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Articles by Philip Seaman

Casual Dining Restaurant of the Year: Great Food Club Awards 2020

Winner House of Feasts, Eye Green, Peterborough Finalists Hitchen’s Barn, Oakham, RutlandBoboli, Kibworth Harcourt, LeicestershireBar Iberico, Nottingham The winner is House of Feasts in the village of Eye Green near Peterborough, which impressed with its take on modern Polish cuisine. Chef-patron Damian Wawrzyniak shows drive and passion to showcase a largely unknown and underrated European […]

Asian Restaurant of the Year: Great Food Club Awards 2020

Winner Sanctua, Oadby, Leicestershire Finalists Sarpech, Oakham, RutlandGurkha Lounge, Peterborough, CambsHerb, Leicester Sanctua is the winner for its stunning vegan cooking. We ordered Sanctua’s vegan banquet, which combined extraordinary flavour combinations. The main – ‘A Celebration of the Sweetcorn Harvest’ – comprised smoky, charred lime, herb-and-chilli butter corn on the cob with peanut-butter curry, coriander […]

Dining Pub of the Year: Great Food Club Awards 2020

Winner The Wheatsheaf at Greetham Finalists The George at Alstonefield, StaffordshireThe Queen’s Head at Belton, LeicestershireBells Kitchen at The Bell, Finedon, Northamptonshire The winner is The Wheatsheaf at Greetham. There are fewer pub classics than you might expect on the menu at The Wheatsheaf. Instead, you are presented with a choice of more ambitious dishes […]

Producer of the Year: Great Food Club Awards 2020

Winner Elms Farm, Costock, Leicestershire Finalists Vine Farm Dairy, Great Dalby, LeicestershireKingarth Farm Dairy, Burton Overy, LeicestershireHome Farm Produce, Grove, near Retford, Nottinghamshire The winner is Elms Farm of Costock. Elms Farm is run by the Brown family, who have a long heritage of managing farms. As a family, they are passionate about sharing their way of […]

Quick review: Out of my Tree by Daniel Clifford of Midsummer House

This weighty tome stretches to 416 pages – surely making it one of the biggest cookery books of recent times. It contains recipes and pictures of stunning dishes – many of which look almost impossible to duplicate. They show the evolution of the restaurant and Daniel’s drive to deliver extraordinary dishes of the highest order. […]

Review: The Churchill Arms, Paxford, Gloucestershire

Walking into this beautifully restored 17th century Cotswolds hostelry near Chipping Campden, I was reminded of the opening line of T.S. Eliot’s poem, Burnt Norton: “Time present and time past. Are both perhaps present in time future?” What stories the walls here could tell of love gained and love lost, of friendships, revelries and more! […]

Review: Bedouin, Cambridge

There is a north African proverb that says: “They ate our food and forgot our names.” Well, I ate the food and do remember the names of the Algerian family who run Bedouin on Mill Road in Cambridge. Brothers Karim and Djamel Rerizani and family serve up wonderfully tasty North African dishes in this atmospheric, […]

“How I followed my dream and started my own brewery”

Thames Side Brewery owner and head brewer Andy Hayward started home brewing in 1978. With such a wide choice of craft beers and real ales available today, it’s hard to imagine things being so different back then. CAMRA was still fairly new and it wasn’t easy to get ‘real ale’. The beers on offer in […]

How Conker puts Dorset into its gin

Let’s face it: gin is everywhere. Exceptional gin, however, is harder to find. You see, with its carefully balanced botanicals, it’s a tricky thing to get right; get the balance wrong, and the subtlety that defines gin goes out the window. Which is why we’re so excited about Dorset’s very first gin distillery, Conker Spirit. […]

Review: Brohmon pop-up Indian restaurant in Hertfordshire

I was happy to accept an invitation from Karim Ullah to visit Brohmon, his Indian pop-up, in the Wheatsheaf pub in Bishops Stortford the other week. This was the third time that Karim and his wife Sultana have been invited to run the restaurant at the pub. Bishops Stortford like most towns in England is […]

Review: The Fat Fox in Watlington

Situated in the market town of Watlington on the edge of the Chiltern Hills, this delightful 17th century inn is ideally situated to explore this idyllic part of the country. Fat Fox proprietors Katy and John Riddell have created a welcoming inn with nine rooms. On my recent visit for lunch I was treated to […]

Love old food books? Then you must visit Refried Books

If you are looking for used, vintage and antiquarian books on everything to do with food, cooking, wine, gardening, growing food and flowers, then look no further than Refried Books. The website’s owner and creator Rita, who lives in Sussex with her partner Terry, has a real passion for old books born out of her […]

Review: The Perch, Binsey, Oxford

Gerald Manley Hopkins lamented in 1879 about the loss of the poplar trees in his poem “Binsey Poplars”; I wonder whether he stopped off at The Perch for a repast and to contemplate the loss of his beloved trees? This wonderful 17th century village pub with thatched roof and gardens running down to the Thames […]

Zio Mario artisan bakery opens in Cambridge

A new artisan bakery, offering authentic Italian street-style snacks, has launched in Cambridge at The Railyard student accommodation development. Zio Mario is the brainchild of a former corporate executive, Roberto Cavicchia, who left a successful 23-year corporate career to pursue his dream of opening a traditional bakery. The café has taken a ground floor corner […]

Review: The White House, Bladon, Oxfordshire

“Give us the tools and we will finish the job,” said Winston Churchill in 1941. In the village of Bladon near Woodstock in Oxfordshire, opposite the grave of Winston Churchill, is The White House. This 16th century building has recently been tastefully refurbished to create a warm, welcoming pub, run by friendly staff. Focusing on […]