What a fantastic day  we had

            The sun shone, the  crowds came, the local produce was sampled, the stalls admired, children played, demo’s & talks were watched & listened to,  the music cheered and people went home happy having spent a few pounds on some excellent goods!

Thank you to Gregg Wallace for coming along to open the event & staying so long to chat & sign autographs with members of the public.

Thank you to Peter, Gill and their most friendly, efficient team at The Speech House for being perfect hosts, to County marquees & their staff, Yvette & Harts Barn Cookery School & Robert Woodhouse

and a special thanks to all who came along & enjoyed the day & all who contributed to make it such a success.

Any helpful feedback  on how we can improve the event & comments on this year will be gratefully received at contactus@forestshowcase.org

 …. & the ciderwas delicious!

Amanda  Smith, Festival Organiser & the showcase team x

Showcase-JamesMcCrindle reviewCROWDS began arriving well before the advertised 10am start for this year’s Forest Showcase Food and Drink  Festival held in the grounds of Speech House last Sunday, forming  long queues at the entrance gate.But once inside the festival gates, it was soon apparent that this was a step on from the previous festivals –  with over 50 exhibitors in the main Food Tent, plus dozens of other organisations, craft providers and demonstrations and talks on stalls and booths scattered across the site.

The Showcase was opened by TV chef Gregg Wallace, whose contributions to cookery is at the loss of a potentially great stand-up comedian, aided by Speech House Hotel owner Peter Hands and Diane Smart with assistants Rachel and Amanda. A garlic threaded ribbon was cut to officially start the day.

Out in the central space area, James McCrindle and friends brought to life a restored 19th century mobile cider press,            complete with a Lister Engine, which was used here for the first time since it was completely restored. To the delight of the crowd,  and the crew responsible for the return of this iconic piece of rural heritage, a steady stream of fine pear juice poured into  waiting buckets as the ancient process of smashing up and then  crushing the perry pears took place. The whole process, with unfamiliar noises and the scent of the crushed pears, proved fascinating for young and old alike.

In the Cookery Demonstration area, the day kicked off with some medieval style buffoonery from Mario Constantinedes  and friends  from the Miners Arms in Whitecroft who capered their waythrough a hilarious hour of almost slapstick humour, ending with a slap-up feast.

Josh Theobold from Lydney Park Estate, on the other hand, took a much more serious view of proceedings and gave a well-appreciated demonstration on butchering a whole deer carcass  – ‘the simple way’ – showing where the individual cuts come from.

Packed out all day, the demonstrations tent also included contributions from Andy Robinson and Yvette Farrell from  Harts Barn Cookery School, with the day concluded by cookery and food writer Lindy Wildsmith.

The Forest certainly was showcased – and appreciated – by the crowds who at times became almost wedged into the Food Tent as they thronged to avail themselves of the huge variety of food, beer, cider and crafts on offer.

In glorious autumn sunshine, the atmosphere of a  turbo-charged garden party was completed by the accomplished sounds  of Chepstow Community Big Band, who provided some spirited swing from their repertoire, and the Feliks Tablis Swing ensemble who played their largely acoustic jazzy sounds to complete the day.

Copyright Tindle Newspapers Ltd   Thursday, 11 October 2012


“It really was a fantastic day, so thank you for making my very first event such a pleasure and I shall look forward to seeing you next year! ” 

Wye Valley Granola

“Yummy!…”      Gregg Wallace

“We had a brilliant day selling Jewellery & Accessories in the craft marquee. The sun shone and so many people were shopping and having a fab day! We would like to say thank you to the organisers and look forward to seeing you next year 2013.

Jula  Jewellery

“What  a great day! Thank you for all of your organisational efforts, and for sorting out the weather again! Looking forward to next year  already…”

Crooked End Farm