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Articles by Matt Wright

The Larder

The Larder in Oakham is our Café of the Year 2020. Its local-sourcing policy and outstandingly varied and interesting menu ensure it stands out…

Tough Mary’s Bakehouse

Tough Mary’s is a delightful artisan bakery on Nottingham’s Derby Road. All the action happens in the open kitchen, where everything is made from scratch…

Editor’s Blog: Apply praise liberally.

Happy New Year from Great Food Club. Are you making any changes for the year ahead? One of my resolutions for 2020 is to send more praise to restaurants, pubs, producers and retailers via quick emails and social media shout-outs. Here’s why… Few people go into food and drink for the cash – most are […]

The Forge Inn at Glenfield

The Forge Inn at Glenfield is a village pub that offers top service and a buzzing environment. The food is also consistently good…

Editor’s Blog: Sheffield hits the spot

With our 2020 guide book finished, printed and posted, yesterday we rewarded ourselves with a food & drink tour of Sheffield. We do these self-guided walking tours every month and they’re brilliant fun, as well as being an education. We started with a pork pie and a pint at the Sheffield Tap next to the train station. […]

The Stag & Hounds

The Stag & Hounds in Burrough on the Hill, Leicestershire, was reopened by award-winning chef Dom Clarke. The food is local and right out the top drawer…

The Crown Inn at Old Dalby

The Crown at Old Dalby in Leicestershire is as handsome and welcoming as they come – somewhere to really kick back and enjoy your food…

Great Food Club Awards 2020: The Results

The Winners Fine-Dining Restaurant of the Year – full details & picturesThe Hammer & Pincers, Wymeswold, LeicsLast year’s winner: John’s House, Mountsorrel, Leics Casual-Dining Restaurant of the Year (new category) – full details & picturesHouse of Feasts, Eye Green, Peterborough, Cambs Dining Pub of the Year – full details & picturesThe Wheatsheaf, Greetham, RutlandLast year’s […]

Fine-Dining Restaurant of the Year: Great Food Club Awards 2020

Winner The Hammer & Pincers, Wymeswold, Leicestershire Finalists The Jew’s House, LincolnHambleton Hall, near Oakham, RutlandPrévost, Peterborough, CambridgeshireAscough’s, Market Harborough The winner is The Hammer & Pincers in Wymeswold, Leicestershire. This restaurant has evolved into something special. The food hits all the right notes via a unique style of cooking that the kitchen here has […]

Food Shop of the Year: Great Food Club Awards 2020

Winner The Melton Cheeseboard, Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire Finalists Just So Italian, Market Harborough & StamfordWigston News & Deli, Wigston Magna, LeicestershireBarrowden & Wakerley Community Shop, Barrowden, Rutland The winner is The Melton Cheeseboard. This small shop in the centre of Melton Mowbray is packed to the gunnels with over 150 cheeses. The local selection is […]

Butcher of the Year: Great Food Club Awards 2020

Winners The Snobby Butcher (Johnny Pusztai), Nottingham – Butcher of the YearPrice & Fretwell, Tibshelf, Derbyshire – Catering Butcher of the Year Finalists Hambletons, Oakham, RutlandThe Artisan Butcher, Market Harborough, Leicestershire The inimitable Snobby Butcher (aka Johnny Pusztai and his hard-working team) win our Butcher of the Year Award for their commitment to local sourcing, passion […]

Bakeries of the Year: Great Food Club Awards 2020

Winners Small Food Bakery, Nottingham – Sourdough Producer of the YearHambleton Bakery, Exton, Rutland – Cake Baker of the Year Finalists Bisbrooke Artisans, Bisbrooke, RutlandBakery Cottage, Melton Mowbray, Rutland The winners are Small Food Bakery of Nottingham for its sourdough, and Hambleton Bakery of Rutland for its cakes. This category was judged via a blind tasting, […]

Classic Pub of the Year: Great Food Club Awards 2020

Winner The Black Horse at Aylestone, Leicestershire Finalists The Green Man at Ropsley, LincolnshireThe Geese & Fountain, Croxton Kerrial, LeicestershireThe Stamford Arms, Groby, Leicestershire The winner is The Black Horse at Aylestone. It’s a wonderful surprise when The Black Horse suddenly appears when you walk around a suburban corner in Aylestone. The joy continues when […]

