On the last Sunday of October, on a stunningly beautiful Autumn morning, I took myself and my camera down to Rogate, near Petersfield, Hampshire, to visit Rogate Pumpkin Patch.
I actually had a reason for being there, and it wasn't to buy a pumpkin. It was to visit the very lovely Yvonne and Gary Harris. They own a Catering unit called Cara Gorda Cantina, and it had been on site at the pumpkin patch for a week.
I first learnt of Yvonne and Gary through a mutual friend, who hired a converted horse box from them for their wedding night. Gee's the horse box is a lovely box, with all the home comforts you will need for a rural stay.
However, I will tell you all about Gee's another time, as todays blog is Pumpkintastic!
The reason for my visit was really to introduce myself to Yvonne and Gary. Yvonne and I had spoken many times over Facebook messenger, but never had the chance to meet.
I am organising a Wedding Fair in Godalming, Surrey in April 2018 (yet another post for another time...ha!) and I really want Cantina to be a part of it.
So, by going down to Rogate, I could see the set up, and discover what it has to offer.
The unit provides a variety of fresh street food options, to a whole variety of different events.
Weddings, Festivals, Parties and more...
Yvonne, Gary and their hard working staff had been down in Rogate for the whole of October half term week. This is of course the busiest week of the year for the pumpkin patch, as it was the week leading up to Halloween Weekend.
The weather had been hit and miss. I was lucky, I had arrived on a clear, blue sky day, but this had not been the case throughout the rest of the week.
Extremely high winds hampered their initial set up, putting them on the back foot to start with. Rain had kept some customers away during the week, but the last 2 days had been busy.
Even overnight before I arrived on the Sunday, they had experience gale force winds, so bad it blew their other catering gazebos on site all over the place.
However, with a great team, and a massive load of patience and perseverance, they had made it through the week, and it had been a huge success.
The team had worked for 8 days solid. Finishing each day with a late night trip to the wholesalers to stock up on supplies, then home to bed, before being up early again, to start a fresh day. But it had all been worth it.
The menus for Cantina are decided to suit each individual event. For the Pumpkin Patch, it had to be the old classics. Burgers, Sausages and a selection of other hot items. Plus, tea, coffee, and of course cakes!
However, the best seller of the week had to of course be Pumpkin Soup. And when I say best seller, I mean over 100 litres of the stuff!!
Yvonne, Gary and their team were thrilled with the way the week had gone. And despite Yvonne suffering a chest infection, they were delighted. But very much looking forward to their 2 week holiday!
I was really impressed with what I saw from Cantina and its team, and I can't wait to have them involved with the wedding fair.
After spending some time with the team, I decided to leave them to it, and go off and investigate the pumpkin patch and what it had to offer.
Fun, relaxed, friendly. Just some of the words I would use to describe it. What a great event.
A true family, fun occasion. perfect for kids to let their hair down, and just be kids!
When I took a moment to step back and absorb what they had to offer, there was nothing gerish, or elaborate, nothing digital or futuristic. It was just full of old fashioned, no frills countryside fun!
The kind of fun we had no choice but to enjoy when we were kids, because we didn’t have the modern technology that we all have now. So, we knew no different.
It was perfect!
Maybe I'm biased, as I adore the outdoors, and its where I am at my happiest. But there was something about it that appealed to me and transported me back to my childhood.
Not very often these days, do you find a field full of adults and children entertaining themselves with straw bale stacks, giant bubbles, wheelbarrows and of course pumpkins.
The site also offered a craft tent, to paint your own pumpkin, face painting, a haunted house and a variety of manmade straw sculptures.
With a price of just £2 per person to enter, it was great value for money.
I have to admit I didn't participate in the pick you own pumpkin, so I am not sure the cost for that, but I'm sure that would have been reasonable too, and there certainly was a whole array of pumpkins to choose from.
I would recommend the pumpkin patch to anyone for next year.
If you want to go out and experience, old fashioned, country fun, then this is certainly where to find it.
Thank You to Gary & Yvonne for taking the time out of their very busy day to chat to me. And Thank You to the Pumpkin Patch for making me smile on a Sunday morning.
Cara Gorda Cantina
Rogate Pumpkin Patch