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As a relative newcomer to Plymouth, I am delighted to welcome you to the city and encourage you to explore its many undiscovered gems. When we first decided we were going to open a new River Cottage Canteen & Deli, I have to admit, Plymouth was not on our list of potential locations. Though I had been to the city occasionally for book signings, and enjoyed a very warm welcome from the Plymothians I met, I had never really had a proper look around.

However one visit to the city’s Royal William Yard, with its magnificent Grade 1 Listed architecture, spectacular waterfront views, world class maritime history and food heritage and I had a whole new outlook on the city. Plymouth is, as I am discovering, right at the heart of some of the UK’s most beautiful scenery: the natural amphitheatre of Plymouth Sound, bleak and beautiful Dartmoor, Cornwall just over the Tamar Bridge and the lovely South Hams to the East.

As a city, it’s a community with a big vision: to be one of Europe’s most vibrant waterfront cities. And I have been struck by how much stimulating activity is already here: The Theatre Royal, the new Life Centre, The National Marine Aquarium, renowned 20th Century architecture and the historic Elizabethan Barbican area. It’s also home to a leading University known for its enterprise and marine technology expertise.

But what really excites our young team at the River Cottage Canteen & Deli is Plymouth’s remarkably rich food offer: we have access to some of the best fish in the UK, the Tamar Valley is packed with apples, cherries and wonderful market garden produce, and we have discovered some top notch local organic meat and cheese suppliers.

So if, like me, you’ve never thought about exploring Plymouth, come down and take a look. There’s plenty to see and do - and I can promise you a very good lunch alongthe way!

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

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