refreshing drink will do just fine.

Thursday, 3 November 2016

No need to fear, beer is here!

There’s nothing quite like reaching for a perfectly chilled beer after a long day. Us Brits go wild for it, with reports claiming that we guzzle down an average of 15,000 pints every minute (hiccup!)

However, our love affair with the barley brew is nothing new, the origins of beer actually date back to somewhere between 3100 and 3500 BC after it was discovered at Godin Tepe in the Central Zagros Mountains of Iran. Many historians report that in the past beer was considered cleaner than water, meaning the public used it as a major source of hydration. Low alcohol versions were even given to children! It’s also said that more intoxicating and calorie laden varieties were drunk by working men who needed a thirst quencher, pick me up and an energy provider in one quick gulp.

Back to 2016, the Guardian newspaper recently reported that for the first time since records began, more beer is now sold in shops than in pubs, clubs and restaurants. The British Beer and Pub Association found that 51% of the 44m hectoliters of beer sold in Britain were sold by the off-trade. This rise is said to have been caused by shops being able to offer alcohol at a lower cost to the buyer and the growing popularity of drinking at home.

Here at Hunters we love a beer and carry a huge variety of 40 locally brewed bottles. So whether you’re seeking an old favourite or something brand-new and interesting, we have what you’re looking for. 

Why not pick up a bottle of The Great Yorkshire Brewery's Yorkshire Moors, a firm favourite here at 4.6%. We also stock Trebroom Brewery’s range of delicious drinks including Baron Saturday, 5.2%, Kettle Drum, 4.3% and Yorkshire Sparkle, 4%. Last but certainly not least is the Yorkshire Legend bitter, made by the Helmsley Brewery Co. - a local gem!

If beer isn’t your bag check out our range of refreshing Ciders including the various Ampleforth Abbey flavours and Yorkshire Cider from The Great Yorkshire Brewing Company. If you’re in the mood for a wine or two, Ryedale Vineyards Yorkshire Lass white wine and Yorkshire Sunset’s rose are bound to hit the spot. 

Saturday, 1 October 2016

Peas don’t forget it’s Vegetarian Day!

Here at Hunters of Helmsley we’re looking forward to World Vegetarian Day, an occasion that takes place each year on the 1st of October. The day was established by the North American Vegetarian Society (the N.A.V.S) in 1977 and has since gone on to be celebrated in schools, restaurants and homes across the globe.

The N.A.V.S state their cause as hoping to ‘promote the joy, compassion and life-enhancing possibilities of vegetarianism’ whilst bringing awareness to the ‘ethical, environmental and humanitarian benefits of a vegetarian lifestyle’.

Hunters love to enjoy vegetarian fare from across the globe and we are proud to stock veggie delicacies to appeal to herbivores and meat-eaters alike!

Starting out with something deliciously hearty during the run up to the winter months, who could resist a cheese and leek puff pastry? Packed full of flavour, these homemade delights are freshly baked in Helmsley and sure to tantalise your taste buds!

Speaking of cheese… why not pick up a fabulous fromage to accompany your tasty vegetarian meal? Some parmesan could add pizzazz to pea risotto, whilst zingy stilton is sure to give your favourite broccoli soup a touch of opulence, and a classic quiche could only be made even more delicious with the addition of a quality cheddar cheese.

Perhaps you’re longing for a warming bowl of soup to savour whilst autumn creeps in? We carry a range of Yorkshire Provender broths, soups and bisques amongst others. A particular favourite here is the pea and spinach with fresh mint, a tasty flavour which is perfect for getting those greens in.

Those seeking something slightly unusual can take a look at Macsween’s Vegetarian Haggis, a real treat come Burns Night, or any other night of the year for that matter! And once you’re full to the brim with savoury sustenance it’s good to know that many chocolates are suitable for vegetarians. We carry a vast range of the sweet stuff including treats from Yorkshire Lauden, Whitakers and Ampleforth Plus.

