The best of British

Held in the autumn at the same time as harvest festival, British Food Fortnight is the biggest annual, national celebration of British food and drink.
British Food Fortnight from 17 September to 2 October is taking place around the country with a host of different events. Since its beginnings in 2002, British Food Fortnight has become the opportunity for those who work in any aspect of food and drink, to come together and promote the benefits of buying and eating from our home produced British larder. In the Samphire area celebrations include the Manchester Food Festival, Nantwich Farmers’ Market and Arley Hall Food Festival.
Every year businesses and organisations across the UK take part; Wembley Stadium, Harrods, St Pancras train station, Westminster Abbey, St Paul's Cathedral, the Cabinet Office, the BBC, Buckingham Palace, National Trust and even Grey Gables Hotel in Radio 4's The Archers are just a few of the famous establishments that have added their support. Chef Raymond Blanc is also leading the search for the best celebration of British food during the fortnight with the first prize being a visit to his hotel, Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons in Oxfordshire.
It’s easy for anyone to take part in British Food Fortnight, whether in your community, online, or simply your own home. Even the smallest thing makes a big difference. For example, when you are shopping make a special effort to seek out British food. Pause when you select your food from the supermarket aisle. Look at the label. Does it tell you where the food has come from? Does it provide a description of who produced it? And if it is imported, is there a British equivalent in-season? Shop in local butchers, greengrocers, farm shops and markets that source locally and will be able to tell you a little about the person who produced the food you are purchasing. Seek out food in season – look for, for example, the English plum, marrow and squashes, which are in-season during British Food Fortnight. Cook a British meal for friends and family. Nothing beats the old favourites like cottage pie or apple crumble, and then sharing them with your loved ones. Grow your own. Eating food you have grown yourself, even if it is just a lettuce, is immensely satisfying.
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