Best of Lincolnshire

Launched in 2018, The Gentlemen Distillers is a small family based gin production business incorporating dedicated musicians who all share a passion for playing in brass and concert bands, or are strong supporters of community music initiatives.

The Bandsman Gin range, a unique collection which uses a blend of traditional cold-compounding methods and small batch copper-pot still distillation, recently gained recognition from their peers at the London Spirit Competition, where they were awarded silver medals for Bandmaster London Dry Gin and Bandsman Proms Pink Gin, plus a bronze medal for Band Support London Dry Gin.

“Being part of a band is like having a second family: there is no room for one-upmanship or treading on other people’s toes, everyone has their own part to play and it is important that that part goes in just right,” explains founder James Wood. “The same goes for gin making in that everything has to be balanced just right to create the perfect harmony of flavours.

“We look forward to working on special edition charity gins and commemorative limited editions, while always looking ahead to other new concepts.”

For more information visit

Situated in Mercer Row in the centre of Louth, Woolliss & Son Butchers offers a wide selection of quality meats, as well as a select range of home-made award-winning pies which blend traditional and modern tastes using their own fresh, locally sourced meat.

regarded family business also pride themselves on the quality of the ready prepared products and meat sold, as well as exceptional butchery skills. Here you will find a comprehensive range of quality meat products. Woolliss & Son Butchers also caters for those with a sweet tooth, offering a select range of cakes and bakes.

Open 8.30am-4.30pm, Monday to Saturday.

For more information visit

Uncle Henry’s award-winning sausages have had a makeover. Introducing the new brand Lincolnshire Pork Company; available now in your local Lincolnshire Co-op. Same great taste, new packaging.

Established in 1947 and based in rural Lincolnshire, the family business has a farming ethos based on sustainability – both farming sustainably and creating a sustainable food supply chain.

The aim has always been to provide great tasting, home produced local food that people can trust.

Lincolnshire Pork Co is an integrated business; all their pigs are born and raised on their farm, with a focus on animal welfare. The majority of food required for the pigs is also grown on site, meaning they have complete control of their pigs’ diets to ensure only the best quality. Uncle Henry’s onsite butchery enables a true farm to fork experience, so customers can be sure they know exactly where their food has come from.

Caroline Bingham feasted on the new Tasting Menu at Healing Manor which bursts with flavours of summer and delights the eye with fresh, seasonal produce and edible flowers.

The journey from field (or sea) to fork is one which can greatly reduce the freshness and taste of produce. Hence why so much is invested in the transportation and storage of perishables before they reach our plate.

With the pressure to cut emissions and return to more seasonal and local produce, it was very reassuring to read the credentials at the bottom of the Summer Garden Tasting Menu that flowers, herbs and vegetables were grown in the gardens at Healing Manor and other ingredients were sourced from their own selection of the best of Lincolnshire growers, makers, producers, farmers and fish merchants.

Chef Steven Bennett will probably be familiar to many readers from his appearances at the Lincolnshire Show, where he returned once again this year to the Demonstration Kitchen to spread his enthusiasm for local produce and dazzle with his culinary skills.

I have eaten Steven’s food on many occasions but this was my first experience since the pandemic, so I was excited and curious to check if the exciting flavour combinations and imaginative interpretations of old were still shining through. I am happy to confirm they were – and then some – on all eight courses!

comfortable antidote to the stuffiness of a more traditional fine dining setting – definitely in keeping with younger clients who may be looking for the Insta-ready photo opportunity as well as a truly memorable dining experience. The room is light and airy, overlooking part of the beautiful gardens which surround the Manor. My guest and I visited on a Saturday, so we also had the pleasure of watching a bride and groom pose for their photographer while we studied the menu.

I was driving, so I opted for a small glass of Sancerre to accompany my courses while my guest would enjoy the wine flight recommendations for each dish. Our lovely server, Emily, came and introduced herself and while pouring our glasses of water, gave a brief introduction to the taste experience before us. There is a flow to a successful tasting menu and to begin we were served monkfish with lemon, cucumber and lemon geranium. Piping hot, encased in a delicate wild chervil flavoured batter, the dish was served on a glass mini platter. No more than three mouthfuls, it was the perfect teaser, opening dish. The wine flight recommendation was a Bolney Bubbly from the Bolney Estate in Sussex.

