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 pat├ęs, 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.