The Lake District is an absolutely fantastic place for a holiday. Keswick has phenomenal scenery, the views from Friars Cragg across Derwentwater are stunning, there are great pubs and the Square Orange is a marvellous place to relax with a paper and a beer. Those are some of the reasons Keswick has been a repeated destination for me over the years, and another of them is a supermarket, as odd as that might sound. Booths is a supermarket chain based almost entirely in the north west of the country, with a few stores creeping across into ‘our’ territory. My first encounter with them came, as you may now have guessed, in Keswick where I found the deli counter, meat counter and real ale selection particularly broad and of high quality. Moving forward to the present day, after many more excuses to visit the Lakes, we were invited to pop across to Ripon and check out the launch of this year’s Booths Christmas book which is fast becoming an annual marker for the start of festive season judging by the excitement shown by the crowds!
We spent a couple of very happy hours taking full advantage of the Booths Christmas hospitality and enjoying the Booths prosecco along with samples of various treats that’ll be appearing on their shelves in the run up to Christmas. On the drinks front, Hepple Gin was represented with huge enthusiasm, and a very detailed description of the production process that I won’t get into here, alongside St Peters Ales and Penderyn Welsh Whisky.
The cheese selection was, predictably, beyond reproach while the selection of smoked salmon was fantastic with the ‘Salmon and Prawn centrepiece’ really stealing the show. A brand I’d not consciously come across before, True Foods, provided another highlight with their chicken liver parfait with sloe gin jelly that demands repeat tasting.
We left the event full of Booths Christmas samples and sparkling wine clutching my only complaint, a pink carrier bag that I shall have to foist onto someone who’ll look less silly than me carrying it. With home delivery now an option, the Booths experience isn’t limited to small parts of the country. I’ll still wheel it out as an excuse to visit the Lakes though.