Friday, 27 September 2013

Harvest Festival


Harvest festival is coming around again, farmers markets and greengrocers are full of wholesome, local produce and it is the time to look back on the glorious summer and to enjoy the delicious range of late summer and autumn crops that are now coming our way.

Many communities will be hosting produce festivals; a chance for keen gardeners to show off their array of home grown crops. Even the RHS is in on the celebrations, hosting the London Harvest Festival Show (8-9th October, Lindley Hall, Westminster). This celebration of British produce includes a giant pumpkin competition! Another event rising in popularity is Apple Day. Spurred by the loss of our traditional orchards and celebrating the 3000 plus varieties of British apple, the first Apple Day was held in the old Apple Market in Covent Garden in 1990, bringing fruit back there for the first time in 17 years. Now rolled out across the country it is a quirky celebration of the humble apple, not to mention ample opportunity to try some cider!

One way to celebrate the variety of British produce available is to step outside your door and take advantage of all that nature has to offer this autumn. Blackberries and damsons are seasonal favourites of course, for pies, crumbles and damson gin, but what else can you find in the hedgerow? Elderberries can be used to make elderberry wine or syrup, or added to a fruit pie or crumble, in September and October. Hazelnuts are also ripening at this time and make a moreish autumnal snack. If you're feeling creative they also pair well with chocolate in biscuits, or crushed to make an additional crunchy crumble topping. The hawthorn plant is a brilliant all rounder when it comes to foraging; the leaves, flowers and berries all being edible. Known for it's benefits to heart and circulatory health, it can be used in a variety of ways. An easy way to enjoy the berries is as a tea. Place the berries in a paper bag and leave them to dry out in a warm, dark place for several months. Once dried they can be added to boiling water to create a healthy tea.

Hazelnuts are in plentiful supply September - October
Tasty chocolate and hazelnut cookies

If you're feeling inspired to go out hedgerow harvesting, why not try these two simple recipes, from

Create a Wild Fruit Vinegar to use as a tangy salad dressing, or added to hot water to treat a sore throat. Blackberries, Raspberries, Elderberries, Rosehips and Rowanberries all work well in this recipe, depending on what you are able to find. Wash the fruit, discard any rotten ones and weigh what you have left over. In a glass bowl lightly press until a little juice flows. For elderberries add approximately 500ml of White Wine Vinegar for each 350g of fruit. For other fruit you can experiment a little, depending on how sweet or tart you would like it to be.Cover and leave to steep for 3-5 days, stirring occasionally. Strain the fruit out using muslin cloth and add 350g of Sugar for every 250-300ml of liquid depending how sweet you would like the vinegar. Transfer to a pan and briefly bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Store in a bottle or jar. 

Autumn is also the season for game meats. Try this quick and easy Bramble Sauce recipe, delicious on venison or game.

A glass of red wine, 125g blackberries plus a few to decorate, 250ml beef stock, one tablespoon balsamic vinegar, one teaspoon of honey.

Heat the wine in a pan to cook off the alcohol before adding the blackberries, balsamic vinegar and stock. Cook on a low heat for about 10 minutes. When the blackberries have broken down and the consistency is thicker, add the honey to taste. Serve with roast or pan fried meat and garnish with a few berries.



Thursday, 19 September 2013

Meet the stars of our Barbour Dog Coat Campaign.

Our Barbour Dog Coat giveaway campaign is now well under way on Facebook and Twitter. Launched last week under the #MyDogLoves, it gives our followers the chance to win a smart Barbour Dog Coat from our new autumn/ winter lines. Entrants simply send us a photo of their dog doing what (s)he loves, and using #MyDogLoves give us a brief explanation of their pets favourite pastime! To get everyone in the spirit we launched the campaign with a fun video of playful pooches doing what THEY love.

Amongst the stars, we had beautiful cocker spaniels, Purdey a lively black puppy, just 13 weeks old, and Elle, her golden, three year old companion. They are currently being trained as gun dogs, and their discipline was on show in the video as they loved retrieving their toy.

The fun continued with Sheeba, a black boxer/ labrador cross, only 14 months old, a rescue dog from Dogs Trust Roden, who is now loving life in the countryside with her new friends, including Barney, a determined digger! A 12 year old golden retriever, he loves digging his 'man traps' whilst his friends play on the field!

Playful labradors Coco, a six year old chocolate lab, and George, an eight month golden lab, enjoyed racing around the field and cooling off with a quick bath.

Oscar, a eight year old collie, loves to chase cars when he gets the chance!

Five year old shih'tzu Honey might only be small but she loves to out-do her bigger companions!

