Entering the racecourse we could feel the buzz of excitement in the air. The Spring Fair was busy and full of things to see. Living North Live features over 175 exhibitors. They showcase interiors, garden furniture, gifts and fabulous food. We were expecting an inspirational afternoon and Living North LIVE did not disappoint.
The Geordie Banger Company make their sausages on the banks of the Tyne. Whenever I see them I always have to stock up, our family love their bangers. It can be so hard to find a decent sausage but these never disappoint.
Old fashioned cordials are making a bit of a comeback. Mr Fitzpatrick’s handmade vintage cordials are made from 100% natural ingredients. The bottles are rather eye-catching.
We could easily have spent a lot longer wandering around the food stalls but we found the chef demonstrations and went to have a look.
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Top North East chefs were taking to the Living North LIVE demonstration kitchen to showcase some of their delicious recipes. The aim was to give you an insight into how you could cook this tasty and delicious food at home.
We got to the demonstration booth just as Martin Charlton of The Old Boat House was finishing. He is the founder of the Old Boat House Food Group and owner of a number of restaurants including the Old Boat House, Amble and the Fish Shack, Amble. He was preparing a squid dish that could be made in literally minutes. It did look delicious, but I have to admit I have never tried squid and am not sure if I want to.
Next up was Scott Papprill from Judges Hotel. Judges Hotel is a country house hotel in Yarm which is renowned for its fine dining. It recently got County House Hotel of the Year 2018 from the Good Hotel Guide. Scott demonstrated two dishes, a tomato gazpacho consomé and a chicken supreme dish. The demonstration was fascinating, full of hints and tips.
The tomato gazpacho consomé looks really easy to make. Chop tomatoes, herbs, garlic, shallots and red peppers into pieces. Add some salt to bring out the flavour and pop into a food processor for a very short blitz. The resulting mixture is then left to drip though a muslin cloth for a couple of days. You are left with a clear mixture which you can serve in shot glass. The result is a lovely tomato flavourful glass which is perfect for a hot summer day.
The second dish was a chicken supreme. When I think of chicken supreme I think of the classic dish which uses chicken and mushrooms in cream. This dish was a simple pan fried chicken with roast shallots, mash and a tarragon jus. Whilst simple it was full of flavour and is something that could be made easily at home.
It was fascinating to learn that a jus takes days to prepare when they make it in the hotel. It is a long process involving boiling down chicken bones and skimming the fat off. Wine and herbs help to make the final flavour. At home you can get a similar result with less effort by using a stock pot with wine and flavourings. Scott also shared great tips for making mash, including adding white pepper to it so that it stays white.
After enjoying the food we went to have a look at what the home inspiration section had on offer. There was plenty to see in this section and you could also go to the live lounge. This offers meet the expert talks on a wide range of subjects from interior design, photography to beekeeping and much more. We didn’t get a chance to pop in but did find a great range of wonderfully quirky interior inspiration ideas.
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We thought that Living North LIVE is a great way to showcase all the great food and interior companies that we have in the North East. You can easily spend several hours there and still not see all there is on offer. We made a number of new food discoveries, spent an enjoyable hour watching the chef demonstrations and had a great time. If you are looking for home and interior inspiration this is the place to be.
Would we go back? Yes, we are looking forward to attending the event again next year. If you can’t wait until next Spring Living North also have a Christmas Fair in November. This would be a great place to source unusual gifts for your family.
Did you go to Living North LIVE? What did you think? Let me know below.
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