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Blog: Six Delicious Ways to Love British Food This Summer


Blog: Six Delicious Ways to Love British Food This Summer

 

By Sally Rooma, Love British Food Community Supporter and Founder of The Foodie Travel Guide

As someone who loves to travel with my taste buds, I like to seek out interesting new ways to enjoy the fantastic food and drink we produce in Britain.

Whether you're planning to stay firmly at home this summer, take a few day trips, a weekend break or a holiday in Britain, here are some fun ways to make this summer truly scrumptious.

Dine Out at a Farm Restaurant

Field to fork dining down on a farm is a really satisfying way to eat out. There are some seriously impressive Farm To Table restaurants putting down roots all across the country.

Somerset is blessed with Yeo Valley Canteen in Blagdon. Britain's largest organic producer is still a family-owned business. Back in 2015, it opened up its staff canteen to its customers. But this is no ordinary staff canteen. It's a light and contemporary space with a playful interior, an outdoor terrace with a stunning view and a classically trained chef who began his career at The Dorchester.

Diners can lunch on tasty seasonal dishes where the organic meat and dairy, produced at Holt farm, are the stars of the show. Supporting them is carefully sourced local produce including trout from Blagdon Lake.

Afterwards, customers can buy yogurt, milk and ice cream in the shop. Don’t go home without a loaf of their superb sourdough bread and a copy of the Yeo Valley Great British Farmhouse Cookbook.

Go Wine Tasting in an English Vineyard

English wine continues to go from strength to strength. The long, hot summer of 2018 meant it was a vintage year with over 15 million bottles produced in our wineries. There are now 522 commercial vineyards across England and Wales many of which are open to the public for tours and tastings.

Some vineyards such as Chapel Down in Kent and Wyken Vineyards in Suffolk, have their own restaurant. The Leaping Hare at Wyken is housed in a stunning 400-year old barn and is one of Suffolk’s top fine dining destinations. The restaurant has been listed in The Good Food Guide for over 25 years and has held a Michelin Bib Gourmand for over 20 years.

In London, the Gladwin brothers, who were brought up on the family farm and vineyard in Nutbourne, West Sussex, have two restaurants: Chelsea’s Rabbit and The Shed in Notting Hill. The emphasis at both is on rustic dining and small plates. On the menu, sustainable livestock from the farm and bottles of Sussex sparkling wine from the vineyard.

Go to a Summer Food Festival

The August bank holiday weekend always promises a bumper crop of food festivals. The delicious dilemma is choosing which one to go to. 

Visit the Isle of Wight and you can indulge your taste buds in all things garlicky at the Isle of Wight Garlic Festival (try the black garlic ice cream). The Cotswolds play host to Alex James’ Big Feastival where cheese tasting is a major part of the festival programme.If you like a bit of history, the Hampton Court Palace Food Festival includes free entry to the palace where you can step inside Henry VIII’s kitchens.

Or, if you are planning a late summer weekend break why not head to Cambridge on 21st and 22nd September and you can visit the Cambridge Food, Home and Craft Fair where there’s an all day programme of cookery demonstrations from well known local chefs and other foodies. For something really special, book into Raymond Blanc’s Oxfordshire hotel, Belmond Le Manoir Aux Quat’Saisons, for the 28th and 29th September and visit the nearby Thame Food Festival. Some of the delights on offer include a pop-up pub, a botanical gin garden and an artisan food market. 

Go Fruit Picking on a Farm    

Something to do with young children during the long summer holidays is to visit a Pick Your Own farm. Kids will love getting their hands sticky picking strawberries and raspberries and eating too many along the way. Afterwards, you can all have fun in the kitchen making traditional summer desserts such as fruit crumble, summer pudding or Eton mess. 

Plan a Picnic Day Out

Plan a day out at the seaside or visit your favourite local beauty spot and enjoy a relaxing picnic with friends or family. Feast on mini pork pies, quiche, sausage rolls and crusty baguettes with a selection of British farmhouse cheeses. Buy a copy of the National Trust’s Picnic Book and you could be rustling up scones and scotch eggs for an outdoor feast in no time.

Keep an eye out for special events like BBC Proms in the Park where you can enjoy your picnic to the sound of music. This July, Daylesford Organic farm in the Cotswolds will be hosting The Big Picnic, a trestle table farm feast celebrating the best of British summer produce.

For a quirky summer picnic, head to Farley’s House in East Sussex which will be holding its 3rd Surrealist Picnic over the August Bank Holiday weekend. The house became a meeting place for some of the leading figures from the world of 20th century modern art including Pablo Picasso and Man Ray. It was winner of Visit England’s ‘Hidden Gem’ award in 2018.

Put a Steak on the Barbecue

If you're staying at home, how about hosting a great British barbecue? The Co-op, sponsors of Love British Food, made a commitment back in 2017 to source all its fresh meat from British farmers. Buy a few steaks, sausages and burgers to grill on the barbecue. Even better, do so knowing that 1% of Co-op branded products go towards supporting local causes.

For drinks, open a bottle of rosé produced by Denbies Wine Estate in Surrey. If you love craft beer, try Adnams fruity Mosaic Pale Ale and if you prefer cider, quench your thirst with a glass of cloudy cider like Westons Old Rosie. Add a summery flavour by drinking one of the strawberry, rhubarb or raspberry varieties.

To discover more delicious ways to enjoy British food on your travels this summer, visit The Foodie Travel Guide