Bazza’s Catch Up
I apologise to all my loyal supporters for a lack of posts this year. I am pleased to say life has been very busy!
I have missed all the interaction and so I have given myself a slap on the face and decided to get on with it.
So here is a resume of what’s been happening in my life.
On a personal note, the greatest thing is the arrival of another gorgeous grandson, Solomon Herb Smith Hancox (known as Sol!). Born to Flora and Oli in April. He is the most beautiful boy and I am so proud of both of my grandsons. Flora and Oli went to a huge amount of effort in researching family history. Solomon was Simone’s great grandfather.
Fillet and Bone
The most significant occurrence since my last blog is my involvement in the development and opening of a new ‘Urban Farm Shop’ in Chipping Campden, Fillet & Bone. Last year I was fortunate enough to be introduced to Pat Willins and Chris Gates. After running very successful businesses, Chris and Pat made the decision to have a lifestyle change and purchased the historic butcher’s shop and its surrounding buildings. Smiths had been occupiers for a century and it really is a fascinating property.
It’s been such an exciting time, helping to develop the concept, seeking out great artisan producers and seeing the brand progress. The shop opened on 20th March and goes from strength to strength with further initiatives on-going. Fillet & Bone sells the best quality local meat and poultry from Todenham Manor, Nolan Brook and Adlington with fruit and vegetables from local growers, Drinkwaters. Fresh fish from Cornwall is available to buy Wednesdays – Saturdays each week as well as the most amazing Cacklebean Eggs, available daily. We are constantly seeking out new, appealing and innovative products with an emphasis, wherever possible, on local and artisan. There are food and drink tastings from local suppliers most Saturdays.
In June, Simone and I visited our son, Edward, in Austin, Texas. Ed studies film production at The University of Texas and lives in Austin. Ed has had great success with his documentary films so far and has been recognised as one of the BBC’s rising stars!
I’ve travelled quite a bit of the USA but Texas was new to me. Austin, the state capital, is a very beautiful city with the Colorado River running through its heart. We stayed in the best Airbandb in the South Congress area with views down Congress towards The Capitol building.
The history of Texas goes back to the 17th Century when it was first occupied by Spain and its occupants were known as Tejarnos. Parts of Texas were in the State of Mexico in the 18th Century. In 1836 the Mexican army, after a long siege, defeated the American Army in a massacre which took place at The Alamo.
One of the very special features of this fabulous city is its food offering. Significantly, food trucks are situated randomly throughout the city producing some of the best Tex-Mex food. In Ed, we had our own personal escort who took us to some great truck stops and restaurants. I understand that buyers from Marks and Spencer and Waitrose visit Austin each year to pick up on the latest food trends from the trucks.
You can watch your beef, and whatever else you choose, in smokers built on site by the trucks and restaurants. To me, it was such a fascinating and memorable visit.
and then there is San Antonio. Another beautiful city situated on the river.
Just a few other highlights of the year so far:
Four beautiful weddings
and one more to come…
Congratulations, Mazeltov and loads of love
…and then this ‘Cotswold Life Business and Professional Awards’
and then this….
I am so happy to back in touch with you all. Watch this space!