Newstead Abbey, formerly an Augustan monastery before the Dissolution, is probably best known as the ancestral home of that old rake Lord Byron but this last weekend it played host to the Great Food and Drink Fair.
I used to go to lots of these fairs but I have to be honest, they began to become a bit “samey” if you know what I mean. If you stay local, then you often get the same suppliers turning up, and lovely as many of them are, if you go to enough Food Fairs you tend to come across the same people time and time again. I am also a bit wary of Food Fairs that charge an entrance fee (or fleece you on the car-parking) as above a certain level I feel I am paying for the privilege of spending my money.
Anyhow, we took a chance on Newstead as we’ve not been to a Food Fair there yet and, to be fair (no pun etc) it was pretty good, with some new suppliers I hadn’t come across before and “free events” (cooking demos etc that were presumably paid for through the entrance fee). Still, though, we had paid £24.00 to enter before we had even had a sample of chutney.
So, here is a quick photo journey of the Newstead Great Food and Drink Fair, with a few views thrown in.
Over the last few years Nottingham seems to have become home to so many fabulous artisan coffee roasters, maybe it is something in the water? Anyway, we stumbled upon these new guys at Newstead and fell in love with their distinctive and different Rocko Mountain from Ethiopia. We promised ourselves that we would come back to get some before we left, but, of course, we forgot. Need to find time to check their website.
Absolutely loved this stuff. Highly recommend you check them out. Seems to me that if it can be smoked these guys will smoke it. I must admit I am a bit of a sucker for smoked goods, and there are few things that can’t be improved by a bit of wood-smoke (expect, possibly, maybe, the Stilton cheese……). These guys will help me get Christmas sorted this year, really good quality stuff and such a huge range.
Absolutely (no pun intended) love Vodka. Vodka and I go back a very long way. In fact, I used to love vodka just a little too much so have virtually cut it out of my drinks repertoire, favouring Gin instead – as it goes down slightly more slowly. But, Hungarian vodka infused with herbs, lemon and even caramel. Well, I was smitten. Bottle of Caramel Old Vodka (oh yes) bought and tucked away for Christmas…
We did actually stop for lunch, amongst the munching and tasting, and went for fish, for a change. I didn’t get these guys’ name – think it was Chilli Pepper Events, but that doesn’t seem right? Anyway they did some wonderful fish. I went for the squid and prawn kebab, the daughter and husband went for the home-made fish fingers and (apart from the 4 very large bones the husband found in his), we were all delighted. Fabulous batter and really well cooked.
Didn’t get to eat at the SpeedDough Pizza van, but it is worth mentioning that the pizzas did look fantastic and………….they actually have a full-on wood-burning pizza oven in that trailer. I kid you not.
A S Olives were amazing, but by this time, having paid our cash out to enter, we were running short and I was saving the pennies for the donuts I knew were to come…..
This guy was the most popular stall at the entire event…………for wasps. The wasps were out with a vengeance and this poor bugger , (Tropical Grove, I think) was absolutely their favourite destination. We waited in line for a while as the Daughter fancied some coconut water, but the wasps beat us back.
Benningtons sauces are amazing, I need to seek these guys out again. Their Chilli, Lime and Lemon curd was to die for. Definitely on my shopping list for a chilli lemon curd meringue pie that’ll blow your socks off.
I was really, really keen to buy this stuffed chine, and as a Lincolnshire lass by birth I was delighted to see this local delicacy, especially as these meats come from Woolly Pigs, yep. Pigs that look like sheep. Unfortunately, as I went to take this photo the guy on the stall asked me for a fiver for the picture! well, I would almost certainly have bought meat in excess of £5, but I didn’t bother, so I can’t tell you if it tastes as good as it looks (I didn’t pay for the photo either, obvs).
I am a gin drinker, for sure, and this stuff was pretty amazing. However, I am not big on fragranced alcohol (I know, I know, I just bought caramel Vodka…). But I might try this again for Christmas, just to be sure….I mean Yorkshire Lavender Gin, ought to be special, no? Couldn’t tempt the family to Zebra, Kangaroo or Duck with Peach Schnapps sausages. Maybe next time.
The Funky Food Company know their onions – every pickle you could imagine. I went for the delicately named “Ass Blaster” onions with chilli, they shall be adorning my Boxing Day buffet table this year (but I might take them out of the Jar, as my mother will be there)
Phinally, Nottinghams’s inphamous Phat Doughnut company (see what I did there?). We went for Apple, Nutella and Lemon Curd. Phat Doughnuts are already a bit of a legend in these parts and are about to open their first permanent shop. These Doughnuts are huge, and they are pretty amazing. I would just say, make sure you are hungry when you embark on one and, don’t even think about the calories (or the sugar, Jamie Oliver).
I am still going to be cautious about the number of food fairs I drag my long-suffering family to, but on balance, this was one of the better ones. I am tempted, it must be said, to put a little part of my blog aside for crap restaurants and mediocre food fairs…………….I’ll think about it.