Supper Club at Calico Barn

I first came across Hemscott Hill Farm a couple of months ago when I was helping my sister look for quirky wedding venues in the North East.  The rustic barn is in such a fantastic location, right on the Northumberland coast and just a minute walk from the stunning Druridge Bay.  The more I looked into it the more I realised that this truly is a unique venue.

Not only do they host weddings but they also have camping and glamping facilities (their Shepherd hut looks adorable; it’s definitely on my list for next summer) as well as a bunk barn and a beautiful holiday cottage.  Over the summer months you can stay in one of their bell tents.  I love the idea of camping right on the coast, soaking in the views and enjoying beautiful sunsets over the fields behind the farm.  You can also hire the tents out for hen parties, which sounds really cool to me!

During your stay you can enjoy their afternoon tea, picnics and ice cream, or if you want to venture to the surrounding areas there are a number of cafes and pubs within a short driving distance.

Another little quirk is that the farm is home to 6 Alpacas.  You can actually book a walk with the them and take them out around the fields on the farm.  Something else I’d love to go back and do.  I can’t resist their adorable little faces and floppy hair!

Our first trip to the farm, however, was for their very first supper club in Calico barn.  I had seen a promotional post on Facebook for this and couldn’t resist booking tickets.  It sounded so cosy, which is perfect for this time of year when we are just starting to feel the chill in the air.

We were e-mailed a copy of the menu a few days before the event and asked if we would prefer a vegetarian option.  We both went for the meat option, which was roast pork, one of our favourites!

Sian and James joined us to make it a bit of a double date.  We have never been to a supper club before so we weren’t really sure what to expect but I was so impressed from the moment we got there.  As you pull up you see the beautiful farm house and the barns just across from the grassy dunes leading down to the beach on the other side of the road.  We were lucky enough to have nice weather, and got there just as the sun was starting to go down.

We were greeted by Alison, who together with her husband Phil runs the entire venue and had set up the supper club.  They have cleverly converted an old horsebox into a bar which is where Phil prepared our welcome cocktails.  Alison had created two beautiful cocktails recipes, one with elderflower and one with ginger.  I was spoilt for choice and had to try both! As it was a nice night we got to mingle with the other guests around the cosy fire pit until the barn was ready and the food prepared.

We were shown to the main communal room of the barn and seated around a big table with the other guests.  Alison and Phil joined us for food which was great as it gave us a chance to find out more about them and the venue and the plans they had for future events.  I was particularly interested in the star gazing supper clubs they have planned in the coming months.

Our food was cooked by Jill from Much-a-Do.  She sources local ingredients and offers dinner party dining at home.  You can basically hire her to be your personal dinner party chef! Her food is hearty, traditional and delicious.

For starter she prepared a beetroot and goats cheese salad on a bed of lentils and beautiful homemade bread.  I loved the casual feel of sitting round the table with all of the other guests, with big baskets of bread for everyone to share.  We were also treated to red or white wine or could order other drinks from the horse box if we wanted to (Phil was good enough to take drinks orders throughout the night).

Our main course was chestnut-stuffed fillet of pork with prunes and bacon. WOW! This was delicious.  It was served with gin soaked cabbage (genius), roasted caramelised shallots and celeriac and potato gratin.  I have to say, Jill really nailed it with this dish.  Everyone seemed to really enjoy it and the combination of flavours was fantastic.  I could eat it again right now!

I think my favourite course, however, was the dessert.  We were given an option of a cheese board or pudding.  both were laid out on the table and we were able to help ourselves to whatever we wanted.  Again, I loved this as it reminded me of lovely family Sunday dinners when I was a child.  I had the damson and almond pudding with cream and it was just my perfect dessert.  If I could have picked anything for pudding, it would have been something along the lines of this.  Jill is just a fantastic cook!

After dinner we carried on drinking and chatting.  It was so lovely getting to know all of the other guests, everyone was so friendly.  We were then treated to a shot of homemade Cassis that Jill had gifted to Alison.  It was a lovely end to the evening.

 

I would definitely go back for another supper club, and would love to stay over next time.  When we left it was like saying goodbye to friends.  Alison and Phil had been so lovely and welcoming, we had all had such an enjoyable and relaxed night.  They have done so much to this venue in the time they have had it and their passion for what they do really shows.  It is definitely well worth a visit. I just want to say thank you to to Alison and Phil for hosting us and congratulations on a very successful night!

https://www.tractorsandtents.com/

Pumpkin Spice Pancakes

Autumn has definitely arrived and there is a chill in the air.  This is the perfect comforting breakfast on a chilly weekend morning and takes hardly any time to prepare!

Serves 4

250g Canned Pumpkin Puree

2 Eggs

3 tbsp Golden Caster Sugar

200g Plain Flour

25g Melted Butter

130ml Milk

2 tsp Baking Powder

1 tsp Cinnamon

Add all the ingredients to a mixing bowl and whisk until a smooth batter forms.  Heat a little oil in a frying pan over a medium heat and add a ladle of batter at a time.  I can usually fit about 2-3 pancakes in the pan at once.  They will be quite thick but this is how they should be.  Heat for a couple of minutes before flipping them and repeating on the other side.  I usually put the cooked pancakes in a heat proof dish in a warm oven to keep them hot while the next batch cook.

When the pancakes are done, stack them up on a plate and serve with crispy bacon, maple syrup and a sprinkle of pecan nuts.  Delicious!!