Field To Fork Festival
County show + food festival + Pro-Am British BBQ Championships = the Field to Fork Festival this Saturday and Sunday, 30 and 31 July, at Laverstoke Park Farm in Hampshire west of Basingstoke. It’s sponsored by Newman’s Own, Weber (the kettle grill people) and Sainsbury’s and you can even buy tickets with your Nectar points.
On Saturday, the amateurs battle for the crown of BBQ champion of Britain while Sunday sees a really rocking lineup of chefs go grill-to-grill for the top title. They are: last year’s winner Bruno Loubet from Bistrot Bruno Loubet, 2009 winner Abdul Yaseen from The Cinnamon Club, Matt Bishop from maze Grill, Atul Kochhar from Benares, Maria Elia from Joe’s, Ashbell McElveen from Ashbell’s Moonshine and BBQ Meats, Nicky Foley from Butler’s Wharf Chop House, Cyrille Pannier from the Four Seasons Hotel in Hampshire who will clearly have the home county advantage, Cesar Garcia from Iberica, Tristan Welch from Launceston Place and Michelle Kleingeld from Salt Yard We told you it was a blinding line-up.
Laverstoke Farm is a leading biodynamic and organic farm, and you can tour it, check out the butchery demos and bread-making workshop, buy from the specialty food markets and much more, including trying your own hand at BBQing.
Pershore Plum Festival
The Pershore Plum Festival kicks off this Friday 29 July for a month-long celebration of the gorgeous, bursting fruit as well as celebrating, along the way, families, communities, farmers, food, country life and the English summer. There’s also a chap in a fuzzy plum suit.
The Pershore Plum Festival is thrilled to be the current holder of the title Best Tourism Event and Festival in Worcestershire and this little market town has gone all out to make every part of the festival a delight, from road races and farm tours to masses of children’s events and cookery do’s. Seriously, put this one in your diary for sometime this month (it ends on 29 August).
The website isn’t as clear as it might be, so we suggest you just download the programme. The programme conveys such a joyous sense of community involvement and enthusiasm that it brings a smile to our face even here in dull old London. Don’t miss the Ode to the Great Pershore Plum written by the chap who plays Eddie Grundy on The Archers. If Pershore can organise this much great stuff, we’re thinking of moving there.
We always like to recommend restaurants close by. In Pershore’s case we have just one, The Inn at Stonehall, but it’s a don’t-miss spot, holder of an AA rosette and this year chosen as the inspector’s favourite in the Michelin Eating Out in Pubs Guide 2011.
Foodies Festival in Battersea
Friday, Saturday and Sunday see an influx of brilliant chefs, family events, food market at the Foodies Festival in Battersea Park. The line-up of chefs is slightly different from the talented cooks you usually see at such events. They include Allan Pickett from Plateau, Phil Usher from Le Caprice, William Drabble of Seven Park Place by William Drabble (currently rated an eye-watering 8.6 by you toptable diners) and Robin Read who is Group Exec Head Chef of the Soho Hotel and Firmdale Hotels and that’s just Friday!
There’s a Drinks Theatre as well as a Food Theatre — great idea, chaps — and restaurant tents, bar pagodas and live entertainment. If the weather is anything like it was yesterday in London, this will be one of the highlights of the summer. And if you’re still hungry, we have restaurants nearby including some great ones near Sloane Square if you’re walking back over the bridge to take the tube home.