I love a good country fair. River Cottage’s Spring Food Fair is one of the glossiest you’ll find. The stalls, the food, the face paints – everything has got a slightly glossy sheen, giving you a country fair experience with a sprinkling of glamour.
It has a price tag to match (£17.50 for adults) and you need to bring a wad of cash with you too. But it means all the things that make a country fair a bit rough around the edges (think stodgy food, crowds and queues) are neatly ironed out. This makes for a lovely, stress-free day, exactly what families need. The fair attracts a pretty glamorous festival crowd. Just as you’d expect from such a slick operation as River Cottage. Slick but still authentic.
Kids under 16 are free, so you can take a whole gaggle of them. Particularly nice for larger families.
My friend and I took our four boys and we loved it. From the swanky park & ride coach journey into the stunning setting, the pony grooming, bowling, clay-sculpting, bug-house-building, face-painting, bubble-chasing to the final rickety tractor ride back up the hill, we revelled in the activities on offer.
The only downer was our total focus on face-painting meant we missed all the amazing River Cottage food and had to gobble the last pizza in the place, followed by some left over doughnuts.
You live and learn.
So sadly I can’t comment on the food aspect of the food fair, which – given the host and the name – is a pretty large aspect of it. Although for us, with our gang of boys, it was all about the traditional fair fun. There is never much time for sitting and eating.
What I can say is that it was a joy to see our boys run free, trying out all the games, marvelling at the Bubble Man and making the most of country life. It felt a little bit like living inside Country Living magazine, which was rather lovely for a Saturday in May.
More info & tickets for final day tomorrow (Bank Holiday Monday): https://www.rivercottage.net/dining-and-events/spring-food-fair
Disclaimer: we were kindly given 2 x adult tickets to the show so we could test it out. All opinions are my own.