Best in Berkshire
The best food and drink in West Berkshire and Surrounding Area
With more focus now on sustainably sourced food, drink and gifts, we take a look at some of the best businesses in the West Berkshire and surrounding area.
The Family-run Berkshire business, Mortimer Chocolate Company is celebrating after beating multi-national competition to win a “Highly Commended” in the 2018 Quality Food Awards!
The company received its latest award in the hot beverage category for its Salted Caramel Chocolate Drink, following a blind tasting by industry experts. The awards, which are to recognise excellent new product development, are dominated by big business, with their large R&D budgets. Adrian Smith, managing director of Mortimer Chocolate said: “It is great to beat such tough opposition as Aldi and Typhoo. We have a tiny budget, but we aim to get our drinks just how our customers like them and this award shows us that we’ve done just that!”
The salted caramel drink is just one of a range of delicious chocolate products made by the company. There is also a Tangy Orange flavoured chocolate drink and a traditional drinking chocolate, plus the 70% chocolates based on cocoas from around the world, each chocolate having a luxurious flavour characteristic of the origin of the cocoa.
“It is our attention to the flavour of the drink and the quality of the cocoas that we use that makes our chocolates stand out,” adds Adrian. “Our customers are always telling us how much they love our products and this latest award reinforces that!”
The Real Macaron Company, with headquarters in Newbury, Berkshire, is an exciting artisanal bakery and baking school, dedicated to creating delicious parisian-style macarons, and to teaching the art of macaron-making.
When Gaye first started out on her macaron adventure, her vision was to teach Master Classes and create bespoke macarons for weddings, corporate events and other celebrations. Since opening the shop in Newbury, in November 2014, the business has continued to go from strength to strength. As a consequence of this success, Gaye changed the focus of the business around its key aspects – the Macaron Master Classes, Weddings and Events and smaller, bespoke orders and sadly closed the shop.
However, they now pride themselves on creating bespoke batches of perfect macarons, for every occasion, from weddings to christenings, afternoon tea to birthday and dinner parties, corporate events and baby showers, as well as offering a range of different classes from children’s and beginners classes through to Master Classes. You can find out more here.
Nestled into the chalky slopes of the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, you can find Alder Ridge Vineyard. English Wine is showing some exceptional promise and Alder Ridge Vineyard are very proud to be involved in such a dynamic and fast-growing industry. Over the years, they have won numerous awards (read more here) including the Classic Cuvée taking home the Silver Award at the Independent English Wine Awards in March 2018. This is the third wine championship that our wine has been recognised in, recieving a Bronze last year in the UK Wine Awards 2017 and a Silver at the prestigious Champagne & Sparkling World Wine Championships – where it was compared with some of the biggest Champagne houses.
West Berkshire Brewery is another fantastic, local organisation that can be found in the heart of Berkshire. Creators of well-balanced and flavourful beers, made by employing traditional techniques and championing British ingredients, there is a range of beers and styles that showcase the very best of British beer. To date, they have won over 45 awards since they started brewing in 1995. You can see the range here.
As the business has grown, so, too, have the premises. They now house a Taproom and Kitchen, where visitors to the brewery can enjoy all that they have to offer including views of the shiny new state-of-the-art brewhouse on one side and the beautiful English countryside on the other, not to mention the full range of WBB beers and a selection of wines, spirits and soft drinks.
The kitchen specialises in a simple, locally-sourced selection that caters for everyone, including homemade pizzas from the wood-fired oven and burgers from the Josper charcoal grill. The menu is updated regularly so please click here for updates.
West Berkshire Brewery have a shop within the brewery, as well as online. They have a huge range of their produce on offer, including West Berkshire Brewery branded merchandise. Please click here to see the range.
The Six Bells, located in the beautiful Beenham in Berkshire, offers a warm welcome to both new and existing customers who wish to visit for anything from a quiet drink through to sitting down to one of the delicious meals they produce.
Chris and Glynis, who run The Six Bells, are proud of the reputation that they have built up over the years, and are pleased to report that they are in the The CAMRA Good Beer Guide 2018, for the 10th consecutive year. They were also awarded The AA Dinner Award 2018, together with their AA 4 Stars for their accommodation.
The menu at The Six Bells is updated regularly, to reflect seasonal produce at its best. As well as traditional meals such as ham, egg and chips, beer battered fish and chips and pies, they also serve dishes such as Black Tiger Prawn Stir-fry with Crisp Vegetables & Noodles and Seared Gressingham Duck Breast With Chilli Plum Sauce & Sticky Rice. They also have vegetarian options available. Check out their menu here.