Sunday, 6 September 2015

Taste of Berkhamsted

2015 is host to the very first Taste of Berkhamsted - local restaurants and food producers come together at Ashlyns Hall for a delicious day out.


After days and weeks of clouds and rain it was nice to wake up to a bright blue, cloudless sky because today I had plans…a trip to the very first Taste of Berkhamsted!  There are a lot of fantastic and delicious local businesses in this area so knew that I'd be in for a treat…

I met Christine, the festival founder, a couple of months ago and it was clear from the start that she is utterly passionate about food whether it be how food is produced, where it comes from, how it tastes (obviously!) and how to get kiddies interested in good food.  With this is mind (but having no idea what would be at the festival) I set off confident that by the end of the day I would have had an interesting foodie adventure!

Taste of Berkhamsted was held just by Ashlyns Hall which is on the outskirts of town so very easy to get to but still peaceful and green.  After following my nose down the long drive I was there and it was already packed!  There was so much going on I really had no idea where to start so went for the methodical approach and walked around clockwise with live music playing in the background.


2015 is host to the very first Taste of Berkhamsted - local restaurants and food producers come together at Ashlyns Hall for a delicious day out.

2015 is host to the very first Taste of Berkhamsted - local restaurants and food producers come together at Ashlyns Hall for a delicious day out.


The first stall I stopped at was Chiltern Cold Pressed - it's hard to believe that all these amazing oils originate a few miles away!  The oil is gently squeezed from the rapeseeds then filtered and bottled right there on the farm!  Yes, I tasted quite a few of the flavours…My favourites?  Definitely the oak smoked oil closely followed by the garlic!


The first stall I stopped at was Chiltern Cold Pressed - it's hard to believe that all these amazing oils originate a few miles away!  The oil is gently squeezed from the rapeseeds then filtered and bottled right there on the farm!  Yes, I tasted quite a few of the flavours…My favourites?  Definitely the oak smoked oil closely followed by the garlic!


A couple of my local favourites - Scoops gelato and Zero juice & sushi (alas, no sushi today!)…





One of the biggest queues I saw was for the Kings Arms taste tent.  For a donation to charity you could get your toothpicks at the ready and taste some amazing barbecued meats - juicy beefburger, tender steak, beef brisket and a truly outstanding sausage!  I've been to the Kings Arms before for dinner and can vouch for the house burger!


One of the biggest queues I saw was for the Kings Arms taste tent.  For a donation to charity you could get your toothpicks at the ready and taste some amazing barbecued meats - juicy beefburger, tender steak, beef brisket and a truly outstanding sausage!  I've been to the Kings Arms before for dinner and can vouch for the house burger!


Next stop was one of my favourites from the farmer's market - Curious Foods!  It seems like every time I see Mat he's concocted another new and interesting flavour to try and I wasn't disappointed today!  How does Quinoa, Beetroot and Caraway sound?  What about "Harizo" salami?  Well I tried them both and they were just delicious!  I had to buy a pack of the Harizo salami - similar to chorizo but with paprika and African spices.






I popped into the vintage tea tent for a quick nosey round and was so happy to see prints and cards by local artist Mary Casserley.  I've seen some of her prints on Facebook and have always wanted to add to my small collection of prints of areas I love so ended up buying a card of St Peters Church here in Berkhamsted which now sits alongside my Exeter cathedral and Sidmouth prints!


I popped into the vintage tea tent at Taste of Berkhamsted for a quick nosey round and was so happy to see prints and cards by local artist Mary Casserley.




Not only were there many things to taste, there were demos as well!  I didn't get to see many but loved the cocoa marinated venison, roasted beets and celeriac puree demonstration from Main Ingredient.  I've never cooked venison before and certainly wouldn't think to coat it in chocolate but it was delicious!  It was also the first time I've tried celeriac anything…I'm glad I had a chance to try it but…not for me…


The cocoa marinated venison, roasted beets and celeriac puree demonstration from Main Ingredient at Taste of Berkhamsted

The cocoa marinated venison, roasted beets and celeriac puree demonstration from Main Ingredient at Taste of Berkhamsted


Last stop of the day was the Waitrose stall which had cheeses, fruits and a refreshing drink!  They'd mixed Heston's Fruit Cup with lemonade, fresh mint and strawberries which was a great alternative to Pimms.



Heston's Fruit Cup with lemonade, fresh mint and strawberries which was a great alternative to Pimms.


I think that Christine did an excellent job at organising the day and after seeing all the happy faces (mine included!) I think all the hard work paid off!  The big question is…will there be a Taste of Berkhamsted again next year (I certainly hope so!)

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