….from Worcester to the Yorkshire Wolds via Sussex!
So, what is “Winter is Served with Land Rover, Julia Bradbury & Simon Rogan” you may ask? Simply put, it’s all of these things and much, much more……
Crisp mornings; frosty days; foraged food; inspirational food; smoked food; luxury cars; winter walks; stunning views; cold weather experiences; leather seats; off-road driving; country lanes; sea; sky; heather; sheepskin; camp fires; moors, muddy tracks; smoky root vegetables; wood smoke; berries; laughter; fun; long drives; trusted British brand; tyres; music; food; drink; wooden restaurants; travel; The South Downs; The Yorkshire Wolds; Shorthorn beef; turbot; herbs; flowers; cheese; conversation; cold wind; spectacular sunsets; Sarsaparilla; old-fashioned soda; sliders; horseradish; motorways; tracks; mud; grass; picnics; winter sunshine; new friends; old friends; the Great Outdoors; celebrations; Michelin Stars; fine dining; wooden benches; mysterious landscapes; log fires, smoke; camping; soup; broth; gravy; pubs; pub grub; Sunday roasts; friendship; chat; Hills; Vales; Downs; Coast and Comfort…..
……my #Hibernot weekend with Land Rover UK was all of those things above, and more; this past weekend I was fortunate to be loaned a Range Rover Vogue to play with, but before my weekend away, I was already a fan of this brilliant British brand – I was a “landy” owner for many years, and was the proud custodian of a 1972 LWB Safari spec Land Rover Defender when I lived in Cyprus. My “on-loan” Range Rover was all part of the #Hibernot concept that Land Rover are keen to promote, the idea is that just because it’s winter, it shouldn’t stop you enjoying the great outdoors, as there is still SO much to see and do…..from off-road driving adventures, picnics by the camp fire, to winter walks and camping, why not embrace winter, and DON’T hibernate as in HIBERNOT!
As well as being loaned a top-of-the-range Land Rover Range River Vogue for the weekend, I was invited to attend a special #Hibernot event in Sussex, with a friend, on the beautiful South Downs, for Land Rover’s celebration of all-things wintertime – to encourage exploration over hibernation, whatever the weather throws at you. As part of this Range Rover-focused campaign for 2017, the invitation was to attend to a gourmet rural drive-through, where Michelin-starred chef Simon Rogan from L’Enclume would be introducing us all to a unique menu for the event, along with one of Land Rover’s ambassadors, Julia Bradbury.
After an early morning drive from Worcester, where I was staying overnight, and where the Range Rover was delivered, Sarah, my friend, and I arrived at Bo-Peep Farmhouse on the South Downs Way, for the start of our hill climb to the #Hibernot gourmet event; at the top of the hill, the countryside opened out onto a magnificent panoramic view over the South Downs and beyond. Several Range Rovers were already there and as we made our way to park, we were invited to “drive through” and collect some boxes of “Winter is Served” appetisers……the Land Rover #Hibernot centre was a wooden building with decking, outdoor seating with fire pits; the dining area was in the building, where we all sat at long wooden benches with bench seats that were draped in sheepskins, for optimum comfort and warmth!
Inside the picnic “Winter is Served” box was an assortment of innovative snacks and a drink; a mini Berkswell Cheese Slider with Mushroom Ketchup; Fermented Sarsaparilla Soda, Chicken Puff with Stout Mayonnaise and Millet Pudding and Crispy Potatoes with Onion Ashes. Served alongside these tasty little snacks was a glass of the most amazing smoky mushroom broth. This was Simon Rogan with his innovative and inspirational food at its very best, and each mouthful was a tasty, flavour explosion. I loved the Smoked Blackberry and Beetroot Juice that was served afterwards too, it was an intriguing and complex flavour, with a silky texture.
Our starters followed, with Simon Rogan serving me with some gorgeous Beetroot Broth that was poured over three delicate Westcombe Cheese Dumplings, with Sloe Berries and Black Mustard. The dumplings were light, rich and smooth, almost like quenelles, and the broth was absolutely divine, the perfect accompaniment for the rich, cheesy dumplings. It was elegant and yet rustic too, truly epitomising winter in a bowl.
The mains were a choice of “Land”, “Sea” and “Earth”; Land was Shorthorn Beef served with Creamed Potatoes, Charred Leeks and Horseradish with an Almond and Garlic Crumb. Sea was Turbot marinated in Rice Bran, with Brussels Sprouts, Truffle and Kale, and the vegetarian Earth option was Celeriac baked in Salt and Hay, with King Oyster and Cider…..I opted for Land, and the beef was a soft as butter, with a smoky flavour and the almond and garlic crumb was a wonderful texture against the creamy mashes potatoes and leeks. Sarah opted for the Turbot, which she said was “utterly divine”, with the saltiness of the fish marrying well with the crispy kale, sprout leaves and earthy truffles.