Thursday, 25 August 2016

The nation goes crazy for coconuts!

You may have noticed the coconut, a treat once saved for tropical shores, seems to be everywhere at the moment, with new products springing up and growing in popularity every day.

As celebrity chefs, including superstar Joe Wicks, sing the praises of the coconut in its various forms it seems the British people are also jumping on board with this particular superfood trend and we don’t blame them!

Recent figures have shown that Britons are currently spending more the £100 million a year on coconut products. Numbers break down to over £60 million being spent on coconut water, £16.4 million on coconut milk and £14 million on coconut oils. However, did you know that the term coconut can refer to the entire coconut palm, the seed, or the fruit, which botanically is a drupe, not a nut.

With so many potential uses for the coconut, artisans across the world are creating new products almost every day, many of which are focused on being health foods. Whilst research continues on the exact health benefits of coconut products one thing is for sure, they taste great! Here at Hunters of Helmsley we love the versatile coconut and have an array of offerings for you to discover and enjoy.

Those being inspired by the new series of The Great British Bake Off can rustle up innovative showstoppers with Biona’s Coconut Palm Sugar and Shepcote’s Raw Thick Cut Chipped Coconut or Desiccated Coconut. If you would like to create a gluten-free bake Biona’s Coconut Flour is an excellent option, the flour can also be used to create tasty pizza bases minus the wheat.

If you’re preparing Asian inspired cuisine nothing beats the great taste of coconut. Blue Dragons range of Creamed Coconut, Coconut Cream and Coconut Milks come in various sizes and are perfect for creating a tasty sauce, or cooling down a recipe with one too many chilies! That mid-week stir-fry can be freshened up with Taylor & Colledge Coconut Extract Paste, a definite fridge staple! Tiana’s Coconut Butter also offers an excellent alternative to traditional fats with some using it to top their morning toast.

An interesting substitute to usual cooking oils is Biona’s Coconut Oil, the perfect accompaniment to your frying pan or roasting tray. Coconut oil is also a beauty must-have with its deep moisturising properties allowing it to be a luxurious moisturiser and hair conditioner. Celebrities including well-being ‘guru’ Gwyneth Paltrow also swear by coconut oil in order to create that perfect Hollywood smile. It’s apparent whitening properties can be unleashed by use a technique called ‘pulling’…

As well as edible entities coconuts also produce the base for an array of interesting and delicious drinks. We carry both Rude Health and Koko coconut milks, both of which are free from dairy meaning they are the perfect solution for those with a lactose intolerance or allergy.

So, as the nation continues to go wild for coconut products why not give them a try yourself? Come see us in the shop and we’d be happy to recommend our favourites!

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Fire up the coals and call over the neighbours – it’s BBQ season!

As news channels fill up with reports of the second heatwave of the summer, forecasters are predicting some areas of the country could see temperatures soar to a whopping 35 degrees! With this in mind it’s an ideal opportunity to take some well-deserved time in the great outdoors and light up the BBQ.

It would appear us Brits love a good barbie - during 2015 it was reported that we indulged in over 130 million of them. That number accounts for the average family hosting 9 barbecues each summer! In fact, barbecues are now the UK’s number one home leisure activity with hordes of hungry households choosing to dine outdoors.

Here at Hunters of Helmsley we love a good BBQ and never miss an opportunity to make the most of the rare British sunshine. We don’t think anything can bring together families, friends and communities like some delicious food and perhaps a couple of ice cold drinks. All of the preparation can be thirsty work after all!

Following the collection of some show stopping meat pop in to check out our variety of BBQ extras, each one bound to sit perfectly alongside your al fresco feast. On offer you will find fresh breads, a range of sublime cheeses guaranteed to impress even the most discerning cheese lover and patés, relishes and pickles just waiting to top the perfect sandwich. For those looking to enjoy something slightly different, we highly recommend classic pork sausages served alongside Hunters own Red Onion Marmalade, trust us, this unusual combination is a winner! 

