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.
Eggs, Leeks and Shaved Truffle
When it comes to glitzy ingredients, truffles share top billing with caviar with white Alba truffles being the cherry on the icing. Black truffles, thankfully, are more affordable and there’s a market right here in this country now, so you don’t have to go traipsing off to continental Europe for this aromatic nectar of the gods. My dog Bonnie and I go off to a secret place to hunt truffles and she’s getting rather handy at it. If you get your truffle in advance, keep it with the whole, unbroken eggs in a sealed container – the flavour will seep through the shell.
- 8 small, young leeks (or 4 medium sized ones)
- 4 free range eggs
- 1 large autumn truffle. You can buy these from specialist greengrocers or via online truffle suppliers like wiltshiretruffles.com or trufflehunter.co.uk
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- Maldon salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper
- A grating of Parmesan
- Olive oil to serve
- Place a medium pan of salted water on to boil.
- Peel off the outer leaves of the leeks and discard. Blanch them in the boiling water until soft to touch with the point of a knife (around four minutes).
- Once the leeks are cooked, lift them out of the pan and slice lengthways. Melt the butter in a frying pan, put the leeks in – cut side down – and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook over a medium to high heat for three to four minutes until starting to brown.
- Crack your eggs into a small non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and fry until cooked through.
- Split the leeks between four warm starter plates, top each with an egg.
- Finally, cover liberally with wafer thin slices of truffle and a little Parmesan. Season with a touch of salt and pepper and a little olive oil and serve.
Image by Rich Stapleton
With Christmas whizzing towards us like a brightly painted spinning top, people are looking to creatives for seasonal innovation. There’s inspiration around every corner this month at Thyme. From 10 November to 7 January 2024, British artist Jemma Powell’s exhibition The Golden Thread will open, showing a new body of work inspired by the meadowlands of Thyme and their connection to the vast landscapes, endangered wildlife and the people that dwell within the communities of Lewa and Lamu, Kenya (in collaboration with The Tusk Trust and Cricket Fine Art).
Acclaimed gardener and ‘seedstress’ extraordinaire, Sarah Raven will be taking centre stage with a series of talks from 14 to 16 November. On 17 November, In Conversation will welcome interiors journalist, Jess Salter to chair a panel on The Importance of Colour, Shape & Form in Art & Design.
And on 22 November, a dinner at The Swan at Southrop will mark the launch of the Art for Charity Collective (ACC) exhibition in aid of Tusk (tickets bookable on thyme.co.uk). The live auction will take place on ACC’s Instagram @artforcharitycollective, hosted by Jemma Powell and her husband, musician Jack Savoretti on 11 December.