Finally, Simon delivered an amazing “End” dish of Sweet Carrots, with Sea Buckthorn, Parsley and Liquorice; this comprised parsley ice cream, liquorice shards and sweet carrot pudding cake with sea buckthorn jelly and a salty-sweet crumb……
The whole meal was elegant but with wonderful overtures of the season; Simon says that“Winter is mysterious and alluring, beautiful and fruitful”, and this was all perfectly showcased in each one of his deliciously innovative dishes. Simon certainly showed us how best to take on the fruits of land, earth and sea, cooking up some truly remarkable winter fare, which was enjoyed by all, if the empty plates were anything to go by.
Simon Rogan’s fascination with foraging was forged in his teens; under the tutelage of a former Savoy chef while serving an apprenticeship in a sprawling Hampshire hotel, he spent his downtime rummaging through the grounds for exciting and unusual ingredients.
This appreciation stayed with him throughout his formative years, running kitchens across the UK and Europe and formed the ethos of L’Enclume, which after he opened in 2002 went on to be awarded no less than two Michelin stars.
Simon’s “Winter is Served” concept works so well with Land Rover, and after enjoying our Michelin Star meal, we were ready to put the Range Rover through its paces; Julia Bradbury ended lunch by sharing some of her favourite walks as printed on a linen napkin that we were all given as a small gift; she explained that our beautiful British countryside is still “open for business” even during the winter months, and that there were several local walks printed in the napkin that we could visit in our Range Rovers after lunch…….
……there were suggestions printed on the napkin for Beachy Head, Glyndebourne,Birling Gap and Seven Sisters Cliffs or even the Long Man of Wilmington. Unfortunately, as the light fading, we had to make tracks and set off up to North Yorkshire, but, we would be taking the Range Rover out the next day, over the Yorkshire Wolds.
The Range Rover Vogue starts at £76,350, and this iconic of British vehicles is packed with some fabulous luxurious features, as well as its celebrated four-wheel drive off-road capability; we found it very comfortable, and enjoyed the heated seats and blue tooth technology, as well being very responsive. Dynamic Response improves vehicle handling and occupant comfort by reducing the amount of body lean during cornering. This feature also aids off-road capability. If the system detects off-road conditions, the control module reduces the level of roll compensation and actively manages the body roll rate, allowing improved passenger comfort and body composure at low speeds.
Other GREAT features that we loved were: POWERED GESTURE TAILGATE – Gesture Tailgate enables the driver to operate the tailgate (both to open and close the upper and lower tailgate) from the kerbside without needing to physically touch either the vehicle or the key fob. INCREASED VISIBILITY – Giving a 360° exterior view via the Touchscreen, the surround camera system helps with various manoeuvres from parking by a kerb to getting in and out of tight spaces and junctions, and INCONTROL TOUCH PRO – which maintains your digital connections and links you seamlessly and securely to your vehicle when you’re elsewhere. Added to which, it also brings a world of entertainment to you via the 10” Touchscreen.
The weekend ended with a very comfortable stay at The Star Inn, where we enjoyed a fabulous Sunday Lunch the next day, after some exciting off-road driving on the Yorkshire Wolds (full review to follow later); this family run establishment is situated in the picturesque Yorkshire Wolds village of Weaverthorpe, and offers bed and breakfast in cosy, newly renovated rooms, as well as being the “local” pub and offering a wide range of freshly cooked meals in their country Inn restaurant. The Pub is a traditional country-style, cosy inn, with log burners and many local beers on tap. There’s a very good selection of wines, lager and spirits to suite all tastes on offer.
We took full advantage of our #Hibernot weekend, and with such a fantastic vehicle, that was wonderful in some very unforgiving weather conditions, and on all terrain, it wasn’t hard to embrace winter, to enjoy the outdoors and have fun in ultimate luxury and comfort. With thanks to Land Rover UK for inviting me to attend the #Hibernot event and for loaning me a Range Rover for the weekend, for more information about the complete Land Rover range visit their website here: Land Rover UK.
UNCOVER WINTER’S SECRETS
“With Range Rover, getting out there to discover the delicacies of Hibernot season is beautifully straightforward. Crafted over the last 50 years, Range Rover’s innovative technology and renowned capability blend seamlessly to give drivers a warmer outlook on the coldest months”
“Winter is no longer a chore, but an opportunity to find something new in familiar surroundings”
“Get a taste for winter with Range Rover. Perfectly equipped for drivers that refuse to hibernate in the coldest months of the year”
Disclaimer: I was invited to attend the #Hibernot event and was given a Range Rover Vogue on loan for the weekend for free; all views and opinions remain my own, and I was not asked to write a favourable review.
You can read Sarah’s account of the weekend here: