Food is an amazing thing. Nothing gets people to experience new cultures and far away places like the diverse culinary dishes on offer. Carbonara from Italy, Vindaloo from India, Hummus from Turkey, and yet we never actually think about what's on our door steps. What happened to good old British grub?
And so Check On- the pop up restaurant extraordinaries- came to the rescue. Stepping forth in a blatant mark of patriotism, Monday nights have become a culinary tour around the country of the best regional dishes.
Best of all, it puts those great Northern dishes in front of these Southern lot. Now they will see how amazing our gravy soaked food is!
So pack your travel bag, we are going on an adventure!
We started at George’s mums house, Helmsley in Yorkshire for Yorkshire puddings with onion gravy.
Now this is what I am talking about, good hearty Northern food. Mmmmm.
But no time to stop off in the great North as we were off to Port Issac, Padstow in Cornwall for Cornish pasty with mackerel and crayfish- and it even came in the pasty shop bag.
It's funny as even though I know a Cornish pasty is from well, Cornwall, it still feels rather Northern to me. That hot steam pouring out, to warm up the Northern chill...
But right then I couldn't care where it comes from as my word it was good! I hate to peak early, but this was one of the best dishes of the night.
Ah, see even a Southerner is excited by the pasty.
We then sped of to Tiptoe farm in Northumberland for some amazing Heritage potatoes with chives & crisps.
Then to Grimsby Dock, Lincolnshire for Haddock fish cake with tartar sauce and poached egg.
Just look at that perfectly done egg.
We then travelled to West mersea, Coast road in Colchester for a right treat.
On the outside it looked like a beautiful flaky pie.
Flip it over though...
A rock oyster! Now that is top class British food.
But they couldn't keep us out of the North for too long as we made a put stop over at the Ginger pig farm, Levisham in North Yorkshire for some succulent Roast belly of Tamworth pork with Yorkshire rhubarb and parsnips.
Pork belly is one of my all time favourites, so I indeed had a happy face on.
And it did not disappoint. Not only did it look absolutely beautiful, it tasted it too. A clear winner of the night.
We then headed over closer to my old neck of the woods, Swainson house farm, Goosnargh, Lancashire. Ok its close as we were going to get, no one wants me local dishes, takeaway chips anyone?
These Lancasterians did it much better with Pressed leg of Corn fed chicken with caramelised cauliflower Lancashire cheese.
Next up was Trinity college, Cambridge for Vanilla English cream with burnt sugar. I've never had crème brulee before, but wow, I am defiantly going to have it again. Check On have set the bar high though now!
Then to one of my most looked forward to visits was Tavistock Abbey in Devon for a Scone cake with tea jelly and raspberry jam. Well you know how I love Afternoon tea. OK so it wasn't quite the traditional scone shape, but the tea jelly was a triumph.
Finally we parked up in Woodbridge farm, Dorset for Dorset blue inch cheese on toast with dorsetshire sauce. I adore cheese and even more so blue, smelly cheeses. My only criticism? There wasn't more of it. More you say, after all that? There is always room for more cheese my friends.
Feeling exhausted after so much travelling in one night, I was ready to unpack my travel bag and settle back into London.
This is England is a triumph of British cooking and cuisine. It is Check On's best yet, and one of the best culinary experiences I've had in a long while.
Britain has some amazing produce, so if you are wondering what to eat this week, support British.
Check out Check On's pop up's for yourself here: