Interview: Honey Master Sommelier

The quality of the food we eat is critical to our health and wellbeing and supporting independent growers, farmers and producers is essential for sustainable living. This month I asked Gruffydd Rees, a beefarmer since 2010, why single-origin honey is so important, and what makes it taste so good.


Food fraud is big business. Generally, it’s the foods that we pay the most for that are most at risk of fraudulent practices. Foods such as coffee, olive oil, wine, and honey. While single-estate wines are not new there has also been a rise in independent specialist coffee roasters, offering beans from single-estate growers. Traceability is important, not only with regard to quality but to ensure fair prices and best practices, and blended products don’t offer that reassurance.

So when it comes to the honey you drizzle over your breakfast porridge, you want one that’s not only full of taste but is produced sustainably from a reputable source.

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This week… bags, birds and The Beatles

I filed copy on two features this week, the first on wine and the second on coffee. Both were fun to do (sitting around tasting wine and coffee, what’s not to like!). Also, delving deep into a subject is right up my street. I like to tell myself it’s my natural journalistic skills but it’s probably more a case of being just plain nosey.

I’ve become fascinated by terroir, the magical combination of temperature, climate, soil composition and production methods, that impacts on wine, food and, yes, coffee. Fresh authentic seasonal food, produced sustainably and prepared simply.

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This week… recovery from lockdown

I’ve been battling with admin all week. A necessary but tedious round of paperwork, bills and similar chores has left me feeling caged up. I’m missing travelling. Much as I like my home, all I want to do is escape to somewhere warm, sunny and new. Finally, one morning I woke early and decided to play hooky (where do I get these Americanisms from!). I packed a breakfast picnic and headed for the beach. Walking for miles I made it out to the sandbanks, only revealed when the tide is out. The fresh sea breezes brought me literally back to my senses. A couple of hours later, like a child I returned home with sandy feet, windswept hair and soggy trousers from splashing through the pools of clear, warm water. Bliss.

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This week… under lockdown (twelve)

First prize for trends this week goes to Bubble Tourism. It seems to be popping up everywhere. It’s likely that, in our quest to avoid busy airports and crowded planes, we will be looking to ‘travel alone, together.’ It’s all sounding very SciFi. Beam me up, Scotty.

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This week… under lockdown (seven)

This week I should have been in Slovenia and, pre-lockdown, was looking forward to exploring the local cuisine and magnificent countryside. Instead, I travelled there courtesy of Zoom. Set in the foothills of the mountains, the Soča Valley reminds you instantly of The Sound of Music. You get the picture, lush green pastures set against a backdrop of snow capped mountains.

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