Fruit wines
Fruit wines

We weren’t planning to go to the food extravaganza in Inverurie on the first weekend of June but a bit of an emergency had cropped up in one of our paddocks and we desperately needed a roll of stock fence to keep the cows contained.

Right next door to the showground is the man that sells the wire so we had a reason to be in the area.  As we approached the venue we couldn’t understand why people were leaving their cars up the road and walking but all became clear when we pulled up to the car park.  It was a fiver to park and Himself very nearly turned around and went home as he hates to pay for parking.  However, it was free to get in to the event so I managed to persuade him to part with his money.

I have never seen so many cars at the Thainstone Centre, I thought the Rare Breed Sale was well attended but this trumped that many times over.  After a long walk down a dodgy slope (luckily I wasn’t wearing heels, but then I rarely do) we were greeted by a large array of stalls and a very lively entertainer.  I think he may have been a contortionist but didn’t hang around to find out.

Mackie's Scotch Bonnet crisps
Mackie's Scotch Bonnet crisps

We hit the outdoor stalls straight away and before we had even gone a few paces, had our first “sample”.  A very enthusiastic lady was handing out little plastic cups full of cider.  There was quite a crowd as you can imagine, but we managed to muscle our way to the front and I tried a delicious ginger cider and and an equally delicious fruit one, can’t remember if it was raspberry or strawberry.  They were very alcoholic and were priced at £20 for 6 bottles.  I vowed to go back and buy some later, but I never did and I’m sad to say that I don’t even know the name of company but their cider is well worth drinking.

Next we stumbled across a fruit wine stall and I tried the gorgeous sparkling strawberry.  Again the vendors Cairn O’Mohr, were very generous and again I planned to return for a bottle or two.  Tesco had a stand with a big queue so we got on the end and eventually got to sample crisps from Mackies (my personal favourite being the mature cheddar and onion) and dips from local suppliers, one of whom I believe, was The Really Garlicky Company.

In one of the tents there was a wine tasting for a modest fee but we didn’t indulge, Himself was driving and I was already feeling a bit squiffy.  In another tent was gin, whisky and beer, one of which was named Sheep Shagger from the Cairngorm Brewery Company.

Inside the main building there were dozens more stalls and so much to taste, cakes, gluten free bread, flavoured oils and whisky, whisky, whisky.  Very difficult for a single malt man to resist.  There was yummy haggis and black pudding samples, jams and pickles but my award for the best in show was the fish stand courtesy of Macrae.  They were giving away huge chunks of smoked salmon on blinis, but their Thai salmon gets my vote it was scrumptious.  We returned a couple of times and filled our greedy faces.

Other attractions included a craft tent which seemed to have a lot of jewellery on sale, not of great interest to me.  The Gamrie Goat were there selling soaps and creams from made from goat’s milk.  One of their goats is the sire of my little Lily.  On one table I saw some interesting looking biccies and was on the brink of shoving one in my mouth when I caught sight of the name.  It was the Wow Dog Bakery!

The new fence
The new fence

There was stuff for kids, jugglers and cookery demos from celeb chefs but we gave those a miss.  My only disappointment was the lack of a decent cheese.  I did taste a few but nothing that really stood out.  Maybe there’s a gap in the market for a good goat’s cheese.

Overall all it was a fantastic day out, we both really enjoyed it and if we hadn’t just spent all our money next door on the roll of fencing, I would happily have filled many bags with purchases.

Despite our lack of spending I hope that the stallholders did well, they certainly deserved to after all their hospitality and generosity.  I had no idea we had so many wonderful people producing food right on our doorstep.  We will certainly return next year.

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