Foodie destinations: Hampshire

For those of us who plan holidays around food and drink, Hampshire mightn’t feature high on the list to visit. Sandwiched as it is between the ever-popular counties of Dorset and Sussex, it’s seen more as a gateway than a destination in its own right. In fact, the region that Keats observed brimming with mellow fruitfulness deserves more consideration, and the month of July sees a four-week celebration of the county’s produce, making it the ideal time to visit (read up on the festival in our guide).

The pretty cathedral city of Winchester boasts the biggest farmers’ market in Europe. Those of us used to UK farmers’ markets comprising French blokes punting extortionately marked-up cheese and sausages will be struck by its genuinely local feel. It’s a fortnightly Sunday market that truly showcases the region’s goods. The least local produce I found was from neighbouring Sussex and the Isle of Wight with pungent smoked bulbs and chutneys from the garlic farm (which has its own festival later in the summer).

A few miles out of Winchester sits Stockbridge, last year voted the foodiest high street in Britain. The village isn’t the prettiest in the country but has made buying a canada goose jacket online itself more of a destination than it ought to be thanks to the collection of independents trading on its long high street. There’s a cracking little deli, Thyme