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Posts Tagged ‘St Leonards’

Just to give you a feel for the bustle…

Utterly fantastic that there have been so many come to the Festival this year, given that the weather hasn’t been wonderful.  I went down at lunchtime on Saturday with the job of covering the wine side of things for The Observer, and managed to get a few interviews, and a few nuggets of wine gossip to share.

Had a nice chat with Nick Hales who is the owner-chef of St Clement\’s restaurant up at Mercatoria in St Leonard’s.  I was able to recount the story, and pay Nick the compliment, of having taken Lord Rennard, the former Chief Executive of the Liberal Democrats, to the restaurant when he came to give a talk to the constituency party.  I hope Nick was as pleased as the old elections fox was with his starter that evening! 

Needless to say the Kedgeree that St Clement’s was offering to the festival-goers was sublime: a delicately spiced mix of locally caught gurnard and mackerel; and a good fortifying bowlful to get me through the task of interviewing the winemakers.

I think the compere for the day said there were forty-something stalls and companies represented.  This is a terrific achievement in the current economic climate, and testimony to the great number of high quality food and beverage establishments we have in our area, and not so far afield.  My only slight gripe was that the space on the Stade wasn’t particularly easy to reconnoitre at the busiest times – especially with a pushchair and a grumpy three year old!

We knocked off mid-afternoon, but it was nice to see the weather improving for the later part of the evening.  I hope there were good takings for the stallholders.  From Judge’s at the front, to Webbe’s at the back, they seemed to be pretty busy.

What a cracking event this is, and a real opportunity to showcase our local heritage and ancient trades.

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Have spent the last week-or-so discussing the practicalities with editor Karen Pasquali-Jones, and yesterday evening filed my first copy for a new column in the Hastings & St Leonard’s Resident.  The column will be fortnightly.

I hope it will be another opportunity to start a conversation about what’s hip, happening and affordable in the world of wine – in Hastings, and beyond.

Hope you’ll send your feedback on Column #1!

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