The Lost Orchard
‘Blanc set about the most thorough apple-tasting and cooking project I have heard of . . . [The Lost Orchard] condenses the highlights, his love letters to the forgotten apple breeds.’ The Times
‘I began to dream about an orchard filled with thousands of fruit trees… Today we have an orchard with over 150 ancient varieties of apple. Each one has its heritage in a village or a county that used to thrive on that particular variety. They tell the story not only of what we have lost in Britain but also what we could regain.’
Over the past seven years, Raymond Blanc has planted an orchard of 2,500 trees in the grounds of his hotel-restaurant in Oxfordshire. Yielding about 30 tonnes of fruit for his kitchen each year, it is full of ancient and forgotten varieties of British apples and pears, along with walnut trees, quince, medlars, apricots, nectarines, peaches, plums, damsons and cherries. A further 600 heritage fruit trees have been added from Raymond’s home region of Franche-Comte in France.
The Lost Orchard is a love letter to each of these varieties, complete with beautiful black and white drawings, photographs of Belmond Le Manoir and fascinating information and anecdotes about each fruit, along with recipes and stories.
In his book The Lost Orchard, Blanc writes with typical romance about the bountiful breadth of fruit varieties that England produced in the days before the supermarket era. * The Telegraph * Raymond celebrates the gentler pleasure of home. He chronicles the 2,500-tree orchard he has planted in the grounds of his Oxfordshire hotel-restaurant, Le Manoir. He salutes the orchard's ancient and forgotten varieties . . . along with tempting recipes . . . - Waitrose Weekend Blanc's enthusiasm fills this story with not only of what we have nearly lost in Britain and France, but what we could regain. * Love England * A true delight * The Caterer * Must read! French chef Raymond Blanc has written a new book dedicated to the impressive orchard he has planted in the grounds of his hotel-restaurant in Oxfordshire, Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons, which is full of trees producing ancient and forgotten varieties of British and French fruit. * Living France * Raymond Blanc has spent the past seven years creating a 2,500-tree orchard at his Oxfordshire restaurant, Le Manoir. Here, he describes the experience with passion, introducing us to many 'forgotten' varieties, and revealing how best to use them in the kitchen. * The Week - Nine of the best food books from 2019 * The Lost Orchard is a paean to the orchard behind the chef's restaurant in Oxfordshire. Each variety is described in terms of growing and cooking; the very names are evocative. The last chapter provides excellent fruit recipes. * Evening Standard - Best Cookbooks of 2019 * This is a reference book that you can turn to if you want to know anything about apples. It will fly off the shelves for hundreds of years. * Tim Hayward * More than a cookbook, this is a love letter to the English orchard, [Raymond Blanc] writes tenderly about the hundreds of varieties he has planted in his orchard at Le Manoir, each as precious to him as a much-loved child. * Sunday Times - Best Food and Drink Books 2019 * A beautifully presented recipe guide that doubles as a nostalgic paean to the heritage and provenance of forgotten varieties of British fruit, Blanc's latest volume is much, much more than just a cookbook. Adorned with evocative black and white drawings and a treasury of anecdote, The Lost Orchard is a sumptuous feast for the senses. * Waterstones * Beautifully written by our favourite French chef, these recipes are inspired by Raymond Blanc's love of the British orchard. It's a love affair with apples and a bit of history, too. * Closer * Blanc set about the most thorough apple-tasting and cooking project I have heard of . . . [The Lost Orchard] condenses the highlights, his love letters to the forgotten apple breeds. * The Times * Blanc says [apples are] . . . the root of everything. A kind of symbol for Britain to move forward by reconnecting with the past. * The Times * The legendary chef opens the door to a living library of lost varieties of heritage English fruit in a treasury of recipe and reflection. * Waterstones Weekly * Raymond Blanc has created a garden haven at his Le Manoir restaurant in Oxfordshire . . . keenly aware of the perilous state of heritage apples, pears, cherries, medlars and quinces, he was determined to add an orchard of forgotten fruits to his ensemble. This magical book describes his quest and the hard work needed. * Simple Things * The recipes are lovely. . . [The Lost Orchard] is about Blanc's love of orchards and how he established one in England . . . It's also a guide to the varieties of apple, pear, fig, quince and stone fruit he has planted . . . offering tasting notes and history for each. As useful for gardeners as for cooks. -- Diana Henry * The Telegraph - One of their Top 20 cookbooks of the year 2019 *
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