Phew this week has flown past! How can it be a week since the Canterbury Food and Drink Festival? Shame on me for not getting this blog written sooner.
The last time I went to the Canterbury Food Festival it was called the Euro Fair and it was 2004! So I thought it was time I went back. As well as just wanting to have a mooch around, I was on the hunt for a birthday present for my Granma. The Canterbury traffic seemed to be double as busy as normal and I was very pleased to have gotten the bus. I hate driving when it’s chockablock.
Walking into the Dane John Gardens, I could immediately smell the alluring aroma of food cooking. Who decided to put the hot food stands at the entrance to the festival? Obviously someone who wanted to draw in the crowds! Unfortunately I’d had a massive fry up for brunch in an attempt to put an end to my hangover so I didn’t need any more to eat. But I have to say, wandering around a food festival hungover is probably the best way to save your pennies!
The gardens were really busy and there were long queues for all the food stands. Once past the hot food, I came across the long marquees lined with stalls manned by local food and drink producers, as well as crafters. I really could have spent a fortune on all the yummy goodies on offer but I managed to restrain myself and picked up a little piece of cheese that was “£1 per nibble” and some ice cream. The cheese was was very strong. It had a cheddar like consistency but the rind was mouldy. I didn’t eat that bit!
I’ve been wanting to try Simply Ice Cream for a while now, ever since I read about their delicious flavours, so I was excited to spot their trailer. I spent nearly 5 minutes agonising over which flavour to choose, finally settling for maple and pecan. The guy spent a while rummaging in his freezer and finally found what he was looking for. It was only after I’d walked away that I realised he’d given me chocolate and hazelnut instead! But it didn’t matter as I’d happily have eaten any of the flavours on offer. The ice cream was very chocolatey with crushed hazelnuts in; it tasted like praline. It thawed really slowly so I was able to savour it for quite a while.
With all these distractions it would have been easy to forget Granma’s present! Luckily I didn’t and I picked up a couple of jars of jam for her. The first was raspberry curd (I tried a sample and it was scrummy and buttery!) and the second gooseberry and elderflower. Once home, I placed them in a cellophane gift bag and secured it with a ribbon so it looked like a neat gift. She was pleased so that’s the most important thing!
This year, the Canterbury Food and Drink Festival was organised by the people behind Lounge of the Farm, and they wanted to achieve more of a “festival” vibe. By the hot food stands there was a busking corner surrounded by hay bales, and by the beer tent, in the bandstand, local bands performed, one of which was local bluegrass four-piece Gentlemen of Few, who I’ve heard on Radio 2, I think they’ve been nominated for the BBC Young Folk Awards. They are bloody brilliant! This is them on YouTube:
I’ll definitely be going again next year, but this time I’ll take my husband along and make a day of it.