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Eat, Sleep, Drink, Eat

Burrata, Courgette and Fennel

Tray Chic

Burrata Courgette and Fennel

The Tray Chic series comes to us from Thyme: a rural idyll which offers a place to pause for thought run by the Hibbert family.

A bucolic retreat of rooms, luxury and rest offering a range of workshops, treatments, events, and some of the most delicious food in the county at the Ox Barn. Each month Chef Director, Charlie shares a simple seasonal recipe, shown on a tray styled by sister, Milly, in Bertioli linen – designed by Thyme’s founder, Caryn.  

Charlie Hibbert’s Burrata, Courgette and Fennel

This summery starter is exactly what I want to eat on a warm day. Creamy burrata, crisp vegetables, bitter leaves and salty, crunchy almonds, all good things and the combination is dynamite. I’d do this as a simple lunch or an indulgent side to a grilled, succulent piece of meat or marinaded chargrilled veg.

Serves 4


  • A good handful of blanched almonds (Valencia almonds are best), roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp vegetable or rapeseed oil
  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled & grated
  • ½ a lemon – zest (for the almonds) and juice (for the dressing)
  • 2 courgettes, peeled with a vegetable peeler into strips
  • 1 head of fennel
  • A good handful of bitter leaves, like rocket, nasturtium leaves, or something similar
  • 4 balls of burrata (one each)
  • Best extra virgin olive oil
  • Maldon salt flakes & pepper

Method :

  • Cut the fennel into thin strips with a spiralizer or knife and put in iced water until you are ready to assemble the dish (this keeps it nice and crunchy).
  • Fry the almonds in the vegetable oil on a medium heat until they start to turn golden. Just before they are ready to come off the heat, add the grated garlic, a couple of grinds of black pepper and the lemon zest, and toss through.
  • Carefully tip the almonds out of the pan onto a paper towel to drain.
  • When you are almost ready to serve, dress the courgette and fennel with plenty of lemon juice, season with salt and pepper, and gently combine with some bitter leaves.
  • Tear the burrata open and season. Tumble over the courgette and fennel, scatter over the almonds and dress with olive oil.


One of Bertioli’s founding prints, Yellow Rose is a firm favourite. Its sunny disposition and warm floral pattern brighten up any table or tray setting. Charlie’s salad sits perfectly on this bed of roses. With yellow representing friendship and joy, if you’re trayscaping, the sunshine-filled film - Mamma Mia is an ideal accompaniment.

Thyme’s Happenings - Milly Hibbert

August is a productive month, with vegetable gardens bursting at the seams. Our Calendar of Happenings reflects this with bountiful cookery classes to choose from. Learn how to make homemade pasta or preserves or explore the flavours of the world with Spanish Tapas or Regional French classics.

This month, we also focus on slowing down and harnessing the power of our breath with two Wellness Wednesdays events focused on the practice of breathwork. The first is hosted by Stuart Sandeman of Breathpod and the second by Cotswolds yoga icon, Nicole Paige Croft, and Thyme’s Founder Caryn Hibbert. And keep your eyes peeled for the Swan re-opening on @swansouthrop.


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