Foodies Festival Fun

The Fabulous Foodies Festival

View of Foodies Festival at Syon Park

The fabulous Foodies Festival at Syon Park

At the end of last month, we returned to Foodies Festival in our local area for the fifth year in a row, this time joined by some good friends, who were visiting from Birmingham to enjoy the VIP experience with us.

The second year at this picturesque venue, Syon Park, the well established Foodies Festival did not disappoint. It was even bigger and better than last year, including a beautifully designed VIP tent, with a grand piano bar, comfortable seating area and unlimited supply of tea, coffee, soft drinks and biscuits.

The grand piano VIP bar at Foodies Festival Syon Park

The grand piano VIP bar

After the threat of rain on a muggy morning, the weather actually stayed bright, hot and sunny for us, so we enjoyed a leisurely afternoon strolling around the many stalls, sampling delightful food and drink, listening to the live music, and even enjoying a mobile massage! What a treat – and what a great way to spend a sunny day!

Tea friends old and new…
Old tea friends, Teapigs, had a whole double decker bus devoted to tea lovers this time around, and the creative social enterprise tea company, Tea People, were there again this year, as well as our recent tasty treat provider friends from the Surrey Food Festival, Wholesome Bakes, who offer gluten, dairy and nut free cakes and bakes.

The Teapigs Bus at Foodies Festival Syon Park

The Teapigs Bus at Foodies Festival Syon Park

The Great British Sausage
Other festival favourites from previous years, such as the always impressive Great British Sausage Company, provided tasty snacks. You have to have a top notch hot dog at a food festival, don’t you think?

Burlesque baking!
We also enjoyed a truly scrumptious cake decorating demonstration from the vintage-tastic Burlesque Baker, Charlotte White, who we had the pleasure of meeting when we first arrived in the VIP tent and who decorated a delicious chocolate cake with pretty baby blue and silver icing and decorations. My friend, a talented and keen baker, enjoyed the tips on how to make different flower designs for cake decoration.

Anyone for a G&T?
I was also very excited to meet the team behind Silent Pool Gin at the festival, as they are local gin distillers, based nearby in Surrey, and their branding is just exquisite. I bought a set of their delicately decorated green-blue glasses, which I will share in a future post.

So, we enjoyed a day of food, fun, drinks, learning about how to prepare, make and decorate food, learning about different drinks, some much needed relaxation and massage, and, as usual, lots of tasty tea. What could be better?

Foodies Festival is still running throughout the UK – upcoming dates and venues can be found at FoodiesFestival.com. Other Foodies Festival locations in the London area are Blackheath, 8-10th July, and Alexandra Palace, 27th-29th August, and not far away in Oxford, 2-4th September.

There’s also a Foodies Festival coming up soon “Up North” in my old neck of the woods, at Tatton Park, 15th-17th July, as well as Harrogate, Edinburgh and Oxford still to come in August and September.

I hope you get the chance to enjoy the Foodies Festival experience this year!

Rachael x

An Afternoon with Earl Grey

When I’m busy and feeling a bit tired and stressed in the afternoon, I like to take a tea break with Earl Grey.  And not just any Earl Grey, oh no!  I have a select list of favourites – and would like to share them with you!

Twinings Earl GreyThe Classic Earl Greys – a strong kick of bergamot to get you through the day…

Twinings Earl Grey – a true classic

I have a friend who swears by this blend and no other – and you can see why.  Always a failsafe cuppa –  a light, floral flavour with a strong kick of bergamot that enlivens the senses!  And it works very well in baking too!  As a novice baker myself, I’ll leave this to the experts – check out this fabulous Twinings Earl Grey Cake recipe, tried and tested by the same ever-faithful friend!  Scrumptious – and best enjoyed with a steaming pot of Earl Grey!

Ahmad Earl Grey – the discerning choice…

Ahmad Earl GreyThis is a real classic – great flavour and a strong aroma, again with a clear hit of bergamot.  This is very drinkable, as it has a lighter flavour than some other blends.  It works particularly well when you want to make up a nice big pot of tea.  I also find this very refreshing, so it suits all weather!  Note to self – don’t drink up all your stock at once!  I’m planning on stocking up on more of this lovely tea when I head over to America in a couple of weeks’ time.

 

 

Time for something a little bit different…

Twinings Lavender Earl Grey – two of my favourite things: lavender and tea! 

Twinings Lavender Earl GreyThis is great for winding down at the end of the day, or for the morning after the day before (have been known to provide this after parties to soothe those pesky hangovers)!

I come back to this favourite time and time again.  My husband bought me a full Twinigs tea chest last Christmas, where I was delighted to find this little treasure!  I have since stock-piled boxes of twenty teabags and find myself getting through them remarkably quickly!

I do find this tea rather addictive – one cup is just never enough!

Teapigs Darjeeling Earl Grey – a match made in heaven!

Teapigs Darjeeling Earl GreyI’m a big fan of Darjeeling, so when I first walked past a cafe selling Teapigs Darjeeling Earl Grey a few years ago, I was intrigued and excited! This blend is really unusual and a very refreshing, malty, comforting taste.  I like this tea first thing in the morning as well as an afternoon refresher – I find it goes well with breakfast, or keeps me going nicely when on the go.  And I have to say, I love the packaging – I’m also a big fan of sausage dogs, so the quirky label always makes me smile!

English Garden Empire Earl Grey – the Empire Strikes Back!

This is smoky, sultry and smells fabulous – either in or out of the pot!

English Garden Empire Earl GreyI made a pot of this after I was feeling sorry for myself and suffering following a wisdom tooth removal.  My friend, another fellow tea enthusiast, came round to the house to cheer me up and we decided to do a mini-tasting of the best Earl Greys and my favourites.

I particularly liked this flavoursome blend, firstly for the smell of the dry leaves, then the aroma once the pot was brewing, then the comforting, light Earl Grey taste. What makes this blend different is the smoky aftertaste, which is really quite different to anything I’ve tried before.  You can strongly smell the bergamot in the dried leaves, but once brewed it’s a very subtle flavour, and I think the smoky, malty taste makes it quite unique.

I’m feeling a bit tired and worn-out again today, so think it’s time for a tea break.  Looking forward to spending another evening with Earl Grey!

Until next time, enjoy your tea break (and why not join the marvellous Earl Grey?!)

Rachael X