A few weeks ago I received an email from Sainsbury’s magazine. A rather lovely journalist – a food writing hero of mine – told me that she had selected a handful of bloggers from across the UK to write about their favourite local produce and places to eat out, that she really liked my blog and would I be happy to the blogger representing East Anglia in their July issue? I shrieked silently, double checked they had the right blog and then very cooly replied: Oh I’d love to.
I’ve always been a big fan of Sainsbury’s. My attraction started back in the 1990s around the time when they ran an iconic TV ad campaign featuring Delia Smith’s smooth and reassuring voice and lots of sharp-focused food shots that would eventually give rise to the everyday foodie. I was around ten years old at the time. It was a evocative TV ad campaign which left a imprint on my food memory banks. I can still feel the same quiet excitement as I did then when I think of this well-loved British supermarket.
Speaking of Britishness, that’s what this article is about. It’s a Best of British “Staycation” feature which includes some absolutely brilliant recommendations from some rather brilliant food bloggers in the UK. Including the inside scoop on local products such as: lemon ketchup, Kent cherries, a Welsh cheese made with whole mustard seeds “like a cheat’s Welsh rarebit”, Aberdeen rolls “dense, flakey and buttery” and a Cumbrian vodka that makes an incredible-sounding Banoffee cocktail.
So thank you Sainsbury’s for asking me to be involved. It was lots of fun and quite a difficult task just picking a handful of my favourite seasonal ingredients and places to eat out. Below is my write-up, the “Norfolk and Suffolk” page and if you’d like to read about the recommendations from the other food bloggers from around the UK, then check out the July issue available in Sainsbury’s stores from today (6th July).
You can also listen to the radio interview I did with Share Radio about the local produce featured in the article.
BEST of BRITISH
On stay cation this summer? These foodie bloggers share their favourite regional specialities and the eating out gems that you might not otherwise find…
Norfolk & Suffolk
By Leah Larwood
Two Magpies Bakery
Stock up on beach picnic supplies or bag a table inside the bakery’s bustling coffee shop. Cakes, breads and pastries change daily. The giant cheese straws and rose, raspberry and chocolate ganache cake we devoured last summer in our rented beach hut, will forever have a place in my food memory banks.
Two Magpies Bakery
88 High Street, Southwold, Suffolk, IP18 6DP
01502 726 120
Wiverton Hall Café
Situated on a PYO farm overlooking marshes and out to sea, Wiveton Hall Café serves wholesome locally-inspired seasonal food and a great slice of cake. The café has a homely and playful interior and the atmosphere is always convivial. With a regularly changing menu, make sure you try the crab salad when available.
1 Marsh Ln, Wiveton, Holt, Norfolk NR25 7TE
The Ingham Swan
A cosy and relaxed thatched coach inn steeped in history, where the chefs have a great pedigree and the staff know your name. For the ultimate experience try the tasting menu which offers the best in modern British cooking, using the best seasonal produce from the restaurant’s nearby farm.
The Ingham Swan
Sea Palling Road, Ingham, Norwich, NR12 9AB
Morston Hall for tea
Not only has its restaurant been a holder of a Michelin Star since 1999, in the summer the Hall also serves a scrumptious afternoon tea in the walled garden. A stunning location and Michelin-quality extra touches such as the fried potato woven quail’s eggs, gives this North Norfolk high tea the edge.
Holt, Norfolk NR25 7AA
We’re lucky here in Norfolk to have a pretty sustainable supply of fresh crabs. Extremely succulent pieces with rich dark meat, you can find various sizes of dressed crabs charged incrementally from £3.50. Wonderful with fresh chilli, white wine, samphire and cream in spaghetti or with buttery new potatoes, pea shoots, boiled eggs with soft middles and good homemade mayonnaise. Cromer is the capital of crab but can also be found along the coast, in farm shops and on Norwich market.
Packed with minerals, samphire or “poor man’s asparagus” is food of the gods. Not to be confused with rock samphire, eat this marsh variety on its own with lots of butter or olive oil and lemon juice, with any fish or the old Norfolk way, with black pepper and vinegar. Found in fishmongers, on Norwich Market or in North Norfolk – just follow the roadside signs leading to small sellers.
Extra-Virgin Cold Pressed Rapeseed Oil
One of the healthiest oils you can use, natural, low in sat fat and full of omega goodness, cold-pressed rapeseed oil has become a Norfolk speciality in recent years. Rapeseed has a high burn point making it great for many different cooking methods including baking, roasting, stir-frying and deep and shallow frying. Because it’s unrefined it’s also great in dressings and marinades. With cold-pressed rapeseed oil, what you see is what you get, exactly as it comes out of the seed. I love rapeseed oil from local producer, CRUSH based in Norfolk www.crush-foods.com
Remember, #BuyLocal. Thanks for reading folks!