Okay foodies, what have we got to look forward to as and when the weather dares to be more amenable..?
- Hazel Butterfield
- 06 March 2016
I love food. I love cooking it, eating it, eating out, watching food shows, reading the Sunday glossies, farmers markets... What else is there? Ooh yeah, Wholefoods, this place just fills me with joy and empties my pockets. But most importantly, food festivals. Food. Lots of it, freebies, cooking demo's, lashings of yummy booze and then as a result of the aforementioned... lots of happy people with happy tummies. The perfect day out. Just try and keep me away.
I have been trawling the net to make sure I know what is when and I couldn't help but share it with you. There are squillions going on out there, as the better weather draws closer, but these are the ones that are particularly making me salivate! Here goes:
On the 23rd April at Old Deer Park in Richmond, TW9. Such a great location, easy to get to, a kids zone and a stupidly cheap £3 entry. I've not been to this one before but that is due to this being its debut. But looking at the already confirmed vendors, from Madame Macaroon to Anila’s Authentic Sauces AND a Champagne stand. I'm in.
A regular visitor to this one, I'll be partaking in the Syon Park date in West London on the 28-30th May. My last foodies festival, was randomly excellent. Me and the fella rocked up for a saunter and our usual food porn top up, but the sun was shining, before we knew it we saw more and more of our friends and took over a neat grass patch 3 1/2 stumbles away from the pink gin stand (only 8 stumbles from the obligatory Pimms stand). They even had an Elemis treatment bus. The boyfriend did very well carrying all the bags full of goodies back - after my massage it seemed counterproductive to then strain myself.
Or maybe you want to try something later on in the year - Foodies Festival at Alexandra Palace – 27th-29th August 2016.
You're also allowed to take your mutt along to Foodies, to all the outdoor areas, so long as they are on a lead.
Finally, my last one for the diary. If you're wanting a little bit more from your festival and you're giving the aforementioned a miss... The Big Feastival, brought to you by Jamie Oliver and Alex James. Set on an idyllic farm in the Cotswolds, glamping, food, booze, music - but you don't have to leave a the end of the day, you can just roll into your tepee! Well not for a few days anyway. Imagine Glastonbury, with better food, not as vast and lots of middle class nightmares.
A slight curve ball and not really a food festival, but I only really go in the warmer days so I see this as a summer food orientated shenanigan; Dukes Meadow Farmer's Market - Hidden down a rickety lane betwixt Kew and Chiswick. Every Sunday 10am-2pm.
It may be small, but I love it. On top of all its goodies and bizarrely reasonably priced plants (for the area!), just along the far path not more than 30 seconds away there is an excellent adventure playground and children's pool (free) just in case you need to have a bargaining chip for the kids.
What is my ideal food festival? Well the organisers or a food festival are not in charge of the weather, but that is what is the 'cherry on the top'. Good atmosphere, easy to get back from, not too large so that you can easily bother going back to the Hungarian salad place at the beginning when the fake munchies creep in 3 minutes after polishing off another delight. Not 'we are so trendy it's fashionable to remortgage for a kale falafel' kind of prices, space for blankets, child friendly (with an over 18's area - obvs), music, kitsch and freebies. Oh and lashings of friends. Done.
What I go crazy for? Well due to my chicken eating vegetarianism there are certain popular types of food that I admire, but from afar. Bruschetta is my weakness, as are cocktails and new gins. I'm not fully signed up to the mung bean party but hands up, I do love a good salad and I've never yet walked past a chutney stand without making I purchase.
If you have read any of my other bogs you will have noticed that I love a deal or even better, a freebie. It's not always about selling the most on the day it's about getting us hooked from here on in. It's about fun and trying something new.
Pet hates... Overpriced food. Also, festival goers, pick your crap up - use a bin.
What to find out which festivals you can take your pooch to?
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