Foodies Festival – Blackheath 2017

Foodies Festival - Blackheath 201 site
Foodies Festival – Blackheath 2017 site

 

This is the second year of the Foodies Festival. It runs over several weekends in various different locations around the country. Conveniently for us the organisers were smart enough to have one of the events at Blackheath. It’s a great 3 day festival and this was our second time going; having been able to secure free tickets 2 years on the trot! Thanks to Joanne Mortlock from Love Pop Ups – London and Ava Maitland from Foodies Festival for this years tickets.
We arrived and picked our tickets up around 12:30 and it was already buzzing.

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The first thing we went to was a stand for Alvalle, free tasters of gazpacho which I’d never had before. I found it very nice – cold, refreshing and savoury. Lucy was heard to comment “Excuse me, this soup is cold”

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We moved on having a little look here and there and got to the Evan Williams trailer. I’ve had Evan Williams bourbon before and it’s great. I got a little taster mixed with some orange and ginger beer. Not a combination I’d had before but one I’ll give another go.

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Next up was Mateus Rosé. Mateus, as a lot of us know, had a bad reputation for years but only because rosé wine wasn’t all that popular through the 90s. They’ve been chugging along over the years and are thoroughly taking advantage of the resurgence in the popularity of easy to drink wines. I love the stuff. Perfect for a hot afternoon with a barbecue and some friends. Lucy thought that it had a little too much of an alcohol taste for her but she generally prefers drinks where you can’t taste the booze.

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We carried on walking around the site trying to decide what to have next and walked past on of the demo tents. This one just happened to have this years Masterchef champion, Saleha Mahmood-Ahmed and Masterchef 2015 finalist, Tony Rodd. We didn’t hang around because we were looking for something specific.

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If you like chilli sauce then you need to experience Carringtons. Chillichup is a work of genius. A combination of tomato ketchup and chilli sauce; perfectly balanced and good with almost anything. They also do some stronger sauces for those more adventurous. If you can get your hands on some Chillichup or ShutupChup you’ll come away a much happier person. Lucy purchased a bottle of Chillichup and Chillichup rub. They also provide recipe cards for each of their products, if you need inspiration. As you can see, Henry loves the stuff!

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After the delights of Carringtons we carried on our stroll and stumbled upon Clonakilty Black Pudding. Black pudding is one of my all time favourite foods. I got a cheeky sample of their black pudding which was delicious. They were also offering samples of white pudding (which I had never tried before) and also their 2 types of sausages; ispini (chipolatas) and ispini mora (traditional thick sausages). It was all so tasty that we bought one of everything and even got a very nice cooler bag in the same deal!

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Across the aisle from Clonakilty was Himachal Indian Cider. I had a little sip but Lucy got the lions share of the taster and she enjoyed it so much she bought a bottle.

Next along was TukTuk Chai. I love a bit of chai but I found this too sweet. The spicing was really nice though.

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It’d got to beer o’clock for me so I had a look around for something refreshingly alcoholic. I saw the stall for ABK, Aktienbraurei Kaufbeuren, and immediately knew that’s where my first drink would come from. I had the Edel, 5.8 abv export style lager. Just what I needed.

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Lucy was getting peckish but I hadn’t decided what I wanted yet. Lucy chose Bombay Street Food, which offered 5 different options and a couple of different snacks.

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Lucy went for “Meal 3: The Amitabh”. Chunks of tandoori spiced chicken tikka with rice and dahl. Not a fan of dahl, Lucy got this in a separate container, so I had it. It was nice and soupy, the way I like my dahl. Henry seemed to enjoy it too even though it was rather spicy.

Continuing our journey we walked past a stand selling rum. Pirate’s Grog rum import their rum from Roatan, an island just off the coast of Honduras. The VERY entertaining gentleman selling it said that they were the only company importing rum from Honduras. They’ve won several awards so I’m inclined to believe him. He gave me a try of the 3 rums on offer; Five Year, No.13 and Black Ei8ht. Five Year is aged in ex-bourbon barrels giving it a lovely sweet, vanilla and raisin flavour. No.13 is award winning. “Rich and full bodied with notes of apricot, peach, white chocolate and vanilla.” It was delicious but a little intense for my tastes. Black Ei8ht was amazing. I honestly didn’t think I would enjoy it but I ended up having a miniature bought for me by Lucy. The nice man said it was “breakfast rum”. It’s a rum and coffee infusion combining Brazilian coffee with Five Year. It’s stunning and needs to be tasted to be believed. Lucy was kind enough to buy me a miniature of the Five Year too. I’m a lucky boy.

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After all the excitement of the rum I needed a drink. Boston Shakers were on hand to provide.

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I had my favourite cocktail, Long Island Iced Tea, and Lucy had a pink lemonade. On a day of great ideas, this was up there with the best. The Iced Tea was well balanced, sweet, sour and refreshing and Lucy’s pink lemonade was amazing.

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Given the opportunity Henry would’ve drunk the lot!

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I was starting to get hungry but I didn’t want anything that came in a big portion. Just along the row from the cocktails was iCalamari, a “Calamari Bar”. I went for a cone of fried calamari. It was just enough to fill the gap and luckily not overcooked.

