Here in the UK we do love good food. Diversity is key, which shows in the variety of food you can now find on and in our high streets.
In Hampshire there is a real passion, amongst some, for good, local produce. Hampshire has 2 organisations that look after local producers, Hampshire Fair, and Hampshire Farmers Markets, and both are pretty strict about the level of local produce that can be sold under their names – that’s how serious they are about it. So any food festival held in the county will guarantee a wealth of delicious options to try and buy.
For the last 11 years, Stockbridge, a small town/village in the heart of farming Hampshire has hosted it’s own festival, Trout’n About on the first Sunday in August. The High Street turns into a bustling market, with amazing cooking smells, vibrant colours, people having fun and enjoying good food
Producers come from all over the South of England, many from the local area, to present a diverse wealth of foods, from sweet to savoury, from hot and ready to eat to goodies to scrummy delights to take away. We came home with a mountain of goodies. From delicious rapeseed oil and dressings from The Cold Pressed Oil Company, to ice-cream from Sundaes Child, olives from Olives and Things, scrummy seabass and ginger fishcakes from Devon Fish Cakes, 2 different meat pies from The Unusual Pork Pie and Meat Pie Company, a guyere cheese, leek and mustard seed tart from Picnic and Hamper (which me and the hubster shared for lunch), and a tray of garlic butter from The Garlic Farm, because it’s always handy to have a spare in the freezer.
Trout’n About is so called because of the River Test which flows through the middle of Stockbridge. It is considered to be one of the finest Trout rivers in the world, and as such you cant actually walk along it because nearly every inch is owned and rented out for fishing – reportedly sometimes for tens of thousands of pounds. It’s a shame as when you do get to see it (usually only passing over a bridge) it really is very stunning. Stockbridge is lucky to have small tributaries coming through it where the Trout can be seen basking in the sun. Today it was like they were putting in a guest appearance and enjoying the attention from the onlooking crowds.
Next year’s Festival will be held on August 4th. It’s definitely a date to put in the diary.