I love spontaneous weekends, and Bank Holiday ones make it even better. A friend of my mums had booked tickets to the Foodies Festival at Hampton Court on Sunday, but unfortunately couldn’t go, so my mum and I graciously accepted her offer to hot foot it down in her place. I wasn’t sure what to expect but after a little googling, it turns out it’s the UK’s largest food & drink festival that moves around the country at eight different locations. It features top chef demonstrations, masterclasses, pop-up restaurants and producers of some amazing food and drink products, a selection of which are from (what I saw) local surrounding areas, although some were from further afield.
Now I’m not going to run you through everything I saw or tried, but just the most memorable things that I encountered. As for what I bought, there was so much to choose from so I only opted to buy things I thought were unique, things that I’d never seen before or stuff I knew I would like (my buys are coming up later in the week). So here we go:
- I tried an oyster for the very first time. My verdict – not as bad as I thought. Less like seafood more like a brisk walk at the seaside. I wouldn’t say no if I was offered them again.
- Fell in love with loads of different types of oils, dressings, chutneys, spreads, cheeses etc. but unfortunately didn’t have an unending supply of dosh.
- Tried a bite of a zebra burger – not for me, but the boy loved it.
- Learnt a lot about how champagne is made and bottled by connoisseur Charles Metcalfe – then sampled a fair bit of it at the Champagne tasting *hic*. It’s made me want to go on an eating and drinking tour of France.
- Watched Shocka’s Coconut Hub exercise some serious skill opening fresh coconuts, the guys were lovely to chat to and really friendly. The coconut water wash delicious and so refreshing, you can even eat in inside and they can add alcohol if you wish. These guys do events and private parties too; I know what I’m doing for my birthday next year! It was so good I went back twice!
- Seeing Angela Wilson cook her famous Chicken Tikka gave me he confidence to try to cook a curry from scratch for the first time. Apparently Lloyd Grossman called this dish ‘The tikka to end all Chicken Tikka’s’ when Angela was on ITV’s show Food Glorious Food, therefore it’s a must try for me.
- Sampling the new drink Ginger Grouse – spicy, citrus and sharp ginger beer with a hit of Whisky by The Famous Grouse. It’s already on my list as the perfect easy to sip summer drink.
I thought the festival was so good that I used my ticket twice (great idea organisers!)! Once with my mum on the Sunday and then I took my boyfriend along on the Monday. My advice is to go hungry and thirsty, as you will inevitably find things you want to try and taste. Take cash out before you get there and don’t feel pressured to buy if you don’t want to. I found that all the stalls were happy to give out samples, and it was the people that seemed interested in my thoughts and having a little chat that I was most inclined to go back to for my purchasing needs.
Anyone else been to the Foodies Festival? Reckon you’ll go when it’s on at a town near you?