Foodie heaven is just off the A15

Gordon Ramsay says chefs should be forced to put seasonal produce on their menus. There's no lack of local food on offer in Lincolnshire. Andrew Spooner takes a tasty tour

I'm heading through Lincolnshire on the A15 towards Scunthorpe and thinking about food. In fact, over the past couple of days, all I've been thinking about is food; bacon and pork, venison, beef, endless displays of bright, fresh vegetables and even a bottle of pungent homemade Jamaican "jerk" sauce purchased from Lincoln's farmers' market.

What stands out about all this divine grub – and what would satisfy the likes of Gordon Ramsay, who would like chefs to be fined if they haven't got ingredients in season on their menu – is that it is all locally produced. And, thankfully, that tag has not been used to push up the price. Rather, it seems in this part of the world, "local" is taken for granted.

With its vast, open flatlands, and fertile rich soil, Lincolnshire is the UK's garden. Hops, grains, carrots, swedes, lettuces, spinach, carrots, potatoes, beef and pigs are among the favourites, with up to 20 per cent of all our food being produced in the county. It is the most "local" place in the country – not much attention is paid to food miles here. Even the supermarkets have struggled to get a grip on Lincolnshire, with the town of Louth – once declared by Rick Stein to be the best small market town in England – proudly holding on to its status as the largest town in the UK without a big-four out-of-town superstore. Then comes the Lincolnshire coast and the nation's busiest fishing port at Grimsby, home to fresh seafood. Finally, if that isn't enough, you have a smattering of artisan bakers, butchers and farm shops. Food, food and more food.

It might require a diversion off the A15 to the small town of Kirton in Lindsey but what better place to enhance my food sojourn than at a baker's? And this is not just any old baker's – it's an organic bakery that even has its own working windmill to grind the flour. "It's been incredibly hard work setting this up," says Mervin Austin, proprietor and miller at the Mount Pleasant Windmill, as he shows me around his suitably flour-dusted Victorian four-sailed brick tower mill. "I have worked in a large commercial bakery and have always been into bread. The mill has certainly given me the opportunity to try things out." Following my nose, Mervin joins me at the ovens where hundreds of loaves are in neat ordered rows. I confess to Mervin my love of sourdough and he winks, sticks his hand into the ranks and produces a still warm, rotund slab of bread. "You'll be needing this, then," he says.

With Scunthorpe getting closer, the tantalising aroma of sourdough on the back seat is making me peckish, and for some reason I can't stop thinking about bacon sarnies. Luckily, help is at hand in the form of the organic farm-shop-cum-café, The Pink Pig, just outside Scunthorpe. "This farm has been in the family for more than 80 years," says owner Sally Jackson. "We got into organics about seven years ago and it has really taken off. It's been a steep learning curve but our products are now very popular." It's easy to see why the Jacksons are making such a success of their business: the shop is piled high with tasty local fare; the service is cheery, the tea strong and hot, and, most importantly, the bacon is awesome.

Back on the road and Scunthorpe is in sight, but I carry on a few more miles to the Humber estuary and the small village of Winteringham. With the mighty Humber River on one side and only a single road in and out, this village is at the end of the line. Nonetheless, don't be fooled into thinking that Winteringham's location has any bearing on its culinary credentials – it is home to one of the best-kept gastronomic secrets in the country.

"The starter today is poached truffle eggs with crispy pancetta," says my beaming Sri Lankan waiter. Winteringham Fields is one of a kind, providing fine Michelin-standard fare in a homely down-to-earth manner. The engaging Sri Lankan staff help – the stuffiness of Englishness or the regime of the French is replaced with a giggling, jovial ambience born of the Indian Ocean.

Winteringham Fields's coup de grâce is the food. My "Menu Surprise" combines lobster cooked in a Thai style with Jerusalem artichoke, Toulouse sausage and a passion fruit soufflé. If that wasn't enough, a second dessert is produced – sticky, warming pineapple and mango crumble.

I can barely move. Help once more is at hand. Winteringham Fields not only provides food but also several gorgeous rooms. My bed is just a few steps away.

WHERE TO STAY
Andrew Spooner stayed at Winteringham Fields (01724 733096; winteringhamfields.com), which offers double rooms from £155 per night, including continental breakfast. A six-course tasting menu costs £79.

FURTHER INFORMATION
The Pink Pig (01724 844466; pinkpig organics.co.uk).
Mount Pleasant Windmill (01652 640177; trueloafbakery.co.uk).
For more information about Lincolnshire contact the tourist board (01522 526450; visit lincolnshire.com).

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
people
News
A survey carried out by Sainsbury's Finance found 20% of new university students have never washed their own clothes, while 14% cannot even boil an egg
science...and the results are not as pointless as that sounds
News
politicsIs David Cameron trying to prove he's down with the kids?
News
Cumberbatch was speaking on US television when he made the comment (Getty)
people
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Recruitment Genius: Group Sales Manager - Field Based

    £21000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Located on the stunning Sandban...

    Guru Careers: Email Marketing Specialist

    £26 - 35k (DOE): Guru Careers: An Email Marketing Specialist is needed to join...

    Recruitment Genius: Tour Drivers - UK & European

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity to join a is a...

    Old Royal Naval College: ORNC Visitor Experience Volunteer

    Unpaid voluntary work: Old Royal Naval College: Join our team of friendly volu...

    Day In a Page

    Woman who was sent to three Nazi death camps describes how she escaped the gas chamber

    Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary

    Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
    DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

    The inside track on France's trial of the year

    Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
    As provocative now as they ever were

    Sarah Kane season

    Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
    Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

    Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

    Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
    Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

    Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

    One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
    The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

    The enemy within

    People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
    'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

    'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

    Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
    Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

    Autumn/winter menswear 2015

    The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
    'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

    'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

    Army general planning to come out
    Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

    What the six wise men told Tony Blair

    Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
    25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

    25 years of The Independent on Sunday

    The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
    Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
    Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

    Smash hit go under the hammer

    It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
    Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

    The geeks who rocked the world

    A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
    Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

    Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

    Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea