March’s Five Foodie Must Haves

The Black Bull Balsham

This is March’s five foodie must-haves, brought to you by Velvet magazine

Shop It

Lea - Home Food Delivery

Lea – Ready Meals for fine dining at home.

Chef Pascal Canavet, of award-winning Bury St Edmunds restaurant Maison Bleue, has turned his spin-off ready-meal brand into a full-time second venture after it proved a hit during Covid lockdowns. Called LEA after his mother, the brand is based at the new Pascal’s Country Kitchen in Thurston, where a dedicated team make five starters, five main courses and five desserts weekly, with boeuf Bourguignon and chocolate mousse current top-sellers. Priced £19.95 per person for three courses, LEA meals are available from Maison Bleue’s dedicated shop, within its Churchgate Street restaurant.

Shop Lea


Cook It

For the Love of the Land cookbook

For the Love of the Land – Jenny Jefferies Cookbook

A collation of both recipes and real life stories from farms across the country, For the Love of the Land by Cambridgeshire farmer’s wife Jenny Jefferies has been crowned Best Cookbook in Woman & Home’s Book Awards 2021 – where other category winners included Stanley Tucci’s Taste, Bernardine Evaristo’s Manifesto and Christy Lefteri’s Songbirds. Out now in hardback, published by Meze and priced £22, Jenny describes the book as both “a labour of love” and “a celebration of British farming”.

Get cooking Jenny Jefferies


Dine It

The Black Bull Balsham

The Black Bull Balsham

Balsham’s Black Bull has welcomed a new head chef. Having grown up in Cambridgeshire – and been apprenticed in the kitchens at Trinity College, Cambridge for 11 years – Rob Burling comes to the Bull from 36 On The Quay, Portsmouth’s one Michelin star, three AA Rosette restaurant. Living above the pub with his partner Daisy, their 1-year-old daughter Ellie-May and dog Sally, Rob is “a lovely man with the biggest passion for what he does,” says boss Alex Clarke. “His food is amazing – the reviews say it all. . .”

Book a table at the Black Bull Balsham

Drink It

The Maypole Freehouse

The Maypole Freehouse

Loved for bringing a one-of-a-kind “village vibe” right into the heart of the city, independent Cambridge pub The Maypole is celebrating 40 years with the Castiglione family at its helm.

“We have people who were at university in Cambridge 30 years ago and when they return, we still recognise them,” says landlord Vincent Castiglione, whose father, Mario, took over the pub in 1982. “They come to the bar and say ‘Do you remember me?’ and we say, ‘Yeah of course, you were at St John’s’. And we’ve still got their pictures up on the walls.”

Visit The Maypole


Eat It

Ely Grazing Company

Ely Grazing Company

If you doubt that necessity is the mother of invention, talk to Ely Grazing Company’s Martin Meredith. Offering grazing platters, boxes and cones, filled with everything from cheeses and meats to fruit and sweet treats, his business has gone from online start-up to bricks and mortar in little over a year, with his first shop just opened on Ely’s Buttermarket.

A professional musician who’d spent 25 years recording and performing the world over, Martin founded the brand when Covid halted his day job. “What I thought was ‘What would I love now in Ely that I can’t buy?’,” he says. “One type of dining I would always look out for when in Australia, especially around Sydney harbour, was grazing – slow-style social eating; cheeses, charcuterie, breads, fruits. . .”

Check them out on Instagram Ely Grazing Company


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