A family-run farm shop famed for its fresh produce and expansive menu of baked goods has been named the best in the UK.
The Lambing Shed farm shop and cafe in Knutsford was opened six years ago by the Mitchell family, who were on a mission to champion local produce from across Cheshire and Manchester as well as to showcase their farm’s home-reared beef and lamb.
The farm is run by Sue and Michael Mitchell, with son Rob helping on the farming side and daughter Kathryn acting as director of the farm shop and cafe, which was built within an old lambing shed at Moseley Hall Farm, found on the outskirts of Knutsford.
And now, six years on from the launch of their shop and cafe, the family business has been crowned the UK’s Best Farm Cafe/Restaurant at the prestigious Farm Retail Association awards.
The FRA awards are judged by fellow farm retailers, and aims to showcase and celebrate the very best farm shops, cafes, markets and trade suppliers the UK has to offer.
The cafe was praised by the judges for its high quality of food and service, and was hailed as ‘a superb example of a business which understands its customer profile and then delivers a range of food and service to meet their customer’s needs’.
Dishes that stood out to the judges were the cooked full English breakfast – with a farmers breakfast and vegetarian version – the hand-reared beef and lamb burgers, and home made beef shin pie.
It was also noted that the farm shop offers a range of sweet treats such as local jams and chutneys, cakes baked by local farmers, afternoon tea sets, scones and cream, Mobberly ice cream and Cheshire gins.
The shop also boasts produce from over seventy-five local suppliers, as well as the butcher’s counter and deli counter with a range of cheeses.
The FRA said of their winners: “Judges noted the high quality of food and service and hailed the Lambing Shed’s cafe as a superb example of a business which understands its customer profile and then delivers a range of food and service to meet their customer’s needs.”
Kathryn, who now lives in the old farmhouse on the site, said on the win: “It’s incredible really, it was amazing just to be nominated but it’s nice for the cafe to get recognition like this.
“When we first opened the cafe and shop it was tough as a new business, as we’d never done anything like this before, and it’s very different from farming, it was just us.
“But now we have a great team here and the shop complements the farm so well. We get all the beef and lamb from the farm, and everything we feed the animals with we grow ourselves here.
“We are passionate about everything we serve in the cafe and shop as well, I’m a real foodie so we don’t get corners, the ingredients are all local, fresh and really high quality.”
Visit the Lambing Shed’s official website for more information.
Manchester restaurant named best in UK for a roast dinner
Roast potatoes, Yorkshire pudding and gravy are essential!
A restaurant in Manchester has been named as the best in the UK for a Sunday roast, with another Manchester eatery also ranking among the top five.
Both Manchester restaurants were the only two entries from our city but prove you can certainly get a decent roast here.
The study was conducted by bookmaker Betway and saw Hawksmoor win top place and Elnecot in Ancoats take fifth.
The research used in its index score was generated from the number of hashtags each location had racked up on Instagram as well as reviews given on Google and Trip Advisor.
Eateries from Manchester, London, Liverpool and Belfast came out on top and were among the top twelve across the UK.
The two Manchester restaurants were two of three from the North of England to make it onto the list. Hanover Street Social, in Liverpool, also came in as a strong contender in third place.
The 12 best restaurants to get a roast dinner in the UK, according to Betway, are:
- Hawksmoor Manchester
- Hawksmoor Seven Dials, London
- Hanover Street Social, Liverpool
- OX Belfast, Belfast
- Elnecot, Manchester
- Kyloe and The Scran and Scallie, both Edinburgh
- The Potted Pig, Cardiff and The Bothy, Glasgow
- The Plough, Birmingham
- Heaney’s Restaurant, Cardiff and Hawksmoor Edinburgh and The Butchershop Glasgow
- Roastit Bubbly Jocks, Glasgow
- Blacklock Shoreditch, London and Darcy’s Belfast
- Molly’s Yard, Belfast
M&S reveal full Christmas food range including festive Colin the Caterpillar
The M&S Christmas food range can be accessed online from September 26th
Marks and Spencer is already getting in the Christmas spirit as it has just revealed its seasonal food range with shoppers saying they’re ‘so excited’ to see it.
