Foodies Festival, Alexandra Palace 2015. Some words and images.
There’s not a lot to write about the Foodies Festival. The images here are more important than words I feel. To start with, well I’ll start with the admission prices, the tickets.
On special offer, at £19 per two people it’s a good deal. Even if like us, being seven of us that wanted to go, we could only buy tickets in pairs, so we got eight.
Still a good deal. But to receive an email a few days later, thanking me for purchasing the tickets (ours were for Sunday and only Sunday), and offering me four extra tickets for free I think was a bit of an insult.
And to top it off, I was encouraged to send these tickets (as they were generic) to anyone and everyone I wanted, as many as possible, free entrance, on ANY day of the festival. Would I buy again tickets next time? Please feel free to comment on this…organisers maybe?
The show was set up on a large enough field, it could have been a touch less congested on the left side (there’s enough space) as far as the stalls are concerned. Good access, free parking, music wasn’t too loud, people could walk and talk.
There was a good selection and variety of small producers and importers of food and drink, unfortunately most I spoke to were struggling to break even for the weekend. Rental prices for the stalls are high. But then again, they were not there for the money. Same as the larger exhibitors.
Spanish, Italian and French food and drink, cheeses and jams. British as well. Indian and Thai, made in UK, I presume. And then some more unusual (for the British taste) things. Like the plum brandy (Slivovica) from Slovakia. At 53% alcohol is strong. And it tasted great. And at £35 per bottle (700ml) is expensive. But so is good scotch.
At the carvery, the only thing being carved was a lonely pig, handsome and good-looking I might add, but lonely. I feel that the poor animal was overdone, the meat was dry and stringy. Covered in a BBQ sauce, not the best, and not with a lot of care. In a mediocre bun. But, the pig scratchings were good. Fresh, crunchy and salty, much better than the pork roll.
There were other meats on the big grills, large pork loins and lamb legs, lots of chicken and huge chunks of beef, the best.
All sorts of truffle goodies, salami and truffle sauce, cheese and oils. Italian and Greek olives and other mezze, lots of quiches.
Free samples and tastings were going all over the festival, from stem broccoli to pasta, crackers, cheese. Cooking demos were held in a large tent, quite big but as always never big enough. I don’t usually stay and watch unless there is someone I really like, so I passed this time. I do like the Masterchef guy, but not that much.
Initially at first sight I though that this is the Spanish food stand, as it stands (no pun intended) it’s actually the French food section. I didn’t get to try any as I was saving myself for other things. I was only one day there after all.
Places to hang around, to sit and to drink were plenty all around the festival grounds, but once again our favourite was next to the beer truck. Especially when you’re quite thirsty after lugging around two bottles of the Slivovica (plum brandy) in the camera gear bag. I knew that pocket is handy to have. I can’t really say I carried it, as this is my cousin, but I was thirsty as well.
Giovanni Rana were offering free samples of their fresh ravioli all day. I had to buy some as I’ve got some nice cheese for it. You get two packs for £5, (they are £2,20 each in the supermarket), and a little pot of sauce (which I’m still undecided if I’m going to use it), some coupons and a nice bag. And they get money and a hell of a lot of advertising. Still worth it though as the pasta is fine
The mix grill box, chicken, pork and lamb. Next, Hungarian sausages (smoked by the smell that was coming off the pan). Didn’t get to try them. Shame on me.
Nice rare beef (it could have done with a touch more resting), at £10 a plate you can consider it expensive but again worth it. The chimichurri sauce was ok, but just. And the mustard is just something that was too strong for the meat.
Next is the spicy shrimp mac&cheese form the Hard Rock Cafe. Nice and with lots of shrimp, good garlic taste. For me it could have been spicier (but the spice were only the sliced chilies over the top) and with some extra cheese. I did enjoy it never the less.
As far as the drinks are concerned, I feel that there should have been more representation on the “beer and cider” front. Lots of wines on show, cocktails and enough champagne and prosecco.
Pilsner Urquell, Carib, Chang and The Old Speckled Hen were present, and one large cider stand. As far as I remember. By the end we did consume quite a few pints of the P.U, but it was a hot and long day. Not bad at all after all.
All in all, a good experience, a great day out with friends. I’m sure that next year it’ll be even better. Cheers!!! And I didn’t come back home empty handed…