Seasonal Ingredients

Enjoying the best of the season.

Here at Donnington Valley we are continually updating our menu to get the very best out of the produce available to us. Naturally this means using ingredients when they are in season. As the days grow longer my thoughts turn to spring and the approaching summer season. So here is a little round up of how to use delicious seasonal ingredients for a three course meal. Chris has kindly provided me with some fantastic wine pairing suggestions for each course.

To start

From April onwards I will have my eye out for the start of summer which is always heralded for me with signs of beautiful asparagus spears starting to shoot. The quicker you get them from ground to plate the better which is why we use local supplier Cobbs Farm Shop in Hungerford, produce is picked and then ready to serve to you the same day! My favorite way to serve this is nice and simple; lightly steamed and then plenty of melted butter. To make it even better try it with a glass of our Chablis, Domaine de Vauroux; a lovely classic Chablis which is nice and dry and will compliment beautifully.


Summer is best time to get the BBQ going and I love to cook on coals here. Lamb is a big favorite as it is so versatile and I buy all of our lamb from our local butchers Thatcham Butcher; that way I know exactly where the meat has come from and it is often a field close by! Great for adults and kids alike are homemade lamb burgers, use nice lean lamb mince and add in some rosemary, garlic, salt and pepper and then shape into whatever size you think you can handle! Absolutely perfect to go with this (but not for the kids!) is a bottle of 2008 Gaía Wines, Gaía S, Agiorgitiko, Syrah, Nemea, Greece. This wine is a blend of an indigenous grape – Agiorgitiko 70% and Syrah 30%. A full bodied wine with warm soft dark fruit and a gentle spice, combined with well balanced tannins ending in a long finish.


All throughout the summer season we are inundated with more wonderful farm produce and the best of the best for me are the summer berries. Blackcurrants, strawberries, redcurrants and raspberries to name just a few and again all from Cobbs Farm. Berries, sugar, white bread and a little time to chill (you and the pud!) and you get an amazing Summer Pudding; what could be easier and to make it extra special just top it with some fabulous clotted cream! Try this with a glass of Michele Chiarlo, Moscaro D’Asti, Nivole, Piedmont from Italy, an amazingly delicate dessert wine made from the Muscat grape. Clean and fresh with a light sparkle to it makes this the perfect end to the perfect pud.

Our weekly changing market menu means that there is always something new to try at Donnington Valley. Book your table by calling 01635 551199 or book online.

Kelvin Johnson
Head Chef