TV’s Hairy Bikers give two Lancaster cafes a massive thumbs up during filming for new series
and live on Freeview channel 276
Lancaster’s Global Village Café and Archers Café in Bolton-le-Sands welcomed Dave Myers and Si King several months ago and will be featured in The Hairy Bikers Go West later this month.
The programme is dedicated to Lancashire, which Dave describes as his home turf, having been born in Barrow when it was still part of Lancashire.
Inspired by the cooks and the ingredients they see at the Global Village and Archers cafes, they head to the kitchen to make a dish reflecting on both Lancashire old and new.
They use salt marsh lamb from the Archers Red Bank Farm and, taking inspiration from their new friends at the Global Village Café, they create lamb chop pakoras with tahdig, a traditional Persian rice dish.
Hosting The Hairy Bikers was described as a once in a lifetime opportunity by Alan Archer, who features in the programme along with his wife Kerry, daughter Harriet and nephew Jack.
“My wife gets annoyed because I watch all the cookery programmes on television but we couldn’t turn down the opportunity with The Hairy Bikers,” said Alan.
During the summer, the crew filmed the Archers sheep on the salt marshes of Morecambe Bay, which gives them their special flavour, and then the Bikers sampled some braised lamb and a lamb burger complete with lamb bacon.
Alan’s grandparents took on the farm in 1946 and the family began rearing sheep in the 1980s. Their café opened about 16 years ago with Alan doing the cooking but has become so popular that there are now four chefs in the kitchen.
And it’s not the first time that their salt marsh lamb has featured on television as the Archers also hosted Matt Baker for a Countryfile programme a few years ago.
But the television experience was all new for the Global Village Café, which was founded in 2018 as a not for profit company offering catering services by chefs who are asylum seekers or refugees.
It was founded by Anne Baker, who appears in the programme along with other volunteers and Kurdish, Ukrainian and Sudanese chefs.
“It was a fabulous experience,” said Anne. “We’re such a small organisation but fairly unique. The Hairy Bikers liked our story and were so supportive of the plight of refugees and asylum seekers.”
While at the café, The Hairy Bikers sampled a buffet featuring Persian omelette, a Kurdish tahdig with shiraz salad and Kurdish flatbread, a Ukrainian dish known as Herrings under a Fur Coat, Syrian yalangi, and basbousa, an African tray bake semolina dessert.
Since launching, the Global Village Café has provided employment for about 50 people and caters mainly for events.
“We bring people together from different cultures and the atmosphere created in the kitchen is just magical,” said Anne. “We’re very proud that the café has done so well.”
Now based at The Cornerstone in Dalton Square, when filming took place The Global Village Café’s home was the Upper Priory Hall near to Lancaster Castle, which brought back memories for Dave who visited it often with his family when young.
The Lancashire episode of The Hairy Bikers Go West will be broadcast on BBC2 on Tuesday February 20 at 7pm.