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Old 01-06-2014, 09:00 AM   #1
Sam1
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Epcot food and Wine festival 2013

I love reading all the trip reports and seeing all the photos, especially the ones with loads of food photos, so I thought I'd share our experience of the Epcot food and wine festival. We went the last week of October, first week of November.

For those of you that haven't been while it's on, you get the opportunity to try small tasters of loads of different delicious foods from all over the world, each costing between $3.5 and $5 for food, more for alcohol. We shared each taster, which was perfect for us because it allowed us to taste a lot more things before getting full.

A nice touch, I thought, was that you could pick up a passport and get a stamp at each country. Then, if you were really glutinous and managed to munch your way through all 30 stalls by the end of your holiday, you got a final stamp of victory to prove it. Our aim was to come home with that stamp, or at least have a really good try at getting it.





First up, the Craft beers stall.



We're not really drinkers, especially during the day with two children, but we still wanted to try as much as possible, plus we wanted that stamp, so here we tried the Leinenkugel's Seasonal shandy.



Next up was Scotland.



The food here was delicious. We tried the vegetarian haggis with neeps and tatties



and the banoffee tart with bananas, scotch whiskey, toffee, Walkers shortbread crumbles and sweet cream.



I've tasted banoffee loads of times, but I've never tasted it as delicious as this one. It looked delicious and it was delicious.

Then we opted for the Scotch flight.



I'm not a Scotch drinker, I'm not really a drinker at all to be honest, but it was nice to try the different ages to compare the flavours. To a totally untrained whiskey tongue like mine, you really can taste the difference and the older they get, the less like Bells Whiskey they taste.

Next up, we headed to Hawaii.



Where we tried the Pork Slider.



I was really looking forward to trying this because I'd read it was there most years and was really popular. It was, again, as delicious as it looks.

We didn't make it to the alcohol section, unfortunately, so I can't comment or show any photos of the drinks. But, we were on our way to the desserts & champagne stall, so not to worry.



Here we tried not one, but three desserts. I don't know how anyone can just choose one when it comes to dessert. So for us it was going to be everything minus the Belgian Chocolate seashells.



... a frozen S'more.



... all washed down with the Rosè.



After that, we were back on our feet in search of more food.

Next up, Greece.



Here we had the Chicken Gyro with Tzatziki sauce...



It wasn't very memorable, but we didn't have anything we didn't like, so it must've been good. Kebaby is all I can remember.

Next we tried the Griddled Greek cheese...



Now this had one of the most delicious flavours ever. I can honestly say it was a little bit of heaven in a cardboard takeout box.

Next up was the refreshment port.



This is a booth that's a permanent fixture in Epcot, but I think they try to join in and add something different for the food and wine festival. Me and my son found a nice bench in the shade waiting for our taste buds to be tantalized, while my husband went off to surprise us with the next food taster.



Yep, chicken and chips. I don't know what he was thinking, it's definitely more than a taster, but it did taste good and meant another stamp adorned our passport. Unfortunately it was more than a taster of food, so we got quite full and had to call it a day where the tasters were concerned. On days like that I'd try the desserts, there's always room for pudding no matter how full you get.
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Old 01-06-2014, 09:05 AM   #2
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Old 01-06-2014, 09:10 AM   #3
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That's for sharing! We are planning our first F&W trip this year. Where do you pick up the passports? I must add "getting all the stamps" to our to-do-list!
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Old 01-06-2014, 09:28 AM   #4
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Next, Canada.



Here we tried the Fillet Mignon ...



... which was a bit on the tough side, but worth the struggle just for the taste.

We also tried the Cheese soup.



... now I read that this returns to the festival each year and people rave on about how delicious it it. I'm not a soup person and didn't really like the look of it, so I wasn't that keen on tasting it. I didn't want to let myself down by not trying it though, so I had a sip and that was it for me. Far too cheesy and the texture was not my kind of thing. It really didn't do it for me at all.

Next up, Ireland.



... where one evening we tried the Chocolate pudding with Bailey's custard.



... a little bit of christmas come early! It was delicious, but how can warm chocolate cake covered in Bailey's not be?

Next up, France!



... where we tried The Boeuf Bourguignon.



It was a bit cold and the gravy had congealed, I dug underneath to get some warm stuff and left the nasty jelly stuff on the top for my husband. Things like that don't bother him. It was nice, just your typical British braised steak and mash with a different name.

Next we were really going for it after all these years of living in France and never tasting them - SNAILS!



I sat on a bench just near smokers corner in anticipation while my husband queued, wondering whether I'd actually come home to proudly announce I'd tried snail. It's just food, how hard could it be?

