Springs’ smokery, a gem nestled in the south downs

Springs’ smokery has been one of my favourite places for quite a while now. To be precise, I discovered them in 2013 through the Peter James crime novel ‘Dead Man’s Grip’. Shortly after finishing the book, I decided to set out and find the place ‘tucked away in a valley in the south downs’ as Peter James described it. While I love reading crime novels, I even more, like to explore the places authors choose as a setting for their books, especially if they are local to me. At this point I had no idea that such a great place existed and practically on my doorstep! I have to say, Springs’ is really tucked away and perhaps some narrow country lane driving experience would be helpful when manoeuvring to the tiny village called Edburton. On the way you will pass by some great country pubs and walking trails to explore the amazing countryside and work up an appetite. As I live very rural myself, that was not an obstacle and I was prepared for tractors or other big vehicles coming at me on the narrow country lanes.

Springs’ have been smoking their salmon over smouldering Sussex oak since 1964, starting out with the Harris family. Their following started out local, but soon enough word spread. Back then, Harrods and Selfridges were one of their first customers. Today Springs’ deliver to a portfolio of well known 5* hotels in London and across the UK. They pride themselves on traditional preparation and the master smokers will only accept RSPCA assured salmon from reputable suppliers. After the second generation of the Harris family decided to retire, the Owen family took over the smokery, vowing to carry on the artisan way of smoking salmon while also collaborating with local producers.

The fillets are first cured by coating them in dry salt, drawing out any moisture. With this way of preparing the fish, no additives, colouring or preservatives are used. Once this step is completed, the fish is suspended in the brick kilns over smouldering logs. Whole logs are used to delicately flavour the salmon for up to 36 hours; that’s up to three times longer than many commercial producers.

The shop is food heaven, with the complete Springs range available just yards from where they are smoked. It is so comprehensive, you can find smoked chicken and duck breast, bacon as well as cod roe, kippers, haddock, mackerel and pate’s. Those are just a few. Springs’ also recently started to smoke cheese; and I can only highly praise the taste of the oak smoked blue cheese and cheddar. Further to that they stock a wide range of Pott’s sauces, another local company from Sussex, pickled Rollmops herring and condiments together with a well stocked freezer. For me it is impossible, to not buy something more, in addition to what I originally set out to buy.

In another local collaboration, they are one of only 3 stockists for kernware, stoneware made in Pulborough. A collection of simple and utilitarian high-fired stoneware ceramics designed to complement and enhance the home. Produced through traditional pottery techniques of hand-forming and hand-throwing. You can see the full range in the shop or here and Springs’ is happy to order them for you if they are not in stock at the shop.

I guess it is obvious by now, just how much I like this place and I want to thank the owner, Simon, for allowing me to take a tour of the smokery and to Laura, for giving the tour. It was a fantastic experience and I very much enjoyed it. To sum Springs’ up, it’s a place that stayed true to the artisan ways of smoking and the hand filleting skills, which 100% reflect on taste and quality. I can only highly recommend that you take a trip to the small village ‘tucked away in a valley in the south downs’ and experience the excellent customer service, knowledgeable staff, lovingly prepared produce and philosophy they stand by to this day.

If you can’t make it out to them they also deliver to a lot of co-ops in Burgess hill, Hove, Chichester, Southbourne, along with Budgens Hassocks and Budgens Henfield. In Brighton they deliver to Devesons green grocer or just order from their website.

Check out their website here and like them on Facebook to get news about events. They teamed up with Riddle & Finns in Brighton for great dining events featuring their products, just looking at the menu makes your mouth water.

Feature image and logo provided by Springs smokery

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