Dates: Friday 2, Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 September 2016
I was fortunate enough to attend the Chatsworth Country Fair on both Saturday and Sunday (3rd and 4th September) which meant I was able to see not only Mary Berry, the celebrity chef demonstrating in the Aga Rangemaster Cookery Theatre on Saturday – but also Valentine Warner (amongst others) on the Sunday.
As many of my readers know, I am a huge foodie, so given the opportunity to see both Mary and Valentine and sample the delights Derbyshire had to offer pleased me immensely!
I was also very excited about the other advertised events over the weekend, which included the hugely popular household cavalry musical ride and a parachute display from Jump4Heroes. Also appearing in the Grand Ring was the Imps Motorcycle Display Team.
My friend and I arrived at around 9.30am on Saturday and started the day with a bacon roll from the food village before we went off to explore. It was a little overcast whilst we walked round and we, like everyone else, were praying for the sun to come out.
We had a lovely walk around the fairground whilst it was still quiet. The old fashioned helter skelter was amazing and my son loved it – this time he was brave enough to slide down it (unlike last year) but because it had started to rain, his decent was speedier than expected and he almost took my legs from under me when he appeared – ha ha.
We purchased a program on site to ensure we knew what time the shows and demonstrations were on, and also to scope where we could escape for a cheeky glass of bubbly and a spot of lunch. We definitely needed the program as the site is huge and, as always, I was worried I was going to miss out on something!
There were over 200 trade stands to peruse. The food village (my favourite area) was packed with delicious locally sourced produce, lots of yummy samples to try and a tipple or two of your favourite drinks; such as speciality ciders, slow gin, wines and champagnes. I was in heaven!
I was fortunate enough to spend some time with this lovely lady and taste some amazing vintage champagnes. Oh, and also an amazing range of prosecco’s and champagne liqueurs.
All your gastronomic needs are catered for in the food village, whether it be a paella you are after, a tikka masala or you want to taste a huge range of wines and cheeses – then you will not be disappointed!
My friend and I sampled everything from chilli cheese, to curried sausages to giant meringues and artisan breads. I literally wanted to eat/buy everything.
And so did my son but he’s more partial to a ginger bread man or some cheesy bread.
The heavens then decided to open up and, as we weren’t wearing wellies (big mistake) the muddy ground got a little treacherous, so we decided to scope out the rest of the stalls/craft tents to take cover. There was everything you could want and more in these craft tents. Whilst on the grounds, you were also able to view new cars, antique cars, clothing, childrens toys, outdoor wear and luxury garden furniture – to name but a few.
There are so many things to see and do at Chatsworth, that’s why I visited over two days, that and my little boys legs were too tired to carry him after a while.
My friend and I decided to have a mini pamper with a hand massage and some newly shaped eyebrows….oooh, check us out!
The event is packed with everything for the whole family. Whether you’re a bike or car fanatic, a keen gardener or an art collector, the whole site had everything for you to admire (and indeed purchase) should you wish.
The Chef demonstrations were scheduled at set times throughout the day and the tent was very busy, with fans of Mary Berry (on the Saturday) and Valentine Warner (on the Sunday) waiting to get some expert tips. You were then able to meet either Mary or Valentine at their book signings, in a queue just a short walk away from the tent.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t get anywhere near the tent to see Mary, particularly as the rain was coming down really heavily and the queue for her book signing was so big. With the recent news about GBBO moving to C4 (and losing Mel and Sue), I’m not sure whether Mary and (Paul) will be moving on too – so this could have been her last hurrah as the queen of baking.
I was able to get a little picture (albeit a little blurred) with her friend, Alan Titchmarsh, who was there for the vintage car exhibit.
On the Sunday I was able to pop into the tent to see Valetine Warner and listen to his demonstration. I am a big fan of Valentine and he was equally as engaging and charistmatic in person as he appears on the TV. The audience also thoroughly enjoyed a few of his anecdotes. As I had my little boy with me I couldn’t stay for the whole demonstration or the booking signing, but it was great to listen to some fab tips!
After i’d eaten myself stupid, had a little pamper and introduced myself to some celebrity chefs, I headed off to the Grand Ring.
My son and I sat and watched the most amazing performance, which he was fascinated with. He told me he wanted to be like them when he grows up. He was waving at all the men and horses as they galloped by us, completing some amazing routines and tricks.
Next up were the spectacular Imps Motorcycle Display Team who performed some very daring jumps and displays – and which included riders at just 5 years old! They were so professional, and even when one of the little ones did fall off, he got straight back up and on his bike again to finish the routine like a pro. Both the audience and my son looked on in amazement and immediately applauded them.
Now my son has decided he wants to leave home and join the Imps Motorcycle Display Team….thanks Imps ha ha
There was so much to do at the Chatsworth Country Fair , and even though we were there over the two days we still felt as though we hadn’t seen everything. We wanted to try zorbing, archery and witness the Red Arrows as I did the previous year (who were spectacular might I add!), but some of this proved difficult with a tired 4 year old in tow.
Should you wish to attend the show next year (I most definitely will) then the dates have already been announced for:
September 1st – September 3rd 2017
… so go ahead and mark it down in your diary!
Because we had such an amazing time at the Chatsworth Country Fair, we thought we’d check out what’s happening at the house over the coming months. Here’s my pick of the best events that I will most definitely be attending.
Beyond Limits – Sotherby’s Exhibition at Chatsworth House – September/October 2016
Chatsworth House – Bonfire and Fireworks – 5, 6th November 2016
Christmas at Chatsworth – November/December/January 2016
*Please note I was sent tickets for the fair for the purpose of this review, but all views are my own*