There are numerous towns and cities that lay claim to title of ‘The Centre of England’. There are various ways in which this accolade can be calculated, but it invariably comes down to how far you are from the nearest coastline. Given that our coastline is somewhat wobbly in design, then many towns and cities in the middle of the midlands have found a way to lay claim to this title.
Burton on Trent is one such town, although given the rich heritage of beer and brewing, there has been little need to look for other hooks on which to hang a tourism and marketing strategy. Having said that, a quick look at any unbiased map of England will show you that Burton is right ‘up there’ when it comes to towns furthest from the nearest coast.
It therefore came as a surprise to many people when Leigh and Cathy Parry took over as new owners of The Winery Restaurant and Bar last month, and promptly announced that they would be specialising in local produce, fresh meats, and, wait for it… fresh seafood.
Not surprisingly, Burton on Trent is not renown for fresh seafood (or any form of seafood, to be honest). So why have Leigh and Cathy made this brave decision?
The answer comes down to two factors. Firstly, they have a long and successful history in hospitality which includes owning and running an award-winning seafood restaurant in Cheshire. Now Cheshire is clearly closer to the coast than Burton, and might seem an easier ‘seafood sell’ to customers, so why do they think that their previously successful model with work at The Winery?
Which brings us to the second factor, namely using the very best products, from the very best locations, delivered by the very best suppliers. Long gone are the days when fresh seafood could only be found at coastal restaurants. Now the supply chain means that seafood caught and landed can be delivered to restaurants, prepared, cooked and on the plate ready to eat within 12 hours. And that applies to all restaurants, even those located in the ‘centre of England’.
But the supply chain isn’t the most important aspect. No, it’s the quality of the produce that really matters; giving the chef the very best seafood ingredients to make the very best dishes. And testimony to this can be found in Leigh and Cathy’s wonderful Oyster Bar, which is a new additional positioned in the very heart of the restaurant. Not surprisingly they have gone for the very best seafood produce, headlining with award winning oysters from Carlingford Lough on the east coast of Ireland. The huge tidal range in the lough delivers an abundance of nutrients on which the oysters thrive and grow. And grow they do, to a huge size. Sustainable farming and harvesting of the oysters ensures that each and every one is of the highest quality, and hence they are much sought after by chefs and customers alike. Leigh and Cathy have the right contacts and suppliers, and so are proud to have Carlingford Lough oysters available as just one of their showcase seafood offerings at The Winery Restaurant and Bar.
Why not come along and see what you think of these, and a wide array of other outstanding dishes.