Taste of Chilterns reaches the House of Com­mons

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - COMMUNITY -

AS WITH any pub­lic build­ing, the House of Com­mons hosts mini-exhibitions from time to time. Tem­po­rary dis­play boards pop up so that MPs and vis­i­tors alike can learn about the work of many or­gan­i­sa­tions, both within the UK and world­wide.

I was re­ally pleased to be asked to co-host a Chilterns and Ayles­bury Vale day in the House of Com­mons, along with my par­lia­men­tary col­league Rt Hon David Lid­ing­ton MP and with the wel­come support of Mr Speaker, Rt Hon John Ber­cow MP.

The idea of the event was to showcase the fan­tas­tic food and drink which is pro­duced within our area.

From the Che­sham & Amer­sham con­stituency, I in­vited Nick and Jenny Wat­son, from Malt the Brew­ery, in Prest­wood; Richard and Bev­erly Waller, who pro­duce Ayles­bury ducks at Long Grove Wood Farm, Che­sham; and Evert and Franca Donker of Chiltern Ridge, in Char­tridge.

I have writ­ten be­fore about Malt the Brew­ery but their en­ter­prise is go­ing from strength to strength, with some great news. Last month, Nick Wat­son was awarded a Gold Star for his beers by the Great Taste Awards – wider recog­ni­tion in­deed for the brew­ery which is very popular with lo­cal res­i­dents.

They also won a gold at the So­ci­ety of In­de­pen­dent Brew­ers’ Mid­lands com­pe­ti­tion, the week be­fore the par­lia­men­tary day, and brought along the trophy! What is more, this thriv­ing business is now em­ploy­ing an ap­pren­tice. An­gus Wall­bank be­gan his ap­pren­tice­ship in Au­gust and is help­ing to in­crease the out­put to meet the de­mand for Malt’s beer.

Turn­ing to Long Grove Wood Farm, this is the only farm now pro­duc­ing the Ayles­bury ducks which were once found through­out Buck­ing­hamshire. Richard Waller’s fam­ily has been pro­duc­ing th­ese ducks for gen­er­a­tions and I can say as a cus­tomer that Ayles­bury duck­lings are very spe­cial.

The farm is of­ten fea­tured on TV pro­grammes about Bri­tish foods and we can be proud that the tra­di­tional Ayles­bury duck­ling is still bred, reared and avail­able for sale in our county.

Chiltern Ridge is a fam­ily run business in Old Sax Lane, Char­tridge. Mr and Mrs Donker pro­vide bed and break­fast ac­com­mo­da­tion, as well as won­der­ful Chilterns pro­duce. I was de­lighted to see their de­li­cious range of pas­teurised ap­ple juice. In ad­di­tion they sell lamb, pork and keep free range chick­ens for their eggs.

All th­ese busi­nesses are pro­duc­ing food and drink of ex­tremely high qual­ity and I am glad that my fel­low MPs had the op­por­tu­nity on 14 Oc­to­ber to ex­pe­ri­ence a taste of the Chilterns.

Ch­eryl Gil­lan MP for Che­sham & Amer­sham

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