A friend of Meat London, Adam Hyman, writes a regular weekly restaurant blog. This week, Adam was writing about the present success that London based restaurants are enjoying, and the interest London is gaining from International followers. It made me think about the present growth in small, independent food retailers. A few weeks back, some of you may have seen, Meat NW5 took part in a TV programme with the always interesting food critic Giles Coran (how posh; Meat NW5 on the BBC!!). Giles was looking at shopping habits through the decades and concluded the six episode journey by considering the growing trend of customers heading back to the local high streets. In the last year alone Meat NW5, Jonathan Norris and now Spence Bakery have all opened on Fortess Road, Tufnell Park. Add to this the delicious Ruby Violet ice cream parlour and a clutch of cafes and restaurants and all of a sudden London has another haven for those that want to shop the way it should be done. Long may it last.

This is the time of year when we pull on our wellies and make time to visit our supplier farmers. Last week I visited Rare Breed Meats in Essex where the Geese, at about 4 weeks old, are just being brought into the paddocks to eat well and grow slowly for Christmas. More about that in November! I also relented, and finally after 8 years, took Agata on a farm visit. We went to Plantation Pigs in Steyning, West Sussex, where we spent a couple of hours in the fields and pig pens. Plantation Pigs is a very impressive producer. Their farmland covers a large area on the very picturesque South Downs. The pigs are born in the fields, and stay with their mother until they are strong enough to fend for themselves. They chase around the open pens and take no time at all to churn up the ground. Their feed is supplemented with omega rich silage which helps produce the most delicious Pork for our shops. I’m happy to report that we can promise our customers fabulous Pork for the foreseeable future and, of course, Agata had so much fun that she came back and found the perfect wine to match your BBQ’d Pork Chop; Sébastien Vaillant Valençay is a beautiful Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay blend from the Loire Valley. A nice change from a classic Sav! It’s creamy but still very lively, with a mineral note on the finish, I think it will be perfect with Pork chop in your garden :)
I never like to report bad news but if you have been looking out for our new website I’m sorry it has taken a bit longer than hoped to get it up and running. My Mum always tells me ‘good things come to those who wait’. It will be up and running through June (2015).

The kids are back playing football in Clissold Park. Danny West has grown The Little Soccer Stars league into two leagues this season so that even more kids can join in. We have sponsored three teams this year, which just means we have more kids coming in to tell us how many goals they scored. While the nights are longer, and a bit warmer, why not pop in to Meat N16 and put together a picnic of Hams, Pork Pie, Salami, Chutneys and Cheeses from the deli, ask for a chilled bottle of white or rose wine, and go and cheer them on. The competitor in me wants the Meat N16 teams to win, but the sportsman in me just wants all of the kids to have a great time. Every Wednesday evening until July, from 4pm – 6pm.

The sun is definitely coming. Keep the sun block handy.