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Articles by Guest author

January deadline fast approaching for UK’s first ever artisan food production degree

Students have until the UCAS deadline of January 15, 2019 to apply for the UK’s first artisan food production degree to learn all aspects of artisan bread-baking, cheese-making, butchery, charcuterie and patisserie creation. Nottingham Trent University and professional artisan food specialists The School of Artisan Food have teamed up to offer the new Foundation degree […]

All aboard! Burleigh’s Gin Train is back!

Burleighs Gin’s luxury steam train experience is back on December 13! The Great Burleighs Express will depart from Loughborough at 7pm and ride Leicestershire’s Great Central Railway, the UK’s only double-track heritage railway. Guests will enjoy in-carriage fine-dining, festive Burleighs Gin cocktails, live entertainment and a jazz band. These will be set against the backdrop of some of […]

Nottingham’s Cheese Shop: one of the city’s favourite food independents

Set up by brothers Rob and Webb Freckingham 16 years ago, Nottingham’s Cheese Shop, Deli and Cafe – located on Flying Horse Walk in the centre of town – has become one of the city’s favourite food independents. Today, as well as selling directly to the public from their outstanding little deli-cafe, they supply Nottinghamshire […]

The Wheel at Branston in Leicestershire – a rustic, family-run pub

Great Food Club ate at The Wheel Inn in Branston, Leicestershire, last weekend. It’s a down-to-earth, rustic, friendly and welcoming village pub. It also serves good food (including excellent pies) and well-kept local ales, although service was a little on the slow side during our visit. Landlord and head chef Matt Marsden told us that The Wheel […]

Leicester’s Gelato Village does it again!

Leicester’s Gelato Village has done it again! Their ‘Bee Happy’ gelato has won the first heat at the Gelato Festival World Masters competition in Hereford at Carpigiani‘s HQ. Bee Happy is made with Leicestershire honey produced by David ‘The Bee Farmer’ McDowell of Ashby de la Zouch, Leicestershire milk from Vine Farm Dairy of Great Dalby, plus lemon zest and […]

Where to stock up with food, drink and pressies this Christmas (brilliant local independents only)

Avoiding supermarkets can be tricky in the run-up to Christmas. But stocking up on festive food, drink and gifts at small local independents is well worth the effort: not only do you support the producers and entrepreneurs who make our culinary world so exciting, you also get your hands on the really good stuff – […]

Where to eat out in the Midlands this Christmas

From cosseting country pubs with roaring log fires to sophisticated urban restaurants, here’s Great Food Club’s guide to eating out this Christmas. Each pub or restaurant featured has been visited by Great Food Club and won our seal of approval. Our policy is to recommend independents only and ignore big chains… The Jackson Stops, Stretton, […]

UK winemakers celebrate “harvest of the century”

Wine producers across the UK are hailing 2018 the harvest of the century following a record-breaking summer and an unusually warm autumn, resulting in excellent quality grapes with high yields. David Parkinson, CEO of WineGB, said: “This year’s extraordinary harvest offers the UK wine industry many exciting opportunities. It comes at a time when there […]

The White Lion at Knighton in Staffordshire: Revived!

The historic White Lion at Knighton was on the verge of being redeveloped before it was bought by Julian and Helen Jackson in early 2016. Ever since they’ve been on a journey working with local food suppliers, Tanners Wines and the likes of Forrest Gin to curate a venue that celebrates the Great British Pub […]

Hart’s of Nottingham to launch September tasting menu

To mark its 20th anniversary year, Hart’s of Nottingham has so far showcased two tasting menus in 2018. This September it is launching a third, coinciding with the announcement that it has just won two AA rosettes for culinary excellence. For September’s tasting menu, the team will present six courses paired with wines carefully selected […]

Four creative ways for indies to boost business this summer

How do you attract new customers and surprise and delight your loyal fans? Here are a few ideas for boosting business this summer, with some fascinating real-world examples. 1. Hold quirky events You don’t generally need to give people an excuse to get out of the house during summer, but you do need to give […]

Festival of Food & Drink at Clumber Park, Nottinghamshire, September 15-16

A new Gin School is one of the many attractions at this year’s Festival of Food & Drink at Clumber Park in north Nottinghamshire. Other crowd pullers are cookery demos from MasterChef winner Jane Devonshire, and BBC Britain’s Best Home Cook’s Dan Doherty and Chris Bavin. There will also be cookery workshops with The School of […]

Locally sourced last-minute Fathers’ Day gifts from independent businesses

If you haven’t got anything fixed for Fathers’ Day yet, don’t worry, there’s still time. We’ve rounded up some last-minute dad-pleasing ideas, all from independent businesses in Great Food Club’s recommended network – so you can be sure the quality will be outstanding and that your money will go to local businesses. Included are some […]

Everards to open “agile” new brewery, beer hall and distillery

Everards of Leicestershire is to build an “agile” new brewery, a 200-plus capacity beer hall, and will start distilling its own gin, vodka, rum and saké at its new £20m Everards Meadows brewery site, where building work began this May. Everards chief executive Stephen Gould told the Leicester Mercury: “Our new brewery will be more agile […]

Belvoir Castle’s new food and drink development will be an exciting addition to the East Midlands

