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The producers’ tale

A day in the fresh air is never a bad thing for foodies, so best mark your diary for a day out which combines all our Artmag passions. The Hopetoun Town & Country Fair brings together all things foodie (producers and tastings as well as handcrafted kitchen products) with art (from the Anthony Woodd Gallery) and design (clothes and accessories). It runs alongside the Hopetoun International Horse Trails on 27 and 28 July at the stately home near Edinburgh. Hopetoun knows a thing or two about Scottish produce as Artmag can testify. The Farm Shop had a showcase of Scottish food late last month, it was a great chance to talk to the people behind the artisan brands. John Mellis from Dumfries had us doing honey tastings and we quite fell for the oilseed rape variety. Having harboured a bias against the yellow fields of rapeseed which colonised Scotland in the 1980s, it’s great to learn more about its good side. Summer Harvest’s cold pressed rapeseed oil from Perthshire proves that point and when mixed with the Dalchonzie fruit vinegars, we were happy to eat our words! It was also good to see the next generation of a Fife foodie family branching out on his own. Byam Trotter may have a chef as a father, but his innovative condiments (think Mojito Marmalade) are all his own work. The good news is that the Hopetoun Farm Shop often hosts its producers, so you can get the story behind the food yourself.

If you can’t wait till July for Hopetoun’s big event, then the Loch Fyne Food Fair is at the Oyster Bar in Cairndow, Argyll, is on 18 and 19 May. Alongside food, there’s live music, a craft tent and children’s entertainment. Alternatively, in Fife there is the Crail Food Festival on 15 and 16 June. An indoor food market precedes an evening musical feast on Saturday, while the action moves to the harbour, where a lobster shack, smoothie bike and horse box pizzeria take centre stage on Sunday.

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