The annual return of the Foodies Festival to Bristol’s Harbourside was met with much excitement here at VuGuide, last year’s event was one of our summer highlights and to celebrate it’s opening afternoon something very strange happened, the sun shone! Looking out from the Lloyds Amphitheatre site towards the Arnolfini and the M Shed. It was so lovely to see Bristol in its all sun blazed glory, creating a wonderful backdrop to some serious food and drink adventures.
The ever popular Chef’s theater and Food/Drink Masterclasses were back with a fantastic line up to keep everyone entertained. A feast of local heroes including Toby Gritten from The Pump House, Diego Da Rae from Prosecco and local ambassador turned UK Iron Chef Martin Blunos could be found sharing their secrets and tips. Over in the drinks masterclass tent, a place you never want to leave, Charles Metcalf was taking us on a journey of everyday Bordeaux wines, knowledgeable and entertaining the hour passed by so quickly, it was soon time for a delightfully enlightening expedition through the most unusual world of Gin, Hendricks in particular. I now feel I am expert on all things Gin, a drink with such a fascinating history so enthusiastically told, 45 minutes passed by without even tasting a drop. This was soon rectified as we sample 3 delicious cocktails and made our way carefully out of the tent to check out the stalls.
The sun was still making it’s presence known which after a summer of cagoules and wellies helped the atmosphere no end, the passion and knowledge of all the stall holders we chatted to was universal. Our highlights began with The Cotswold Gold smoked oil, a firm favourite from last year, creamy smokey oil adding depth of flavour to any dish but especially prawns and chicken so we may sure we got a big one this time. The Bocaddon Farm Veal escalope’s will be used in my Saltimbocca recipe at the earliest opportunity. We couldn’t resist a return taste at El Gaucho’s superb Argentinean BBQ, passing on the made sure we had enough room to sample everything on offer. A wise decision as we munched on the most fabulous crackling from The Mill House Roast Company. There is also a new PieMan in town, Mashup Gourmet Pies are an all in one taste sensation of delicious pie with a layer of mushy peas and piped mash, try them out as soon as you get the chance.
The Backyard Co. jerk chicken was impossible to resist and we took the opportunity to fully stock up on their fantastic sauces, a Newport restaurant is on the horizon and we will absolutely be making the journey as soon as it’s open! After so much grazing we were a little thirsty, delicious New Zealand wines were available by the glass or bottle, our Two Rivers Sauvignon Blanc was fantastic. Before that to keep things local a lovely creation of Orchard Pig cider with a ginger kick was a taste sensation and to go with our beef the Estrella Damm Inedit, which is a unique blend of barley malt and wheat, flavored with coriander, orange peel and liquorice, created in part by Ferran Adrià to provide an alternative to wine during your meal, light and incredibly moorish this will absolutely be gracing our dining table. For something a little more wintery or so we thought, the Coole Swan Irish Cream sold by the two loveliest of two ladies hooked us in and we once again reached for our wallet.
All too soon it was time to leave with our array of very full bags, the haul split between a little bit of everything to remind us of a lovely day and keep us going throughout the year and lots of presents for some very lucky people.
Foodies Festival is such a great day out and after our anticipation from last year we were not left disappointed only looking forward to next year and hopefully so more of that Sunshine!