Plenty of culinary delights to be found on the Ribble Valley Food Trail
PUBLISHED: 09:30 28 February 2012 | UPDATED: 21:08 20 February 2013
This corner of Lancashire is the county's larder with fine food available at more than 30 establishments. Roger Borrell reports
One of the brightest ideas for promoting delicious food grown and cooked in Lancashire has been spiced up with some new ingredients.
The Ribble Valley Food Trail took the UK tourism business by storm when it was conceived three years ago. It won awards, was borrowed by organisations at home and abroad and merited half an hour on Radio 4s Food Programme.
Now, it has been relaunched with a new emphasis on food producers as well as containing a galaxy of stars in the kitchen and top quality retailers.
The launch was celebrated at the Duke of York in Grindleton, where chef-patron Michael Heathcote has developed a burgeoning reputation for using top quality local ingredients.
The trail was dreamed up by Downham writer and PR Olivia Assheton and developed by another food fan, the councils communications chief, Theresa Robson. The campaign has been responsible for energising this pretty, rural enclave as a tourist destination as well as providing a valuable guide to local people on the hunt for real food.
I had a friend who moved to the Ribble Valley and she complained to me that there werent any decent delicatessens, says Olivia. She just hadnt been looking in the right place we have loads. I guided her around and from that experience I thought it was something we could adapt for many more visitors.
Now, it is in its third year the trail has been relaunched and expanded with an updated guide and a stronger emphasis ukon quality food producers.
Apart from the Duke of York, newcomers to the trail include Robinsons Eggs, of Lower Edge Farm, Slaidburn. The family farm has been in operation for more than 20 years and current producer Robert Lomax believes the welfare of his free range birds is paramount.
Another is Beltin Good Beef, a company run by farmers Malcolm and Marty Handley in the Bowland Fells. Beef from their pedigree Belted Galloways attracts customers from as far as Manchester.
Ribble Valleys chefs and producers work tirelessly to bring us some of the best food and drink Lancashire has to offer, says council leader Michael Ranson. We are delighted they are celebrated on this trail.
Take the trail
There are more than 30 of the areas best producers, shops and restaurants included in the food trail from the Michelin starred Northcote Manor to Fergusons Deli, selling arguably the best broth in Lancashire. You can take the trail by logging onto www.ribblevalleyfoodtrail.com
The print version of this article appeared in the March 2012 issue of Lancashire Life
We can deliver a copy direct to your door order online here