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Words: Melanie Burton
Photography: Mick Fox
Featured in the December 2016 issue

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Known as the ‘capital of the Wolds’ the beautiful Georgian market town of Louth is renowned for its long-established, family run traditional businesses which have stood the test of time.

Whether you have a passion for shopping or an interest in history, this charming town offers an array of attractions and activities: from the stunning St James’ Church sporting the tallest medieval parish spire in the country, to the shopping area dotted with countless independent retailers, inns and magnificent Georgian and Victorian houses.

Visit the bustling weekly markets and sample some of Lincolnshire’s finest produce, in its shops selling everything from speciality cheeses through to Lincolnshire Plum Loaf.

Weekly markets are held on a Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Farmers’ markets are held on the fourth Wednesday of every month and Food Friday takes place on the second Friday of each month.

If you can’t visit on a market day, you won’t be disappointed as Louth has fabulous food shops including award-winning butchers, bakers, fishmongers, greengrocers and a cheese shop. It is a delight for foodie lovers and was hailed by TV chefs The Hairy Bikers as a “foodie Mecca”. In fact Louth is one of the UK’s best-loved foodie hot-spots.

Now a plan has been launched that aims to maximise the ‘untapped potential’ of the Lincolnshire Wolds as a visitor destination.

Developed in partnership with the business community and East Lindsey, West Lindsey and North East Lincolnshire Councils, the Destination Plan sets out a programme of actions that seek to develop the visitor offer in the Lincolnshire Wolds and further promote what the area, particularly Louth, has to offer.

As part of the work, the Love Lincolnshire Wolds branding has been launched to give the Wolds instant brand recognition along with the website – lovelincolnshirewolds.com – a hub of information for visitors. 

As well as providing information about local attractions, the website allows event organisers and businesses to create and manage their own listings.

The Lincolnshire Wolds is a rolling landscape of outstanding natural beauty and is a popular visitor destination for couples, families and retirees who come to the area for walking, cycling, relaxation, markets, and heritage and nature reserves.

At present the Wolds visitor economy is worth approximately £100 million per annum.

As well as the website, the plan includes Wold Host customer care training for tourism businesses, the establishment of private sector partnerships, a defined brand, and the identification of hidden gems.

Portfolio holder for rural economy and market towns at East Lindsey District Council, Councillor Adam Grist, said: “This is the first destination plan to have been produced for the Lincolnshire Wolds and it sets out the commitment and actions from both councils and the business community to increase the visitor economy in the Lincolnshire Wolds.

“We firmly believe that the Wolds has massive untapped potential as a visitor destination and we want to ensure we’re doing all we can to encourage visitors to come here and then give them a great experience when they arrive.”

Independent butchers and bakers, fresh local produce – Louth is a magnet for discerning foodies.

It is a traditional English market town whose agricultural heritage and wealth of fresh local produce more than justifies the town’s claim as ‘The larder of Lincolnshire’. Some of the nation’s finest vegetables, meat, poultry, game, cheeses and breads are produced, distributed, sold and enjoyed here.

They include famed Lincolnshire sausages, plum bread, stuffed chine, samphire and other local delights, available in award-winning shops and eateries as well as the town’s lively street markets.

Lakings of Louth is a prime example. Founded in 1908, more than a hundred years ago, it was originally run through two shops in the town, and was later amalgamated to bring together the ‘beef’ shop from 71 Eastgate to the ‘pork’ shop at the present site of 33 Eastgate.

It offers a full range of butchery goods, sourced from local farms and the local market.

Lakings of Louth displays traditional quality fresh beef, lamb and pork. Its pork comes from local sources and is prepared for the shop as well as its manufacturing department. Poultry comes from Norfolk and is delivered at least twice weekly. Bacon is supplied by local and Scottish sources and it also produces its own dry cured bacon and hams, which are cut and packed on the premises throughout the week.

All bakery products are produced on site as are the desserts and ready meals. All departments produce meat and meat products on a daily basis.

Its bakery bakes bread, pies, pastries and cakes throughout the day and it aims to have warm Cornish pasties and sausage rolls available for most of its opening hours.

Sausages are prepared daily and contain no additives or preservatives. They are filled into natural casings. The seasoning is prepared to a recipe going back many years.

A full range of cooked meats are prepared on the premises. Hams, turkey, beef and pork are prepared daily to be boiled or roasted in ovens ready for slicing in the shop. Orders are prepared for weddings and functions on most weekends.

But Louth has more than quality food – it is a true shopping experience. Unlike towns that have lost their family-owned stores to the big High Street chains and supermarkets, Louth has an abundance of speciality shops selling everything from fashion to furniture, crafts to cookware and to suit all pockets.

Take Eve & Ranshaw for instance. It is a family run department store which combines a unique and contemporary shopping experience with a sense of heritage. In its departments, spread over two floors, you will find inspirational ranges for yourself, family and home.

Adam Eve, born in 1755, a farmer’s son from Scartho near Grimsby opened his first shop in October 1781 during the reign of King George III at 1 Market Place, Louth, where you will still find the shop today. The small lattice-windowed shop began as a drapers and grocers.