We all know that after a long day of hard work a well-deserved drink is sometimes on the cards. An ice cold beer and BBQ go hand in hand and needn’t be saved for the weekend. After-work or mid-week barbies now account for more than 48% of all BBQ occasions. Let’s face it, we know that when the sun is shining we should make the most of it while we can!

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Eat like an Olympian

The 5th August marks the beginning of the 2016 Olympics, a historic tournament which dates back to 1896. To celebrate we are serving up a taste of Rio in the form of a classically Brazilian Bauru sandwich. It’s delicious!

As athletes travel to the host city, sports fans from across the globe are preparing for what is hailed as ‘the greatest show on earth’ – the Olympic Opening Ceremony. Revelers will congregate around the five Olympic rings, each of which represents a major region of the world – Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe or Oceana to celebrate both the athlete’s dedication and the rich tapestry of cultures.

Whilst the Olympians no doubt stick to carefully planned diets, we’re sure they all wish they were tucking into a classic Bauru sandwich. The dish, which is hugely  popular in Brazil, comes with an interesting story. Legend has it that a law student called Casemiro Pinto Neto, otherwise known by his nickname ‘Bauru’, entered his favourite restaurant during the 1930s and asked the kitchen to make him his favourite sandwich. His creation was so delicious that the chef added it to the menu and the Bauru sandwich was born!

This tasty lunchtime option consists of crusty bread, locally sourced beef which will be home cooked at Hunters, melted mozzarella, zingy pickles and juicy tomatoes. The South American treat will be available to buy in store for £4.50 throughout the games. BUT with only a few weeks of sporting action to enjoy you better get your running shoes on and come to visit us!

Saturday, 30 July 2016

Celebrate Yorkshire Day with Hunters of Helmsley

As a Yorkshire business, and the happy recipients of a 2015 Yorkshire Life Food and Drink Award, we pride ourselves on celebrating everything that our beautiful region has to offer both on Yorkshire Day and throughout the rest of the year too.

This August 1st we welcome Yorkshire Day and all of the Yorkshire pride the occasion brings with it. The two of us (Chris and Christine) come from Yorkshire farming families and we are very proud of our upbringings and influences, all of which we use to help decide how we run the business and what we stock here.

Did you know that a traditional Yorkshire custom is to eat a Yorkshire Pudding as a separate course before a main meal? Whilst this practice was allegedly created by money conscious mothers hoping to fill their families up, it is now a favourite amongst many Yorkshire folk. Come the festive season you may see some of us tucking into the tasty treat ahead of Christmas dinners in place of a starter.
Another famous Yorkshire symbol is that of that white rose. The origins of the White Rose of Yorkshire go all the way back to Edmund of Langley and the fourteenth century, the first Duke of York and the ruling Plantangenets. It is now the symbol for various local universities including Leeds, York and Sheffield and proudly adorns the certificates of graduates bound for greatness.

Yorkshire has a proud heritage when it comes to food and drink. At least 70% of the products stocked in our store are sourced from within the county. Delicious local produce on offer includes the fabulously creamy Brymor ice cream which is available to purchase in both 500ml tubs and also in cones through our dedicated ice-cream window during summer months.

Our deli counter is packed full of tasty home-grown fayre including Yorkshire ham and beef and various locally made pastries and pies. Cheese lovers will be happy to know that we carry many native varieties including our old friend Wallace’s favourite; Wensleydale.

As well as edible entities we also stock a range of regionally created beverages. For the beer-drinker, we have over 40 locally brewed bottled beers - including 'Riggwelter', Yorkshire Moors, Yorkshire Sparkle and Scarborough Fair. We also carry a delicious cider made by the Monks at the nearby Ampleforth Abbey as well as a fabulous selection of wine from award winning Ryedale Vineyards, the perfect thirst quencher following a long day exploring the nearby moors.

