Tuesday, 31 July 2018

Foodies Festival Day Out

I'll tell you what I like about Foodies Festival, it's that it is a great day out to just chill and graze.  My visit to the one in Birmingham last month was helped by the good weather (granted), but also the informality of it all with lots of places to take a pew, relax, eat and simply sit and people watch in comfort suited me right down to the ground.  

In between all this sitting down and relaxing, so who and what did I see?

Photo:  Word In Veg Ways

Generally, I enjoyed mooching around the variety of traders, some new, some I'd never seen before.  

Photo:  Word In Veg Ways

Lunchtime involved my Mother tucking into some Polish bigos from Dobra Kuchnia, whilst I went for a mozzarella crepe from Vive la Crepe which was delicious.  

Photo:  Word In Veg Ways

My Mother liked the fact they made it in front of you and she commented she liked it was freshly made upon request and although it didn't look that big when put together, it was actually very, very filling once you started chowing down through those layers.

Photo:  Word In Veg Ways

Taking a break from the main crowd, with a Purbeck Dorset ice cream cone in hand, we went to see Stephen Carter Bailey (Great British Bake Off Finalist) in the demo tent. 

Photo:  Word In Veg Ways

Unfortunately, post-demo, the stampede to sample Stephen's quiche at the end of the session left my Mother a tad disappointed as her bid to get to the front didn't work, although she was placated with some of his cheesecake which was very insanely good, so 50% success rate wasn't too bad on the freebies I guess.   

Photo:  Word In Veg Ways

I also managed to meet him backstage for a chat and a photo and he was as charming as he portrays - he even apologised to my Mother about the lack of quiche.

Photo:  Word In Veg Ways

At the end of his slot, it was nice to get another quick celeb photo with Glynn Purnell who is as smiley as he comes across on TV, sadly we couldn't get in for his actual demo.  It was a bit of a stampede (like with the above mentioned quiche) to get a seat - next time hopefully.  He's a popular man is Glynn.

I do like going to Foodies Festival as it gives me a chance to check out new things and (as I always take my Mother) it acts as an opportunity for us to have a day out together too.  Had I not been driving, we would've headed straight to the Pimms stand.   Perhaps, like with Glynn, we can do it next time, hopefully.


Disclosure:    This post has been written following receipt of complementary tickets for Foodies Festival.  This review was conducted honestly without bias and I was not required to produce a positive review.  For further details of my PR policy, please see the Press, PR & Food Writing page of this website.   

Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Strawberry Picking

It's been a glorious summer so far hasn't it?  There's been almost a 'Darling Buds of May' feel about it, with endless sunshine, warmth, light nights....  Plus the adorable opportunity of alfresco dining with nature's soundtrack of birdsong in the background as dusk falls, whether that be in the garden or in a country pub - love it!  It's things like this that get me through when it's wet and soggy in November and I remember these moments knowing that they'll return again the following year.

And what could be more 'Darling Buds of May' than fruit picking?  That wonderful feeling of parking up in a field, punnet in hand, the sun beaming down as you rummage in the strawberry plants to find the ripe red jewels....  Although it's not quite a blink-and-you-miss-it season, it still is only for a short time so you have to time it right and especially so if weekends are your only opportunity to go.   A lot of fruit farms have a variety of produce so if you miss the strawberry season, there will be plenty of other things to choose from and often things you can't find on the High Street such as loganberries or tayberries.

There's something satisfying about PYO (pick your own), brings out a little hunter-gatherer spirit in me and it also brings back a lot of pleasant memories of travelling to the farms in Evesham as child and picking different fruit - strawberries in the main.

Orchards in Pershore College

I suppose why I'm writing this is because after a visit to the Confetti Fields in Wick last week, I visited Pershore College en route home as they had a big PYO sign outside.  I was totally amazed that this hidden gem had such a large orchard and berry plants and also, I had no idea that it was a horticultural centre/college. So many fruits to choose from,  but we kept it traditional and chose strawberries.  The taste was so sweet and 'real' - so much better than shop bought ones if I'm honest.  Just reinforces how the taste of something can vary depending on how it is made or grown.  

Strawberry Plants at Pershore College

My little visit has definitely ignited a passion to visit more fruit farms this summer and beyond.  Supporting a local business, picking what you want (and how much you want) and having some time out to do something calming & fun - it's win-win!