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We're celebrating British Food Fortnight

Posted on September 23, 2017 by Ellie

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Autumn – the time of year for long walks against a backdrop of colourful leaves, pumpkin festivals, beautiful sunsets and, well, eating great food. As if we didn’t need another excuse to indulge, the 23rd September – 8th October is British Food Fortnight, and a chance to champion all that is great about our nation’s food.

British food fortnight is the largest annual celebration of food and drink in the UK, and we certainly have a lot to celebrate – from local delicacies to everyone’s favourite seaside treat, fish and chips. We love food and let’s face it, we do it well. Coinciding with the harvest festival, the celebration began in 2002 in the wake of the Foot and Mouth crisis and has since continued as a time to be grateful for the wealth of food and drink we produce here in the UK. Buying and eating local produce is so important to supporting our economy and eating fresh home grown produce just tastes so much better. There are so many ways that you can get involved with the many activities that are happening across the fortnight, so why not book a great little break and join in with the food?

Luckily for you, we have selected five areas and breaks from our dining collection that truly demonstrate the best of British food and drink, and why we think you should pay them a visit.

1.Worcestershire

Worcestershire is renowned for some of the best local British food and drink – where would we be without that generous splash of Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce on our Welsh rarebit? Worcester is located in the heart of the Midlands where you’ll find an abundance of pubs serving up those specials that we all know and love, but the city and surrounding area is also populated with farms growing and selling fresh local produce. Its local farm shops sell a range of homemade jams and fresh, locally reared joints of meat as well as pressed juices, beer and cider bursting with ‘countryside’ flavour. 

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Our relaxing countryside break in Redditch, Worcestershire, includes a two course meal in Oscars restaurant which offers a perfect hybrid of traditional British cuisine and modern taste. The chefs at Oscars are dedicated to using only the best local seasonal produce. Staples on the menu include the Chef’s soup of the day which is packed full of fresh veg from nearby farms.

Where to stay

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2. Cumbria

Cumbria and the Lake District is any ‘foodie’s’ heaven, with local tea and cake shops standing nose-to-nose, Michelin starred restaurants and even the best pie and mash in the country. The best part is that you can be sure that every dish you tuck into is locally sourced, and bursting with fresh seasonal flavours. The Storrs hotel is perfectly located on shores of Lake Windermere and provides the most spectacular background for a meal whatever the time of year. The hotel’s restaurant The Lake Edge commands dramatic mountain views from tables which look out onto the water, and head Chef, Ross Marshall, is committed to sourcing as much as possible from local producers. 

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Here you can sink your teeth into the most succulent Cumbrian lamb, followed by a selection of Lakeland cheeses including a mature Lancashire cheddar. It is also impossible to go to the Lakes and not treat yourself to a fine Cumbrian Ale, so we’re delighted to let you know there are 21 microbreweries in Cumbria waiting to be sampled, all offering different notes and flavours of the Lakeland!

Where to stay

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3. Surrey

Mention English wine and most people think of fizz. But wine production in England has also come a long way in the last 20 years. The UK is a premium wine-producing region with around 500 vineyards, and English and Welsh wines have won many prestigious awards. Among the large expanse of rolling hills in Surrey lies the UK’s largest and most spectacular Vineyard – Denbies. Denbies Vineyard has been producing award-winning wine since 1986, and its wines have a fair few awards under their belt. September marks the harvest of the grapes, so what better time to visit the vineyard and experience the harvest in action with a classic tour? 

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Our Denbies Vineyard Break includes two ‘classic experience tickets’ which begins with a screening of ‘The Vineyard Through The Seasons’ and then takes you to the cellar where you will be guided through a tasting of classic wines including none other than the gold award-winning, Chalk Ridge Rose. Supporting the production of British wine is so important to our economy – so what are you waiting for? Get yourself to Denbies and relax with a large, cold glass of Pinot Gris.

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4. Cotswolds

The Cotswolds is without doubt an area that encapsulates the true essence of the British countryside, and is fast earning itself a reputation as one of the top ‘foodie’ destinations in the UK – and rightly so!

Who can honestly say that they’re not partial to a slice of mature double Gloucester? Any cheese fans simply can’t miss out on a trip to Smart’s family farm, where you will have the chance to sample a delectable range of hand-made Gloucester cheeses. And did you know, the Cotswolds even have their very own gin?! Cotswolds Gin is made in the Cotswolds Distillery and is the first ever full-scale distillery in the region. To celebrate British Food Fortnight and the harvest festival, the distillery is selling tickets to its own harvest festival on 7th October where the business will be launching the first ever single malt whisky to be made in the Cotswolds.

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Our gourmet tasting experience break includes overnight accommodation in the beautiful Cotswolds House Hotel and Spa, along with a gourmet five course meal in the two AA Rosette award-winning Fig restaurant, where not only will you be treated to incredible local beef on the menu, but will also have the chance to sample the Cotswold gin tasting menu.

Where to stay

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5.Blackpool

The best part of going to the seaside is the food, right? Blackpool is one of our nation’s most iconic seaside towns with so many sweet and savoury treats on offer. As well as indulgent confectionery, as a coastal town Blackpool is also renowned for its fish.

A trip to the Blackpool Fish Factory cannot be missed if you fancy some fresh fish with a greasy spoon twist! Offering a fantastic selection, the Blackpool Fish Factory prides itself on quality ingredients and a varied menu which includes traditional fish and chips with fresh fish sourced from Fleetwood market (one of the few fish purveyors on the promenade to sell fresh rather than frozen fish).

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Our Blackpool break offers a night of fine dining at the Palm Court Restaurant, famous not only for its same-day fresh caught fish and delicious cakes, but also for ensuring the dishes are made usually locally sourced produce. The Palm Court also updates its menu in line with the season changes so you always know you’re tucking into the veg from the most recent harvest!

Where to stay

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So, wherever your travels take you this autumn, be sure to sample some of the fantastic local produce on offer – you simply won’t look back! If you’d like to make the most of fresh seasonal produce from local farm shops all year round, bookmark this handy guide to find out what’s in season and when. 

- Image credit goes to Blackpool Fish Factory

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