Have a butcher's at this meat selection!
PUBLISHED: 15:25 26 March 2015 | UPDATED: 15:25 26 March 2015
Contrary to some opinions, I think we do pretty well for interesting local shops. This is especially true of good local butchers - we have award-winning butchers in St Albans, Southdown and Sandridge that are well-supported by loyal customers and do a great job.
There has been a traditional butcher’s shop in Radlett for over 100 years and it has recently changed hands and had a drastic image transformation. Lewis of Radlett is owned by Lewis Graham, who took over the old Clarks butchers in December. You can find it between the well-stocked greengrocers and Wenzels the bakery on Watling Street.
With smart tiling, blackboards and baskets of eggs and condiments, the shop would not look out of place in Borough Market. All the meat is sourced directly from Smithfield Market and the choice is amazing. You can buy meat that you just cannot find in supermarkets, including seasonal game, Barbary duck and locally sourced meat. In the centre of the window display was a huge T-bone joint, ready to be cut into steaks and 21-day aged rib of beef. I counted seven kinds of kebabs that the team had made – an easy meal, and if the weather continues like this, a great barbecue option. Lamb from local Tewin Bury farm was available, as was Welsh lamb. Lewis told me that he is very happy to hear from local suppliers and gamekeepers who would like to sell their meat in the shop.
Ken the Master Butcher, who worked at Clarks beforehand, is still there, greeting his regular customers and welcoming new ones. Ken has worked as a butcher for over 30 years and can help with any advice needed about different cuts and what works well in a recipe. Jamie works alongside Ken and is in charge of sausages.
Every butcher’s shop should make their own sausages, and Jamie takes it seriously, with a sausage of the week. Lewis’s is very proud of their “Radlett Royal” sausage, although they wouldn’t tell me the recipe! Their bestseller is the chicken and apricot – apparently it is very popular with gym-goers, some of whom come from north London just for these sausages.
Lewis was telling me that the meat he buys is fresher and better quality than the supermarkets can source. I thought his prices looked fair too – free-range eggs were on sale at £1.20 for six which is very competitive with the supermarkets. You can also buy quail’s eggs, which might be fun for an Easter breakfast.
On the day I went Lewis was delighted to find out that the shop had been awarded the highest possible food hygiene rating from The Food Standards Agency; the team were taking it in turns to take photos with their new window sticker! There is such a sense of pride in the shop; the whole team is excited to be working there and several customers got in touch to tell me how much they like the shop. With this level of dedication and enthusiasm I think we can be confident that this High Street business will continue to thrive.
Lewis of Radlett is open 7am-5.30pm every day - closed Sundays.