Rival Islington butchers face off with sausages at ready

Chris Godfrey Pic Tony Gay

Chris Godfrey Pic Tony Gay - Credit: Archant

»Two butchers went head to head this week for the title of sausage king after both made the final 10 of a London-wide competition.

Godfrey’s in Highbury Park, and South Downs Venison and Game (SDVG), which has a stall in Chapel Market, Islington, have been picked by the public as having some of the best bangers in town.

The two sausage purveyors had their specimens rigorously taste-tested on Tuesday by a panel of judges before the finest banger is named at the end of April.

Chris Godfrey, who runs the Highbury butchers opened by his great-great-great-great grandfather Frank 120 years ago, said: “I am very proud to be in the last 10 for this. We have very loyal customers anyway, but we are always looking to push ourselves an make things better.

“We’ve been in Islington for over 100 years and use the original recipe the family brought down from Lincolnshire in eighteen hundred and something.


“There’s sage in it, but no garlic or oregano. It’s simple, but effective, as long as the ingredients are good quality. I’m not keen on curry sausage or things like that. They’re too faddy and don’t really stand up as a sausage.

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“I would be very happy to win the award. It would really show off Islington’s heritage as the centre of the meat industry.

“For example Upper Street was a drovers road and people bought their livestock from the agricultural hall there. We’ve been here for over a century so we’re part of that.”

Jessica Smallman, who runs SDVG with husband Jack, said: “It’s really exciting to be in the top 10. We came up with the recipe ourselves – it’s venison with port and redcurrant. My husband shoots the deer, skins them and hangs them so you can trace the meat from field to fork. They’re really popular – with the horse meat scandal, people appreciate that.”

The competition is organised by Jellied Eel magazine, an ethical eating publication which enlisted food bloggers and writers to take part in this weeks’ taste test.

Ben Reynolds from the magazine said: “What we are looking for fundamentally is the best tasting sausage, something with great texture and great flavour.

“But we also looking at the story behind the sausage. We want to celebrate sausages that use local meat from the London area.”