Now I'd heard good things about these and the queue for France was always long. I'd prepared myself beforehand by reading up on these and looking at pictures and reading reviews, so I'd know what I was letting myself in for. I'd heard it's just a really nice garlic taste with a crunch in it, no snail taste, just a crunch, so I was up for that.

Unfortunately I chickened out and took the snail out and just ate the brioche. I popped it in my mouth a couple of times, but I never got the courage up to actually crunch. I offered it to my husband after a while, but after being rolled about in my mouth a couple of times I think he was a bit put off. He said it just tasted really garlicy and wasn't something he'll bother with again.

Next, onto the alcohol and the Cosmo slush - Vodka, Grey Goose cherry noir, Grand marnier and cranberry juice.



It was delicious. I know you lot can't taste it, but it's worth a close up shot just for being so delicious.



Next, Belgium.



... and waffle heaven. We went for them all, sweet and savoury.

First up, the berry one.



Next, the chocolate one.



... and then the potato leek and braised steak one.



I wasn't impressed with any of the waffles, sweet or savoury. Maybe I'm used to frozen ready made ones, but these seemed tasteless and were a bit of a let down. The savoury one was not my kind of thing. It was a mush at the bottom and not really that nice.

Now the drinks. First we had the chocolate liqueur.



This just tasted like a mild Bailey's.

... and a Stella Artois.



Ten stalls down, another twenty to go.

Next up, New Zealand.



Where we had one of everything. First up, the steamed green lip mussels with garlic butter and breadcrumbs.



These were very chewy and I couldn't actually bite them. I ripped one apart and managed to eat the middle, but it seemed a lot of mess and effort for very little in return.

Then onto the spicy lamb meatballs.



You could be fooled into thinking it looked like a Yorkshire pudding filled with tomatoes, I was, but pulling back the tomato top revealed the meatball in all it's glory.



This was delicious and very spicy. The meatball wasn't spicy, but the tomato was. The Yorkshire pudding thing was very bland and tasteless, I felt it lacked salt and just had a nibble and left the rest for my husband.

Next we tried the venison sausage.



Absolutely delicious and cooked to perfection. I'm always a bit funny about other people cooking my sausages because they can look anemic and I like mine well done, this looked and tasted delicious though.
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Old 01-06-2014, 09:32 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Zooshoveller View Post
That's for sharing! We are planning our first F&W trip this year. Where do you pick up the passports? I must add "getting all the stamps" to our to-do-list!
You can pick them up from the festival center, but we noticed some of the stalls had them as well. We got one before we started though because we didn't want to miss out on any stamps with it being our mission to come home with a fully stamped passport.
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Old 01-06-2014, 10:00 AM   #6
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Next up, Morocco.



Where we went for the Kefta pocket.



I peeled back the pita bread to examine the insides before taking a bite...



I was expecting spicy for some reason, but it wasn't spicy at all. Nice, but nothing special or memorable.

... and the Harissa chicken roll.



Now this was delicious. It just tasted like an extra tasty spring roll from a Chinese takeaway, but still delicious.

We, well I, washed them down with a sangria.



Next up, Japan.



I was scared of all the fish not being a fish person, so when I saw the teriyaki chicken I knew what we'd be having.



It looked pretty, but as I put it up to my mouth I smelt fish. After poking it apart in search of where the fish smell was coming from and only finding chicken, I can only assume that it was the seaweed or cross contamination from the other things they were serving. I couldn't eat it though, the smell and thought of fish had put me off. This was the first and only thing that we threw away from the whole food and wine festival. It just wasn't our kind of thing, although I wanted it to be because it looked so pretty.

Next up, Florida local.



This was the day of the chicken and chips, so we were all full and couldn't eat another thing (apart from cake), but my son and husband kept going and ordered the beef slider.



I didn't taste it, but it was just a burger and nothing special according to my husband.

Next up, Hops & Barley.



It smelt really fishy around this section. The lobster was very popular and we were willing to give it a try until the smell hit us, so we came away with just the bread pudding...



...and decided to attempt the lobster another day when we might be feeling braver.

The bread pudding was warm and delicious, but they were tight with the custard. I was really looking forward to this and it didn't disappoint at all, even with the lack of custard.

Next up, the Coffee cart.



Where we had the only thing on the menu, the Jamaican coffee.



I gave up coffee a couple of months ago, but I was looking forward to tasting the Jamaican stuff because it's something I've never tasted properly. We got married in Jamaica and brought Jamaican coffee back, but at the time I didn't really drink coffee so never gave it a try.

