Saturday, May 4, 2019

Best Asparagus, Vale of Evesham

Asparagus with mushroom and garlic filled pasta, grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Photo Alison Plummer.©
Just the best asparagus ever from Revills Farm Shop. I enjoyed it with delicious filled pasta and parmesan. Why the best? It was just so tender! It was also a happy surprise as I really only called in to ask for directions to the wonderful, semi-ancient Tiddesley Wood*, but naturally bought a selection of fresh produce from the shop while I was there. The asparagus certainly looked inviting but I was seriously delighted later when I tasted it.

The British asparagus season is from March to June and Vale of Evesham Asparagus has Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status under the EU protected food name scheme covering regional and traditional foods whose authenticity and origin can be guaranteed. The PGI mark is awarded if produce 'has a reputation, characteristics or qualities that are a result of the area it’s associated with'.

Find farm shops, delis, greengrocers selling asparagus around the Vale of Evesham area including:

Revills Farm Shop at Defford near Pershore, sells only PGI status Vale of Evesham Asparagus and is close to Croome Court and on the way to the fabulous Malvern Hills, home of the Morgan Motor Company (you'll see many Morgans on the roads). There's a Farmhouse Cafe for light lunches and afternoon teas with a selection of yummy cakes daily. All-day breakfast at weekends.

Ellenden Farm Shop, Harvington near Evesham. 2019 Midlands Regional Winners for the Countryside Alliance local food and drink award, offering a wide range of fresh vegetables, fruit and other delicious local produce, home-farmed meats. Merguez sausages! The inviting cafe serves breakfast, coffee, freshly-prepared dishes, afternoon tea, cakes. Close to The Valley shopping and garden centre, Golls Garden Centre and not far from Coughton Court. The Ellenden newsletter is a lovely connection to the seasons and produce news in the Vale of Evesham.

Hillers Farm Shop, cafe, gift shop and garden centre with beautiful show gardens to wander through. Near 'Roman' Alcester and not far from Ragley Hall and Coughton Court.

Castle Nurseries Farm Shop on Broadway Road off the A46.

Fruit Salad 48 High Street, Pershore, an attractive town for shopping, bakeries, foodie haunts and cafes plus the wonderful Pershore Abbey, now a parish church.

Wayside Farm Shop on the Broadway Road between Evesham and Broadway, with a teashop.

Broadway Deli in beautiful Broadway village –  the great choice as a base for exploring the Vale of Evesham and the Cotswolds.

The historic Fleece Inn at Bretforton is the home of the National Asparagus Festival, asparagus auctions and many events during the season. (Great range of beers and ciders.)

The Round of Gras pub is named after the traditional rounds (bunches) of asparagus in the Vale of Evesham market gardening region. April-June asparagus menu as well as fish and chips and other pub grub and carvery days – traditional roast with all the trimmings.

Asparagus is on seasonal restaurant menus and find specialist produce in the shops. Abbey Butchers, High Street, Pershore, makes an asparagus pork pie and Vale Porker sausages with black pepper and asparagus.

*Tiddesley Wood near Pershore was once a deer park owned by the Abbots of Pershore, now managed by the Worcestershire Wildlife Trust. In spring the new leaves are bursting into life on the trees and there are carpets of bluebells, cowslips, violets and wood anemones. Shady areas are home to greater butterfly orchids, herb Paris, dog's mercury, violet helleborines.
Tiddesley Wood, above and below. Photos Alison Plummer.©

Big shout out and thanks to fabulous friends Fiona and Neil whose FB post inspired me to go hunting for Tiddesley Wood in the first place. I am so envious of your orchid finds – native orchids in NSW, Australia, are a passion of mine but  I haven't looked at the British ones, until now. Thanks also to John and Mardy for John's birthday celebrations at the Round of Gras, so much enjoyed. 

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