Did you come to the Hay Festival this year? There was a fabulous selection of things to do and people to listen to…. we went the last Saturday (as did some of our guests).

The sun shone most of the day and the atmosphere was fantastic. We had a full day of it and went to four different events with something to sustain us between each one!

On arrival we started with coffee….

Our first event in the Barclays Pavilion was Deborah Moggach talking to Peter Florence. It was a lovely relaxed interview and Deborah was really interesting and easy to listen to. She was funny too and had the audience laughing when she described her latest character’s antics – Russell “Buffy” Buffery who moved to a local town that is a cross between Presteigne, Knighton and Kington! Deborah also wrote the film adaptation of the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and it was fascinating to hear her thoughts on the differences between writing screenplays and writing novels.

Hay festival herefordshireTime for lunch in the street food marquee, we got ourselves of bowl of Venison Chilli each which was delicious. There were trestle tables set up with wipe clean tablecloths and a big bunch of flowers from The Great British Florist on every table – it felt as if we were at a lovely summer party.

Sticking with the local theme, we queued up to watch the unveiling of the Mappa Mundi in 3D. Delightful as the two presenters were, it was a disappointing talk with regards to our local historical map, but interesting to hear about another project Factum Arte are working on which is to create a map of the world in 3D made out of alabaster which will be ready in Venice in 2015 provided they get funding and volunteers to help make it. It will be the size of a football pitch apparently!

Reeling a little we headed off to get tea and cake!

Next we were booked into listening to Artemis Cooper and Robert MacFarlane chatting about Patrick Leigh Fermor known as Paddy to his friends and biographer, Artemis. They read exerts from his books as well as their own and Rob’s book called The Old Ways is Waterstones book of the month. I bought a copy which he signed for me – can’t wait to read it.

relaxing at hay literary festival herefordshireIce creams from Shepherds kept us going until our final talk of the day.

Jay Rayner, the food critic has written a book called A Greedy Man in a Hungry World and he talked on his feet in front of a series of power point images and included at one point a conversation with himself on the screen! Weird but somewhat fascinating too. A lot of what he said made sense at the time, but I won’t repeat it here. Suffice to say the overriding message I took away from it was we should reduce our meat intake and try and eat more vegetarian meals.

Dinner time and we had a sumptuous platter for two (with only a little bit of meat) at the Graze restaurant on site and then headed home feeling thoroughly educated.

A great day out and with so much to do for all the family, do think about booking us up for a crowd of you to come to the festival next year. The dates you need for your diary are 22nd May to 1st June 2014.

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