Posted by: travelrat | October 15, 2014

The Paté Factory

Paté_copy

Ruthin: 23rd September 2014

It took me many years to get used to paté, and to realise it wasn’t all made from the livers of overfed geese. One of my favourite treats nowadays is a crusty baguette spread with Ardennes paté. That’s not the only way to eat it. It’s often served as a starter, with thinly sliced toast, and there are other ways too numerous to list here.

We had dinner at manor haus (all lower case, and no definite article, we were told) in a listed Georgian townhouse once owned by Cynthia Lennon and now an elegant restaurant. We were served a starter here … chicken and smoked bacon terrine … but we’d already had a ‘starter to the starter’ at ‘Patchwork Paté’, where they make paté in a myriad of flavours.

Duck and apple; rum and ginger; Stilton and Guinness; chili and lemongrass … I don’t do shorthand, so I couldn’t list them all. But, all were delicious. Except one; I can’t remember which one it was, and maybe it’s just me, but I detected just a hint of those childhood fishpaste sandwiches, which I was never too keen on.

Margaret

More fascinating, though, was the story told by Margaret Carter, who started the business in 1982. She was a single mother, with no training in cookery or business whatsoever, who produced her first batch of paté using just £9 she’d saved from her meagre housekeeping money.

The local restaurant to which she took her product loved it, and her little business expanded rapidly. It wasn’t long before she moved her operation from her kitchen to a purpose-built factory unit in Ruthin. But, one thing didn’t change, and that was the way Margaret originally cooked the paté … using no additives whatsoever, and sourcing her ingredients as responsibly as possible. And, eventually, it met with the approval of no less a person than Prince Charles.

I really didn’t know whether to be more impressed with the paté or the determination of the lady who built up a thriving business from almost nothing.

But, the personal touch is still maintained. On the way out, we saw the gaily painted VW Kombi van used to deliver the goods ,,, and that’s one of my favourite vehicles. It just had to be the icing on the cake … or, in this case, paté

The Van_copy
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