48 Hours and 3 Foodie Festivals in Warwickshire!
Oh my, I’ve eaten and drunk my way through this last weekend!
South Warwickshire welcomed us with plentiful food and fine ale to wash it all down.
Shipston Beer Festival
It all began on Friday afternoon, at Shipston on Stour Beer Festival.
Now, there’s nothing like starting the weekend early, so at four-thirty we joined our friends to walk down to the rugby club where we paid our entry fee, claimed our complimentary pint glasses and swapped some cash for some beer tokens: two tokens = 1 pint of beer.
Most of the beers on offer had distinctly rugby-themed names: Ruck and Roll, Silly Rucker, Prop Hop, Front Row.
I’m a bit of a pale ale girl and was soon supping a tasty beer named Crafty Flanker, Chris started the afternoon off with beer then moved on to a smoky porter.
A large screen in the marquee was showing the England v Fiji match later in the evening, sofas and chairs were lined up in front of it, at the back various musicians kept everyone’s feet tapping. For everyone not into beer there were wines and ciders; a pig roast, curry and pizza were the food options.
It was a fun evening, great to catch up with friends (I spent two years living in Shipston) and taste some delicious ales.
Stratford Food Festival 2015
A little dusty the next day we had a lazy morning before heading into Stratford Upon Avon for the Stratford Food Festival.
It was gloriously sunny and Stratford was packed with people. The food stalls lined Henley Street, Bridge Street and Waterside with live music and a cooking demonstration marquee.
Bubbling pans of paella, stir-fries and pasta dishes wafted hungry flavours down the street. Barbecued meats added smoke to the summery atmosphere on Waterside and stalls selling condiments, sweets and vegetables gave the whole event colour.
Some of the stalls were doing demonstrations and the cookery theatre had a few celebrity chefs to add to the mix.
I was getting very hungry, yet it was difficult to settle on a dish, there was too much choice! I opted for a plate of pasta: cavolo nero pesto pasta with butternut squash.
It was very delicious, and just what I needed after all the ale the night before. It also reminded me that I should experiment more with pesto!
If I was to make one small complaint it would be there was too much paella, it seemed to be the default easy pan serve, I would have liked to have seen some Indian food (or did I miss it?).
Shipston Food Festival
So, back to Shipston – just 14 miles separate Shipston and Stratford – and we wandered along to its food festival on the Sunday morning.
Shipston’s food festival was much smaller than Stratford’s, and much better for it. On a much more compact and intimate scale the festival felt much more inviting.
The stalls were arranged in the market square and some cheery live music played out from the small marquee where hay bales formed a little arena for sitting, eating and enjoying the entertainment.
If paella was the common dish at Stratford, gin was the theme here in Shipston – hurrah! Not one but two stalls were showcasing my favourite spirit.
One stall had some incredible, and huge, gluten-free cheesecakes while across the street another had unbelievably tempting brownies: Cardamom and pistachio brownies anyone?
I wish there had have been lovely events like this when I lived in Shipston so many years ago!
Keep your eyes and ears peeled for these events next year, I can wholly recommend them.
Stratford Upon Avon is a great destination at the best of times but when there is an event on it can be even more fun.
Shipston on Stour is just a short bus or car ride south, it is a pretty market town with some lovely shops, a fab deli and some excellent pubs (one – the thatched Black Horse – even has an authentic Thai restaurant!).
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Stick around, have a read of these:
I Went To A Birding Festival And It Was Awesome! Hanging out with the bird-loving community.
Let Me Show You Why I Love Birmingham a little walking tour of my favourite spots in Brum.
Kew Gardens in Autumn a blissful green escape from the city.
Batsford Arboretum: Trees, Bees and Grandeur Have you read Love in a Cold Climate? Then read on!
Romantic Ruins in the Heart of England Beautiful Kenilworth Castle, Warwickshire.
Have you been to any food or drink festivals this year?
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