No, this isn’t a local conservation story. The ‘Blue Otter Trail’ is, in fact, thename of a local campaign which will promote Hitchin as a ‘foodie’ town to encourage tourism in the area.
Many of the town’s food and drink venues and retailers are already supporting the initiative and organisers are keen for more to be involved. The aim of the trail is to publicise Hitchin’s ‘foodie scene’ nationally as well as locally with special offers, incentives and events.
It is hoped that the Blue Otter Trail, which is a collaborative effort from some of Hitchin's key venues, will stimulate interest in the town's ever-growing 'foodie scene' from local residents and food and drink fanatics further afield.
The Blue Otter Trail was the concept of Blue Otter Wines owner, Paul Payne. Payne said, “Hitchin has such a fantastic and diverse array of food and drink venues and retailers, not to mention the suppliers of local produce used by many of them. People visiting Hitchin are often surprised by how much the town has to offer so it would seem that we have something of a hidden gem here. We want to build on the excellent reputation Hitchin is achieving at the moment due to events such as Hitchin Festival and Rhythms of the World and organisations such as Hitchin Initiative and thebestof Hitchin.”
“We want as many restaurants, pubs, cafes and retailers as possible to get involved and put Hitchin on the ‘foodie’ map. We also want local residents to support the trail by giving us feedback and suggestions and encouraging their favourite venues to get involved. The more of us that are working together, the more incentives we can offer to our loyal local customers and the bigger the imprint we can make on the national food tourism scene.”
There is a Blue Otter Trail Facebook page where people can add suggestions and comments and interact with trail organisers. A preview of the trail can also be found here. The Trail was produced by Hitchin PR consultancy Gingerish Fish and is being supported and promoted by local social media consultancy Strategy 14, Hitchin Initiative and thebestof Hitchin as well as all the venues involved.
Venues currently involved in the trail are:
Blue Otter Wines
The Bridge Street Bistro
Corks Wine Bar
Chic Champagne and Cocktail Bar
Halsey’s Delicatessen and Tea Rooms
The Radcliffe Arms
Redcoats Farmhouse Hotel and Restaurant