As Cornish strawberries start to come into season we thought we’d tell you about the local artisan supplier we use at Watergate Bay.
Buttervilla, based in South East Cornwall in the Tamar Valley, are a small but specialist business, supplying only to those in the local area. In 2006, Executive Chef, Neil Haydock, introduced Buttervilla strawberries to the bay; in fact Neil was the first customer of Buttervilla. He chose them because of their vast knowledge of strawberries, as well as other fruit and vegetables like the tomato, and the quality of strawberry they produce.
‘’Buttervilla grow the best tasting strawberries throughout April to November. They grow many heritage varieties, such as the ‘French Gariguette’, which we just had a delivery of this morning,” explains Executive Chef, Neil Haydock.
As a child, Robert Hocking, owner of Buttervilla, used to holiday in France; this is when he grew a passion for all things strawberries. Coincidently, Plougastel, Rob’s favourite part of France (and favourite strawberry variety), is twinned with Saltash, Cornwall, just outside the Buttervilla plantations.
Being a specialist producer means Buttervilla pick and deliver their strawberries on the same day, unlike industrial growers who will preserve a back stock of produce to deliver days after picking; this ensures that we always have the freshest strawberries.
Buttervilla’s produce is featured throughout the Living Space, dining room and Beach Hut menus. Tuck into dishes like panacotta with vanilla cream, shortbread and strawberries and The Living Space strawberry cheesecake in a jar. Neil believes it is important to showcase the ingredient in his menu so he doesnt usually mess with a strawberry!
Occasionally we will use the Buttervilla strawberries to make a coulis or a jam, perfect for a Cornish cream tea or a Victoria sandwich. Here’s our simple recipe to make the perfect Victoria sandwich.
Watch Neil’s video on a quick cheat Victoria sponge with strawberry jam and Rodda’s clotted cream.