New flavours and a celebratory chutney on the menu as Refectory and shop re-open
On Thursday 23 July, Salisbury Cathedral’s Refectory restaurant and shop are to open, with new flavours on the restaurant menu, and a brand-new chutney on sale in the shop to mark the Cathedral’s 800 Anniversary.
The Salisbury Cathedral Celebration Chutney 1220-2020 is the result of extensive research by the local producer David Burton of Burton’s Best Chutneys. Prepared by hand in small batches, David has incorporated spices and other ingredients only used by the higher levels of medieval society, alongside more every-day ingredients.
A piece of flavourful edible history in a jar, the chutney contains the herb hyssop, which is relatively unusual in chutney making. It was recommended by the C12 German abbess and healer, Hildegard Von Bingen, as a cure for live problems and coughs:
“Let who suffers pain in the liver, or who coughs…eat hyssop with either meat or lard, the person will get better.”
The jar itself carries a small medieval replica coin and a little booklet with a very brief history of the Cathedral and the workmen’s wages prevalent at the time of its construction.
In the Refectory tasty treats baked on the premises, along with a new range of delicious sandwiches (gluten free available) and a hot soup of the day are on the menu, as well as the usual range of soft drinks and Fairtrade teas and coffees.
Socially distanced seating is available, so visitors who want to stay and enjoy the Spire view through the Refectory’s glass roof may do so. Alternatively there’s a takeaway service available, which means that whether you stay or go, you can enjoy freshly made-on-the day produce.
Acting Refectory manager, Kim Potts of Levy restaurants UK said:
“It is great to be up and running again, and to be welcoming visitors. We have a friendly team here and they have missed each other, and our guests. The Refectory is a lovely space to work in, and to relax in, but we needed to be certain was safe for all before we re-opened.”
Helen Russell, Cathedral shop manager said:
“It’s been a challenge planning working out ways of ensuring that customers can pop in to browse and buy safely – and like all other shops we will require customers to wear masks, but I for one, am delighted to be back at work. We are naturally customer-orientated people here and we have missed the company”
As well as the new menu and a shop full of goodies, visitors have another treat in store for them when they enter the Refectory. Collages created by Scottish artist David Mach, as part of the Cathedral’s 2020 art exhibition Celebrating 800 years of Spirit (curated by Jacquiline Creswell) are on view. The four pictures entitled Heaven were first exhibited in 2011 as part of an exhibition marking the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible, the first version of the Bible to be produced on a mass scale. David Mach is a former Turner Prize nominee and was elected to the Royal Academy in 1998.
The Shop and Refectory will be open during Cathedral visiting hours but may be subject to change, so visitors should check here before they come.
The Bell Tower Tea is also open, with outdoor seating available on the Cathedral lawns and a serve-at-table system in place, as well as a takeaway service.