Recently I was invited on a press trip up to Scotland for Paisley Food and Drink Festival. Paisley is a town located a quick 15 minute drive from Glasgow. It’s history visible from its beautiful architecture and recognisable Paisley fabric design. The most striking of Paisley’s architectural legacy is the Paisley Abbey, acts as the centrepiece of the food and drink festival, which takes place in the grounds of the Abbey.
This year, Paisley Food and Drink festival had a large focus on vegetarian and vegan foods, so I was excited to see what they had on offer. The fourth annual festival proved a real hit with more than 10,000 people turning out to sample some of the best produce and street food from across Scotland over the two-day festival. A number of activities took place over the weekend including the Gin 71 bar, who hosted tasting sessions which proved very popular (I think I managed to sample 8 different gins in the end?), and live cooking demos from Masterchef’s Gary Maclean and Dirty Sanchez’s Matt Pritchard (AKA The Dirty Vegan).
Something about spring gets me all excited inside. Butterflies in my belly at the first signs of daffodils. Giddy when I see the new bunnies and lambs in the fields. Snowdrops twinkling along the canal brings a warmth to my heart. All these signs that we are getting out of our long, wet winter, and soon, we will be basking in the great British sunshine. Even the wild garlic is making an appearance.
This week, we had an unusually mild, spring evening. I was cycling home and heard a pop. I’d hit a sharp stone and my tyre had punctured. I was 3 miles from the boat and cursed myself for not having a spare. So I walked back, dragging the bike along, taking in the mild evening and the pink skies. I cycle this route every day, but my head is down and I’m focussed on the pedalling. Walking a route brings you the time to take in the surroundings and truly experience the nature and the joys of Spring.
Markets are now brimming with their spring produce, which gets me jumping for joy, especially when I see those juicy Sicilian Oranges (blood oranges to you and me). Bursting with juices and flavours, these beauties are packed full of Vitamin C, fibre and potassium, woop! Another of my favourite fruits to get me excited for summer is grapefruits. Growing up, I watched my mum eat her way through a lot of these sharp, strange fruits, vowing that I would never like them. Fast forward 10 years and I can’t get enough of them.