courtesy Hidden Britain
Getting out and about in the countryside is the perfect excuse for investigating the delicious offering of local bakeries. Baking is really big at the moment; you’ve got cupcakes, cake pops, artisan breads, pies and pasties. Life is good if you like food, so here is a sustainable bake-tinerary packed out with delectable delights waiting for you to enjoy. Better still, because all the places practice responsible and sustainable tourism you don’t have to feel guilty about eating at them.
The first stop is to sample traditional British baking at the Leyesdown Bakery on the Isle of Sheppey. The bakery also has a large selection of Brit favourites like gypsy tart and meringue animals. They provide fresh baked goods everyday for nearly every hotel on the island. While sampling their goodies you can take a walk down to the award winning beach and watch the ships go by. Along the way is a fun arcade.
There is more to Sheppey than its Leyesdown bakery; it also has an interesting aviation history. It was the site of the first flight in Britain. Today’s skies show off flights of another kind—interesting bird species. Sheepey, although a small island, offers a lot of space for strolls or cycle rides. There is a local museum revealing many of Sheppey’s secrets. Also of interest are many sculptures, memorials and buildings that little by little reveal the layers of Sheppey’s past.
Next on the itinerary is the Badgers Hill Farm and Cidery Tearoom, buried in the heart of Kent. Not only can you sample the local cider, they have a cake selection which would test English food writer Nigella to her limit. You can sit inside a beautiful glass house and watch the chickens and wallabies while indulging in high tea with scones and Kentish cream. There’s also a medieval castle and a market square of interest.
The countryside around Chilham, set in the Garden of England, lives up to its name. The rolling hills and beautifully kept orchards disappear into the horizon, and urge you to explore. After exploring, if you are thirsty for something more than a gentile tea, visit one of several of Chilham’s pubs, complete with cosy inglenook fireplaces and a friendly resident ghost.
The Model Bakery on Church Street in Steyning, Sussex, is a perfect place to pick up some delicious bread for lunch. The Bakery smells entice you from halfway down the road – which just adds to the need for indulging.
The narrow winding streets are about as twee as it gets, making this bakery experience about a whole lot more than eating. Take your crusty rolls and find a pleasant spot where you can imagine the stories behind Steyning’s 125 listed ‘chocolate box’ buildings.
After visiting the bakery and town you can enjoy the nearby South Downs. If you want to recreate the memories of the bakery before heading for home, stop at the award winning Sussex Produce Company to pick up the best quality local deli ingredients for your own bakes.
No bakery tour of Britain would be complete without a visit to Heidi’s Patisserie in Petersfield, Hampshire. The cakey treasure trove, the smell of hand-rolled croissants, and the sights of beautifully decorated sweet treats will transport you to Paris. Don’t miss the triple chocolate fudge brownie.
There are many more places in Britain for scrumptious treats. If you want to nominate your own favourite local eateries please send us a tweet @HiddenBritain using #localfoodlegend.
Photos © and courtesy Hidden Britain
Article edited by Barbara Ballard
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