You can’t beat great local produce and what better day to celebrate English artisan food and drink than St Georges Day.
The fact is that almost all our fresh meat, all our hams and much of our cheese, craft ales and other artisan chocolates, cakes and biscuits are all from England and very close to home. Over this weekend, our counters will be full of red and white flags, highlighting to customers which products they can enjoy from local artisan producers right across England.
In season right now is delicious Spring Lamb, from just down the road in Essex. The beautiful countryside is home to several breeds that produce delicate, almost sweet in flavour meat that is one of the best to savour in the year.
It’s not just lamb that thrives in the coastal counties. Our Sutton Hoo chickens enjoy the pastures of Suffolk as do our pigs from Blythburgh Pork on St Margaret’s Farm in Southwold. With large free roaming paddocks and natural diets for their pigs, the pork we receive is amazingly succulent and tasty. Great in our sausages and hams as well as the classic pork cuts.
Our beef also comes from the southern counties of Sussex and Kent as well as further inland, in the Oxfordshire countryside.
From the glorious Hambleton Hills of Yorkshire, come our beautiful herb-fed chickens. They enjoy a diet of basil, dill, coriander and rocket and our Packington Chickens feed on grass and clovers in Blakenhall Park in Staffordshire.
One of the best parts of this job is actually being able to visit these amazing farms and suppliers that provide us with all the wonderful produce that we stock in the shops. Despite the early starts and the cold mornings, actually seeing and feeling where our food comes from makes all the difference.
Cheese is another product that us English have down to a tee! For a rich, creamy blue cheese they don’t come much better than Colton Basset Stilton and for a hard to beat Cheddar, Quickes is the one. Our deli-counter staff know their cheese well and delight in recommending just the right match for our customer’s favourite meat or tipple.
Along with a great selection of locally produced ales, from as close by as Camden Town and plenty of artisan breads, cakes, condiments and sweet treats it feels fantastic to be able to put on a real show for St Georges Day. A celebration of all the quality and delicious produce locally made right here in England.