Join Great Food Club for member-only offers
  • FREE to join
  • Be guided to great independents, from street-food stalls to stylish restaurants
  • Up to 25% off with your membership card
Join Free
We use cookies on this site to analyse traffic, remember your preferences, and optimise your experience. Find out more.

Articles by Matt Wright

The Great Food Club Awards 2018/19: Final Results

Judging the finalists in the Great Food Club Awards 2018/19 has been as rewarding as it has been fascinating and enjoyable. Our judges have eaten – anonymously – at every pub, cafe and restaurant on the shortlist. We’ve also chatted to each of the producers and shop owners, trying our hardest to get under the […]

A new chapter at The Olive Branch in Clipsham

The Olive Branch has appointed Nick Evans executive head chef. Nick arrives from Michelin-starred Northcote near Blackburn in Lancashire, where he was head chef working closely with executive chef Lisa Goodwin-Allen and chef patron Nigel Howarth. Ben Jones, co-owner of The Olive Branch, said: “Nick will create his own ‘Olive Branch’ dishes and menus, while […]

Why “no shows” are so damaging to independent pubs and restaurants

“No shows” is a hot topic at the moment. The number of people booking restaurant tables and not turning up without cancelling is rising. I was chatting to Ben Jones, owner of The Olive Branch in Clipsham recently, who told me: “Sadly, we are seeing an increasing number of no shows. Pubs and restaurant like […]

La Parisienne

La Parisienne is a delightful, quirky French/European restaurant and patisserie in the heart of historic Southwell, Nottinghamshire…


Tabure in St Albans is a smart, modern Turkish restaurant serving authentic cuisine and displaying great skill (and flavours) in the process…

Nibble, bite, eat, chew: Taste the Difference at Tamworth Food Gusto Food & Drink Festival 2018

If you are a foodie and love great food and drink, the Tamworth Food Gusto Festival on September 8 and 9 is the place to be! Food Gusto have lined up over 70 of the region’s best food & drink producers, all hand picked to set your taste buds on fire. All producers are passionate […]

Fen Farm Venison

At Fen Farm near Sleaford, the deer are free range, well cared for and fed on Fenland grass. The result is outstanding venison…

Harker’s Farm Shop’s impressive refurbishment gives foodies even more reasons to visit this Nottinghamshire gem

Harker’s Farm Shop in Clipston-on-the-Wolds, Nottinghamshire, has never looked better. A summer refurbishment has resulted in a gleaming new butchery counter packed with Harker’s biggest draw –fresh home-reared meat. There’s also a new maturing fridge and a new deli counter full of local cheeses, patés and cooked meats. These improvements are underpinned by new floors […]

The Green Man at Ropsley

The Green Man at Ropsley is a good news story. At a time when many village pubs are closing, it’s an award-winner that’s bucking the trend…

We visit Fen Farm Venison, Horbling Fen, Lincolnshire

Driving through the scorched Lincolnshire Fens in late July, we find Fen Farm Venison down a battered farm track. Peter and Jane Wesley, along with Peter’s mother Janet, are in the prep kitchen, where the three-strong team (which becomes four when Janet’s husband Brian gets involved, which he does often) are busy getting their venison […]

Gurkha One

Gurkha One is a fantastic Indian and Nepalese restaurant housed in a traditional pub at The Crown Inn in Rolleston. It’s a great favourite among Great Food Club members…

45 West Distillers unveil Leicester Tigers gin

45 West Distillers, makers of Burleighs Gin, have teamed up with Leicester Tigers to create an exciting new collaboration bottle inspired by the club’s famous red, white and green stripes. Burleighs Gin is made with silver birch, dandelion, burdock and elderberry – inspired by the Leicestershire woodland in which the distillery is housed. You can […]

Paten & Co

Paten & Co in Stamford is set out over three levels and incorporates an industrial look. It serves a nice selection of small plates, but bigger appetites will appreciate the charcoal oven…

The Kedleston Country House

The Kedleston Country House, run by Derby Brewing Company, is a beautiful and historic restaurant, bar and hotel…

Derby Brewing Company

The rise of Derby Brewing Company is a success story that should bring a rosy glow of pride to the cheeks of all beer and pub lovers…

The Cosy Tea Rooms

The tiny Cosy Tea Rooms in North Scarle specialise in homemade cakes, treats, light snacks, coffees and teas…

