One of the ideas I had for when I added a blog section to the website was to  I might start to share a little bit about some of the people who help provide us with the ingredients we use to make our biscuits. I know how much I enjoy hearing the stories about the things I buy and especially how they’re made so I hope you might too. After all, without the people who provide us with what we put into our biscuits (aside from lots of love of course) our bakes wouldn’t be half as delicious, and we wouldn’t feel nearly as good as we do in our hearts about making them!

It’s always been super important to me to source ingredients for the biscuits locally where we can, and it’s something we think helps to make us who we are as a business and a brand. It’s lovely to build relationships and support other small businesses, and back in 2016 as soon as I got to grips with setting up The Kitsch Hen I knew exactly where I wanted to go to source one of our most important ingredients…

Just over 4 miles from the bakery is Whissendine Windmill – one of just a small handful of fully operational nineteenth century windmills left in the county, and believe me when I tell you it’s a magical place and visiting feels like you’ve stepped right back in time.

Nigel, the miller works as hard as anyone I’ve ever met producing all kinds of flour and it is wonderful, wonderful stuff – a million miles away from the bland, bleached supermarket alternative we’re all so used to.

I love driving over to see Nigel to collect our flour – it makes me smile and feels nostalgically
comforting to see him clambour down his ladder, covered in flour dust, with the rhythmic grinding of the millstones melting away the stress and tension I sometimes feel after a busy day at the bakery.

Standing below the sails watching them spin slowly as the sun sets (or rises sometimes if we’re having an early start!) behind them is a special thing to witness and I am so grateful to have Nigel on our doorstep. The Mill and how he operates it is a magic reminder that although life has sped up in so many ways, there are still tiny, beautiful pockets of life moving at the same pace it used to, following age old traditional ways of working that I often think we’ve all but lost.

If you’d like to see a little more, here’s a video of the Mill and Nigel in action. And if you’re local to us in Rutland (or planning a visit – which you should, it’s the smallest but I think loveliest county in England) you can pop up to see Nigel, have a chat and buy some flour ready for your next baking project!