A Family Day Out At Malvern Autumn Show
At the weekend we were invited to attend the Malvern Autumn Show at The Three Counties Showground. Throughout the year, the showground plays host to a multitude of different shows and events, but the Autumn Show particularly appealed to me. The main attractions of the show were celebrities in the form of chef Tom Kerridge and Strictly Come Dancing star Anton DuBeke, the RHS and the UK National Giant Vegetables Championship. For me, I was looking forward to seeing autumnal displays of flowers and produce, browsing craft and food stalls and watching animal displays.
I wasn’t disappointed. The floral displays were magnificent. The individual blooms were perfect. There was a vast array of different colours. Some flowers were absolutely huge, and yet still made up of a mass of delicate petals.
I know very little about flowers. But I do appreciate them. I love all the huge variety that they come in – the colours, shapes and scents. The floral displays were perfect for both the uneducated (such as myself) and the flower enthusiast, with lots to see and plenty of helpful information for avid gardeners.
The produce displays were very impressive in a different way to those of the flowers. I was instantly taken back to memories of Harvest Festival displays at church and my primary school. You couldn’t fail to be impressed by the entries into the UK National Giant Vegetable Championships. The girls were particularly impressed by them (but not enough to convince them to start eating cabbages and radishes). Whist the huge marrows and pumpkins really were magnificent in terms of their size, Rich and I marveled at the sheer skill that would have gone into removing the World’s Longest Radish (at just over 5m) from the ground intact.
Despite the amazing floral and produce displays, it was the animal ones that really appealed to us. The girls loved seeing the animals. Emily was particularly amused by the shapes of the combs of cockerels in the poultry tent, and thought the ducks quacking at her as she walked past them were hilarious. Both of the girls loved seeing horses, alpacas and sheep, along with the pigs (which were mostly asleep) and a huge Hereford Bull.
In The World of Animals area, we made friends with some shape and then watched them being paraded out to be judged. Despite not really liking dogs, Freyja was fascinated by the dog agility display, and wanted to know what each type of dog was and gave them a clap when they had completed the course. Meanwhile, Emily wanted to watch the Heavy Horse display, where a couple of huge Shire Horses were being saddled up to demonstrate how they would be worked in the field. I enjoyed Meirion Owen’s Quack Pack – a herd of unruly ducks being herded around the Activity Arena, through a tunnel and water bath by an amazingly talented border collie.
Across the whole showground there were lots of different trade stands. The girls were fascinated by some of the craft stalls, and we spent a lot of time in the food hall. Here we were able to sample some tasty treats such as cheeses, relishes and sauces. There were also some gin producers there, so I was in my element trying different gins and chatting to some fellow passionate gin fans. We came away with some goodies (including gin!) which we would enjoy long after the Autumn Show had finished.
We headed over to the Vintage Pavilion in the hope of seeing Anton DuBeke’s American Smooth Masterclass. Unsurprisingly, with Anton being a festival headliner, is was incredibly busy. The girls, who are huge Strictly fans, did manage to catch a glimpse of Anton from their vantage point on our shoulders, but as they are getting quite heavy now, we didn’t stay too long here. Thankfully there were some fairground rides in the Vintage Village so the girls were more than happy with these!
What I really loved about the Malvern Autumn Show was how family friendly it was. There was obviously plenty to keep the kids entertained in the range of displays throughout the event, but in addition to this there were crafts and games available in the Family Green. It was a lovely large area, with plenty of room for sitting down and having a picnic, or a drink, or just a rest for a bit. It didn’t take the girls long to contribute colouring in a huge picture in the craft area, before settling down and making a couple of flags as a memento of their day.
It was the perfect place for a family day out. There was so much to see and do. We left at the end of the day with Emily in tears because she didn’t want to leave, and it is a mark of a great day out when both of them are in the back of the car, snoring as we drive home. We had a great day, and as we left we were already chatting about visiting another show at The Three Counties Showground – the question is, can we really wait until May for the RHS Spring Festival?