I sat in the shade while my husband went to fetch it. I was surprised it was cold, I'd just scan read the menu so when I took a big massive drink and the alcohol hit me I was even more shocked. It was very strong, I think maybe because the straw was at the bottom and I'd just sucked up all the alcohol in one long mouth full. I thought I was just having a cold coffee.

Next up, Italy.



... where we tried everything.

First up, the ravioli.



This was delicious, just like a really good home made lasagne.

Next we tried the sweet sausage.



I like Italian sausages, but this one was just bland and looked too anemic for my liking. I think my daughter polished this one off.

Next on the menu, the chocolate cannoli.



I love desserts, but this one was disappointing. Not disappointing enough for me not to eat, but it just lacked taste. To be fair, I think we'd had it just after visiting Mexico where I'd had my taste buds burnt off, so it might've been nice if I'd tried it on another day.

Next up, Poland.



I've never tasted any Polish food, so I was looking forward to this one. We tried both the food items on the menu, first the Kielbasa ...



... then the Zapiekanki.



Both were quite tasteless, even the onion on the first one which I was expecting to be really tasty. The only thing I really remember that stood out about these two was the tomato sauce. It was very spicy - just like ketchup, but very spicy.

Next up, Germany.



Here we tried the bratwurst.



This is another one I was looking forward to. Not because I like a German sausage, it was more to do with the comical appearance of having an extra large sausage in a tiny bun. The sausage is that long that I couldn't get a good picture showing the full length in all it's glory.

It was nice, just your average everyday bratwurst. I wanted to try the other stuff but they'd ran out of the schinkennudeln and we never made it back to see if they had any more. I'm gutted that I didn't get to try the apple strudel, but it's hard work eating your way around the world in the Florida sun.

Next up, Brewers collection.



Where a simple Pilsner was ordered.



We're not really drinkers, but that didn't mean we didn't want to try everything. It was just hard because we drove to the parks, so couldn't drink much. I could, but I didn't like the thought of walking around drunk while my husband stayed sober. Most people there were merry and in party mood most of the time. It was a lovely atmosphere even if you didn't get to try out all the drinks. We're staying at the Beach Club, right next to Epcot, next year so that we can walk to the park and experience the food and wine festival to the full. We love food, so we loved it!

Last edited by Sam1; 01-06-2014 at 10:12 AM.
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Old 01-06-2014, 03:30 PM   #7
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Thanks for all your pictures! I've just booked the beach club for October this year so we can go to the F&W festival just a stroll away will definitely be getting a passport!

Did you find there was a less busy time to go? Or a certain day that was quieter at all?
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Old 01-07-2014, 12:35 AM   #8
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Great report! We managed 19 of the booths last trip (good going considering the festival finished 5 days into our trip!) but we're hoping to get a full passport this year. We're also staying at BC so we're right on the doorstep of the action
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Old 01-07-2014, 03:35 AM   #9
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Thanks for all your pictures! I've just booked the beach club for October this year so we can go to the F&W festival just a stroll away will definitely be getting a passport!

Did you find there was a less busy time to go? Or a certain day that was quieter at all?
That's why we're staying at the Beach Club this time. It'll be heaven just popping in and out!

It seemed quieter just after lunchtime, maybe after 14:30, during the week. I'd read the queues were huge on a weekend, but we did Saturdays as well. It was noticeably busier, but it didn't stop any enjoyment if you were doing the food and wine and you only queued for between five and ten minutes for the really long queues.

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Great report! We managed 19 of the booths last trip (good going considering the festival finished 5 days into our trip!) but we're hoping to get a full passport this year. We're also staying at BC so we're right on the doorstep of the action
That's really good! We started a few days after arriving and tried to do at least one booth most days. We didn't get to try many of the drinks, so that's another reason we're staying at the Beach Club next year. Some of them looked lovely, but we could only try a few with driving to the parks.
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Old 01-07-2014, 04:23 AM   #10
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Next up, Cheese.



Where we tried a trio of cheeses.



All were very mild and delicious. My husband isn't really a lover of cheese, whereas I am, so I think I ate most of them.

Next, Africa.



I didn't know what to expect because I don't think I've ever knowingly had any African food, so we decided to try both. First, the Berbere style beef with onion, jalapenos, tomato, okra & pap.



I'm assuming that white stuff is the okra and pap. It was quite tasteless, a bit like bland semolina. I'm assuming it's supposed to be bland, there more as a bulking item meant to not take the taste away from the beef. Either that or it's there to cool your mouth down after eating the beef. The beef was delicious and very hot and spicy. I thought the burn was coming from the jalapenos, but it was coming from the beef.

