A FOODIES DREAM
Delectable scents of pastry and spices waft tantalisingly through the air. The atmosphere is warm, welcoming with a tinge of anticipation. People are scurrying around, putting the finishing touches to their displays. These are just some of our first thoughts whilst waiting for the doors of Rockliffe Hall (a beautiful hotel and spa in Hurworth, just passed Darlington) to open and for their Artisan Food Fair to officially begin.
Before the first flurry of visitors push their way into the hall, we take a moment to look around. There are food stalls of every kind in the Rockliffe Suite (a beautiful room situated to the left of Rockliffe Hall reception, with big windows, a grand entrance and twinkling chandeliers, we instantly fell in love. This was the location of the indoor stalls, we will get to the outdoor section a little later). There is so much colour, from vibrant green olives, to deep plum gin to rich brown pork pies. A patch-work of food and drink, a foodies dream! It suddenly hits us, we are sharing a room with some really talented North East producers and we feel a flurry of excitement and pride to be involved in such a fantastic event.
Of course, we were a little nervous too, especially as we were the only stall not selling food or drink. When Rockliffe Hall asked if we would like to be involved in their first Artisan Food Fair, we jumped at the chance. We knew there would be lots of foodies visiting the hotel that weekend and we really wanted to meet people that loved tableware as much as we do!
We put a lot of thought and effort into our stand. We decided to go for two looks; one side was all about casual, relaxed dining, featuring tableware you would find in a brasserie or gastro-pub. On the other side we went all out with a more formal look, which is something you would find in a fine dining restaurant. See the finished look below, what do you think?
We were off to a busy start, with crowds of people wondering into the suite on the hunt for foodie delights (phew, as we were all worried the snow would put people off). We were delighted that people were stopping to browse and ask questions about our stand. A lot of people were drawn into the unique colours and glazes of the plates and wanted to know more about what we do.
We were more than happy to share our story, (which you can read all about here) and it was fascinating to receive such positive feedback. There seems to be a lot of people out there who want restaurant quality tableware but didn’t know where to find it – well, that’s why we are here! While you’re here, why not have a little browse at our Tableware shop, go check out our Chef Pages and get some ideas from our inspirational pages.
The star of the show was definitely Costa Nova Lagoa. This beautiful metallic plate glistened beneath the chandeliers. It was such a hit, that we have recently added it our shop! You can get your hands on it here. (Side note: metallic glazes are bang on trend right and look great when mix and matched with natural tones! They also look really luxurious and a lot more expensive than they actually are, so they make a great impressive piece!)
When we had a few moments free, we each wondered around the grounds on the hunt for a bite to eat. We followed the winding road through Rockliffe’s pretty gardens (by the way, how cute are the wooden signs – see pictured below). Here, we found a variety of hot food vendors. We had heard lots of rave reviews about the duck wrap and loaded fries, so we were excited to get stuck in!
There was something to tantalise everyone’s taste buds, from traditional fish and chips to pizza to Greek and Indian delicacies to sweet treats and so much more! The smells and colours were just amazing…and we can confirm the duck wrap was unreal! And to top it off there was a Tipi bar complete with roaring fires, the perfect spot to eat your food and get all warm and cosy.
We would like to thank Rockliffe Hall and their amazing team for inviting us to their food fair and for letting us show off our tableware in our own style! The hotel provided the perfect surroundings for a fair and the team were perfect hosts, so helpful and friendly. We’ve got a feeling this is going to be a yearly thing, so put the date in your diaries for next year, foodies!