The M&S Christmas 2023 collection includes festive versions of cult favourites including Colin the Caterpillar and Percy Pig, as well as a huge return of its light-up, musical biscuit tins and chocolate boxes.
For the big day itself, M&S will launch the everything-in-the-box £45 Christmas turkey dinner that takes around 60 minutes to cook, making the special feast much easier to make but keeping it tasty.
There’s also a range of party foods and picky bits to nibble on including vegan snowman-faced bao buns, perfect for those who’ll skip the meat on their dinner this year.
Air fryer cooking instructions will be added to the packaging of party foods for the first time this year, as more and more households opt to cook this way during the cost-of-living crisis, as well as remaining on a four-for-three offer to offer value for shoppers.
M&S Cafes will launch their festive menus from November 1st, and the menu will include tasty Welsh Rarebit cheesy crumpets for £4.50.
The turkey toastie will also be back with the added option of adding a pot of gravy on the side to dip them into. Turkey gravy can be purchased for an additional £1.
And what would a dinner be without a delicious dessert to finish it off with? M&S have that covered too with a delicious variety to satisfy your sweet tooth, including a new take on the festive mince pie.
Desserts include new takes on the traditional yule log, as well as chocolate and hazelnut mince pies at £4 for a four-pack. The Christmas Colin the Caterpillar sees him dressed in a cosy icing Christmas jumper as well as a chocolate Santa hat priced £12, and will be available in stores from December 7th.
There will also be a bigger range of hampers than ever before with around 80 to choose from. Hampers will range from letter box ones for £20 all the way up to huge £1,000 ones, containing exclusive M&S goodies.
Shoppers can also get excited for the return of the light-up gin and fizz bottles, as singles or part of gift pack options – available online now.
Party food includes the return of M&S’s ‘best ever’ prawn toast, pulled beef and rosti towers and the viral sensation snowmen steamed bao buns, all priced at £7.50 per pack.
The Christmas food range will officially launch on November 1st though shoppers will be able to access the food items site online at M&S from September 26th. Food orders can be collected in-store from December 21st to 24th. To see the full M&S Christmas food range, click HERE.
Wetherspoons is slashing food and drink prices for one day only next week
Punters heading to their local Spoons boozer can enjoy around 7.5% off food and drink
Bargain pub chain Wetherspoons has said it will slash the price of its food and drink items for one day only next week.
The one-day promotional offer will be held on Thursday September 14th, which is National Tax Equality Day, and is part of a campaign to highlight the burden of tax on the hospitality industry.
Chairman of Wetherspoons Tim Martin said they want to expose the ‘vast disparity’ in how pubs and restaurants are taxed, compared with supermarkets.
He also hopes to highlight how a permanent VAT reduction would help benefit pubs and restaurants in seeing more customers come through their doors.
Those heading to their local Spoons boozer can enjoy around 7.5% off their order.
The drop in price means, for example, a customer spending £10 on a food and drink order could get it for £9.25 instead.
Wetherspoons has also added a VAT calculator to its website to show how much customers could save at their local Spoons boozer.
Mr Martin said: “The biggest threat to the hospitality industry is the vast disparity in tax treatment among pubs, restaurants and supermarkets.
“Supermarkets pay zero VAT in respect of food sales, whereas pubs and restaurants pay 20%. This tax benefit allows supermarkets to subsidise the selling price of beer.
“Pubs have been under fantastic pressure for decades because of the tax disadvantages which they have with supermarkets.”
He argued that the hospitality industry is ‘subsidising supermarkets’ due to these tax rules, adding: “We urge the Chancellor to tax equality between pubs and supermarkets.”
It’s not the first time Mr Martin has been vocal about the issue and has even accused some senior politicians of a ‘lack of understanding’.
Wetherspoons has already closed 29 of its sites this year with several more up for sale.
It now runs over 800 pubs across the UK and Ireland. The chain is set to report record total sales across its pubs for the latest financial year after having bumper Easter and May Bank Holiday trading weekends.