Emily introduced our next dish which was titled ‘Goat’s Cheese Cheesecake’. Ah, two of my favourite ingredients on one plate: goat’s cheese and beetroot. The delicately whipped cheese was piped onto a crisp cracker of oated pastry, while the intense richness was offset with the astringency of beetroot and caramelised walnuts, garnished with chive and borage. Just divine! The wine flight recommendation was a Californian Zinfandel Blush which was soft and peachy, I was told. We had another member of the serving crew introducing the wine flight who really had done her homework and introduced each wine or drink with a cheery smile to finish her presentation.

For our third course, we were served a pan roasted scallop, accompanied by a black pudding ‘spring roll’, cauliflower, hazelnut and nasturtium. A New World, Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, Kuki was the recommended wine. Perfectly cooked, the meaty scallop melted in the mouth.

To cleanse our palates before the meat courses began, we enjoyed a salad of four different home grown, heritage tomatoes with mozzarella, oregano and bread crisps, bathed in a delicate dressing. An Edwards 1902 vodka spritz was served alongside.

Our fifth course was Scotch egg served with mustard seeds, garden vegetable piccalilli, sage and viola flowers. The egg yolk was cooked to perfection while the pork casing was full of meaty flavour. Emily explained that feedback so far had been that this was the dish which wowed diners most. While a brilliant combination, my favourite so far had been the cheesecake but then I could see that this menu was going to be a bit like being asked to pick your favourite child – impossible.

Next was a substantial portion of lamb served three ways. A barbecued, butter-soft cube, a piece of roasted loin and a confit roll. Served with fresh peas, pea puree, roasted baby carrot and an intense, delicious jus, this was the crescendo to the savoury first six courses; the flavours of summer on a plate. The wine flight recommendation was a Romanian Pinot Noir, ‘Lautarul’, Cramele Recas.

As you would expect we did take a breather here. The portion sizes are well-judged but this was still a lot of food. We soon rallied though and were ready for the two dessert courses. First was Eton Mess. If Eton Mess is a deconstructed dessert anyway, this was a constructed version which worked probably better than the original. A play on a mille-feuille, the meringue layers sandwiched pistachio crème and berry crème with diced strawberry and fennel leaves served with clotted cream ice cream. We both thoroughly enjoyed this!

Lastly, served with a Pocas 10, Tawny Port was Topic. Yes, as you guessed, a dark chocolate version of the sweetshop classic, with chewy nougat and hazelnuts decorated with mint and pelargonium flowers.

I thought this was an exceptionally clever menu which delivers outstanding tastes, surprises and elegance. And it takes a skilled cohort as well as a skilled chef to deliver it. If you have something to celebrate, are due a treat, or want something genuinely fun to excite your taste buds – indulge yourself. There is an overnight bed and breakfast package which can be booked as part of the Summer Garden Tasting Menu which is guaranteed to make a short break to remember.

Address: Stallingborough Road Healing, Grimsby DN41 7QF, Telephone: 01472 884544, Website:

Prices: 8 course Summer Garden Tasting Menu £80 per person, Accompanying wine flight £45, Overnight bed and breakfast stay per couple from £250.

Stokes Tea & Coffee, which celebrates its 120th anniversary this year, sees a number of exciting new developments this summer.

This respected family firm has weathered many storms since it opened its doors in 1902.
Now in its fourth generation, with managing director and family member Nick Peel at the helm, the company is once again leading the way with a number of exciting developments.

ogether with his team, Nick is combining 120 years of know-how into sourcing, roasting and blending coffee and tea for retail and wholesale customers, with a commitment to developing forward thinking, sustainable solutions.

Relax and revive
Take time out to enjoy five-star hospitality in the popular Stokes café venues where a selection of freshly brewed coffees and teas are served, together with tasty menu choices, including elegant afternoon teas, traditional lunches and hearty breakfasts.

The Lawn Café is located at Stokes’ headquarters (where the roastery is also based) in the Lawn Building, a former 19th-century asylum on Union Road, while the High Bridge Café is situated in a historic Tudor building (the only one of its kind in the UK) on Lincoln’s high street – both favourite haunts for tourists and locals.

Look out for special offers such as free refills of filter coffee at both cafés, with a special invitation to a ‘Bottomless Brunch’ where children can also eat for free at the Lawn Café.

The new Stokes To Go (next door to the High Bridge) offers the same high quality, but as a takeaway service; perfect for busy people on the move, although there is some seating upstairs for those who want to rest their tired feet!

