When the pizza comes to you…
A recent Worcester News article back in February alerted me to an exciting new pop-up restaurant launched by local flour business, Toad’s Mill. Lydia and Toby both grew up on a farm and one day decided to try planting their own spelt on their family farm in Bromyard. Today they supply the flour into bakeries, farmshops and restaurants. The couple who run the business from their home in Worcester serve pizzas using dough made with their own flour from a converted horse box. Seasonal toppings are sourced from local producers and each pizza is named after a field from the couple’s farm. The horse box travels to food festivals, events and village pizza nights, serving fresh pizzas hand baked from the wood-fired oven. After reading the charming story I couldn’t wait to try out the pizza, and the best thing was that Toad’s Mill Kitchen have been popping up every fortnight just a few miles down the road from where we live.
When we arrived at Eckington Recreation Centre the car park was full. In the corner we saw the Toad’s Mill horse box with people queuing up the ramp. Whilst we waited for a minute or two to be served we read through the menu on the outside chalk boards and ordered a ‘Pepper box’ (£9) pizza and ‘Clover Patch’ (£10), which is the special this month. Lydia said our pizzas would be ready within about 15 minutes, but was happy to put them back a while whilst we popped over to the pub down the road for a quick drink. We noticed the long order list which was definitely going to keep them busy that night.
On our return we chatted to Lydia and Toby about the business and they told us that they had plans to take the trailer to more villages soon as the pop ups had been going very well. They have many repeat customers (we will be adding ourselves to that list) who return to the Eckington Pizza nights. They also sell their spelt flour at £4 per bag from the kitchen. For now we were happy going straight to the finished product, but will pick up some flour next time to have a go at making some of our own pizzas with it.
Thankfully we only had a short drive home, so resisted the temptation of sitting in the car park and devouring the pizzas. Both pizzas were generously topped with cheese and fresh ingredients. The Pepper box came with tomato, mozzarella, spicy Ndjua sausage, red pepper, rocket and had a fiery kick. The Clover Patch special had a Mediterranean theme of tomato, mozzarella, red onions, mushrooms, artichokes and was one of three vegetarian options available (they have a special menu for vegans too). We really enjoyed both and found the dough to be light, crispy and really tasty. I’m not sure if we had the wholemeal or light white bases, but they seemed to be wholemeal and although we were eating pizza, they definitely seemed to be a much healthier version of anything else on offer in the area.
Takeaway food is very few and far between where we live, so it was a real treat for us to be able to take something delicious home with us. Eating out is fun, but sometimes nothing beats having food being cooked for you and being able to enjoy it in the comfort of your own home. The next Eckington pop-up is on Thursday 5th July from 5:30-8pm and is already in my diary. Keep an eye out on the Toad’s Mill Facebook page or follow them on Twitter @ToadsMill to find out when they will be coming to a village near you.
Cost: £19 *note that the pop-up kitchen currently accepts cash only)
* Lydia very kindly offered to give us our pizzas for free, but we paid for them in full.