This is courtesy of the lovely Elinor O’Neill, who being a journalist/reporter is no stranger to blogging and writing her own pieces on a regular basis. Thankfully, on this occasion, she has been kind enough to pass along some notes and some photographs from her experience of a new delicatessen and bistro that has opened over on her patch.
Elinor’s writing can be seen in more detail here: [http://lostinnotation.com/about/]
Simply Simon’s Delicatessen has a website which is located here: [http://www.simplysimons.co.uk/]
Disclaimer: This review was conducted in January, so it is possible some aspects of the venue might have changed.
The Quarter consists of Duncan Murray Wines; a wine shop where the personality of one man, Duncan Murray and his lovely wife Megan, who give all the more flavour to each and every wine, beer and spirit that you can buy from their homely shop.
It is hard to walk out of Duncan Murray Wines with one’s hands empty and with the tasters they often treat you to, it can be just as difficult walking out of their shop sober.
The next establishment in the Food Quarter is Bates Butchers, where the care and attention they give to every customer is noted by all who buy its meat and mouth watering sandwiches. Bates is more than just a butchers; inside the shop is a delicatessen serving all manner of cheeses, chutneys and good quality chorizo.
Hobbs Fishmongers, the place where one man was once arrested outside after saying he was off there to murder, (a lobster it turned out and not another human being as the poor police had assumed), offers fresh fish in the street of a small market town as far away from the sea as you could imagine possible.
Lastly, and where we are headed this evening, is Simply Simon's Delicatessen and Bistro. This is a relatively new comer to the town and yet it has become a fairly established cafe here. It has also become involved in the community of Harborough, not only by its joining of the Food Quarter, but also by forming a book club and by displaying work by local artists.
The event tonight, put on by all four, is a taster evening designed to inspire all those who are staying in on Valentines Night to cook for themselves.
Usually when one hears the word taster evening, it conjures up images of tiny but tasty morsels of food that leave you hungry and wanting more. This is definitely not the case this evening. There are bowls and bowls of fish dishes, delicious dips, oils and vinegar and tiny thimbles of wine, beer and strawberry fizz that just keep on coming.
Also here is an oyster expert who is giving everyone their first taste of the sea in a shell. He makes the whole tasting of the oyster an experience not to be forgotten. He tells us tales of travel while opening the shells, and giving another doubtful person their first oyster.
The event tonight is full to the brim with people looking for ideas and suggestions on the way to every man's heart. The chocolate balsamic is laid out in a heart shape, and even the bread used for dipping tastes delicious.
Overall it is a carefully thought out night that is a testament to the expertise of the four quarters of food. A heart warming evening even though Valentines is still days away.
Hopefully those who are able to make it to Simply Simon's or any of the other Quarter establishments will pass on comments about the state of play as and when they visit. For now, take it easy and stay tuned for the next installment of the blog which will feature an update and outline on the forthcoming Threshold Festival - taking place in early March!