Recently catching up on my Twitter feed, I heard a couple of people discussing The Royal Norfolk Show. As they were discussing good food, it grabbed my attention, a quick google, a phone call to BoyWonder and we decided to take the day off work later in the week to head up there.
I love Ag Shows, but it had been years since I’ve been to one – The Royal Easter Show in Sydney was something that I loved going to as a kid. The animals, produce displays and shows meant a great family day out, but as I got older, the focus of the show seemed to become more commercial with increasingly ridiculous prices for showbags and rides. To be fair, there now seem to be some more reasonably priced showbags, but with the most popular lolly bags being $12-15 and the kids character bags at $20-25, it’s not going to be a cheap day out for anyone.
But back to The Royal Norfolk Show… it was a proper Ag Show. I had a brief stint at an Agricultural Advertising Agency in what seems like a lifetime ago, and BoyWonder grew up in the country, so we know what a real Ag show is like. And this one didn’t disappoint. After a quick glimpse at the dogs, we legged it over to the food tent to watch Dr. Tim Kinnaird demonstrate making the most beautiful Rose Macaroons (with natural colouring made from beetroot extract). I’d sent a couple of cheeky tweets to Tim a day or two before the show, so it was lovely to meet him afterwards for a giggle. And while I completed meeting the Masterchef 2010 finalists, I never did find out who was which of the hear-/see-/speak-no-evil monkeys.
Further wanderings around the food tent, we discovered Edinburgh Gin. Now I’m usually a Tanqueray girl, but OMG, this is absolutely delicious. A distinct yet subtle taste of botanicals, some specifically Scottish in origin (juniper berries, milk thistle, pine and heather) as well as the distillation taking place in “Jenny”, a Scottish Copper Pot Still, have led to my changing allegiance at home, and hopefully out-and-about as it becomes more widely available. The Sheep Dip Whisky that originally caught my attention at the stand was also really nice – beside the great name – with hints of orange, and low-peatiness, so yes, a bottle of this also made its way home with us.
Time for some lunch. I’d been tweeting with Sarah from Bray’s Cottage about the show (it was her tweet originally that led me to discovering it was on), I was on the hunt to try The Perfect Pork Pie. Now, I’m not usually a huge fan of pork pies – I find them too fatty with too much jelly. BoyWonder decided on a medium traditional pork pie (supposedly for slicing or sharing between two!) and I went for a Thai chilli version. WOW! This really is the best pork pie I have ever tasted. The quality of the meat from home-reared rare breed pigs is obvious, it was well seasoned with a hint of onion marmalade, and the pastry was lovely as well. Now I just need an excuse to order some!
Off to check out some livestock, everything you could possibly imagine from birds, alpacas, cows and bees… but my favourite was this inquisitive pig. I named him Bacon. I think BoyWonder’s perverse sense of humour must be rubbing off on me – growing up he (briefly) had lambs named Lamp Chop and Mint Sauce. Then we wandered around the farm equipment, saw the tractor show, with some really old tractors as well as the most modern bells-and-whistles variety.
Pork crackling and some craft stalls later, we spotted some bikes. I had been on the verge of buying a new bike over a year ago before I put my back out. Then my physio said no cycling (anything sitting was putting pressure on my problematic lower back). So the old bike remained in the shed – it was just to heavy for me. Lighter in weight and cheaper in price than the one I almost bought a year ago, I fell in love with this gorgeous pale-gold traditionally styled bike… Pretty isn’t she! I’ve now started cycling to work, and one week in my back has been pretty good, my knee has bothered me more.
We apparently “had” to see the ferrets. I’ve not been won over, though they have soft & silky fur, they stink. So we headed back to the dogs, and saw the cutest puppy – we’d been speaking to her owner at the start of the day – win the best of the Toys category. Now, I’ve wanted a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel for a while… the name Grace Kelly has already been chosen to join Lulu & Hermes in the handbag inspired names of our fur-babies. And I think BoyWonder may be won over now as well. Time and budget restrictions mean it won’t be happening anytime soon, but how long can we resist these big brown eyes?!
What a fab day out!
PS. Do you like Ag-shows? Have you ever been to one? And are my pun-titles killing you?