The last weekend in August saw the fifth staging of the North Norfolk Food & Drink Festival and I’m immensely proud at what this superb event has become.
More than 11,500 people came to Holkham Hall over the two days of the festival this year and I think I can safely say it is going from strength to strength.
Fortunately, the threatened rain showers never really materialised on the Saturday and Sunday saw some excellent weather.
This festival is all about getting local residents and visitors to north Norfolk better acquainted with the superb food and drink on offer from local producers.
It’s also about having a good time and it was lovely to see so many families picnicking in the grounds on the approach to the Holkham courtyard and tucking into their recently acquired local delicacies.
Being a part of the festival’s organising committee means having to make sure everything is running smoothly and drummin up publicity for the event.
That meant conducting interviews with BBC Radio Norfolk’s Wally Webb and ITV Anglia’s Natalie Gray – well, someone’s got to.
It was a busy weekend for me as I was also booked to appear alongside my good buddy Arthur Howell at Mary Kemp’s Cookery Theatre on both days of the festival.
We had to tone down some of our sausage-related humour this year, what with the festival being such a family event, but we still seemed to get plenty of laughs during both our shows!
The aim of the game for Arthur and I is to educate people about food production and have a good time along the way.
I thought I’d make Arthur sweat a bit for the first show on the Saturday so I deliberately went AWOL for a few minutes just as we were due to go on stage.
He looked mightily relieved when I decided enough was enough and finally responded to the tannoy appeals before appearing through the tent flaps to make my entrance dead on time.
I was hoping my late arrival would put him on the back foot during our audience participation sausage-making game, but his team won the first battle. Mine grabbed the honours on Sunday.
Thanks as always to everyone who came, all the traders and stallholders, the Holkham staff, and my fellow committee members Viscountess Coke, Mary Kemp, Diana Brocklebank-Scott, Martin Billing and Teddy Maufe.
Hope to see you all at the 2015 festival!