West Country Treats
Updated: Apr 27, 2020
Lyme Bay Winery has long been a favourite of mine, ever since I tasted their Traditional Mead. Situated in Devon’s Axe Valley, this West Country business have been making award-winning produce on site for 25 years now and have gained the highest possible industry accreditation, the ‘British Retail Consortium Global Standard’. Devon is well suited to grow vines and orchards and is building an international reputation.
These honours are well deserved and reflected in each bottle. Produced are Fruit and Country wines, English wines, mead, liqueurs and spirits, cider brandy, and cider (all at absolutely fair and competitive prices). Their cider ranges are Jack Ratt and Annings, the latter being named after Mary Anning, the famous fossil collector and palaeontologist living in Lyme Regis in the early 1800s which is a nice local touch. I prefer dry ciders and Scrumpy over sweet ones and Jack Ratt offers a good selection of those.
Mead – made from fermented honey with added water or fruit, hops and spices – used to be associated with Medieval and Renaissance fairs in the past, but it is coming into its own now. Mead can range from subtle honey notes to spicy flavours. It is often served at room temperature, but some kinds make a stunning drink served chilled over ice. Also highly versatile, meads can be excellent paired with strong cheeses and casseroles or with desserts.
My latest purchase this month, Lyme Bay Winery’s Honey Liqueur, is absolutely divine. It has a smooth flavour with a rich taste of floral honey without being too sweet or overwhelming. We like to keep it for special occasions to get the bottle out when we have a drink to celebrate a success, or sometimes just on a chill night after dinner. Highly recommended.
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