At Briarlea, we serve your favourite, traditional fare.
Think scrumptious shepherd’s pie, cream teas and fish & chips. Enough to rumble any tummy. You’ll never go hungry at Briarlea! A lot of thought goes into our food too.
Our meals are balanced with your health in mind. We cater to any special dietary requirements you have.
And forget about meals on wheels. The food you enjoy at Briarlea is an intrinsic part of our care. And with our care, we never cut corners. For this reason, our meals are homemade by Briarlea’s dedicated cooks.
We also use the fresh agricultural produce that we’re famous for right here in Evesham. Our asparagus, potatoes, eggs and meats are all bought locally. We take real pride in our farm-to-fork approach.
For the past twenty years, the kitchen has been headed up by Briarlea’s owner, Sally. Lucky for us, Sally is a professionally trained chef. Before cooking at Briarlea, she managed care home and hotel kitchens across the Cotswolds.
We sat down with Sally to get a better idea about what she serves on a day-to-day basis. You can read her kitchen diary below…
SALLY’S KITCHEN DIARY
”Hello, I’m Sally. It’s a pleasure to meet you. Maybe I’ll be cooking for you or your loved one soon.
At Briarlea, there’s a real emphasis on making our residents feel at home. And this plays into the food we serve. Sure, we could do fancy, cordon-bleu style meals. Small portions on a big plate. You get the gist! But, honestly, we’ve found this doesn’t quite whet the appetite of our residents.
Residents are seeking food that they’ve grown up with. Food which makes them feel comfortable and that reminds them of the meals they used to cook. So that’s what I do. Simple, traditional food doesn’t mean sacrificing on quality either. Our veg is local. While everything from our meat pies to puddings are made from scratch.
For breakfast, residents either come down to our dining room or they’ll take breakfast in bed. I suppose it’s about a 50:50 split. I make breakfast continental in style. Residents will often start with a coffee or tea (some like to drink theirs while perusing the morning paper) followed by cereal, or toast with a choice of spreads.
Lunch is a leisurely affair. Residents will first make themselves comfortable in our dining or garden room. It’s their choice. Individuals will often mix up their dining venues throughout the week for a change of scenery.
For the meal, everyone sits family style. This makes our lunchtimes really social. As I prepare lunch from my adjacent kitchen, you can hear the buzz of chatter. In life, socializing and mealtimes always go hand in hand. At Briarlea, we don’t see why this should stop at old age: a slap-up dish complemented by great company can do wonders for our mental health.
Lunch is typically a classic like Faggots & Mash, Steak-and-Ale Pie, or Roast Chicken. After the main course, I serve pudding, which I make from scratch that day. I confess I have a bit of a sweet-tooth – meaning there’s a long repertoire of desserts I enjoy making. I’ve found some of our residents’ favourites include Sticky Toffee Pudding, Eton Mess and Cheesecake Gateau. Residents end their meal with a lovely cup of tea or coffee – or if it’s summer, perhaps an iced juice.
Finally, we sit down for tea early in the evening. As we’ve had a big lunch, this tends to be lighter. Maybe a hot, creamy soup, or a selection of freshly made sandwiches. For all our meals, the menu is changed daily and runs in a four-week cycle. And if a meal isn’t to your fancy, we always have an alternative to offer – such as a jacket potato or an omelette.
We’ve recently upgraded to a new state-of-the-art kitchen. I’m looking forward to seeing how this improve our meal service further. Cooking is so fundamental to our care at Briarlea, and by getting everyone excited by wholesome, nourishing food, people are kept in good health. Bon Appétit!”
Another way our residents like to stay connected to cooking is through Briarlea’s cookery club. The club was formed back in 2019. Having decided what dish to make in advance, residents gather once a fortnight to make all manner of sweet treats. The care team are on standby to offer a helping hand when needed.
Dishes often revolve around a national holiday or special occasion. Like Welsh Cakes on St David’s Day, or Yule Logs at Christmas. We always schedule in a meeting for National Carrot Cake Day too. It’s on February 3rd, would you believe!
In the summer, residents pick plums from our backyard orchard and use fresh blackberries from the garden in their tasty creations.
Lisa’s Birthday Cakes
We like to make a big deal out of people’s birthdays here at Briarlea. Leading up to the celebration, we’ll ask the resident about what type of cake they’d prefer (say chocolate, or vanilla). We also ask them about their ideal cake topping. We occasionally get some zany answers!
Then, our talented chef Lisa makes the birthday cake from scratch and according to the resident’s wish. Lisa makes some beautiful creations. You can click through to our Facebook page to see some of the birthday cakes she’s made for us. To date, our favourite has to be lemon & jelly baby. Truly inspired!
Lisa loves cooking for the residents. “We’re like one big family”, she says. “And when it’s someone’s birthday in my family, we all celebrate with cake”.
See some examples of Lisa’s cakes below…
Dine with Us
If you’re thinking about care, why not come on by and join us for lunch?
You can get a taste of the home, not to mention our famous home-made cooking.
We also run regular round-the-world evenings for residents and their families where we showcase the cuisine of a particular country. We’ve recently celebrated Greek Night, Polish Night and Indian Night! It’s a great way of bringing our local community together over great food.
If you’re thinking about moving to Briarlea, you and your loved ones are more than welcome to reserve a seat at one of these events to get a flavour of our dining scene here at the care home.
To arrange a visit, call our friendly care team today on 01386 293 200.