A Sense of Place: Cotswold’s Lavender
The Cotswolds are known for their yellow stone houses and classic views of the English countryside. There has been a long association with farming in this area with the name deriving from ‘cot’, meaning sheep enclosure, and ‘wold’, meaning hill. Whilst the sheep have shaped the landscape for many generations, other crops also flourish on the free draining limestone soils. In place of barley and wheat, a third generation family farm has been producing Lavender here since the early 2000s.
Cotswold Lavender now have over 35 different varieties, some 70 miles of rows, and 250,000 plants in total. Cotswold Lavender crops are steam distilled on the farm and made into unique lavender products, all proudly made in Great Britain.
The Cotswold landscape of oolitic limestone, a material made of small spheres called ooiliths that are stuck together by lime mud, which was pushed from the tropical seabed around 150 million years ago. It is this same stone that gives the houses in the area their golden yellow hue.
Lavender loves free draining limestone soils and being a thousand feet above sea level gives the best growing conditions for the best quality English Lavender.
I couldn’t think of anything tastier to make to show off this beautiful British product! We are really lucky to have such varied soils and climates here in the UK, we should definitely make the most of them!
- Preheat the oven to 170°C/325°F/gas 3.
- Mix the flour and sugar together in a mixing bowl.
- Rub in the butter, then add the honey and lavender. Don’t knead your mixture.
- Roll it out directly on to a baking sheet lined with greaseproof paper until its 1cm thick.
- Sprinkle over some caster sugar, then pop the baking sheet into the oven and cook for 20 to 30 minutes.
- Keep an eye on it – you want a lovely deep golden colour from the honey.
- Leave to cool, then put away in a tin or serve.