We just came back from a wonderful two weeks in England. While the rest of the contributors here at Not Dabbling in Normal have been focusing on what they are finding local where they live, I decided to look at what I found local where we were traveling and mainly focusing on the local food I found.
We started our trip in London. Our breakfast was at the hotel every day and the girls that waited on us had no idea what I was asking when I asked where the food came from. Even revising my question didn’t help, you see, these girls were Italian and seemed to speak very little English. Dinner didn’t go any better while we were in London. The food we had was great, but the main issue was a language barrier. At the Greek restaurant, it was Greek, at the Indian restaurant it was Indian and I don’t speak either of those languages.
As we moved away from London things improved greatly in terms of being able to find out where the food was coming from.
At a local pub in Elsenham called The Crown, the waitress and I had a nice long chat about where their food came from. The sausages that I ate were from a local farm and processed by a local butcher and the potatoes were local too. My initial question was, ” does any of your food come from the area from local farmers?” I couldn’t stop smiling as she just waved her hand and said “oh ya” and continued name where everything came from.
As I sat in the Old Thatched Tavern Stratford-upon-Avon eating wonderful onion rings, I learned that the chef grew them himself. Really!? That is so wonderful !
In Ebrington at the Ebrington Arms pub I learned most things on my plate were local also. Sausages, mushrooms, potatoes, cabbage, all of it.
At Home Farm Bed & Breakfast I was thrilled to learn about where the owners bought the food for the beautiful breakfast we were served. It was just around the corner at a local farm; mushrooms and all! F A N T A S T I C !
One last place worth a mention was the lunch we had a Kiftsgate Court Garden near Hidcote. We walked around Hidcote in the morning and then headed across the street to Kiftsgate Garden for a late afternoon lunch and a walk around their beautiful gardens. Lunch was homemade and wonderful. I had a toasted cheese and tomato sandwich with two types of chutney; Piccadilly and another sweeter chutney with apples. I went back to ask about the second chutney and chatted with the lady that made it. M A D E I T ! It had been seasoning for 1 ½ years and was ready to serve! She showed me the ½ gallon jar she preserved it in and we had a nice talk about it. I didn’t come home with her recipe (darn it!) but I was thrilled to eat all their homemade toasted sandwich and some fresh shortbread!
The food we ate in London was really good, but I enjoyed our meals more once we left London and I as able to find out where the food was coming from. I was very impressed with the bar tenders and the waiter/waitresses and all they knew about the food they were serving. It felt good.
I have been posting about our trip to England along with photos. Stop by my personal blog if you are interested. Soon to come are some of the gardens (like Kiftsgate and Hidcote) along with more castles (like Warwick and Sudeley)
You can see what else I am up to over at Sincerely, Emily. The topics are varied, as I jump around from gardening to sewing to making bread or lotion and many things in between.