In my research for something to do this weekend I came across the Reading Town Meal. This said that there would be free food and entertainment in Forbury Gardens. Regular readers will know that I like nothing more than a free event and this one has free food included.
As they were expecting to feed about 1000 people, Wayne was a bit worried about the parking in the town centre so we arrived at about 10:30. As we were a bit early for the meal we mooched around the town for a while before making our way to Forbury Gardens.
Around the gardens there were lots of stalls promoting various charities and environmental groups. On one stall we watched lots of people winning prizes from the tombola, so we thought that we would try our luck. I bought two tombola tickets and was lucky enough to win a large bottle of cloudy lemonade. Bonus! Wayne however was not quite so lucky as neither of his tickets ended with the required 0 or 5.
As the time got close for the food we made our way to a sign that said “Free Food, Queue Here”. While we waited we got talking to the volunteers helping with the event who agreed to help Wayne carry our plates of food to a bench when the time came. After a short opening speech by the mayor of Reading we were able to make our way to the servery.
At this point it all got a bit embarrassing. As we had been talking to the helpers, but had gone away to sit on a bench, we were ushered to the front of the queue. We were then able to get two plates of tempting food which had been made from locally grown and donated produce. Then the local online newspaper photographer steps in and wants a photograph of the catering team, who were all students from Reading College, with the first person to get their plate of food. Wayne quickly disappeared. Thanks a lot! After the photograph we were helped to a bench where we sat to eat with some friendly people. Then a local film club turned up and started to film us and interview the people around.
To complement the food there was a range of music throughout the afternoon. One of the bands playing was dolly and the clothes pegs. One of the band members came and said hello as we had met them before at a vintage fair.
By the way the food was lovely.