Food Festivals – Planning for the Summer
By Linda Parker
I must admit, I’ve recently been less focussed on food than I usually am … partly through being ultra-busy with lots of different projects (including the still not-finished painting) and partly through feeling rather boring because I’ve been sticking very closely to my healthy eating plans. Which have succeeded, thanks to a combination of huge amounts of walking and cutting down dramatically on carbohydrates (of the bread, pasta and rice variety) and upping the intake of healthy oily fish such as salmon and mackerel, plus lots of avocado, seeds, nuts and salads and cutting out sugar more or less completely, apart from the required chocolate binge over Easter.
However, Easter family lunches threw me off my stride somewhat, so now I’m back to being mindful of what I eat and prepare for family meals. I find it’s easier to stick to a plan, and of course to shop to that plan and therefore avoid late-night snack temptation. However, there’s no doubt that a niggle of ‘missing out’ thoughts creep in every so often.
But … Hold that thought.
I think I’ve solved the problem, by planning a few visits to some foodie events and festivals in the coming summer months. My reasoning is – have a few treats whilst at the event, buy one or two healthy and/or luxurious ingredients and/or treats to take home, and then stay sensible. So, I will be making more of an effort to visit the food market in the Square in Shrewsbury. There’s also the Shrewsbury Food Festival to look forward to, 24-25th June 2017, visit the website here. It’s spread out throughout the town, including the famous Quarry park – well worth a wander around in the sunshine (fingers crossed). I will also try and schedule more visits to the nearby foodie-heaven market town of Ludlow, which happens to have a Spring Festival scheduled for 13-14th May 2017, promising beer, bangers, bread and classic cars. What’s not to like! See the details here.
The Ludlow Food Festival is later in the year, 8-10th September 2017. Further afield (for me, that is), these events are also worth investigating … try St Ives Food & Wine Festival , May 13-14th, which sounds idyllic; There’s the Dorset Seafood Festival, 8-9th July in Weymouth Harbour, which is sponsored by Pommery, and it’s also free, so if you’re in the vicinity, there’s no excuse not to have a look! It’s too bit late for the Artisan Cheese Fair in Melton Mowbray (it was the end of April), but I’ll pencil that in for next year! See more info here. Hopefully there will be one lined up for April 2018! But in the meantime check out further 2017 food festival dates here, at The Festival Calendar.
Talking of healthy vegetables, I would rather buy wobbly or misshaped vegetables on principal, purely because I like the idea of rebellious veggies doing their own thing, rather than being straight-jacketed into regimented lines and shapes. So … I’m happy to pick up strangely shaped fruit and veg at Asda, and was delighted to see Morrison’s latest line of Wonky Veg – including their wibbly-wobbly asparagus spears, which look jolly fabulous and appealing. Just toss them onto the plate and resist the temptation to create an Instagram-worthy photo of criss-crossed lined up spears!
GOOD TO GO – KITCHEN IDEAS
As we head towards summer sunshine, it always seems that a spot of redecorating is in order, all that sun makes walls and fabrics (especially in the kitchen) look a bit shabby, or at least in need of a bit of tlc. If your kitchen blinds are past their best, take a look at the Scion range from Blinds2Go; they recommend roller blinds, which can be rolled up out of the way of cooking and washing up splashes. This one (above) is Spike in Honey from the Scion Living range by Blinds 2 Go For a more formal look, perhaps for a dining area, consider pleated blinds. These (below) are Spectra Sheer Cream pleated blinds from Style Studio.
If the new look for the kitchen involves new tiles (far more serious than new paint or blinds!) have a look at Craven Dunnill’s Renaissance Collection. As always, the tiles are both beautifully detailed and perfect in their simplicity. These are the Sassy tiles, with a glossy glaze in a range of soft shades; Ash Blue, Grey Pearl, Mist Green, Blanco, Gris Claro, Ivory, Beige, Vision and Graphite. In brick and square formats, see the ranges here.
Venturing further away from the kitchen, perhaps into dining and living spaces, and using cabinetry that is suited to both, consider Blum’s MOVENTO concealed runner system. If you’re specifying cabinetry that’s going to be seen throughout the home, concealed runners within wooden drawer boxes add perfect ease of motion, plus the exclusive high-quality Blum look. See it above, used within the Space Tower system – perfect for kitchens; and below, inspect the detail of the system, plus it’s use within pan drawers that can bear up to 60 kg. To ensure every installation looks perfect, there is four-dimensional front adjustment for millimetre-perfect alignment.
AND FINALLY …
If thoughts of food festivals and kitchen revamps make you want to escape into the garden with a nicely chilled glass of something sparkly, make sure you’ve stocked up on garden-style, anti-bug candles. At this time of writing (late April!) we’ve only had a couple of properly sunny days and warm evenings, but I’ve already been caught by mozzies! So I will stock up on Bolsius Aromatic Glass candles in Citronella & Rosemary; Citronella & Basil and lastly, Citronella & Tomato. Find them on Amazon, for around £4.99, to beat the bugs!
Make your outdoor dining table look better (or hide a scruffy one) with this Moss Green washed linen table cloth, by Nomads at Bohzaar, see the range here.