EXMOOR residents are being invited to an award-winning restaurant and boutique hotel in the area this month (September, 2017) to help support British Food Fortnight.
The multi-award-winning Dunkery Beacon Country House Hotel in Wootton Courtenay is celebrating the national event, which runs from September 23 until October 8, by promoting the suppliers on its doorstep.
Co-owner and chef, John Bradley, who runs the hotel’s award-winning Coleridge Restaurant, and the hotel, with his wine expert wife Jane, said: “We always like to promote our local suppliers, but during the event we’ll be doing more to plug them wherever possible, as we’re big advocates of eating as seasonally as possible, and of consuming produce from the region rather than further afield.
“Diners at our restaurant all-year-round are helping to back Exmoor farmers and suppliers within a 20-mile radius of the business including some back-garden growers. We support nearby commercial suppliers, as well as neighbours who grow surplus produce in their vegetable patches in the village, so we keep it as local and as British as possible here.”
British Food Fortnight is a celebration of the diverse and delicious range of food available in Britain, as well as the health benefits of eating quality, fresh, seasonal and regionally distinct produce.
“Food tastes better if it is transported as swiftly as possible from field to fork or plot to plate and is healthier for you too, so it makes sense to use the wonderful local ingredients we have nearby us here on Exmoor and in Somerset and nearby Devon, and particularly if it comes from the village itself.
“I grow a lot of my own stuff too and we have large raised beds in the front garden full of our own vegetables and late summer salads.
“We offer customers details of the provenance of the seasonal food we serve and, in some cases, it might be that the person who grew the veggies or salad they’re enjoying is sitting at the table next to you having come in for an evening meal too!”
British Food Fortnight takes place from September 23 until October 8 and is the biggest annual, national celebration of British food and drink.
It was established in the wake of the Foot and Mouth crisis, in response to the fact that, though there are numerous food initiatives, projects and events taking place across Britain, there was no overall flagship event to bring them to the public’s attention.
John added: “Exmoor is often overlooked as a foodie destination but it’s a great place full of hidden culinary gems and somewhere off the beaten track to explore. It’s still got some really wild and remote spots and the farmers and producers that work on the land here are a hardy bunch.”
The hotel’s Coleridge Restaurant, named after the famous, Romantic Movement poet who lived in the area in the late 1700s, uses Exmoor honey, eggs, pork and even offers Exmoor roasted coffee and blended tea.
John also makes all his own bread from flour produced at the nearby working mill in the medieval town of Dunster.
John continued: “The Exmoor Old English Pork Sausages we serve to guests at breakfast come from Kendle Farm, Exton and restaurant diners in the evening can sample venison from the nearby Holnicote Estate.
“At this time of year, I also forage for hedgerow blackberries and we freeze lots of produce at the time they are picked to be used later in the culinary year.”
The Coleridge Restaurant is open to non-hotel residents from Wednesday to Saturday evenings only at this time of year.
To find out more about Dunkery Beacon Country House, please call 01643 841 241 or visit www.dunkerybeaconaccommodation.co.uk.
Porcupine PR team