Marks and Spencer’s have gone back to classic British flavours with their Tastes of the British Isles range.
And what a brilliant idea. Not only have they reminded us about some forgotten British flavours combinations but they have also gone one better and added some modern influences on traditional British tastes. So of course, I was going to head off to the M&S summer press show with an empty belly and a whole load of expectations.
Wondering through the event and meeting some of the producers behind the food was an eye opener. You could see how much care and thought had been put into their food to produce such high quality fare that Marks and Spencer’s are known for.
First stop was the meats. The pork and apple sausage rolls and the bramley apple pork pies looked so good that I promptly discarded my camera and made my very own batch. I also liked their sweet cured marmalade, Cumberland style salami and forgotten cure spiced beef. All the items in this range could be easily thrown together for picnics during the long warm summer days.
I spent quite a lot of time at the cheese area where I discovered the lovely, slightly salty and slightly crumbly Yorkshire fettle. My enthusiasm for the cheese only grew as I spoke to the owners who clearly put their everything into producing great cheese. I also tried their other two cheeses and I was so inspired that I recently created my first British cheese board at a supper party. Do also check out M&S Sussex Slipcoate sheep cheese, Ashley Chase cheddar chuckle and their Claxton smooth blue cheese.
Then I entered the heaven that was the dessert / cake / bread / all things sweet room and stayed in there for a whole hour. First up – who ever came up with the idea of the earl grey almonds deserved an absolute genius award. Seriously. I also could not help but go back for seconds on the earl grey and lemon biscuits, the botanical biscuits, St Clement’s almond and cashews, strawberries and cream coconut ice, rhubarb and custard crisp, jam roly-poly swirls and rose and violet dark chocolate. I managed to make time to decorate my own cupcakes with their cream cheese icing and the only reason these made it home was that I was too full to eat them.
Many other things caught my eye but I did not have enough time to taste them. I can just image the taste of their coconut prawns and their sustainably sourced crispy whole tail scampi, their chicken and tarragon soup and the affordable gastro pub range, which seemed like a good way to eat out in the comfort of your own home.
Back home Freddy completely fell in love with their craft beers especially the 5 hop lager and the Battersea rye. And we both thoroughly enjoyed their melt in the mouth pork belly hog roast, Kentish apple sauce and crackling crumb and the rhubarb cheesecake with an almond crumble topping.
I can’t wait to try more goodies from their range. And neither should you. Pop into your local Marks and Spencer’s this summer and fall back in love with the Tastes of the British Isles.
Thanks to M&S for inviting me to their summer press show and for sending me some items to review. We love them in this house. All opinions are my own.