There is a lot of doom and gloom in the news right now and much of it is justified. With a lot going on, media outlets always concentrate on what makes people watch, now necessarily what people want to know. One area we have noticed not getting much airtime is the rise and rise of British food producers.

We had a few local artisans come visit us at The North Ocean Hotel over the past few weeks as we are interested in featuring more local produce. I must admit to having been truly surprised and pleased by the quality of what we saw. Cheesemakers, artisan bakers, brewers and local meat producers all showed us what they are capable of and I was exceptionally happy with the experience.

I was also surprised at the mixture of ages and personality types. They weren’t all 40-somethings with beards, there were girls, boys, young and old, from all walks of life. Some had left corporate life behind to pursue a dream while others were continuing a family legacy that has been going for generations.

The standout thing for me was the variety and quality of their produce. It was superb. I would say the ingredients we tasted were equal to those of anywhere in the world and would stand up to the toughest scrutiny. The beer was amazing, the cheese surprising, meat flavoursome and rich and the breads we tried were fresh and crispy.

All of them were worthy of a place on our menu and we are going to do everything we can to feature them on the menu of the hotel and The Stone Grill.

It is tempting to concentrate thoughts on Europe or the U.S. right now but don’t forget our own little island. Whatever your views on independence, Brexit or The Trump Effect, just remember that life is still going on around you and people from across the country are still pursuing their dreams.

If you get the opportunity to try local artisan produce, at a food fayre or farmers market, do it. I think you will be as amazed as me at the quality and variety of what’s on offer. They need and deserve our support too!