Tuesday, 3 September 2013

VISITED: Chatsworth Country Fair

Barbour out, riding boots on, early morning rise...it's time to head into the countryside.

Silly hat, optional.
Chatsworth Country Fair is a family tradition; every year growing up I'd make that trip to the Chatsworth estate with my Parents and Grandparents for a day of horsey events, food stalls, gundog shows and the balloons.

Due to working and university, I haven't actually been for the past four years which I hate but this year, I went on the Sunday with Ma and Pa. Unfortunately, my Grandad is that little too old now to spend the day walking around so we have to carry on the tradition without him. It makes me sad not to be able to share this with my Grandad as he is my favourite person in the world. I know most people say this about Grandads/Grandmas, but my Grandad is the best around; he's witty, has a million and one stories (some he repeats quite often) and he truly has a heart of gold. He hasn't once raised his voice to me, he's always been there when I've needed a shoulder to cry on...and, embarrasingly at the age of 22, I'm still his 'Buttercup Syrup' (but I like that!). I love that I have this relationship with my Grandad and I will miss him so, so much while I'm away.

Back to Chatsworth...

Chatsworth House is a stately home in Derbyshire that stands on the River Derwent, housing the most incredible paintings, furniture and a whole lotta' history. It's an impressive location and one of my favourite in the UK. The Country Show attracts thousands of people and this year saw a record number of visitors turn up for the impressive selection of stalls and special events.

We headed out early to arrive for the show opening at 9am and to start the day with a bacon sandwich and a cuppa! What I didn't expect to happen was a substantial amount of cheese tasting, balsamic vinegar and a taste of cider before 11am...when in the countryside, yeah?

The thing I love most about this show is the variety of stalls it has to offer - from food to furniture, hand creams to clothing...it has a bit of everything! I'm always lured in by the Barbour, Hunter and Dubarry stands and successfully managed to leave with minimal damage to my credit card in the form of a chunky knit cardigan (erm, that'll be handy during my travels...). As well as the vast number of stalls, they also put on the yearly gun dog show, a food demonstration tent (which hosted Mary Berry this year), horsey events in grand ring and the mounted games. Okay...so I kinda lied...the thing I love most is...THE FOOD - cheeses, local meats, oils, antipasti - a foodies dream!

And my absolute favourite, The Red Arrows. Their show is always spectacular and brings back memories of being a little girl, standing next to my Grandad 'ooo-ing and ahhh-ing' and thinking the pretty colours and whizzing planes were the most amazing thing in the world.

Silence takes over and everybody stops, watching in sheer admiration...

And if allll that food tasting before midday wasn't enough...all that walking made us peckish. My Dad then spotted something that got my heart racing - HOG. ROAST. Now, I'm not a big meat eater, but there's something about a pork sarnie with stuffing and apple sauce that makes it okay to call it 'The Food of the Gods'.

After that, we had another wander round and checked out the last row of stalls. We saw a little bit of the brass band down in the grand ring and made our way down to the vintage car display. Now, possibly the nicest part of the day happened. My Mum came across her Grandad's old car that had been recovered and restored!

This was a really nice discovery and my Mum was thrilled (as you can see!)

We spent the rest of the afternoon making our way back to the slightly quieter river bank to watch the gun dogs and have a well deserved sit down!

The day was pretty near perfect, especially when we made our way back to the car and got to appreciate this view. Derbyshire truly is beautiful and I'm so glad we live fairly close by. We couldn't have wished for a better day weather-wise, even if it was a little cold.

If any of you ever get chance, visit Chatsworth - it's beauty and history is something worth witnessing.


P.S. I know, I know - very photo heavy post. My apologises! I couldn't resist trying out my new camera

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