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Leicester is rightly famous for its food and drink. The city is a former UK Curry Capital and famous the world over for Walkers (Lays) crisps. Head outside the city boundaries and you’re in the home of Stilton cheese and traditional pork pies

With locally produced and sustainable food becoming more and more important, Leicestershire is now leading the way in sustainable food experiences. Offering an exciting range of culinary delights, from atmospheric coffee shops and award-winning restaurants to independent bars and traditional real ale pubs, Leicester’s food and drink scene has a real connection to the local area.

Tastes from around the world

Leicester has a huge variety of sustainable food offerings to explore, and with a culinary heritage as diverse as its people, visitors can eat their way around the world without leaving the region.

Leicester Market has been the epicentre of the city’s hustle and bustle for over 700 years and has earned a reputation for quality local fare (along with a few stalls selling all the exotic fruit, veg and herbs you will ever need). A place of social and cultural importance since the 13th century, today the outdoor market is the best place for fruit and veg, while the Food Hall is bursting with a large selection of quality meat and poultry, exotic fish, artisan cheeses and pies!

An eco village in the heart of Harborough

Just a short drive (or bus journey) from the city, Market Harborough plays host to the county’s only Eco Village, which is home to several high-quality, sustainable food and drink producers. Mistry Kitchen creates healthy vegan alternatives to takeaway food that ticks all the boxes – homemade? Yep. Reusable packaging? Tick. The Incredible Bakery Company specialise in vegan and gluten-free bread and flours, made from ethically and sustainably sourced products.

The Bearded Persian is a sustainable and low-waste Kombucha brewer, where the kombucha is served on tap into glass bottles, so you can keep reusing and refilling to your heart's content! Two Old Goats create wholesome soups, salads, and savoury treats from just a few ingredients in order to minimise food waste. They're also a disposable coffee cup-free zone and encourage the return of jam jars, dip pots, anything and everything that can be reused! Looking for delicious organic food and sustainable drinks? Then pop into colourful café jAGA.

Michelin stars and food festivals

The county’s only Michelin starred restaurant, John's House, champions a ‘farm to plate’ philosophy, sourcing high quality, seasonal produce from the family farm and sourced from around the region. Head Chef John Duffin worked under Marcus Wareing and returned to Mountsorrel to use his experience to bring something unique to Leicestershire’s food scene.

Held in Melton Mowbray, the rural capital of food and drink, the East Midlands Food Festival is one of the UK's largest regional food festivals. Renowned for its artisan cheese, pies, charcuterie and chocolate from some the country’s finest producers, the festival promotes the best of local produce, selling direct to the consumer from market stalls in the town’s new Stockyard venue, built around the still active livestock market. Also not to be missed is Melton’s annual ChocFest, PieFest and Artisan Cheese Fair.

Cheese with local flavour

Leicestershire is a top spot for cheese lovers, with two of the country’s favourites being produced right here – Red Leicester and Stilton! Protected by a Certification Trademark and EU Protected Designation of Origin (PDO), just six dairies are licensed to produce Stilton cheese, with Tuxford & Tebbutt Creamery, Webster's Dairy and Long Clawson Dairy being among them. Visitors can sample a selection of traditional British cheese at the Clawson Factory Cheese Shop and take home a slice (or wheel!) of history.

You can make your special day even more special with a stilton cheese wedding cake from The Melton Cheeseboard right in the heart of Melton. They offer oneof the widest ranges of cheese in the county, with more than 150 different varieties available, alongside artisan bread, local honey and local beer, wine and gin. 

Brewer’s delight

There is no better way to wash down Leicester’s finest food than with a local drink, and we’re spoilt for choice here!

Leicester is of course home to the Everards brewery, but if you want something on a smaller scale, we’re blessed with loads of craft brewers and microbreweries. Framework, has been brewing from its Victorian redbrick building in Leicester city centre since 2016. The West End Brewery is Leicester's first brew pub, serving in-house produced beer, made right behind the pub.

Anstey Ale is a family run microbrewery offering real ale, craft beer, brew days and tours. Charnwood Brewery make and supply award-winning cask, keg, and bottled beer to pubs, restaurants and shops across Loughborough and beyond, with their full range of products available at their brewery shop.

Melton Mowbray’s historic market is home to Round Corner Brewing's brewery and taproom. Round Corner are known for their delicious craft beers made from local ingredients, which have amassed a long list of international awards. If you’re looking for something really unique then try Tynt Meadow Trappist Ale, one of only 13 genuine Trappist Ales in the world, and the only one produced in the UK. Made by the monks at Mount St Bernard Abbey in North Leicestershire, the beer is brewed on site using local barley and hops, and an English strain of yeast.

Plenty more to wet your whistle

Leicester has become famous for its gin producers. Nestled in the rolling hills of the Charnwood Forest you’ll find Burleighs Gin distillery, whose signature recipe is built around unique botanicals found hidden away in the ancient Burleighs woodland. They have a number of locally inspired concoctions named for Leicester City, Leicester Tigers, Richard III and the National Forest.

Wine lovers might be surprised to discover that Leicestershire is home to not one, but two mature vineyards – Rothley Wine Estate and Welland Valley Vineyard. Bot of them offer tours and tastings so you can discover the beauty of locally produced wine! Charnwood Cider uses traditional methods to produce award-winning, full juice cider made from locally collected apples.

The cream of the crop

Family run Kibblecote Dairy in Kimcote produce whole pasteurised milk which is sold at the farm gate. With zero food miles, their ‘milk cabin’ – complete with a selection of syrups – supplies the freshest milkshakes around! Situated in the north of the county, Vine Farm Dairy produce free range milk for their milk vending machine from their herd of happy Montbeliarde, Holstein and Jersey cows.

Make your food miles count and shop local at Not Just A Corner Shop. Their store in Wigston has become renowned as a place to get the very best locally produced products and hand-made goods, and recently they expanded to open a store by the Griffin Inn in Swithland, allowing even more people to get a taste of Leicestershire. 

Quality coffee and delicious desserts

Based in Leicester’s uber-trendy Clarendon Park, Northern Cobbler is a quality coffee producer with an environmental ethos – from responsibly sourced coffee beans used to create their unique blend, to using compostable and recyclable packaging to minimise waste.

Leicester-based Gelato Village serves up artisan ice-cream made from cows’ milk that’s produced just a stone’s throw from the gelateria. Their store in the city centre is always a favourite and they have just opened up a new shop, also in Clarendon Park.

City chocolatiers, Cocoa Amore, ethically source cocoa from sustainable farmers to develop fine, handcrafted chocolates which will make your mouth water. And finally, slightly further afield in Leesthorpe, Ferneley's farm produces luxury dairy ice cream, from cow to cone. Home to a herd of free-range Friesian’s, Ferneley's cows produce milk for their parlour’s 18 different flavours of ice cream. And you can work off that indulgence with a round of mini golf on the farm!




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