Sustainable solutions
As pioneers in eco-friendly innovations, the company is installing a cutting-edge heating system at Stokes’ HQ which will not only cut carbon emissions by more than a third, but enable the company to reduce energy usage and harness solar power too.

Andy Jackson, project manager at Stokes Tea & Coffee explains: “We like to make things last at Stokes, however, after 43 years of service from our heating boilers, it was time for an overhaul.

“We are striving to make our Grade II listed Lawn building into an eco-showcase location to help share knowledge and experience in waste and emission reduction with anyone who has the challenges of owning or occupying historical buildings like ours.”

The team also remains dedicated to achieving ambitious sustainability targets.

These include the Zero Waste scheme designed to cut down on packaging waste by delivering coffee and tea to Stokes’ wholesale customers in reusable buckets, keeping products fresh in peak condition, investing in recyclable packaging and repurposing/upcycling materials, supporting the free top-up refill water scheme, planting trees, reducing emissions with one of the most eco-friendly coffee roasters, plus using smart lighting in Stokes’ buildings.

Enjoying digital fun
Also new this season is Stokes’ Virtual experiences hosted by one of the Stokes Master Roasters, which offers customers full sensory online events exploring the world of tea or coffee.

Ideal for team building, corporate events, and informal get-togethers, enjoy a session with colleagues, clients, and friends or family, wherever they are located.

Digital developments to the Stokes online shop have also brought new functionality, with click and collect options and the new Stokes Coffee Club subscription service gives members access to the finest seasonal, single origin and speciality coffees that you won’t find anywhere else, and you can even buy gift vouchers – the choices are endless!

For more information visit

Ideal to enjoy on balmy evenings served either on its own over ice, or with a splash of lemonade, Sloeberry Spirits’ range of fruity liqueurs offer a refreshing taste of summer.

Made on a small family farm on the Rutland-Leicestershire border, Sloeberry Spirits uses the finest spirits combined with sugar and carefully selected fruit, much of which is hand picked from local hedgerows around Melton Mowbray with no colourings or preservatives added.

“The fruit is left to infuse naturally over a period of several months,” explains director Andy Hoyle.

“This traditional method allows the fruit flavours to slowly transform the spirits, giving them wonderful new flavours.”

Available in slender tall bottles, the range includes the flagship award-winning Melton Mowbray Sloe Gin, together with Whisky & Wild Damson, Vodka & Blackberry and Gin & Raspberry.

For more information visit

Steph Dexter is the award-winning chef/patron of The Cross Keys at Grasby. Here is her taste tingling recipe for a beetroot based ketchup which is a perfect accompaniment for your barbecue or picnic dishes.

• 4 beetroots, raw
• 100ml balsamic vinegar
• 2 bay leaves
• 10g sea salt
• 1 red onion / 2 banana shallots (either)
• 250g rhubarb
• 50g mango, diced
• 100g muscovado sugar
• 100ml apple cider vinegar
• 50ml apple juice
• Sea salt

In a stock pan submerge the beetroot with cold water, balsamic vinegar, bay leaves and salt.
Bring to the boil and make sure the beetroot is topped up with water until the beetroot is soft.

Run the beetroot under cold water, once cold peel off the skins. (Disposable gloves advised.)

Dice the beetroot and leave to one side, then in a large sauté pan sweat off the shallots or red onions until caramelised, then add the beetroot and caramelise until nice and shiny.

Add the muscovado sugar and rhubarb and sauté for 1 minute. Add mango pieces and sauté again for 1 minute.

juice and reduce until the bubbles become tight and sticky.

In a heat-proof blender place the mix and blend until smooth; if too thick add more apple juice or water. Push the puree through a sieve to ensure there are no lumps. It will be silky smooth.

This holds perfectly in a kilner jar in the fridge for up to a week.

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May ISSUE OUT NOW!Out now and available in 450 good quality outlets throughout Lincolnshire, including Local Co-op village stores. LIKE and SHARE to spread the word!Packed full of features including:• On the ball - Ollie Chessum• Tales from the tower - Megan Clawson• Concert for a cause - St Peter and St Paul, Old Bolingbroke• Life visits: Louth, Woodhall Spa and Boston• Education supplement - The best options for your child• West Lindsey Churches Festival - Special weekend events• Lincolnshire Aviation - Heritage Centre Step back in timeAnd lots more.Download today at ... See MoreSee Less