Celebrating the Best of Kent
Written by: Rosie Collins
From fruit to veg, dairy to meat, Kent is home to some of the country’s very best produce... and at Macknade we support over 120 different local producers. Here's our guide for what you should be eating & drinking from them right now...
Fruit & Veg
Kent is truly the Garden of England and no more so than now. After a dark, wet winter, we have finally arrived in spring... and the finest season for local produce.
Faversham strawberries are back and their sweet flavour & firm texture is incomparable. Asparagus is here from Sevenscore in Thanet, which has to be the ‘pin up’ of spring veg, and we also have the first crop of new potatoes. The humble potato is often overlooked, but we see it as the star of the plate… soft, creamy and fresh at this time of year... and even better smothered in local butter!
The raspberry season is in full swing too, with ours coming from Kelsey Farm, near Wingham. We also wait expectantly for the first of the cherries, due at the end of June or early July... a little later than normal because of the weather, but always worth the wait!
And don't miss our wonky cucumbers and leafy salad bags from new producer GrowUp, who are pioneering vertical farming in Kent.
Cheese & Meat
Our deli counter is home to over 100 different cheeses... and a number of these are made right here on our Kentish doorstop. Our perfect Kentish cheese board features Ellie's Dairy Goat Cheese, Ashmore from the Cheesemakers of Canterbury and a wedge of Kentish Blue from Steve & Karen Reynolds at Kingcott Dairy.
Meanwhile, if meat is more your thing, our butchers work closely with several Kentish farmers to provide locally reared pork, lamb & beef for our butchery counter. You can practically see Al Palmer's farm in Shottenden, where all our lamb comes from... or as we prefer to say, our mutton & hogget at this time of year. Top tip: his barnsley chops are great on the barbie now the sun in starting to shine and we have a great recipe for them here!
Wine, Beer & Cider
Kentish wine also continues to go from strength to strength and there are now 60 vineyards across the county, many of which we stock in our wine store. From old favourites such as Chapel Down through to the hyper local Brenley Wines, there is a fantastic selection at various price points.
Our Kentish brewing heritage should also never be forgotten and while we stock the favourites from Shepherd Neame, we also work with several craft breweries from East to West Kent. Don't miss Time & Tide Spratwaffler - available by the pint in our Food Village and perfect for quaffing on a sunny day.
What we see at Macknade is a true love of food & drink, for fantastic local produce and the people behind it… the unfettered smile on a customer’s face as they select their choice asparagus spears for their evening supper. There really is nothing better.
This is just a little snapshot of our local produce. There is so much more to fill your store cupboard (shout out to the likes of Kentish Oils & Gilda Bakery!) and our team will happily point you in the right direction.
Our Food Hall is open every day, from 9am to 6pm Monday to Saturday, and from 10am to 4pm on Sundays. We look forward to welcoming you! Find us and get directions here.