18 April 2016 By Tash Ellens
At the beginning of April we went back to The Pig in the New Forest to visit Head Gardener Jack Lindfield. Unlike our visit last winter, it was a wet and dull day, but that didn't deter us as Jack's passion and knowledge for the plants shone through as he toured us around the greenhouse and kitchen garden.
As we reached the greenhouse we could see it was full of trays and pots filled with nurtured seedlings. The first thing we tried was Par-cel, its flavour was a mix of celery and parsley, it has a rough, leafy texture which is perfect for garnishing cheese boards. The next garnish leaf we tried was a miniature Nasturtium. This peppery yet pleasant flavour comes from an interesting shaped leaf detailed with veins. The chefs tend to favour miniature versions grown throughout the summer, it allows them to display more leaves on the plate so people can see the range of intricate designs each leaf has. On our way out of the greenhouse there was one last thing we tasted, the Begonia flowers. Jack didn't warn us about its sharp burst as we bit into it, a very exciting flavour that awakens your taste buds. The chefs often use it in baking to garnish pastries, although when it is in full blossom they brighten a variety of dishes and piggy bits.
Although it was raining for most of our visit, the garden was full of colour and Jack kept us intrigued throughout. After our walk we were treated with a fresh mint tea and sat by the fire to warm our toes!
Want to experience The Pig with a visit like ours? We're hosting a free and exclusive event on Thursday 16th June at The Pig in the New Forest. To get on the guest list all you have to do is register before 6th May by emailing email@example.com or phone 01730 826900. You'll be treated to tea and pastries and toured around the kitchen garden as Head Gardener Jack and Head Chef James share their dedicated expertise about the garden with tips you can take home.