Published in The Welwyn Hatfield Times 4 July 2018
Our villages and towns really come alive in the summer, with food festivals, farmers markets, summer fetes and horticultural shows. There is so much to do, but here is a small selection to help you get out and make the most of it all. Pimms, barbecues and home-made cakes anyone?
First of all, a huge well done to The White Hart who swept the board in the foodie events at the recent Welwyn Oscars, winning best restaurant, best pub and best bar and waiting staff. Congratulations to Jamie, Tom and team.
One of the best local farmers markets is in White Lion Square in the centre of Hatfield. This Saturday (7th July, 8.30–1) head there for delicious and low-food miles produce. Stall holders may sell only what they grow or make themselves and every stall is run by the producer, their family or regular staff. Fruit and vegetables are seasonal, local and sold at very good prices. You can also buy meats, fish, cheese, pies, pickles, cakes and plants.
On the same day you can also go to the Welwyn Garden City Fine Food and Craft market outside Debenhams (10–4). They have a great selection of hot lunches, baked goods, preserves and fruit and vegetables.
Over in Ayot Green, the Ayot Horticultural show is also on the 7th July .The show starts at 2 so is the perfect place to head for a classic afternoon tea or to buy preserves and cakes to take home. There will also be a bar on the green – Pimms anyone?
The Codicote village fair is on Saturday 21st July. The amazing Bake Off competition returns and invites your entries in three categories: cup cake, large cake and showstopper. The theme of the fair this year is Animal Kingdom so how will that inspire you? Take your entry to the large tent next to the arena before 2pm for a chance to win a fantastic prize; KitchenAid are the sponsors and are very generous with their smart kit. Cakes will be judged on looks, flavour and originality. I judged last year and I promise you that I did taste every cake, and flavour and texture did swing the final decision in each category. I am always impressed by the food and drink for sale too – a great barbecue, food stalls and plenty of home-made cakes.
Hatfield House has lots of fabulous music and theatre events this summer. I like the sound of the Midsummer Night’s Murder Mystery Dining Experience on 11 August. The Shakespeare Players, formed by RSC Alumni Peter Richards and his wife Felicity, are preparing to perform their open air production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in the grounds of Hatfield House. But something dreadful happens after the dress rehearsal… Over drinks and a three-course dinner with the cast, can you solve the mystery? Tickets are 60 each and the event takes places in the Riding School restaurant (from 7pm).
The next Woolmer Green farmers market is on July 22nd at Woolmer Green Village Hall (9–12). You can buy a lovely selection of local foods. Stalls include Bridget Bs meats from their Hertford farm, vegetables from EW Wells, cheese, cakes, preserves, Ellen Manchester’s sausage rolls, Meah’s curry sauces (these are delicious), Miss Muffet’s homemade curds and homemade pickles from Perks Pickles.
There are also plenty of pubs hosting world cup matches and barbecues, school fairs and much more. Have a great time!