Alton Food Festival 2011

Alton Food Festival used to be worth visiting, sadly it is now little more than a farmers market.

Alton Food Festival 2009
Alton Food Festival 2010

Why not all day, why no cooking demos in the afternoon?

I caught the last cooking demo. A lady showing how easy it was to make cup cakes. Last year the same lady showed how easy it was to make cup cakes!

One measure of a market, apart from the pleasure of wandering around, is how much you spend. Not a great score there. I spent zilch. It was not that I did not buy anything, sausages and bread from Brock’s Farm Shop and fruit and vegetables from an excellent fruit and vegetable shop, but nothing off the market.

Alton is a pleasant market town to wander around.

Two museums but why closed until Tuesday? Bad timing.

I looked in St Lawrence Church. Not a very attractive church to look at but interesting from a architectural and historical perspective, and it was fantastic to actually find the church open as so many are closed. The church is Norman, with Elizabethan additions. The church was at the centre of the Battle of Alton, a turning point in the English Civil War. Inside the church a quiet corner for prayer where I left a few prayer and meditation cards. Sadly no Visitor’s Book to sign.

I bumped into Stuart Olds who was doing a book signing. We had an interesting chat and I came away with a signed copy of Hope’s Truth.

I went for a walk along the water meadows. The river had dried up leaving patches of mud and stones. As I walked along, little pools of water, then I noticed the water was flowing. This is the source of the River Wey, the water bubbles up through the chalk of the river bed. It flows through Farnham where it is a stream, through Godalming and Guildford where it is a canalized river and on to join the River Thames.

On my way home I popped in to see Peter O’Connor of O’Connor’s Secret Garden. I had bumped in to him on arrival and he told me he had, as last year, given one of the cooking demos, which I was sorry to have missed. He kindly gave me the recipes: Watercress Express and Warm Homemade Chocolate Brownies.

The journey to Alton is a pleasant train journey, or is when there are are trains. Instead a somewhat unplesant bus trip. The return was no better. Welcome to weekend rail works. [see Weekend rail works]

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