2016 marks the 300th anniversary of 18th century landscape architect Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown, whose birthday (probably) falls this August. His actual date of birth is not known but he was baptised on 30 August 1716 at a time when babies were baptised very soon after birth, so we have declared August as his Birthday Month!
The nationwide Capability Brown Festival celebrates the life, work and legacy of England’s most famous gardener, often dubbed the ‘Shakespeare of gardening’ or the ‘grandfather of landscape architecture’.
This year the Capability Brown Festival has seen a myriad of events including exhibitions, guided walks, musical performances and family friendly events held at many landscapes across England and Wales.
This August, to celebrate Brown’s birthday month there are even more celebratory events taking place, including: Capabili-Teas at Scampston (Yorkshire), a family picnic in Gatton Park (Surrey) and a three-hour bell ringing marathon on Brown’s baptism day at Croome (Worcestershire).
Ceryl Evans, Director of the Capability Brown Festival, says: “Brown’s portfolio is impressive – we see examples of his influence from Dinefwr in Carmarthenshire to Chilham Castle in Kent, which back in the 18th century wouldn’t have been easy to manage, whether in terms of the geographical spread of his client portfolio, or the practical difficulties of travelling around the country!
"Brown was not just a landscape architect; he was an engineer, entrepreneur, salesman and an extremely effective businessman too. It was the combination of these skills which led to his success across England and Wales, and what better time to celebrate his accomplishments than in his birthday month.”
For further details, visit: www.capabilitybrown.org
BBQ season is almost upon us and whilst in previous years it was perhaps men that have traditionally worn the macho BBQ crown, this summer actress and chef Lisa Faulkner believes women should reclaim the BBQ reigns.
In the past BBQ food has been synonymous with under done burgers and slightly burnt sausages, but with Brit’s becoming more culinary conscious than ever before, Lisa believes things are set to change and BBQ may be the next big thing in British gastronomy.
Teaming up with Red Tractor, the UK’s largest, not for profit, farm and food standards scheme Lisa has created a series of delicious BBQ recipes that should inspire both men and women to get grilling. Including:
• Steak tagliata salad with truffle oil Lisa Faulkner: Women Should Rule the BBQ in Summer ‘16
• Chicken chimichurri pitta pockets served in pitta bread with lettuce and tomato
• Paneer tikka kebabs
Lisa said “BBQ-ing has always been considered a man’s role, however in my home you are as likely to find me on the BBQ as anyone else. With so much fantastic food on offer these days, BBQ no longer needs to be all about steaks and sausages, which is why I am calling for women as well as men get creative. Nothing beats a good BBQ on a sunny day and Red Tractor’s fantastic BBQ giveaway means everyone has a chance to own their very own Napoleon grill in time for summer.”
She continues, “As a busy mum, I think it is very important to know that the food I serve my family has been produced to a good and safe standard. The Red Tractor logo is a simple indication that the food I am buying has been prepared and checked by independent experts to meet farming and animal welfare standards.”
Additionally, in celebration of BBQ season Red Tractor are launching a BBQ promotion and will be giving away a fantastic Napoleon Grills barbecue worth £500 every single day for an eight-week period during the barbecue season (9th May – 3rd July). To be in with a chance of winning, simply visit www.redtractor.org.uk
A stalwart of the culinary scene and established over 20 years, Tasting Places has relaunched with an updated website featuring tempting new itineraries to the Basque region of Spain (Bilbao, Rioja and San Sebastian); plus the Italian delights of Sardinia, alongside their established portfolio of favourite destinations.
New long-haul options include luxury gourmet travel in China and India, with personalised itineraries offering unique experiences for independent travellers.
The Tasting Places team offers a wealth of knowledge and experience in specialist cooking courses; the world of fine wine; fabulous venues and destinations for private functions.
Whether for a short culinary weekend or longer holiday (perfect for solo travellers wishing to join a small group of kindred spirits) each enquiry is handled on a tailor-made basis, working with a core of partners sharing key values and Tasting Places’ ethos. www.tastingplaces.com
Award winning China operator, Wendy Wu Tours, has unveiled a unique way of exploring the ancient city of Xian with a special six-day half marathon package.
Taking place in November 2016, the half marathon allows competitors the opportunity to run along the magnificent city walls of Xian, built during the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644). The walls cover 8.5 miles and stand at 12 metres high.
Held since 1993, the race has attracted runners from around the world and over 4,000 professional athletes have competed. Falling annually on the first Sunday of November, the marathon is now the biggest sporting event in Xian.
