(published in Welwyn Hatfield Times 31 May 2017)
If you are looking for something to do this weekend (2–4 June), why not head to the beautiful grounds of Hatfield House for the Food Festival? With over 150 stalls, and demonstrations from well-known chefs, it should be an excellent day out.
The street food avenue is where to head to for lunch; the choice sounds excellent, and I know my family will be keen to head to the Duck n’ Bite stall for crispy duck wraps and the Smoke Shack for BBQ. I prefer veggie food so will be checking out Camp Halloumi or the Thai food stalls. The pud choice looks good; there will be a churro stall, which is always hugely popular, but I am keen to try the Whipsmith ‘Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream Factory’, which sounds very Heston Blumenthal. There are several bars, selling everything from beer to whisky, and the double-decker bus bar will be a huge draw, as will the I Love Bubbly Champagne bar. If this weather continues, it will be a fab place to spend time and enjoy a drink. There is a local producers marquee for take-home cheeses, preserves, charcuterie etc as well as lots of kitchen items such as Polish pottery, hand-made spoons and glassware.
Running from Friday to Sunday (10-5), there are demonstrations and workshops every day at the festival, and these are free to attend to ticket holders. There is also live music all weekend.
The Fabulous Baker Brothers aka Tom and Henry Herbert will be appearing on Friday and Saturday on the Social Kitchen stage and the BBQ theatre. Their series on Channel 4 of the same name was a big success, and they are known for baking and barbecuing; Henry is the butcher and chef and Tom is the baker.
On Sunday, Rosemary Shrager, who you will know from her recent appearances on ‘I’m a Celebrity’ and ‘The Real Marigold Hotel’, will be demonstrating on the Social Kitchen stage. As well as appearing in many TV shows over the years, Rosemary also owns a cookery school and patisserie in Tunbridge Wells and has written many books.
There will also be appearances from Paul Jagger, who was a quarter-finalist in The Great British Bake Off in 2015; he made the amazing bread lion! Paul will be leading baking masterclasses. Clover Hutson will be leading the workshops about family cooking in the Social Kitchen. You will also be able to go on Foraging Walks led by Mark Lloyd, who was head chef at River Cottage and has appeared on Market Kitchen, Hairy Bikers and BBC Breakfast. There are also classes specifically for children including making vegetable cupcakes and pizza fom scratch. The kids’ Food Lab sounds great too; watch out for Jelly Explosions! The Hatfield House website has a full list of all demos throughout the weeked, but you can juts turn up and see whatever you like the sound of!
Advance website tickets cost 9 for adults and 5 for children. If you buy on the door, tickets are 11 for adults and 7 for children. Under 5s are free. You can reserve a place in some of the workshops in advance for no extra cost, or check for space on the day.