Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Lucy Downing and I am fortunate enough to work at Holkham as their Head of Marketing. Me, together with our wonderful marketing team, manage all of the digital and traditional marketing activity, branding and PR for all of the Holkham businesses – spanning everything from leisure and hospitality to farming, conservation and construction. A big part of what we do is collaborating with like-minded people and businesses who share common interests and passions, and one of these just happens to be our phenomenal food and drink scene!
Tell us a little about yourself?
In addition to Holkham, my other great passions are my two children, who I am incredibly proud of, my husband of two decades (how did that happen?) and walking with my rather sprightly cocker-spaniel, Monty! I have a keen interest in architecture and interior design, and I’m happiest in my kitchen cooking up a storm. I love vast landscapes, big skies, vibrant cities and you will find me at my happiest enjoying a pint of Adnams Ghost Ship or Woodforde’s Wherry after a long, windy hike!
Do you have a particular area of responsibility at The Festival?
I joined the festival committee before I joined Holkham, partly as a sponsor but mainly because of my adoration of local food and drink producers (we are lucky to live in such a foodie-rich area). My responsibilities at the festival are varied – from supporting with marketing and publicity to washing up in the cookery theatre. I’m not scared to roll my sleeves up and get stuck in!
Is there anything you’d like to see develop at The Festival?
It would be wonderful if we can give visitors the opportunity to try their hand at preparing ingredients or even demonstrate their own skills in the cookery theatre! It would also be interesting to extend the event into the evening and allow visitors to opportunity to enjoy the street food, live music and beautiful setting for longer.
What Norfolk food and drink do you like?
Being slightly food obsessed, that’s a difficult question to answer. I believe seasonality is key, and so my answer will vary depending on the time of year, but one thing that will stand the test of time and season is a cheeseboard ladened with a selection of Norfolk’s wonderful cheeses, together with a glass of Flint or Winbirri wine in summer or a pint of local ale as the temperature drops.
Where do you like to eat out in Norfolk?
I have a few favourites, but will continue to enjoy exploring new haunts! The Victoria at Holkham (obviously!), The White Horse at Brancaster Staithe and Benedicts in Norwich always delight! Norwich Market has some incredible food stalls too, as well as Brick Pizza. I could go on…