Hello and welcome back to our monthly ramblings from the goings on at Water Lane. Since we last chatted, the leaves have curled and reddened, the porridge is being stirred with an extra spoonful of brown sugar and we’re needing thick woolly jumpers while working in the vegetable and cutting gardens. It’s been a busy month, we’ve welcomed our friend Graeme Corbett from Bloom & Burn for the first of his floral workshops; the Christmas Wreath dates are almost sold out, so do book on to one soon if you’re keen and we’re quickly working out how to deal with the huge harvest of pumpkins, squash and gourds which have grown this summer. Many are going into our Autumn caponata with squash and sultanas, but we have also made a display of them in the Vinery near the old garden gate. Do pop along and let us know what you think as it looks beautiful.
October is a funny month as while there is a chill in the air, there have been some gloriously sunny days and we’ve been making the most of the late season dusky purple figs and blackberries for breakfast on the terrace. Don’t worry we have lots of cosy blankets and have exciting news to share soon for where the garden restaurant will be moving to in the coming months.
In the meantime, we thought we would share our recipe for Buckwheat Granola and Seasonal Fruit. We use a local rapeseed oil from Morghew estate, its nutty flavour enhances the flavour of the buckwheat groats and since moving to Hawkhurst we have discovered the wonderful Hinxden Farm Dairy and serve the granola with a big spoonful of their natural yoghurt.
This will make a large 1 kilo batch and, if stored in an airtight container, will last several weeks. Although, we doubt it will last that long as a handful to grab, breakfast or not, is just too tempting!
350g jumbo oats
150g buckwheat groats
150g pumpkin seeds
200g sunflower seeds
50g soft brown sugar
40ml rapeseed oil from Morghew
½ tsp sea salt
150g dried cranberries or your favourite dried fruit
Preheat the oven to 160°C
Heat the honey, sugar, oil and salt gently to dissolve the sugar. Mix the oats, buckwheat, seeds and nuts together and stir in well to the honey mixture. Spread the mixture in an even layer onto a lined baking tray and bake for 30 minutes, stirring every 10mins or until golden brown. Watch it as the nuts can catch easily. Allow to cool and stir in the dried fruit and decant into an airtight container. Serve with fresh seasonal fruit and a dollop of yoghurt.
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Can we let you in to a secret? When we moved to Water Lane, we’d never grown a single flower from seed, let alone plant dozens of beds with every possible British seasonal flower we could think of and loved. It has been a huge source of pride that the flowers we’ve grown have not only survived but have flourished under our novice green fingers. The myriad Helianthus Annuus, or sunflowers to use its common garden name, have shone in rich hues of burgundy, marmalade, gold and canary yellow and were the welcoming committee down the steps to the restaurant.
We’ve had so many lovely comments from you about these cheery flowers and we’re glad you loved them as much as we did! As the cut flower beds start to die-back we are collecting the seed ready for next year and pouring over seed catalogues and talking to floristry friends about what they want to see in the gardens next year. If you have any wonderful cut flower suggestions, why don’t you send us a dm on our Instagram page here.
In the next part of our series of workshops and events we are delighted to welcome local Sussex potter Kate Monckton Ceramics who is coming to Water Lane in October and November with two pottery workshops. Previously working as an interior designer, Kate’s work is known for its slightly wonky, homespun aesthetic and she sells to a wide range of clients including prestigious interior designers and avid collectors.
First up, Kate will be showing you how to hand build a unique Tulipiere flower vase and the second workshop will teach you how to use the Japanese Kurinuki technique. They aim to be both fun and informative days that will see you creating your very own piece of pottery.
Kate will start the day by introducing you to your tools and materials for the day and explain what you are going to make. Kate will be on hand throughout to offer guidance and help. There will be breaks during the day for mid-morning coffee and lunch, all provided by Water Lane.
Kate will take your finished pieces away to be fired and glazed and return to Water Lane for you to pick up two weeks later. All you need to bring is an apron and to wear clothes that you don’t mind getting a little dirty.
Kate will start the day by introducing you to your tools and materials for the day and explain what you are going to make. Kate will be on hand throughout to offer guidance and help. There will be breaks during the day for mid-morning coffee and lunch, all provided by Water Lane. Kate will take your finished pieces away to be fired and glazed and return to Water Lane for you to pick up two weeks later. All you need to bring is an apron and to wear clothes that you don’t mind getting a little dirty.
Kate’s Workshops are £150 per person and include all tools, materials, refreshments, lunch and a completed piece of pottery to take home.
We look forward to welcoming you to Water Lane,
Nick and Ian