I’ve just returned from Thame Food Festival, and once again I’m amazed at how quickly this festival has grown – from half a dozen stalls around the town hall a few years ago, to today’s mammoth festival, for which the town was closed to traffic all day.
There was an amazing array of produce from local and artisan producers, as well as delicious goodies from further afield. The huge crowds around every stall surely must mean that we are all more concerned about where our food has come from and how it has been produced.
It was great to say hello to various people who have been stallholders at The Pantry, or whose products we’ve stocked, and to see them doing so well. David Newman, who regular Pantry-goers will recognise as the face of Bucksum vegetables, in particular had one of the longest queues when the Michelin-starred chef (now with his own TV series) Tom Kerridge was signing his new book on the Bucksum stall.
I’d dallied too long at the stalls to get anywhere near the stage to see Raymond Blanc demonstrating, but as I passed, I heard that unmistakable voice exclaim “Voila!”, and thought yes, “Voila!” indeed – from a small beginning this big idea has captured people’s imagination and enthusiasm, and has grown into quite a landmark event, putting Thame firmly on the foodie map.
We’re very lucky to have such a terrific event on our doorstep. If you missed it this time, do go next year – for the food, the buzz and the live music at the pop-up pub. A grand day out!