Munchkin and I love BatterseaPark, there’s so much to do for children from the adventure playground to the zoo, and some gorgeous areas for strolling in, not to mention lawns to picnic on and a boating lake. So when I was offered tickets to the Foodies Festival there (next to the Pump House), I couldn’t resist. What a brilliant way to encourage Munchkin to try new foods! There was even a cookery tent for children. Everyone we met was great with Munchkin, very friendly and encouraging, and he loved the sampling. Even better, under 16s get in free. We had such a lovely time we’ll be going back next year.
With restaurants, food stalls, a market, demonstrations and plenty of opportunities for sampling, I wondered if there’d be enough time. Luckily the festival was on from 11am to 7pm, so there was plenty of time to do some serious eating, drinking, sampling and relaxing.
The first area we came to from the entrance was the food court, with more stalls than I could count, serving a huge variety of food including llama sausage, mussels, Thai curries, German sausages and sauerkraut and fish and chips, as well as non-alcoholic cocktails.
Now feeling very full indeed, it was time to go sampling and buying more food, some to take home (if it lasted that long!). We worked our way round the stalls (regretting having had so much for lunch) and spotted several amazing looking stands. There were too many to mention them all (over 100) but there were cupcakes from Crumbs and Doilies, pies from pieminister, cheddar from Wyke Farms, olive oil jam and Lakeland fudge.
It was a hot day, so were needed some cooling drinks. Again, we were spolit for choice: gin from Sipsmith, Pommery champagne, cider, beer, cocktails, Pimms, rum, vodka, mixers from Fever Tree, wine and lots more. Naturally, we had to have an ice-cream break too.
As well as all the food stalls and retailers, there were free demonstrations and tastings at the Children’s, Chef’s, Food and Drink Theatres that could be booked free of charge at a booth at the entrance to the site.
In the Food Theatre there were seven demonstrations and tastings. On the Saturday they covered Moroccan cuisine with Exotic Tagine, Middle Eastern food with Terra Rossa, Lebanese food with Bethany Kehdy, pumpkin seeds and other treats from , Karantanka Deli, cake decorating with The Cake Parlour, Jamaican street food with The Backyard Company, and cheese tastings with Denhay Farms.
The Chefs Theatre had six demonstrations: Ed Baines from Randall & Aubin, Ben Tish from The Salt Yard, Clare Smyth of Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, Martin Dickinson and James Cornwall from J Sheekey, Mickael Wiess of Coq d’Argent, and matching food and wine from Casillero del Diablo, all on the Saturday. Chefs demonstrating on the Friday included Andy McLay of Le Caprice, and Levi Roots, while Sunday’s line-up included Gary Lee of The Ivy and Kevin Love of the Hinds Head at Bray.
The Children’s Cookery Theatre had classes with Splat Cooking, which sounded great: sunblush bread, pizza, fruit tarts and whizz bang jelly & ice cream.
As if all that wasn’t enough, there was also a live entertainment stage with great singers and musicians, and plenty of deckchairs and seats nearby to relax with a lovely drink.
Here are the dates for 2013: Brighton 5-7 May; Hampton Court 25-27 May; TattonPark 5-7 July; Bristol 13-15 July; Battersea 27-29 July; Edinburgh 9-11 August; Oxford 24-26 August.
Disclosure: I was given tickets to attend the festival, but my opinions are my own and honest.