Next we tried the Spinach & paneer cheese pocket.



I ripped it in half to see what the insides looked like before committing to eating it. I think the spinach put me off just going straight in there for the bite. I'm not a fan of spinach.



I think it was nice, I'm not sure because my mouth was burning from the beef just before. I sat and mentioned that in hindsight we maybe should've tasted it first before we only had a few taste buds left.

Next, South Korea.



Again, I didn't know what to expect so we tried both foods on the menu. First the kimchi dog.



It was basically just a hotdog, not spicy like I expected and not a patch on the German sausage in a bun when it came to size. It was disappointing because I expected a bit of a kick from the sauce.

Next we tried the lettuce wrap.



DELICIOUS! I loved this one, it was probably in my top three favourites. It was really juicy and had lots of flavour.

Next, China.



We tried all the mains, but didn't get to try the dessert. It's a shame because it was supposed to be special - something to do with how they make the ice cream into ribbons. I suppose it was just going to be like a vienatta, but the mango, strawberry and coconut would've been hard to choose between. I would have had to try all three.

First we tried the Mangolian beef in a steamed bun.



Another absolutely delicious one. This was my husband's favourite thing from the festival. I found it hard to choose just one.

Next we tried the shrimp and noodles.



It was okay, nothing special. We threw most of the noodles, not because they didn't taste good, more to do with the amount. We didn't want to fill up on noodle when there was more delicious food to be tasted. It's definitely more than a taster.

Next, the chicken potstickers.



These were nice. I'm not usually a fan of the undercooked looking Chinese starters, but they were really tasty.

Next up, Singapore.



Where we had the lemongrass chicken curry with coconut & jasmine rice.



It was okay, the rice was nice but the curry tasted like a microwave curry. I expected it to be better. To get over my disappointment I ordered the Singapore sling.



My son ate the cherry after being warned it'd taste of strong alcohol and I sipped on the drink. It was very strong and with me not being a drinker it made me feel tipsy.

Next, Mexico.



Here we attempted the rib-eye taco.



I squeezed the lime in preparation for having my taste buds burnt off, then I dug in. It was hot, probably the hottest thing we had at the festival. I admitted defeat first and panicked when I couldn't get water quick enough. My son gave in shortly after and my husband finished it off. It was nice, but we agreed it was far too hot for women and children.
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Old 01-07-2014, 04:41 AM   #11
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Next, Australia.



We tried both mains here. First the garlic shrimp.



Which was nice, but I'm not really a shrimp lover so can't comment on whether it was a good shrimp or not. I wanted to try as much stuff as possible though, so this was the closest I got to fish.

Next, the grilled lamb chop.



This was delicious. It had good reviews so I was looking forward to tasting it. It was really tender and the crunchiness of the crisps made it that little bit different and unusual for me.

Next up, Argentina.



I didn't have a clue about food from Argentina, so we tried both mains. First the beef empanada.



It looked like a Cornish pasty and ripping it in half it still looked like a Cornish pasty.



It tasted exactly like a Cornish pasty without that strong peppery taste.

Next we tried the beef skewer with boniato puree.



This was delicious. I had to look up what boniato was because I'd not heard of it, it's just a sweet potato. No spice from Argentina. I don't know why I thought there would be, but I did expect it for some reason.

Almost there, still two to go.

Next up, Brazil.



Here we tried the non fish food, the crispy belly pork with black beans, onions, avocado & cilantro.



I was expecting tough and chewy because that's how my mum always cooked belly pork when I was a kid, I've never cooked it myself, but this was tender on the inside and crispy on the outside - delicious! It doesn't look as nice in the picture as it tasted, but it was up there in the top three for me. The black beans don't look appealing, but they just tasted like your average Heinz baked beans but not as sweet. It really was delicious, it's just a shame I had to share it with my husband and son. We knew early on that if we were going to make it to the end by trying at least one thing at every booth, we'd have to share.

Next, Terra.



This was a vegetarian booth, so I wasn't sure what to expect although the reviews were good. First up, the chicken curry.



This was delicious and you really couldn't tell it was vegetarian. It was up there with my favourites, but it was hard to choose favourites because there was so many nice foods.

Next the chili.



I can't find a picture of the chili and I'm almost sure I wouldn't take a picture of half eaten food, but I think that's what we have here. We obviously couldn't wait and dived straight in there. To be fair, it was the very first thing we tried at the festival and I wasn't quite camera ready, plus we were starving.