Alongside our alcoholic drinks, a vast variety of teas from the world famous Taylors of Harrogate can be found in-store. As we know, us Yorkshire folk enjoy nothing more than a brew with a piece of freshly made Parkin to accompany! Finally, we stock more locally created preserves than Yorkshire has Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty - and that’s a lot! Our selection includes Yorkshire Marmalade, St Clements Curd and Tutti  Frutti amongst many others.

So this #YorkshireDay why not pop to Hunters of Helmsley and pick up a feast that not only supports ‘Gods Own County’ but also tastes fantastic! What’s not to love?

Friday, 22 July 2016

On Your Marks, Get Set, Bake!

Nation set to be inspired with new series of The Great British Bake Off

Dust off your wooden spoons and pull out the mixing bowl, The Great British Bake Off is back! Launching in early August the seventh series will take its rightful primetime spot on BBC1 and run for ten exciting weeks.

As usual, legendary judges Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood will be on hand to critique the amateur bakers’ creations with Sue and Mel around to steer the ship and calm contestants’ nerves with plenty of fun and jokes. Having launched in 2010 the hit series has gone from strength to strength with 15 million viewers tuning in to watch Nadiya Hussain scoop the victory in the 2015 final. Nadiya has since gone on to make the Queen’s 90th birthday cake, proving the show really does have star power!

Here at Hunters of Helmsley we love to bake – and we also love to eat the goodies we produce! The cosy and traditional feeling that GBBO creates isn’t lost on us as a small local shop. We love the nostalgia and familiarity of a village fete bake off, something which Anna Beattie, the show’s producer says she based the programme on.

As the nation gathers to marvel at the ‘showstoppers’ and ‘classic bakes’ we are on hand to fulfil your shopping list and make sure you have all of the tip top ingredients you need to create your own masterpieces. During the last series of GBBO contestants used 133kg of unsalted butter - whilst you may not need as much as that, we have lovely locally sourced butter available in store. Next on the list, in the 2014 series a massive 1440 large eggs were carefully cracked, beaten and whipped into a frenzy. We carry fresh free-range local eggs  ensuring the very best in taste and quality.

Finally, contestants in 2015 used a whopping 306.5kg of sugar in their bakes. Sources tell us it would take an exhausting 1,779 hours to walk off that much of the sweet stuff. Lucky we have the Helmsley iFootpath walking app on hand for some inspiration! We carry various ranges of sugar, flour, grains, dried fruit and nuts amongst various other ingredients meaning we are the one stop shop for all your baking needs. Those with special dietary requirements should know that we also carry various gluten, dairy and sugar free options in store too.

Once your ‘bake’ is fresh from the oven a range of high quality preserves and marmalades are available to top off your creation. If you’re going for classic Victoria Sponge why not try a strawberry jam for the filling? You can choose from Hunters of Helmsley’s own ranges and renowned suppliers such as Cartwright and Butler. Other flavours available include plum, ginger, blackberry & elderflower and tutti frutti, for a bit of a twist on the classic.

If you’re seeking a summer holiday activity, baking could be just the job for an afternoon of fun. We carry a selection of baking decorations  Let’s just hope there isn’t too much of an argument over who gets to lick the spoon!

Finally, those wishing for some simple rest and relaxation can let us take away all of the stress and get you ready to tune in with a delicious ready-made cake or biscuit. Obviously us Brits can’t enjoy any of these tasty treats without a good old cup of tea. Choose from a wide selection of teas, coffees and infusions from renowned producers such as Taylors of Harrogate, Grumpy Mule, Twining’s and Pukka, all of which are stocked here at Hunters.

Tweet us your creations at @huntershelmsley, no soggy bottoms allowed!

