Possibly the most quintessentially English thing to do on a sunny weekend (besides going to the pub!), is to go to a Country Show. I spent a gloriously sunny Saturday last week pretending to know the differences between cow breeds, oohing and ahhing over piglets suckling, watching sheep shearing and dog training, drinking Pimms, and convincing my boyfriend we do not need to buy chickens!
By far the best part of this experience, for me, is the fantastic local produce on display; cheeses, pickles, chutneys, sausages, pies and pasties and local tipples. I tried, (and subsequently purchased!) this deliciously tart Damson Gin by Foxdenton Estate – specialists in English Gin & Gin Liqueurs.
Made from Damsons grown in Herefordshire, this gin is vibrant red in colour and tastes like tart cherries and sour plums. It can be enjoyed in summer with chilled sparkling tonic or soda in a long glass with ice, or in winter as a neat shot. You can also try adding to fruit puddings for a extra kick. But what excited me the most was blending this tipple with Champagne to make a sophsitcated cocktail called a Damn Shame. Of course, for the penny conscious, you could try with Prosecco or Cava – it is still delicious! Garnish with a strawberry to make it look extra pretty :-)
Although the show has been and gone for this year, the Hatfield Country Show is an annual event, usually in August. However there is also a fantastic Christmas Frost Fair in November which is great for finding Xmas gifts and crafts, whilst sipping on mulled wine – can’t wait!