Beef and wine. A succulent culinary combination treasured and celebrated by many cultures for centuries.  Whether it’s a wonderfully prepared sirloin steak with a glass of vintage red or a casserole with humbler cuts simmering in artisan wine; we Brits love it.

Normally we’d expect to find this mouth watering pairing on a menu. But Bohemian Mojo went on an expedition into the heart of wild Wales where they stumbled on a unique fusion of beef and wine in delightful combination.

It was a very pleasing match. It wasn’t to be found on an immaculate plate of food in a Michelin starred restaurant. No, it was on the side of a hill looking over the poetic ruins of a medieval Abbey in one of the most beautiful valleys of the British Isles.

This was the way it happened.

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Ambyth! Ambyth means “forever” in Welsh. Every now and then, it’s nice to find something that you hope will last forever. 

Take for example, a smooth and complex glass of biodynamically grown and harvested Grenache, Syrah, Mouvedre blend, so delightfully fermented in its terra cotta amphora urns that it just eases its way onto your palate, all suave and sophisticated. Fleeting, yes...but the desire for forever is there. 

That’s my experience of my first taste of one of Ambyth Estates’ vintages. There was something different going on in this wine and I wanted to know what it was. Was it the organic, the biodynamic, the terroir, what??

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The idea of foraging conjures images of grubbily rooting through muddy undergrowth in the heart of some primeval forest. This was only half true on our amazing day with Fred Gillam, the foraging wizard. The morning we met Fred was cold, windy and threatened of a downpour as we piled in the car, trying our darnedest not to be victim to Mojo Meantime again! Today we were foraging with Fred Gillam, the amazing forager. We didn’t yet know just exactly how amazing he was but were excited to find out.  I have to admit even though I was excited to sightsee I was a little skeptical at what we might be foraging at Uffington White Horse which was where we to start our adventure for the day.  What could we possibly forage on an open hillside? Didn’t foraging require the dank, damp, and brooding underbelly of ancient forests???

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We ventured out into the landscape winding our way to Wales through intermittent spats of rain and wind followed by moments of bright blue cloud dotted skies. The day was a perfect illustration of what I call the ‘in-between’ times, the liminal. That place in time and space where everything overlaps and there is a momentary but perceptible ambiguity of boundary; an invigorating mix of weather; hinting at spring while also reminding of winter.

We were headed to a place called Caerleon, which apparently means “Fortress of the Legions” in Welsh. Caerleon is an important archeological site, riddled with layers upon layers of human history; a point which only truly dawned on me once we arrived and I saw how beautifully the community and landscape merged and grew, up, around, and out of the varying relics of the past.  
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"Of the four elements, air, earth, water, and fire; man stole only one from the gods. Fire. And with it, man forged his will upon the world." ~Anonymous

We first visited Tom Southerndon at Buscot Forge in October with our initial Mojo launch. I have always had a fascination with fire and the application of heat, perhaps because I am a fireman’s daughter? Ultimately, I am most curious, as a foodie, to understand the various ways that heat is used to enhance our palates and our lives. Who better to help me understand more about this versatile element than a blacksmith? Say no more, Alun was on it and quickly arranged for the Mojo team to head to Tom’s forge.  The experience was more than we could have anticipated. As Tom expertly stoked the forge fire, explaining each step in the process, I felt something happening deep within my being. Something stirred that I couldn’t quite identify. The fire whooshed, the flame danced to life, and the first clear bell of the hammer on the anvil woke some primal awareness in my soul. For a moment, completely without explanation, tears sprang to my eyes. I was hooked!

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I have a confession to make. I am a bibliophile. I dare say the rest of the Mojo team are with me on this one.

Books. We love them. We read them. We write them. Honest to goodness real books. The kind you can hold in your hand, feel the weight, smell the pages, and luxuriate in the words. Time spent in bookstores and libraries is an indescribably treat. In today’s world of electronic devices and technology, the printed word is under threat. We at Bohemian Mojo do our best to support local book vendors and reading resources. It’s one small way of preserving history.

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