Hey there, my names Rachel but I also go by @bucksfoodie! I’m a 22-year-old MA graduate from West Wycombe, Buckinghamshire. You may recognise me from this article where I was named as one of ‘Four Fantastic Food Bloggers to Follow’. This is just a little info about me, my account and where it all began! To start, here are a few foodie facts about me:
- I am quite possibly the worst baker I know – you either get gloopy messes or … ‘cakes’ that could be used as building materials.
- I was vegetarian for the majority of my time at university – not necessarily for ethical reasons, but because I couldn’t afford meat!
- My favourite chef ever is Gordon Ramsay. I met him at the BBC Good Food show when I was about 10 and had my first experience of ‘fan-girling’.
- I have always loved (even if my bank account has not!) going out for food.
- I think my favourite meal to go out for is brunch, it’s usually cheaper than a dinner and always gets the day started on a positive note.
I started @bucksfoodie when I moved back home from SW London after finishing my undergraduate degree. I realised that I tended to visit the same few restaurants with my friends, boyfriend and family. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I wanted to branch out a bit and actually explore the foodie scene – especially in High Wycombe and Aylesbury as these were the two places I spent most of my time.
My focus when I started #bucksfoodie was really simple:
- Discover new independent restaurants, bars and cafes.
- Try out these new places & take pictures of the experience.
- Post it online and hope to spread some more awareness of small businesses.
So, I made the account in December 2019 after my boyfriend and I had, what is still, the best Sunday Roast of our lives at The Harrow in Bishopstone. I started posting weekly because I didn’t have the content or budget to post more regularly. Before I made the account I created a back catalogue of other independent restaurants or cafes that I’d been to prior to actually making the account. To start with, there was no pressure to post as not many people were following me and it could stay as a side project/hobby.
The account got left by the wayside for a little while because I was also studying for my MA at this time. But I still took pictures of my food and of the experiences. I’ve always liked having a record of great experiences – my boyfriend says that I’m a hoarder of memories, pictures and memorabilia!
I’m not going to say the ‘C’ word [not Christmas, the other one] but… lockdown played a huge part in getting back into @bucksfoodie and really changing things up. I had bucket loads of time and needed motivation to get through the day, as I think a lot of us did and @bucksfoodie became that for me.
I started with a food challenge that another foodie had created which meant I had to post every day for 30 days, different types of content like my favourite meal, my favourite takeaway, best bake (this was a big throwback to the only cake triumph I’ve ever had!). Not only did it give me a focus it forced me to be creative with food, to think about food in a practical way, and to actually experiment in the kitchen a little bit.
The result was incredible not just for myself and my food journey, but I was also gaining loads of active followers who wanted to chat and to share their experiences with me! It also put me in contact with some great businesses. The best bit was they weren’t just local anymore – I’ve spoken to foodies in New York, in Dubai and even in Australia – the internets amazing for that! I’ve still remained very focussed on presenting local businesses in the Buckinghamshire area though – I think it will always be my main focus, no matter where this account takes me.
It’s become something pretty magical since early April 2020! Most recently I gained over 3000 followers, and later this month I’ll be judging a competition for Eden Shopping Centre! Pinch me please because it doesn’t seem real!
I love creating and posting content, and even if the Instagram algorithm means that my posts don’t get seen immediately, or by as many people, it’s not about the likes or the comments for me. The best thing I’ve gained from being a Food Blogger are the dialogues I’ve had with businesses, restaurants, brands and my followers. I love nothing more than being asked for recommendations, or for a more in-depth discussion on a trip to a restaurant, or food product that I’ve been sent.
I’ve also been able to help brands price their products and market their events which is just incredible and something really unexpected that has come with my blog! It’s like a part-time job at the moment, I feel very busy with @bucksfoodie and it’s given me a fantastic focus, it’s also really helped my relationship with food.
I think a lot of us go through dips and dives in our relationships with food. It can be a toxic, messy and sometimes really uncomfortable topic to talk about, especially when you’re a content creator who is solely posting about food! But, since starting @bucksfoodie, I’ve been encouraged to love, appreciate, and try new foods, which is a really lovely additional bonus to making this account.
Well, I think that just about covers me and my journey with @bucksfoodie so far. The good news is it’s far from over yet!
Ware Food Festival returns in 2021 for 7th annual event
As big foodies, we are excited to share the news that Ware Food Festival is returning for it’s 7th annual event.
Popular with traders, local residents and visitors from further afield, Ware’s 7th Annual Food Festival makes a welcome return to Tudor Square on Sunday, 13th June between 11am and 3pm.
Come hungry – there will be delicious street food on offer; from the Smok’n Greek, Maud’s Ice Cream, tacos from Healey’s Kitchen, Jamie’s Cakes & Coffee, Sweetlove Burgers and The Chef’s Table will be serving their famous sausage rolls & fried chicken. Tudor Square restaurant Manolya will be open and joining us outdoors serving their delicious Turkish food.
You can carry on later by taking a picnic for home with lovely produce from Hertfordshire Honey, Azahar Spanish food, Italian cheese & charcuterie and then top it all off with pudding from local chocolatier Kate Ashman or Ell Churros. Not forgetting a tipple from local artisan gin producer, Copper in the Clouds.
