Sunday 12 August 2012

The First Taste Ayrshire Food Festival

I live in Ayr and this event has been brought to my attention by a fellow blogger, and I just thought I would share it with you in case you might be in or around Ayrshire from the 1st - 9th September.

The event is being sold as

Taking place between the 1st and the 9th of September 2012, the first ever Taste Ayrshire Food Festival is a long overdue celebration of the fantastic array of food and drink produced across the region.  
Journeying the iconic coastline stretching from Ballantrae to Largs, sailing the sea to Arran, and wandering inland to the hidden gems of Catrine, Kilbirnie and Maybole we have worked with local producers, retailers, restaurants, schools, hotels and markets to bring you an astonishingly diverse listing of events, visits and special menus featuring the very best Ayrshire has to offer.  
Join us for delicious dining experiences, watch and listen to the experts in food production and preparation, get ‘hands on’ with practical workshops and visit our stunning hotels and restaurants to sample beautifully prepared and presented local food.  There’s something for everyone and so much to experience and enjoy. 
The Food Festival has been organised by the Food Tourism Marketing Group Taste Ayrshire and has been made possible by funding from Ayrshire LEADER Programme. Please look out for brochures or visit our website for full festival listings

But for me the most exciting bit of it is - A Food bloggers Conference, a real life full blown blogging conference in my home town. I have always wanted to attend a blogging conference but find most of them are far to far away to consider, but no this one is a five minute drive away from my door.

Scotland’s first Food Bloggers Conference! Attracting Food Bloggers from across the UK. 
the inaugural Taste Ayrshire Food Bloggers Conference will help you improve and promote your Food Blog whether you’re a keen novice or a professional. 
Includes workshops from the experts on Social Media, Food Photography, Food Writing and Blog Promotion. This full day event day will feature a spectacular local food tasting lunch and lots of opportunities to network with fellow Food Bloggers. 
Cost £80 per person. To book, email

My ticket  is courtesy of the Sainsbury's Bank Family Blogger Network . Thanks Suzy.  

I have always been aware my photography lets down my blog, and I am really looking forward to the hints, tips and pointers that will come my way.

But as well as the conference there are many many companies involved from local Restaurants to shops, The Cook School to The Global Continental Market all playing a part to show what a diverse and interesting place Ayrshire is.

We have attended the Continental Market before now, I have blogged about it here

The other one that appeals to me are

Catrine Day Centre

Come along with the family for a fun and educational day out!
The heritage tour of Catrine will feature local traditional foods, a guided walk around
the village and then back to the Day Centre for cookery demonstrations and sampling
some of the finest produce and baking that the village has to offer.
Meet at Catrine Day Centre
at 10.30am. The event will finish
around 1.30pm. no charge.

Unfortunately this is on the same day as the blogging conference, and I cannot be in two places at once.

There are weird things happening like - SQUARE SAUSAGE CELEBRATION
Thomson’s square sausage
High Langside
Holdings, Craigie,
Kilmarnock KA1 5ND

In 1992, Lindsay and Janie Thomson gave up their butcher shop to concentrate on the production of their best selling product – square sausage. Their small factory now produces an excellent quality, traditional sausage made with the finest ingredients. Come along 12pm–4pm to visit the
place where your local square sausage is made and sample this traditional Ayrshire favourite.

I mean where else but Scotland could you celebrate square sausage??

Would not be Scotland without whisky and these are various whisky tasting sessions on at different days and different times at the Whisky Experience at Kirkoswald . This is the highlights from one such event.

At 2.00pm there will be our
Wood Finishes Tasting Session, featuring 5 different whiskies which will last approx 60–90 minutes. Places are limited to 12 only, so book early to avoid disappointment. The cost is £30 per person.

At 4pm we have our Old and Rare Whisky Tasting, again featuring 5 different whiskies and the cost for this is £30 per head. Again, it will last around 60-90 minutes and with only 12 places available, book early to avoid disappointment.To book, call 01655 760308

West Clerkland Farm, Stewarton KA3 5LP

Clerkland is a small, family-run farm in the heart of Ayrshire, producing cow, sheep and goats’ milk, used to make a range of award-winning hard and soft cheeses. Come along and find out how the cheeses are made. There will be an opportunity to taste and buy direct.
To book, call Howard on 07765 606 848.Places are limited and on a first come, first served basis. Event held in conjunction with Slow Food Saltire Group.

Auchencloigh Farm, Kilbirnie KA25 7LJ

Come to the farm and taste our award winning ice creams, chocolates, jams and chutneys.Try the distinctly different flavours of our ice creams with free samples!Mini Chocolate Tasting sessions held on the hour 12.00pm–5.00pm. Cost £2.50.Booking recommended for Chocolate Tasting
Tel: 01505 685 258

Ayr KA7 1HT

The tasting will consist of a full tour of our 18th Century wine cellars followed by a tutored tasting of eight wines from across our portfolio. Costs will be £10 per head with a maximum of 20 per session.
To book, call 01292 267 000 or email

Old Dailly, Girvan, Ayrshire KA26 9RE

Cairnhill Farms, suppliers of finest quality meats is delighted to invite you on a guided tour of their Farm and Butchery. The business combines the best of traditional farming methods with expert modern butchery techniques to produce meat that will please even the most discerning gourmand! Each tour, lasting two hours, will include a butchery demonstration, a sausage making demonstration and a farm tour.
Tours will be at 10.00am, 1.00pm and 4.00pm.
Free. To book, call 07901 007 054. Booking line open 10am–4pm, Monday–Friday only. Limited places. Over 18s only.


Fancy a go at making your own bread but never had the confidence? Learn some no-nonsense simple bread recipes in a country kitchen. Get messy and have fun – it’s less effort than you ever think. Starts at 11.00am with bread ready at 2pm. Includes a simple lunch and some folklore about bread. Places are limited so book early to avoid disappointment.
Cost £10 per person. To book, call Rosie on
01292 520 543.

If you enjoy cooking and want to try something different The Cook School in Kilmarnock have various cookery sessions on from a behind the scenes tour of the premises, to a glorious game day, a curry day and a curry demo and dine, an Ayrshire food day, sea food and shellfish. Fifi has been here for a cooking day before and had great fun, They also made a huge impression on us when they made Bob a birthday cake.

There is also a  wide variety of restaurants offering special meal events during the festival as well as other small companies hosting special events. Would be brilliant to see this take off and become an annual event, and at times like this it makes me proud to come from Ayrshire.

Disclaimer - none of these companies know I am doing this post, I am receiving nothing from any of them for writing this post. I have just chosen a few highlights from the nine day festival that appeal to me. There are other companies involved and this blog post is not prejudice against them.


  1. I'll be there too!!!!!! Wooo Hoooo! Can't wait to meet you finally! Thank you Sainsburys Bank Blogger Network! I'm really, really, really, really, really excited :O)

    1. I know cant wait, even treated myself to a cut and colour today, got clothes from TKMaxx few weeks back, and I am so so excited.

  2. I'm so pleased that you've managed to get a ticket to go, you really deserve to do something nice for you. Have a great time and I look forward to the posts afterwards (and the ace photos which do NOT let down your blog!)

    1. thanks TBAM, would be nervous but have Kay to hold me by the hand and take me in. and thanks for the nice comment about my pics.


Nice to see you stopping by. Thank you for your comment and I hope you stop by again.