Yearly Archives: 2019

August – September

Its mid-summer and no mistake, our hens are prolifically laying and giving us their unmistakable deep yellow yolks which are perfect to make our pasta and mayonnaise and also just the best for an eggs benny for breakfast.   

But mid-summer also marks the end of the asparagus and Jersey Royals and soon sadly the deliciously white Cornish potatoes will be gone.  But no matter, hopefully, we will have an abundance straight from the farm. 

Here at the Blacksmiths the day starts early with deliveries from local growers and suppliers.  We are now taking local Pagham courgettes along with the wonderful bursting berries from Runcton.  The local tender stems are having problems so we are buying them from Evesham along with fine beans, which are fantastic.  Bosham Savoy cabbage and marrow are a regular feature on our Sunday menu. 

Broad beans, heritage beetroot and flat bummed peaches we are now taking from Salisbury and   Blackmoor Estate cherries (Petersfield) are fantastic along with the Blackdog heritage tomatoes from Mundham.   

Thanks to Mark from Slow & Wild keeping us topped up on our foraged sea vegetables and herbs. 

Fish is getting better and better thanks to Chantelle Williams and her team of day boat fishermen from Emsworth.   

A special mention this blog, goes to Phil our personal charcutier (I wish) at Beales as he has eventually released his incredible nduja which will feature heavily in our summer menu. 

Cheese of the blog:- is the Montgomery’s Ogleshield which can be compared to a Tomme/strangely Port Salut but with a rich nutty birch of flavour, excellent melted on a delicious barbequed burger or in a simple tomato salad. 

We are always adapting our menu with what’s available and in season and keeping it as local as possible.  So, on these hot summer days come and check us out, the outside bar is now open! 

June – July

Chef’s Blog

June – July

If you work in the kitchen or you are a foodie you can tell that summer is well and truly underway.  As the once tender stems and shoots of our spring friends are giving way to the new abundance of fruits and vegetables now arriving at the markets.

On the forage front nettles are still good and sea kale is now at its best. Picked just north of Chichester, wild watercress which, being allowed to grow larger, is a completely different beast to the smaller shoots you’re used to, though the sprouting is almost like nasturtiums.

If you are a mushroom lover St. Georges are an acceptable price and just the right size. Worth trying as they have an extremely short season.  Also, a notable amount of native Morels are around although quite small.

On the vegetable front Globe/Violet artichoke, beetroot, radish, girollets, wild asparagus and turnips are coming through.  We are still waiting on the peaches and there were murmurs of gooseberries and greengages, but that’s just ridiculous!

A quick one on strawberries, pick-your-own is always the best way to go (Runcton Farm) or as it gets warmer you can find the wild strawberries (woodland) in the hedgerows and bushes from Eartham to Duncton.  Smaller than the garden strawberries but packed with a crazy strawberry zap.

For meat, lamb is very good now, as left a bit longer than the Easter Spring lamb, it has the perfect twang and ream of fat.

Fish wise all the usual suspects though crab locally is a bit hit and miss, sardines and mackerel are both excellent as is sole and plaice in both price and taste.  Skate also good at the moment as they’re surfacing on these sparkly summer days.

But my absolute must for June is wild salmon.  I’m not talking about the Atlantic caught or Alaskan (best left for bears to munch), I’m talking River Tweed, Scottish Borders, line caught. You will never find fresh salmon on the menu at The Blacksmiths unless between June and August.  This is the REAL DEAL.  From river to kitchen in less than 24 hours, thinly sliced with lemon and black pepper and that’s it.  If you like the flabby, dull, farmed stuff from the supermarkets then stay away as this will blow your mind!  One of the best parts of the summer is it cold poached with fresh asparagus, kew pie mayonnaise and dressed watercress. 

Cheese of the month is Spenwood from Anne Wigmore, a sheep’s milk vegetarian pecorino-like cheese full of acidity and salty goodness.  It’s brilliantly versatile and will go on almost anything summery. Buy from Neale’s Yard Dairy online.

All of this, in one way or another, you can find here at The Blacksmiths either sitting in the pub with a few pints of local beer or in the ever-increasing garden as the days get warmer and longer.


April – May

Chef’s Blog

April – May

This time of year is exciting as we have so many new things coming into season, although painfully slow at the moment, things are held off by the inclement weather.

We do have the first of our English asparagus coming in though, widely available is the Heated Apsaragus from the New Forest but it can be tough so best wait for the local stuff from Barfoots (Pagham). The winter cabbages have now given way to the more delicate leafed Hispe and Spring Green, all local.

Chichester strawberries are coming through and an abundance of English berries blackberries, strawberries and raspberries are available from Yorkshire.

Nutbourne tomatoes are here as we all know, though delicious, in my opinion the trickle of Chichester/Cowley tomatoes are far superior. Less complex varieties but intense in flavour and aroma and with delicate skins. Local foraged seabeet, charlock, Minors lettuce, wild garlic and watercress are in abundance.

Day caught plaice seems nice and steady, sea trout is at its best and local crab in the last week is becoming available… though expensive.

Looking to Easter brings us spring lamb, but in my opinion for your Easter table, English pork (Jimmy Butler) would be better as spring lamb is very young and best left for a while to intensify its flavour.

All of these things you can find on our menu at The Blacksmiths as our menu changes with the seasons and the micro-seasons.

Mylo (Head Chef)

Feb – Mar

Chef’s Blog

Feb – Mar

February /March aren’t the most prolific of months for seasonal produce especially locally, caught between winter and spring they can begin to merge, and a few constant mild weeks bring spring ever closer.

Still with winter cabbages, cauliflowers as well as roots, there are some little beauties that are bursting through such as purple sprouting from Chidham which, in my opinion, is shoulder to shoulder with asparagus as a delicate with yards of flavour, in a tart, with a poached egg or siding for a robust steak & kidney pudding, also from Chidham sprout tops are at their best.

First of the wild garlic and spring nettles are now being foraged along with sea shore vegetables such Alexander and purslane.

Portobello mushrooms from Storrington have the best flavour, grilled with butter and thyme they are genius on a thick slice of farmhouse toast.

Fish wise local mackerel are still strong and sea trout are plump and early, and also some really good rays are at the market, some sole about but like Plaice still fat with roe (though I personally feel they have the best flavour in that state). Mussels are waning slightly, but crab is on the up so won’t be long.

Venison and mutton are swapping the top spot and guineafowl is a delicious alternative.

My choice of seasonal cheese this month would be Pitchfork Cheddar from the makers of Gorwydd Caerphilly (one of my favourites) .

Cloth bound and still under development its pact with flavour with a little nutty acidity like a 12-month Montgomery .

And of course, Stichelton blue, hugely complex but in all the right ways I think it’s best in the spring time.

Watch out for the first of the Jersey royals as they start to appear this week.

  Mylo (Head Chef – The Blacksmiths)

Burns Night 25th January

Even if you’re doing Veganuary join us here at The Blacksmiths for Burns night and sample our Vegan Haggis!

Along with the vegan haggis we’re also mixing up an appropriate cocktail, the ‘Penicillin

2 spoonfuls honey
2 shots whisky
1 pinch fresh grated ginger 
¾ shot freshly squeezed lemon juice