Henry wanted to go for a walk so Lucy took him off so I found myself stood next to the There’s A Beer For That tent just in time for a free beer and food matching session. Lager and chorizo go really well together, I just wish they’d given us warm chorizo instead of cold. I also treated myself to a Blue Moon and chicken satay combo which was great. I also discovered that there is such a thing as a beer sommelier and I want that job!

Back over at one the demo tents we saw Masterchef 2017 finalist, Steve Kielty preparing himself for a session.

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Henry was starting to get tired so we started ambling towards the exit.

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On the way I fancied a beer so we stopped off at the Fuller’s Frontier trailer and I had a classic pint of London Pride. Seriously one of the most consistently good beers you can find.

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Walking on, near the exit Bonne Maman were giving away free pots of cold desserts. Chocolate and strawberry mousses, creme caramel and salted creme caramel. Lucy had the strawberry mousse and I had salted creme caramel.
At the exit I noticed that Monkey Shoulder whisky had a little cart giving samples of cocktails. I had a very small Lazy Old Fashioned and that nicely finished off the afternoon.

Foodies Festival truly is a great event. It’s generally cheap to get in, there is SO much food and drink on offer, there are demonstrations and tasting sessions with big names in the food and drink industry and even live music through the day.
I literally have just two suggestions. Firstly, I think vendors should offer smaller/taster portions. I went there wanting to try lots of different types of food and only had a couple because so many of the vendors were selling full size portions. I would happily pay £2 or £3 for a smaller or taster portion. My second suggestion would be more options for small children. There were so many parents and children there but the foods were definitely aimed more for the parents.
We’ll be back next year for more tasty food and drink without a doubt. Perhaps without Henry though.

Here’s what we picked up throughout the day!

21 Comments

  1. January 23, 2018
    Reply

    Foodies Festival truly is a great event. You just make me hungry man. Thanks for sharing about the event. Hope I can attend in next.

    • January 23, 2018
      Reply

      It’s a great festival. Unfortunately it doesn’t seem that they are doing it at Blackheath again this year. I think Syon Park is going to be the closest one for me.

  2. January 23, 2018
    Reply

    Oh I wish we had something like this in my local area. I love street food and so does my other half. He would be in his element with the Bombay food stall. It looks like a great event!

    • January 23, 2018
      Reply

      It was a great event. As I mentioned in another comment, it appears they’re not doing it at the Blackheath location this year.

  3. January 23, 2018
    Reply

    Food festival? YES PLEASE. What a fun event! I go to similar foodie happenings here in Miami. Good times!

    • January 24, 2018
      Reply

      Excellent! I think more people should be going to events like this to support new and small businesses.

  4. January 23, 2018
    Reply

    Where there is the chance to have free food, I am totally there as I am a total foodie. Shame that you found the chai to be too sweet although I am a big fan of chai so I would still like to try tuk tuk and I would definitely be up for the rose wine!

    • January 24, 2018
      Reply

      This will be the third year they’ve done the Foodie Festival (i think) so perhaps you’ll be able to go take a look.

  5. istarthub
    January 24, 2018
    Reply

    I love Foodies Festivals! Such events give a great chance to try amazing food from a talented people who still had no chance to show up on the local market.

    • January 24, 2018
      Reply

      That’s so true. It also good for trying out new things for existing companies.

  6. January 24, 2018
    Reply

    How awesome this fest seems to me, more so for a foodie like me. I so much long to be a part of food festivals. they bring so much flavour in lives. Loved Carringtons lots!

  7. EG III
    January 24, 2018
    Reply

    Foodie festival looks like an amazing event. I love the variety of the food and drinks they offer. I’d definitely give the evan williams with orange and ginger beer a try myself as well. That, along with many other things, sounds delicious.

  8. Jess
    January 24, 2018
    Reply

    Ooo what a great event! I love food festivals. The dhal sounds like it definitely would have been my cup of tea. I didn’t know Mateus had a bit of a bad rep but maybe I was too young to drink back then?

    • January 24, 2018
      Reply

      Mateus used to have a similar reputation to Blue Nun and Black Tower. They’ve managed to pull it around though now that rosé wine is popular again.

  9. January 24, 2018
    Reply

    Ahw… Undeniably I am a food lover, I hate to admit though I am trying to avoid eating too much but when we have this kind of feast.. what else can we do? With all those nice pictures of food and drinks.. Now I’m hungry

    • January 25, 2018
      Reply

      Over eating is an issue. That’s one of the reasons I think they should be offering sample size portions at events like this instead of full size.

  10. January 25, 2018
    Reply

    Food festivals! my thing indeed…… well now i am hungry! To be more serious, i agree on the smallest portion!

    • January 25, 2018
      Reply

      It just makes sense, doesn’t it. You want people to try as much as possible so make it so they don’t fill up after two portions!

  11. January 25, 2018
    Reply

    Food festivals always, always leave us feeling happy. These are interesting food products that will surely make everyone crave. Thanks for sharing!

  12. January 26, 2018
    Reply

    Foodie festival.. sign me up! I love festivals, but I love food even more. This seems like the perfect combination of the two. I definitely hope to make it here some day!

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