This blog is slightly different to the usual Art, Beer, Garden, Musings page and is part of a series of blogs. Why? I was invited (through working at Eden Brewery in Penrith) to the launch of English Tourism Week in Cumbria in the wonderful Sharrow Bay Hotel (more on this place soon) where we pledged to promote The Eden Valley of Cumbria.
This is as the title states the food and goodies part.
Please if you have visited any Café, Resturant, Shop, tasted or bought anything produced in Cumbria please tell us in the comments section. I don't mind if you add a link to a blog you have written about the item, or, even just a simple comment. Not only will this series of blogs benefit the tourist coming to Cumbria I'm hoping it will also open the eyes and taste buds of those who live here, sometimes you can't see what's on your door step for the hills.
Here's the other two blogs
Places (coming soon)
Crafty Peeps (coming soon)
The good old County Fair/Show
May is that time of year when the local field (or The Stately home field) gets a number one cut, the animals are moved off (before the gigantic mower has done the once over), fences are titivated and wagons start to roll in. The vendors dust down their tables, give their shelving displays a fresh coat of paint and prepare themselves, and, their stock for the public meet and greet. The country fair is about to roll in to town, and so too are the tourist.
Our last holiday to Scotland we were out slightly in the sticks with access to a proper supermarket on the mainland which involved an expensive ferry ride. So we ate local, in the pub (which we don't do at home) a couple of in expensive restaurants and cafe's. We also stopped by the local food selling shops and were delighted by what we ate for our lunches and evening meals. So please when in Cumbria (or any other place for that matter you are visiting) ditch the Supermarket and head for the Farm Shops, the fairs, the local market and the good old fashion high street Butcher, Baker, Fishmonger and you may even find a Candlestick maker too! Maybe you'll even find some quirky vegetable earrings as a Thank you to Margo next door for looking after the pet/house as a present as she's finally been able to rent an allotment.
The food and beverage people below can generally be found at the fairs/markets, but, some are now lucky enough to be in the shops.
On occasions through the food festival season here in Cumbria our stand (Eden Brewery Ltd) has always been situated near to Kin Vodka. Judith always has plenty around her promo stand repeating the mantra 'ooo, aaahh, yum'. So one cold early morning in Cockermouth Judith poured me a tipple of the Toffee Vodka. It is without a doubt sweet and very nice. I couldn't drink more than a double shot on it's own because it is sweet, but I tell you that morning she also poured it into my coffee! Boy did that drink go down well, I had rosy checks the rest of the morning.
I love Café
I don't venture into Carlisle that often but when I do I'm now forgoing Starbucks and Costa coffee and going back to this little hidden away café. I'm all for shouting about the good customer service you receive and spreading the positivity so let me introduce to this little place.
When we went to the Café there was only one young lady working serving and preparing food, although it wasn't full, there was a steady stream of people coming into the café. The young lass was helpful, friendly and dealt with every customer efficiently with a smile as she went.
A little vintage style café where the tables are the type that were around in kitchens back in the 60's / 70's with flaps either side and little drawers underneath. There are hardback books dotted around that are from that type of era, and the crockery will have you saying 'ooo my mum had a set like this' or 'gosh my grandparents had one just like this!'
Kat's Kitchen - Keswick
If ever you wanted to see what this vegan lark was about Kat's Kitchen is the café to go on a taste hunt with. I am NOT a Vegan and neither is My Man, but, he does have an intolerance to egg and dairy. You would be surprised how many food items in the supermarket have both or either of these. We can't even have Domino pizza's (not that I want to any more). Yes pizza's aren't meant to have egg or milk in, but theirs do! So to find a café locally that we don't have to worry if My Man can make it through the day is a God send! Kat's Kitchen is wonderful even if you are not a vegan.
If you think the meat products that are actually meat free are just wrong, that's OK there are other dishes which are equally delicious. The Mushroom Stroganoff is fantastic, the soups are delicious and please please try the Macaroni Cheeze! Maybe you are lucky enough to be there when Mr Vikki's coconut and vegetable curry with rice and poppadom pops on the menu? I could list the entire menu but we'd be here all day! Ask Kat what she makes meringue with, it WILL blow your mind!
As I visit or discover more places in Cumbria I shall share it with you on the relevant blog post. I will also place it at the top of the page. I still have an Ice cream place to add to this post, which maybe added later today as I'm now off to enjoy the Cumbrian sunshine. The other two blogs will also be added later today, so please watch out for them. Please feel free to add a blog post about Cumbrian produce you have written in the comments below, or just a comment. Have a great day and Thank you for popping back or stopping by.