My first Northern Food Festival

I hadn’t really planned to write about this, but I had taken my camera with me to take some images to document my first food festival visit in the North and it seems appropriate to do more with them than just stash them away on my laptop never to be seen again. If you follow me on Instagram, you will already have seen the images in my stories, so this will give them a little more context.

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You might be unaware of this, but at the beginning of April I moved from London to rural North Yorkshire. A big change! Monsieur and I wanted a complete lifestyle change, fresh air, less of the stress that comes from constant noise pollution and the crazy (if not always unpleasant) buzz of the big city. Now I’m trying to find my feet “up here”. At the time of typing I’m still in our “interim home”, but - after many hiccups - the contract for our new (very old, actually) home should come through any day now. We are hugely privileged to be able to stay in this house that belongs to Monsieur’s family since we sold our London house way quicker than expected and would otherwise have had to rent short term and then - once we complete on our new home - move into a building site. As it stands, we are able to stay in a comfortable home whilst completing all the renovation works. It does, however, have some small drawbacks. Mainly the fact that the house hasn’t been updated in about 30 years and I seem to be unable to operate the old electric cooker properly (eggs are hard boiled, always)! That has somewhat hampered my cooking mojo and I have felt fairly uninspired over the past couple of months.

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A food festival seemed like just the right thing then to find some inspiration, sample some of the goods and take images. I have to admit that it was also curiosity that drew me to it since I’m still discovering my new surroundings, making new friends, finding my way around. So on Saturday Monsieur and I made our way to Malton where the festival was being held all around the market square and the town centre. As we strolled around and checked out the stalls, I caught myself thinking “hmm, I could get all of this and more any day of the week on Borough Market and this is a big annual event?”. Oh the arrogance of somebody who has just left London! I told myself off in my head and vowed to be more appreciative of my new home and its offerings and not to compare apples and pears - because that’s what you’re essentially doing when you compare London to anywhere else in the country.

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Once I decided to simply take it for what it is, I found it enjoyable and above all fun. We chatted with vendors, sampled food, bought a totally random assortment of sweet and savoury treats and stopped at a gin shop for a chat with the very charming and knowledgeable Scottish owner and some gin tasting. If there was one thing I’d criticise, it’s that it didn’t feel like much of a festival, but rather like a market. It lacked the festival atmosphere I’d expect, the buskers, the long tables and benches for people to sit around and chat, the stalls where you buy the kind of food to eat there and then - you know, freshly made paella, that sort of thing. Still, Monsieur and I returned home feeling fairly happy with the day and our first ever experience of a Northern food festival. No, it’s not London, but nowhere apart from London is. That’s something I would have to get used to no matter where I move and something that will take time. The main thing to remember is that we left the capital for very positive reasons and in order to pursue a different lifestyle and that’s exactly what we’re getting. And a food festival or even market is a great start.

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