WHAT THIS BLOG IS ALL ABOUT: a journal and compendium of where to go and what to do for those who love to travel ...

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Britain's Gardener's Get Growing

How do they do it? Come and find out this weekend, at the Malvern Autumn Show

Erratic weather and difficult growing conditions are not, it seems, deterring Britain’s army of amateur growers, who have been plodding on regardless and producing a plentiful harvest of fruit and vegetables to be proud of.
The Three Counties Agricultural Society (TCAS) – organiser of this weekend’s Malvern Autumn Show (29 & 30 September), is reporting a dramatic increase in entries for the event’s popular Open Gardening competition this year – up by 100 on 2011.
So abundant are the exhibits in the Show’s Harvest Pavilion, that show stewards are even predicting a few record-breakers too, particularly in the much-loved giant vegetable section, which only last year, included a monster marrow weighing in at a staggering 171 lbs!
Said Sharon Gilbert, PR & Marketing Manager for TCAS: “The Show’s Harvest Pavilion is always a draw for visitors, not  to mention journalists and photographers too, who are inevitably captivated by the giant vegetables on account of their mammoth proportions.
In the past few years, we have definitely seen a resurgence in the concept of grow your own, largely because families are  having to cut household bills, but also because there is a renewed interest in the provenance of the food we put on our table.
We are not surprised that this year’s crop of fruit and vegetable entries is so high, and hope the trend continues!”
In addition to the giant vegetables, the Pavilion houses exhibits of apples, dessert pears, and soft fruit, together with perfect specimens of flowers and plants ranging from Fuchsias and Dahlias to Chrysanthemums and Cacti.
It is also home to the prestigious National Vegetable Society Championships, featuring competitors from all over the UK.
There are a whole host of classes and a number of awards and commendations up for grabs. There are also classes for juniors, and for those who have never exhibited at a major show before.
The Malvern Autumn Show is organised by the Three Counties Agricultural Society and takes place at the Three Counties Showground, in Malvern, Worcestershire this weekend.
Other attractions include edible gardens, a Royal Horticultural Society Flower Show and Plant Theatre, the Good Life Pavilion and Cookery Stage with celebrity chef, Jean-Christophe Novelli, live landscaping demonstrations, native livestock, an artisan food and craft market, exquisite crafts, Horse Boarding and Llama Agility, forestry and superb shopping.

Text contributed by Sharon Gilbert, image copyright Ray Quinton

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

A Vintage Year for Malvern

The fabulous  1940s–1960s trio, The Spinettes, will be on stage at the Malvern Autumn Show in the Café Plaza performing fondly-remembered numbers (image copyright TCAS)

Following my last post: the lovely P.R. lady Sharon Gilbert from TCAS (Three Counties) has sent me an update on what you can expect at this year's Malvern Autumn Show:

Old-style fashion, traditional cookery, classic motors, wartime tunes and countryside pursuits from a bygone age – the fascination with all things vintage is very definitely in vogue at the moment, and fast-gathering momentum to boot!

A flavour of nostalgia has always been a part of the Malvern Autumn Show (29 – 30 September), with its displays of early twentieth century caravans and cars, fine old specimens of agricultural and horticultural machines, and demonstrations of bygone skills and pursuits, but the 2012 event is really going to town with a brand new Vintage Village!

Alongside the trusty old tractors, steam engines and cider-making machines, the beautifully-oiled lawnmowers and 1920s caravans, and the exquisite Bentleys, Wolseleys and Jaguars, will be a whole host of other attractions for an authentic trip down Memory Lane.

A replica wartime pub will be a part of the vintage scene (courtesy 2ndbtnglosters) - 
it's all for a good cause so please visit their OWN website HERE
(photo copyright 2ndbtnglosters)
Visitors are invited to come along to the Show’s brand new Village Hall, where they are sure to get ‘in the mood’ courtesy of the sounds from favourites like Glenn Miller and Tommy Dorsey, and join in with the jive and the jitterbug! Because dancing is such thirsty work, there’s even a wartime pub and a traditional old tea room for a choice of refreshments.

Top of the entertainment bill is singing starlet, Miss Cherry Bomb – otherwise known as the little redhead with the big voice. Cherry is a 40s character singer who popped onto the vintage party scene last year and has been wowing audiences all over the country ever since with her powerful renditions of classic show tunes.

