Best of Bedford: Anne Harnan

This month’s Best of Bedford comes from Taste Bedford co-founder, Anne Harnan.

Anne is compering the Food Theatre at this year’s event and she definitely knows her onions. She’s taught at John Christopher Novelli’s Academy  and worked with celeb chefs including Mary Berry, Sophie Grigson, Phil Vickery, Nigella Lawson and more.

Here are her best bits of Bedford, including her many favourite cafes, best place for quiet contemplation and the town’s worst-kept secret for brunch…

Name: Anne Harnan

Occupation: Home Economist: a food writer and consultant. Plus co-founder of TASTE, Bedford’s amazing food and music festival!

Born here or blow in? Born in Kent, moved up as a kid when Dad worked for Texas Instruments. Blown about a bit then settled back here with family.

Best thing about Bedford? The lovely country parks and all the surrounding countryside in the villages – despite being one of the flattest counties.

Best place to get a coffee or cuppa? So many to choose from! I love being nosy through the kitchen window of The Gallery where Companions Bakery now reside. Vanilla Tree does an amazing variety of posh hot chocs and tea infusions. Fancy for vintage china and home-made cakery. Or the sunny riverside balcony at Fays at The Star Rowing Club…

Best breakfast? I love brunch – had a very nice one at Albero Lounge recently, along with the rest of Bedford apparently!

The one place you’d recommend to visitors? Any secret spot along the banks of The Ouse: which has amazing wildlife so close to the town. If I HAVE to divulge secrets, I’d suggest Priory Country Park when it’s quiet – the early morning or evenings for beautiful peace and wonderful nature.

Ever read John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress? Yes! Although it was an abridged version with pictures. I love the imagining of Bedford locations in the story – that Christian guy is a bit worthy though 😉  We used to sing ‘To Be A Pilgrim’ in school assemblies – do they still do that??

Bedford’s best boozer? I’m more of a dinner and wine gal: so any of the lovely independent eateries in town. La Fontana is a great family-run Italian where you’re welcomed as an old friend. Sapori del Sud is a little gem for rustic Calabrian cooking.


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