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The great, Great Yorkshire Show

If the ‘big French getaway’ didn’t prove to everyone what a splendid place Yorkshire is, this week’s annual Great Yorkshire Show certainly put the seal on a remarkable month for the county.

With more glorious weather once more the whole event was highly entertaining, enjoyable and quite mesmerising for those who saw the return of the dashing Lorenzo – an incredible horseman from the Camargue in southern France whose daring escapades really have to be seen to be believed (bottom image).

Paul Hudson, BBC Look North weatherman (right), had urged people to go on Wednesday if they could, as the forecast looked most promising for the ‘middle’ day (the show runs Tuesday-Thursday in early July each year). And come they did – in their thousands – with me among them, as my wife and I have done every year for quite some time now. It was glorious: the sun shone all day, while people slowly ambled from one attraction to the next, enjoying chilled drinks or quickly-melting ice cream, while cows bigger than you thought possible relaxed in the cattle sheds, cooled by electric fans while awaiting their starring role.

Paul was not the only familiar face (at least, he is in Yorkshire) at this year’s show. As we slowly wandered through the animal sheds, an elegant lady in tweeds marched past, surrounded by the show judges in their traditional bowler hats. It was none other than the Princess Royal on an unheralded visit, here to see the animals and talk to the breeders, farmers and handlers.

After seeing the sheep and pigs, she moved on to the cattle sheds before going to where I suppose, her heart really lies – with the horses. She is after all not only a fine equestrian, but also something of a farmer herself on her Gloucestershire estate, Gatcombe Park.

We didn’t have time to stop for a chat – like we did when we met her eldest brother in 2011 (blatant ‘name drop’!) – as there was simply so much to do – cheese to taste, cider to sip, competitions to enter, and cookery demos to watch.

Talking of which, we made a point of making our way over to the game food marquee to meet up with our good friend, Sue Nelson (right), founder of Yorkshire Food Finder, who was demonstrating how to prepare ‘Wild pigeon with Yorkshire blue cheese and salad’, followed by ‘Saddle of rabbit with tarragon, rabbit risotto and confit leg’! A delicious repast indeed, using the finest Yorkshire ingredients, many of which, as Sue pointed out, you will come across on a new gastronomic break in the county created by Inntravel and Yorkshire Food Finder.

This new holiday celebrates Inntravel’s 30th anniversary and showcases not only the excellent food and drink that are made in the region by a host of enthusiastic, dedicated and skilful artisan producers, but also those spectacular landscapes that provided Le Tour with its unforgettable backdrop.

Starting in the tiny village of Harome, near Helmsley, you visit cheesemakers, rapeseed oil producers and even the UK’s most northerly commercial vineyard, as well as having the chance to explore historic sites like Rievaulx Abbey, Helmsley Castle and Nunnington Hall.

You enjoy picnics of local delicacies along the way, and dine each night on exquisite meals created by celebrated chefs like Andrew Pern, Peter Neville, and Craig Aitchinson. Your last night is spent in the foodie town of Malton at the gloriously renovated Talbot Hotel. I also bumped into the Talbot's Liz Clayton (left) and her team who were at the Great Yorkshire Show, promoting their fabulous hotel whose main restaurant is run under the guidance and patronage of local lad, TV chef James Martin.

It makes a fitting end to your gastronomic break – a leisurely exploration of the part of Yorkshire that we know best – the glorious Howardian Hills.

Holiday details:
4-night Yorkshire Gastronomic Celebration available 24 Aug-15 Nov 2014, and mid-March-mid-Nov 2015 from £750 per person based on two sharing including half board (with a 5-course tasting menu on the last night), two picnics of local produce, 1.5 days privately guided visits with Yorkshire Food Finder, walking maps and detailed route notes.

Posted: 11/07/2014 10:37:50 by | with 0 comments
Filed under: gastronomy, uk, walking


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