Friday, 15 July 2016

Working Up an Appetite on Foot

Some of the more eagle-eyed of you might have spotted a new section on our website recently – Go Walking
Thanks to a collaboration between the fantastic Helmsley in Business group, of which we’re a proud founding member, and Ryedale District Council, we now have five wonderful walks to share with visitors (and locals – it’s amazing how many people who have lived here for years have never tried these!)

Helmsley is a fantastic place to base yourself for a walk, whether it’s for the day or the weekend. All five of the walks start and finish in the town, and we have a large long stay car park, so you don’t need to worry about where to leave the car. We’re the only market town in the North York Moors National Park, and as such we’re very lucky to enjoy some stunning local scenery. Meander along the River Rye, explore historic Rievaulx Abbey and set a pace around some unbeatable woodlands in Beck Dale. There’s even a short 1 mile Discovery Trail around the town itself, taking in many of our best attractions (yes – of course that includes passing our wonderful shop!)

The walks vary in difficulty and length (up to 8 miles), and clearly state any access issues so you can judge for yourself which might suit you best. We’re always happy to give hints and tips in the shop so feel free to pop in and ask us about them.

With the walks starting in Helmsley, why not pop in to Hunters and pick up a picnic, or some drinks and snacks to keep you energised on your walk? You’ll be grateful of a deep filled beef and horseradish sandwich or a handmade sausage roll when you’re half way round!  Or if, after your walk, you’re looking to rest your weary legs and watch the world go by, come see us for a locally made Brymor ice cream, and then you can sit on the Market Place monument and people watch to your heart’s content!

So why not download the walks from our very own website, and make a date to explore our spectacular surroundings? Happy walking!

Saturday, 2 July 2016

Game, Set and Match to Hunters of Helmsley - Strawberries & Cream Hits our Menu

The 27th June 2016 marked the beginning of Wimbledon, the oldest tennis tournament in the world and a very special time for Britain. To celebrate, strawberries and cream will be available to purchase through our ice-cream window from the 27th June to the 10th July 2016 for just £1.50, what’s not to love?
Whilst we’re looking forward to watching the likes of Novac Djokovic, Serena Williams and Andy Murray take to the centre court, we’re also going to enjoy some customary treats. As well as strawberries and cream, we also carry many other summer favourites including bold Yorkshire Blue cheeses, classic pork pies and fresh sandwiches, perfect to enjoy alongside the tennis.

It appears Wimbledon-goers are foodies like us. Whilst enjoying over 330,000 cups of tea and coffee they also eat more than 140,000 portions of English strawberries, taken from 8,615 punnets and topped with 10,000 litres of dairy cream.

Back to sport… an incredible 54,250 tennis balls are used during The Championships period, with each ball being stored at an exact 68 Deg F before being distributed to players by 250 ball boys and girls. In 2015 viewing figures peaked at an enormous 29.2 million people with 14,979 lucky people watching the action live from their centre court seats.

With all of that in mind there’s no denying that Wimbledon is a very special and unique event which brings with it a real sense of community. Join in with the celebrations and pop to Hunters to sample some of our delicious strawberries and cream or Brymor’s delicious locally made strawberry ice cream, the choice is yours!

Tis the Season to Get Married

We British love our Spring and Summer weddings – despite the fact our weather is often as unreliable in July as it is in February!

Did you know that apparently 300,000 people get married in the UK every year – and well over 50 per cent of the UK’s weddings take place between June and September, with the peak being August and early September.

That’s a lot of weddings taking place over the next four months!

Helmsley is a beautiful place to get married and we often get people from all over the country coming to make the most of our spectacular venues like the Black Swan Hotel and Feversham Arms. You can get some amazing photos taken at the Walled Gardens and in the Castle grounds, even if the British weather is at its most dramatic!

Brides and Grooms to be can find all kinds in Helmsley to help with wedding planning – from handmade jewellery and mother of the bride outfits to tailoring, spectacular cakes and floristry. Here at Hunters, we can help with unusual ideas for edible wedding favours – the stunning Lauden chocolates, which are a work of art in their own right, would look fantastic on a table setting! Or how about a miniature Sloe Gin from our very own local producer SLOEmotion?