Although Adam’s original shop was small, he saw a bright future and as he prospered, the shop became a rendezvous for the gentlemen of Louth and the district.

Ten years after first opening his shop, Adam purchased the James Street wool spinning factory and began to make the exquisite flat weave carpets, for which Louth became renowned.

The factory closed in 1883; however, Adam’s shop continued to flourish and expand. It was run by John Campbell, Charles Bowmar and in the 1870s by members of both the Eve and Ranshaw families.

BODY COMFORT
Nestling in the middle of Louth lies a haven for those with joint or muscular conditions.

Stella Arden & Associates is a well established, long running Osteopathic Practice and is headed up by Stella herself.

With a wealth of experience and a passion for her work, Stella runs a warm and friendly practice which is conveniently situated next to the car park in Broadbank.

Along with her associate partners, Saroja and Antonia, there is always someone on hand to help and advise with every aspect of improving structural flexibility and comfort within the body.

Osteopaths are true family practitioners and can help people with mechanical problems associated with every age, from newborn babies to the elderly.

All the osteopaths use a structural approach as well as cranial osteopathy, which is known for its very subtle and gentle techniques throughout the body.

For any further information or to book an appointment at the Louth practice or at the satellite clinic in Woodhall Spa, please call 01507 608166 or 01526 354324 where Fiona or Ann will be happy to help you.

GIFTS GALORE IN STORE
The season of Christmas shopping is now well underway. With a few weeks still to go it’s not yet time to panic – but it is time to make plans. My recommendation is to start in Louth!

The market town of Louth is an attractive destination at any time of year, and Christmas is no exception. What makes us so different is the number of independent shops and stores which demonstrate a fantastic individuality and combine to make a really different shopping experience.

At Eve & Ranshaw we consider ourselves fortunate to be an integral part of the Louth scene. We may have stood here in the centre of town for over two centuries but our offer continues to be fresh and exciting. All our departments (Ladies & Menswear, Lingerie, Gifts for every occasion) offer great ideas for Christmas.

So do make Louth – and Eve & Ranshaw – your first port of call!

Eve & Ranshaw Ltd, 1 Market Place, Louth LN11 9NT, Tel: 01507 602902, Fax: 01507 609517, www.eve-ranshaw.co.uk

KENWICK PARK WEDDINGS
It’s hard not to fall in love with Kenwick Park Hotel. Set within the magnificent grounds of Kenwick Park Estate just outside of Louth, the hotel is the perfect location for any couple’s special day.

The country house hotel exquisitely blends an old-style feel with modern facilities, and the hotel has become synonymous with hosting both classic and unique weddings.

A team of experienced staff will be on hand to help every step of the way, from the initial enquiry right through to the big day itself.

Their flexible approach enables you to create the wedding you have dreamed of. There are no set options or restrictions at Kenwick and staff do everything they can to help you plan and budget your day, your way.

They offer wedding packages to suit all budgets and if the packages do not suit your needs, they are more than happy to create a bespoke occasion.

Kenwick is already a popular retreat for brides-to-be to enjoy a night of relaxation of pampering prior to the big day with their bridal party, combining a night in a luxury lodge in the woods, delicious food and drink at Kenwick Park Hotel and beauty treatments.

KENWICK PARK EVERGREENSPA
EvergreenSpa at Kenwick Park in Louth offers a range of pampering treatments, indulgent spa days and relaxing spa stay packages.

Whether you are visiting for your regular facial, essential grooming treatments or a pre-occasion top to toe pamper, you can enjoy our range of Elemis, Natural Spa Factory and OPI treatments and products.

With a range of half and full day packages along with twilight evenings and pure pampering packages, we ensure there is something to suit everyone. Our unique woodland breaks are perfectly packaged with spa treatments and use of the spa to ensure a relaxing weekend escape.

Spa Facilities include: twenty-metre Indoor Swimming Pool with stunning timber roof ceiling, Poolside Thermal Spa Suite with: Tepidarium, Sauna with Salt Wall, Steam Room, Ice Room, Feature Showers, Foot Spas and Jacuzzi style Spa Pool, Outdoor Hydrotherapy Pool, Exclusive Spa Lounge offering lunch, afternoon teas and refreshments, ten treatment rooms including two twin rooms, Relaxation Room for post-treatment relaxation, Exclusive Female Spa Guest Changing Rooms and Gymnasium.

Call 01507 353008 or visit www.kenwick-park.co.uk to download our spa brochure.

ORCHID BOUTIQUE
With Christmas fast approaching, you may be forgiven for forgetting yourself and your wardrobe. But don’t fret, Orchid Boutique is here to help. Our collections from Oui, Bianca and Monari offer the essence of versatility, giving everyday comfort and style, meaning little or no effort needed to work on putting those looks together, leaving you to concentrate on getting super prepared for the festive season.

Then, from the perfect party frock to the last-minute gift, we also have plenty of ideas to keep you happy: Our Frank Lyman, Michaela Louisa and Paul Brial ranges offer a variety of versatile dresses that will take you through day to evening, and ensure you look and feel amazing over the holidays.

