Lincolnshire’s foodie star has risen! The county has been revealed as the surprise winner of a public poll to find Britain’s Favourite Food Spot, beating other hot contenders for the title such as Cornwall and Hampshire.
The announcement marks the start of British Food Fortnight, which begins this weekend (17 September – 2 October) and is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. The contest attracted a frenzy of voting over the summer months, with a number of food experts championing the cause of their local regions. All in all, more than 22,000 people cast a vote and the contest finally narrowed down to become an outright battle between Cornwall and Lincolnshire. At the close of voting, Lincolnshire claimed first place with 39.6% of the votes, with Cornwall a close second with 35.7% of votes.
Organiser of British Food Fortnight, Alexia Robinson, comments: “People may be a little surprised that Lincolnshire has won as it is not often described as a foodie destination. But its regional specialities are enjoyed nationwide and it has an incredibly strong farming community that has mounted a ferociously determined campaign to garner the necessary votes to win. With the Face of this year’s British Food Fortnight also being from Lincolnshire, if Lincolnshire was not on the food map before this poll, it most certainly is now!”
Well, we have to say that Lincolnshire has been on our food map for a while now. Not only is it the home of Lincoln’s famous Cheese Society Cafe but you only have to drive through the county to discover the fabulous fresh produce on offer, from luscious strawberries to newly harvested potatoes and asparagus.
As Mary Powell, who is Tourism Development Manager for Tastes of Lincolnshire, said: “We have always believed Lincolnshire is the top food spot in the UK, and now’s our chance to get this recognised nationally. We have the freshest and tastiest local food – premium sausages, delectable pork pies, Lincoln Red beef and the famous Lincolnshire plumbread, best enjoyed with Lincolnshire Poacher Cheese. This competition has been a brilliant profile raiser for local food. As a very rural, often forgotten part of Britain, it is great to be recognised as one of the great food producing areas!”
British Food Fortnight is the biggest national celebration of the diverse and delicious range of food that Britain produces. Each year, food producers and establishments all over the country take part. A wide range of events will be running across the country, from chef demonstrations to special menus and promotions at pubs, restaurants and hotels. There are plenty of things for the whole family to enjoy whilst finding out more about great British food!
Wasn’t the weather glorious on Saturday? The bright blue skies had us dashing out to enjoy the sunshine and on a whim, we headed off to the city of Lincoln for the day.
After puffing our way up the very appropriately named ‘Steep Hill’ we found ourselves just outside Lincoln Cathedral, in the midst of a bustling and very interesting little market which was positively oozing with artisan food products, from crusty bread and cheeses to smoked fish. It made a great start to our visit and after selecting a few products to enjoy later, we headed off for a pootle around the cathedral, which was glorious in the spring sunshine. Very nice indeed.
We’d heard about the Cheese Society in Lincoln and it was an opportunity too good to miss, so knowing they had a cafe too, we decided to treat ourselves to lunch there.
It’s only a tiny little place, part cheese deli and part cafe, but it was packed with people when we went in and there were more waiting on the comfy sofa and chairs near the deli.
A member of staff immediately came over to welcome us and explained that there were several diners currently in the middle of main courses or on puddings, so if we were happy to wait a while, it shouldn’t be too long until we could have a table. The menu looked fabulous, so we settled in to wait and took advantage of the time to pick a couple of cheeses that we’d buy on the way out.
After about 20 minutes, a table was ready for us and we quickly put in our orders. It’s the Cheese Society, so as you’d expect, the menu is somewhat biased towards it, but there are a few non cheese dishes, such as soups and sandwiches and on the specials board, there was a pan fried sea bass with risotto or a roast duck breast dish, but it was cheese we’d come for and cheese we ordered. The vegetarian tartiflette was absolutely delicious, with caramelised onions and sun-blush tomatoes adding a nice contrast to the potatoes smothered in rich cream and cheese. The macaroni cheese had a lovely crispy topping, which took it to a much higher level than simple comfort food and made it delicious. The simplest of our meals was a new potato bake with raclette cheese, but it also got the thumbs up and all three meals were polished off. We tried not to think about the saturated fat we were eating, deciding just to accept it and eat super healthily for the next couple of days (lentil and veg casserole here we come!)
Just as we were sipping our wonderfully aromatic coffees, I spotted someone come in and for an instant, thought it was someone I knew – you know the feeling, you can’t quite place them, but they are so familiar. It turned out to be none other than hollywood and TV actor Colin McFarlane and friends, who were promptly seated at the table next to us, which just proves you don’t have to dine in London to spot a celebrity!
All in all, a lovely day out, though I was almost turfed out of the car with my purchases on the way home. I’d bought some ‘Stinking Bishop’ cheese, which as far as I’m concerned, is one of the most gorgeous, earthy and flavour packed cheeses I’ve ever tasted. But boy, it doesn’t half pong.