TOURISTS have been flocking to a hidden UK gem that is home to a little-known but much-loved food hall.
The Poplar Nurseries garden centre in Marks Tey, Essex, offers a huge variety of artisan delicacies that are popular with visitors.
Poplar Nurseries food hall offers a vast range of artisan delicacies[/caption]
It is located in Marks Tey, Essex, just six miles from Colchester[/caption]
The store was originally the garden centre’s farm shop[/caption]
Located just six miles from Colchester, the 3,000sq ft food hall is attached to the garden centre on Coggeshall Road.
The little-known shop offers a wide range of deli products, as well as fresh fish from Wivenhoe trawlers and the iconic Billingsgate Fish Market.
The food hall began in 2010 as the Poplar Nurseries’ farm shop but a sharp rise in demand for their products saw it expand to stock products from local growers, farmers, and producers of foods.
Due to its popularity, it later moved into a purpose-built building opposite the garden centre.
For visitors who enjoy sweet treats, there is a range of local handmade chocolates, cakes, and baked goods.
The baked products are made fresh on-site daily and include carrot cakes, whiskey fruit cakes, chocolate fudge cakes, cheesecakes, and brownies.
And for cooking fans, the shop stocks famous brands such as Linden Lady, Carron Lodge, Stokes, Shaken Udder, Cottage Delight, and Tiptree Farmer Brown’s Maldon Salt Company.
Adnams Southwold, The Little Fish Company Kelvedon, and Cartwright & Butler products are also sold in the shop.
Poplar Nurseries says of its incredible food hall: “Supporting local producers in the surrounding area, our new Food Hall houses everything from a larger selection of local fruit and veg, fresh fish and a variety of delicious treats in the deli, through to an increased number of goods from small-batch British food and drink suppliers.
“Discover some of the delicacies we offer below or drop by to see all the produce we stock and get your hands on our homemade options, including cakes, baked goods, ready meals, and much more.”
The food hall has gone down a treat with locals and tourists alike and was even shortlisted for the title of best food hall in East Anglia in the The Farm Shop and Deli Retailer Awards 2023.
Poplar Nurseries is not only known for its food hall though, as its restaurant has also been named one of the top ten places to eat in Colchester, according to its Tripadvisor reviews.
One happy diner said: “Great food and service. The garden furniture and bbq selection very comprehensive”.
Another wrote: “Fantastic experience with Poplar Nurseries! They flawlessly catered our event for 34 people, providing delicious and well-prepared food that offered incredible value for money. The entire process was highly efficient, and the presentation was superb. We’re definitely ordering from them again!”
A third chimed in: “The staff were attentive, seemed motivated and keen to please.Our order was delivered in a reasonable time. The food was well prepared nicely presented, generous in proportion and very good to eat!”
One more added: “The menu is great and the food never disappoints. The garden centre is also lovely to walk around with a great play area for children. Highly recommended.”
It comes after The Sun travel team revealed their list of little-known UK gems that include secret gardens to hidden beaches.
And a seaside village in the UK has been named the best “coastal hidden gem” as it has some of the best beaches in the country.
Fresh baked goods are produced daily on-site[/caption]
The store also stocks brands such as Linden Lady, Carron Lodge, Stokes and Shaken Udder[/caption]