A summer of events

After some record-breaking heat in 2018 we head into September hoping for continued good weather in the style of an Indian summer! This year has flown by so far with lots going on in the local area, including as always the Goodwood horse racing & Festival of Speed, before we know it will be Christmas… We have had a world wind year both in the pub and personally with the arrival of our first child Thomas Edward ‘Teddy’. We continue to strive to make the pub an enjoyable experience for everybody.

Looking forward to the end of the month, the Blue Bell team will be involved in the Emsworth ‘British Food Fortnight’ and a big weekend over the 29th & 30th September. This is shaping up to be a great event with live music via the team at Harbour Records, Hampshire Farmers Market and a pop-up wine village to name just a few.

Goodwood Revival

In the meantime, we’re excited this week to step back in time and embrace the Goodwood Revival as it returns for its 20th year. Goodwood has long been associated with motor sport and it was the dream of the current Duke of Richmond to reopen the famous motor circuit after its closure by his grandfather in 1966. The Revival has since become one of the biggest historic motorsport events in the world and the only one to be staged entirely in period dress. With the event taking place just down the road it’s great to see so many fantastic vehicles in the local area around Emsworth.

This year is particularly thrilling as the Blue Bell is involved directly via the sponsorship of one of the most famous race cars at the circuit. Carrying the registration ‘BUY 1’, this particular Jaguar Mk 1 was one of only four built specifically for the 1959 production saloon car race series by the factory, and it is the only one remaining.  Originally raced by Roy Salvadori and Peter Sargeant in the British Saloon Car Championship entered by Coombs of Guildford, in 1962 it was bought by Gordon Williams who also raced it followed by his son Tony Williams. After Tony drove it in the first revival event in 1998, Grant Williams took over the baton in 1999 and continues the Williams racing name as the 3rd generation to drive the car. This has yielded 5 wins in the St Marys trophy and a top 3 finish each time he’s entered; this year Grant will be competing in the Jack Sears Trophy race celebrating 60 years of British Touring Cars. If you’re heading for the Goodwood Revival this year keep an eye out for ‘BUY 1’ – it should be somewhere near the front of the grid we hope and the Blue Bell is extremely proud to be sponsoring Grant Williams in 2018.

Follow Grant on Instagram @grantwilliamsracing

And keep up with Goodwood events @goodwoodrevival

Chalk Stream Foods

Earlier this summer, I was luckily enough to venture into the Hampshire countryside and visit the stunning surroundings of the River Test. Hidden down a winding road is the heartbeat of Hampshire trout production – Chalk Stream Foods.

The trout farms were the brainchild of Christopher Saunders-Davis; the first was constructed in 1974 and his vision subsequently lead to 4 more farms being built. Trout was then big business in Hampshire until the British public had their heads turned towards the growing Scottish salmon industry.

Fast forward to 2014 and the introduction of Hugo Hardman’s Chalk Stream Foods and trout is on the rise again, giving its Atlantic cousin the salmon a run for its money! Hugo and his team have moved away from the plate size fish which can be found in many supermarkets and are now producing a larger 2.5 to 3 kg fish which is a chef’s dream…

The fast, constant flow of ‘gin clear’ water (two tons a second!) at these unique trout farms, along with excellent light and vegetation, mean that the fish have a wonderful natural environment to swim and develop in. This, coupled with the superb husbandry shown by Hugo and his team, means it takes two years from river to our plate and the process gives us a lean, rich and tasty fish, far removed from the stereotypical ‘muddy trout’ we have been used to.

Sustainability & welfare is also a key part of the farms; Chalk Stream have the highest standards approved by freedom foods and are Global G.A.P accredited. This locally sourced fish is very versatile and always proves popular on The Blue Bell menu, whether fresh, smoked, hot or cold. Currently it’s being served Cider cured and pan fried with a shellfish bisque, locally foraged sea vegetables and topped with crab mayo.