THE sun reappeared after a wet week in time for this month’s Crieff Country Market in James Square.
With only a few showers to contend with, the market was set up as the perfect launch for this year’s Crieff Berry Festival.
Festival organiser and local food writer Kathryn Hawkins and market co-ordinator Alison Greaney thanked everyone who helped them put on such a great day’s berry-themed entertainment.
Alison said: “We had a fantastic turnout from the public, the weather was kind and everyone was very enthusiastic to taste the amazing selection of local soft fruit and berrylicious goodies we had to give away.
“The Handy Shop pulled out all the stops to get us the best soft fruit from our region, and the combination of fresh berries and food products with berry soaps and crafts altogether created a wonderfully visual and very fragrant display to tempt our visitors.”
She added: “There was a real country fête atmosphere in the centre of town, and we all welcomed back Struan the giant Strathearn strawberry who handed out berry-coloured balloons and judged our children’s fancy dress competition. Congratulations to Rhys Lyall who came dressed as a wee Highland Blaeberry.
“We are very grateful to Struan for sparing some more of his precious time this year at the peak of the strawberry season to come and see us again.
“We also enjoyed another VIP visitor to our market; in the year we gained a new Earl and Countess for our region, we were delighted that “Her Majesty” was able to come and pay us a visit in the afternoon – she even put her handbag down and helped us serve up the cream tea!”
The berry market marked the beginning of a week celebrating local soft fruit season in and around the town.
The whole event is part of a two year project funded by the European Regional Development Fund, and is part of a collaboration between Perth and Kinross and Angus councils to promote tourism across both regions.
This week, many Crieff cafés, bars and restaurants have put berry recipes on their menus especially for the occasion; some shops have also put together a collection of berry produce or berry-coloured crafts, homewares and jewellery.
Kathryn and Alison also thanked the team at Crieff Hydro for supplying the kitchen preparation area for the berry goodies and cream tea, and to the team at Lounge for the delicious trays of berry tarts, meringues and strawberry shots they supplied in the morning.
Alison continued: “Campbell’s bakery not only made our mouthwatering giant strawberry cake for the guess the weight competition - well done Helen Douglas who was only 50g/2oz off the exact weight of 3.145kg/6lb 14oz - but they also made the scones for the market’s berry cream tea; Silly MacBee made lots of children laugh with his tricks and entertainment; the Grouse popped down to the square to keep Struan company, and last but not least thanks to Fun Junction and Ceramic Experience for supplying the prizes for our fancy dress competition.
“All the planning and hard work behind the scenes paid off on the day, and we all really enjoyed ourselves. We were so well supported by local residents and businesses and were delighted that our market was attended by locals as well as visitors from further afield.
“We hope to see you all again next year!”