Sunday, 5 May 2013

The Dales Festival of Food and Drink

Once a year, in the small Yorkshire town of Leyburn, all the resident dogs take their owners to the Dales food festival. Set in a field on the side of the Dales, the show exhibits the best of local produce. Running in collaboration with the Leyburn arts festival, a free shuttle service is laid on for those interested to get up to town. This celebration of local talent runs for three days across the bank holiday weekend.

For those accustomed to attending food festivals across Britain, you might be pleased to know that this one doesn't quite fit the mould. Alongside tea and scones and ostrich burgers stands (which let's face it, aren't that unusual anymore), you will find lobster. I opted for the crayfish, lobster and prawn roll served with garlic mayo. Delicious if not slightly overpriced at £6 for a bap. I was sorely tempted by the venison sausage or crepe with melted locally produced cheese. Sadly I had already spent my cash on a jar of ginger and pear jam.

Costing £8 for entry, I would have liked to have seen reduced entry for the elderly owing to the average age of clientele. The cost hadn't seemed to have put anyone off however, and the sun had certainly managed to draw in the crowds. It was great to see local business being supported by local community.

Aside from the food tent, entertainment included sheep shearing and dry wall stone building...perhaps not that interesting for the farming community. Standout events however were the bread making workshop, where you could make and bake your own loaf  and the chef demonstration tent. The whole festival took on a family feel with dogs and kids alike running riot. Oh and if you like music, there is a fantastic old fashioned jazz band, straw boaters, waistcoats and all. Great country day out.

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