Thyme-table ethos for delicious and healthy eating

Thyme-table ethos for delicious and healthy eating

By Antonia Filmer | 11 June, 2016
Charlie Hibbert and Jeremy Lee.

The rolling hills and grasslands of the Cotswolds appeal throughout the summer to all visitors holidaying in England. Tucked away in the picturesque village of Southrop in Gloucestershire is Thyme, a boutique hotel with a difference. Thyme’s ethos for delicious healthy eating is renowned locally, this family run business grow all their own vegetables on the farm and have a cookery school and a pub to complement the creative director’s, Caryn Hibbert, passion for sharing the produce of the countryside and its seasons. Originally the C16th Manor House had a monastic purpose and was supported by a cluster ofCotswold stone farm buildings, all this has been lovingly reinvented by the Hibbert and Bertioli families over the past twelve years. The ancient exteriors have been restored and the interiors transformed into contemporaryreception spaces, luxury accommodation, restaurants, bars and spas.

Hibbert’s enjoyment of hospitality, family and friends combined with her love of good food were enough to persuade one of London’s top chefs from his lair for an evening to launch a series of Thyme Table dinners in the Tithe Barn.

Jeremy Lee the Scot, who has put his restaurant Quo Vadis in Soho, permanently on the gourmet map, was in the Thyme kitchen with his team. Lee has a great sense of humour and laughter in the kitchen makes the work sound fun, between sips of Campari and soda with a slice of orange the Quo Vadis uniform tipple, Lee was beating mayonnaise and Charlie Hibbert, Lee’s sous chef for the evening, was rolling Kleenex thin filo pastry for the canapés during the Mint Julep cocktails.

Hibbert’s enjoyment of hospitality, family and friends combined with her love of good food were enough to persuade one of London’s top chefs from his lair for an evening to launch a series of Thyme Table dinners in the Tithe Barn.

The supercars in the gravelled car park gave a clue to the fifty strong paying guest list, young entrepreneurs, corporate CEO’s, jet-setters and creative people all socialised like mad looking for a common denominator. Over a mostly vegetarian four course menuthat included a superb artichoke, tropea onion and Berkswell cheese tart with a salad of foraged herbs and vegetables, the guests sampled 10 wines from a local vintner, mostly French wines but also Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand and Pinot Noir from South Africa. Wine tasting menus are prepared collaboratively with the host and the chef; these types of event with wine connoisseurs imparting a little education between courses are becoming familiar in the landscape of summer entertaining.

Hibbert’sthree children have grown up planting, picking, chopping, stirring and tasting everything homemade, Hibbert still bakes her own bread every morning, certainly this maternal example has inspired her eldest son.Charlie Hibbert, 26 years, took himself to Ballymaloe cooking school in Ireland, followed by a stint in the kitchens of Craggy Range, New Zealand’s finest restaurant and winery. He returned to London to study under Jeremy Leeand as pastry chef at Quo Vadis, later moving on as sous-chef at The Three Crowns Pubin trendy Shoreditch.Now Charlie is working as chef-at-large for Quo Vadis and Thyme, his future looks delicious.

 

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