The Great British Food Festival 2017 – Wiltshire, England

The traditional Greek souvlaki

26th August 2017 – It was a nice sunny, perfect for a day out.  My love of English countryside and my undiminished curiosity of an English culture have taken me to Bowood in Wiltshire.  Wiltshire is a county in the Southwest of England with beautiful and scenic countryside.  I have never been to a food festival before and so the Great British Food Festival is the best place to start.

 

Welcome to the Great British Food Festival!

 

The venue was on the massive ground of this beautiful country hotel spa with golf course.

The Bowood

 

First thing that I’ve noticed, the event was a family day out; adults and children were having fun and enjoying the day.

 

The Cake Off competition was a family affair.   The contestants presented their home-made cakes and were judged by visitors headed by Jane Beedle, a British Bake Off finalist.  After the announcement of the winners, all the cakes were sliced up and the little children were tasked to distribute the bite sizes to the audience including their mums, dads and the whole family.  I sat with the audience myself, enjoying the different cake flavors.  It was fun! This was the highlight for me, when everyone including children were having fun!

Judges at work

 

There were marquees around.  In one of them were different selections of food to buy such as the traditional English pies, pasties, baklava, cheese, sauces, salad dressings and other food condiments made by British producers.  This cheese are made by an award winning cheese maker in Cheshire.  I’ve bought some of these not only because I like  supporting local farmers and producers but I like its contemporary taste.

 

 

 

For those who love cooking with oil there were cold pressed rapeseed oil extracted from rape plants.  Wikipedia claimed that rapeseed  is the third-largest source of vegetable oil in the world.  The Telegraph says it contains less saturated fat and has far more omega 3 fatty acids than olive oil and it also contains vitamin E. Sounds good!

 

 

The rapeseed farms are the yellow eye-catching fields in the English countryside during the spring/summer months.  They look like a beautiful and huge yellow flower garden.   I’ve visited one during my trip to Tetbury in Wiltshire one summer and I can’t help spending a minute or two at the middle of these pretty yellow plants.  If you want to understand more about the current market of rapeseed, this market data might be useful for you.

 

Rapeseed field, Wiltshire

 

In another marquee there was a Chef demo, which was quite popular.  British Bake Off finalist Jane Beedle was one of the guest chefs.   She is such a natural and down to earth chef presenter;  it was like listening and watching your own auntie in her own kitchen teaching you how to bake.

 

Although I missed this part of the event, it looks like there was  something fun and educational for the children too!

 

There were food stalls around which sell multi-cultural varieties.   Apart from the traditional British food there other international food too such as American, Mediterranean, Spanish, Greek, Indian, and other Asian cuisines.  And  the usual coffee and tea stalls were there too.

 

To make the event even more livelier, music was part of the day.  It can be refreshing sitting on a haystack, having a cold drink and listening and enjoying the live music.  A nice country-feel moment especially when you live and work in the cities.

 

What’s interesting about the event is the fact that it was a fun day for the whole family and the food selections were not  limited to  traditional British food only.  There was also a marquee for British art and crafts so it was not purely about food.   I wish I brought more cash with me to buy more food!  There was no card machine at the venue for obvious reason but the venue was a countryside. It was worth a visit I must say.  This food event is also held in other places around England.

 

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