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Now in Season – Mussels

Mussels are fantastic right now. Breathe in the tantalizing sea-fresh steam. Savour it. And then get to the task at hand; extracting succulent offerings from gaping shells and soaking up the fragrant broth with pieces of crusty-soft bread for a complete sensory food experience.

March is a bit of an intermittent month. Everyone is waiting for the full bounty of produce that arrives with spring, but it’s still early enough in the year to feel the heels of winter in the air. However, the past few months have been much milder than usual, which has resulted in a few spring favourites cropping up earlier than previous years.

One of these ingredients is wild garlic (or ramsons), which is now growing in woodlands all over the UK – you should be able to smell the flowers if you’re near some.

The first stalks of asparagus are beginning to appear in places like the Wye Valley, but it’s best to wait a few more weeks until they really start to taste their best. In the meantime, stock up on the last of this year’s purple sprouting broccoli, one of the only British-grown greens you can find in the supermarket at the moment.

British-grown chicory is a good choice at this time of year. It’s cultivated in the same way as forced rhubarb – grown in the dark over three weeks – and adds a welcome burst of bitter freshness to seasonal dishes.

Now in Season – Artichokes

As Lancaster’s top restaurant we know that New Year means new beginnings and resolutions and luckily there is also a wealth of lovely fresh produce to look forward to in January.

While we can rely on British soil for vegetables, meat and fish there are no new homegrown fruits in season at this time of year, with the majority of this month’s fresh crop coming from neighbouring countries with warmer climates.

Vegetables include beetroot, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, celeriac, celery, chicory, horseradish, jerusalem artichoke, kale, kohlrabi, leeks, parsnips, potatoes (maincrop), salsify, shallots, swede, truffles (black) and turnips

Fruit include apples, blood oranges, clementines, lemons, oranges, passion fruit, pears, pineapple, pomegranate, rhubarb and satsumas.

Meat include duck, guinea fowl, hare, mallard, partridge, turkey, venison

Fish include clams, cockles, dab, dover sole, gurnard, haddock, halibut, hake, langoustine, lemon sole, lobster, mackerel, mussels, oysters, red mullet, scallops (queen), sea bream, skate, turbot, winkles

Brand Refresh

TA DAH…here at QSF, we’re celebrating our stunning brand refresh and new website. Thanks to Better with Jam, our brand marketing agency, you’ve done us proud!

The project included refreshing our brand and designing and building a new website to create a enhanced online experience for all our lovely new and loyal customers.

We both wanted to take the Quite Simply French brand to the next level. The creative idea was to highlight what makes us special and unique ” high quality, fresh, seasonal produce and exotic ingredients” without losing our “warm, friendly and much loved service, team and restaurant style”

Creative Director, Lynda Caine’s ideas to refresh the brand was to create a suite of iconic images t0 communicate our unique style. She and Senior Designer, Peter Kennedy-Lane, travelled to Leeds to art direct the photo shoot at Powerhouse.

Powerhouse is the North’s leading photo studio with 14,000 sq ft. of studio space, 9 photographers, 7 studios, 5 producers, 4 studio support staff, 3 creative directors, 2 marketeers and 1 whole motion department. Their client list is impressive including M&S, Sainsbury’s, Unilever and Fever Tree.

Web functionality includes booking online and buying gift vouchers.  Better with Jam supports Quite Simply French with advertising campaigns, marketing strategy, PR, photography and art direction, graphic design, email marketing and social media.

Robert Mason…‘’We are thrilled with the results. It really is a testament to the deep understanding of the team at Better with Jam and their creative excellence. We spent much time together in the planning to inform and improve the customer journey and experience. We have been working with them for over 15 years and they continue to surprise us with their creativity.”