On Monday it was a sweltering 29 degrees. I did the unthinkable and went to the gym. Mad I know. First thing I did once home was to crack open a can of Thatchers Gold, not my healthiest moment but Thatchers has become a part of me now. Ever since moving to Bristol three years ago, I caught the cider bug and it’s been around ever since. One thing I learned not long after moving to Bristol was that the majority of Bristolians are slightly cider obsessed, with Thatchers cider in particular. It may have something to do with the fact that the west country produces the best cider apples and the thatchers brewery is just down the road.
Thatchers were hosting a cider pairing evening with a fairly new restaurant that has exploded onto the Bristol foodie scene. Pasture is the creation of chef Sam Elliot, who is seriously passionate about the food he puts in front of you. Pasture is a bit of a dining experience, if you’re a carnivore, all of your meaty prayers will be answered at once. If you’re a veggie, you will be pleasantly surprised.
After all of my pub garden “adventures”, I thought myself a real cider connoisseur. What I learned from this evening is that… I knew nothing. Before this lesson in cider, I thought Thatchers was just another cider brand. I learned there’s a lot more to Thatchers and cider making…
We were introduced to master cider taster, Richard. We all agreed he probably has the best job in the world – Tasting cider on a daily basis (I’m clearly in the wrong job) He told us the story of how Thatchers came to be what it is today and how Richard and his taste buds are on a mission – to keep producing and improving great tasting cider.
We kicked off the evening with a few glasses refreshing and delicate fizz. Did you know Thatcher’s wine (Thatcher’s family reserve 11%) was a thing? I didn’t either. I’ve also never associated Thatchers with a champagne flute before.
Forgotten Onions En Croute & Thatchers Haze. (4.5%) This may come as a shock to Thatchers fans but Haze is actually my least favourite cider… It’s almost too sweet for me. This dish, however, was beautiful. Puff pastry base, sweet pumpkin, soft cheese, pickled walnut, Nigella & Thyme flowers. Sweet and tangy, melt in the mouth, crumbly pasty. Just look at how pretty this is…
Diver caught south coast scallop croute & Thatchers Katy (7.4%) I’m a fan of anything lime. I make my own bath products using lime and try to include it in my cooking when I can. This starter was uplifting, fresh and tangy. The combination of the lime and ginger paired with the Thatchers Katy left a really good taste in my mouth.
Cured Duck breast & Thatchers Redstreak. (8.4%) Redstreak is one for wine drinkers and scooped the best sparkling cider IN THE WORLD award 2017. Thatchers are the only cider specialists who grow this particular variety of apple, distinctive and very moreish!
Hazelnut E’Claires & Thatchers summer vintage. (7.4%) You know when you have dessert overload and get a sugar high? Well, this didn’t happen with this choux pastry filled with praline custard, it was so delicious and I was left wanting more more more. Thatchers summer vintage is made with dessert apples – sweet, crisp with floral notes make it the perfect dessert tipple.
The group overwhelmingly declared Thatcher’s Katy as a firm favourite. My favourite? Most definitely the Summer Vintage. One which I hadn’t previously tasted but I’m now a big fan.
Me and the girls laughing at something, I don’t know what but it must’ve been hilarious or the ciders had taken effect!