With winter now established, our long knitted jackets and super-soft sweaters are the perfect companion for the cold days and are also the perfect treat to put under the tree. And who can resist an elegant scarf? Just the thing for any trend setting woman. Plus our free gift wrapping means you’ll have Christmas all wrapped up in no time! Should the choice be too hard, opt for a gift voucher – available in any amount – to spend in their favourite local boutique. Happy shopping and Merry Christmas X.

DANIELLA’S
Re-Boot your wardrobe! Give boring autumn footwear the boot this year. If you’re looking for truly perfect shoes, then head over to Daniella’s based on Little Eastgate in Louth.

As many of us are now looking towards winter, which means a change in our wardrobe choices, you will be certain to find those essential boots you’ve been looking for here. From fur lined boots to ladylike luxe, with the winter events season on the horizon make sure you bubble, fizz and are the life of the party – just like a fine champagne.

If you have a big event coming up, get in early to find your perfect shoes, don’t leave it till the last minute. The change in season can only mean a new bag, even the convenience of a large tote needn’t mean less glamour, plus it’s the ideal present – what better treat for the lady in your life to unwrap on Christmas morning? Alternatively, a gift voucher from her favourite shop, available in any amount, is perfect for that special someone who is hard to buy for.

We pride ourselves on making sure that every customer is given personal service, whatever their requirements, and offer a free gift wrapping service. Merry Christmas!

AWARD WINNERS OF LOUTH
One thing Louth is renowned for is its award-winning butchers and bakers and this year has proved no exception.

Among the top prize winners in the 2016 Lincolnshire Poacher competition, some hailed from the town including Trevor Fairburn Butchers, Meridian Meats and Pocklington’s Bakery.

Trevor Fairburn Butchers won gold awards for their Lincolnshire sausage, speciality sausage, haslet, smoked bacon (short back) and dry cure bacon (short back). It also received nine silver and three bronze awards.

Meridian Meats received seven silver awards – including one for their stuffed chine and two for their Lincolnshire sausages – in addition to six bronze awards.

Pocklington’s Bakery won three gold awards for three varieties of plum breads, plus four silver awards and three bronze awards.

The competition, which is organised by Lincolnshire County Foods, is one of the most prestigious regional food events, celebrating Lincolnshire’s status as one of Britain’s most important food-producing areas.

Trevor Fairburn is a family run butchers and bakers located in the heart of the town centre.

It was established in 1989 but back in 2010 the renowned Louth sausage maker Chris Fenwick joined Trevor and the team. He brought with him a vast knowledge and different ideas and flavours of sausage for which he had won many an award.

Chris had also met the Queen and Prince Philip. Sadly Chris passed away in 2011 but his legacy lives on through Fairburns.

Meridian Meats is a Q Guild butcher specialising in traditional British breeds, craft butchery, dry-aging and forgotten cuts.

Everything it sells can be traced back to the farm of its origin, and it works very closely with local suppliers to make sure that all meat is high welfare and non-intensive.

As well as purchasing from local farms it also rears a large quantity of its own beef and lamb at its farm in Tetford.

Meridian Meats started life as an outlet for its own home produced Longhorn beef in 1997, but since then it has evolved and grown into one of Lincolnshire’s leading independent butchers.

The name Meridian Meats came about because its farm at nearby Tetford is crossed by the Greenwich Meridian Line.

In the late autumn of 2007 a new opportunity arose and by Christmas it had taken over a retail butchers shop in Louth which is situated beside where the Meridian Line passes through Louth.

Pocklington’s Bakery was established in 1924 by Cyril Pocklington, the third youngest of fourteen children of Louth miller, James Pocklington.

Best known for its famous Lincolnshire Plum Bread, it has a modern bakery situated in the small village of Withern, where the family have lived since the mid-1800s.

Although products are not available to buy from the bakery it supplies many businesses across the county.

Its shop is in the heart of Louth and it also has a well-stocked market stall in Top Town Market, Grimsby.

FAMILY JEWELLER READY FOR FESTIVE SEASON
Striacroft Jewellers are Louth’s longest established family jewellers, trading from their Butcher Lane store since 1978. This Christmas they have some exciting new lines available, including Fei Lui, the Chinese born designer who combines eastern heritage with western design. Another award-winning designer, Guðbjörg Kristín Ingvarsdótir is the name behind the unique Icelandic jewellery brand Aurum.

Aurum’s jewellery pieces are notable for their fine detail and delicate nuances that give them a feminine touch but at the same time a light, modern appearance. The inspiration for their shapes is taken largely from Icelandic nature. A new watch brand for this season is Henry London, a reinvention of a classic watch design with prices starting from £99. There’s a new gent’s giftware range from Dalvey of Scotland with high quality wallets, pocket watches, flasks and compasses. Along with a huge range of traditional gold, silver and diamond jewellery, Striacroft have gift ideas for all ages and budgets. 0% finance available in store and a large range of products available online at www.striacroft.co.uk

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