Ferneley’s Dairy Barn Café

Ferneley’s makes and serves superb ice cream using milk from its herd of Holstein and Friesian cows. Offering breakfasts and light lunches too, you can see the cattle as you tuck in…

Where to eat in Stamford, Lincolnshire

Stamford in Lincolnshire was described by Sir Walter Scott as “the finest stone town in England”. Visitors today tend to agree with him, especially after enjoying the town’s many enticing pubs, cafés, restaurants and food shops. It’s a superb place to visit for a day or weekend, so we’ve created a Great Food Club Guide […]


Sarpech in Oakham is a stylish Indian restaurant and wine bar. It’s a welcoming and comfortable space where you can enjoy fantastic drinks, excellent Indian food and top-class service…

Guide to great coffee shops & roasteries

There’s more to life than Costa, Starbucks and Nescafé. At Great Food Club we love independent coffee shops and roasters. Here’s our guide to some of the very best in our recommended network. Remember: for every £1 spent with a small or medium-sized business, 63p stays in the local economy, compared to 40p with a […]

Man Bites Frog

Man Bites Frog in Chorlton is a bar-restaurant serving up humble, hearty food that reflects a modern, multicultural France. The food impresses with zero pretension…

Burleighs Gin plots “quintessentially British” gin and picnic party

Burleighs Gin is plotting a “quintessentially British” gin and picnic party in the grounds of a Victorian country house. The first ever ‘Picnic in the Gardens’ will take place on Saturday September 15 and Sunday September 16 (new date added due to popular demand), 2018, in the idyllic grounds of Leicestershire’s Beaumanor Hall. The event […]

Bar San Juan

Bar San Juan in Chorlton is a cosy tapas bar bursting with tradition and charm. It’s small, hot and steamy, the air thick with garlic, paprika and the hustle of people merrily eating and drinking…

Rural charm and great food: 10 country pubs you need to visit

The evenings are getting lighter, the daffs are trying their best to emerge, the lambs are in the fields. One of the best things to do to celebrate the new season is to head to a brilliant country pub (but that’s true anytime actually!). Whether it’s Sunday lunch with friends and family, a country walk […]

How Hart’s of Nottingham spent 20 years at the top

Hart’s, the fine-dining restaurant in Nottingham, has celebrated 20 years in business and kicked off a whole year of celebrations. Owner Tim Hart, who is also behind Hambleton Hall, tells us where it all began. How did Hart’s come about? “I had opened Hambleton Hall in 1980 and it had proved a great success. I […]

Leicestershire’s Fosse Chicken comes seventh in Observer Food Monthly’s Top 50

Fosse Meadows Farm of North Kilworth, Leicestershire, has appeared in seventh place in this year’s Observer Food Monthly Top 50. The list is a respected rundown of the publication’s favourite foodie things from around the world. Jacob Sykes and Nick Ball, co-owners of Fosse Meadows Farm, have been producing their award-winning 81-day slow-grown free-range chicken […]

The story behind ‘Patriot’ – Everards’ latest seasonal brew

Everards has delved into Leicestershire’s rich history to come up with its latest seasonal beer, ‘Patriot’. ‘Patriot’ – available in many Everards pubs this March – is a 4.3% golden hoppy ale with citrus and grapefruit flavours and a crisp, bitter finish. The new beer supports The LMS Patriot Project in its attempt to build a […]

Recipe: Whissendine wholemeal

This recipe from Julian Carter, head baker at Hambleton Bakery, uses flour milled at Whissendine Windmill in Rutland – but any stone-ground wholemeal bread flour will work. Julian says: “The recipe uses a starter, which creates a better flavour and texture. It requires no kneading time, which is achieved by delaying the salt going into […]

New Everards Meadows development brings exciting opportunity

Work will soon start to create Everards Meadows, an exciting new food, drink and leisure development in Leicestershire next to the expanding retail park “Fosse.” – previously known as Fosse Park – just off Junction 21 of the M1. Everards are looking for the right people to take on the new café business at Everards […]

Welbeck Bakehouse hires new head baker

The Welbeck Bakehouse of north Nottinghamshire has hired a new head baker to build on recent successes. The Great Food Club-recommended bakery, located on the Welbeck Estate, received a ‘Highly Commended’ in Britain’s Best Loaf 2017 (Sourdough category) and has been nominated for Best Artisan Business in North Notts Business Awards 2018. Peter Friese from […]