OUR BUTCHERY IS HIRING πŸ”ͺ

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The HEFS butchery team is our pride and joy and regularly wins awards for its skill, creativity and service-with-a-smile. We are incredibly proud to have trained five butchers from apprentice all the way through to fully fledged butcher since we the Farm Shop opened.

We are excited to be expanding our team, creating new roles within our butchery department, working within our day to day team and on our butchery workshops and events. We are looking to take on experienced butchers, all levels will be considered.

If you would like to be part of our successful team of butchers, please send cv and covering letter to clare@hawardenestate.co.uk.

Experience essential, salary negotiable. We look forward to hearing from you! 

Photo by Ginger Pixie Photography.

PICK-YOUR-OWN AT THE FARM SHOP THIS YEAR

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At the beginning of every Summer we field many, many questions about our Pick-Your-Own growing calendar, so we thought it would be useful to let you know what we've got growing this year.

For five months or so during summer and early autumn (May to October), if the weather has been good to North Wales, the Hawarden Estate Farm Shop orchards and fields are abundant with beautiful fruit. This is when you are invited to come in and pick-your-own: a lovely family activity, and a great value way of buying nutritious fresh fruit.

First up, there are have rows of gooseberries -75 bushes to be precise- which are ready to be picked in May, followed up by the redcurrants and blackcurrants, which are in plentiful supply by June. August brings the Victoria plums, which are always a favourite. Next you will find a variety of English apples, including Russets, Katys and Discoveries, and by the time September arrives, the 125 trees are groaning under the weight of all the apples. Those that are taken down the road to the local press to be turned into the award-winning Hawarden Estate Apple Juice. Autumn also means Conference pears, Bramley cooking apples and Autumn raspberries in abundance. This year for the first time the team will be planting up 1000 corn on the cob plants, perfect for roasting over the campfire at The Good Life Experience festival. And last of all come the pumpkins, in all shapes and sizes, and a rainbow of colours. This year we’re planting up a bumper 5000 seedlings to make sure nobody is without when Halloween comes round.

Pick up a pot or punnet at the Farm Shop, and then come back for weighing. Over the summer at our Smoke Shack we have our barbecue fired up with delicious wood-fired street food; we also serve delicious Plas Farm ice cream.

Take a look at our Instagram hashtag #pyohawarden to see our pick-your-own in the wild!

BYO CONTAINERS TO THE BUTCHERY + DELI COUNTERS

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The next step in our quest to reduce our single use plastic here at the Farm Shop is to encourage you, our customers, to bring your own reusable containers to our butchery and deli counters to help minimise packaging consumption. This is by no means obligatory, but was suggested to us by a customer and is something we wholeheartedly support! 

Photo by our friend Rachel Kay.

10% DISCOUNT FOR REUSABLE CUPS

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As part of our ongoing quest to reduce the amount of single-use plastic we get through here at the Farm Shop, we are now offering a 10% discount off all our takeaway hot drinks for customers who bring their own reusable cups. Don't have a reusable cup? Hang tight, we have some really good ones arriving any day now at the Farm Shop.

And don't forget to collect your stamps on our coffee reward card to earn your free cup of coffee or tea! 
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OUR CIDER RANGE IS CURATED BY THE FINE CIDER COMPANY

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We are excited to now be collaborating with The Fine Cider Company, who are now fully curating our range of cider here at the Farm Shop. Felix Nash and his team source and supply the finest cider they can find, hoping to show the wider world these undiscovered things. The role of the β€˜cider merchant’ was once an accustomed thing, particularly through the heyday of cider and perry in the 17th & 18th centuries. Today The Fine Cider Company supplies some of the best restaurants in London, from the emerging to the iconic, such as Lyle’s, The Clove Club, The Marksman & Fera at Claridges. And now add to that list the Hawarden Estate Farm Shop. Head to the food hall and try some of they ciders The Fine Cider Company has selected.

Photo: Jonathan Cherry

AN ODE TO OUR FAVOURITE GLASSES; THE MIGHTY DURALEX

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We have long been members of the Duralex fan club; waving the flag, wearing the t-shirts, using Duralex glasses here in our cafe and at The Glynne Arms, and toasting its general French greatness. Duralex is a design classic and practically unbreakable –more on this later- so its tough yet refined glassware is perfect for all ages and great for both hot and cold drinks. One of our favourite facts is that Duralex's largest export market is Afghanistan, where they are used as tea glasses in even the most remote villages.

