Jesse Smith - The Marlborough
Jesse Smith is a group of 5 shops in Cirencester, Tetbury, Burford, Marlborough and Nothleach. The Burford and Northleach shops operate under the WJ Castle name, all are listed on the site under Producers.
All are top quality butchers located in pretty, upmarket Cotswold towns. The well heeled customers buy free range and rare breed meat at fair prices.
Marlborough is famous for the eponymous public school and has a wide market place with a proper market and a tailor selling "Military and Club Ties". When we visited the shop a elderly, be-tied gentleman was barking orders at the unfortunate butcher preparing his rack of lamb. In common with many quality shops it has a blackboard where they list the farms from where the meat was sourced. Not wishing them to think I was a VAT inspector I didn''t take notes but remember at least 2 farms for each of Beef, Lamb, Poultry and Pork (including Plantation Pigs of Surrey who supply a number of quality butchers).
They offer a selection of 8 - 10 different sausage varieties plus specials (last week it was a coiled Boerewors), they also sell bacon (proper dry cured plus a cheapo stuff labeled as "EEC"), all types of fresh meat (including proper cooking cuts such as Ox Tail) and excellent pies. They also have a separate deli selling cheese, olives, jams etc.
We brought the Marlborough & Chipolatas at £6.50 a kilo, plus free range Old Spot pork chops at £7.92 a kilo, beef shin (for casseroling) at £6.29 a kilo and a selection of pies.
Both sausages are course cut, chunky sausages (even the chipos). They are moist and good cold (especially the Marlborough) but don''''t flood the pan with fat. I preferred the Marlborough which is flavored with fresh herbs and was better cold, flavours are subtle with a good balance of salt and pepper.
I expected slightly more from the sausages. However overall they are still worth a respectable 7 in our scoring system.