Admitingly, I had never heard of Kislingbury (despite once working around the corner) and I had no idea how close it was! So I was very pleased to take Josh with me to discover a new village in Northamptonshire (which is beautiful btw) whilst browsing some local food producers.
Compared to the big food festivals, the Kislingbury Artisan Food was a great opportunity to see and speak to every single food producer on their stands, as opposed to big food festivals where it can be a bit overwhelming and you can easily miss stands.
We paid £1 to enter, which I thought was reasonable enough and was more than happy to support this event and we headed in to see what scrumptious food delights would be on display.
As I want to particularly highlight small, local food and drink producers in Northamptonshire, rather than focus on the round-up on the event (which I will say more of at the end) I wanted to talk a bit about the different stalls we visited, spoke to and even purchased stuff from.
Shires Country Kitchen
As we entered, the first stall we visited on the right was Shires Country Kitchen, who is based in Kettering and make homemade produce such as houmous, as well as selling cordials, tea and coffee and much more.
We tried a sample of their red pepper houmous which straight away, knew I wanted to take some home with me – so that was our first purchase of the day. What was even more impressive that the man mentioned that all their packaging is recyclable, which ofcourse, is great for the environment! If you near Kettering, go check them out!
Friar’s Farm and Phipps Brewery
At long last, I finally got to meet the famous Steve Reid, founder of Friar’s Farm – also best known for his colourful attire to award ceremony’s.
I’ve been a big fan of Friar’s Farm chutney’s and preserves etc, but even better news that Steve has now taken over at Albion Brewery Bar.
We had a very good chat and we got to sample some of his latest products. I have previously purchased his Red Onion Chutney which is great for the Christmas cheeseboard, but I was looking for something a bit more seasonal.
I picked up his Red Pepper Chutney, which goes great with a cheese sandwich or on Ryveta with cream cheese from testing it at home.
I also purchased some of his new Gin and Orange Marmalade, which uses real Phipps Gin in! Oh, so very zesty and great on toast in the morning for a cheeky tipple!
Another new local producer that was introduced to me was Iain Cowan at Replete Flatbreads.
Everything looked seriously yummy and once again, we had a good chat about his business, where he started and where he is currently stocking (FYI you can get Replete Flatbreads at The Deli at Castle Ashby and Moulton Park Community Cafe).
It was useful interesting to know that he handmakes all his flatbreads, which also included gluten-free options, for anyone reading this thinking they won’t be able to take advantage.
Replete Flatbreads consist of Gram Flour Flatbread with 3 cheese and mushroom, an Indian Kulchas range, which was the first flatbreads he produced, Italian flatbread with pesto and much more.
Unfortunately, on this occasion, we didn’t purchase anything, but I know next time I won’t miss the opportunity and I can see his flatbreads going really well with a homemade curry or similar.
The Happy Little Cake Company
I had heard so many good things about the Happy Little Cake Company, so when I found out they were at the Kislingbury Artisan Food Fair, I was so excited to finally check them out.
At first, we managed to resist what Maddy had on her stall, mainly because I have been trying to be good on my slimming world plan, but every time we walked past, we couldn’t help but have another look.
Her cakes were extraordinarily big and looked mouth-watering. On the day she had items like Carrot Cake with white chocolate orange frosting, Lemon Drizzle cake and Salted Caramel Brownies… which we 100% purchased!
I can see the Happy Little Cake Company being a storm wherever they go!
Dutch Delights UK
I was truly honoured to have been invited by Paul at Dutch Delights UK, a brand new Stroopwafel company based in Towcester, to their first every food fair!
It’s always nice supporting businesses, but when it’s a brand new business like this, it’s so nice to think you’ve made a contribution to their first event.
Paul travels a lot to the Netherlands for work and took the inspiration to make his own Stroopwafel company in the UK, as he saw a gap in the local food producer market which had not been done before – which I think is bloomin’ marvellous!
Now, Paul is dedicated in handmaking the famous Dutch treat to all of Northamptonshire.
I ended up buying two packs and they are honestly the tastiest sugary treats! I’ve been to Amsterdam before, but I had never heard of the Stroopwafel, so I am very pleased that there is a local producer that specialises in these in Northamptonshire.
They go great with a morning cuppa and I can’t wait to watch Dutch Delights grow and grow this year.
Homemade by Catriona
A delightful little stall with a delightful lady, Catriona, who we got talking to.
Catriona makes homemade jams, marmalades, chutneys and more. We got to sample a few and my favourite was definitely the Gooseberry Jam, which is a flavour I have never tried before but now very glad that I have!
I couldn’t find any information online about Homemade By Catriona, but we got chatting and she informed me how she is a one-woman business who makes all her own produce.
If anyone knows me well, you will know that Popcorn is my favourite pass time snack! I’ve hardly found any local brands that make popcorn that is any different to your usual high street brand… until I came across What’s Poppin’ Corn.
But as well as their unique, recyclable packaging and their quirky logo, their popcorn has some interesting and new flavours I have never come across before. One being their Mango flavoured popcorn, which at first, I thought sounded odd, but once I tried some… I was sold and purchased a pack!
What’s Poppin’ Corn can be found at various food festivals across the county and beyond or down local places like St Giles Cheese, Dapper Sandwich Co and Albion Brewery.
Hamm Tun Fine Foods
Hamm Tun Fine Foods is one of my favourite local producers in Northamptonshire because they are responsible for making two of the best cheeses I’ve ever eaten: Cobblers Nibble and Northamptonshire Blue.
I also got to try one of their latest cheeses which they are working on and I got to taste some. Boy, you are all in for a treat!
The guys now know me so well to the point they know I’m a huge cheese lover! However, on this occasion, I was unable to purchase any due to the fact I ran out of cash and they didn’t have a card machine, but I redeemed myself a few weeks later at the Love Northampton Food Fair where I purchased some Cobblers Nibble.
Pastures Poultry Farm
Last but certainly not least, the last stall we visited was Pasture’s Poultry Farm, based in Yardley Hastings and winner of both Artisan Local Savoury Product of the year and Independent Cafe/Tearoom of the year at the Carlsberg Food & Drink awards 2018.
They produce top quality poultry and produce, including their delicious pastry wraps that consist of Duck and Chicken, Tandoori Chicken and much more.
We feasted our eyes on their homemade pies and pastries when we were starting to get very hungry (I missed breakfast on this occasion) so we treated ourselves to something to eat for breakfast.
I had a tasty Chicken and Pepper wrap, whilst Josh went for their huge Chicken and Chorizo Pastie – both went down like a treat!
Overall, both Josh and I commented on what a wonderful morning it was and how well organised the event was, considering the size and the fact they had so many award-winning artisan food producers present. It was a real showcase of what the small, independent food scene is like in Northamptonshire and I was so pleased I got the opportunity to have almost a one-to-one with each stall.
I was also pleased to have met Helen Blaby, who was attending the Artisan Food Fair, which got me an interview on BBC Radio Northampton and it was nice to talk to her about what I do on my blog.
Afterwards, we took our treats that we purchased from Pastures Poultry Farm and demolished them in the car (a healthy breakfast, right!) and we headed back into Northampton.
I have been told that they next Kislingbury Artisan Food Fair will take place in November, so I definitely will be heading back again, especially as it will be nearer to Christmas – so lots of festive treats!