Foodie Newbury — what’s it all about?
“Are you a Leaver, Remainer or Returner?” the man on the train to London asked me. Quite a conversation starter I thought, especially at 6.49am. But he wasn’t asking about my political views, but what my connection to Newbury was.
I’m a Returner. I was born and brought up in Newbury and am now back after 20 years, with my partner and little boy.
Living in London and extensive travels has meant that I’ve pretty much eaten my way from Brazil to Bologna, so the question of where and how I would eat on returning to my hometown was a serious one to consider!
Newbury hasn’t disappointed. I’ve discovered gastropubs, award-winning pubs and pubs selling local ales and continental beers. You can eat Italian food, Japanese, Lebanese and Thai to name just a few of the cuisines now on offer. The cafe scene’s exploded and whilst Newbury institutions like The Empire Cafe are still standing (yay!) there are new, independent and interesting kids on the block. You can drink detox smoothies, bubble tea and practically any type of coffee you care to mention.
Newbury market goes back to Anglo Saxon times and has been a feature of the town and local community ever since. I love shopping there. You can pick up sourdough, baklava, biltong and feta cheese, as well as fresh coffee (say hello to Simon, aka ‘coffee man’ who grinds beans fresh to order), eggs, fruit and veg. There are also butchers, a fishmonger and an Italian food truck (the couple that run it are from Naples and I recommend the arancini followed by an espresso!). Newbury Artisan and Farmers’ markets provide a whole other host of foodie delights.
So I’m re-discovering my hometown and what it has to offer — as a foodie, as a Mum and as a Returner. Along the way I hope I’ll get to know some of the people behind the places and the produce as I make Newbury home again.
I’d love you to join me on my journey on Twitter (@foodienewbury), Instagram (foodienewbury1) and facebook (Foodie Newbury). And if you have any insider tips please do share!