The latest post in my series of Foodie Things to do in… takes us slightly north of where we live, just into north west Leiscetershire, to the small market town of Ashby de la Zouch. It hosts the ruins of a 12th century castle, which formed the backdrop to the famous jousting scenes in Sir Walter Scott’s novel, Ivanhoe.
It is also home to the Ashby Show, one of the biggest in the area for the showing of cattle, sheep and horses along with food and craft areas.
We decided to pop along for a bit of an explore a few weeks ago. Luckily for us as we drove into the town we also realised that we had managed to coincide our visit with the monthly Farmers Market, held in the grounds of the Manor House, so this is where we headed first!
A relatively small market, compared to some we have been to I actually really enjoyed looking around. It was noticeably quieter than some when we arrived about 1030am and it was nice to be able to properly look at all the stalls, taste the produce on offer and talk to the vendors without having to elbow your way past hoards of others. Because of this I think we probably purchased more than we would normally as well. There was some great quality stuff on offer, a few different meat producers, fish and fruit and veg as well as a great selection of cheese and condiments. I’m particularly looking forward to my Bosworth Field Cheese which I intend to eat with the chilli jelly from Chilli Fundamentals that we also purchased.
We then moved on to have a little look around the castle ruins and then on into the town centre. This is centred around one main street, Market Street with a few little off shoots either side. I was particularly on the look out for a few cafés restaurants that I had heard of, even though we weren’t planning on stopping for lunch that day. The De La Zouch Café looked lovely and appealing and we also had a quick browse of the menu in the window of Taste of Thai, which I know one of my blogger friends Emily recommends.
It was good to see a high street butchers and greengrocer still in evidence on the main drag, as well as a ‘confectioners’ selling lots of baked and sugary treats.
We also came across a gorgeous little deli, The Posh Pantry, selling a range of local cheese, meats and olives as well as shelves stacked tall with chutneys preserves and sauces. We picked up some of their home pickled onions to try, packed full of spices, which are truly delicious.
Lastly, tucked away from the main road was Sweet Memory Lane. A tiny shop packed with old school treats as well as fudge, chocolate, liqourice…a sweet lovers heaven!
Have you been to Ashby De La Zouch? I’d love to know where you like going when you’re there.