When one thinks of rustic country houses, indulgence isn’t exactly a word that comes to mind — which makes a stay at Thyme at Southrop Manor Estate such a delight. Deep in the heart of Cotswold, England, the 17th-century hotel exudes all the charm of an idyllic hideaway, complete with stone cottages and grazing sheep, but also satisfies our cravings for the high life, from on-call hairstylists and manicurists to a bar with top-notch botanical cocktails. This June, there’s more pampering to be had, too: Thyme opens Meadow Spa in partnership with Aurelia Probiotic Skincare. You can unwind with a massage or a facial — or take a dip in the outdoor swimming pool, which is filled with the actual natural spring water that flows beneath the meadows on the farm.
And don’t even get us started on the culinary eats — they’re divine. The hotel is equipped with its own cookery school, kitchen garden and farm, which makes its restaurant, the Swan, a destination in itself. Enjoy a taste — literally — with this summer recipe, courtesy of Thyme.
SALT COD CROQUETTES
200 g salt cod
200 g cooked & mashed potato (approx. 2 large)
600 ml milk
3 bay leaves
½ egg, beaten (save the other half)
For the coating
150 g flour
3½ beaten eggs
150 g panko bread crumbs
Vegetable oil for frying
Rinse the salt cod really well and pat dry — you can leave the salt cod soaking overnight in the fridge. Place the potatoes in cold water and bring to the boil. When they are almost cooked through, put the milk on to simmer with the onion, bay and peppercorns.
Poach the fish in the simmering milk — it won’t take long, around 3 to 4 minutes depending on the size of the pieces that go in. Gently lift the fish out and allow to cool until you are able to handle it.
Drain the potatoes of all liquid and mash (do not add anything to the potatoes at this stage). Flake the flesh of the fish into a bowl, removing any skin or bones. Add an equal amount of mash and mix. Add ½ a beaten egg and a dash of tabasco. Then loosen the mix with a splash of the milk you cooked the fish in. Make sure the mix is stiff enough to handle yet loose and yielding. Allow the mix to cool completely.
For the coating
Add the flour to one bowl, eggs in the next and panko in the last. Take a tablespoon of the mix, place it in the flour and coat. Lift it out, shake off any excess and place it in the egg. Once coated lift it out of the egg, shake off any excess and drop in the panko. Lift it out of the panko and set aside. Repeat the process for each croquette.
If you have a home fryer set it to 180-200° C, if not use a deep pan and test the temperature by placing a croquette into the oil very carefully and it will bubble away. Cook 5 to 6 at a time. Lift out when golden brown and serve with mayonnaise or aioli.