Editor’s blog: “Our priority is to guide you to high quality independents”

I’ve been a bit quiet recently because I’m busy producing the 2016 Great Food Club Handbook, which will be out in November. It’ll guide you to more than 150 excellent food & drink independents and I hope it will act as your essential glovebox/handbag companion over the next 12 months. I’ll let you know when it’s out.

In the meantime I wanted to remind you of the sheer breadth of brilliant places running offers to Great Food Club members. The difference between Great Food Club and other similar schemes is that our priority is to guide you to high quality independents (we’re not against large chains but believe it’s the local independents that really enhance our villages, towns and cities).

So every pub, restaurant, shop and producer we recommend has been vetted first. We look for friendly, welcoming, unique places that value customer service and are passionate about food and drink, from fine-dining restaurants to local pubs to village farm shops. The member offers are a bonus.

For example, here are 10 brilliant, award-winning independents that are part of Great Food Club. Click on the links below to find out what member offer you can claim with your membership card.

1) The Rose & Crown at Yardley Hastings, Northants – Best Food Pub in the Carlsberg Northamptonshire Food & Drink Awards 2012, 2014 and 2016. Offer here.

2) Everards Brewery, Leicester – CAMRA Bill Squires Award for supporting microbrewers, championing cask ale and reviving pubs, and four-times PMA Pub Company of the Year. Offer here.

3) The Martin’s Arms, Colston Bassett, Notts – Good Pub Guide Nottinghamshire Dining Pub of the Year 2012, 13, 14, 15 and 16. Offer here.

4) Hambleton Bakery, Exton, Rutland (shops in Oakham, Leics, Lincs and Notts) – Britain’s Best Bakery 2012. Offer here.

5) The Pheasant at Keyston, Cambs – Good Pub Guide Cambridgeshire Dining Pub of the Year 2016. Offer here.

6) Miss B’s Tea Rooms, Melton Mowbray, Leics – holder of Tea Guild Certificate of Excellence. Offer here.

7) The Red Lion Inn, Stathern, Leics – Good Pub Guide Leicestershire Dining Pub of the Year 2015 & 2016. Offer here.

8) Rossa Ice Cream, Caldecote, Warwickshire – winner of 13 Gold Stars at Great Taste Awards 2015. More info here.

9) Purecraft Bar & Kitchen, Birmingham – PMA National Beer Pub of the Year and Best West Midlands Pub or Restaurant in the Great Food Club Awards 2015. Offer here.

10) John’s House, Mountsorrel, Leics – awarded a Michelin Star for the first time in September 2015. Offer here.

There are well over 200 other Great Food Club recommendations and offers too – you can browse them all on our map. I’ll let you know when the 2016 Handbook is ready.

Matt Wright
The author:

Matt lives in Leicestershire with his wife, two kids and dog. He is passionate about British pubs, slow food and home brewing. He founded Great Food Club (originally as Great Food Magazine) in 2010 after being inspired by local producers near his home town of Melton Mowbray - Britain's 'Rural Capital of Food'.