Catering in Manchester’s city kitchens can be very soporific when I know I am about to head of into the countryside to take my personal chef skills on tour.
I love catering for big groups of people. Getting everyone together somewhere beautiful, eating and having a great time really is what life is all about
Last weekend I had the great fortune of being able to cook in one of the most magical places in the UK, A wonderful eco-retreat called Cae Mabon. (Read more about it here)
To get to Cae Mabon, you drive through the most beautiful Welsh countryside, the roads getting windier and more narrow, until at last the road runs out and you are driving down a single, slate covered track.
Finally you have to leave your vehicles and make the last stretch on foot.You head over a small stream, tramp through steep fields of bluebells filled with chickens, ducks and bee hives, wind down the hill, past the retreat’s allotment, through the orchard and finally you come out behind the amazingly impressive Roundhouse and you are finally there, totally out of breath and completely blown away.
it has been described as ‘insanely’ and ‘jaw-droppingly’ beautiful; a ‘fairy tale village’; ‘a verdant retreat from the crazy world’. And when I finally got there it wasn’t a dissapointment.
At the heart its heart is a timber roundhouse, built in the style that many of our ancestors lived in for thousands of years, surrounding it is a beautiful little collection of hand built hobbit style houses. All of the buildings are individual and are built out of straw, cob, timber and thatch that have grown organically over the past 30 years.
In front of you are the most beautiful dwellings that you can’t even believe are real. There is a wood fired hot tub next to a trickling fresh water stream. There are woods to explore, lakes to swim in and a big fire pit great for cooking baked potatoes in.
Cooking for 30 people in these beautiful surroundings was amazing and even though I worked hard cooking for the crew I think the best thing I ate all weekend was Cheesy Garlic Bread cooking by Kenny Love… the simple things in life are maybe the best!!