Thursday, 28 April 2016

This boot was made for eating...

No, we haven’t started a sideline in shoes…but we have commissioned some very special edible footwear in honour of the Tour de Yorkshire passing through Helmsley on Sunday 1st May!

Finding out the Tour’s chosen charity for 2016 was the RNLI, we decided to take the opportunity to do some fundraising through one of our favourite things – chocolate.

So we teamed up with local social enterprise, and artisan chocolate specialists, Ampleforth Plus to come up with some designs for yellow chocolate wellies, the symbol of the RNLI. 

Ampleforth Plus is an amazing organization. They are situated on the edge of the Ampleforth Valley, and they employ chocolatiers alongside co-workers with autism or learning difficulties, who create their own range of chocolates, as well as taking on bespoke orders from companies such as ourselves.

So, as of this week, we are selling yellow welly lollies for £1.65, 50p of which will be donated to the RNLI. But we have also commissioned a very special full size welly to be raffled off for the charity. Made of white chocolate, coloured yellow, the welly is 10 inches high and weighs almost a kilogram.  Raffle tickets to win the welly will be sold for £1 each, with the winner being drawn on Monday 2nd May at 4pm.

So – any chocolate fans out there – it’s a great way to spoil yourself and help a very worthy cause at the same time!  We’re also taking part in the Knitted Welly Trail going on in Helmsley on the day of the race. Families have to count up how many are hidden around the town to be in with the chance of winning some great prizes. 

It’s all about the wellies this bank holiday weekend!

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

We’re a finalist in the Great British Food Awards – and we need you!

We are absolutely delighted to announce that we have been nominated for an award – and, if we’re not being too cheeky, we’ve got a little favour to ask of all our loyal customers and supporters...

We have been nominated in the Great British Food Awards 2016, as the Best Independent Retailer in the North of England – a hotly contested category with four other businesses shortlisted.

Anyone can vote in the awards via this link until 7th July - and we’d hugely appreciate it if you could spare a minute to do just that. The good news is that voters will also be put into a prize draw to win one of 37 prizes worth £5,000 – an added bonus!

The awards, which launched in 2014, celebrate the country's finest home-grown ingredients, as well as those who produce and cook with them, and includes categories covering food writers, TV personalities, cookbooks, products and restaurants, as well as retailers. Celebrity judges include Valentine Warner, John Torode, Rosemary Shrager, Caroline Quentin and Edd Kimber.

A massive thank you in advance to you all – we love what we do and good quality, local food and drink is our passion, so it’s always fantastic to hear that the wider world likes what we do too!

Thursday, 7 April 2016

It’s a Gin Thing

Who doesnt love a nice refreshing gin and tonic on a hot day? (or a cold day....or any day to be honest...)

Well apparently us Brits are more enamoured of the tipple, the origins of which date back to Holland in the early 17th Century, than ever before. As a nation we spent a whopping £1 billion on gin in 2015. Twenty nine million litres of the stuff was consumed. And to cope with the demand 49 new distilleries opened, doubling the number since 2010. We are now the biggest exporter of gin in the world.

Far from being referred to as mothers ruin, gin is now attracting a younger, trendieraudience. And who can blame them!

Here at Hunters we stock favourites Masons and Bombay Sapphire, but for something a bit different we also sell the fabulous SLOEmotion sloe gin. Theyre a family business, based near us in North Yorkshire, which harvests fruits from hedgerows and orchards to create lots of mouth-watering products using traditional recipes.

Theres SLOE Gin, the delicious Damson Gin and we love the gin-based SLOEmotion No 7, which you mix with lemonade and ice for a really refreshing summer drink. Theres even delicious SLOE Gin Truffles for chocolate fans. (The brand also does SLOE Whisky, SLOE Brandy and even SLOE Ruby Port but thats a whole different blog post!)

So if youre looking for a new tipple to try or an interesting new mixer why not come and take a look at what weve got in store?

The Rise of the Ready Meal

According to a recent news report, in the UK we eat a whopping 3 million ready meals a day! That means 1.3 billion ready meals were consumed in the UK in 2015, with shoppers spending £3.2 billion on them – wow!

That is actually an increase of 5.5% on the year before, with every major grocer seeing sales rise in the category. Marks and Spencer did particularly well – one in five ready meals are bought from them.

With 25.5 million British households regularly buying ready meals, the most popular are fairly uninspiring and traditional, it has to be said – Shepherd’s Pie and Lasagne!

So what is fuelling this increase? Less time? Less skills in the kitchen? A wider choice? Who knows. But if you are looking for some quick and easy dinners, we’ve got lots of ideas which we can guarantee will be just as tasty as a home cooked meal.

Check out our freezer section for lots of lovely fish dishes – from fish pie made from smoked haddock, prawns, white fish & salmon in a rich bechamel sauce topped with creamy mash and cheese. To  fish cakes in seven varieties  and the totally scrumptious  fish Wellingtons in 3 varieties including salmon and dill.

We have lots of meal kits, to help make cooking dinner a doddle – why not try one of the tasty authentic curry kits from Rafis of York or a Moroccan spiced stir fry  from Alfez, just add the meat or vegetables.

Of course we have lots of tasty pies and pastries, which are perfect served with some potatoes and vegetables or a nice salad. Or what about a hearty soup with some crusty bread – takes minutes to prepare, but takes some beating!

So ready meals don’t have to be full of salt or tasteless – there’s plenty of delicious and nutritious choices at Hunters!