One of the best things about living in the country is undoubtedly the quality produce that you can find at every farmer's market and artisanal food stall. Once you have the option of using organic vegetables in your next stir-fry
, or free-range sausages from the farm down the road, it's hard to go back to Tesco-range produce.
Globally there has been an increased demand for quality, hand-made food and drink products – this is evident in the craft beer movement – and consequently there has been a surge of producers. They aren't only limited to the south west, however; all over the country bakeries, delicatessens, farmers and brewers have started creating seasonal goods of the highest quality. What's more, with the ability to create an online store
, these producers are able to sell and deliver to a larger customer base than ever before, which means getting your hands on your favourite produce countrywide is easier than ever. With that in mind, we'll look at some of the best online artisan shops around.
The Artisan Smokehouse
The Artisan Smokehouse is an award-winning smokehouse on the Suffolk Coast that produces small quantities of smoked food. It's a couple-run affair that prides itself on using only the freshest, highest-quality and ethically sourced ingredients from mostly local British producers. From smoked meats, cheeses, salmon and various vegetables, the Artisan Smokehouse provides a wide range of smoked products that can be bought online
While these products aren't necessarily British, they're made from traceable grass fed beef from the UK as well as spices sourced from South Africa. Barefoot Biltong pride themselves on creating a wide range of artisanal biltong products right in the UK, bringing together the best of Britian's produce with South African flavouring. If you don't know what biltong is, think of it like jerkey spiced in a number of different ways. Check out their online store here
A lot of people may remember Willie's Wonky Chocolate factory – the story of the titular Willie who decided to follow his calling of creating 100% organic cocoa chocolate after his visit to South America. Well it seems as though that paid off, as Willie now has an online store selling bars of chocolate
made with various composites of pure cocoa. His products are also available in many locations around the world, although he sources the raw cacao from his farm in Venezuela and manufactures the chocolate at his factory in Uffculme, Devon, in in the South West.