So, we're well and truly into September now, which sadly means Summer is nearly over and very soon we'll be cranking up the heating and hibernating indoors. But before the need for that, there's one more late-summer memory to be made: The Barnes Food Fair.
The annual one-day event - which this year takes place on Saturday 17th September - is a fun day out for all the family, and an unmissable event for any food lovers out there (surely that's everyone isn't it?).
A big marquee by the pond on Barnes Green will be filled with stalls from over 80 artisan food producers, many of who run shops and restaurants local to Barnes. There will be fresh meat, bread, cakes, chocolate, cheese, olive oils, sauces and lots more. The fair will no doubt stir up some senses and introduce you to loads of new and exciting things to eat and drink. Many of the stalls offer free samples and tasters (as well as selling produce of course, so don't forget to take some cash). I went a couple of years ago with my husband and our young daughter in tow and we will definitely be returning this year now that we've got a new food-loving addition to our family, in the form of a fifteen-month old.
Just outside the grand marquee, there will be an outdoor picnic area serving street food, set up with tables overlooking the pretty Barnes duck pond, it is an idyllic setting for some alfresco dining (as long as that late-summer sun is shining).
As well as this there will be hour-long cookery demonstrations throughout the day hosted by four professional chefs. Each demonstration costs £10.00 and the confirmed chefs are:
The cookery demonstrations take place in the OSO Arts Centre on Barnes Green. If you're interested in attending one of the the cookery theatres, it is advisable to book ahead online.
On the opposite side of the duck pond in the Barnes Green Centre, there will be a pop-up restaurant from 12.30pm-2.30pm, with food prepared by one of Britain's finest chefs Phil Howard. The mouthwatering menu includes carpaccio of sea bass and roast cod with lightly curried cauliflower puree. You can read the full menu here, as well as booking online. The cost is £39.50 for a three course meal.
In addition to all of that, there will be entertainment in the form of live music throughout the day:
11 am - Candice and the Crows and Castelnau Chorale
1.15 pm - Capital Chorus
2.15 pm - Mad Stick Dog
3.30 pm - Tigerlilly
The Barnes Food Fair is all for a good cause as profits go to charity - this year it is the NSPCC. The fair is on between 10am and 5pm and costs just £4 for adults (you can buy tickets on arrival); under-16s go free when accompanied by an adult.
As well as taking in the delights of the marquee and surrounding attractions, why not make a day of it and take a look around Barnes Village, visiting all the food retailers who didn't make it to the fair? It's a great opportunity to explore the area if you're not a local.
Barnes is served by two train stations (Barnes and Barnes Bridge), plus there are regular buses to and from Hammersmith, where you'll find the nearest tube station.
For more information about the Barnes Food Fair, visit the website or follow their Twitter feed: @barnesfoodfair.