Today I enjoyed a rare morning out sans children to the Wealden Times Winter Fair. Set in the walled garden of Bedgebury Pinetum, Kent it is a festive fair for the home, garden and, in my case, stomach. As this is a food blog I am not going to dwell on how much I spent on ‘vintage’ things for my kitchen, Christmas decorations and a rather nice bracelet….I am going to stick to the foodie bits and introduce you to some of the lovely stalls I came upon and don’t switch over just because you’re not from Kent! Some of these companies will deliver nationally…
You may have heard mention of these lovely people in my previous post. I popped over to say hello and, despite nearly calling the founder Harriet (my friend was waving at me in the background), it was nice to put a face to a name. The stall was busy so I didn’t linger, but they have great quality bakeware and loads of those lovely silicone coated utensils to boot. Pop over to their site for a browse and don’t forget – use the code ‘Nigella’ at the checkout and you’ll get 10% off!
Kent Cookery School @kentcookery
I have been hankering to go on a cookery course for a while….I started by contemplating a week’s course in Italy learning how to cook al dente, then I whittled it down…perhaps something more local? So imagine my delight today when I came across the Kent Cookery School. And not only do they do courses for the grown-ups they do kids’ parties too! Adult courses include: Foraging, Macaroons, Game, Dinner Parties and Fish and there are also corporate events or hen/stag parties. I think it all sounds fab and might have to explore the Italian course…Pah! Who needs Florence? *sobs in Italian*
Judges Bakery @judgesbakery
All I can say is I bought a loaf of their sourdough walnut bread and a few hours later there isn’t a whole lot left……
Based in Hastings Old Town it was reinvented by the founders of Green & Black’s and has won lots of awards. Justly so, going by their walnut bread.
Perry Court Farm @PERRYCOURT_FARM
This guy was doing a roaring trade selling his air-dried fruit crisps. I had to muscle in to get my shout. Fat free, less than 79 calories and despite all that they taste really nice! I was tentative in nibbling one of the samples but they are really flavoursome and crisp (I know they are called crisps, but often the fruit type is soggy). Think crinkle cut zingy fruit. I have yet to try them on my kids, but I might well scoff them all before they get a look in. I bought one of each flavour; sweet apple, tangy apple and pear. Check them out…
Coffee Real @brownbean
Not sure where they are based…but they were there in the food court and their coffee was superb and were putting up with a lot of tripe from over-coiffed middle-aged women whilst I was queuing. ‘Are you SURE this is decaff? Sure? You PROMISE me?’ Yes, love. That’s what you ordered. I was standing right behind you. Unfortunately. They’re not idiots…unlike some.
Anyway, these guys are friendly, COMPETENT and they really know their stuff.
Staplehurst Nurseries & Frankie’s Farmshop
OK, this one is local but the man I spoke to was absolutely charming and I am definitely making the trip to Staplehurst for a shop and a cuppa. This is a new farm shop/restaurant opened in Staplehurst, Kent and looks amazing. The sort of place I would wander into at 11am and not re-surface until 2 hours later…their site is a work in progress so be patient…
So there you are. My shout out for some brilliant local businesses. If you are in the vicintiy….the fair is open tomorrow too.