Tuesday, 19 July 2016

A festival weekend - Arlington Gets Cajun & Wealden Food Festival

Strum n Bass (n Bash)
at Arlington Goes Cajun 
We're trying to make the most of the small festival opportunities open to us during our stay in Sussex - that's the festivals which are small, not the opportunities! You might already have read about our trips to Broadstock in Crowhurst and to Eastbourne Feastival? This weekend just gone we stayed local to our current Hailsham campsite but still managed to take in Arlington Gets Cajun on the Saturday evening and Wealden Food and Wine Festival on Sunday afternoon.

Arlington Gets Cajun is essentially a village affair which raises much needed funds for the MS Society, but Dave and I have supported the event several times now because Dave has been asked to play guitar as a guest with the Cajun Dawgs. You can see him on the right of the photo below, in the red t-shirt. The Dawgs were the last of four great musical acts this year preceded by blues singer Dave Beckett, duo Strum n Bass featuring Bash, and Rough Chowder. I think my highlight was probably Rough Chowder who played a fabulous set.

Three Dawgs plus Dave 
This year Arlington Gets Cajun included an art show in the village hall together with cake sales and pre-loved books, and a gazebo outside shaded the BBQ run in aid of local hospice Demelza. I bought a couple of gorgeous cards by artist Julia Hawker but I won't show them here because I know their future recipients read this blog! Of course I couldn't resist the books although I did only get two. I was disappointed with my BBQ vegeburger which, even with onions and cheese, was bland. However, the Arlington Gets Cajun event was another opportunity to wear a new-to-me vivid pink dress I bought for the Eversley wedding and that came from Hailsham's Demelza shop!

Justin and the Argonauts
at Wealden Food and Wine Festival 
After lots of dancing the night before, I wasn't sure I would have enough energy for the Wealden Food and Wine Festival. Fortunately it didn't require a lot of effort! We went to the inaugural event in 2014, but missed last year's which was apparently at a different venue and didn't have as much atmosphere. This year, the festival returned to English Heritage's Pevensey Castle which meant that English Heritage Members could get in free. The £2 entry fee for the rest of us was very reasonable though, especially as it included a choice of a reusable commemorative cup or cloth tote bag. The Park and Ride from Stone Cross Nursery was very convenient for us and expertly stewarded by 1st Hellingly Scouts who took the opportunity to fundraise for their upcoming jamboree! Other folks rode in on vintage bicycles as part of a Bexhill Classic Cycle Group organised ride.

We arrived in time to hear Pocketsize play beautifully (Pocketsize are also playing at Eastbourne's Underground Theatre tonight) and also thoroughly enjoyed discovering Justin And The Argonauts whom we hadn't heard before. Their music is great fun and I would love to see them play again. Also perfect sunny afternoon music was Helen Sharp And The Soulshine Band. We had seen Helen in an acoustic bluesy trio at Broadstock, now she was a disco diva with a very funky sound!

Vintage penny farthings
from Bexhill Classic Cycle Group 
Between sessions of enjoying the music we did, of course, get to try and buy the food and drink on offer too! Our luch was from Indian street food stall Simply Veg where we both chose vegan foods that we had never had before. I ate Bhel which is a kind of puffed rice salad and Dave had Patra which was made from Colocasia. Downsview Farmhouse ice cream made for a welcome cooling dessert and I am actually wishing I had more right now. It's stiflingly hot today! Greenway Fruit Farm was selling the most delicious cherries I think I have ever tasted and I tried a couple of sparkling wines from Bluebell Vineyard as I was hoping one might be good for a forthcoming gift. Stone Cross Windmill had a stall selling their own wholemeal flour which I've bought before and been impressed with. It's a good strong bread flour. Then we ended our day at Mini Mouthfuls where we chose four 100g sticks of fudge for the price of three. What's not to like about that?! Of our Chocolate Orange, Chocolate Ginger, Cherry Bakewell and Banoffee selection I think the Banoffee was my favourite.

Now I just have to hope that Torbay can put on similarly good events to get us through August and beyond!

1 comment:

  1. Great news from Arlington Gets Cajun: this year's event raised £1500 for the MS Society! Well done everyone!