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Fiona Cairns: My favourite places

Fiona Cairns is probably most well known for creating Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding cake  – remember that eight-tiered whopper? She’s lived in Leicestershire for more than 25 years so she’s perfectly placed to reveal some local secrets on the best places to shop, eat and wander…

Hambleton Hall 

For a special meal head to Hambleton Hall in Rutland where my training began many years ago. When I worked there in the early 1980’s it was the time of Nouvelle cuisine. The desserts (I worked as a pastry chef) were usually very decorated and it was my very first introduction to floral flavours and I have fond memories of being sent out to the garden in search of highly scented roses.

The Bakers Arms

The Bakers Arms in Thorpe Langton is a very welcoming, cosy local village  pub. When my husband and I don’t feel like cooking this is where we head for a lovely meal. I don’t really have one favourite dish but usually go for one of the fish dishes, and relax first with a glass of their  delicious Cremant de Bourgougne.

Shahi Naan Kebab

My husband’s absolute favourite kebabs and I love to join him there, or we bring them home from Shahi Naan Kebab, St Saviours road in Leicester. We usually have their chicken curry, naan and basmati rice to accompany


Beautiful designer clothes and a far too tempting shop in the middle of Market Harborough is Doyles on Church Street. I have to say, at the moment I look out for Isabel Marant there and have bought a few lovely dresses by Goat too.

Lavender Blue

Two shows sitting opposite each other and are run by a husband and wife. Selling beautiful gift cards and home decor, but what I love the most is the small selection of  fresh seasonal flowers.

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside - Leics & Rutland