It’s a big weekend for food events at the National Trust in the North East with both Wallington House, Gardens and Estate and Washington Old Hall celebrating autumn’s rich bounty.
Wallington Food and Craft Festival had its first outing in 2006 and is now one of the most popular events of its kind in the region.
It’s easy to see why. It successfully combines countryside with culture and a smorgasbord of culinary delights.
This weekend – October 18 and 19 – the event in the heart of the beautiful Northumberland countryside at Cambo, will see more than 70 stalls piled high with fantastic foods and crafts taking over the impressive grassed courtyard in front of the picturesque mainly 18th century mansion.
Among the foodie names who will be laying out their wares will be Wildon Grange with their award-winning chutneys, sauces and marinades, More? The Artisan Bakery, Kenspeckle Northumbrian Confectionery, Deer ‘n’ Dexter meats, Ringtons tea and coffee and Boulevard Cuisine, which specialises in smoked salts, peppers, garlic and oils.
Reduced admission charges apply for the weekend of £5 for adults, with National Trust members and children going free.
Apart from the food festival to enjoy (it runs 10am-5pm both days), there’s acres of parkland, woods and walks waiting to be explored. A good way to build up an appetite for all that great food.
Meanwhile, over at Washington Old Hall on Sunday (October 19), visitors are being invited to take part in a special In a Nutshell nature conservation day.
The event will be showcasing progress on the three year Nature on Your Doorstep project to develop a rural idyll in the middle of urban Washington.
But there will be a big food focus too with apple pressing, foraging sessions, honey extraction demonstrations from the hall’s own hives and a special pop-up kitchen manned by children from Barmston Primary School who are involved in a Plot to Plate allotment-style scheme taking place at Washington Old Hall to teach them cooking and gardening skills.
On offer will be soup, hazelnut cookies and sweetcorn fritters all made from seasonal ingredients grown on site.
Washington Old Hall – which has a family connection to George Washington, the first president of the United States - also happens to be home to what is believed to be the region’s only dedicated Nuttery, which has this year produced a bumper crop of hazelnuts.
In a Nutshell is free to attend and runs between 10am-4pm.