A tasty day in the Bay

Yesterday we had a fantastic day down by the sea in St Margaret’s Bay at the first annual historical food festival hosted by Sam and Nigel Wydymus at The Coastguard pub.

During the festivities hundreds of people enjoyed great food and delicious drinks proudly displayed by producers from both sides of the Channel.

Appropriately enough given the French coastline could just about be spotted through the late summer haze, the event had been billed as something of an Anglo-French showdown. That was certainly the case when it came to drinks, with Gadds of Ramsgate and Rough Old Wife representing Kentish real ale and cider against stiff competition from Cote d’Opale brewer Christophe Noyon.

Although as a proud Brit it pains me to say this, I’d probably have to chalk that one up as an away win. Christophe’s beers were superb, subtle yet robust, and we had little choice but to pick up a bottle of his 2008 vintage Belle Dalle, brewed using barley from his farm on the northern coast of France between Calais and Boulogne, to take home with us.

Also on offer were some wonderful cheeses, salted and smoked fish from Boulogne’s JC David, who use traditional methods handed down through the ages, and some traditional English fudge. Delicious.

The theme of the festival was medieval, and there was lots going on to keep children and adults alike amused, including period costumes for those who really wanted to get into the spirit of things. Among the entertainment was a folk band and a traditional puppet show, staged by Bringing Alive Sandwich Heritage, which had the little one’s enraptured with the stories of Chaucer.

Combining the food and historical themes were a group of appropriately attired lads and lasses who were cooking with traditional methods and tools over an open fire. Although not strictly allowed, because of health and safety rules no doubt, I did grab a couple of cuts of lamb from their spit. It was fantastic.

Thanks to Sam and Nigel for putting on such a fun day. Here’s to it being even bigger and better next year.

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