Chestnuts roasting on an open fire

Looking out of the window at Bradshaw towers this morning failed to fill us with enthusiasm to seize the day, such was the uninspiring nature of the distinctly autumnal day. However, not wishing to waste a weekend we racked out brains for fun and free things for a family to in Kent. We were about to give up on the day when MrsB began talking about her latest shopping trip. She happened to mention that she nearly bought some chestnuts but was forced to put them back when she found they were shipped in from Portugal. She even looked at the tinned alternative and found these to be grown in France. This is when the idea stuck… lets go and find some chestnuts ourselves.

This evening we have already roasted a good handful on our open fire, using one of our British made Netherton Foundery pans (perfect for the job), and enjoyed them immensely. MrsB has ambitions to make marron glace and I also plan to pickle some. This will allow us to enjoy them throughout the winter.The three of us wrapped up in our woolly hats, scarves and wellies and hit the woods. It was not long before we found a veritable treasure trove of plump ripe chestnuts all over the place. It seems obvious that we are close to the tail end of the chestnut season but that did not stop us collecting over 2kg of the blighters.

It is obviously a shame that the supermarkets are failing to stock this fantastic winter classic grown in Britain but for the ease of collection and the quantity you can find you might as well forage your own. Just mind your fingers on those prickly shells.

All in all it turned into a really fun day.

If anyone has any interesting suggestions for using Chestnuts please leave a comment.

– James


  1. We used to eat them raw when I was at school! You have to peel all the bitter inner skin off though…perhaps they tasted better in break time than they would at home 🙂

  2. We collected about 2kg last weekend walking with friends in the woods around Alderley Edge, Cheshire. Wonderful autumnal walk, then roasted the chestnuts in the over for half an hour and peeled them to make a delicious nut roast.

  3. Fiddly little things to get to the lovely nut itself but splitting the skin and popping into the microwave for a few seconds normally enables both outer and the bitter inner skin to be removed in one go.

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