This weekend the Foodies Festival came to Alexandra Palace, and I was lucky enough to win tickets from simply.food. We had been planning to have a family outing this weekend, but hadn’t settled on where, so this was perfect timing, and a chance to enjoy the sunshine, while feasting on some exceptionally delicious food.
(Apologies in advance for some of the blurry photos — I think my phone got a bit hot.)
After an uneventful journey, we arrived, picked up our tickets, and launched straight away into tasting as many different samples as we could (because isn’t that what food festivals are all about?). Within the space of a few minutes, we’d sampled Giovanni Rana pasta, tenderstem broccoli (always a fan), and a range of Heinz chilli sauces. We tried Sriracha, jerk and peri peri sauces, which were all pretty good and worth picking up if you’re planning a barbeque and want something different from the usual bog-standard ketchup.
There are several theatres on site, including a Cake and Bake Theatre, a Children’s Cookery Theatre and a Drink’s Theatre, but with two children in tow, we really couldn’t justify stopping for a beer-tasting session. Shame.
We picked up a couple of bags of shortbread from The Sawley Kitchen, and paused over the creamiest feta we’ve ever tried at a stall selling a vast array of olives.
Then we got serious, exploring with the focused intention of two people who have had their appetites piqued and are now looking for somewhere to eat. This was the toughest decision of the day, with a myriad of competing options, from vast pans of seafood paella, to barbeque stalls, to Madam Gautier’s French food stall, which sells a range of Gallic options, including mouthwatering Confit Beef, which was seriously tempting.
In the end, we picked a stall each. I picked the mixed grill from Flamin’ Rooster: £10 for a box packed with meat, a chicken drumstick and wing, some chunks of lamb and a massive rib, with a blackened crusty coating I couldn’t stop myself from shovelling it into my mouth with greasy fingers (sorry, but it really was that delicious).
In theory, we were going to share. In practice, it was so delicious that when Paul went to the nearby juice stall I’d scarfed half of it before he returned to find me looking sheepish and apologetic. I regret nothing.
By this time, it was starting to heat up. After a few more tastings, primarily alcoholic in nature, including gin, wine, Crabbies alcoholic ginger beer and mead, it was time for more food.
Specifically icecream. We stumbled across the Purbeck Icecream stall, where I had a double scoop of their delicious icecream: lemon sorbet and berries with clotted cream. This was shared with WeeGirl, not out of choice, but she pinned me down and helped herself. While we were eating, we listened to the live music until we were ready to head home, replete and satisfied.
It was a lovely day, the perfect way to spend a lazy Saturday. Wee Girl was in a happy mood, with only the briefest threat of grumpiness headed off at the pass by a perfectly timed chocolate brownie and some silly sunglasses we picked up free from the Crabbies Stall. And the festival itself was very well run; with hundreds of stalls there was something for everyone, from liquid nitrogen icecream, to stalls selling chilli relishes.
The Alexandra Palace festival has now come to an end, but there are a variety of upcoming events, the next being July 17-19 at Tatton and July 24-26 at Clapham Common, and various other dates, including a few that aren’t in London.
Foodies Festival is definitely worth a visit if it’s near you, either to pick up some goodies, or just to enjoy the copious free samples. Just make sure you haven’t eaten beforehand.