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Articles by Matt Wright

Great Food Club Awards 2022/23

It’s important to explain how we chose the shortlist below. Narrowing down the field in our annual awards is one of the most challenging jobs because, inevitably, we must leave out many outstanding businesses.  Here are the metrics we used to decide the shortlist, in order of priority: Last year’s winners were excluded. We do […]

Hambleton Hall’s incredible family tree

In February 2022, Hambleton Hall near Oakham in Rutland was awarded a Michelin star for the 40th consecutive year – the longest-retained Michelin star in Britain. This is an outstanding achievement. But perhaps more remarkable is Hambleton Hall’s unique talent for finding, developing and unleashing talent. Visionary owner Tim Hart, who acquired Hambleton Hall in […]

Why are you always so damn positive about places?

It’s a good question, so we thought we’d try to answer it. Here goes… When we have a negative experience at a pub, restaurant or food shop (and we quite often do) we don’t mention it publicly. Instead, we ignore it, move on and do not add it to our recommended network. We don’t write […]

Chef Q&A: Zak Perrin, Head Chef, The Falcon Inn at Fotheringhay

Zak Perrin started cooking for others at a young age and is now bringing delicious new flavour combinations to Fotheringhay’s Falcon Inn… What is your earliest childhood food memory?“One that stands out, is baking flapjacks from a copy of My First Cookbook under the careful supervision of my mum! We worked through every recipe in […]

Chef Q&A: Jacob Robinson, Head Chef at The Factory Kitchen, Ilkeston

Jacob Robinson has worked with some of the best chefs in the business and his favourite ingredient is a rather surprising one. We managed to catch him for a quick chat… Can you tell us about your journey to becoming a chef?“I studied Professional Cookery NVQ levels 1 and 2 at Derby College after I’d […]

Pub walk! The Olive Branch to Pickworth village

Map and details of a circular walk from Great Food Club member business and UK Pub of the Year 2014, The Olive Branch in Rutland…

Why we feel upbeat about the future of pubs

Mark and Becca Churchill run The Greendale Oak in Cuckney near Mansfield in Nottinghamshire. Like all British publicans, they’ve had one of the toughest 12 months in living memory. But what stands out when talking to the couple is their positivity about the future. The other thing that’s impossible to miss is their determination to […]

How to use our East Midlands takeaway & delivery map

It’s lockdown again. So you may want to use our food & drink delivery & takeaway map of the East Midlands. Here’s how to use it… 1) Go to the Guide Page.2) Scroll down slightly to find the search form.3) Enter your location or postcode into the search box.4) Select ‘Delivery service’ in the ‘All […]

The Olive Branch in Clipsham is UK Pub of the Year, says Good Pub Guide 2021

Team celebrates ‘brilliant news’ but rues plight of UK pubs and ‘illogical, pub-killing’ restrictions The Good Pub Guide 2021 today names The Olive Branch in Clipsham, Rutland, as overall UK Pub of the Year.  The Guide says: “In this most difficult of years, we are delighted to award Pub of the Year 2021 to The […]

Great Food Club Awards 2020/21 – The Winners

The Champions Fine-Dining Restaurant of the Year – full details & picturesAlchemilla, NottinghamLast year’s winner: The Hammer & Pincers, Wymeswold, Leics2018/19 winner: John’s House, Mountsorrel, Leics Casual-Dining Restaurant of the Year – full details & picturesHitchen’s Barn, Oakham, RutlandLast year’s winner: House of Feasts, Eye Green, Peterborough, Cambs Dining Pub of the Year – full details & picturesThe Stag & […]

Melton Mowbray’s Round Corner wins three golds at World Beer Awards

Round Corner Brewing of Melton Mowbray – just two years old and Great Food Club’s current Drink Producer of the Year – has bagged three gold medals at the prestigious 2020 World Beer Awards. The winning performance means it is once again one of the UK’s most accoladed breweries at the awards. Expert panellists awarded […]

Melton Mowbray’s Cidentro Cider House stars on Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch

Melton Mowbray cider-maker Cidentro appeared on live TV on August 30 on Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch. From a live video link in Devon, cider expert Gabe Cook – known as The Ciderologist – chose three ciders. He talked about each – Wild Disco by Nightingale Cider, Table Cider by Little Pomona and Rosé Cider by […]

Cidentro Cider House of Melton Mowbray receives national acclaim

New Leicestershire cider producer Cidentro Cider House of Melton Mowbray has attracted national acclaim in The Guardian newspaper. Food writer Fiona Beckett chose Cidentro’s Still Cider (7%ABV) as a must-try product in her article about a new campaign called Cider is Wine. The producers featured in Fiona’s piece – including Cidentro – all use 100% […]

How Orbis in Oakham came from nowhere to reach No. 1 – despite lockdown

Orbis in Oakham is a restaurant that takes its name from the Latin orbis terrarum, which means ‘circle of lands’. It lives up to its title by serving international cuisine in the form of small plates, sharing dishes and cocktails. Orbis opened on January 25, 2020. Within two months it was plunged into lockdown. But owner Jonathan […]

The Pickled Shop of Bulwick spreads foodie love and eyes July reopening

The Pickled Shop of Bulwick, Northamptonshire, has launched four ‘ALL4lLOVE’ hampers. Each is filled with various delicious options, including chutney/jam from The Pickled Village, a Snowdonia cheese truckle, Fine Cheese Co crackers and a Warner’s gin miniature. Shipping is available all over the UK. “Lockdown has been a lonely or difficult time for many,” said […]

‘Customers fell in love with local during lockdown. We have to keep the flame burning’

