Situated on the side of the road that runs through the picturesque Dargle Valley, Nicky Farquharson of Tanglewood Country Hotel loves nothing more than to serve a bowl of just dug potatoes, simply steamed and tossed in butter and parsley. Guests often ask “How did you prepare that delicious spinach?” Steamed with a drizzle of olive oil and a little garlic is the reply that often startles them. “People have got so used to everything smothered in cheese sauce or spice mixtures that they have forgotten what real food tastes like” she says, smiling.
Nicky feels fortunate to live in this fertile valley where good food producers abound. Free range chicken, artichokes, honey, trout, duck, pumpkins and plums. Since 2000000 she has been running Tanglewood and serving fresh, flavoursome food prepared with love.
Nicky’s mom, Helen, who makes all her own pickles and marmalades, also supplies the restaurant with vegetables which grow abundantly due to the endless source of manure produced by the local cows and chickens. Nicky loves to experiment and try new flavour combinations with seasonal produce – her beetroot, cashew and nectarine summer salad is a real hit.
Nicky too has tried her hand at veggie growing, surprising herself with the riot of greens she managed to produce in the courtyard beside the kitchen. “It is so much fun to plant seeds and see them turn into plump fennel bulbs or tall crisp celery in just a short time” she laughs.
According to Nicky – “Unearthing new potatoes has got to be one of life’s greatest pleasures, particularly if you are able to eat them straight away.”
Tanglewood Pub is everyone in Dargle’s favourite hangout. Nicholas aka Shoes always remembers what you like to drink with your delicious local supper.