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Eat, Sleep, Drink, Eat

Asparagus and Sauce Mousseline

Thyme and Again


Recipes and notes from Charlie Hibbert, Chef Director at Thyme: a pastoral idyll which offers a place to pause for thought in harmony with the seasons.

A bucolic retreat of rooms, luxury and rest, Thyme provides a range of workshops, treatments, events, and some of the most delicious, locally sourced food in the county at the Ox Barn.

Charlie’s Asparagus and Sauce Mousseline

Everyone has had asparagus and hollandaise before… this isn’t a new idea. It is, however, undeniably delicious. Sauce mousseline takes the dish one step further, with the naughty addition of softly whipped cream folded through, making a surprisingly light butter sauce for your spring veggies (including a favourite of mine – Jersey Royals). Our asparagus bed in the garden is due to flourish soon, with picking starting in earnest when British asparagus is at its best.

Serves 4


  • 4 free range egg yolks
  • ½ lemon, juice
  • 1 tbsp cold water
  • 250g cold, unsalted butter, cubed
  • 100ml whipping cream, whipped to soft peaks
  • Sea salt flakes and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 20 sticks of asparagus, tough ends snapped off
  • Parmesan and olive oil for finishing


  • Fill a pot of water a third of the way up and bring to a simmer over a medium heat.
  • In a metal or heatproof bowl, add egg yolks, lemon juice and cold water and beat together with a whisk.
  • Place the bowl over the water and whisk vigorously, incorporating as much air as possible as they begin to cook. Make sure it doesn’t get too hot and scramble; if they are overheating, remove the bowl from the heat, continuing to whisk, then put back over the simmering pot.
  • After five minutes, the mixture should look thicker and silken, start adding in the butter three cubes at a time.
  • As they start to melt, add more and continue to whisk until it’s all incorporated.
  • Remove from the heat and add salt and a little more lemon juice if required. Set this to one side.
  • Cut the woody bottoms off the asparagus (around an inch). Chefs peel it from the heads down with a French peeler. Your choice if you wish to do this, it makes the asparagus very tender.
  • Place into the simmering water and cook for four minutes.
  • While this is happening, fold the cream gently through the hollandaise, making it into mousseline.
  • Drain the asparagus, dress in lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper.
  • Arrange five sticks on each plate, spoon over the sauce mousseline, grate over a little Parmesan, drizzle a little olive oil and serve.

Thyme’s Happenings by Milly Hibbert

May this year will be like no other. First, we’ll be celebrating the King’s Coronation on 6 May, and what better way to do this than with a Coronation screening and barbecue at The Swan at Southrop, starting at lunchtime and running through to early evening. No reservations necessary and there’ll be plenty of room as the street will be closed for the occasion.

Sunday at The Swan will see royal roasts with options for all. The Ox Barn will be throwing open its lunchtime doors seven days a week from May Day onwards, introducing their ‘small plates’ lunchtime menu on the glorious, Bunny Guinness-designed south-facing terrace. There’ll be an array of cookery classes, Wellness Wednesdays and Vigour & Skills workshops in ceramics and leather craft. The Baa Bar will be celebrating the King’s favourite tipple in the form of two new botanically-inspired martinis on the menu. We can hardly wait.

Discover more online at or follow on Instagram @thyme.happenings


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