We kicked off July with a family week away in Pembrokeshire – a few days away to recharge our batteries before we roll out our amazing (and jam-packed!) summer activities programme. Apart from spending quality time with our Jekyll & Hyde toddler (who is now in the full grip of the ‘terrible twos’) one thing that really struck us was how proud everyone was of their amazing local produce.
Almost every cafe, pub, restaurant and bistro (even down to the teeny-weeny ice cream vans) just sang the praises on Pembrokeshires gorgeous local produce…..fresh crab, lobster and fish, ice cream still made from family-run dairy farms, flavoured with English (Welsh?!) favourites such as Elderflower, Summer Strawberry or tangy Rhubarb.
We enjoyed fish and chips in Solva from a café with their own fishing boat, and bought (probably too much!) ale in St Davids, brewed exclusively in the county.
And what was really lovely were the people and stories behind every great product – the humour, the added ‘colour’, the intangible special ‘something’ – the heart – that made it all that much better.
These producers and retailers were rightfully proud of their produce because it was part of them, part of their story, their locality. Local people ploughing ideas (and money) into their communities – to provide that extra fresh lobster, to provide a welcoming café at the edge of the sea, to provide jobs or opportunities and send ripples of benefit out into their community. The pride (and quality!) we experienced, just reiterated to me, that at Baby Bird Cafe we’re committed to our values. True, we can’t get coffee grown in the UK, but we can use ethically-managed beans & use British milk in our flavoursome coffees. In the Summer, soft fruits are celebrated in our menu, on children’s platters & in our smoothies – but come Autumn and Winter we switch seasonal citrus fruits on our platters, and warming British-grown baked spuds. We believe in local and seasonal.
That’s why there is no Danish bacon in our moreish Breakfast Wraps or ham from Europe in our sandwiches (the bacon’s from Corwen, and delivered to us from Radfords Butchers, a 3 minute walk away). And with our cakes (& the eggs in them) we can literally say it’s genuinely ‘low food miles’ as they travel the 20 minute walk from our house to the café, and the eggs themselves are laid by our own hen flock in the garden.
How do you like to ‘eat local’ Baby Birders? Is there anything nicer than lifting your own new potatoes from the garden, or sun-warmed tiny tomatoes from a hanging basket? Over to you…..