Food Hero of the Year: Great Food Club Awards 2020

The winner of this special award is Pratik Master for his work transforming his family shop, Wigston News & Deli in Leicestershire, into a unique and special food and drink business. Throughout 2019, Pratik, also the owner of Leicester restaurant Lilu, has transformed his much-loved family corner shop in Wigston Magna, into a local food hub, […]

Café of the Year: Great Food Club Awards 2020

Winner The Larder, Oakham, Rutland Finalists Lambert’s, Stamford, LincolnshireThe Harley Café, Welbeck, NottinghamshireAll Mine Cakes (By The Lake), Southwell, Nottinghamshire The winner is The Larder in Oakham. Its wall-mounted roll of brown paper showcasing the regularly-changing menu features lots of interesting and tempting options. Soups and bowls include the likes of smoked mackerel chowder with […]

Burleighs Gin smashes investment target in crowdfunding campaign

The month-long Crowdcube raise saw Leicestershire-based distiller, Burleighs, eclipse its £250,000 target, raising just under £500,000. The business, currently valued at £4.1 million, attracted more than 291 investors, with sums varying from £10 to £250,000. Burleighs now plans to use the investment to accelerate its global drive by expanding its distillery, hiring more team members […]

“It’s been one hell of a ride!” Owners of The Lighthouse and Boboli in Kibworth celebrate 20 years of restaurant ownership

This month, Sarah and Lino Poli celebrate the 20th anniversary of their life as independent restaurateurs in Kibworth, south Leicestershire! The couple run The Lighthouse in Kibworth Beauchamp and Boboli in Kibworth Harcourt. Sarah says: “We moved in August 1999 and within two months had turned around the old David Snelling Violins shop into our […]

Everards celebrates 170 years

Iconic local business Everards of Leicestershire celebrates its 170th anniversary this month.  On October 5, 1849, William Everard bought Everards’ first brewery in Leicester with Thomas Hull, a local maltster.  Today, the brewery is owned by the fifth generation of the Everard family. Over the years, Everards has operated five breweries, with its sixth well […]

Burleighs Gin Academy

Escape to the country for an afternoon of gin-making at the Burleighs Gin Distillery, situated in the heart of Leicestershire’s beautiful Charnwood Forest…


Kushi-ya in Nottingham is a laid-back and super-cool Japanese restaurant. It specialises in kushiyaki – ingredients that have been skewered and grilled…

The Olive Branch in Rutland: The Story Continues

This year, The Olive Branch of Clipsham – one of the UK’s original gastropubs – celebrates its 20th birthday. The past 18 months have provided some of the toughest but most rewarding moments in its history. The Olive Branch in Clipsham, Rutland, celebrates its 20th birthday later this year. The founding trio of Ben Jones, […]

The Tap & Run

The Tap & Run in Upper Broughton, Nottinghamshire, is a stylish, modern and cosy pub that’s good for dining or a relaxing drink at the bar…

The Exeter Arms

The Exeter Arms in Derby is a proper, traditional pub serving locally brewed real ales and modern, interesting, creative food…

HIDE Burger Bar

HIDE Burger Bar in Derby is a master of its art. Its burgers are excellent – some of the best we’ve tried…

Bar Iberico

Bar Iberico is a Nottingham gem in the heart of Hockley. This award-winning all-day tapas bar offers a stellar Spanish menu and excellent service…

Restaurant Six at Trent Bridge

Restaurant Six at Trent Bridge offers a view of Nottingham like no other, with cocktails, service and fine dining to match…

The Old Fire Engine House

The Old Fire Engine House in Ely is a special restaurant (and art gallery). It’s charming, eccentric, unique and insulated from fads and trends…

Kuru Kuru Sushi

Kuru Kuru in Leicester has been producing some of the best Japanese food in the city since 2014 – especially its sushi and sashimi…

Everards’ partnership reveals opportunities for others

Ambitious independent food & drink start-ups might be interested in this. Everards of Leicestershire is continuing to invest in cafes, bakeries, microbreweries and more. Most recently it has bought an old bank in partnership with Titanic Brewery of Stoke on Trent. This former bank in Trentham, Staffs, is now called ‘Bod’ and is branded as Titanic’s own café-bar. […]

Buy local meat to help beat climate change

Great Food Club Opinion Last week’s UN report into climate change made life a bit harder for small-scale meat producers. Most media outlets picked up on the ‘eat less meat’ message but failed to distinguish between industrial farming and sustainable, small-scale producers. However, local artisan producers are not the problem – they are part of the […]