THAMENSIAN: How I gorged myself on free foodie samples

The Thamensian's Take
The Thamensian's Take
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I have seen the future and have decided that from now on all of my meals will be served on the tiniest scrap of cream cracker.

For I have been to Thame Food Festival and I have seen the light.

I’ll be honest, I wasn’t all that bothered about going to our annual High Street food festival.

I went once, a few years ago, and found it all a teeny weeny bit underwhelming.

Plus one of the organisers was extraordinarily rude and as you know, I’m probably the worst person in Thame to be rude to.

However, now that I am an award-winning chef myself I felt the time was right to revisit this culinary carnival.

First things first – as with the rejuvenated Thame Show the week before, the organisers were unbelievably fortunate with the weather.

The sun beat down and bounced back from a thousand silver salvers on a High Street rammed with trestle tables.

Approaching from the lovely end of Thame, gift voucher in hand, I had barely gone ten yards before my senses had been filled by pungent smells and tasty treats. And that was just the people.

I started with chocolate buttons then a hunk of bread with chilli oil.

Like an ageing Augustus Gloop I waded into sausage samples, chutneys and free beer – all the while jostling my way through the chatting hordes.

I wolfed down elderflower cordial and at least three thimbles of apple juice before I got caught on the savoury popcorn stand and I decided I couldn’t leave until I had sampled them all.

Roast beef? Don’t mind if I do. Coffee? Easy. Need to try a flapjack? Piece of cake.

As with the big fair a week earlier, I reached the Rising Sun and turned for one more pass.

This was a more adult crowd than seven days before and that represented problems because they kept stopping to have a chat or sample something.

Hot and bothered, I began to sketch a system for next year where you sit on a stool on a giant scalextric track and ride through the festival just slow enough for stall holders to lob their wares into your open mouth.

By the time I waded back to my starting point I had eaten my body weight in samples and had a lovely time.

I had bought one bag of curry popcorn, which later, in the cold light of Match of the Day turned out to be a mistake.

That didn’t spoil what had been a nice morning though. Congratulations to the organisers, who did a phenomenal job.

Two weekends, two fairs. Quick Thame, what are we doing next?

Did you enjoy this year’s food festival? Email your views to