After a very miserable and damp start to June, I rub the sleep out of my eyes to clear blue skies and the sun streaming through the skylight above our bed. Lions roaring in the distance, only in Wiltshire! Lazy morning off from site duties. Up, showered and dressed, we amble round the corner into Longleat, ready for a couple of hours at their annual food and drink festival.
As we walk down the road from the site towards the house, there’s a buzz about the place. Stages are set up for cooking exhibitions and live music. A speaker in the distance welcomes celebrity chef, John Torode, to the Long House stage, he’s going to rustle up some tucker from just a handful of ingredients. We grab a seat and settle down to watch. Never really took to him in MasterChef, but as he throws a few prawns and a bit of spaghetti into a pan, his humour starts to flow.
Outside the didgeridoo starts it’s deep, throaty rumble, (that sounds wrong in lots of ways but I can’t think of another way to describe the sounds,) as a crowd starts to gather round.
Back into the sunshine we head towards the Market Street. Street food stalls sit alongside stalls boasting cheeses, local ales, smoothies, confectionary and locally made Nutts Scotch Eggs. Eggs, in my opinion are food of the devil. The Boss, however, is partial to a scotch egg and declares this one delicious.
A mixed plate of African Delicacies and a pint of local brew in a compostable plastic glass in hand, we settle on bales of hay in front of the main stage listening to local bands sing their hearts out.
Vintage cars sit rather grandly in front of the house, giving the air of times gone by, just as Lady Emma, floats past in a cloud of expensive perfume. Lady Emma, now Lady of the house, is off to do a cooking demonstration with MasterChef John, we give that show a miss and wander around the vintage fairground.
Rides of our childhood, whizz and whirl, swing boats, roundabouts with the horses that go up and down and the swing seats that fly outwards as the ride goes round bring back nauseous memories of the little me, the me that now knows things that go round and round at any kind of speed knock me sick. The big wheel slowly rotates as its queue gets bigger. Parents and grandparents regaling today’s generation with stories of times gone by and their visits to the fair, only to get on the ride for the younger folk to stare glumly, almost bored wondering what all the fuss is about and is this really how we got our thrills back in the day.
Armed with a haul of flapjacks and locally brewed Somerset ale, we trudge back to the caravan site, just a hop, skip and a jump away, ready to don the uniform and get stuck into work.