Olive’s Café went on tour to find the best produce, for you, our lovely and loyal customers!
We care immensely about our produce and products that we use and sell in Olive’s Café. What we all put in our own bodies is incredibly important. Knowing where it came from, the way it was produced, and how it was cooked is a big thing to us here.
We went off on an expedition yesterday to meet with 3 different producers that make extraordinary things.
First, was the incredibly knowledgeable and rather funny Simon Woodhead, from Stopham Vineyard, in Pulborough. Simon studied at Plumpton College and soon after graduating begun this marvellous venture into wine production in 2007.
Yesterday was an incredibly misty and icy day, but Simon did not hesitate in taking us out to the vineyard to show us his frosty vines. There are acres of (very well kept!) Pinot Blanc, Bacchus, and Pinot Gris (the grape that is responsible for their recent awards) vines – even though the view of the downs was masked by the mist, it really was an impressive sight!
Simon then brought us back into the warm (ish) winery, and showed us where the next stage of the magic begins – we discovered all sorts of interesting snippets about wine, and it was an incredibly interesting afternoon – Dan even learned about disgorging a bottle of fizz!
Simon is a wonderful chap who showed us nothing but kindness and an extreme passion for what he does – that is the sort of people we want to work with at Olive’s Café. We are going to be stocking Stopham Wines very soon!
Next on our miniature adventure around West Sussex was Wiston Estate Winery in Washington, West Sussex. A renowned and award winning sparkling wine producer only 20 minutes away from the award winning Stopham Vineyards – (something in the soil??)
Wiston’s marketing director Kirsty Goring kindly met with us at her home, and we were met by such a passionate and interesting woman. Wiston’s is a family run estate established in 1743 set amongst hundreds of acres of farm land, and through Kirsty’s passion and informative conversation we learnt a lot about their wonderful winery. We learnt that they stand for tradition, are incredibly proud about the winery and care deeply for their staff members, their customers and who they work with. We will be launching off stocking their wines with them at our Spring Fair on 11th and 12th March – so come and have a sample – if it is good enough for the Queen, and the launch of the Royal Britannia, then it is good enough for us!
To end our day, we went to see the amazing chap, Andrew Knowles of Trenchmore Farm in Horsham. Andrew and his small team (his son, wife and apprentice) produce fine cider, beef, and ancient wheat.
We were met by the sight of the beautiful red cows in the roundhouse barn, sheltering from the awful cold weather, and a very cheerful face that belonged to Andrew. We went around and met all of their lovely cows, learning they were red Sussex cows bred with the Japanese Wagu.
I was pleased to hear they were just in their shelter being kept from the cold, as cows do not like the damp weather! They spend the rest of their days grazing in hundreds of acres of land, and are fed on the finest natural foods, even having the apple ‘cake’ (crushed apples left over from cider making) when Andrew is pressing in October time.
Their cider is called ‘Silly Moo’ and is named as such because the cows do a funny little dance and skip in anticipation when Andrew brings them the previously mentioned ‘apple cake’ – as they find it so delicious! We love all of Andrew’s produce, his incredible passion and dedication to his work, along with his hard work in creating sustainable farming.
As well as using the beef within Olive’s café for new fancy burgers and Sunday roasts, we will be stocking all of these in our new ‘Farm Shop’ where you can purchase prepared cuts of beef, cider, among other sundries like chutney, cheeses, fresh vegetables and other tasty treats from local producers.
Alongside our new ‘Farm Shop’ at Lime Cross, we will be hosting the differing wines from the producers in our very own English wine ‘centre’ where you can come and purchase the finest of wines from around the South Coast of England. Come and pick up a new bottle opener, fun wine pourer or fancy new wine glasses and learn about the wine you are buying, in a fun and relaxed environment. We will have a wide selection for you to choose from and always have our staff ready to give you a tip on the best tipple suited to your own personal taste – we will keep you posted, so look out for announcements for both our wine centre and farm shop!