About the Campaign

The Great British Food Cycle is a nationwide campaign aimed at getting people back in touch with the great British food that’s on their doorsteps.

Led by eccentric foodie Tim Keates, tweed-clad and moustachioed, who picks up & drops off delectable samples of Great British food to Great British people as he pedals on his merry way through these islands. Organic butchers, artisan bakers and box scheme makers – and the people who enjoy their great local food – are all invited to get involved.

As more and more people are asking about the providance of their food, and how they can get the most flavour & nutrition for themselves and their families we are turning a spotlight on great local farmers, growers, retailers & chefs the length of the country.

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Edwards of Conwy an amazing shop

A brief stop at Edwards of Conwy, famous butcher in the area to pick up one of their famous pies.

I was given one of their Huntsmen pies. Which i was recommended to a day before by a cyclist near Bangor. I was told they are very popular at the nearby real ale pub The Albion.

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A wholesome pie with quality crisp pastry and a well filled interior in tandem with a  glass of craft ale is a meal fit for a king.

Ironically I had neither, as I had to get cycling on to Colwyn Bay by the old highroad.

If you are in the area please pop in to Edwards at 18 Stryd Fawr/ High St. LL32 8DE to see the newly renovated shop with an incredible spread of meat products and deli items.

All the girls behind the counter on the cold meat counter were so generous with their time & loved the idea of the food cycle.

http://www.edwardsofconwy.co.uk

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New bakery on the high street, Menai Bridge

A chance meeting on the High Street of Menai Bridge had me sit & have a cuppa and delicious potato cakes with Claire Rolland, owner of Pumpkin Seed Bakery who opened six months ago.

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She shared that the whole of the local community has been very supportive to make the business a success. Pleased to see an artisan producer back on the high street.

Popty Hadau Pwmpen (Pumpkin Seed Bakery) freshly bake regular loaves and specialist dark & light sourdoughs which are a special hit with overseas visitors.
I quality tested the potato cakes (purely for research) and I can confirm they passed with flying colours!

A member of the Real Bread Campaign Claire learned her trade travelling the world working for top bakeries in UK, Europe & USA.

If you are on the Isle of Angelsea this weekend for the fun fair or visiting for a late holiday they will be open all weekend with some great baked treats. Claire also stocks homemade jams, jellies and local Angelsea honey.

Pumpkin Seed Bakery, 49 High Street, Menai Bridge. LL59 5EF

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Y Pantri Cymraeg, Caernarfon.

Thank you to Elaine Morris & Kevin McKeown for being my first pick up in Caernarfon. Their shop is filled to the ceiling with all Welsh produce and what you can’t get there, can’t be had in the local area. They have a deli counter too. Where I had my lunchtime wrap made up too.
The shop is a treasure trove of Welsh produce and thank you Elaine for participating in the food cycle by giving me my first parcel of Bara Brith, a traditional moist fruit cake made by Menter Fachwen just down the road from Pantri Cymraeg, which can be found on the side of the square at 6, Y Maes Caernarfon. LL55 2NF

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What a start

Well what a start to the journey I have had. Two punctures and a 3hr push into Caernarfon. I was exhausted. Up in the morning and thank you to Trotters independent hostel for such a warm welcome and help in finding someone to help fix the bike.
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Gary at Beic Menai Cycles was brilliant at fixing Betsy up to full strength. It was quite a dent in my schedule and I left the castle at lunchtime instead of early morning. I had a lot of time to make up.

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Betsy learns yoga, while I let the train take the strain.

After a silly mix up around my ticket to Bangor, North Wales I took a later train and found the staff at Euston incredibly helpful.

While waiting to resolve the issue I got talking with a lady staff member about Betsy as a butcher’s bike in the ticket hall at Euston is an unusual sight. She  remembered when she was very small the baker delivering on her street bread and pastries on a similar bike.

I got to board the train early as a huge wicker basket and rusty bike doesn’t mix well with business travellers.
I found the bike storage area and after a couple of attempts worked out the best way to store Betsy!

Fun and games changing at Chester for our final destination Bangor.

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The Southfields Sausage a huge success

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What a great taste test we had with the fine people at By The Horns Brew Co. in Tooting.

Chris & Alex threw open their doors to us as GBFC in conjunction with Terry at The Village Butchers in Southfields (my local butcher) held a blind  tasting event to gauge people’s reaction to several new sausage recipes.
Terry had four great sausages including an unusual recipe that I had been working on.

We had almost 40 tasters come down for the evening and try the selection and vote on their favourite.

Thank you to By The Horns for being so gracious as to let us use their BBQ facilities and bar. Matching a few of their fine brews to the sausages on offer.
We also were able to raise quite a few pounds for charity as we had an honesty box and tasters were not afraid to use it.

Thank you one and all for a great evening of laughter great food & beer.

Please click on:
By The Horns Brew Co. for more info about their award winning microbrewery or for their opening times and online shop.

The results were a huge surprize.

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Great British Beer Festival 13-17 Aug @ Olympia, London.

Had a very enjoyable afternoon slaking my thirst at this world class event. I met up with my buddy Frank who had flown from German especially for the day. Frank’s love is for all things British,  so he visits regularly. As far as a tipple goes his chosen poison is a dark mild or a porter.
My choice on a warm muggy day moved towards a refreshing brew. A modern IPA or hoppy golden ale.

With 800 beers &  ciders available, the difficulty is not lack of choice. The festival catalogue is 80 pages and crammed with information. Tasting notes and a map to find your way round the 20 CAMRA bars and associated stands.

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When i think of beer festivals i think boozy,  rowdy, smelly places. With lousy food & disgusting toilets and queues for everything. How wrong was i?

The longest i waited for any one thing was to buy my entry ticket. The wait was never more than  2 minites and 80% of the time you could walk straight up for service. Loos were clean and free flowing with visitors.  A comfort break as our American cousins would say was taken in two shakes of a lamb’s tail.
Food was a revelation, i clearly hadnt thought it through, but CAMRA invite quality food providers. All was served in a takeaway style but pasties had crumbly pastry and chunks of meat inside,  pies came in a multitude of flavours. I plumped for Gloucester old spot pork pie with crumbly cheese topping.
Later we had hot steak d kidney pies and burnt my mouth. It actually tasted of kidney!

I had outstanding beer from Cairngorm Brewery as Trade Winds. The Dancing Duck brewery and Facer’s Brewing with the aptly named Splendid ale.

Special mention goes to some the Welsh brewers,  and brewster who are creating delicious moreish ales.
PurpleMoose,  Brecon Brewing, Conwy Brewery,  Facers Brewery near Flint. The Waen Brewery, Evan Evans and larger company Brains who sponsored the festival and who created Bragging Rights based on welsh ‘bragawd’  style of beer.

A great afternoon was had by all.  And on the back of its success i joined the Campaign for Real Ale CAMRA.

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