We've really enjoyed our time in Stone. Yesterday we hired a car from Enterprise, who pick you up and drop you off again, and went back to Manchester for a hospital appointment. We made full use of the car while we had it by stocking up with all the heavy tins and bottles at the supermarket. It saved us lugging the granny trolley up the tow-path.
This weekend is the Stone Food & Drink Festival so we walked down into town this morning to pay it a visit. There was a Farmers Market in the main High Street which was doing a roaring trade selling everything from wet fish, pork pies and vegetarian food too. The Food & Drink Festival itself was over by the Recreation Centre and was £6 each to go in. When we got there at 12.00 it wasn't too busy but later on it was rammed and the tents and marquees were very hot and stuffy inside. We'd wanted to have lunch in the posh pop-up restaurant and got there at 12.30. Only one table was occupied but we were told they were fully booked and turned away, so we left the festival and went back into Stone to the Crown and Anchor for lunch. Later we went back to the festival with the intention of sampling a few beers in the Titanic Brewery beer tent but again it was rammed and several of the beers had already run out, so we left again and went in the Swan. The Festival itself wasn't as big as I'd expected for a £6 entrance fee but we bought some amazing Toulouse pork pies and Dragon Eggs (black pudding scotch eggs) which we've never had before. I doubt we'll ever pay to go again in future years as the Farmers Market and the Swan provided us with much more for free.
Tomorrow we're moving down the locks and going into Aston Marina for a while.