Although this short post is aimed primarily at a local audience, I have included it as something of a break from all the stuff about Belgium which I have been posting recently. (There’s more to come!).
Yesterday saw one of my favourite local breweries featured on a programme called "Terry and Mason's Great Food Trip". Not being much of tele addict these days, this series had completely passed me by, but basically it features Sir Terry Wogan and London cabbie Mason McQueen "on a food trip around the UK, seeking out weird and wonderful regional British cuisine and discovering how our tastes have changed over the years."
Yesterday’s programme saw the unlikely duo visiting Royal Tunbridge Wells, where they breakfasted at Sankey’s Champagne & Seafood Bar, down on the Pantiles, before moving on to visit local celebrity chef, Rosemary Schrager, at her cookery school in the town. They then ride out in Mason's cab, to the historic Penshurst Place; described as one of the finest examples of a fortified manor house in the country.
|Bob and his team with Sir Terry Wogan & Mason McQueen|
The final part of the half hour episode, sees radio presenter and cabbie visiting Larkins Brewery, deep in the Kent countryside on the edge of the village of Chiddingstone. Proprietor, and head brewer, Bob Dockerty takes them on a trip to see the hops he grows, before returning to the brewery to sample the beer. They then join Bob, his nephew Harry (who is learning the trade), office manager Guy Beckett, plus one of the brewery workers, for lunch of shepherd’s pie – washed down of course with several pints of Larkins full-bodied and well-hopped beer.
As you can imagine, the series is all very light-hearted, and only skims the surface of the places visited. For me, it has a very personal interest, because for many years I was CAMRA Brewery Liaison Officer for Larkins, and I know Bob, his staff and the brewery very well. I am also an enormous fan of Larkins beer; especially the 4.4% Best Bitter, and the wonderful 5.2% Porter. The latter is only available during the winter months, but it is always a beer to look forward to.
I have posted a link to the episode on BBCiPlayer, but as the programme will only be available to view for the next 28 days, enjoy it whilst you can.