Belvoir Castle’s new Engine Yard development is located a few hundred yards from the Castle and will be an exciting addition to the East Midlands’ food and drink scene. Scheduled to open in June 2018, The Engine Yard will be home to a café with a pop-up restaurant and upstairs events space, a wine bar, […]

Hart’s of Nottingham celebrates 20 years with limited-edition tasting menu

Hart’s is celebrating its 20th birthday. The renowned Nottingham independent restaurant has been tantalising tastebuds across the region since 1997! This month they are showcasing their culinary skills with a limited-edition tasting menu. The six-course menu will be available from Monday May 21 for one week only (excluding Saturday) for £65 per person. Cooked up by head chef Dan […]

Burleighs Gin launches ‘The Gin Voyage’

Burleighs Gin has launched ‘The Gin Voyage’ – a cocktail and gin tour across some of Leicester’s best bars. The Burleighs Gin Voyage is set to depart on Thursday May 24, offering groups of dedicated gin enthusiasts a unique opportunity to venture through the Burleighs range at some of the finest bars Leicester has to […]

Barnwell Food Festival in Northamptonshire – Sunday May 20, 2018

The beautiful Northamptonshire village of Barnwell near Oundle will host a food & craft festival on May 20, 10.30am to 4pm. If you are a food or drink business interested in exhibiting, call Paula from Stanley Street Food on 07857 150803.

The Cradock Arms

The Cradock Arms feels like a 17th century country pub – one that serves very decent pub food – but is situated in the middle of Leicester…

Welbeck wins Farm Shop & Deli of the Year award

Welbeck Farm Shop in Nottinghamshire has won its biggest award to date after taking one of the top honours in this year’s Farm Shop & Deli Awards. Announced at the Farm Shop & Deli Show at Birmingham’s NEC on Monday April 16, Welbeck won the ‘Small Farm Shop of the Year’ award against strong competition from […]

Everards’ Tubby raises £1,800 for charity COPS

Everards has handed over a £1,800 cheque to the charity COPS (Care of Police Survivors), which is dedicated to helping the families of police officers who have lost their lives on duty. The money was raised by Everards donating 5p from every pint of Tubby sold in pubs in November. The beer was specially brewed […]

The Small Food Awards wants your big ideas

Britain’s most cutting-edge food producers are being invited to put their ideas and skills to the test by entering the second national Small Food Awards. Run by social enterprise Virtuous Bread and The School of Artisan Food, the awards aim to recognise micro, professional food producers in the UK who are at the forefront of […]

Northamptonshire Food & Drink Awards launched for tenth successive year

The team behind the Carlsberg UK Northamptonshire Food & Drink Awards is delighted to announce the competition has been launched for 2018/19 for its tenth year. The Awards, run by the sector for the sector, celebrate all that is great about local produce and drink, recognising excellence within the county. Thanks to ongoing support from […]

Pop-Up Smokehouse returns to Leicester after four-year break

Die-hard Leicester foodies might remember The Pop Up Smokehouse when it was open above The Obar on Braunstone Gate. After a hiatus of almost four years, The Pop Up Smokehouse is back in business and ready to serve the low and slow oak-smoked dishes we all knew and loved. Available for takeovers, festivals and events, […]

Doddington Hall to hold ‘Food Feastival’

Lincoln’s Doddington Hall – a Great Food Club-recommended venue – is to hold its first ever ‘Food Feastival’ this May, bringing together the finest food producers from across the region. The Elizabethan hall will host the free event on May 7 – the first Bank Holiday Monday in May. The event will take place in the […]

Seven brilliant gift ideas for Mothers’ Day

Here are some great gift ideas and brilliant special offers for Mothers’ Day and beyond. As always, all the independent businesses featured here come recommended by Great Food Club… Step aside flowers, Burleighs Gin has the perfect gift for gin-loving mums this Mothers’ Day (pictured above). Why not send her a beautiful Elderflower Martini through the […]

Recipe: The Revel Bakery’s focaccia

This recipe from The Revel Bakery of Warwickshire is a shortened version of their focaccia (“we take a bit longer to make ours,” says the Revel’s head baker, Maurice Hartnett). Ingredients 500g strong bread flour or Italian ’00’ flour 340g water (hand warm) 10g olive oil 5g salt 5g fresh yeast or 7g dried “Add […]

How Tim Hart, owner of Hambleton Bakery, went in search of the perfect local loaf

Traditional ways are not always best. But in bread making there is no contest. Modern bread has only one advantage. It is cheap to make. For taste, nutrition and digestion, the bread you could have bought from a baker in any Rutland or Leicestershire village in 1810 was streets ahead of today’s offerings from the […]

Essential Cuisine’s new concentrated liquid cooking stocks are a must for any home chef

Essential Cuisine has been making stocks for professional kitchens since 1995 and for home chefs since 2011. Free from artificial colours, gluten, preservatives, MSG, and hydrogenated oil, we’ve tried all the Essential Cuisine powdered range and have been impressed. They are all packed full of flavour. Now Essential Cuisine has launched a new range of concentrated […]

The Hopping Hare stars in the Carlsberg Northants Food & Drink Awards

After much anticipation, the winners in the Carlsberg UK Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards 2017/18 are celebrating being named the best of the county’s best! The competition, in its ninth year, celebrates all that is great about local produce and drink, recognising excellence within the county’s dining venues and rewarding those who work so hard […]