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My West Country: Jules Horrell

My West Country: Jules Horrell

Jules Horrell and husband Steve run the Roth Bar and Grill in Bruton, Hauser & Wirth's legendary restaurant, coffee hangout and Friday nightspot

Pictured above: Jules and Steve Horrell

When and how did your love affair with the West Country begin?

I relocated to Bristol from Winchester back in 1999, it was here that I fell in love with the West country.  Our family home is now an old apple barn and small holding in Sparkford.  Bruton and its surrounding villages are very special, it remind me of my childhood home in the Peak District.  Roth Bar & Grill allows us to celebrate the West Country everyday with its bounty of growers, farmers and producers. 

  • How do you balance working motherhood?
I am not sure that I do, it’s a constant juggle like for any working mother.  Our daughter is now at UWE studying fine art and our youngest attends Sexey’s.  I am lucky that both are very understanding of the commitment of running a busy restaurant.  Sundays are always a family day, we spend time in the garden and always enjoy Sunday   

  • Which walk do you take or place do you go when you need to think and dream?
My vegetable garden, I love gardening and find it very therapeutic.  Time in the garden gives a sense of calm and tranquillity which is often needed in today’s fast paced world.

  • What is your favourite view?
King Alfred’s tower.  When we moved to Bruton, we lived in South Brewham for 2 years and our cottage had the most wonderful views up towards King Alfred’s tower.  It was always clearly visible during the winter months, with only the very top of the tower peaking out of the tree canopy during the summer.    

  • Is there anything you wouldn’t eat?
I will try most thing, although I may avoid the really bizarre.  Afterall, I am married to a chef!

  • What is your signature dish?
It has to be pot roast chicken.  It’s a family favourite on Sundays during the winter.  The chicken and vegetables go into our old wood fired aga at midday, and by 4 ‘o’ clock, its simmering and ready to go.  Just what the doctor ordered after from a long walk across the fields.

  • Do you have a favourite restaurant/café?
Roth Bar & Grill of course!  I run the restaurant at Durslade Farm with my husband Steve, and our team are like extended family.  All the beef, pork and lamb is all reared here on the farm and we source fruit, vegetables and herbs Kitchen Garden.  We are incredibly lucky to be surrounded by some of the best food and drink producers in Somerset.   

  • What would your last meal be?
It would have to be lamb asado cooked at Roth Bar & Grill.        

  • Who are your favourite food producers?
Where do I start?  There are so many passionate producers here in Somerset.  Tom Calver & his father Richard at Westcombe Dairy lovingly produce the best chesese.  Paul Dovey, our Farmer here at Durslade, rears some of the best beef and pork I have ever tasted. And one of my all-time favourites, Julian Temperley at Somerset Cider Brandy. 

  • Where is the best place for a campfire beach party or country picnic?
There is a wonderful beach off the Helford river in Cornwall which is only accessible by boat, fondly named as BBQ Beach.  It’s a place we used to visit every spring when the children were younger, we would catch edible crabs and cook them over an open fire on the beach.

  • Can you share a hidden gem/secret with us?!
A slow walk in the woodland surrounding King Alfred’s tower during early Autumn is likely to result in some interesting mushrooms.  We work with Ben at Wild Resources who always advises us on the edible varieties.  

  • Describe a weekend off
What’s that?  The perfect weekend would be spent at home with my family, a day in the garden and a walk in the countryside or along the beach.  We built an outdoor kitchen this summer in our old barn, so dinner would be something simple, cooked over the fire.  We rear our own pork, lamb and goat – the goat was inspired by a dinner with James from Cabrito at Roth Bar & Grill 

  • What is your family favourite Sunday lunch, to convince everyone to stay around the table for hours?
A slow cooked roast followed by an interesting cheese board with some homemade chutney and crackers – its keeps everyone grazing and conversation flowing long after dinner.

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