This Bank Holiday weekend saw another great event at Gloucester Quays. These are now quite regular with markets, food festivals and the like. This weekend it was a Garden Party. It was called a garden party because over the weekend they had a variety of celebrity gardeners talking in the ‘potting shed’ marquee.
These events were ticketed but free – unfortunately, although my wife is quite a keen gardener, we didn’t get around to booking tickets before they all sold out. Nonetheless, we headed out for the day on Saturday, our spirits only slightly dampened by the grey, drizzly weather.
Apart from the talks in the marquee, the event was similar to the normal market with a variety of interesting stalls. Some of these had a gardening theme – there were some great garden sculptures, I was particularly impressed by some near life-sized giraffes but not convinced how appropriate they would look in our green leafy suburban garden as opposed to, say, an African savannah. Other stores sold interesting (and generally fattening) foodstuffs, jewellery, scarves, etc – mostly more of interest to my wife than me, except for purposes of photography.
As well as wandering around the stalls we also took a look around the outlet centre itself. I suspect that the shop owners here were happy with the poor weather as it was as busy as I’ve ever seen it. Here in the outlet centre we also came across some visitors from the Barn Owl Centre who seemed distinctly underwhelmed by the attention they were receiving.
Throughout the event there were also bands playing on a small stage. These included the Choir Factor, a large choir singing modern pop songs; the Cinderford Brass Band; and Way Out West, a trio playing quirky versions of modern songs on accordions, banjos and violins. The highlight, though, was the Roving Crows – a brilliant Celtic Rock band. I had seen them just a few weeks previously at the Guildhall and they played a very similar set with the same energy, despite obviously frozen fingers. They did a full 2 hour set – not bad for free! If you didn’t see them I recommend you seek them out – they’ll be at the New Inn on 11 May.