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Interesting food in Cheshire-Derbyshire?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Many scoff at the possibility of finding interesting food anywhere in England, but I'm sure they haven't been paying attention in the past decade or so. I'm aware in general of a revival in heirloom food products (particularly meats and cheeses), and of some really, really excellent restaurants in London and elsewhere. (Yes, it's still quite possible to get some really awful meals too- as it is anywhere in the world.)

 

I'll be visiting family in the Cheshire area near Macclesfield later in the summer, and we'll be touring around there (to Chatsworth House, of course), and staying in the family home. That means the possibility of some cooking, but also of sampling regional products and specialties. Is there anything I shouldn't miss? I do have a relative from there, but want to get as broad a picture as possible, so any ideas are welcome.

 

I understand Chatsworth House has a farm store with regional items, and I'm eager to visit it. But there must be local shops and markets that are worth seeing too. We'll be there in early September.

 

Thanks in advance,

Mezzaluna

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post #2 of 13

I'm no help to you here.  But I just wanted to chime in and say that I had some wonderful food when I was in London.  No spectacular dishes I'd say, but really good ingredients.  The dairy is amazing, butter, eggs, cheese, milk all was superb!  Wonderful steak brought in from Scotland.  Most crisp non-greasy fish n chips ever.  And London is where I discovered hot custard drizzled over warm apple pie.  Haven't been able to eat a single bite of apple pie without custard since then :)

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post #3 of 13
Chester has/had a good market when I used to visit regularly in the 90s.

Mant footballers live in Cheshire and this has an effect on the type of restaurants!

Cheshire cheese is one of my favourites, white, salty and crumbly.

Derbyshire is the home of Bakewell tart.. Well worth seeking out. There are wonderful villages like Hathersage to visit.
post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 

Ishbel, I hoped you'd have something for me! Bakewell tarts I've heard of, although I didn't connect them with Derbyshire. I visited Chester, but it was very long ago, 1975, and the food scene was (how can I put this delicately?) uninteresting. Being from Wisconsin, which is also known for its cheese, I can't wait to try Cheshire cheese at the source. Cheddar and Cheshire are the only cheeses I'ill eat when they're quite sharp, two years old or more. 

 

Koukouvagia, your description of dairy products made my mouth water. Butter is an food group unto itself for me. lol.gif We're spending two days in London at the start of our trip, and I hope to make a stop at Fortnum and Mason. Is there any other such shop I should aim for? I've been to the food halls at Harrod's and if time permits I'll go back, but really, I'd rather find a market or some shops I've never been to before.

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post #5 of 13
I wouldn't know, I didn't go to the food shops much. We stayed in Mayfair and visited all the back street pubs in that neighborhood and enjoyed every one. Everything within walking distance from the Grosvenor House. That's all I remember, I was on my honeymoon after all and spent most of my time gazing into my new husband's eyes than anything else.

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post #6 of 13
If you're in London you must visit Borough Market at London Bridge - a real foodie's paradise:)!

http://www.boroughmarket.org.uk/

When visiting my daughter, we spend HOURS there!
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 

Koukouvagia, I'd put markets far down the list on my honeymoon in London too! smiles.gif

 

Ishbel, I'm making a note of Borough market and will do my best to get there. I think it suits me better than Fortnum and Mason, if I had to choose between the two.

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post #8 of 13
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As I write this I'm wearing my Borough Market apron. What a wonderful morning! We arrived just as the vendors were opening, and within the hour (it was a Friday), the place was mobbed. The produce was beautiful and included some things that were completely new to me (cobnuts) as well as luscious strawberries, vivid-orange carrots, bright-green zucchini (courgettes) and glossy purple eggplant (aubergines). The worst thing about the visit was that I had no kitchen to take things to! There were prepared food to eat there or to take away, so I tried a booth with Mrs. King's Melton Mowbray pork pies, a traditional English food if ever there was one. (Comment: now I've tried it.)  

 

After a full day of "Tubing" around London and needing a refreshing stop, we went to the cafe in the Dean's Yard at Westminster Abbey to enjoy the wonderful institution known as the cream tea. It was our introduction to clotted cream and, unfortunately, I'm completely hooked. I've learned since that I eat it Devon-style (cream on the scone first, then jam) rather than Cornish style (jam, then cream). The Earl Grey tea which accompanied it was the best I've ever had. 

 

After our cruise to Norway we took the train to the Macclesfield area to visit my brother and sister-in-law at their newly renovated home in the Peak District. While there we enjoyed a fantastic meal at The Swan Inn in Kettleshulme. Do NOT miss this place if ever you find yourself in this village. A Bakewell pudding from the Bakewell Pudding Shop was also on the list of flavors experienced (too sweet for my taste, but delicious). At my brother's home I became a bit more acquainted with the cherry-red AGA cooker in their kitchen. The principle behind it is interesting, and its 'always-on warmth was welcome in the chilly weather we had.

 

We'll be visiting again and I hope to take more time to linger at the grocery store and learn more about the ingredients. My brother and SIL had a housewarming party, so we were quite swept up in the preparations. I had time to make a pot of vegetable soup, though.

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post #9 of 13
How wonderful! I'll have to try clotted cream, what is it?

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post #10 of 13
I am a great fan of Cornish clotted cream. Here's the Rodda's site. Prepare to DROOL. wink.gif

http://www.roddas.co.uk
post #11 of 13

One of my more memorable lunches was had in a pub called The Bishop's Tun, a small brewery and pub near a rock formation known as The Three Bishops.  It was THE best ploghman's plate I got while over there.  Excellent charcuterie, a wonderful, flavorful pickle, freshly baked bread and my first exposure to Shropshire Blue.  And it may have been the only lunch I had in England that didn't involve peas!

 

mjb.

Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 

Oh dear, Ishbel, are we in for a tiff over Cornish vs. Devon style cream tea??! I hope not. I see the Rodda's site has the cream on top of the jam. To me the only thing that matters is that the cream is conveyed to my mouth somehow.

 

I purchased a small jar of Devonshire clotted double cream today at Fresh Market. I'll bake some scones this weekend, brew a pot of Earl Grey and try to recapture some of the deliciousness of our visit.

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post #13 of 13
No tiff here, I just like Rodda's. wink.gif I couldn't care in which order it is smothered onto the scone and ham, just so long as there is is, as the Cornish say 'a gurrt (great) big dollop. biggrin.gif:D
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