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E&O Newsletter

CAN YOU EAT OUT AND EAT LOCAL?

 

The UK’s cafés, pubs and restaurants are busy welcoming back customers, hungry and thirsty after the long lockdown for the sheer pleasure of being served good food and drink, in a social atmosphere – with the added treat of no washing up!

At Earth & Ocean we’re eager to go back to our favourite spots around the country as we explore all the UK has to offer in the independent food & drink scene. So, what do you do if you want to eat out with the same ethos with which you eat in?

We’ve been looking around the country and remembering trips to some fabulous pubs and restaurants that enable you to do exactly that.

COTSWOLDS

The Mousetrap Inn, near Bourton-on-the-Water, has a simple aim for its locally-sourced menu: make food that you look forward to eating every night. Head Chef Thomas Law works with local suppliers to create delicious menus that highlight want he calls “the brilliance of the Cotswold larder”. With Gloucestershire beef, poultry and game from local estates, and cheeses from some of Britain’s best dairies on his doorstep, there’s something for every night of the week (or at the very least every weekend) on the menu.

 

WINCANTON

Set in the fine historical surroundings of Wincanton, The Bear Hotel, is certainly worth stopping at. Owner Matt Garvin’s delightful family run pub prides itself on good food, local ales and great company. Matt trained with the Roux brothers so he knows a thing or two about quality. But the simple fact that the locals just love The Bear tells you all you need to know.  Simple classics are the staple here – who wouldn’t order a 10oz locally sourced rump steak called The Bear’s Behind? – and their home-made puddings are a perfect combo that we love. If you stay over in one of their rooms, Matt serves an English breakfast with the freshest of local eggs – and when in season, with shavings of locally sourced truffles. Pure heaven…

 

VALE OF GLAMORGAN

Making the most of the incredible variety of seasonal Welsh produce is the Hare & Hounds. Grass-fed lamb from Torgelly Farm, just a couple of miles down the road, graces their plates with mouthwatering pink chops, complimented by local seasonal veg throughout the year. One thing they keep all year round is a delectable home-made mint sauce, a true staple of this delightful venue.

 

LAKE DISTRICT

Another place to sample the best of local cuisine has to be Rogan & Co. While its Michelin star can’t be overlooked, nor it’s connections to the famous L’Enclume, we love this place for its dedication to using the finest in Lake District produce.  The menus are regularly reimagined throughout the year as seasonal ingredients change, using what’s available from local growers and Simon Rogan’s own farm in Cartmel valley. Yes, it’ll be at the top end of any diner’s budget, but this is ethical comfort food that will keep you coming back.

 

CORNWALL

Of course, you can’t have a list like this without a good look at seafood. Some of the best local-sourced dining has got to be whatever landed that morning from the fishing boats around our wonderful coastlines. The team at E&O are regulars visitors to Cornwall every year and a favourite is found in Porthleven at the effervescent Seadrift Restaurant.  Here, the specials are created based on the daily catch, and their two-course fish menus also include a glass of wine, always a nice touch.

 

ARBROATH

There are some famous local dishes that are intertwined with wonderful local dining experiences. The rich flavour of the Arbroath Smokie, produced in the back-yard smokers around the port of Arbroath in Scotland is maybe one of the best local food traditions we know. Sure, you can buy them direct from classic family producers like Spinks, but if you find yourself in Arbroath as E&O did recently, let The Old Boatyard right on the harbour edge, serve them up for you with their mouthwatering Cullen Skink or Smokie Chowder from their enticing “secret menu”.


So, up and down the country you really can find an amazing variety of inspired, locally-sourced menus, and once you start looking, you’ll find more and more. But what’s the real treat with them? It’s is the seasonal changes – you’ve just got to keep going back to see what these talented chefs cook up next…

 

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