Four more blogs join the northern food bloggers map

A warm to welcome to four new entries on the Northern Food bloggers map. Does all this activity represent something of a resurgence in food blogging for the north? I don’t know but wouldn’t that be a welcome move 🙂

First up we have Food and Frets from Hebburn. (And yes, that is a real place and not just a television producer’s fantasy.) Up there in south Tyneside, Steve, a former butcher, cook and teacher, is busy serving up recipes and reviews around Newcastle.

He’s even tackled that masculine no-man’s land of quiche! 

Then we have a trio of Leeds foodies added to the map: has been running since 2011 and Claire aims it at resturant reviews mostly in the city but occasionally further afield. is about a search for just that from blogger Rebecca who believes that food can bring people together. “I have learnt this from my Mum, who can whip up a dinner for four in under 30 minutes.”

– And Diane is also looking at Leeds although with she does reveiw stuff further afield when travelling in the UK or abroad.

Welcome all. If you belong on the map, drop me a line wither in the comments, on Twitter @foodiesarah or by email and tell me a bit about your blog and I’ll include them in the next update.

Restaurant discovery platform Zomato launches in Manchester

zomatoI say tom-a-to, they say zom-a-to!

This newcomer on the Manchester food scene is a tech start-up bringing a hyperlocal restaurant finder for web and mobile to the city.

Already making moves in Dubai and India, the young company has set its sights on the UK and this week quietly launched in Manchester.

As they explained to me, the launch was deliberately low key as they build up the contacts and knowledge locally to understand the city’s particular needs and habits.

The team is busy securing an office in the city (possibly in the Northern Quarter) as well as meeting with food bloggers to forge links into the online community.

Of course they’ll be jostling for attention among both big media players such as the MEN’s City Life listings pages as well as the smaller players like ManchesterConfidential.

So what does Zomato Manchester, with an existing 14m global users per month for the main site, have to offer that’s different?

A screengrab from the app
A screengrab from the app
The service’s USP is a full menu service. Every single restaurant, cafe and food outlet has been contacted and the menus extracted to be displayed to users searching for a style of food, the price they’re willing to pay or the location.

And they don’t just display that as a one-off – the menus are checked and updated as necessary every three months – quite an undertaking considering they are featuring Manchester’s 1,800 outlets.

I’ve been trying out the iPhone app and there’s a few interesting features. Firstly it’s location-aware so search results can relate to the users actual position.

For those of us that like to review the places we eat in, there’s an interesting badging system for contributors which rewards them based upon followers and the number of reviews in order to establish super users who are trusted voices.

The search also allows users to create circles of people to follow for recommendations so building a social network within the specialised genre of food for a particular location. I think that’s pretty neat.

It will be fascinating to see how it evolves. In London, where they launched just seven months ago, The Daily Mirror’s Martin Newman wrote in the Huffington Post of how they were blitzing London’s ultra competitive restaurant listings.

Zomato’s breadth of coverage now exceeds all their existing London competitors with their main selling point the scanned copies of menus for every one of their listings. They’ve signed up several thousand members and their website is attracting hundreds of thousands of hits a month – all without having spent a penny on advertising the London arm!

One to watch.

Recipe: Pan Haggerty

Katys Pan Haggerty

Guest blogger Katy Runacres has cooked up a treat with this recipe for famous northern dish Pan Haggerty.

She says: “This is a recipe originally from Newcastle and the Northumberland region. It is thought to be originally made by Geordie coalminers to warm the belly and fill you up! It is a one pot meal which is similar to a potato gratin but a true British Northern recipe.”

According to the Information Britain website,  the addition of bacon marks the start of some luxury for “a dish that tells a story of poverty and ingenuity, and also of the close links that Northumberland had and has with Scotland – the root of Haggerty is said to be the same as haggis , both derived from the French hache, meaning chopped.”


It’s a very easy and simple recipe with not too many obscure ingredients. This recipe makes for two hungry people.


  • 4 potatoes (peeled)
  • 1 carrot (peeled)
  • 1 onion (peeled)
  • 4/5 rashers of bacon chopped up
  • 4 handfuls of good cheddar cheese or similar hard strong flavoured cheese
  • Salt and pepper
  • Vegetable or meat stock (get one pint ready but may use less)


  • Thinly slice carrots, potatoes and onions.
  • Fry your bacon in a little oil in a pan.
  • Empty the bacon from the pan and take off the heat.
  • Start layering the thinly cut potato, carrot, onion and the fried bacon in the same pan, layer by layer.
  • Once you have done this, add vegetable stock so it just covers up and over the top layer.
  • Let the whole thing simmer at medium heat for approximately 30 minutes with a lid on. It will bubble away!
  • Add grated cheddar cheese to top, and a little salt and pepper.
  • Put your grill on in oven then place the pan under the grill until the cheese is all melted and golden.

Once all is ready tuck in with a fork or spoon and have some bread on hand too to soak up all the juices.

Katy Runacres offers more recipes or news at her blog:

Do you have a northern food recipe to share? Let me know.

Northern bakery creates Britain’s most expensive loaf – £30

Sarah Hartley

Roberts Royal LoafHow much?! Yes the Cheshire set now has a loaf to suit its tastes from Roberts bakery complete with fruity ‘jewels’ and a crust of real gold.

Each regal loaf costs the princely sum of £30 to produce – eclipsing the £21 Shepherd Loaf produced by Hobbs House Bakery in the Cotswolds, which was previously the most expensive in the country.

The limited edition bread – a sweet-tasting brioche, with Welsh butter from Castle Welsh dairy and Welsh water from Brecon Carreg – won’t be available down your local supermarket but you can enter online for a chance to win one.

MD Mike Braddock explains that the costly creation is all about some baby that’s due soon: “We believe all our bread is fit for a king – or queen – but this loaf is extra special.

“This is our way of toasting the new arrival that the whole country has been waiting for. We hope everyone who gets to try it agrees.”

Just 50 of Roberts’ royal loaves are being made to commemorate the birth of Wills and Kate’s first baby and registration is open now at to win one. Once the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s new arrival comes into the world, the first 50 names drawn at random from the entries received will each get a loaf.

All we need now is the royal cheese…………