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  1. Very good Catriona.

    This is a developing story and will see a number of NT properties in kent developing this opp outside of Dorset and Shropshire.

    Did I send you some of my latest food trends? Did this further update for Jacky Brookes a few days ago.

    Key word for 2009 has to be value and we, of course, don’t mean cheap. Quality and good service has to be also in there as well demonstrating great value to customers. A campaign that also focuses quality of food experience will attract more visitors.

    In Britain, we continue to struggle with the ‘service’issue at some many levels. Although I think we need to have a national food scheme for England I remain a great admirer of many of the county based food scheme cfrom Staffordshire to Lincolnshire and Herefordshire to name but a few. They do provide an opportunity for the tourism and food and drink sector to work more closely together, raise awareness, improve quality and motivate all concerned to go out and say more about their local/regional offer. Seasonality has to be another one for dining out with more eateries taking advantage of wide range of seasonal, locally sourced ingredients now available and accessible in Britain. No a fad and here to stay and key part of our food offer.

    Growing interest in meat including game success like Jason Atherton, Mark Hix. Fergus Henderson opens new restaurant in West End after succcess with St John’s in Clerkenwell. Cooking everything in a pig from bone marrow to trotters…. Alternative venues to enjoy food from deli cafes to farm shop cafes and churches and cathedrals to museums and galleries and youth hostels. All very much more focused on use of local and seasonal produce.

    Food trails in demand and very good way to direct visitors to explore local regional food offer. Have to be more than a basic trail. Need to tell a story people want to know how through these trails they can connect with local people, local producers. Local/Regional Food brands act as great access point to explore food story in a particular part of Britain. Access to local and seasonal food through pubs, restaurants cafes, artisan food and drink producers is as good as ever.

    More are recognising the need to connect with consumer/public EU Protected Food scheme – will grow. Latest addition late last year was Melton Mowbray Pork Pie. Food From Britain should make announcement soon about who will run the scheme following their closure on 31 March 2009. Has been put out to tender. Irene Bochetta has been running the scheme at FFB for DEFRA for past three years.

    Molecular food – fashion, likely to go into decline. Always niche for people like Heston mind you…. Regions offering just as good food as London dining out. Inventing cooking and excellent use of local/seasonal ingredients. Just look at places like Star Inn and Yorke Arms in North Yorks…. Restaurant/pub chains with be great focal point for value as well although some need to up their game. Carluccios started it all off but now we have Jamie with his italian eateriesand the likes of Leon possibly expanding out of London.

    Cookery schools still very popular where there is an emphasis on local food. Also watch out for Gordon’s new school.

    Wine tourism on up in 09. More vineyards than ever looking to focus on consumer and promoting vineyards as tourism destinations. See improvement in sparkling wines but yields might not be so good. First Intl Sparkling Wine Symposium at Denbies in March. Adrian attending.

    More Italian and Spanish, Mexican food influences in London and key food hotspots Ancient/old recipes being rediscovered. Look at the likes of Ivan Day and even Mark Hix – beef and oyster pie and mutton chops. Meat will also feature more prominently on the back of chefs like Mark, Fergus Henderson etc…..Watch out for cheap cuts of meat as well… ox cheek etc… Popularity of restaurant website like – bargain lunches etc. More restaurants offer even greater dining out opps.

    Popularity of foraging. National Trust offering courses – working holidays this year Attingham Park, near Shrewsbury. Announcement by NT shortly into extended programme linked to foraging and allotment scheme. Restaurants taking up idea of foraging and starting to feature on menus. Foraging linked to authentic experiences. Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall a big promoter. Pop-up/guerilla restaurants will come back. First it was the Reindeer then Flash at Royal Academy last December for a few weeks…

    Return of Savoy Grill as one of the great British food brands alongside legends like Gavroche…. Slow food will gather pace. Developing new events strategy to reach out to new audiences. Key focus will be accessibility of slow and not exclusive but inclusive.

    Organic less important as people place greater priority on local and seasonal. In Britain there is so much to access. With pound now strong more people in the British hospitality industry will be looking to see what they can access from Britain. Good example is Italian chef in Scarborough running La Lanterna who is creating Italian dishes with Yorkshire produce. Plethora of food festivals and farmers’ markets. Possibly some consolidation but still great way to flag local food/regional offer. Fish Week good example in Pembrokeshire, West Wales organised by Kate Morgan.

    Appetite for food stories amongst media here and overseas likely to remain strong. Lot of innovation still going on. Media want to know what is the story who are the personalities/characters. Local Regional Food can very easily link to adding real value to a stay in a particular part of Britain. It also encourages people to connect with local communities – be part of it, get involved – from cooking courses to visiting local producers…..

    Interesting to see that exports of some Scottish whiskies has reached new heights. £500m a year (Report mid Jan09) Key export markets China and India.

    Real ale exports also continue to be very big and wine exports will increase over next five years and wine production goes up as well. Covers whole of Britain so not all relevant to Kent:


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