She will be joined by fabulous  1940s – 1960s trio, The Spinettes, who will be on stage in the Café Plaza performing fondly-remembered numbers like Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy and Get Happy.

Shopping, of course, has been a popular pastime through the ages, and the Vintage Village would not be complete without the Vintage Pavilion, with quality stands selling everything from Victorian clothing and jewellery to shabby chic furniture, old-fashioned sweets and delicate china.

The Malvern Autumn Show is organised by the Three Counties Agricultural Society and takes place at the Three Counties Showground, in Malvern, Worcestershire next weekend (29-30 September).

Vintage nostalgia alongside an 'edible garden' (image copyright TCAS)
Other attractions include edible gardens, a Royal Horticultural Society Flower Show and Plant Theatre, a Harvest Pavilion with monster vegetables, the Good Life Pavilion and Cookery Stage with celebrity chef, Jean-Christophe Novelli, live landscaping demonstrations, native livestock, an artisan food and craft market, exquisite crafts, Horse Boarding and Llama Agility, forestry and superb shopping.

Tickets are available on the Hotline 01684 584924 or via the website.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Back to the Hills for the perfect Autumn Show

Relaxing in the sunshine at a typical Malvern Autumm Show

We cannot wait to return, as we do every year, to Malvern, in the lee of the beautiful hills, for what is always a very special end-of-season gardening experience. For tickets, and more details on the Three Counties Agricultural Society (TCAS) who organise the show, click on the link at the right (under Showground News). But first, just look at what is on offer - more varied than ever before:

Event: Malvern Autumn Show (29 & 30 September 2012)

Reason: A charming celebration of food, gardening and nostalgia

  • Food, glorious food
    Don’t miss Jean-Christophe Novelli, the Michelin Star chef, cooking up some scrumptious seasonal recipes with the finest local produce. Mark Diacono of Otter Farm will be returning to the show to serve up some seasonal cocktails and other home grown treats. Gather your ingredients and make your taste buds melt with the very best of local and regional produce in the expansive Food & Drink areas.
  • Inspirational Edible Gardens
Enjoy the delicious Edible gardens including a 1940s inspired ‘Dig For Victory’ garden by 2011 Best in Show winner, Mark Walker; a garden to inspire ‘a la mode’ dining lifestyle with produce from Jean-Christophe’s garden and one promoting the joys of growing winter brassicas e.g. Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage and Purple Sprouting!
  • NEW Vintage Village For those looking to recapture the past the Nostalgia Area is just the ticket. Why not pick up your dancing shoes and learn to jive and or if a sedate afternoon tea is more your style, seek refreshment from the vintage tea room. The village hall will also include a War Time Bar and vintage vocals to while away the afternoon. Stop by the Vintage Pavilion shop for all the trappings of the thrifty forties, fabulous fifties and swinging sixties.
  • The Orchard Pavilion
    Step into the world of fruit growing and orchard life in the Orchard Pavilion. Celebrating the Orchard in style with demonstrations, tasters and helpful advice on all aspects of orchard life. Includes Festival of Perry and Apple and Pear Competitions.
  • Spectacular Royal Horticultural Society Flower Show – covering more than 5000 square metres, and housing thousands of blooms from the country’s finest nurseries.
  • Harvest Pavilion
    The grandest selection of this year’s giant vegetables, the NVS Midlands Branch Vegetable Championships, the RHS Tender Plant Committee demos and our impressive Open Gardening entries.
  • Landscaping Live
    Showcasing the art of garden design and landscaping live! Featuring two identical gardens, one complete and the other a work in progress.
  • Discovery Zone – Fishing is the theme down by the Showground Lake and there’s plenty to inspire and occupy all levels from the complete novice to the seasoned fisherman!
·         Animal action ­­ - Meet your favourite fluffy friends at the World Of Animals and cheer on the Racing Llamas and the fun duck herding in the Activity Arena. Watch the daring horse boarders race as they’re pulled along at breakneck speed by horses in the Severn Arena.
·         Carriage Driving Classes – rescheduled after the unfortunate cancellation at the Three Counties Show in June. They will take part in the Malvern Horse Ring during the show.
·         Rural Pastimes and Countryside Skills

I'll be there blogging live whilst my photographer husband will be scouring the Showground for images to support the many online articles or printed magazine features that I will be producing during the coming months.