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Being a reasonably small island with an ever-increasing population, we inevitably rely on the rest of the world for many everyday commodities; clothing, food stuffs, transport, cosmetics, machinery, oil… the list is endless! Thanks to the Internet and the ability to travel abroad, our growing desires are only intensifying the scale of importation.
Given that it is Buy British Day, it seemed pertinent to put some time into investigating what proportion of the products we buy on a regular basis are actually sourced from our green and pleasant land. I am pleased to say that I was delightfully surprised to discover a large quantity of commonly used goods are in fact sourced from within the UK. From milk and eggs, to well-known branded furniture and household electricals. This is good news for us Brits given the imminent arrival of ‘The Big B’! The fact is that, post Brexit, we should be contemplating the prospect that we may need to depend on UK producers and manufacturers more heavily, and a lot sooner than we think!
Thankfully, Great Britain is thriving with creative, thrifty and enterprising souls who are making use of materials sourced within the UK. Being situated in Winchester, we are utterly spoilt for choice with access to these wonderful British goods. To name a few of our favourites…
Expert growers and distillers of English lavender, Richard Norris and Jane Marsden, are continuing a heritage of farming that is almost forgotten in this country. From indulgent bubble bath to shortbread hearts, marmalades to essential oils. the Long Barn are making the best of their crop all year round.
Making use of the best of what the South Downs Way has to offer, Winchester Distillery are continuing their gin-crafting adventure by utilising Alresford watercress and other locally grown botanicals to create small-batch, premium spirits. Winchester Dry Gin is a particular favourite here at ICE!
Now progressing the venture even further, this entrepreneurial brand is launching The Blend Academy at the beginning of October in Winchester town centre; an educational, sensory experience where ticket holders create their own gin using locally sourced ingredients with an incredible array of botanicals. Take a look…
Oliver Spendley Furniture
Oliver fashions the finest quality, English woods into bespoke pieces using time-honoured techniques. His unmistakable passion for the craft exudes from the custom-made furniture; each feature of the wood carefully incorporated into the design. When sourcing the English hardwood, Oliver decides what the timber may be best suited to, allowing his customers to be freed from the limitations of ‘off-the-peg’ furniture. It seems to us that Oliver may be the perfect British producer.
Did you know that between January and July 2018, HMRC reports that the UK imported nearly 84,000 tonnes of cheese! With Raymond Blanc claiming Hampshire Cheeses produces “The best camembert in the world”, why look any further than the rolling hills of the Herriards Estate? What started off as a dairy-obsessed Aussie making cheese in her family kitchen with the help of a Hampshire girl with a passion for provenance, is now an award-winning traditional cheese-making business nestled in northern Hampshire. If you haven’t already tried their Tunworth camembert, we insist that you do!
The Pig Hotels
ICE Plus, the print team at ICE, have been handling The Pig Hotel’s printed goods for many years, so safe to say we’re Pig fans! The ethos behind “From garden to plate” is something we could all learn from. Using fruit and veg grown in their country hotel gardens to prepare and present exquisite meals is truly inspirational and quintessentially British.
Some may ask, why buy British? The answer here I feel is clear: why would you not buy British! Purchasing locally grown, harvested, produced, built, designed products which haven’t travelled half way around the world to reach shop shelves (therefore saving on import and transportation costs and emissions) is a great starting point. Not only this, but showing loyalty to our hard-working British producers while supporting local businesses boosts a healthy sense of community. Rule Britannia!
(Delicious photo credited to ICE’s Creative Director, David Doyle, at a visit to one of The Pig hotels!)