What I've Learnt This Year

Firstly, thank you very much for such a positive reaction to last week's blog. In light of the awful events this week, being kind seems all the more important so whether you spread the blog or not, at least just spread the message.

Secondly:  It's the Tonbridge Food and Drink Festival this weekend and TOFS Beer & Cider festival, both of which I'm now seeing in a slightly new light given what I've learnt this year...

 
 

OK, well if I was to list out everything I've learnt this year, we'd be here for a while but let me tell you about one thing that made me think.

I was kindly invited to the Taste of Kent Awards in March by Thomson Snell & Passmore solicitors and Clare Barton of The Bakehouse at 124.  It was a revelation.  

The things I'm about to write are going to make me sound very parochial (which I'm not) and really quite stupid -  but I'm hoping that after a year's worth of blogs you don't think I am.  

1.  Kent is a large county!  I'm not from this part of the world originally so I haven't spent days out as a child at Whitstable, Canterbury, Dover etc and as a result, the vastness of Kent has escaped me.  Driving on the M20 still panics me a bit! 

2. There are lots of amazing places to eat that aren't in Tonbridge.  Gasp!  Did she really say that?  The Eat Around Tonbridge blogger, the blog created to encourage us to eat locally?  The Taste of Kent Awards made me realise what great cuisine there is across the county - the juices from Biddenden, the smokery at Flimwell, the great restaurants along the coast and inland.  So I think the Produced in Kent brand and the Taste of Kent awards have performed their job on at least one Kent resident.  

This gorgeously hot weekend is a great opportunity for us all to try something new at the Tonbridge Food & Drink festival and TOFS Beer & Cider festival, both of which have produce from the county and beyond.  I'm approaching them with a little more curiosity this year given my new found knowledge. 

 
 Tonbridge Food & Drink Festival 2016 - as you know I'm no photographer! 

 Tonbridge Food & Drink Festival 2016 - as you know I'm no photographer! 

 

The Food & Drink Festival kicks off at 11am on Saturday and goes on until 6pm; TOFS Beer & Cider festival starts this evening and goes on across the weekend and into Bank Holiday Monday - on Saturday and Sunday, TOFS regulars, Brisket & Barrell will be providing their amazing meat to accompany your drinks.   

I'm not saying, don't Eat Around Tonbridge but I am saying, explore, be curious because there really is bountiful home grown food and drink on your (metaphorical) doorstep.