Horses, shooting, classic cars, tractors and delicious food – what’s not to love? This is what I was lucky enough to be surrounded with when I visited Holkham Estate recently for their annual country fair! Held over the weekend of 20th and 21st of July, the yearly spectacle of Norfolk’s finest did not disappoint on my first ever time visiting, despite the downpour of rain we were unlucky enough to have on the Saturday of the show! If you’ve never been to Holkham Estate I highly recommend it, the grandeur of the hall and the beauty of the grounds never disappoint me – belonging to the Earl of Leicester, the 25,000-acre estate really does take your breath away!
I was lucky enough to be invited to the show as part of an influencer experience held in conjunction with North Walsham Waitrose, and this meant entry into the vice president enclosure, something I have always wanted to do at a country show. It was brilliant to have a front row seat at the grand ring, and especially the opening ceremony consisting of the Poppy Parachute Team with their colourful smoke and impressive parachuting which led onto The City of Norwich Pipe Band – I love bagpipes!
The day really was a chance to embrace the English spirit (quite literally, who knew there were so many fab Norfolk gins?!) and get stuck into the world of the country set. I had to stop myself from buying something from each of the amazing clothing vendors which were exhibiting too, there were so many! If I hadn’t brought my other half along to voice reason, I would’ve left with at least 3 fedoras, a wax jacket and several pairs of wellies/boots. However, if you are in the market for this type of attire, I would seriously recommend saving yourself for next year as there are some brilliant show only offers the stall do and so many lovely things to choose from.
Whilst I loved the animals, the clothing and seeing all the beautifully restored tractors and car, the real draw for me (as always) was the food stalls. I am finding it easier and easier to find something vegan and delicious at places like this – I went for an amazing chaat masala served with vegetable samosas – and it was to die for! There was no shortage of food options, my other half chose a pasty as big as his head and we both had the nicest ice creams for dessert too! As always at a country fair, there were lots of local food and drink sellers displaying their wares, something which never fails to amaze me in Norfolk, as I really do believe we have so many local companies doing brilliant things. I treated myself to some Yau’s nut-free thai satay sauce which made me very excited because as someone allergic to peanuts I had never tasted satay before. All I will say is, I see what the fuss is about!
All in all, I would really recommend giving Holkham Country Fair a visit next year if you can, it is a day out that all the family would enjoy. With archery, a fairground and donkey rides amongst the activities on offer, there is plenty for children and adults alike to discover. The setting and grounds are one of the best in the area, you cannot help but stare in awe at the house the whole time, it’s incredible. Whilst you’re that way, if you get the chance please visit Holkham beach – it is the most stunning beach I’ve ever been to, it will not disappoint.
Just Hollie xox