What we ate at Foodies Festival 2017
Foodies Festival kindly invited me down yesterday to visit and blog about my experience. The festival travels up and down the length of the country over the Summer and they've actually already been to London's Syon Park, and will be at Alexandra Palace over the August bank holiday too. This weekend, they're pitched up at Blackheath, by Greenwich park in London.
It was an absolute scorcher of a day and I'm sat here slightly red as I write this, having caught the sun while drifting round the festival.
There were lots of demonstrations on going on, I think I read that you had to register for them beforehand, but having overheard a bit of one in the Cake and Dessert theatre, I think it's definitely worth having a look at the schedule and booking in for one if you're more organised than us! I think Candice from GBBO is doing demos too for any Bake Off fans reading this.
This stall caught our eye straight away with their rainbow of colourful macarons lined up. They had some interesting flavours - I chose white chocolate and orange and Paul went for raspberry and white chocolate. They were a slightly puffier, coarser, texture than normal macarons but tasty all the same - they were gluten free, so the texture was probably something to do with that.
Next we headed to the hot food section. There wasn't really any names we recognised, but it was nice to try some different vendors rather than being tempted by old favourites! There was a calamari bar selling hot (burn-your-mouth hot) cones of freshly cooked calamari with a wedge of lemon and (optional) garlic mayo, so we shared a cone. They were lovely big chunks of fresh calamari and it was a good start.
Next up we shared the "Chicken Schnizz" from Big Dub of Love's cute little orange camper van (a VWDub, hence the name). It was made up of crispy chicken, chorizo, spicy Dutch, lettuce, crispy onions, sriracha, garlic mayo. It was super messy to eat but absolutely worth it. Probably our favourite thing of the day. They also had some halloumi bites on the menu which looked good and seemed to be quite popular.
Quite full by this point, we went back round the market stalls and bought some flavoured Biltong from Bad Boys who had about 9 different flavours of varying spiciness. Their biltong is a lot less dry and chewy than others we've tried and really flavoursome - though it's not cheap at £2.50/£3 a bag. The bags are a good size, there's just not much in them!
We also picked up some brownies at Chock Shop whose stall looked like a chocolate lover's paradise and again, had lots of different flavours like chilli and sea salt (surprisingly hot), seville orange and banoffee crumble. We took a box of 6 home for £12.50 and have eaten most of them already!
We tried a Malteser's cupcake from a really pretty looking stall called The Maplewood Bakery, who also had quite a few gluten free options. You could tell the cake itself was great cake but unfortunately it had totally dried out in the heat, to be honest I'm not sure there's anything they could have done about it. It's a shame because I think it would have been a really good cupcake had it not have dried out as the middle was really moist and tasty.
To wash all of this down, I had a pint of Cornish Orchard Blush - I love Cornish Orchards' cider and the Blush one wasn't sweet at all like a Koppaberg or those kind of gross, sickly fruit ciders. I also stopped for a cheeky rose sparkling wine from the very friendly New Zealand Wine stall which was delicious and Paul had a very dry but refreshing Indian cider, which is definitely worth checking out too.
I do think the £16 a ticket is a bit steep when you compare it to Taste of London and others in that bracket, I'm not sure I'd have been happy if we'd paid over £30 as a couple to go in but they are doing 241 tickets at the moment, so make sure you use that code! The food and drink inside is much more reasonably priced than other places like the Evening Standard Night Market though. Not many places seem to take card, and even less take American Express, so make sure you have some cash on you (there is a cash point inside but I imagine it gets busy).
Overall, we had a lovely day at Foodies Festival, and I would definitely go back next year, I may even consider going to the Alexandra Palace one in August later this year too!
It's got a much more laid-back family feel than its fellow food festivals (lots of children and dogs around and lots of stalls with dog bowls of water out) and I love the fact it has free yoga classes (though I was WAY too full to be able to even consider bending in half) and a stage with different bands on too.
Location: The nearest station is Blackheath National Rail or for underground probably Cutty Sark DLR or North Greenwich. We went to North Greenwich and then got a bus and walked for about 10 minutes.