Taste Cumbria Food Festival

After our visit to Simon Rogan’s Pop up Restaurant, we caught the park and ride bus down into the town centre to have a walk around the markets and see what local produce was on offer.

Stalls ranging from locally brewed ales to locally produced cheese, local fishmongers and butchers with a huge variety of fish and meats, to locally produced kitchenware and utensils.  Most of the products I’ve featured here on this post can be bought online via their websites – just click on the links for a proper look at the products available.

One of my favourites has got to be the Cartmel Village Shop and their infamous Sticky Toffee Pudding.  This pudding is renowned in the world of Sticky Toffee Puddings and comes in a foil tray ready for heating.  It is divine!  Follow them on Twitter at @cartmelsticky

Considering I’d had a couple of glasses of wine with lunch, I was totally up for a banter with the stall holders.  These guys at Wavy Grain and Ice Cold Chef are awesome and give as good as they get!  Wavy Grain (@wavygrain) specialise in creating hand crafted chopping boards, serving platters and much more made from locally sourced wood that comes from timber removed under a woodland management programme – which means a really small carbon footprint.  How awesome is that!?

We bought not one, but two serving boards from this fine company – really beautiful products made of solid wood so will last for years.

The Ice Cold Chef (@icecoldchef) was also there cooking up a treat for passers by.  John, aka Ice Cold Chef, and his wife Bev were dealt a massive blow seven years ago when Bev was diagnosed with SPMS.  To avoid processed food and not one to miss out on Bev’s awesome cooking, John asked her to teach him how to cook and with an ice cold beer to hand, the Ice Cold Chef was born!  The Ice Cold Chef is currently pulling together a cook book to be published very soon…  Watch out for some awesome recipes a la Ice Cold Chef!

Now, we didn’t buy any cheese as we’re trying to keep the diet going, but for all you cheese lovers – here’s some amazing cheese made and produced locally in Cumbria.  I could eat it all, but if I had one taste, I’d want all of it!!

What goes better with cheese than Gin?  Ok so maybe not the best link into this, but this Gin is amazing.  Bedrock Gin (@GinBedrock) has won many awards and I’m honestly not surprised.  It’s wonderful.  This gin is the first gin to be made using Lake District spring water.  I actually bought a bottle of this for A for our 2nd wedding anniversary and he loves it.  Definitely one for you Gin drinkers out there!

Everyone’s tried Gingerbread, right?  But probably not this gingerbread.  Grasmere Gingerbread (@bestgingerbread) is more like a biscuit than the sticky sponge gingerbread that is so recognised today.  The recipe is kept tight under wraps and it’s been produced here for 160 years.  If it can go on that long, it really is something to try!  I’ve bought this before for friends in Cornwall and they loved it!

Last but not least, there was a number of really good locally brewed Real Ale stalls.  We bought a couple of gift packs from the Lakeland Breweries (@ILBreweries) stall at £20.00 for 2, which include a number of bottled ales and a glass.  I am not a fan of Real Ale but tried one of the pale ales on offer and it was really quite nice!

Hubby, A, also bought a selection of the Eden Brewery ales, 4 bottles for £10!  He really enjoys the ales from this brewery too.  Head over to their twitter and give them a follow at @Edenbreweryltd

Visitors to the festival were also treated to a number of cookery demonstrations over the weekend in a marquee set up on Cockermouth Main Street.  Chefs include Peter Sidwell, Chris Archer and Gary McClure – a display of real Cumbrian talent.

All of this, alongside evening entertainment including live music and comedy and Masterclasses provided by local chefs for those wishing to improve the skills – there really is something for everyone at the Taste Cumbria Food Festival.  I’ll be there again in 2015, I hope some of you might come join me!

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