I recently set myself the challenge of a “supermarket siesta”, eliminating the one-stop-shop visit to the “big five” and focusing on sourcing locally grown, reared and produced food from local businesses within the area I live (Reigate) and work (Dorking).
There were many a reason for this initiative, which I came to call “#BeckieEatsLocal”. I explore these in more detail in my recent post “Eating Locally: The Challenge”, but to summarize it boiled down to the following:
Surrey is full to the brim with alternatives to the chore of the soul-less supermarket. Here are my local stars that fuelled me through 6 weeks (and counting) of my #BeckieEatsLocal challenge.
Kingfisher Farm Shop
Famous for it's watercress, Kingfisher Farm Shop is a family run business which opened it's doors in 1971. They've got a fully stocked shop of fruit & vegetables, meat, fish, dairy products and naughty treats, as well as a fabulous flower/plant shop. As expected, they source as much regional and local food as available. They label the origin of all their fruits and vegetables making it super easy to opt for the most local of produce available!
Address: Abinger Hammer, Dorking RH5 6QX
Opening Times: Mon-Sat 9am-5pm, Sun 10am-4pm
The Dorking Butchery
Relatively new to Dorking high street, The Dorking Butchery opened their doors in early 2016 and are a firm favourite find of my #beckieeatslocal initiative. Their website doesn't lie when they state that "traditional service and a strong passion for high quality British produce are our values". Focusing on locally sourced, organically reared meats and super helpful in my "nose-to-tail" cooking escapades, I've not sourced my meat from anywhere else since I first walked through their doors. They also stock a selection of delicious condiments and spice rubs from the likes of local chaps Reubens People Co and The Salt Box.
Address: 48 High Street, Dorking, Surrey RH4 1AY
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 8am-6pm, Sat 8am-4pm
Priory Farm Shop
Priory Farm Shop is one part of a large complex of shops and local businesses, including a garden centre, children's "Discovery Walk", Gift Shop, furniture store and pet store. Within the farm shop, they have an impressive range of fruit and vegetables, a butchery counter, deli, bakery and my absolute favourite - on Fridays and Saturdays, the most amazing fish stall from Veasey and Sons.
Address: Sandy Lane, Nutfield RH1 4EJ
Opening Hours: Mon-Sat 9am – 5:30pm, Sun 10:30am – 4:30pm
Flower Farm Shop
In business since 2003, Flower Farm is a working farm that rears pigs, chickens, turkeys and sheep alongside their own flock of laying hens - all of which is sold within the shop. They pride themselves in sourcing all products not grown on the farm as locally as possible, with as few food miles to help lower our carbon footprint. They have a great tea-room with the biggest cakes and pick-your-own throughout the summer months.
Address: Oxted Road A25, Godstone RH9 8DE
Opening Hours: 7 days a week, 9am-6pm
Village Greens at Denbies
Located within the Denbies Wine Estate, Village Greens stock a wide variety of fruit and vegetables that are grown locally in Ockley (where their sister shop is located) and within the walled garden on the Denbies estate. They focus on minimising food miles by sourcing locally where they can, strong believers in the fact that fewer food miles mean lower carbon emissions, fewer pesticides means greater biodiversity, and less plastic packaging means less landfill. They have the best range of tomatoes during the summer months and run a great loyalty card scheme.
Address: Denbies Wine Estate, London Road, Dorking, RH5 6AA
Opening Hours: 7 days a week, 9:30am - 5:30pm
Wonky Parsnips is an awareness-raising blog that aims to change the way we engage with food.
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