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Author: Cecilia Created: Sunday, June 07, 2009 9:25 PM
Good food, interesting people and news from the Cumbrian food scene

Rheged opens new Food & Drink TIC
By Cecilia on Thursday, June 24, 2010 12:48 PM
Yesterday (June 23) Rheged opened the doors to two of its new Tourist Information Stations, Food & Drink and Outdoor Adventure. What they, with Head of Marketing Claire Logan-Stephens at the helm, have done, is to create a completely new concept for Tourist Information Centres. It's brilliant, instead of huge walls of leaflets about anything and everything, you decide what topic you're interested in – Food & Drink in my case – and the information station is appropriately located in the Taste shop/café. The information on display, and the websites which can be accessed through a touch screen, have been selected to reflect the best food experiences on offer in Cumbria, rather than all food experiences. Oh, and we at Artisan-food supply the monthly updated food news pages displayed on screens – so there's always something current.

Julia Bradbury was on hand yesterday to do the honours, here with Alex Evans, Westmorland's farm shop ...
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Martin Gott sets up Cheese shop
By Cecilia on Monday, June 21, 2010 12:20 PM
Martin Gott, who runs Holker Farm Dairy, where he makes fantastic ewe's milk cheese with his partner Nicola, has just opened Cartmel Cheeses, in the village's brand new Unsworth Yard development (other establishments will apparently include a bakery and a wine seller).
(this is not Martin, it's Nicola's Dad)

The shop has a serious temperature control unit, which makes sure the temperature is perfect for maturing cheeses, so all the cheese can be displayed on this beautiful counter instead of behind glass (the soft cheeses are put in a fridge over-night).

The shop will sell cheeses from all over the UK, as well as some from further afield. Martin has personally been to visit every single cheese maker represented in his shop to date, and he hope ...
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Great beer festival at Boot
By Cecilia on Monday, June 14, 2010 10:15 AM
A plea went out last week from the organisers of the Boot Beer Festival (one of whom was the landlord of the Woolpack Inn, currently in hospital with gun shot wounds, according to the Times & Star), for people to support the stricken community by attending the beer festival this past weekend. So – we went over, and had a wonderful afternoon in the Boot Inn garden, listening to folk music courtesy of Emma & The Professor, and drinking the ales on tap


The village is only very small, but has three pubs, who all co-organise the festival. The other two are the Woolpack and the Brook House Inn. This is such a fantastic corner of Cumbria, and the event will be a yearly one for us from now on.

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The New Potaotes are Ready!
By Cecilia on Tuesday, June 08, 2010 11:02 AM
This morning, I had a very exciting e-mail from Julie Wilson at Sandgate Farm. Their new potatoes are now ready, and you can pick them up from the farm shop 9-11.30 Tue-Sat, or from Brocklebanks on Market St in Ulverston. Sandgate Farm is in Flookburgh – turn right in the centre of the village and drive due west out of it; the farm is the last building before the sea.
Julie and her husband Philip.

This is the farm on a picture perfect day

And this is what the first spuds look like – and they are heaven. Just boil with som ...
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Country Fest even better
By Cecilia on Monday, May 31, 2010 4:40 PM
I have to say I enjoyed this year's installment of Country Fest (May 29-30 at the County Show grounds in Crookland) even more than last year. There was lots of gorgeous food to buy and try, and we had a great day.

Holker Farm Dairy produces two raw ewe's milk cheeses, St James, a wash rind cheese, and Swallet, a less matured cheese. Martin and Nicola are opening a cheese shop in Cartmel on June 5 – selling both British and continental cheeses.


The new shop is at Unsworth yard, a new development of small shops in central Cartmel. The shop will be open 10-5 every day.

We were very happy to see Mr Vikki back in action, after they were so badly hit in the floods in November. He is another Cumbrian producer who has made it into Fo ...
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Farm trail competition for young at Fell Gather
By Cecilia on Monday, May 31, 2010 7:17 AM
On June 12 there's one of Cumbria's best foodie events of the year. Fell Gather, organised by members of the Cumbria Farmer Network and held at Mitchell’s Lakeland Livestock Centre in Cockermouth, aims to explain and show the connections from field to plate and celebrate all aspects of Lakeland food and farming.

This year there's a great competition for children and young people visiting the show. They will be able to trace their own local food chain from fell and field to fork in a special competition trail around the Livestock Centre.


Scott Downton and Abigail Newton from Lakes College will be involved in the preparation and cooking of Herdie burgers at Fell Gather later this month.

“Visitors a ...
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Lucy's wins dessert award
By Cecilia on Monday, May 24, 2010 12:20 PM
Lucy's of Ambleside (Church St, Ambleside) has won an award as the Best Dessert Restaurant outside London. This is the 8th year of the Rémy Martin Restaurant Awards, presented in cooperation with Harden's Restaurant Reviews and Lucy’s of Ambleside has won the Coeur de Cognac Best Dessert – Rest of UK award.
Given the Lake District's renown for tea and cakes, Lucy Nicholson’s acclaimed Ambleside venture is a fitting first winner of the Coeur de Cognac Best Dessert award. If you live in the Lakes, this will come as no surprise, Lucy's made a real name for herself as the queen of puddings, and at the Ambleside restaurant there's an 'Up the Duff Pudding Night' every month, when nothing but 'afters' is served.
So – big congratulations to Lucy for the award, and also for the fact that the Church Street establishment was listed in Country Living Magazine as one of the country's top 25 tea rooms!
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Country Fest is Back!
By Cecilia on Friday, May 21, 2010 7:50 AM

Last year the organisers of the Westmorland County Show took over what used to be the Westmorland Food Lovers Festival and created the new Country Fest, giving visitors a taste of the countryside. This year's Country Fest will be held at the County Showfield, Crooklands on Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 May, 2010. There will be a chance to meet food producers from Cumbria and the wider Northwest, and there will be cooking demonstrations using their produce. There will also be a Why Farming Matters show, a Pet Corner and various children's activities, as well as a beer festival, and stands and information on growing your own.
This was a great event last year, we'd recommend you come along this year!

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Orton celebrates 100 markets
By Cecilia on Tuesday, May 11, 2010 8:47 AM
Saturday May 8 saw the 100th Farmers Market in Orton and there were celebrations and a special cake as well as a new stallholder to join the team. To mark the 100th Farmers’ Market, stallholders had invited the villagers of Orton to a post-Market party with a fantastic buffet spread of local produce and a special cake, made by Jackie Mayes of Brampton near Appleby.


“Orton is such a peaceful place most of the time and we realise how much the villagers put up with once a month when we’re here,” says Market Coordinator, Leanne Duerden.  “We decided that it would be good to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their continued patience and support.  Invitations went to every house in the village and it was great to see so many people in the M ...
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Gordon's looking for best restaurant
By Cecilia on Wednesday, March 24, 2010 12:24 PM
I just had a call from a company called Optomen, who produce Gordon Ramsay's The F Word. Last year they ran a section in the programme looking for the best Indian, the best Italian and so on – in the country. You may have seen it, I watched a bit. Anyway, this year Mr R is doing a whole tv series dedicated to looking for the best restaurant in the country. And they are apparently not looking for the stared and rosetted establishments of this world!

Below is the blurb from Optomen - go on, nominate your favourite Cumbrian restaurant! Or, if you nominate three or more, you may have a chance of going along and eating with Gordon himself.

My nominations will be: the Jumble Room, the Yanwath Gate Inn and the George & Dragon.

Here's the Optomen bit:

Gordon Ramsay is look ...
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