Is there anything better than an afternoon in the sunshine, sipping Prosecco and grazing on delicious food? A couple of weekends ago, I was invited to Harrogate Food Festival at Ripley Castle - as a VIP no less, baby - and it just happened to be a gloriously sunny day, which worked out perfectly.
I like food festivals that have a good balance between food-to-eat-now and food-to-eat-later. Too much of the latter, and it can be a little dull, and too much of the former and you've had all your fun within the first hour. There was a great mix of different vans and stalls, with plenty of different foodstuffs to try and buy, as well as some bars for a tipple or two.
We sampled sauces and scotch eggs, drooled over pastries and piles of brownies. Emma was delighted when she spotted someone wandering about with a spiral potato, so we had to track them down immediately, and oh, how good they were. Half crisp, half chip and wholly delicious - particularly covered in salt and vinegar.
We, of course, had to drop by Banh Mi Booth, and sample some of their piping hot pork dumplings. There was a wait, but it was so, so worth it - even if I did almost burn my tongue, so desperate was I to get them into my mouth. If you spot this gorgeous turquoise and pink van around and about, then definitely make a bee-line straight there.
By then we were beginning to melt into a puddle - it really was warm, even this far North! - so we decided to abandon ship, but not without a quick stop by the Northern Bloc van. They do the best ice cream around - this one was caramel & ginger, topped with white chocolate popcorn.
All in all, it was a very satisfying day! If there's one coming near you soon, then it's definitely worth grabbing yourself a ticket!