Northamptonshire – Britain’s most foodie county!
It's the launch of Northamptonshire Year of Food and Drink!
Sorching off the press – Northamptonshire has been named ‘Britain’s most foodie county’ by Restaurant critic and MasterChef judge William Sitwell. In a ‘Food Battle of Britain’ challenge to regions across the country, Sitwell argues that his home county of Northants has a greater combination of ingredients, producers and food businesses.
‘Cornwall has great pasties, Lincolnshire has sausages and Yorkshire has rhubarb”… the UK is undoubtedly a fabulous nation for food and drink, but it’s our ‘hood who is leading it! Not only do we have hundreds of great pubs, restaurants, small producers and drink firms that we love, it’s the 3.5 billion biscuits made each year by Weetabix, plus the fact that 95% of British house holders own a product containing a herb or spice from British Pepper & Spice, that make Northants the winner of the Food Battle of Britain!
Northant’s own William Sitwell made this clear at the Northamptonshire Surprise launch of Year of Food and Drink at Rockingham Castle on April 5, attended by some of the county’s leading producers and foodies including Tom Warner, founder of Warner’s Gin – now a leading global drinks brand (and little ole Northants’ editor Anna-Lou Dearden was there too).
Need some facts to back up the claims?
- Northamptonshire has twice the national average of producers and manufacturers, whose food output was worth over £600m in 2016 (Source ONS).
- Warner’s, the internationally award-winning craft gin distillers founded in 2012, started on the family farm in Harrington with just one gin and now proudly produces 8 flavours – including its famous Rhubarb Gin which kick-started the pink gin craze – and now employs over 40 people.
- Whitworth Bros Ltd, based in Wellingborough, process 1.65 million tonnes of wheat every year, making them the third largest flour miller in Europe.
- Northamptonshire farming produces over 687 million loaves of bread, 32 million litres of vegetable oil, 300 million eggs and employs over 4,000 people (Source NFU).
- Between 1997 and 2016, output from food and drink manufactures rose on average by 57% across Northamptonshire (Source ONS).
- Guests at The Ritz and The Savoy tuck into chocolates made in Brackley by Belflair Chocolates.
- Based in Hannington, Hamm Tun Fine Foods’ multi award-winning Cobbler’s Nibble was Northamptonshire’s first commercially-produced cheese since Roman times and is regularly on the menu at Silverstone Circuit, enjoyed by the world’s top racing drivers – and their fans!
- Northamptonshire boasts over 20 quality food and drink festivals and fairs throughout the year – attracting tens of thousands of visitors to the county from across the country.
The launch also sees the unveiling of a new web campaign dedicated to the culinary year, not only promoting dining venues and producers but also a host of food festivals and events for all foodies to enjoy, plus a new loyalty card scheme. Sounds rather exciting for our good ol’ Northants; here’s to a great year for our abundant county (at time of publishing, I was mingling with all of the above, but by the powers of technology, managed to get this news to you before I’d even left Rockingham)! Some pics of the event below…