Jul 04, 2020
Local Food Britain launches Stay Loyal to Local campaign to support food and drink businesses
Independent food and drink businesses have worked dawn to dusk, collaborated and continued to provide delicious produce to keep our communities fed, watered and smiling in exceptional circumstances since the pandemic struck.
It has been wonderful to see these efforts backed with unprecedented support for local food and drink from the public.
To celebrate our hardworking and innovative food and drink producers, The Market Place's Local Food Britain recently launched a ‘Stay Loyal to Local’ campaign to encourage everyone to champion these small businesses.
We featured top food and drink producers on Local Food Britain's website and social media and told their stories of transformation, NHS support and the challenges of balancing a small business with home schooling etc.
Based at Priory Farm in South Nutfield, Surrey, The Market Place and Local Food Britain has seen what a difference our industry can make to the quality of people’s lives every day.
Making the headlines
For our monthly Surrey Life magazine food and drink column, we have taken a quick look at just some of the offerings that food finders can enjoy in Surrey now that lockdown has eased.
It has been fascinating to see attractions quickly find appealing ways to bring people back together in socially distanced but not at all dystopian ways.
Now when you visit Albury Vineyard near Guildford, for instance, you can book a table with a pre-prepared afternoon tea or cheese board with your English sparkling wine.
Then there’s Flower Farm at Godstone, which has now opened its doors again as a more traditional farm shop and pick your own. They have also made use of their sprawling farmland by launching the Strawberry Fields Pub Garden with The Godstone Brewers providing the beers.
A Surrey food and drink staycation
How about a food and drink staycation in Surrey? Avoid the flights and enjoy Denbies Wine Estate’s epic Vineyard Hotel. Surrounded by vines and with onsite restaurants, Village Greens farm shop, Surrey Hills brewery and wonderful walks to Box Hill and further afield, you will feel a million miles from it all while enjoying a taste of Surrey.
For something a little more low-key, Botley Hill Farmhouse has its North Downs Shepherd Huts near Oxted. The perfect countryside escape for two, and handily the historic inn and its beautiful views are again welcoming pre-booked diners.
Farms have been constantly innovating. Hill House Farm near Dorking has a new must-try product almost weekly! Their hampers and BBQ packs full of free-range rare breed meats and other local produce are irresistible. Brightleigh Farm in Outwood has a pop-up farm shop with their pasture for life beef and local milk and eggs on many weekends. Glebe House in Godstone has launched its bright green mobile farm shop, Maude. You will find them regularly in their village on Saturdays.
There have been smart ideas from private chefs and caterers too. If you live near to Godalming, for instance, you can enjoy The Conversational Diner from Sally Iddles and friends. Delicious food delivered to your home with curated soundtracks, styling etc.
Ruth's Little Kitchen in Brockham, Cook with Steph in Farnham, Laura Scott of How to Cook Good Food in Epsom and Mandira’s Kitchen in Alburyhave all ceaselessly innovated their offerings and cooked for their communities.
Like all of us, they will be hoping to get back to a more hands-on and communal world of cookery courses and supper clubs. Food, after all, is very much about the people.
Suffice to say, this is just the crust of the apple pie and the whole food and drink community has been finding exciting ways to move forward. We are constantly inspired by these efforts.
So now, we call on all of you this summer to #StayLoyaltoLocal.
Tell your friends about your favourite local businesses, whether it is on social media (#StayLoyaltoLocal), word of mouth or by sharing something special to your local area at garden parties.
Book your favourite pubs and restaurants too, and then share the love – they have worked so hard to open safely for you.
Thank you, as always, for your support.