02 Aug

Port Eliot 2017

This weekend we were lucky to be involved in the 2017 Port Eliot Literary Festival in St Germans in Cornwall to look after a variety of authors, events and clients. Despite trying to ignore the weather forecast all week and be the ever-optimist – I had no choice but to pack various waterproofs, wellies, walking boots, leave Baxter in Bristol and clamber onto a train at 6am, rucksack and all, to a rainy Cornwall from Temple Meads.

First up on Friday morning was Aaron Bertelsen, gardener, cook and author of our beloved Great Dixter Cookbook, who came to talk about his book, life at Great Dixter and how he tends the world famous fruit and vegetable gardens throughout the year. Aaron followed with a busy book-signing and then head off into the festival… never to be seen again!

Following that at midday (a respectable hour) it was off to Skinner’s for a Cornish beer tasting. Held at the new Campfire stage, the brewers from Skinner’s held an educational and fun beer tasting to a packed crowd. As well as a history of the brewery, they used various hops and malts as props to help us learn a bit more about different styles of beers, how to taste them and what to pair them with.

Straight after Bristol Lido chef Freddy Bird along with lovely assistant Ed, hit the campfire stage. Freddy and Skinner’s have been working for weeks on the unique and specially created equipment for the camp-fire stage. The grill/oven and smoker were all transformed from Skinner’s condensing units. Looking a bit Mad Max meets Steam Punk, the pieces of kit created some amazing food. On Friday it was Americana style ‘dirty food’ of burgers, ribs, and barbecue sauce knocked down with a few Rum picklebacks. On Saturday a tail of monkfish was grilled over fire along with clams and pork fat, alongside a dish of Pyrenean lamb with smoked aubergine. These were all created to pair with a variety of Skinner’s beers and everyone was happy.

It was then deep into the festival for the rest of the weekend to wade through mud, drink Skinner’s, dance with Betty Stoggs, find hidden discos in woodland bars and at some dark and dangerous hour get driven around the festival in Steve Skinner’s golf buggy.

Please note all images with blue sky were taken on Sunday…

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