But that’s not the only thing we can help with. Fancy something a bit different for your wedding cake? Always had a more savoury than a sweet tooth? How about a cheese wedding cake? We can provide tiers of different cheeses which can be beautifully dressed with fruit and flowers and served with biscuits and locally made chutneys. Delicious, stunning – and we can guarantee it will go down a treat as a late night snack! 

Or if you’re a guest at a wedding this summer and you’re struggling to think about what to get the happy couple, how about a luxury food hamper? We can make one up specially full of all their favourites, or you can pick from our ready to go range. Both can be delivered across the country.

If they love it nice and spicy, there’s our chilli lovers’ hamper. If they’re a fan of cheese, there’s our cheese lovers’ hamper – imagine coming back from honeymoon to an empty fridge, only to have that delivered to say welcome home!

If they’re getting married in Helmsley, what better way to remind them of their happy day than a Helmsley hamper, full of locally made produce? Or how about our popular Globetrotter hamper, full of goodies from around the world – they can feel like they’re on an exotic honeymoon without leaving the comfort of their own home!

For our full range of hampers go to:

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Father’s Day Inspiration

This Sunday is Father’s Day and what better way to say thanks to your dad than with some tasty treats? Whether he’s got a sweet or savoury tooth, show us the rare man who doesn’t love to receive food or drink gifts and we’ll soon convert him!

We deliver hampers across the UK and can make one up to order, or you can pick from our pre-prepared range here. With Cheese Lovers and Chilli Lovers catered for, there’s also the Yorkshire Lad which would go down a treat. Local cider, chorizo, cheese, chutney, chilli jam, toffee – if you’re lucky he might even share!

Perhaps your dad loves his coffee and would enjoy an extra special blend, or we have some fantastic Yorkshire mugs and teapots for any tea-oholics.

Whether his favourite tipple is real ale, cider, sloe gin or wine, we have a large range of locally produced beverages which would no doubt be well received.

If he’s a fan of chocolate, why not pick some of his favourites to create his own special box, including the ever popular Lauden range?

With pickles and pies and preserves aplenty, there really is something for everyone. Our international range offers some great ideas for an adventurous dad, and we also have gluten free, sugar free, dairy free and other products specifically for those with special dietary requirements.

Finally, don’t forget there’s our #cheesydads social media competition for Father’s Day! If your dad is the King of Cheese (perhaps he loves a spot of dad dancing, has a hilariously awkward photo pose, or is always happy to embarrass you on every possible occasion), then just drop us a line, or send us a video or photo which demonstrates his #cheesydads credentials and you could win him (or you) one of our delicious Cheese Lovers Hampers! The deadline is midnight on Saturday 18th June.

Follow us on Facebook or Twitter for more information...

Monday, 13 June 2016

Pack up and Celebrate National Picnic Week

A celebration of the perfect British pack-up!

The 11th of June marks the beginning of Picnic Week and given the last couple of weeks, who knows what the weather has in store for us! But there’s no denying us Brits love a good picnic – indoors or out as the climate allows.

Did you know, the English word ‘picnic’ dates back to 1794, exactly 100 years after ‘pique-nique’ was first seen in French? Certainly, in the Victorian era, picnics were very grand affairs with tables and chairs, linen, crystal, servants, and only the finest food and drink.

You may not be planning on bringing out your fine china, but fine food and drink we can certainly help with! Wherever you’re planning on picnicking, we’re on hand to ensure your basket boasts an array of the best treats.

At Hunters we carry all of the components of the classic British picnic. If you’re a foodie looking for some new flavours, you’ll be spoilt for choice.

What picnic would be complete without a bit of cheese? Our selection ranges from smooth and creamy Wensleydales to bold Yorkshire Blues. Or why not choose the unusual charcoal cheese – from personal experience, we can say it’s quite addictive.

