My Favourite Places: Pam Harper from British Fine Foods
Almost 10 years ago, husband and wife team, Andrew and Pam Harper, set up award-winning British Fine Foods – hand picking the best British artisan foods from around the country to create luxury hampers and gifts. Not surprisingly when I asked Pam to let us in on her favourite places they were mainly food related. So come, salivate along side me, as she spills the (rather delicious sounding) beans…
Tavistock Farmers’ Market, Devon
Before setting up British Fine Foods artisan products were already a passion of ours. So when we travelled around the countryside stumbling across quality farmer’s markets was a real joy. This one in Tavistock was voted the ‘Best Farmers Market in the South West’, in the Taste of the West Awards, and is a treasure trove of fresh, local food, drink and plants direct from the producer.
Hastings Fish Roll, Old Town, Hastings
This is run by another husband and wife team – Tush and Pat Hamilton! They make these rolls at the weekend, at the old fish huts on Rockanore Road in the Old Town in Hastings. Using freshly caught fish fillets, dusted with wheat flour and seasoned before being shallow fried in a huge paella pan. It’s the best fresh sea food burger you’ll ever have! It’s such a gem and there’s always a bit of a queue.
Ludlow Food Festival, Shropshire
Host to more than 150 local food and drink producers this festival is in a fantastic setting around the castle and there’s always a great buzz. The annual, mid-September, event takes over the whole town. It’s packed with Britain’s best small producers from all over the country – and their foods are available to sample and buy, with delicious pop up restaurants and bars for lunch. Foodie heaven!
The Sportsman, Seasalter
This Michelin starred pub is very low key – even describing itself on Twitter as the ‘grotty rundown pub by the sea’. But this is a bit tongue in cheek as it’s actually consistently voted the best gastro pub in the whole country. They just don’t buy into pretentiousness and there’s a really laid-back, relaxed atmosphere. We went there on a rare day off a few years ago. The menu was simple but perfectly executed and the fish could not have tasted fresher (as the name suggests it’s right by the sea in Whitstable). We had one of the most relaxing and delicious lunches followed by a walk along the beach. It felt like we’d had a mini break all in the space of about 5 hours!
Jasin’s Restaurant, Deal
We discovered this restaurant at the end of the pier by accident. Andrew and I were walking along the seafront and thought we’d take closer look – expecting just a run down old place for a quick hot chocolate. What we found was a cool café with sweeping views out to sea which was a very pleasant surprise. It’s actually been awarded the Best Constructed Building in Kent by the Royal Institute of British Architects!
Three years ago we went to Cuba on holiday and stayed in a beautiful old building that had been turned into a hotel. We both love live music and it so happened that a music festival was taking place across the city. There was always music floating in through the windows or across the rooftops and it just transported you! It was such an amazing atmosphere and you felt a million miles from home!