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Food news and views from across Hampshire - March 2014

PUBLISHED: 10:19 24 March 2014 | UPDATED: 10:20 24 March 2014

The new Winchester Chococo shop is opened by local MP, Steve Brine , and Mayor of Winchester, Ernie Jeffs -  with owners Claire and Andy Burnet and team. 152 Winchester High Street, Winchester, UK 30 January 2014. Guy Bell, 07771 786236, guy@gbphotos.com

The new Winchester Chococo shop is opened by local MP, Steve Brine , and Mayor of Winchester, Ernie Jeffs - with owners Claire and Andy Burnet and team. 152 Winchester High Street, Winchester, UK 30 January 2014. Guy Bell, 07771 786236, guy@gbphotos.com

© Guy Bell, 07771 786236, guy@gbphotos.com. All rights reserved.

Food news from around the county

Little Bee BakeryLittle Bee Bakery

Little Bee Bakery is booming

Little Bee Bakery, started by mum Melissa O’Dwyer in her small home kitchen in Rownhams, has recently expanded and opened its first business unit in Romsey.

Making bespoke handmade products including cakes, biscuits and whoopie pies using natural ingredients from local producers, Little Bee Bakery started as a hobby for mumpreneur and avid cook Melissa. However, it now boasts commercial and individual customers across the county and Melissa has been able to take on three members of staff to cater for the high demand.

She says: “I’ve had fantastic support along the way and I’m really looking forward to the bakery continuing to be a hive of activity over 2014 and beyond.”

Further information on Little Bee Bakery can be found on Facebook at Littlebbakery or on the soon to be launched website www.littlebeebakery.co.uk

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Brilliant burgers

An exciting new restaurant concept has launched in Southampton’s London Road, serving up artisan burgers and hot dogs made from grass-fed Hampshire meat. Chalk Valley Burgers is run by Hampshire cattle farmers Will Buckley and Sarah Jane Fairey who are keen to promote the field to fork notion through their casual dining experience. The menu will feature a variety of grassfed (or pastured) burgers and hot dogs, including beef, buffalo, chicken, pork, lamb and vegetarian options. Chalk Valley Burgers will also offer organic ice cream, organic milkshakes, organic beer and wine, and child-friendly meals for the littlest of patrons. Find out more at www.chalkvalley.co.uk

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A celebratory brew

Don’t miss the chance to sample Upham Brewery’s 1st Drop ale, produced to mark the opening of the brewery 12 months ago. It will be available to buy until April on 01489 861383. The colour of 
deep chestnut combined with a smooth maltiness, Upham’s spring seasonal special has the flavour of rich light fruits and follows in the wake of Upham’s winter special, Winter’s T’Ale.

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Food scandal helps producers

We are one year on from the horsemeat scandal and it seems we are all continuing to buy local as New Forest meat producers report a significant increase in sales over the course of 2013.

Members of the New Forest Marque have seen sales rise by up to 30% since last January, with many local meat producers saying the desire of consumers to know where their food comes from is the decisive factor behind the increase.

Hampshire Life Food & Drink Awards nominee Peter Nicholls, owner of Hatchett Herd of Pedigree Dexters in Beaulieu, said: “We have seen an increase in sales of 20 to 30% over the last 12 months. I think the horsemeat scandal has definitely made people think harder about where their meat comes from, and has encouraged them to buy their meat from local sources.”

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A meal in a mill

A newly built recreation of a former tidal mill in Fareham, Cams Mill has recently opened its doors as a pub, creating more than 50 jobs for the area. With an emphasis on serving locally-sourced Hampshire produce and fresh ingredients, as well as a fantastic drinks menu we think it will be an excellent addition to the area.

Owned by Fullers, who have a knack for creating great venues in stunning settings, Cams Mill is a large oak framed barn with beautiful views of the estuary. It has been carefully built to give the feeling of a restoration - using more than 50,000 three-hundred year old tiles that have been cut and fitted by hand and reclaimed Fareham red bricks.

To look at the menu and find out more visit the website at www.camsmill.co.uk

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Taste of the Orient

Fans of the pan-asian restaurant chain, Wagamama will be pleased to hear that a new branch has opened up in Whiteley Shopping Centre, creating another 25 jobs for the area.

Enjoy favourites such as the chicken katsu curry and yaki soba, as well as special dishes from the winter menu, including grilled duck ramen and mahi mahi curry. Mini noodlers will also love the kid’s menu, which was recently named by the soil association as one of the best in the UK for choice and quality.

Find out more at about the new branch at www.wagamama.com

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Kids cookery course

Local entrepreneur, Debbie Plunton is offering busy families the opportunity to teach their children essential cooking skills and nutrition with her new business, Cookie Kids. Primary school children aged six to 11 can now attend workshops, held in Debbie’s Winchester kitchen, where they will learn about food hygiene and preparation as well as healthy eating through a variety of themed courses.

To find out more about Cookie Kids or to book your workshop visit www.cookie-kids.co.uk

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Chococo opens its doors

We had a great time at the opening of award-winning Dorset-based chocolatier Chococo’s Winchester store recently – eating enough chocolate and cakes to put the January diet to the backs of our minds – oops! The Mayor of Winchester Councillor Ernie Jeffs, Steve Brine, MP for Winchester and what seemed like half of the city’s population were there to welcome co-founder Claire Burnet and her team. The brightly coloured shop was very Willy Wonka-esque and the stunningly decorated chocolates were on full show along the counter to tempt even the most heinous of chocolate haters. With a focus on supporting Hampshire businesses (the cakes are made by Little Bee Bakery) and using locally produced ingredients, we have a feeling the Guildhall end of town is about to get pretty busy.

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