From local Butchers and Delis, to Farmers’ Markets and Farm Shops, we aim to put you in touch with food in your area that is local, seasonal, sustainable, fresh and flavoursome.
The Real Food Guide was dreamed into life by George Litchfield and Milli Hill in 2008, out of a personal passion for good food; for keeping it local and eating well.
This was also the year we became parents for the first time, a life change that made us think more carefully about what we eat and the impact it has, both on our bodies and on our planet.
So what started out as an idea for an online directory of real food and drink led us to deeper thinking about the food on our plates. We began to realise the far reaching implications of planning tonight's dinner - on the environment, on the global economy, the local economy, and the lives of individuals today and in the future. Choosing our food and drink raises big questions and asks us to make big moral and ethical decisions.
We want this guide to only list the best retailers, producers and markets; those that really uphold the principles of Real Food. To achieve this we rely on you the people.
By keeping us in touch with your experiences you will help us to maintain a helpful and living guide with validity and integrity. If you find anything in the guide that is out of date or incorrect then please let us know so that we can correct it.
If you see a listing that you feel shouldn’t be in the guide then please let us know. Likewise if you know of something that definitely should be in the guide that isn’t then please tell us about it.
In the past 40 years, Britain has undergone a Food Revolution. Slowly but surely we have left behind the dark days of the 1970’s and started to care again about food and drink that is fresh, naturally produced, made with care, local or fairly traded, sustainable, and bursting with flavour. In short – Real Food.
When we eat Real Food, we recognise it immediately, and we feel good. What we see on our plate is fresh and healthy, it looks great and it tastes even better. Maybe we got it from a farmers market just this morning. We might even have walked there, and chosen it from a higgledy piggledy pile of local and seasonal delights.
Perhaps we are about to tuck into a cheese made just down the road, or a pie baked by the local butcher. Mushrooms foraged from a nearby wood or berries we picked ourselves from the hedgerow. Or maybe we have discovered a tiny fishmongers, selling fish landed today at our nearest harbour and samphire from a local shore line. Real Food is food with a story, a provenance; we know its journey to our plate and part of the pleasure of eating it lies in becoming a part of that journey.
Real Food is the food we all wish we were eating at every meal. We no longer want to suffer the indignity of the bland, the tasteless, and the mass produced. We will not settle for meat that is cheap simply because it has lived a miserable life. We do not want to eat strawberries at Christmas and asparagus in August, just because we can. We recognise that the ‘ask no questions and fill your trolley’ approach to food shopping is no longer good enough, for us, for our children, for our communities or for our planet. We demand Real Food!