Matthew Tomkinson talks Hampshire and the importance of local produce…
Hampshire: home to the beautiful New Forest and Test Valley, will soon have its 2015 Food & Drink Guide – and we can’t wait to show it off. Featuring the best and newest food and drink hotspots in the county, the 2015 guide will keep even the busiest of foodies entertained for the next 12 months.
“Here at The Montagu Arms in Beaulieu, we like to serve food that makes sense. For me and the team, that means ethically and sustainably sourced food that’s refl ective of the time of year and our location. Luckily, we’re so spoilt with amazing local produce in this county that we’ve been able to treat Hampshire as our larder – and what a larder it is”
“Our dishes actually almost form themselves. Thanks to the work of local suppliers such as John and Catriona Kennard at Exbury Gardens – who are so close to us they can deliver vegetables within ten minutes of them coming out of the ground – inspiration and a mood of creativity comes very easily.”
“Not only does buying local make sense because of the quality and taste, it makes sense for the environment too. It’s not just about ticking boxes and getting a rubber stamp – we do things properly, recycling whatever we can, growing our own food and forming trusted relationships with carefully selected suppliers. I’m passionate about ensuring we’re not just conforming to a trend, instead being authentic and transparent whilst tackling the challenge of being a sustainable business head on.”
“Whether it’s one of our award-winning afternoon teas, a Sunday roast with the family or a lavish wedding, we keep the same philosophy on quality for everything and buy from the same people no matter what. Of course, it’s not just we chefs that benefi t from a county jam-packed with incredibly delicious produce. To try some of the best that Hampshire has to offer, head to the likes of Pondhead Farm – their New Forest beef, pannage pork and venison are some of my favourites, and the native lobster and crab that can be bought from S & J Shellfi sh in Lymington is also excellent. Similarly, you can look forward to joining in at one of the county’s food festivals, which always come packed with
fun events from dining experiences to cooking demonstrations.”
“Together, we can make a vital contribution to preserving our environment and still enjoy a plethora of incredible food along the way. As people become more and more concerned about where their food comes from and the processes it has been subjected to, nothing makes more sense to me than to eat local, shop local, and love local, and especially so when there is just so much to enjoy in Hampshire.”