To complement this mellow, family day there will be some fishy goings on from The Fairly Fresh Fish Company and great music from Lip Service Brass Band.
Members from the TrendLife #lunchNbloggers team will be in attendance sampling the best of
All traders will be Covid secure, and visitors are asked to please be mindful of social distancing regulations in place at the time.
Ware Food Festival
Sunday 13th June 11am – 3pm
The Swan Salford recognised as worldclass in Best Companies awards
The owners of one of our favourite Milton Keynes venues has been recognised as a world-class employer in this year’s Best Companies awards.
Milton Keynes pub company Peach has officially been named one of best companies to work for in the country and been singled out as a top employer in its industry in this year’s Best Companies to Work for awards, announced on Friday 21st May 2021. Peach raced up to number 24 in the league of the nation’s best companies, and received a Three Star Accreditation, highlighting it as world-class.
The independent business, which runs The Black Horse in Woburn and The Swan at Salford came away from Friday’s virtual awards ceremony with four fantastic wins under its belt.
As well as officially being one of the UK’s 100 Best Large Companies to Work For, Peach came sixth in the UK’s Top 20 Leisure & Hospitality Companies to Work For and was named the 9th best employer in the East of England, the 13th in the Midlands and the 20th in the South East where it was also the best in hospitality.
Earning a place on a list as one of the UK’s Best Companies to Work For is an accolade like no other. It recognises a business’ commitment to its employees and shows that it sees workplace engagement as a vital part of its success. Participation is partly by a team-wide survey that asks for honest feedback on areas an employer is strong in and those it needs to improve on, such as leadership, commitment to personal growth through training and development, well-being and giving something back.
Peach scored at the top of its class by proving its commitment to its people and how it supported its teams particularly during the pandemic and focussed on the mental wellbeing of its chefs, front of house and support teams who were furloughed. Peach launched Yourhub.pub1, a social enterprise that enabled its furloughed teams to keep busy cooking and delivering food to the NHS and a total of 50 charities and keep connected to their pubs’ communities.
At the same time, it looked after the team, creating new personal development plans for individual and personal development for every team member. It also launched a Peach Hardship Support Fund for those facing financial difficulty and worked with industry charity Hospitality Action to ensure no-one in the team was left behind.
It’s the fifth year running that Peach has won a Best Company to Work For award, and a record year for the company, whose aim is to be the best gastropub company on the planet, as Peach Managing Director Hamish Stoddart explains.
“It’s our vision, we Make Life Peachy. Ever since we started Peach twenty years ago, we’ve genuinely put our people first. We’ve always believed they are the heart of a pub and utterly central to our success. Shared ownership and the longevity of our team prove this. This last year, during the pandemic, we knew it was more important than ever to take good care of the team especially when the pubs were closed and the team furloughed. It was the perfect opportunity to prove it, and we did.
“We worked incredibly hard to look after the physical and mental well-being of our people especially during lockdown. We took the opportunity to reaffirm our support to our team, both financially and through keeping in close contact and volunteering together to support the towns we’re proud to be at the heart of. We have come through together, staying true to our vision of being a great place to work, learn and grow. We are delighted to be recognised as a Three Star, world-class employer,” he said.
Peach took the opportunity to toast this year’s Best Companies success with its teams and guests in the pubs, which are now open for eating and drinking again inside, by raising a glass in celebration after the results were revealed on Friday.
Peach is aiming to grow by three or four pubs in the next year and is hiring right now. Please go to https://careers.makinglifepeachy.com/ to find out more.
Milton Keynes De Roka enters semi-finals of Kebab Awards
Located in The Hub Milton Keynes, Mediterranean restaurant Deroka has entered the semi-finals of the British Kebab Awards. With a chance of being crowned, we look at what Milton Keynes finest has to offer ahead of our #lunchNbloggers visit.
About De Roka
De Roka is a family-owned, independent restaurant that specialises in exquisite, traditional Mediterranean cuisine. Having recently reopened following the lockdown, the entire team have been focused on delivering the best dining experience for diners who have missed restaurant dining for the last year.
De Roka’s founders believe that a memorable dining experience is determined not only by the quality and flavour of the food, but also by the people that you meet. With this in mind De Roka have curated a high-spirited and welcoming atmosphere, giving their customers an experience they will cherish every time they walk through their doors.
How to vote for De Roka in the British Kebab Awards
Now in its 9th year, The British Kebab Awards is currently accepting votes for the semi-finals. De Roka is one of 19 restaurants competing for the ‘Fine Dining Restaurant’ award. You can vote online for De Roka here.
About British Kebab Awards
The British Kebab Awards in association with JUST EAT offers a chance to recognise and champion the efforts of local kebab takeaways and restaurants across the nation. Fans of their friendly neighbourhood kebab takeaways and restaurants can claim they truly do have Britain’s best kebab takeaway and restaurant by voting for them in the British Kebab Awards.
The British Kebab Awards is a true celebration of everything kebab related, which naturally draws key figures from all sections of the takeaway and restaurant sector. As a reflection of the kebab industry’s significant contribution to the UK economy and British culture in general, the awards welcome a host of celebrities, prominent politicians, journalists and most importantly the nation’s hard-working restaurant workers for an evening of celebration.