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Eat, Sleep, Drink, Eat


Charlie and Milly Hibbert


Charlie Hibbert at Thyme Sea Bream en Papillote © Kirsty Young

The Tray Chic series comes to us from brother and sister team, Charlie and Milly Hibbert, at the helm of Cotswolds’ gem, Thyme. Milly has chosen the movies and dressed the trays with Bertioli by Thyme linens designed by the siblings’ mother, Thyme’s founder Caryn. Charlie is in charge of all things food at Thyme and has put together these quick simple and delicious recipes.

Serves 2

Prep & cooking time: 30 minutes

Difficulty: easy


2 fillets of sea bream 

1 head of fennel 

1 lemon zest and juice 

A pinch of  chilli  flakes 

2 tbsp butter 

160ml dry white wine 

8 pink fir potatoes

Salsa verde

Large handful of parsley, chopped 

4 anchovies, chopped 

2 tbsp capers, chopped 

2 small cloves garlic, peeled and grated 

Olive oil to cover

Salt & pepper


By Thyme’s Head Chef, Charlie Hibbert

The term ‘en papillote’ is a technique where food is enclosed in paper or foil and cooked in the oven, where it steams whilst being enveloped in flavour and juices.


  • Place the potatoes into cold, salted water. bring to the boil and cook for 15 minutes or until they are cooked through. Drain and peel when cool enough; keep to one side. Slice the fennel into thin strips and blanch in boiling water for 4-5 minutes, drain and set to one side. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan or gas mark 6. Tear off 2 squares of tinfoil large enough to encompass each fillet and lay them flat on your worktop. Tear off a couple of slightly smaller squares of baking parchment and lay on top. Place the fish fillets onto the squares and season with salt and pepper. Divide the fennel, lemon, chilli and butter between the two, and then fold up the sides of the foil to form a bag, leaving a little spout to then pour in the wine. Place into a preheated oven and cook for 15 minutes.

  • Make the salsa verde by combining all the ingredients. Dress the potatoes with the salsa and serve alongside the fish.


The technique of  cooking in paper has been present in cultures through out  history. However, the term  ‘en papillote’, meaning  'in parchment' originates from the French Quarter of New Orleans, specifically  to Antoine's - the oldest  family run restaurant in the  world. The original founder, Antoine  Alciatore, developed the fish dish ‘pompano Mongolfier’, in honour of the Montgolfier brothers who had created the first balloons. His son Jules coined the phrase ‘pompano en papillote’ because the steam puffing up the parchment is reminiscent of a hot air balloon. The establishment  features twice in Oliver Stone's 1991 film JFK, with a cameo from Antoine's very own Maitre d'!

TRAYSCAPE: Wild Chicory napkin and tablemat; tall, woody and wild, this herbaceous plant lives on the edge of fields and hedgerows. This everyday weed outshines its sibling, the commonplace dandelion, with its prolific and multifunctional output. It’s used in many Mediterranean countries as a herbal medicine and from roots to leaves, cultivates a natural larder for any chef. Wild chicory complements many of our dishes at the Thyme Ox Barn during meadow season.


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Are you one of those people who hated science and physics at school but love spending time in the kitchen trying out new recipes? If so, you are actually using your kitchen as a science laboratory and the art of cooking is more scientifically based than you probably realised.

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