It’s the biggest single annual sporting catering operation in Europe, where visitors consume a staggering 22,000 bottles of champagne, 166,000 portions of strawberries and cream, and more than 2,000 afternoon teas.
Wimbledon fortnight is big on picnic food – from traditional Kentish strawberries and fine Lanson champagne, to slow-cooked pork, herbed orza salad and beluga lentils. There’s even a plant-based Jackfruit Burger for vegan visitors this year!
But, for those of us not at Centre Court this weekend, and watching the finals at home, members of county trade organisation, Worcestershire Food & Drink (WF&D) have come up with their own award-winning picnic feast, worthy of any Grand Slam.
Sweet and seasonal soft fruit, hand-smoked fish, artisan flavoured cheese, perfect pastries, naughty but nice confectionery and a refreshing selection of sparkling wines, unusual gins, beer, cider, juice and cordials – Worcestershire’s independent food and drink businesses have all the ingredients for a delicious picnic hamper of goodies right through the summer.
No summer picnic would be complete without a generous helping of ripe red strawberries, and both Bells Farm Shop (www.bellsfarmshop.co.uk) and Clive’s Fruit Farm (www.clivesfruitfarm.co.uk) have an abundant supply at this time of year. WF&D member, Cotteswold Dairy (www.cotteswold-dairy.co.uk) can provide the cream.
Malvern’s Le Delice brings home the (artisan) bread and patisserie – with speciality Victorian bread, focaccia and French macaroons, and there’s exquisite, hand-smoked salmon from Golden Fork winner Macneil’s Smokehouse (www.macneilssmokehouse.co.uk).
Cheese lovers can choose from a range of iconic flavoured cheddars from Croome Cuisine (www.croomecuisine.com), including the prize-winning Worcestershire Sauce & Shallots (People’s Choice, Royal Three Counties Show 2019) and the recently unveiled, earthy Black Truffle, or tuck into a Vintage Lancashire Bomb, Wookey Hole Cave-Aged Cheddar or brie-style Baron Bigod from The Truckle Cheese Company (www.trucklecheese.co.uk).
Pair cheese with chutneys from Sarah’s Feisty Flavours (www.sarahsfeistyflavours.co.uk) - Red Chilli Pumpkin and Leek Marmalade with Rosemary are good, and the multi-award winning Emily’s Jams and Pickles (www.emilysjams.co.uk) makes a delicious Worcestershire Mustard with Worcestershire Sauce and honey.
For those with a sweet tooth, Wychbold Fudge (www.wychboldfudge.com), best known for its Droitwich Salt Fudge as seen on TV, also makes Wychbold Mess, using fresh strawberries grown locally, and the lovely Lemon Meringue, while Chocolate Deli (www.chocolatedeli.uk.com) has a range of hand-made melt in the mouth Belgian chocolates.
When it comes to liquid refreshments, Worcestershire boasts a fine array of drinks to complement any gourmet picnic.
Oldfields Cider (www.oldfieldscider.co.uk) makes a crisp, aromatic Applefresco from the county’s finest Discovery apples – the perfect al fresco fizz, while Astley’s Late Harvest (www.astleyvineyard.co.uk) with its candied orange, fig and Seville orange marmalade is reminiscent of summer.
Other alcoholic tipples include the unique, premium dry Asparagus Gin from Hussingtree Gin (www.hussingtreegin.co.uk), enhanced by local brine salt, Madeleine Angevine - a fruity wine from Lovells Vineyard (www.lovellsvineyard.co.uk), which uses the Loire Valley grape of the same name, and the unique Great Taste Award-winning Juneberry Gin Liqueur (www.juneberries.co.uk) – a ruby red, cherry bakewell flavoured gin, delicious over ice or with Prosecco.
Prefer beer? Then how about Worcestershire Way, or the slightly stronger Worcestershire Sway from Bewdley Brewery (www.bewdleybrewery.co.uk)? Alternatively, there’s the charmingly named fine craft beers, THIS, THAT and T’OTHER from the Teme Valley Brewery! (www.temevalleybrewery.co.uk)
For the non-alcoholic palate, there are classic apple juices, Egremont Russet and Worcester Pearmain, and the premium, award-winning Concorde Pear Juice from Pershore College Juice (www.wcg.ac.uk/pershore) or elderflower and gooseberry presse and yellow egg plum presse from Nurses Cottage Drinks (www.nursescottagedrinks.co.uk)
For more information and/or interview opportunities, please contact:
Sharon Gilbert - glasshouse communications
(On behalf of Worcestershire Food & Drink)
Telephone: 01684 252767. Mobile: 07563 663543
Worcestershire Food & Drink (WFD) was born out of a commitment to support smaller, independent food and drink producers operating in the county in their own efforts to push out their stories and products to the wider world. It was set up with funding from the Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership (WLEP) and is in the process of becoming a self-supporting membership organisation. It is open to any independent producer, caterer or retailer, regardless of size, operating in Worcestershire and producing/selling local food. It is also open to third party organisations with relevant alignments who might be actively interested in membership or can provide support through sponsorship.