I have decided that every weekend should be filled with food good, plenty of alcohol, good company and enjoying the sunshine and what Northamptonshire has to offer!
The weekend just gone, Josh and I attended the 4th annual Althorp Food & Drink Festival at Althorp Estate. This would be my first visit, having been invited last year but being unfortunatly unwell, I jumped at the chance to make sure I attended this year.
This year's event has been deemed as the 'biggest ever', with people within the county and beyond attending. The atmosphere was alive with plenty of happy faces ready to enjoy the amazing local food and drink available.
We arrived at around 11am, and already the crowds were gathering. Getting entry to the festival was smooth sailing, as we were kindly invited and put on the VIP list. We were blown away with how many exhibitors were in attendance, which made the food lovers inside both of us gearing to explore!
The line-up of demonstrations, stalls and general entertainment was incredibly strong this year, with some of my favourite well-known brands exhibiting, including Tea Lab, Bell of Northampton, Warner Edwards Gin, Wharf Distillery, Saxby's Cider and Franks Hamburger House.
Althorp has a reputation for being a family friendly event, therefore, there really was something for everybody! From Birds of Prey demonstrations, Magic Shows, Face Painting, Hands on Demonstrations and Tastings, Live Cooking Demonstrations, Live Music, Book Signings from Charles, 9th Earl Spencer and so much more!
As we arrived, we took a few laps around the festival to decide what we wanted to go and try first (because trust me, it was hard deciding where to go and what to choose to eat/drink first!) We even had a look around the Estate itself which was breath-takingly beautiful.
I couldn't believe this wonderful estate has been on my door step this whole time and I had never visited before. It has inspired me to go back and actually take a tour of the house next time.
We finally decided to visit our first stand and surprise, surprise, it was straight to the gin! Even if it was 11.30am in the morning...
We headed to the Gin Tasters, as their stand particularly stood out for me due to their sign that was advertising 'Salted Caramel Gin' which honestly sounded incredible. The ladies were more than happy to share the recipe with us, which was super sweet, as this is certainly a recipe I want to try (FIY: London Dry Gin with Tonic, then add Monin Caramel Syrup then garnish with lemon and orange. YUM!)
Afterwards, we took another walk around where we finally decided to pick Quesadilla's from Baja Cantina, who were incredibly friendly and who we found out where from Milton Keynes, so not too far away. Their Quesadilla's were the perfect first street food pick and oh so YUM! Mexican food is Josh and mine's favourite type of food, so it seemed suitable!
Another walk around meant choosing to drink more alcohol from Fizz 76 where I chose a Frizzante Royale which was practically alcoholic blackcurrent, another fizzy prosecco beverage from the lovely Vino Van, who's van was super pink which I adored, then finally I ventured to my favourite cider ever's stand, Saxby's Cider, where I enjoyed a fresh and crisp Rhubarb Cider.
The more we explored, the more we found. We watched a demonstration from Bell of Northampton who were boasting their seasonal BBQ's, where we also got to try some leek and sage sausages.
I got to chat all things tea with local tea company, the Tea Lab Company where I got to sample their refreshing 'Rise and Shine' tea, plus we actually brought some bits from the stalls! Josh purchased some flavoured Balsamic Vinegars from Gourmet Spice Company for me, plus I purchased a fruity Mango and Lime Jam from Queens Park Preserves which I cannot wait to try with my toast for breakfast!
I also finally got to meet brownie makers, Sinple Treats, who I have seen trending on Facebook for ages and have always drooled over their brownies - they didn't disappoint! Those cookie bites were to DIE FOR!
I could go on and on over all the other fantastic food and drink we got to sample throughout the day, but overall, we were both comfortably full and satisfied, plus I was merry and tipsy from all the alcohol I had (Josh was driving, thank god!)
I feel very lucky that I live in such a thriving community that offers a diverse range of local food and drink companies, some of which are family-run businesses and businesses that have become powerhouses in Northamptonshire.
I was kindly invited to attend this event and at the end, I received a complimentary bottle of Nyetimber Champagne, which was a real treat! It's a great opportunity to support local brands and its something different to do for a day out.
Did you attend Althorp Food Festival? What were your highlights? If you didn't manage to catch it this year, it's an event you don't want to miss as its a foodie lovers dream!
Now I'm going to be on a diet for the foreseeable future!