So spring has sprung and the festival season starts.
Saturday 1 May 2010. We start off in Tewkesbury with the food festival an array of local food producers sell their produce but it is more than a large scale farmers market because they actually cook the food for you as well. So the first stop is the ‘Gloucester Old Spot’ sausage and then the relish and mustard stalls and finally the herb breads. So with dinner in the bag we set off to find the beer tent and listen to the local band, well we are in Tewkesbury so as expected it is Medieval. The festival boasted James Martin as a celebrity chef but when we were there we were blessed with the delights of the chef from the local hotel cooking lamb shank so Medieval band and a beer it was.
Sunday 2 May 2010 – Cheltenham jazz festival is the destination and with tickets booked we start with a relaxing lunch in a Californian themed restaurant and set off to the beer gardens where the festival is located. As we wondered around we notice the food tents are in abundance and the pie man is doing a roaring trade. Somehow the humble pie has made a comeback and is now an up market food item that the Cheltenham elite are happy to be seen munching on. We pass the champagne tent, which, incidentally, is full; and then come to the coffee stand purchase a couple of black coffees and head to the arena. As we queued I got to thinking that there would be nothing nicer than sipping coffee and listening to jazz on a Sunday afternoon.
We arrive at the arena door tickets in hand and are told no drinks allowed. So we bin the coffees and took our seats. The lights go down and then the band is announced a roar goes up I wondered how much exposure this band must already have to have such a welcome then I realise Jamie Cullum is on the stage, unfortunately he is not the act we have paid to see, his tickets were sold out. He is the guest director of the festival and is just announcing the bands then Beady Belle spark up the double bass and drums and we’re off, one hour and forty five minutes of Norwegian jazz. Half way through the roar goes up again and Jamie is back on the stage this time he joins the band and they sing a duet. We both decide that this was a good choice and with the added splash of Jamie being the icing on the cake.
Jamie finished his duet and the band continue my gaze is taken to the side of the stage and I see Jamie stood watching Beady Belle nodding in time to the music with something familiar looking in his hand, wait a minute he had a coffee…. how did that get past the food and drink police on the door. As I am over whelmed by the music I forgive him, well he did sing us a song after all. So the band has finished and we all file out of the arena and head straight for… yes you guess it the champagne tent.
As we walk back to the car we discuss the next festival on our list.
Upton Jazz festival from the 25 – 27June 2010
Big Chill music festival at Eastnor Castle 5-8 August 2010
We are of course offering special packages for both weekends and at the Big Chill weekend we include a hamper for your lunch so you can enjoy the music in style, that is unless you bump into pie man!
Submitted by Rachel Proctor, Business Development Manager at The Abbey Hotel