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Articles by Tim Burke

Leicester keeps cooking up plans despite lockdown

By Leicester editor, Tim Burke It’s extraordinary how despite everything, the food and drink industry continues to show its indomitable spirit.  Look, for example, at Leicester’s Clarendon Park which is building its reputation as a foodie destination with several new openings during lockdown. Prominent among them is The Verandah, an Anglo-Indian cafe bar, specialising in […]

What Melton Mowbray and other ‘food towns’ can learn from North Brabant in the Netherlands

It should come as no surprise that Great Food Club’s HQ is Melton Mowbray. This pleasant Leicestershire market town has a rich farming culture and has been well known for pork pie and Stilton cheese for more than 200 years. In recent years, it has taken this heritage and run with it. Now branded the […]

Farm Shop of the Year: Great Food Club Awards 2020

Winner Farndon Fields Farm Shop, Market Harborough, Leicestershire Finalists Welbeck Farm Shop, Welbeck, NottsMarch House Farm Shop, Great Dalby, LeicsHackwood Farm Shop, Radbourne, Derbys The winner is Farndon Fields Farm Shop of Market Harborough. It started with a farmer selling a few spuds direct from the field out of his garage. Some 36 years later, […]

Drink Producer of the Year: Great Food Club Awards 2020

Winner Round Corner Brewing, Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire Finalists Brentingby Gin, Melton Mowbray, LeicestershireRothley Wines, Rothley, LeicestershireWitham’s, Grantham, Lincolnshire The winner is Round Corner Brewing of Melton Mowbray for its outstanding, well-balanced beers, relentless energy and policy of teaming up with other food and drink independents. Round Corner was founded by two Irishman who met in […]

Lilu’s Pratik Master launches #notjustacornershop

Last week I visited a corner shop (aka #notjustacornershop) in Wigston, Leicestershire, that is taking a brave new approach to retailing. Many Leicester food lovers will know Pratik Master for the indefatigable enthusiasm he brings to the running of his top-end Indian restaurant, Lilu (known on social media as #notjustacurry). Now he’s turning his attentions […]

Reflections on blogging and Leicester restaurants, by Tim Burke

OK, so I’ve not posted a blog for a long time. There are plenty of reasons for this. For one thing, blogging of the type I’ve done over the last 10 years seems to fit less easily with the bite size nature of more instant social media platforms – newsy bits seem better suited to […]


Cue fits in well with the upmarket surroundings of Leicester’s Stoneygate with a simple, pared-down style…

Review: Cue, Stoneygate, Leicester

When I were a lad, cafés were places to get a full English. Some were bad, some were good. Nowadays they are more likely to involve avocados and chia seeds – but again, some are just following a trend, others are a real treat. Newly opened Cue is definitely in the latter camp. It fits […]


Herb in the heart of Leicester focuses on Keralan vegetarian food. Expect fresh, clear flavours that make the most of herbs and spices, and allow vegetables sing out clearly…

Review: The White Swan at Shawell’s ‘Express Lunch’

Even the best restaurants, especially in rural areas, can sometimes struggle to pull in strong lunchtime trade. GFC favourite The White Swan at Shawell, Leicestershire (recommended by us here), is in a beautiful village location but is actually well placed for many businesses in Lutterworth, Rugby, Magna Park or indeed those passing through the busy […]

Black Iron

Black Iron is located in stunningly renovated Winstanley House Hotel in Leicester’s Braunstone Park and offers first-rate traditional British dining…

45 West launches regular distillery tours

Leading light of the craft-gin revival, 45 West of Leicestershire, is well known for its Gin School Experience (10% off for GFC members). It now hosts regular distillery tours, too. The 90-minute events give juniper fans a chance to hear distiller Liam Armstrong explain how he crafts the three main expressions of the company’s Burleighs […]


Onggi in Leicester might be a relatively humble Korean cafe and takeaway but it scores highly on atmosphere, friendliness, professionalism and, of course, delicious umami-rich food…

Kilo Wines

Kilo Wines of Quorn in Leicestershire brings fine, affordable Italian wines from small, family-run vineyards directly to businesses and consumers…

The Fox and Hounds

The Fox and Hounds in Tugby, Leicestershire, is a village local serving proper but unpretentious food with a refreshing lightness of touch…

The Knight & Garter

The Knight & Garter in Leicester brings independent flair and a dedication to quality that makes it stand out from its peers…

Paddy’s Marten Inn

A Leicester institution for over 20 years, Paddy’s is the kind of restaurant that makes the city so famous for Indian food…


Sapori in Anstey, Leicestershire, is hidden away down a side street in an old industrial building, but it is one of the region’s best Italian restaurants…

A day at Manor Farm Cookery School in Branston, Leicestershire

As food and cookery programmes continue to spread across TV schedules, it’s possibly no surprise that more and more people want to get a bit of extra hands-on experience. Throw in the likes of students looking to learn how to cater for themselves, active retired types wanting to indulge passions, and businesses looking for enjoyable […]

Leicestershire’s Stone’s Dairy – bringing back that traditional dairy taste

It’s bit of a cliché for a small-scale, independent producer to claim that their organic alfalfa sprouts or whatever “taste like alfalfa sprouts used to”. However that is the entirely accurate bottom line when it comes to Stones Dairy and its raw (unpasteurised) milk, butter and cream. Farmer Matt Stone and wife Katie may only […]

Leicester folk set to break down the doors at Delilah Fine Foods

Delilah opens in Leicester, plus plenty more goings-on – Leicestershire editor Tim Burke gives a round-up of the latest news on his patch…

New Leicestershire & Rutland Cookbook celebrates region’s best

Every food lover in Leicestershire & Rutland needs this new book celebrating local independent restaurants, food producers and retailers…

Great news for chocolate and gin lovers in Leicestershire

Leicester chocolate shop/producer Cocoa Amore expands and Charnwood-based gin distiller 45 West opens its own city bar…

Leics update: Bewicke Arms, Lotus Bakery and Odd John’s Kitchen

Leicestershire correspondent Tim Burke with all the latest local food and drink news from his patch…

Delilah plots new Leicester venue as Melton Mowbray food school plans develop

Leicestershire news round-up by Tim Burke…

Leicestershire asparagus – herald of the summer

Tim Burke heads to Cattows Farm in north Leicestershire to report on the arrival of one of our favourite crops…

Leicestershire update: British Pie Awards, Meatcure, Lilu…

Leicestershire correspondent Tim Burke reports from the British Pie Awards and shares news of new openings…

Four new Leicester venues to check out

A handful of new places in which to enjoy burgers, coffees, braises and beers have landed in Leicester…

Maiyango Thirty Fifty wine tasting

Leicester’s Maiyango is hosting a series of tasting events with UK wine educator Thirty Fifty. Tim Burke attended the first…

Meet The Chef: 34 Windsor St, Burbage

GFC’s Leicestershire correspondent Tim Burke talks to 34 Windsor St’s new head chef about simplicity and seasonality…