At Dalemain House just off the M6 at Penrith, top end of Ullswater. The show is getting bigger. And this time it only rained a bit. The Lady of Dalemain; Jane Hasell-McCosh is the reason we do it there. I mean the house is lovely and ancient, the gardens stunning but Britain is not short of such places. What it is short of is Great House owners who combine being efficient and hard-working with great kindness, fun and generosity.
The family have been here forever but it’s still a home, not a museum ... Hugh and Judy Johnson came - because Hugh is President of The Sunday Times Wine Club and they had their tasting in the afternoon.
Laithwaites was in the morning. We had our suppliers like Andree FerrandIz (XV du Président) and Camillo de Iuliis (Villa Farnia). And alongside we had, amongst others, Hadrian Organic's sumptuous meat from up at Birdoswald on The Wall and Holker sheep cheese from the shores of Morcambe Bay.
Should we introduce farmers and their foods like this into a Wine Tasting? Isn't that a bit lowering the tone? Maybe. But it seems very popular and most seem to leave with a bag of something nice for dinner.
We have a home up here. Laithwaites all come from North Lancashire and Cumbria. My mother still lives in Cumbria. We've seen all the problems small local hill farmers encounter in this age of big-scale agribusiness. Very similar problems to those that confront our wine grower friends abroad.
So we like to help. And we can because basically if you are the sort of person who likes our wines and our ... what might be called 'Style'? You'll certainly also be keen on free-range eggs and organic lamb from the fells.
So help me grow this by turning up in vast numbers for our future wine and food do's ... All over Britain. Let's grow this! Eat, drink and be merry helping save the countryside we love.