Hope Street Feast

Following our delicious meal on the Saturday evening, we woke up bright, early and bushy-tailed for the Hope Street Feast. Now last year was the most dazzling, warm, autumn day. This year, we woke up to a downpour of torrential rain and our hearts went out to the stallholders who had to be out in that weather selling their wares. We put on the most inappropriate footwear, gathered umbrellas and a Bag for Life and headed down the road to Hope Street.

The effort put in my the stallholders is always amazing and no more so than in the pouring rain with people huddled around their stalls with hoods up and hands in pockets. It’s especially hard to sell when people are even less likely to take out their wallets in the rain. We first walked the line of stalls, deciding to come back via the various stalls and pay them closer attention.

The Chaophraya stall was amazing. The smells of coconut and the sites of all the curries, stir fries and vegetable carving was amazing. It must be there first year as I didn’t see them last year, there were noticeably less stalls this year though, but it was an amazing tribute to the intricacy of their dishes and it made me resolve to visit there before the year is out.

Our next point of call was the Derimon Smokery stall. They had a varied array of smoked fish and meats with some live lobsters caught by the stallholder in Welsh waters the previous day. Mum and I each bought a small tup of potted shrimps as we adore these macey little treats in risottos and pasta dishes.

Derimon Ltd. Deri Isaf, Dulas, Isle of Anglesey, LL70 9DX. 01248 410536. www.derimonsmokery.co.uk

My eyes were then tranfixed by these whoopie pies. I had yet to see one in real life although I know they are currently the latest fashion and are the new cupcake. There were many many cupcake stands but none were quite as exciting as these brilliant little creations. I stopped to chat to the lady behind the stall and she explained they were opening a shop/bakery on Mount Pleasant in the next couple of months and I couldn’t be more excited!!

Cuthbert’s bakehouse. 103 Mount Pleasant, Liverpool, L3 5TB. 0844 245 8612. www.cuthbertsbakehouse.co.uk

Another stopping off point for us was the amazing bread stall of More? The Artisan Bakery from Kendal. The breads on this stall take some serious beating and I bought enough to last us a lifetime in the freezer. I believe, and I may be wrong, that they are the suppliers of the fresh bread stocked by The Quarter on Falkner Street. I bought a red onion and cheese foccacia, a rosemary and garlic foccacia and I insisted Mum buy herself a Monty’s Revenge. Mum sells Montgomery’s cheddar, which I believe is what lends this volcanic bread its name. It has a huge eruption of cheese and garlic in the middle and is absolute heaven. You can also buy their goodies online including fruit cakes and christmas puddings which is good news for presents for christmas!

More?, Mill Yard, Staveley, nr Kendal, LA8 9LR. 015398 22297. www.moreartisan.co.uk 

Mum stopped to chat to her cheese world acquaintance on the Mrs Kirkham’s Lancashire cheese stall. Whilst she did this, I hovered about and took photos. We then made our way down the street via the paella stall for a paella for mum and via the Cumberland sausage stall for a sausage bap for me and stopped off at another smoked meat stall and a lady selling ostrich meat where I picked up wild rabbit and some rosey veal. Now I appreciate that veal is controversial but I have no problem with people producing it in this country within laws and guidelines and people who actually care about the welfare of their animals. British rosey veal is often hard to source as it isn’t produced in enormous amounts and is time consuming due to the care taken over the calves. The age at which the animals are slaughtered is also older than the lambs that contribute to our roast lamb. I’m not saying that it’s a meat for everyone but if you can see that it is produced by a farm who care for their animals then I think perhaps you should try it!

We wandered home with our bag of treats via the Liquorice stall for Mum, the Cheshire chips stall for Mum and to the cake stall for Mum!

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