Picture this: it’s Bank Holiday Monday, the sun is shining, birds are singing, and you have a Food & Drink Festival to go to. Sounds great right? Except it wasn’t sunny, and the only birds there were a vaguely intimidating flock of geese. But, still, pretty great.
We rolled up to Stonyhurst college (in Clitheroe) about 1pm, and I thoroughly didn’t expect to see this castle of a building looming ahead. What wonders does it hold inside? Does a Lord live here? Will there be a fabulous ball?
Short answer: No. This is a college. Hence the name.
As we passed by the college (sadly), we paid our entrance fees and were greeted by this veritable feast of food and drinks stalls.
There were two whole fields full of things you’d expect at a food & drink festival (ciders, cakes), and a few slightly more unusual delights. We will get to that later.
We decided to give one of the big marquees a go first, in an attempt to try and avoid what looked like a rain cloud coming straight for us.
Inside, the overwhelming smell of roasting coffee beans greeted our willing nostrils. Mmmmmmm.
There was also a stall selling Spanish meats and sangria(!), both of which I was more than happy to take off the gentleman stall owner’s hands.
I mean, look at this little “chorizo cone”, complete with breadstick! Cute, right? I had to have one.
We wandered around, sampling various cooking sauces, pie crusts, cheeses and the like, before I spotted the holy grail of a cupcake stall.
And, oh my gosh, they had cake pops! These multicoloured balls of deliciousness are something I’ve been wanting for a very, very long time. And this lady had the whole bloomin’ rainbow at her table! The stall owner was really nice and, obviously sensing my enthusiasm, threw in an extra two cake pops for free. Day. Made.
I had to try the strawberry flavoured one (in red), a chocolate one (pink), Vanilla with chocolate chips (brown), and plain vanilla (purple). I also bought a gluten-free vanilla cupcake for me, and a carrot cupcake for my Mum because I’m nice like that.
Once we came down from our near-coma inducing sugar high, it was time for another little nibble. And what better than a huge stall selling all kinds of Indian morsels?
My Mum couldn’t resist, and bought us both a beast of an onion bhaji. I mean, look at this fella, he’s enormous. I promise, the taste is as big as the thing itself. This was the best bhaji I had ever had!
We had a wander over to some chef demos for a break while our bulging bellies took a rest, and casually perused the non-edible goods that were on offer inside the college while we were at it. We ended up buying a ‘Miracle Whisk’ each, partly because the salesman was so good at his job (read: flirting with us both), and partly because it seemed pretty cool. I’ve made a fair few home cappuccinos with mine, and they never disappoint. If you get one, just be careful to only use it in an old mug – my favourite one got all scratched on the inside!
After our little shopping trip was over, it was nearly time to go home. But – alas – I spotted one more thing I just had to have. And here it is:
Phwoar! Makes my mouth water just looking at it. This beauty is… drum roll please… an ostrich burger, served on a bun with blue cheese mayonnaise, and Jack Daniel’s fried onions. It cost me about £5, and was worth every penny. The ostrich was kind of spicy – more like beef than you would expect from a fried feathered friend. The blue cheese mayo and JD onions were phenomenal, and I very nearly had to ask how on earth she made them so that I could do it at home. Every day for the rest of my life.
But sadly, I had my mouth too full of burger to ask anything at all.
We sat down to watch an interactive dance show while we digested our meals, and had a little go on one of the many drums dotted around. We jived and jigged until we could not jive no more, and decided to call it a day.
Overall, a very expensive, but fun, day. Though I’m not sure which one suffered the most – my purse, or my diet. Probably both. Ouch.
Despite that, I’d recommend going if you really want to try a million different foods in one day – I’d also suggest going a bit earlier on in the day and making sure you have an empty stomach before you arrive.