I followed that with a chardonnay, which was very nice. I don't have a single picture though, again because I was too excited at just being there, but here's what we bought from the terra booth before we dived in.



Later on in the holiday we went back and managed to try the chocolate cake.



It was bland and tasteless, you really did need to scoop some of that passion fruit sauce on each spoonful to get any taste. That was lovely and had a very strong taste, but still our least favourite dessert from the festival.
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Old 01-07-2014, 05:23 AM   #12
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So, we made it! We managed to eat or drink at least one thing at each of the thirty booths and we thoroughly enjoyed each and every minute of it. I would have liked to come home having tried lobster and have done more with the snail than have it popped in and out of my mouth several times, but I'm still proud of the fact we managed to try a huge amount of food and drink.

It was our first visit to WDW. Epcot is lovely and definitely our favourite Disney park, probably due to the food, although we didn't get to do everything there because there was just so much to eat with the festival being on. We looked at most countries and have mementos from each, as well as eating counter service in China and the UK, but we didn't get to do Epcot properly.

As well as the food, during the festival they have the Eat to the Beat concert playing three times a night. We saw Hanson, Smash Mouth, Spin Doctors and Christopher Cross. Again, we thoroughly enjoyed it.

We loved the festival and after having a kitchen sink at Beaches and Cream at the Beach Club, we got home and started pricing it up to go back again. This time hoping to stay right next door to Epcot. After seeing the price, we decided we could only do one week and one week offsite, but luckily the sales came and we changed our booking to two weeks at the Beach Club in an upgraded room, plus another two days offsite all for the same price!

I'm very excited about going back, but for now here it is, our stamp of victory!



We did it!

For anybody wondering, you can get the final stamp from guest services. As a memento to remember the occasion, we also brought Duffy home with us.



Thanks for reading! I know how much I love reading and seeing other people's photos and couldn't see one just about the food and wine festival, so I thought I'd share our experience. I know some people avoid it because of the crowds, but it really isn't that bad. I'd say it was a must for anybody who hasn't been and is going while it's on. We loved it and can't wait to go back!
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Old 01-07-2014, 12:44 PM   #13
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Lovely ending to the report.

I have to agree on the Singapore Sling. I didn't think I'd meet a cocktail I didn't like...until that. Ewwwww. I ended up having a few mouthfuls and throwing it away

On the subject of your Duffy purchase, this trip I came home with a special plastic food and wine plate. It has space for at least one food and wine dish and a small cup holder to allow you to eat without having to find a place to stash your drink. Pretty nifty and it'll be going back with me this year
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Old 01-13-2014, 09:47 AM   #14
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food and wine

looking at the photo's reminded me of what we had when we went last year, we did get all the stamps for the countries but i didn't notice the complete stamp one until i read your report so i didn't get that one. We didn't do alot of eating but mostly drinking and that singapore sling was rough and made me tipsy, i gave most to it to my husband the one i liked was the haberno magarita and after half the countries we stopped and came back another day to carry on as we also did the 3d dessert party and boy was there alot of drink as well as food but we do love the festival and it was our 4th time, but last year we did do alot more than the previous 3, as you do need alot of money if you want to drink and eat around the world
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Old 01-16-2014, 06:30 AM   #15
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Lovely ending to the report.

I have to agree on the Singapore Sling. I didn't think I'd meet a cocktail I didn't like...until that. Ewwwww. I ended up having a few mouthfuls and throwing it away

On the subject of your Duffy purchase, this trip I came home with a special plastic food and wine plate. It has space for at least one food and wine dish and a small cup holder to allow you to eat without having to find a place to stash your drink. Pretty nifty and it'll be going back with me this year
We threw the Singapore sling away as well. I just couldn't drink it because it was really strong.

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Originally Posted by dacatlady View Post
looking at the photo's reminded me of what we had when we went last year, we did get all the stamps for the countries but i didn't notice the complete stamp one until i read your report so i didn't get that one. We didn't do alot of eating but mostly drinking and that singapore sling was rough and made me tipsy, i gave most to it to my husband the one i liked was the haberno magarita and after half the countries we stopped and came back another day to carry on as we also did the 3d dessert party and boy was there alot of drink as well as food but we do love the festival and it was our 4th time, but last year we did do alot more than the previous 3, as you do need alot of money if you want to drink and eat around the world
I didn't like to add up how much we spent. We didn't try many of the drinks, so that kept the cost down a bit for us, but it still costs a fair bit if you're wanting to try something at each booth. It was worth it though because we all thoroughly enjoyed it and are looking forward to doing similar again this year.
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