Hops and a Farmers’ Market…

Look out for two local food events in the next few weeks:

“The Scratch of the Hop”

Ledbury Places host an illustrated talk by local author Marsha O’Mahony. Marsha traces the story of hop-farming in Herefordshire, Worcestershire & Shropshire through local archives, interviews and a wealth of unseen photographs.

Date: Thursday 28th October 2021

Time: 6.30pm

Place: The Upper Floor, The Old Grammar School, Church Lane, Ledbury HR8 1DW

Tickets: £7.00 (to include a glass of real ale or soft drink)

Available from: www.courtyard.org.uk.

Hellens Farmers’ Market

Following a successful “try-out” in August, Hellens Manor at Much Marcle hosts another market on Saturday 6th November. This is the successor to the award winning Kempley Market which closed in 2020. Many faces from the old market will be there to tempt you with their local produce – and some new ones as well!

Date: Saturday 6th November 2021
Time: 9.30 to 11.30am
Place: Hellens Manor, Much Marcle, HR8 2LY

On this occasion there will also be a special display of carriages, with experts from the Carriage Foundation on hand to answer your questions.
…and they are selling bacon sandwiches!

Notice of our delayed 2020/21 Annual General Meeting

Our delayed AGM for 2020/21 will be held on Monday 18th October at the Market House, High Street, Ledbury at 5.30pm.

You are very welcome to attend.

We will be electing our serving committee for the business year 2021/22.

The committee will be tasked with taking forward the activities of the group with due regard to continuing circumstances, guidance and restrictions.

After a successful year in 2019 with an excellent Ledbury Celebration event in July and very popular evening Farmers Food Market running in St Katherine’s and the Barn (see photo above), we had hoped to continue with similar activities supporting our local food economy through 2020.

Instead our major activity has been to provide a Food Information Page on our website. This provides a listing what local producers and retailers are doing in terms of local deliveries, call and collect, food takeaways, outdoor eating etc. to help people – and businesses – to get through the pandemic safely.

Thanks to all of you who have continued to support local producers, local retailers and local hospitality businesses through this time. It is encouraging to see how well these businesses have coped and survived, and that we are now welcoming new businesses on the local food scene.

Use this link to access the Agenda for this meeting.

Use this link to access the 20/21 Income and Expenditure Account.

News update – Big Apple, Photo Exhibition, Café closes, Shop in a Bus

The Big Apple Harvestime Event – is taking place on Saturday and Sunday 9th and 10th October around Much Marcle.

Full details of the programme have now been released and are available at https://www.bigapple.org.uk/.

It’s a great event for savouring all that’s apple and enjoying the wonderful countryside below Marcle Ridge.

Do go!

Photo Exhibition Reminder – We are mounting a small exhibition feature life at three local farms as part of Ledbury Market House’s participation in this year’s national Heritage Open Days. It’s open on Tuesday and Wednesday this week.

Cameron and Swan Café Closure – Louise and her team have been providing great local food at Cameron and Swan for more than 8 years, appreciated by locals and visitors alike.  They have been regular participants in our annual Ledbury Big Breakfast event. 

Sadly Louise has had to close the café for health reasons.  A new business will be moving into the premises.  Our thanks go to Louise and her team for feeding Ledbury so well.

Picture: Louise with Big Breakfast potato rostis

A shop in a bus – If you live in the Newent area you will be interested in the Blue Bus venture that just started.  The bus, operated by Market To Your Door, tours local villages stocked with a large range of local produce on its itinerary. All markets run from 10am until 12noon and each hosting venue will be offering refreshments of their choice.

The monthly itinerary is:

  • 1st Friday: Upleadon Village Hall
  • 1st Saturday: Harts Barn, Longhope
  • 2nd Friday: Good News Centre
  • 2nd Saturday: Oxenhall village hall
  • 3rd Friday: Pauntley Village Hall
  • 3rd Saturday: Kempley village (Layby near village hall)
  • 4th Friday: Good news centre
  • 4th Saturday: Rudford village hall

Find out more on Facebook at @markettoyourdoor

Food Group celebrates Ledbury’s Food Heritage

As part of Ledbury’s contribution to this year’s Heritage Open Days, we are joining with Ledbury Town Council to celebrate the long heritage of local food production.

We are mounting a photo exhibition at the Market House when it is open to the public for Heritage Open Days.  The photos will reflect on local food production today at three farms in the Ledbury district. 

