On Monday we went to the second ever Good Food Festival at Hampton Court Palace and unlike last year’s visit it rained for most of the day which was such a shame! I found that last year I managed to see and chat to lots of the professionals but this year I only managed to see my idol Michel Roux Jr. As I arrived he was being interviewed by the lovely Jo Wheatley and then laterI watched him in the Summer Kitchen cooking Lobster with Garlic Butter and Fraises Sarah Bernhardt. If there was a prize for the nicest chef on the planet then I think Michel Roux Jr would win it hands down! Paul Hollywood was also at the show but sadly I didn’t manage to catch him.
After eating our lunch under a sun umbrella (oh the irony) and listening to The Polka Dots we bumped into fellow blogger Lucy from BakingQueen74 which was lovely as we have known each other for a long time but had never met! Then it was time to visit all the wonderful stalls and it was great to see lots of new brands there from cottage industries to much larger ones!
Oppo a new brand of healthy ice cream made from virgin coconut oil, stevia leaf and milk – I tried salted caramel with lucama and it tasted really good! A brand to watch I’m sure!
Churros Garcia – have seen these at so many food festivals but had never tried until now (thanks for the free sample) and they tasted just as good as they look, similar in taste to a fried doughnut but a lot lighter and crispier with a cinnamon/sugar coating and served with chocolate sauce – lush!
Ivor’s Ice Cream – we bought some last year and I was equally impressed with the quality of the ice cream this year. Made with milk from their own cows my daughter gave their coffee ice cream 10/10 and Ivor generously gave me a cone too so I plumped for my favourite Mint Choc Chip which was also worthy of a 10/10! At £2 a scoop this was the best value food at the festival.
Mighty Bee Virgin Coconut Water – made from organic young green Nam Hom coconuts from Thailand with nothing added or taken away. We all enjoyed this really refreshing, sweet pure drink which was the best coconut water I have tasted.
a2 Milk – were cooking up a storm with the gorgeous Andrea from The Petite Cook (lovely to meet another blogger chum in the flesh). I sampled some lovely mango ice cream and ricotta on toast which narrowly missed hitting the floor with my butter fingers but luckily my umbrella caught it so there was no food waste or mess!
Vitamix – I walked up to this stand and said “I’ve heard lots of good things about Vitamix, can you tell me why the fast motor is so good?” Well I have to say I was very impressed indeed with the lady who started to give me a demonstration (which soon drew a large crowd) and the Vitamix which in 15 minutes managed to make a delicious green smoothie, a tasty thai vegetable soup and some strawberry icecream (which even had a bit of carrot and cabbage in it)! Sadly I had to leave half way through as I had to go and see Michel Roux Jr so I didn’t get to try the ice cream pictured above!
Montezuma’s Chocolates – so many lush new flavours! I sampled the Spotted Dick which was lovely!
Bit Spicy – produce hand roasted and blended spices from around the world to enable you to make authentic curry sauces etc with the help of a recipe inside each pack. I sampled a couple of the sauces and they were delicious!
Dimkin Patisserie – must have had a good day as they had sold most of their lush looking macarons. I imagine they tasted as good as they looked, I’ve never had a bad macaron!
Bellas Bakery – gorgeous looking cupcakes from a brand new business based in Redhill, so new not yet on social media so watch this space!
Bad Brownie – I tried a sliver of their gold painted Salted Caramel Brownie and it was yummy.
Nata Pura – makers of these utterly delicious Portuguese custard tarts called Natas, I sampled a plain one as well as a Passion Fruit one, they reminded me of Maids of Hounor but even better! I made a beeline for this stand as I’d just seen a picture of one on Lindy DeMelo Garner’s instagram!
Continental Cottage – I tried a couple of samples of German salami from this stall which were both delicious but I particularly liked the hazlenut variety which I’d not had before.
London Tea Exchange – So much to learn on this stall about tea which was fascinating including hearing about a type of tea that sells for £7,000 per gram! They source premium quality teas from around the world and have a tea room in London. I tried a couple of teas and the mint one was my favourite. The packaging was exquisite (a great gift) the tea inside was not what I was used to, no minced up tea leaves here but flowers and leaves that unfurled (in some teas)!
The Flavoured Shortbread Bakery – was lovely chatting to this husband and wife team about their new venture. Tim used to be a chef and Rayo enjoyed baking so a shortbread business seemed the obvious next step! Based locally in Surrey I wish them all the best.
Popcorn Kitchen – this popcorn really was better than anything I’ve made at home whether in a pan or a popcorn maker. We did sample it straight from the giant kettle and I could quite happily have finished off a tub of this! Love that they only use ingredients you’d find in your kitchen cupboards as well as an extra large type of kernel!
Jools – “antioxidant-rich green teas in refreshing apple or cranberry or mango in which the pearls are waiting to pop in a delicious explosion of taste and goodness” a totally new concept to me but I loved the sample of cranberry I tried and was told the little spheres in my drink were made of kelp and filled with juice!
Eco Peace Mangos – I sampled some gorgeous mango on this stall and I just loved the ethos of peace behind them – think fair trade and peace all rolled into one! Do check out their website for a more in depth explanation of their business ethics.
So that was our day at the BBC Good Food Festival – Hampton Court, I hope you enjoyed my highlights and I look forward to going again next year! I’ll start praying for sunshine now maybe!
NB: I received press passes from BBC Good Food Festival, was not asked to do a write up and all opinions are my own.