These dogs loved playing up for the camera, and if yours does too, why not 'snap' him enjoying his favourite game, or his favourite place with his favourite thing! Follow us on facebook and twitter and send your photo using #MyDogLoves to be in with a chance of winning a stylish Barbour Coat for your best friend!

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Ludlow Food Festival.

Last weekend we had the famous Ludlow Food Festival, held a few miles from our offices. With more than 160 exhibitors showcasing fine, regional produce and local businesses inside the grounds of Ludlow Castle, the event was a gourmets dream! One of the highlights of the event is the Sausage Trail. In a town noted for it's culinary delights the local butchers battle to produce the finest sausages and during the festival each butchers shop opens its doors to the visitors and encourages them to sample their own recipe. Visitors rate each one out of 10 and the sausage recipe scoring the highest points wins the title of 'Peoples Choice'. Equally popular is the Ale Trail, a boozy version of the same idea – visitors sample locally produced ales in the town's many pubs, score points and the winner takes the Peoples Choice Award! This year the Sausage and Ale Trail awards were won by AH Griffiths Butchers, for their Shire sausage, made from Hereford pork, Worcestershire hops and Shropshire blue cheese. The Ale Trail winner was the historic Feathers Hotel, serving Boiling Well from Ludlow Brewery.

The historic Feathers Hotel in Ludlow.

Why not celebrate your local produce by making a delicious Sausage and Ale Casserole using the finest sausages and ale from your region? Combine good quality sausages, onions and a choice of vegetables, with ale, tomato puree, beef stock and Worcestershire sauce.

Friday, 13 September 2013

Barbour Dogs and the Festival Weekend Ahead.

Barbour Dogs and the Festival Weekend Ahead.

Here at FRS Countrywear we are constantly striving to bring desirable new products to our customers, and have now turned the spotlight on to one very important are of our customer base. So, we are delighted to announce the arrival of our new range of Barbour coats – for your four legged friend! The prestige brand supply a stylish range of waxed and quilted coats for the discerning dog, in styles to match your own jacket. With the colder months approaching what better way to treat your best friend?

With harvest time approaching it is a busy time for agricultural and produce fairs. This weekend in Shropshire (the stomping ground of FRS staff) we have two of our major events; The West Midlands Game and Country Fair and the famous Ludlow Food Festival, held in the grounds of the historic Ludlow Castle, beside the tranquil River Teme.

Always a popular event with families, and a highlight of the shooting calendar, this year The West Midlands Game and Country Fair celebrates it's 30th year. On display there will be a range of country activities, including a Fishing Village, falconry and a Working Dog Village, alongside a variety of family-friendly entertainment in the main ring.

The beautiful, medieval market town of Ludlow, in the south of the county, has long held its reputation for fine food and quality produce. The annual food festival was first held in 1995 to draw visitors to the area and encourage them to explore the towns pubs, restaurants, shops and deli's, whilst promoting local producers.

The festival was an immediate success and today draws crowds in excess of 21,000 through the castle gates over the three day running of the event. With visitors exploring the town as well as the castle, the festival provides an invaluable boost to independent shops and local businesses, making it an important and beloved part of local life.


Friday, 6 September 2013

Autumn/ Winter Collection 2013.

The weather may still be glorious, with another predicted heatwave on the cards, but with the end of the summer holidays and the nights’ drawing in, autumn is certainly on its way and here at FRS Countrywear we have been busy preparing our autumn/ winter collections to showcase to you! New collections have arrived in stock from brands such as Barbour, Joules, Musto and Jack Murphy, and a tempting range of winter jackets, knitwear and accessories are now available online and instore! With the colder months approaching it's all about the midlayers! Barbour have a range of stylish yet functional mens knitwear, such as the 'Weymouth half zip Pullover'. This cosy top is 100% lambswool, guaranteeing a soft, high quality feel, with ribbed cuffs, hem and collar to keep out winter draughts!
As part of our new Joules range we have on-trend knitwear which is perfect for keeping warm whether you are out in the field, walking the dog or running to the shops! The Tatum women's V-neck jumper, in raspberry, is a beautiful, colourful example to help brighten up the winter days and can also be dressed up with a shirt from Joules smart range; such as the Milford women's shirt.

For autumn/ winter 2013, Musto have a range of classic mens knitwear, which can be dressed up or down to suit many occasions. The Shooting, Crew Neck Sweater is a luxurious lambswool sweater; warm enough to be warm alone, or dressed up with one of Musto's range of country shirts, such as the smart 'Twill Check Shirt'.