Who would have predicted, half a century ago, that the British would become a nation of foodies? With the advent of the TV chef, and so much emphasis on the origins and health of our food supplies, the British are becoming increasingly knowledgeable about and interested in buying food direct from the grower. Farmers markets are springing up around the country, and most regional tourist boards have followed in the footsteps of their French counterparts, and now feature local specialists and regional recipes in their guides.
Exploring home delights
An enthusiasm for food is certainly something that many of us enjoy indulging when we’re on holiday, and with increasing numbers choosing to stay in the UK, we have an opportunity to explore the delights offered on our doorstep. Many people enjoy building knowledge of an area that they return to over years, getting to discover the great places to eat, and where to source the best materials for that delicious family dinner. An economical way to create a holiday base for yourself and your family is to buy a static caravan on one of the parks around the UK, many of them based close to beaches or to areas of outstanding natural beauty.
Food from the source
Having acquired your caravan, you can look forward to preparing and sharing those gourmet meals (and the kitchen facilities will be important to foodies), but make sure that the cooking, as well as the eating is shared! A guide to some of the largest farmers’ markets and specialist food producers can be found in The Good Food Producers Guide, and you can spend many a happy hour browsing through wonderful displays of vegetables heaped high on a farmer’s stall, or visit a farm where they sell direct.
There’s nothing like seeing your beef on the hoof! Here are some suggestions for foodie visits linked to National Parks and popular holiday destinations in the UK.
Pembrokeshire National Park
With its stunning views over towering cliffs and out to sea, a brisk walk along a stretch of the Pembrokeshire costal trail is an ideal prelude to a hearty meal. Why not try some Welsh specialities like laver bread, or profit from all the glorious seafood around during Pembrokeshire Fish Week? There are lots of cheesemakers in the area, one example being Pant Mawr Farmhouse Cheeses, who sell their produce direct from their farm shop, where you can go to have a coffee and sample before you buy.
The Yorkshire Dales and the North York Moors
Wetherby Farmers Market is held on the second Sunday of every month, and offers a range of stalls, from locally produced meat to farm cheeses. Wetherby itself is a lovely small market town built along the banks of the picturesque River Wharfe, well worth a visit in its own right, and situated on the A1, it’s easy to get to. Other market towns in the area like Otley and Cleckheaton offer farmers markets on different days of the month, so you should be able to do the larger part of your shopping direct from their stalls.
2012 has been a great year for Great Britain and events such as the Queens Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics has seen a growth in enthusiasm and pride for the country and its products. With consumer behaviour moving towards sustainable, organic and homegrown produce, Britain has an opportunity to show exactly what it has to offer. There has never been a better time to go out and explore the countless markets that are open every day and there has never been a better time to buy British.