The Bio-Scheme champions biodynamic and natural farming methods by working in collaboration with likeminded East Sussex farmers to bring the highest quality produce to market. It's mission to educate and directly support producers to promote sustainable farming and consumer choice. Bio-Scheme directly collaborates with Brambletye Fruit Farm, one of the few biodynamic fruit farms in the UK. Established in 2011 by Stein Leenders, the farm grows apples, pears as well as vegetables such as chard and lettuce (as pictured). Eggs available at Bio-Scheme come from Orchard Eggs whose chickens roam Brambletye Farm. The scheme also works with Tablehurst (200 acre livestock farm that also grows vegetables, and produces rye and wheat flour), Micheal Hall (Steiner Waldorf school that supplies vegetables from its school's garden), Tony Newman (honey), and The Sussex Kitchen (bread) from famed Forest Row. You can find Bio-Scheme at Maltby Street Market, Matlby street, SE1 3PA , and Slow Food & Living Market , Rosewood Hotel, 252 High Holborn, WC1V 7EN
The letter "A" and a triple word score at that: Artillery Passage, Angela Flanders and A.Gold and where are we? None other than Spitalfields. This labyrinthine of streets in the heart of the city offers a glimpse into the dark and often salacious life of old London town with street names such as Catherine Wheel Alley, Petticoat Lane, and Frying Pan. On Artillery Passage – in what is believed to have been part of the former military ground of Henry VII’s solders, is the wonderfully delightful store of British perfumer Angela Flanders. Hers is a unique world filled with perfumes, soaps and scents inspired by imagined gardens and single blooms like her Ode to a Rose. Our favourite grocer A.Gold is nearby on Brushfield Street opposite Old Spitalfields Market. Celebrating all things British, this long-time champion of UK produce is the best store for traditional goods from delectable Scotch eggs to Cumbrian fudge.
A-Z reference: 19 E1
Angela Flanders, 4 Artillery Passage, E1 7LJ. Tel. 020 7247 7040
A. Gold, 42 Brushfield Street, E1 6AG. Tel. 020 7247 2487
Other favourites from the A pages of A-Z include: Arnold Circus in Shoreditch – we just love the old bandstand and nearby Leila’s and Archer Street, Soho for Gelupo.
What "A" do you have marked in your A-Z?
LAST Thursday, we had the pleasure of hearing Hugo Jeffreys talk about his charcuterie business - Blackhand Food at Cannon & Cannon Meat School.
Hugo creates Italian style-charcuterie from pancetta to nduja (best described as a spreadable salami made from pork fat and chilli) all from his workshop in London's Hackney Wick. A self-trained salumiere, he started his business in October 2013 after working as a sound engineer, chef and baker. Not only did we get to sample some of Hugo's cured meats - our favourite was the Braun (a cured salami made from the head of the pig [tongue, cheek and ears] with a texture similar to a rough pate), but Hugo also talked through his product line, describing his overall approach to charcuterie.
Hosted by Cannon & Cannon at their Meat School, its Meet the Producer talks are a great opportunity to engage with London's food artisans. Cannon & Cannon remains the great champion of British charcuterie and runs regular tasting events and classes from their home at London Borough Market. You can find more out about their courses here.
It was probably the first thing I brought when I arrived in London and eight years later it has all the tattered hallmarks of a transitional object marking the change from tourist to local. With its pages annotated with highlighter marks, circled destinations and quickly written addresses, it has proved an unfailing aid de memoir to my love affair with London.
The story behind London A-Z could also be viewed as a love affair with all the drama and intrigue of a publication that literally maps a city, capturing its streets and thoroughfares. First published in 1936, as a book it is synonymous with its creator - Phyllis Pearsall. Daughter of a cartographer, Phyllis was prompted to update existing maps of London, when her plans to attend a party in Belgravia went awry because she couldn't find the address. She established the now famous publishing house - Geographers' Map Company and began her 3000 mile ode to London that saw Phyllis walking the city's then 23,000 streets.
Now like any good love story, there is always a twist - hurdles to be surmounted, tragedy, a dark secret. Of the first edition known as The A-Z Atlas and Guide to London and Suburbs, only 250 were sold through W.H.Smith. During the war, all production of maps was stopped for reasons of national security. And for the greatest intrigue, there are some that question the true originals of the directory claiming that Phyllis simply updated existing maps, no doubt seeking out councils to include London's newer suburbs.
For someone who carries the AZ everywhere, I care little for "the truth" of its history remaining appreciative of one of the most useful and iconic objects of London. Simply say my A-Z and people will know immediately what you mean.
Maps are always more than markings on a page, sources for getting from A to Z; without getting lost they are how we psychologically map a city, make it our own, how we map ourselves onto a labyrinthine of streets until we can call it home.
Next week: we start with A. So A is for Acton, Ally Pally, Anspach & Hobday, Archway, Angel, Alley, Arcade and Avenue. What will we find as we create a food version of the AZ London.
WHEN I first meet Adrienne Eiser Treeby, she is pondering the origins of cayenne pepper. Was it a late addition to the 19th century recipe that she is currently studying or an original ingredient? This is not a question that you normally find yourself being asked but then again this trained chef, cheesemonger and salumiere is someone who defies conventions.
Trained in the northern Italian style of curing under master salumiere Kristopher Doll, Adrienne is in her own words the “managing director, pork whisperer and fearless heroine” behind Crown & Queue Meats, a British charcuterie business specialising in cured and preserved meats that opened in October last year.
After years in professional kitchens, Adrienne apprenticed herself to Doll with whom she spent nearly three years being trained in the arts of curing and preserving. A life changing experience that saw her knee-deep in butchery, working with a master whom she described as “extraordinary, generous and talented with a breadth of knowledge and expertise”.