Taste of the West Gold

Usually when mid October comes around, barring the odd unseasonal but very welcome Indian Summer, if you listen very carefully you can almost hear a collective sigh of relief from many hoteliers and caterers in the more seasonal areas of the country as the promise of a gentle slowdown in business  and dare we say it maybe even the chance of a few days off starts to materialise – assuming of course that a busy  summer has allowed you to lay down enough fat to get you through the coming winter. This heady mix of relief and mild exhaustion was sweetend further for us last week by an email from Taste of the West to inform us that we had won a Gold Award for our restaurant, one of only three in Dorset to gain a gold. (By coincidence we had had lunch that very day in The Riverside in West Bay, one of the other winners)

We are of course delighted to have gained recognition from Taste of the West once again and to be entered for the regional award on November 1st at The Eden Project in Cornwall. We have been fortunate enough to have received recognition from TOTW several times in the past including five previous Gold awards for the restaurant and actually winning the South West Restaurant of the Year in 2005 . We hope it has underlined  our commitment to using seasonal and local produce as much as we can in the kitchen at the White House.

Whilst it is jolly nice for us to crow about winning awards ( and I include all our wonderful staff in that as well ) I think it is important, nay vital to also recognise that a lot of the credit is also down to the hard work and skill of those who supply us, the farmers and fishermen, artisan producers and growers of West Dorset and East Devon who consistantly produce incredibly good world class produce. I really believe the food in this corner of the UK is as good as anywhere in the world, this area really does punch well above its weight. And whilst not wishing to significantly downplay my own role in taking raw ingredient to finished dish, it does make my job much easier in knowing that roasting a chump of lamb from for instance, Clive and Jo Sage at Wyld Meadow Farm  I  can be confident that the lamb on the plate is very probably going to be the tastiest and tenderest lamb that that customer has had.

I spent a very pleasant afternoon sampling the food and probably a little too much of the cider at the annual Eat Dorset Food Fair yesterday near Beaminster where many of the producers we use were exhibiting their wares. It does make you realise how fortunate we are to be living and working in this part of England when you look at the variety and quality of produce on show at events like this. There were hundreds, possibly thousands of people there over the weekend which further underlines the popularity of this kind of event and gives heart to those of us who look for quality, provenance and seasonality in what we eat over price and year round availability.

I will finish with a list of and links to several of the suppliers we use. I hope you get a chance to click through and see what makes West Dorset one of the best areas to live for food and drink in this country.

Wyld Meadow Farm

Samways Fish

Furleigh Wines

Leakers Bakery

Handley Cross Farm Foods

Denhay Farm

Burrow Hill Cider Brandy

Millers Farm Shop

Otter Brewery

Creedy Carver

Fudges Bakery

Purbeck Ice Cream

Woolsery Cheese






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