VIDEO: Great Dalby’s March House Farm Shop – a GFC Farm Shop of the Year Finalist 2020 – reveals how the Covid crisis has transformed their business… March House Farm Shop in Great Dalby near Melton Mowbray – a finalist in the Great Food Club Awards 2019/20 – has experienced its busiest ever period during lockdown. New […]

Farrington’s Northamptonshire rapeseed oil becomes world’s first food product certified as carbon and plastic neutral

Farrington’s Mellow Yellow Cold Pressed Rapeseed Oil – grown and produced in Hargrave near Wellingborough – has become the world’s first food product to be certified as both carbon and plastic neutral. The entire Farrington’s Mellow Yellow range of oils, salad dressings and mayonnaises are accredited. Farrington Oils managing director Duncan Farrington said: “This is not […]

Add your name to the NFU campaign to protect UK food standards

This is a call to action. With everything that’s going on in the world, the subject of UK food & farming standards is being kept off the front pages. However, now is a critical time. What happens in the next few months has the potential to decide the UK’s food & farming landscape for years […]

Advertorial: The Fuel Tank at Belvoir Castle’s Engine Yard now offering takeaway

If you’re pining for a restorative trip into the beautiful Vale of Belvoir, you’ll be pleased to know that The Fuel Tank café/restaurant at Belvoir Castle’s Engine Yard is now offering a takeaway service. The best way to enjoy it is through their pre-ordering system. First, call 01476 247059 to place your order. The Fuel […]

The Veg Factor shifts its Michelin Star service to home deliveries

The Veg Factor in Barrow upon Soar, Leicestershire, began life in 2009, supplying fresh produce to East Midlands pubs and restaurants. Over the past decade, it’s built an enviable client list, delivering everything from Chinese artichokes to Jersey Royals to Michelin-starred restaurants such as John’s House in Mountsorrel and Hambleton Hall of Rutland, and to […]

Have award-winning Redhill Farm produce delivered to your door

Redhill Farm Free Range Pork of Lincolnshire, two-times Great Food Club Food Producer of the Year, is operating a weekly UK-wide delivery service via courier and local delivery service in person. The service was running pre-covid-19 but has taken on renewed importance during the lockdown. Its two shops – one on the farm near Gainsborough […]

The Geese & Fountain morphs into a village shop, takeaway and virtual pub. But it’s not a PR stunt and all is not rosy…

Because of their heartwarming, backs-to-the-wall response to coronavirus, there’s a danger we see pubs and other small food & drink businesses as charities, run for the good of the community. However, we should remember that they are businesses, fighting for their lives… The Geese & Fountain in Croxton Kerrial, Leicestershire, is working flat-out to serve […]

A FREE Great Food Club Handbook 2020 for food-loving friends and family

For a limited time, we’re giving you the chance to show food-loving friends and family how much you are missing them. Join Great Food Club from now until the end of May and you’ll receive a money-saving membership card and a copy of our 132-page 2020 Handbook. BUT… you can also choose ONE ADDRESS to […]

Send a free copy of the Great Food Club Handbook to a loved one

For a limited time, we’re giving you the chance to show food-loving friends and family members that you care and are missing dining with them. If you’re ALREADY A PAYING GFC MEMBER, you can also choose one address to which we’ll send a free book and message. Just fill in the form below and we’ll […]

The Hammer & Pincers hits nail on head with sell-out luxurious lockdown takeaways

The Hammer & Pincers in Wymeswold, Leicestershire – Great Food Club’s Fine-Dining Restaurant of the Year 2019/20 – has responded to coronavirus with positivity and verve. So much so that on some days it is serving more customers than it did during busy times pre-lockdown. On Easter Sunday, for example, owner Danny Jimminson and his team […]

Everards responds to covid-19 and asks for extra government support for pubs

Everards of Leicestershire, which owns more than 175 pubs in the East Midlands, has called for extra government support for the hospitality sector in the light of covid-19. Stephen Gould, managing director, said: “Government support so far is much valued and appreciated. Through the fine work of the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) and […]

Leicestershire’s March House Farm Shop extends delivery area

March House Farm Shop in Great Dalby, Leicestershire, was a finalist in our Farm Shop of the Year Award 2019/20. It’s a well-loved, friendly and top-quality family-run shop that sells meat raised on March House Farm’s land in Leicestershire. It also offers an excellent range of fruit, vegetables, cakes, BBQ boxes, Sunday lunch boxes, bread, […]

Local food heroes of lockdown: Wigston Fields News & Deli

Each morning during lockdown, Pratik and Bee Master – owners of Wigston Fields News & Deli – get up at 4am and go to Leicester Market. “If we get there early, we can choose the fruit and veg our customers want,” says Pratik. “Some – especially the older ones – are struggling with the change […]

What you’re eating & drinking to get through the lockdown. Pt. 2 – smoked eel & spaghetti to ‘yuk/wow’ breakfasts

We asked Great Food Club members to tell us what they’re eating & drinking to get through the lockdown. Here’s Part 2. “As I’m shielding, I’m making sure I waste nothing – fava beans in a vegetarian chilli, smoked eel with spaghetti, and a recipe from India helped me make a fabulous cauliflower stalk & […]

Round Corner Brewing rapidly builds 250 customers for milkman-style beer drops

Like many food and drink businesses, Melton Mowbray’s Round Corner Brewing has had to show agility and determination to keep trading during the coronavirus crisis. The brewery, just over a year old, had relied on pubs and its own taproom for most sales. However, those two revenue streams disappeared overnight. So, it is temporarily focusing […]