By the time we got there it was extremely hot, much hotter than any of us anticipated, and I really regretted wearing jeans.
As we approached Cumber Park and turned into a gorgeous tree lined drive, Cars were queueing as far as the eye could see. I think we left it a little bit too late to arrive, by noon it was absolutely rammed. We follow the signs to the festival and all of a sudden they stopped (I was looking for the exhibitors entrance to collect my ticket) however we found somewhere to park in under 20 minutes which wasn’t too bad. It took us three or four attempts at asking people before we found the festival after we parked though, as no one we encountered was actually heading that way and the signs weren’t very useful.
However once we got in, we navigated our way around easily. There was a massive tent with exhibitors to one side, the cookery theatre behind, and the school of Artisan food to the other side.
The school of Artisan food tent was heaving, so we didn’t actually manage to go in, however from speaking to other people, there were a wide range of hands on courses that you could do throughout the tent. Things like cheesemaking and ice cream making were on display and it only cost £5 to partake. I wish I’d hung around to have a go at the dough balls!
Here are my top picks from the festival
These guys distill a gorgeous elderflower vodka, using coriander, licorice, Cardamon, lemon and Orris Root, all made in Northamptonshire. It tasted absolutely delicious and the guys were offering some lovely cocktails on their stall which went down a treat – especially the Elderflower Prosecco Fizz. Mmmmm
Yet again these guys put a smile on my face. If you read my previous posts about food festivals you know that these are one of my top favourites for a bite to eat. I bought one of their sweet and smoky barbecue pork sausage rolls, and also a pork, tikka and mango chutney sausage roll which was incredible. Can wait to see you again guys.
Cranes of Cambridge have created a delicious new ‘cider’ made uniquely from cranberries. Cranes is unique, as the alcohol comes from brewed crushed cranberries, not apples. I’m not a fan of cider, and this is absolutely darling. It doesn’t contain any artificial colour, flavour or preservative and is so rich in colour that that’s hard to believe. It comes in three distinctive flavours, original Cranberry, raspberry and pomegranate and then my favourite, strawberry and Kiwi. They have also created a Cranbury and blood orange liqueur, which was sweet, refreshing, and would be great over ice. The Cranes brand was featured in vogue’s ‘most wanted’ list, if it’s good enough for Vogue it’s good enough for me.
These guys will deliver freshly readymade cocktails to your door, all you need is ice. They even provide the cups so you don’t have to wash up. This sounds like my sort of cocktail place! They had an incredibly sweet ‘Marshmallow Fluff’ cocktail, which is a mixture of gin, marshmallow vodka and marshmallow fizzy pop that was right up my street!
Honestly, this is without doubt the best food I’ve ever had at a food festival. I went for the falafel wrap, with hummus, salad and authentic sauces, all wrapped up in a laffa bread. They make all of their sauces, and I had the coriander pistou made from fresh coriander, lemon, garlic and extra-virgin olive oil, along with the Amba – a mango and tumeric dressing to tantalise the taste buds. I just wish they weren’t so far away in Gloucestershire, as I would honestly eat this every day.
Masons Yorkshire Gin
Yorkshire want a Gin to be proud of, and I certainly believe they’ve got it with Masons. Each of the bottles has it own handwritten batch and bottle number, and is distilled in 200 litre batches. I their Yorkshire Tea Gin, which tastes exactly like tea!!!! Each of the Yorkshire tea teabags, are hand ripped and poured into the gin. I also tried, and bought the Masons lavender Yorkshire gin, which is a gorgeously gentle lavender flavour and looks beautiful in my gin collection. I now need to find a great recipe for lavendar gin cocktails.
I love a flavoured gin, and this raspberry infused one is delicious. Created in Cambridge, and using fresh raspberries, this is produced with five botanicals to an original recipe. It makes a really refreshing, different G&T, with a really delicate and a delicious flavour. The best thing? Nothing goes to waste, they sell their raspberries in little jars cutely named boozy berries. The reason their named boozy? Because they are recycled after they’ve been in that lovely alcoholic Gin!! Apparently they’re great in pavlova, but I think I’ll just eat them straight out of the jar.
So, a few new retailers, a few more bottles of Gin, and the retailers I already love. The parking was expensive (but it is National Trust, so by paying I hope I’m helping them continue for a few more years), finding the festival little hard, but incredible weather, fantastic live music throughout the day and an incredible amount of street food stalls, made this a really enjoyable day.