Thursday, 9 October 2014

I love local food festivals

I love food and I love local, so what's not to love about a local food festival. A couple of weekends ago (the proper sunny one) we popped along to the food festival at Painshill Park. Free (marvellous) and wonderfully local, 20 or so stands, a local radio station, a demonstration tent and lots of tastings. Local restaurants, local producers and local suppliers, all touting their wares. I particularly enjoyed the cheese from The French Comte (Borough Market/Kingston Market), melt in the mouth marshmallows and macarons, and oh - the smoked salmon and crab from Loch Fyne. Ding. A Routemaster converted into a bar almost topped it off, until we came across Chaatit. We just couldn't resist - lunch took place at 11:40. Run by the loveliest family team, Mr M had a Mumbai sandwich (spiced potato, cucumber, chutneys and chilli, then toasted), and I had a samosa wrap, with a side of Masala fries. Oh my goodness. It was a truly delightful sensory overload, topped off with a hay bale seat. Seriously - we were making so many nom-nom-nom sounds, a family stopped to enquire what on earth it was that we were eating. If you stumble across these guys, you must try them. Even if you've already savoured a gourmet burger or a chimney cake (so odd), squeeze in the fries - they are just so very good.

And for Painshill, I really hope they saw an increase in footfall and membership. An independent charity set up to restore the 18th century gardens designed by the Honourable Charles Hamilton, there are sweeps of lawn to the lake, a beautifully restored grotto, a tower and a hermit's house, not to mention the mill and Victorian folly. Perfect for a picnic, room for children to run around and exhaust themselves or simply for a crisp, Autumnal walk with layers, finishing up with a cup of tea and slice of cake in the cafe.

Full to the brim with delightful food, we meandered to The Medicine Garden to polish off our macarons with refreshments from their airstream cafe. Oh and met the furry guardian of the olive tree. A truly heavenly way to spend a Saturday.


  1. I love Painshill - and I am looking forward to an autumn visit in the next few weeks.

  2. Sounds divine! We haven't been to Painshill in ages--must make another visit. xx