Supporting local businesses is one of the most important things you can do as a consumer. Not only are you reducing your own carbon footprint, as the products you are purchasing don't have to travel from overseas, but you're also pumping money back into the local economy. I'm a big believer in supporting small businesses as well - I would much rather give my money to someone striving to make even with their dream, than a major corporation.
With this in mind, I gleefully set off to Tewskesbury's annual food and drink festival last Saturday. Tewkesbury is this tiny town near Cheltenham in Gloucestershire. I've recently moved near to the town, and the festival was a great chance to check out Tewkesbury Abbey, which the event was held in.
I'm not going to lie, I was ravenous when we turned up. I knew I'd want to sample everything and anything, and so came on an empty stomach. Although all of the stalls were absolutely beautiful, and offered stunning displays of food and drink, I definitely had some firm favourites.
As soon as I entered the grounds, the sight of Belgian chocolate cascading down a fountain had my little eyes glimmering with delight. I ended up with a cup full of strawberries, marshmallows and a flake, smothered in oozing milk and white Belgian chocolate. This even had my chocolate-hating boyfriend so intrigued he needed to give it a try.
Next up, we took one walk around the entire tent sampling little bits and pieces with a cup of sweet apple cider in hand. I'm that person that meanders everywhere and has to look at every stall before deciding what to purchase. So we had to walk around the tent three times. Obviously.
The Croombe cheese stall was a firm winner on my first journey round - I tried about 10 different cheeses in the end and fell a little bit in love with all of them. The roasted garlic and parsley cheese was literally heavenly, with the scrumpy and crunchy apple cheese coming in at a close second. Seriously though, those flavours. Get in mah belly.
The Queen's Park Preserves stall was another one I had to practically be dragged away from. I've got such a soft spot for jam and always get drawn into buying it, before remembering that I rarely actually finish a jar before it goes mouldy! The Chuckleberry jam was like nothing I had tasted before, and I was so impressed. Plus they even do a pear and chocolate version so um, hello, need?!
There were SO many things to choose from, but I limited myself to only picking up a few (HA). The first was some rhubarb fudge which oh my god totally melts in your mouth and 100% deserves the title 'moreish'.
After spending an age at the Garlic Farm stall because garlic is my one true love really, I finally picked just one bottle of garlic infused extra virgin olive oil. Y'know the stuff you drizzle on your pizza when you go out to eat and it smells like garlic in a bottle? Now I can drizzle it over my homemade pizzas and I am SO READY.
What I'm trying to say with this post, is that if you have a local food and drink festival coming up soon you should totally check it out, because there are some amazing little gems in these events.
Have you been to a food and drink festival before?