As you maybe aware, Helen and I have been asked to join the editorial board for the Trencherman’s Guide, now in its 21st year, the annual Trencherman’s Guide is the Holy Grail for the region’s foodie residents and visitors, guiding them to a unique variety of dining experiences, alongside Michael Caines MBE.
There is a strict entry criteria which dictates the select group of establishments included in the annual Guide. Only those achieving consistently high ratings across top international publications including The Michelin Guide, The Good Food Guide and the AA Restaurant Guide are invited to be in the guide. This year a record 122 restaurants and hotels with rooms across Somerset, Gloucester, Dorset, Devon and Cornwall have made it into the Guide, including Rising Stars, showcasing the calibre of the region’s foodie offerings. If you would like your own copy of the guide, feel free to pop into the restaurant and pick one up.
This year the publishers have also integrated dining vouchers into this year’s guide, enabling diners to save money while still enjoying the culinary creations of the region’s finest chefs, so there’s no excuse not to get out there and try them out.
Of the region and guide, Matthew Fort, restaurant critic and food writer, said: “Is there a region more blessed than the South West? I think not. I’ve caught prawns at Salcombe, and fished for bass off Lyme Regis and trout in the streams of Wiltshire, doubled up Double Gloucester in Stroud, drunk too well of Somerset cider, spread Dorset butter on Cornish saffron bread, feasted on the finest lobsters in the land in Dartmouth, devoured sweet crabs at Rock, put away pilchards in Newlyn and chewed over rich Red Devon sirloin running with juices. It is therefore no wonder the South West has produced and nurtured a treasury of chefs of the highest calibre. And this is what the Trencherman’s Guide is all about. It’s more than simply compendium of top places to eat all over the South-West. It is a celebration of great British ingredients turned into great British food by great British chefs.”
The one of highlights of being invited to be apart of the Trencherman’s Guide has to be the bi-annual lunches, a group of chefs are invited to a stunning venue to cook a course each for the Trencherman’s guests, it’s a great chance to network, talk to suppliers and catch up with friends; This one was no different.
The lunch was hosted at Fifteen Cornwall and the guests were treated to a stunning 5 course lunch, crafted by Andy Appleton of Fifteen Cornwall; Chris Eden of Driftwood Hotel (Portscatho, Cornwall), James & Chris Tanner of Tanners Restaurant & Barbican Kitchen (Plymouth), Daniel Moon of Stone Easton Park (Nr Bath, Somerset) and me.
When I volunteered my services for the event, I failed to take into account the distance from our restaurant in Cheltenham to Watergate Bay in Cornwall but it all turned out well in the end… As I needed my boys for service and Helen needed Harriet’s company for the lunch itself we decided to make a staff weekend of it. So we packed everything into the cars from a sleety Cheltenham and set off only to be greeted with the most stunning sunny weather in Cornwall when we arrived. We even managed to squeeze in a trip to Rick Steins Seafood Restaurant, all in the name of staff training of course!