If pastry will please the whole family, why not try our lovely pies? Our range includes both classic sweet treats and savouries including the timeless Pork Pie. We also offer diverse and interesting delicacies with our exclusive Slow Roast Pork and Ampleforth Abbey Cider pie being a particular favourite! The recipe comprises of pork shoulder marinated in fennel, thyme, sage and garlic and a sauce of sautéed onions, cream, gherkins, capers, mustard and the all-important cider – delicious! We also have a new range of mouth-watering gluten free pastries which can be cooked at home and are perfect for a picnic.

Nothing sums up picnic food better than the ever-popular sandwich. Here at Hunters we take our rolls, baps, butties (whatever you like to call them) very seriously! We may even consider ourselves to be experts in the field after making upwards of 50,000 every single year. Should you choose to make your own delights, we also stock various breads, all baked fresh at a local bakery each day and an abundance of delicious fillings sourced from nearby suppliers.

So, it’s time to pull the blanket from the back of the cupboard, find an al-fresco spot and pop in-store to choose from our array of goodies. Let’s just hope the sun comes out!

Monday, 6 June 2016

New Gluten Free Range Now Available in Store

We’re delighted to now be working with a brand new supplier of gluten free products – which we have to say are absolutely AMAZING!

Sutton on the Forest based Vida Villi will now be supplying us with a fully certified range of gluten free frozen savouries and fresh cakes.

9th May saw the start of Coeliac Awareness Week, and it seemed like a great time to introduce a brand new range of gluten free goodies in store.

Coeliac disease is a lifelong autoimmune disease caused by a reaction to gluten. One in 100 people have the condition, and many more believe themselves to have some level of intolerance to gluten. It is believed that up to 45 per cent of people in the UK could have some element of food sensitivities.

Vida Villi makes its food with fresh and locally sourced produce, where available. The savouries available in store include Roasted Mediterranean Vegetable Quiche; Brie, Cranberry & Caramelised Onion Quiche; Harrogate Blue & Red Onion Quiche; Cheddar Cheese & Spring Onion Pie; and Curried Potato & Spinach Pie.  For those with a sweet tooth, we will also stock the company’s Millionaire’s Shortbread, Chocolate Brownie, Bakewell Tart and Yorkshire Parkin. *mouth waters*

All of the items will retail between £1.95 and £2.50.

Why not come and try them for yourself – we’re holding a special tasting event on Friday 13th May from 1pm. Whether you usually buy gluten free or not, you definitely won’t be disappointed!

Try a Yorkshire Tipple for English Wine Week

In celebration of English Wine Week (28th May – 5th June) we’ve organised for our favourite local vineyard to come along to the store to host tastings of some of its most popular wines.

Some people still seem to have hesitations about English wine, but we’re confident these tastings will win over anyone who has never tried one before!

Ryedale Vineyards is England’s most northerly commercial vineyard, and, following the planting of the vines a decade ago, has been producing award-winning wine since 2009.

The family run business has 10 acres of vineyards based near Westow, North Yorkshire and it supplies a variety of our top selling white, red, rose and sparkling wines.

We’ll have two amazing summer wines available for tasting on Bank Holiday Monday (30th) from 12 until 3pm.  We’ll also be offering some tasty nibbles alongside them, to show you the kinds of foods they pair well with.

  • The Yorkshire Lass wine is an aromatic, off dry white, with peach flavours and a hint of grapefruit. The wine works well with mild flavours, and will be paired with artisan pate.
  • Yorkshire Sunset is a silver medal winning dry rose, with soft strawberry flavours and a hint of spice. It’s a good match with salmon and mild cheeses – particularly Yorkshire Blue.
Did you know, there are around 470 vineyards now operating in England, producing over 3.15 million bottles a year! We are extremely lucky to have one of the best on our doorstep – so come along and give it a try.

As the famous saying goes – life is too short to drink bad wine!