One of the North’s most iconic and picturesque venues is home to this year’s Taste of Teesdale Festival. Located on route to the romantic market town of Barnard Castle, and situated outside the beautiful village of Staindrop, Raby Castle tapping at the hills of Teesdale, and in shadow of the beautiful rolling moors of Weardale is steeped in history, atmosphere and charm.
Positioned in a noble sweeping landscape of white washed buildings between two mighty rivers, the Tees and Wear, Raby Castle is unquestionably a gem within a cluster of precious stones. It’s therefore only fitting that some of the finest artisan food; drink and crafts will make it their home for the festival on Sunday 20th July.
The event now in its second year, is a magnet for food lovers. This year’s festival is no exception. Here is not your ordinary fayre, as a quick peep into the larder reveals Christine’s delicious pork sausage. I can testify without too much interference in the cooking, (by which I refer to pricking), that when the fat accumulates, sizzling and bubbling, once sliced the drama unfolds like a burst mains pipe.
Also on the menu is Teesdale Blue? This award winning cheese with its delicate marbling and light creamy composition is a joyous thing. My perfect scenario would be a warm evening in the garden with a cool glass of Sauvignon blanc and a doorstop wedge of Teesdale Blue. I don’t use a knife, preferring instead to press the cheese onto Sue’s bread with a fork, closing my eyes to savor the after taste when the cream and crunch are washed with the tangy-you know!
Alas, there isn’t enough space within these pages to wax lyrical on the full delights of this year’s festival, which also include, award winning puddings and pies. Homemade preserves, local honey, fish, bread, fudge, ginger wine and lots more.
I should end by saying the £6 entrance fee per vehicle also offers access to the wonderful hidden gardens of Raby, allowing you to extend your visit to a full day. Entertainment includes, the Farmyard Flyer, a double decker animal experience. Duck racing, dog training, Kids Craft, not forgetting the ever popular man crèche ( don’t forget to come back to collect your man). Gates open at 10.00 and close at 4.00.
A footnote for visitors travelling on Sunday, The Marie Curie Cancer Care Etape Pennines bike race will not affect the road between Barnard Castle and Staindrop. For full details of road closures please follow the link.