While Brexit – or lack of it - continues to dominate the Westminster scene, the Houses of Parliament were given welcome respite from the political turmoil last month with a showcase of some of the best food and drink the county has to offer! The ‘Taste of Northamptonshire Day’, which was hosted by South Northants MP Andrea Leadsom and supported by her fellow county MPs, the Lord-Lieutenant David Laing and Carlsberg UK Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards Patron William Sitwell, saw almost 20 members of the ‘Made In Northamptonshire’ network offer samples of their tasty treats to MPs, Peers and staff. The selection included award-winning breads, artisan cheeses, cooked meats, pies, chutneys, gins, wines, beers, and ciders and with the event attended by several hundred people - many of them describing it as the best of any of the counties’ tasting days they had previously experienced. Mrs Leadsom said: “These ‘Taste of’ days are an excellent opportunity for Members of Parliament to showcase the best that their constituencies have to offer, and I was delighted to have been able to host last month’s event. “As the former Environment Secretary, whose remit included supporting our great British food producers, I know just how fantastic our home-grown produce can be and we are particularly fortunate in Northants to have twice the national average food and drink producers and manufacturers, whose food output was worth over £600 million annually,” she added. Among those sampling their wares was Julie Crofts-Mitchell from Northampton’s The Tea Lab Company and after later recovering from pouring hundreds of cups of her tea blends for thirsty guests - including her Dream Catcher, which co-won the title of ‘New Local Drink’ in the Carlsberg UK Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards 2017/18 – she said she was thrilled to have had the opportunity to attend such a prestigious occasion: “Without our membership of an amazing group like Made In Northamptonshire, we would never have done anything like this and it was a real thrill to be alongside so many great fellow producers and get a chance to show how fabulous the county’s food and drink sector is! “On a personal level, I really enjoyed the event and found the level of engagement from the guests to be amazing, while, from a business point of view, we were delighted to have received an online order from an MP’s office before the taxi had even got us as far as Euston!” Made In Northamptonshire (MIN) was set up in January 2011 and is a networking group aimed at bringing like-minded food and drink businesses together in a supportive setting. The group meets quarterly and offers members the opportunity to gain access to grants and other financial support, receive advice and information from sector partners as well as the chance to share expertise and work collaboratively. In addition, the group also produces an annual directory. Its fourth edition, listing over 100 local producers and suppliers, was published earlier this year. It is also a proud partner of the Northamptonshire Surprise campaign. In May of this year, Made In Northamptonshire launched its online shop, MINonlyne - the only place that you can only purchase Northamptonshire food and drink from the group’s artisan producers, stocking over 200 products which can be delivered direct to your door. For the forthcoming festive season, it is proud to be providing hampers with a range of delicious options, starting from just £40, and featuring fantastic fizz and mouth-watering chocolates. Other options include a free-range Bronze turkey, Northamptonshire Blue Cheese, Warner’s gin, sweet potato pie and hedgerow chutney. Bespoke hampers can also be made to order. With Christmas being a time for giving and showing those in your life how much they mean to you, why not treat your family, staff or customers to a delicious Christmas hamper bursting with local produce from across our county?
For more information on ordering, contact firstname.lastname@example.org, call 01933 664437 or visit www.madeinnorthamptonshire.org