From Suffolk field to our restaurant

12th December 2017

When dining at The Ship at Dunwich you will notice that Head Chef, Liam Davison, includes a variety of wild game dishes on his menus so we wanted to find out a bit more about where it comes from.

Our wild game is sourced from Maisebrooke Farm Shop at Shipmeadow near Beccles, which is just 16 miles from The Ship at Dunwich. We visited the owners Jo and David, who run the busy farm shop themselves, and asked few questions to get to know them and what they do.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and what you do?
Jo and I are growers and producers of wild boar, goat and other rare breed meats, all of which is butchered on site by our own butcher, Nigel. We also stock and supply poultry and seasonal game in our farm shop and to local restaurants and pubs. Again, this is also butchered on our site to ensure the freshest taste as possible.

When did Maisebrooke farm open?
We opened Maisebrooke Farm 7 years ago. When we brought the land, it was just a ploughed field so we had the advantage of creating something we wanted. We decided to name the farm after our two children Maisie and Brooke, and after buying the farm we had our third daughter Georgie which in Greek means farm.

David and Jo Lay, owners of Maisebrooke Farm Shop
Jo and David Lay, with daughters Maisie, Brooke and Georgie

What did you do before opening your own farm?
Prior to Maisebrooke Farm I was a gamekeeper, however Jo and I decided that we wanted our own farm and farm shop in Suffolk, somewhere that we could grow, produce and stock seasonal game and other rare breed meats.

What do you supply to The Ship at Dunwich?
We supply seasonal game such as partridge, pheasant, venison and pigeon, and we believe that is proven to be very popular among your diners which is great! We also supply our own grown wild boar and goat. We love seeing all the wonderful dishes that your Head Chef, Liam creates with these meats, especially the dishes that are often found on your specials menu. We would usually call Liam on Tuesday to take his order so that we can ensure the produce is as fresh as possible and ready for the weekly delivery that we do for The Ship at Dunwich.

Wild boar at Maisebrooke farm
Wild boar breed at Maisebrook Farm

How long have you been working with the team at The Ship at Dunwich?
This is the first year that David and I have been supplying to The Ship. I love doing deliveries to the inn, it is such a lovely pub and restaurant in a beautiful area. Actually, this is the first year that we have been supplying our meat to any local restaurants, and we hope to continue doing so for many years to come.

What makes supplying to The Ship, different to your other customers?
Your kitchen team use a lot of our produce on their specials menu. This is something that we love about The Ship as we can call Liam and tell him if we have something new or different and this gives him the opportunity to cook your diners something they may not find elsewhere.

Venison at The Ship at Dunwich
Rack of venison with sweet potato mash, roasted celeriac and juniper gravy

When would you say game is most popular among your customers?
Game is always fairly popular as it is something different and there are some many tasty dishes that can be created using this meat, however we would have to say that it is probably most popular in the winter months as a lot of people love to make those delicious game casseroles.

What do you stock in your farm shop throughout the colder months?
In our farm shop you can always find local produce such as lamb and beef, as well as seasonal game which is mostly shot at Bramfields. If you were to visit our shop during winter you may find stock such as minted lamb burgers, chilli and lime spatchcock partridge, game roulade, haggis stuffed chicken and brie and cranberry stuffed chicken pillows… and that’s just to name a few of the unique varieties we have.

Maisebrooke Farm shop
Maisebrooke Farm Shop

Can you tell us about one of your proudest achievements so far?
Something we’re very proud of is our Countryside Alliance Award which we were awarded in 2016. The awards had 7,500 nominations from the public! It was such an honour to receive this award and we have been nominated again this year. We will find out if we have been successful for another year in March 2018. The Countryside Alliance Awards is an annual celebration of rural produce, skills, enterprise and heritage among businesses in the East of England.

Find Masiebrooke Farm Shop on Facebook
Maisebrooke Farm, Shipmeadow, Beccles, Suffolk, NR34 8HJ
01502 711018