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At the Farm Shop we stock the classic Duralex Picardie glasses (16/18/22cl). One of the things we love about these glasses is their history; Duralex dates back to the 1930s and such is its reputation that the glasses have been a staple in almost every French cafΓ©, school canteen or works cafeteria ever since. For decades French school children played a game where every child at the canteen table read out the serial number stamped with the Duralex logo on the bottom of their water glass (this could be anything between 1 and 48) and the child with the lowest number had to fetch the water for the rest of the table. It seems fair.

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What makes a Duralex glass so strong? It's made of tempered glass, a method where the glass is taken straight from furnace in the La Chapelle Saint-Mesmin factory and rapidly cooled. This makes it two and a half times as resistant as normal glass and almost unbreakable, which is why the original publicity for the glasses in the Fifties claimed that they could be "used as hammers". To give you an idea of it's strength, the same method is used to produce windscreens and bullet-proof glass. So it's pretty darn tough.

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These iconic glasses have been much imitated over the years, but never really bettered. Today they are found on many of the world's best tables from London to New York, Tokyo, Hawarden and beyond. Duralex glasses will offer you many years of loyal service; they are robust, elegant, heavy and hard to break. And, what's more, they are so inexpensive that you might as well fill your cupboards while you're at it. Head to the Farm Shop and stock up.

10 THINGS WE'VE LEARNT ABOUT CACTI 🌡

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If you've visited the Farm Shop recently, you may have noticed that things have got a bit prickly. In a good way. We are now stocking a really good range of cacti, succulents and a few bulbs too. You can buy them as they are, or potted up in some lovely vintage jars, some of which are over 100 years old. Pretty cool eh?

Our spiky new friends look great all over your house, from the kitchen to the bathroom, hall, sitting room, you name it. And they also make great presents, particularly, we have found.

Here are some good tips on how to look after your cactus and your succulents.

And here are 10 things we've learnt about cacti:

1. You hardly have to water them. That's an immediate win. In fact, the number 1 reason cactuses die is from over-watering.

2. They improve the air quality in your home, removing bacteria and reducing radiation. 

3. There are 1500-1800 species of cacti in the world. Fact.

4. Cacti are real water reservoirs; their inner liquid is not pure, clear water but a thick viscous stuff, but perfectly drinkable, that saved many lives in the desert.

5. Cactus spines can be used for sutures, after they have been first sterilised on hot coal. And you'd need to be fairly desperate too.

6. They wear a pair of stick-on wobbly eyes well.

7. Recent figures suggest that almost 13 per cent of plants confiscated at Heathrow airport are cacti without the required permissions. There is now a protection treaty in place that prohibits the movement of endangered species. 

8. Cacti all flower, and some of the flowers are truly spectacular. Have a look.

9.  The wood of some cactus species is used for making walls, roofs and as reinforcement wood. It's strong stuff.

10. The roots of a Mexican cactus, peyotl (Lophophora williamsii), were chewed by Aztecs for its hallucinogenic properties, allowing the shamen to enter in trance. These properties of the cacti were also used by some Native Americans during the pre-Columbian era for anesthesia during operations.

TELL US WHAT YOU THINK FOR A CHANCE TO WIN FESTIVAL TICKETS!

We want to make the Farm Shop as good as it can be, so we're after your feedback via our short questionnaire. It won't take more than 8 minutes, and there's a chance to win festival tickets! 

And then there's the prize. By way of Thank You for taking the time to help us with our questionnaire, you will be entered into a prize draw for the chance to win a pair of adult camping tickets to our festival The Good Life Experience in September (worth Β£278 at current Early Bird prices). Taking place in the shadow of two castles on the Hawarden Estate and co-founded by Cerys Matthews MBE, the festival is absolutely unique. Expect raucous music, axe throwing, wild swimming, fire-walking, foraging, campfire cooking sessions with world class chefs, daily feasts, wild children, expert craftspeople and lots more.

Terms & Conditions:
Β· Prize winner must be aged 18 years or older. Tickets cannot be resold. The winner will be chosen from the entrants at random after the survey has closed.
Β· Closing date for entries is 18th February 2018.
Β· Competition winner to be announced 28th February.