So I finally made it to the Foodies Festival this weekend, after multiple failed attempts (well, multiple Googles, a few “I should maybe definitely go” thoughts, followed by subsequent missings of the advance-ticket-offer.)
Foodies Festival is a travelling food fair, including bars, ice cream vans, product stalls, cookery demonstrations, juice trucks and seating areas. So far, so excellent.
Anyway, because I can apparently only do something after months of procrastination, I finally booked a ticket for the Battersea Park venue. Now, I think it’s mildly cheeky that these places expect you to pay around £15 for entry, only to then charge you loads to actually buy anything once inside. Thanks to my 2-for-1 offer, I actually paid £7.50 each, which was a *bit* better, but still not great…
However, my indignation felt short-lived once I’d discovered that Foodies Festival GIVES OUT SHEDLOADS OF SAMPLES. YES.
I had…drumroll please…parmesan cheese, four sorts of flavoured cheddar cheese, a piece of curried goat stew, two types of soup, linseed flapjack, two kinds of green juices, pink gin and tonic, alcoholic iced tea, coconut water, cookie dough, three sorts of chorizo, cupcake icing, whisky chocolate, whisky cocktail, and…some mint gin.
And this, from the girl who’s been to Borough Market so many times that I suspect the stall owners can see me coming for my “before I buy” tasters (suuuure) a mile off.*
ALSO though, I actually bought stuff too – I’m not a total cheapskate *cough*. This included: a smoked sausage sandwich, a raspberry and gin ice lolly, half a tomato and pesto bruschetta, a mini feta cheese pie, a new kind of coconut water to use in my morning smoothies, some slice-and-bake chocolate chip cookies for later, a mint and melon gin, and some alcoholic ice tea, WHICH, by the way, doesn’t taste at all alcoholic and is in fact, genius.
I also watched Charlotte White explain how to do “burlesque baking” – which as far as I can tell, is just normal baking, whilst wearing a Vivienne of Holloway-esque dress and red lipstick (fine by me) ‒ and watched Kurobuta chef Scott Hallsworth demonstrate a fairly dull tea-smoked dish of something (can’t remember what, it was that interesting).
I know Hallsworth has serious pedigree and is hot stuff right now, but I’m thinking maybe he wasn’t quite in the mood that day – he seemed to struggle with answering questions at the same time as cooking, which, when you’re doing a demo, isn’t necessarily ideal…but ANYWAY. Just my two cents…*whistles nonchalantly*.
I also bought two pots of heat-to-eat lunchtime soup from a company called Soulful, because their samples were seriously good – I recommend! (See, it’s not just me trying to nick stuff.)
I can now confirm that slice-and-bake chocolate chip cookies are FABULOUS (I know they’re old news in the US, but they’re not so common over here, and these were GOOD), and that Go Coco coconut water tastes seriously nice in green smoothies (as well as sounding pleasingly close to a Mean Girls catchphrase).
I can also assure you that gin in iced lollies is a marvellous idea, and that Bowmore whisky (my favourite kind!) had better market its as-yet-still-in-testing-stages whisky chocolate PRONTO because I really actually need some more of it.
And then, after this faintly disturbing display of gluttony, sunbathing and general merriment, I went to a free jazz festival in Canary Wharf, sang along to Heard It On the Grapevine with a crowd of other mildly drunk people plus my good friend Tom, and then ate half a plate of Italian antipasti, because I totally hadn’t already had enough to eat that day (cough).
Food, drink, music, intermittent sunshine, friends. And the best bit? NO SCHEDULED WORKS ON MY TRAIN LINES! Excellent.
London, you might cost too much and have often-crappy weather, but you know what? Sometimes you’re not too shabby.
*(I swear those guys at Borough have got less generous as the years go on – I guess there’s only so many free samples you have to give out before the stuff just sells itself. Such is the reputation of Borough, I imagine you probably just have to show up and roll over, and the £20 pot of bog-standard pesto flies off the shelf unaided. No disrespect to the stall-holders AT ALL, but seriously, people, at least let me off with a chunk of smoked cheddar? A slice of black-pepper charcuterie? A crumb of chilli chocolate brownie? One olive? No? No? OK, FINE. *wanders off*)