Framlingham Country Show is an annual event taking place for one weekend a year at Framlingham College in Suffolk. I hadn’t been to Framlingham since their rugby team destroyed mine almost 25 years ago, but I enjoy country shows so thought I would give it a try.
For those who haven’t been before, country shows are usually collections of stalls selling various local or traditional products, displays of various sorts in a big show ring, a load of food trucks, and things for kids to do. This show includes the ‘Festival of Dogs’, so there was a distinct dog theme to many of the stalls and displays, plus about a third of attendees seemed to have brought their canine companions.
Getting to the show was a little confusing, as the organisers put up some weird signs. I assume paying for arrows and writing being correct would have cost too much money. It was only £8 to go in, though.
We had a look at some police dog training. The dogs did well not to be distracted by the crowds. Most of the time.
Unfortunately we just missed a falconry show, but at least we were able to look at the owls and eagles.
There were traditional furniture makers using tools from “the olden days”. If you closely at the contraptions at the back, you might be able to tell those are the retro equivalent of band saws, using string and pedal to cut through the wood.
The lunch section was pretty good. In addition to all of the expected roast meat stalls, there was one doing Thai food, a place to get drinks, and a live band.
The beer stall was the most popular, perhaps because it was a nice sunny day!
We went to the Muffin Man and Co, which did muffins and fried food. This guy takes his stall around various markets at weekends and events like this at other times. I won’t do a full review, but if you are interested you can find out where he is by visiting https://en-gb.facebook.com/Muffin-Man-Co-957932190884219/
I had a cheese, egg, spinach and curry butter muffin for a fiver. Flavours worked quite well, and it was easily better than twice as good as a McDonald’s egg burger! My mate thought his pork belly, sausage and bacon jam version was alright, but he wouldn’t necessarily go for another.
After our lunch break, we went on to check out some of the animals. The dog show was interesting, with some owners straining more than others to hold their pets in check…
…but there were more interesting animals too, such as this snake. We tried to talk to the owner, but he wouldn’t reply, preferring to chat with some nervous young ladies. Probably the right call.
At the cuter end of the spectrum, we found these alpacas. While still a niche industry in the UK, alpaca farming is growing and they are used as therapy animals for autistic children and adults, trekking, and as guard animals for sheep. Plus they look quite amusing.
Our final stop was at the food festival tent. In here we found lots of local, and not so local, produce. Along with the sausages from nearby Powter’s and Musk’s, there were spirits such as Ely gin and vodka, interestingly flavoured fudges, many sauces made from rapeseed oil, honeys and meads, and – my favourite – sauces from Borneo, made by a Sarawakian lady now based in Wales.
You’ll have to wait until next year for the next Framlingham Country Show, but there are other country events running up and down Britain every weekend until the end of summer, and they will all give you a sense of modern rural life. If you would rather wait, then the details are below. Just watch out for those signs…
Address: Framlingham College, College Rd, Framlingham, Woodbridge IP13 9EY