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Eat, Sleep, Drink, Eat

Mince Pies

Tray Chic

Mince Pies

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 General Manager sister, Milly, in Bertioli linen, which is designed by Thyme’s founder, Caryn.

Charlie Hibbert’s Mince Pies

This is my interpretation of a recipe by the late, great Jane Grigson.  Why re-invent the wheel? It’s worth making excess mincemeat, because it keeps well sealed. When it’s this tasty, you won’t want to wait another year for more. Thane Prince’s Christmas flapjack (here) which has a layer of mincemeat between the oaty crumb is delicious in July!

Makes around 20 pies


  • Mincemeat
  • 250g chopped candied peel
  • 1kg Cox apples, cored and grated
  • 500g suet
  • 500g currants
  • 500g raisins
  • 500g sultanas
  • 500g soft dark brown sugar
  • 1 whole nutmeg, freshly grated
  • 125g slivered almonds
  • Juice and zest of 2 oranges
  • 150ml brandy
  • 300ml calvados


  • 250g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 125g unsalted butter
  • 50g icing sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 egg yolk & 20ml single cream for egg wash
  • Demerara sugar for sprinkling


  • Make the mincemeat a month before. 
  • Weigh the ingredients except the booze and stir well.
  • Add the brandy and calvados and stir again.
  • Sterilise some jars, spoon in the mincemeat and seal.


  • Put butter and flour into a large bowl and lightly rub together or pulse in a mixer. Don’t work it too hard.
  • When it’s like crumble, add in sugar and salt. 
  • Mix in egg, tip onto a floured surface and bring together into a ball. 
  • Wrap in parchment paper and put into the fridge for an hour to chill.

To assemble:

  • Preheat the oven to 200°C (normal) | 180°C (fan) | gas mark 6
  • Roll out the pastry to about a 5mm thickness on a floured surface. Cut out discs and gently press into each individual space in pie cooking tin. 
  • Add a dessert spoon of mincemeat to each. Brush the edge with egg wash and gently press on a second disc as lid.
  • Poke two knife holes in the centre of each, brush with egg wash and sprinkle demerara on top.
  • Bake for 20 minutes or until golden. 


Our winter linen collection celebrates the Leucojum flower. Loved by pollinators, this whimsical-looking flower likes to make its home where the soil is wet; the banks of the River Leech being a perfect spot. Paired here with our hand-made ceramic plates finished with a gold rim, and a hand-blown glass candle holder for a setting befitting the festive season!

Thyme’s Happenings

It's celebration season and for the very first time, the Ox Barn will be open on Christmas Eve. Expect a festive feast, live music and Thyme Christmas crackers. Welcome in the New Year with the Ox Barn's signature party; a fabulous five course dinner, live music, dancing and a DJ set to play in the new year.

This month's calendar of happenings is brimming with delights… from learning the art of calligraphy and wreath making to cooking delicious seasonal treats… be sure to book your spot. Come and visit us for a festive tipple, a browse around the Richard Pomeroy exhibition, and a tempting tour of our boutiques and everything they have to offer for the season.

All events can be booked on the Happenings section at or follow on Instagram @thyme


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