Tuesday, September 10

Burghley Horse Trials 2013

I consider myself to be very lucky. For the past 10 years I have lived only a couple of miles from the most delightful of historic English towns.
In fact, Stamford was voted by The Sunday Times as the 'Best Place To Live In Britain: 2013', and if you ever come across this absolute gem of a town you will without a doubt see as to why.

Every year in the nearby grounds of the impressive Elizabethan home of Burghley House, a horse trials like no other swamps the fields with shops, stalls, and stallions.
The horse trials occur every September and are always the busiest weekends of the entire year.
I've never missed a trials in the past ten years and I wasn't going to change tradition now!

Since I had this weekend off work, I headed out into the town on Saturday night for a long needed catch up with my friends. After being crushed, pushed and abused by all of the crazy and drunk crowds, I eventually collapsed in bed for only four hours of much needed kip.
Feeling a little bit fragile first thing in the morning, I scrubbed up, twisted my hair into order, and walked over the iron cast bridges to the local Burghley Park.

Kitted out in the standard Burghley attire of tweed and Dubarry boots, I made my way through the grounds with a rumbling stomach and the sun glasses in full hangover use.

Inevitably I found my parents on some benches near a very familiar stall. Grasmere Farm is owned by a family I went to school with and is somewhat a local celebrity in the meat department. Every year without fail my family and I happily chomp upon one of their bacon butties for a kick start of breakfast fuel.

I swear that these are without a doubt the best bacon sandwiches that I have ever had in my life (sorry Mum, but yours just can't compare!)
Flavoursome meaty bacon and sweet cooked onions, smothered in ketchup and sandwiched in a fluffy bun.
They are without a doubt the perfect hangover cure and fuel for a hectic day of shopping and shows!

I'm drooling just thinking about it how it looked... The flavour... The smell... Oh good gosh.

After stocking up on breakfast and a strong hit of caffeine, my mum and I began having a trundle around the country styled stalls.

Beautiful tweed, cushions, mugs, home accessories, horse jumps and helmets... Burghley Horse Trials has everything to suit a traditional country loving British family.

In one of the arts and craft tents I even came across my friend Hannah helping her mum on their stall. 'The Skinny Card Co.' is such an incredible and growing brand, Sarah (Hannah's mum), paints all of the images herself to create the most delightful chicken and ducks that frolic on mugs, tea towels and cards.

The mug on the left has to be my absolute favourite, probably because if I ever miraculously turned into a chicken, I reckon I would look just like that!

I even found a cow that seemed to resemble me...
Of course my mother found this hilarious, but when being compared to a cow, I was definitely not as thrilled!

Next up was the food court, my favourite part of the whole show to be honest!

At this point I met up with my friend Jenny who was mooching about too. We laughed about our matching Dubarrys, nattered about the previous night's antics and then found a stand which suited us down to the ground.

'Two Birds' is a locally made spirit company that didn't half impress Jenny & I. The lovely lady on the stall gave us both a sample of their gin (with some slimline tonic), and their vodka. Now usually both of these can be sharp and give you that horrific shiver down your spine.
Two Birds however was nothing like this. It was refreshing, drinkable, and actually very moreish, (meaning that I could easily see myself drinking a lot and becoming drunk very quickly without knowing it!)

If you fancy buying a very nice bottle of vodka, gin or absinthe for a friend then have a look at their website. The prices are very reasonable considering the quality and taste of the product and I can't recommend them enough.
A brilliant find in the food court!

In true Emily style, Jenny and I stayed in the food court for a good few hours.
Even though the food smelt unbelievably delicious, we managed to avoid a purchase by drifting from stall to stall and sampling here and there until we couldn't resist temptation any longer.

Potatoes cooked in duck fat... Now this we couldn't resist.
They were basically beautifully cooked mini roast potatoes and even though they might not have been the healthiest choice, we had no regrets as every single bite was like heaven!

Having eyed up most of the fresh food stalls, we carried on to the Country Living magazine tent to find the famous Sophie Allport (a firm favourite of my mum's!)...

The colourful belts of Estribos Argentina, which unfortunately had run out of every colour in my size- sod's law!
(So I'm currently stalking their website every day in anticipation of their restock.)

And of course, we couldn't visit Burghley without a trip inside the Dubarry's tent!
Free champagne for all visitors, free cleaning for all Dubarry boots, and a rather snobby but yet comfortable feel. You just couldn't help but love the tweeness of this countrified British brand!

Eventually Jenny and I did feel a little bit guilty that we were yet to see any horses at a horse trials.
Sunday is the day of show jumping and luckily we managed to sneak in to the arena.

Of course, we just happened to arrive as the horses were leaving.
It really wasn't our day!

In true English style, the black clouds were beginning to roll over our heads and darken the heavens.
Time for one last look around the food court before a quick retreat!

After one heavy crack of thunder, Jenny and I decided that our feet were too sore, our heads still hanging, and our purses far too dented to carry on.
Before the heavens opened with some impressive forks of lighting, we quickly walked home through the stunning grounds of this stately home back to our car.

Truly a local event that I try my hardest not to miss. Even though the stalls are sometimes very similar to the previous year, the atmosphere is usually buzzing, the people familiar and charming, and the setting just stunning.
Without a doubt, I'm definitely a country girl at heart!



  1. Now that's what I call a decent hangover cure. Loving the honesty with your Mum regarding her bacon baps! I have to admit, the ones here do look amaaazing.

    Looks like a wonderful day. I really need to get out of the city more often and visit beautiful places like this; I really have no excuse.

    Caroline x
    Cocktails and Caroline

    P.S. Roast potatoes cooked in duck fat is a must!

    1. Well she always taught me to never lie and sometimes honesty is the best policy! If you ever want to visit Stamford I can't recommend it enough! Only 1 hour from London too :) xx

  2. Love the photos! And the food looks delicious!
    Looks like you had an amazing day!

    1. Aww thank you! The bright sunny skies helped :) x

  3. Guess what I'm wearing as I read this.... Dubarrys!
    My mum was so close to going this year but she pulled out!
    I love the Argentinian polo belts, try Polka Dot Pie, we got Nellie's collar from there and I got Josh the red white and blue belt, not expensive either and fab quality!
    Lottie xxx

    1. Aww well maybe see you there next year!
      I swear I have never seen so many people wearing Dubbarys before in my life!
      Oh I'll give them a google, thanks for the heads up :) xx

  4. looks like fun and all of the food looks delicious (I'm definitely too much of a foodie, it's always the food I comment on!)

    A Day in the Life

  5. Ooh this looks like such a good day! I love the Skinny Card Co., so much talent!xx

  6. Bliss! Lovely, lovely, lovely xxx

  7. I've loved reading your accounts of the weekend! The typical Burghley fashion thing made me laugh. I wore my jodhpurs, tweed and Dubarry's the entire weekend haha! I brought my mums christmas presents from Sophie Allport this year, along with some fab mugs they had. Glad you had a good time, i kept my eye out for you. xx

    1. Thanks Ema, you already know that I was a huge fan of your Burghley posts, so nice to see it from another perspective! Snap, maybe next year we'll bump into each other! xx

  8. Oh wow that is such a quintessentially english time you had!! must've been oh so lovely =)

    Teffy { Teffys Perks Blog }


  9. gorgeous pictures! Again!


  10. You have lovely photos Emily! This event looks really fun. Your photos say it all!

    REAlity Bites

    1. Thanks Rea! Tried to convey it as much as I could! xx

  11. Sounds like so much fun! Beautiful photos too :) x

  12. The picture of the fox with the pheasant made me laugh out loud!!!

    Katie <3


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