11th February, 2016
Not long now until the first signs of spring will have sprung up around our glorious region. The spring snowdrops will soon be followed by the abundance of daffodils in a kaleidoscope of yellows followed by the green shoots of new young grass and cereal crops. At the Royal Bath & West Show we are also in full swing for spring as we finalise our plans for the biggest, best and only 4-day Show in the South of England.
I am now well into my second year leading this great Society and this year’s Show gives me and my team the opportunity to present a Great British Festival of Agriculture, Food and Entertainment for everyone to enjoy. Improvements this year include cattle, sheep and pigs being shown on all four days (instead of just three), a greater emphasis on rural life and living in the countryside, the promotion of more smaller local craft businesses and most excitingly for me, and whole new emphasis on local food and drink served up in a wonderfully effervescent “festival” environment.
I have a real passion for local food & drink and being one of the judges of the Somerset Life Food Awards has stimulated me into thinking how else I can make an even greater impact for the benefit of local producers; where else should this be done, but the Bath & West? The key for me is to make the thread between producer and consumer indestructible with this being done most effectively by some of the best eating establishments around the county, as well as the smaller producer/retailers that we see around the various Farmers Markets and food festivals in the area. We are going to bring all this together at the 2016 Royal Bath & West Show – The British Cheese Awards, the British Cider Championships, star-studded chefs cooking the best of Somerset meats, pop-up restaurants, the opportunity to buy the finest food and beverages to take home with you, or most excitingly enjoy our new Bath & West Food Village together with likeminded foodies enjoying the very best food from local purveyors in the area while experiencing fabulous local live entertainment courtesy of our new President, Michael Eavis – bringing the “festival” feel to our Show.
So now back to the spring! As the days lengthen and the weather improves, I would urge you all to get out and about to experience the finest food and drink in the county. Plenty of opportunities to buy the very best from either food markets, farm shops, restaurants, gastro pubs – and of course at this year’s Royal Bath & West Show from 1st – 4th June, and as it is half-term week, bring the whole family to witness the best of local farming, food and entertainment