Wendy Wu Tours ‘Xian Half Marathon’ package (2 – 8 November 2016) is available from £1,299pp and includes competing in the half marathon, a trip to see the Terracotta Warriors and watching a traditional Tang Dynasty dancing show.
International flights, domestic transportation, four-star accommodation, race entry fee, most meals and airport transfers are included. Guests have the option of extending their trip with a three-day stay in Beijing including a walk on the Great Wall of China from £199pp.
Full details and bookings: https://www.wendywutours.co.uk/china/tours/xian-half-marathon.
Bristol Food Connections, produced in partnership with Bristol City Council, the BBC and Great Western Railway, will be returning for its third year from Friday 29 April to Saturday 7 May.
Food Connections aims to connect people to all aspects of their food. From how and where it was grown, to who served it, how it tastes, how it makes us feel and the way it brings communities together.
Over 100 events will take place, from talks on how music affects our perception of flavour to sauerkraut masterclasses and how a food programme gets made. There are city-centre events – an edible education classroom on College Green, a travelling barn that will house practical cooking demos, food business workshops and topical discussions. Not to mention street food and artisan producer markets around every corner.
Food Connections encourages everyone to get involved, roll up their sleeves, learn new skills, gain insight and eat the world better! www.bristolfoodconnections.com
The inaugural ‘Al Meni’ food festival, takes place in Rimini’s Fellini Square 21-22 June. Spearheaded by the celebrated chef Massimo Bottura, whose restaurant Osteria Francesana is ranked the third best restaurant in the world , the event will feature a further 11 Italian chefs and 12 international chefs cooking with local delicacies such as Parmigiano Reggiano, Aceto Balsamico and Prosciutto di Parma. The Al Meni festival will incorporate a mixture of cooking demonstrations and artisan food stalls, culminating in an open-air group picnic on Sunday 22 June. www.riminiturismo.it
Pembrokeshire Fish Week takes place 28 June - 6 July. The festival includes cookery workshops, a Fish Fest, gourmet nights and tutored tastings, live music and hands on family activities plus tasty dishes to sample in the ‘Blas-y-tir' Feast on Fish pop-up restaurant.
There will also be several fishing trips and estuary cruises, and a chance to explore the coastal waters in a kayak. Competitions throughout the week range from angling, photography to art and craft. Visit www.pembrokeshirefishweek.co.uk, and www.visitpembrokeshire.com
EAT! Newcastle Gateshead holds its first event of 2014 – Tea & Cake Planet at The Boiler Shop on 28 and 29 June.
Expect artisan stalls, street food and workshops from the likes of Top Hat Tea Cakes, Northumberland Tea, Brownie Bar, Teasy Does it, Tea Owl, Tea Sutra, Marco Polo, Fat Friars, Wylam Brewery, with live music, DJs and tea dances throughout the weekend.
Book in for one of the pop-up tearooms from Fenwick & Ringtons, The *TeaShed, SIX @ BALTIC and The Vermont Hotel taking your pick from cocktails, champagne or even a Teddy Bear’s Picnic.
Plus the ever-popular Cake Book event returns with the whole blooming planet made out of cake!
For tickets and full information visit www.EATNewcastleGateshead.com
The Green Island of San Miguel plays host to ‘10 Fest Azores’ 19-28 June, one of the largest and most important food festivals in Portugal.
Especially for 10 Fest Azores acclaimed and Michelin Star chefs from England, Spain, Portugal, France, Denmark, America and Canada will create their interpretations of modern Azorean cuisine.
Each international chef will head up a team of chefs from the Azorean School of Tourism & Hospitality Training for a night, as they compete to offer approximately 70 guests (each night) the best Azorean-influenced menu. The festival will also feature international barmen, winemakers and sommeliers.
Azorean cuisine is typified by local seafood dishes including squid, clams, tuna, swordfish, limpets and crabs, as well as local beef and meat dishes. These include ‘Cozido das Furnas’, a traditional stew containing local sausage, beef and a variety of vegetables which are cooked underground by the heat of a volcano in the village of Furnas. Each region also produces its own local cheese, which is often taken as an appetiser served with Azorean sweet bread. Local produce includes pineapples, bananas, guavas and passion fruits, teas, liquors, plus red wine and white wine grown on Pico Mountain. Visit www.taste.visitazores.com and www.visitazores.com
Madeira’s annual wine festival takes place 31 August - 7 September 2014 in Funchal. The four-day festival showcases the traditions of the wine harvest on the island and includes grape treading, traditional music and regional cuisine. www.visitmadeira.pt