At Briarlea, we serve hearty, traditional fare.
Think steaming shepherd’s pie, cream teas and scrummy fish & chips. Enough to rumble any tummy. You’ll never go hungry here! But it’s not all about volume…a lot of thought goes into our food.
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 here in Evesham. Our asparagus, potatoes, eggs and meats are all bought locally. It’s a real point of pride for us.
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 the 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 the 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. However for those not sold on the rolling menu, we offer alternatives from our set choices board. 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 soothing 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.
Beyond mealtimes, residents are free to pop into the kitchen whenever they please. This is a part of the day I really like. The mealtime rush subsides, and I can spend time chatting to the residents while I make them a cup of tea or a snack.
At Briarlea, I don’t want any resident to feel that bits of their home – like the kitchen – are out of bounds. And by getting everyone involved in food, people become invested. Their appetites increase, which keeps people in good health.”
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 whip up a storm. The care team are on standby to offer a helping hand when needed.
Dishes often revolve around a national holiday or special occasion. Think 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 treats.
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 design. 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.
To arrange a visit, call our friendly care team today on 01386 293 200.