The exhibition is on 14th and 15th September.

Growing food has been a vitally important feature of Ledbury’s life for 900 years – for 400 years the Market House has been a centre for trade in local food.

This exhibition picks up the Heritage Open Day theme of “Edible England” and reminds us that local food production remains just as important today.  It visits three local farms – a sheep farm, a vegetable grower and an orcharding farm.  The photos show different seasons in the farming year.

The photos are the work of local photographers Pat Strauss and Ed Mustafic and previously featured in our exhibitions at The Master’s House, Ledbury.

Place: The Market House, High Street, Ledbury

When: Tuesday 14th and Wednesday 15th September

Times: 1100-1300 & 1400-1600

Make it a day visiting heritage buildings in Ledbury – and visiting one of our cafes for lunch!  Find details of heritage sites at:





The Big Apple 2021 is on!

The apples are ripening on the trees, the presses are standing by, and the time is fast approaching for the Big Apple to welcome visitors to the Herefordshire parishes of the Marcle Ridge continuing a thirty year tradition.

Sadly last year’s event was cancelled, but this year the organisers of the Big Apple have come up with a plan that will see all the usual venues in and around Much Marcle involved on Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th October.

“Within 24 hours of asking them, all nine venues had expressed their enthusiasm to go ahead”, said spokesman Jackie Denman. “When we cancelled last year, we had lots of messages of support telling us that we had made the right decision, but also telling us that we would be much missed. So now we’re busy behind the scenes working on our programme, which will go online on www.bigapple.org.uk on Monday 13th September. We can’t wait to get back!”

So put the 9th and 10th October in your diary – for your annual opportunity to enjoy the orchards, to see, hear and smell cider being made and to taste many different varieties of apples, local ciders, perries and apple juices, all of which has become an established part of the calendar for many people.

Familiar Big Apple venues will include Gregg’s Pit, Awnells Farm, Woodredding, Lyne Down, Pope’s Perry and Hellens, alongside regular attractions at Westons Cider.

We look forward to visiting this wonderful celebration of local produce!

When is local not local?

When it’s a jam!

Do you know how easy it is to create your own label jam?

What are you going to call it?

On sale locally recently was jam labelled “Ledbury Fine Foods” and “Great British Classics” complete with Union Jack.

Where do you think this was made?

Perhaps in Ledbury or its neighbourhood?

The answer is that the jam had in fact been made in Leicestershire by Bramble Foods.

We looked up Bramble Foods Ltd on the web. They are a well-established business in Market Harborough supplying a wide range of food products.

One of their services is providing personalised or own label products.

We have no problem with what Bramble Foods are doing – and there is nothing wrong with the quality of their jam.

But it is possible that product labelling may create a wrong impression in the eyes of the customer.

So…Beware! Remember when “buying local” to check the label if you don’t know the product.

We’ve updated our Food Information Page – AND new cafés to try!

Eating In or Eating Out?  Our Local Food Information Page has been updated to provide the latest gen on local food retailers and eating places for you to sample.

Many who set up delivery services during lock-down are continuing to provide these now – so if you are reluctant to go out, the food can still come to you.  Or you might just want a night at home with no cooking!

Find out more on the Food Information Page

For those venturing out, Ledbury has new or recently opened cafés to add to our fabulous range of cafés for all tastes:

Choccalistic, Homend Mews – 01531 637305 – Ledbury’s (fairly) new chocolate shop and tearoom (indoors and outdoors).

Pot and Page – 01531 248743 – newly opened in New Street, Ledbury featuring “plant based lunch and brunch menus”, and second hand books.

The Ledberry – newly opened in The Homend – 01531 632676 – a “multi brand boutique featuring an exciting range of clothing, homewares and accessories, as well as a secret garden for guests to enjoy light refreshments”.

The Sunrise Café – in the High Street – 01531 634111 – a basic café with breakfast options

In addition The Organic Café, High Street – 01531 631136 – is open again above Handley Organics with a whole new menu to explore.

In the Ice Cream World – award winning Just Rachel Luxury Desserts is now under new owners and has changed its name to Berry’s Luxury Ice Cream.  It should still taste as good.  Local suppliers are listed on the Food Information Page.

 Finally an apology

We have been unable to notify you of new posts on our website in the past couple of months – including our popular monthly recipes.  Hopefully this problem is now fixed.  Please find any blogs you missed at link to blogs page.