BBC Fabulous Feasts puts oatcakes and ‘Staffordshire lobby-ish’ on Hanley menu

Emotional Fabulous Feasts presenter Andi Oliver was ‘bowled over’ by the inspiring work of the Portland Inn Project as the BBC cameras descended on Hanley to showcase our wonderful local produce. After learning about the project and the community involved, a tearful Andi hailed her ‘amazing experience’ in the city as she hosted a huge party for 100 people at the end of yesterday’s episode.

She dished up her own version of a Staffordshire lobby with the help of an ‘old friend’ – Great British Menu chef Thom Bateman who owns The Flintlock at Cheddleton. She also called on chef Cris Cohen, who runs Feasted in Stoke, to provide oatcakes for the feast – but with a twist – and visited North Staffordshire mum Emma Cronin, who founded her foraging and fermentation business Wild Pickle in 2015, for some help with local produce, resulting in a delicious dessert of ginger and stout cake.

The episode begins with Andi meeting Anna Francis and Rebecca Davies, who are both artists and co-founders of the Portland Inn Project which is currently run from a shipping container but having secured over £1 million aims to eventually transform the derelict pub and turn it into a community hub.

READ: Work to begin to turn derelict pub into community spaceWork will begin on the Portland Inn in September

READ: Life in the Stoke-on-Trent neighbourhood where houses were sold for £1 The Portland Street area of Hanley made international news when the properties were flogged

More than 500 households make up the traditionally working class Portland Street triangle in Hanley. It is among the 10 per cent most deprived neighbourhoods in the UK.

Anna says the project is all about how it can make the area better for the people who live there.

Explaining the recent history of the area, she told Andi: “I moved to this particular neighbourhood in 2014 and that was because of the £1 home scheme. This neighbourhood was supposed to be all demolished because they decided that terraced houses were not fit for families and then that scheme collapsed, and so the council had compulsory purchased lots of those homes ready to demolish them.

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