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The Glorious Twelfth – A Countryside Classic

Working at The Bell Inn, with all our sumptuous dishes tempting me daily, I try to ensure that I keep fit with a regular run. I’m even more spoilt in that I get to do this across the beautiful landscape of the New Forest and at times, almost impress myself at the speed I can reach. However, I was reminded today that I’m nowhere near as fast as the Red Grouse. Yes, this little bird that reaches a staggering 80mph with just a few flicks of its wing, is the fastest bird on earth. Unique to Great Britain, the Red Grouse lives in the moorlands of Northern England and Scotland and the hunting of this super-speeding bird contributes an astonishing amount to the local economies.

New Forest off road cycling road

And so this weekend, it’s the Glorious Twelfth, a hugely important date in the countryside calendar as it marks the start of the grouse shooting season. To acknowledge this countryside tradition, from this Saturday, we’ll be serving up grouse on our Specials menu. Our clever chap in the kitchen, Head Chef Dave, has murmured that the dish is likely to be a whole roasted grouse, wrapped in smoked bacon, bought locally from Swallowfields, accompanied with bread sauce, whisky gravy and Game chips.

However, much like this little bird, speed will be of the essence, as it will only be on the menu while our stock lasts!

Enjoy your week!

The Innkeeper