British Food Fortnight
As the curtain drops on another year’s British Food Fortnight, we’re pausing to reflect on the exceptional homegrown talent of the British Isles. From artisan cheese to English wine, homemade brownies to smoked fish, British Food Fortnight 2023 was a celebration of our nation’s makers, bakers, farmers and producers. And in honour of those producers, we’re taking this opportunity to shine a spotlight on some of our favourites from across the country.
Join us as we take a trip around the UK, visiting the dairy farmers, the sustainability champions, the organic brewers and the rare breed saviours who add such colour, interest and taste to our plates.
What is British Food Fortnight?
First things first, what is British Food Fortnight? In brief, it’s a “national celebration of the diverse and delicious food that Britain produces”. Now in its 22nd year, it’s a chance to honour and highlight independent producers across the country. From special dishes in pubs to fun-filled school activities, community meals and even British Food Fortnight menus in hospitals, it’s a joyful celebration of British food.
Here at Barbury Hill we love nothing more than seeking out and bringing you the best of British - cheese, wine, cider, beer, fish, meat, sweet treats and much more. In fact, we spent much of British Food Fortnight meeting the talented British producers featured on Barbury Hill, from Langham Wine to Norton & Yarrow. So if you’re looking for exceptional British food and drink to gift to friends and family or enjoy yourself, let us introduce you to some of our favourites.
English wine has had something of a whirlwind few years, and is now widely recognised as more than a match for our European neighbours. Wine guru, Oz Clarke has written about it extensively and we’re never without our copy of ‘English Wine: From Still to Sparkling: The Newest New World Wine Country’ (you can read more about it here). Like Oz, we’ve fallen in love with homegrown wines, from Langham to Whitehall, All Angels to Folc.
And while it’s the complex flavour profiles that won us over, there’s something particularly gratifying about sipping a crisp English sparkling wine on a summer’s day, safe in the knowledge it hadn’t racked up any airmiles on its way to your glass.
If our award-winning English wines have the French a little hot under the collar, let’s not mention the cheese. While Britain’s long been known for classic cheeses such as Stilton, Cheddar and Wensleydale, we’re now seeing an incredibly exciting array of artisan cheeses from small independent producers and farmers.
Norton & Yarrow
Take Norton & Yarrow. This entrepreneurial couple, Fraser Norton and Rachel Yarrow, both had farming in their blood but took on a new challenge with their herd of purebred Anglo Nubian goats. Driven by a passion for higher welfare standards and sustainable farming, they’ve produced one of Barbury Hill’s most popular cheeses, Sinodun Hill.
Monkey Chop Loveable Rogue
What about the creamy decadence of a brie, we hear you say. Surely British cheese has nothing to rival the French when it comes to that particular classic? Well, let us introduce you to Monkey Chop Loveable Rogue. A relative newcomer, but from the experienced hand behind Black Cow Deluxe Cheddar, Monkey Chop Loveable Rogue is an indulgent brie-style soft cheese. More delicate in flavour than many French brie, its buttery, rich texture is irresistibly moreish. One bite was all it took to convince us to become the first online retailer.
Higher-welfare British Meat & Fish
One of the many reasons to celebrate British food and its producers during British Food Fortnight, is the higher animal welfare standards found amongst many of our nation's farmers and producers. And it’s not just the traditional animal breeds that are adding interest to our plates. On our travels to seek out new and unusual food and drink, we’ve discovered incredible food superheroes. From the Mangalitsa pigs which were saved from extinction in the 2000s and are now considered one of the finest charcuterie breeds, to oysters fresh from Suffolk’s Butley Creek, the UK is home to a wealth of meat and seafood.
Smoked Salmon from Suffolk
Seafood doesn’t come much fresher than Scottish Freedom Food Salmon smoked in Suffolk. Smoked using traditional methods in their own smokehouses, the fish and pâtés from Pinney’s of Orford are an outstanding example of the dedication to quality of our British producers. For a special occasion, a dozen oysters handpicked from the oyster beds at Butley Creek are hard to beat. The oyster beds used by Pinneys of Orford were cultivated at the end of the Second World War by the current owner’s grandfather and produce the most succulent oysters available for delivery around the UK, making them ideal as a gift for others or yourself.
Ok, so Britain and beer go back a long way, but the relationship has thrown up some new and exciting small producers in recent years and we’re big fans. From Yorkshire to Stroud, beer fanatics are building on Britain’s long history of brewing to create new and intriguing styles. If you’ve ever tried Stroud Brewery’s Stinger River Cottage Organic Beer (, you’ll know the joy to be found in the intrepid use of nettles in the brewing process. Likewise, the Ultimate Pub Box from Great Newsome Brewery is a celebration of our great British institution, combining classic beer styles with crips and nuts for the perfect evening in.
What’s on your plate?
Celebrating British food and drink lies at the heart of Barbury Hill. Championing the independent producers, their labours of love, and the entrepreneurial ingenuity of small British businesses that bring us such exceptional food and drink. Whether you’re treating yourself to a homemade brownie or sending a dozen oysters to a friend, take a look at Barbury Hill’s offering of British food and drink gifts. With no airmiles, higher welfare standards, and homegrown talents, there’s no better way to celebrate British Food Fortnight than by eating and drinking the best of British. Cheers!