As any of my Twitter or Instagram followers will know, yesterday I was at the Good Food Show up in the NEC Birmingham. I went with my mum and dad, and what a lovely day it was! This was my second Good Food show, having been to the Winter show last year, and whilst this one was smaller, as more of an add on to the Gardener’s World show, there was still so much to see. After making it into the arena, battling through some fairly heavy rain and feeling very sorry for those who had mainly come to see the Gardener’s World part of the show outdoors, we gathered ourselves and started making our way round the stalls.
My first impression was that this Summer show was better organised – last Winter we came in to find all the alcohol stalls grouped together at the very beginning, which not only was a disappointing start to the morning for us who were there much more for the food aspect of the show, but was also a little short sighted considering people were trying all of these tipples at once, instead of spread out throughout the day! It was also much easier to zig-zag our way up and down the aisles, making sure we didn’t miss anything.
What I enjoyed seeing most however, was how the foodie trends from show to show affect the stallholders in attendance – last year you couldn’t move for baking stall, be it cookware or the finished goods themselves, whereas this year saw a huge rise in the health food and clean eating stalls which was really lovely to see. I saw a stall selling various protein powders for smoothies, some coconut water stalls as well as a few stalls selling the latest food gadget – spiralizers!
The Hemsley Sisters (huge advocates of the clean eating lifestyle) were doing several demonstrations at various points around the show, displaying the virtues of the spiralizer and of course the benefits of clean eating. The gadget they were using was available from the Lakeland Ltd mini store, as well as a cheaper handheld version being available for those who weren’t so sure of investing in this particular food trend. Myself, I think it’s a wonderful idea for those with Gluten intolerance, but I won’t be jumping on this particular foodie wagon any time soon – it just doesn’t do enough for me and I’m not convinced this food trend will last. But we shall see!
Top stalls of note for me were Bluebird Tea Co. – funnily enough from my own neck of the woods in Brighton! I’ve been meaning to stop in to their shop based in the North Lanes for a while now, but each time we’ve been in to Brighton really we’ve been on a bit of a mission, so it was really nice to be able to get a good look at what they do. The variety of leaf teas they have is amazing! From your basic essentials like English Breakfast and Earl Grey (Dave will be happy!) to much more unusual blends like Elderflower and Champagne, and Candyfloss! Not only do these gorgeous varieties smells fantastic, but they all look so beautiful too – my danger would be trying not to just have bowls on display and actually drink them :p Can’t wait to pop in again and start stocking up and trying so many new flavours 🙂
Another favourite stall was Sponge – selling a wide variety of teeny tiny little sponge cakes, only for £1 each! They had classics like Victoria Sponge and Carrot Cake, as well as more interesting combinations like Millionaires and Caramel & Peanut! We went all out and bought one of each flavour, though to be fair this was so my dad could take some in to work :p I managed to sneak a chocolate orange cake, and it was so beautifully moist and flavourful, not overly sweet or dense at all. A real winner and just the right size!
Finally, I was very impressed by Sunburst – a company which supplies Marks & Spencer with their nectarines. I’ve actually been going off nectarines for a little while now because the regular supermarket ones seem to be getting very bitter, but the Sunburst Nectarines are without a doubt the best I have ever tasted. They were so beautifully sweet and just the right amount of tang – they really did taste like a little sunburst in your mouth! By tweeting my appreciation of the delicious fruit, I got a goody bag with four extra nectarines in, and I plan to try out a nectarine crumble recipe later on today – watch out on my Instagram account for the result!
As me and my family are all serious foodies, there was only one way we could possibly do the Good Food Show – and that was to experience the Good For Kitchen! It’s nice to get away from the hustle and bustle of the stalls, take the weight off your feet and enjoy a top notch sit down meal. The whole menu looked fantastic, we were really spoilt for choice with the selection of starters, mains and desserts. Dad opted for the Crayfish Cocktail to start, whilst me and mum chose the Ham Hock Terrine with Malt Loaf. All three of us went for the Buttermilk Roasted Poussin with Polenta Chips as our main, and then we all split our decisions for the dessert, tackling one each – dad with the Chocolate Brownie, mum with the Salted Caramel Popcorn Pot, and me with the Meringue Amaretto Cake with Berries and Cherries.
They were all absolutely delicious, fantastic quality for the price we paid for all three courses, and a fantastic experience to add to the day being at the show.
And speaking of experiences, no Good Food Show is complete without a trip to the Supertheatre! This year we wanted to see Tom Kerridge, well known for his excellent quality, homely cooking with the extra ‘chefy’ twists. With that in mind, his demonstration was showcasing how to make an extra special, extra simple rice pudding, along with a fool-proof way of cooking a very expensive cut of beef to perfection – by replicating the water-bath cooking method of bringing the meat up to a low core temperature first in a 60degree oven. It was a really informative demonstration, it was nice to have things explained a bit more as he went along instead of it just being for entertainment’s sake – and Tom’s enthusiasm and passion for cooking and food is positively infectious. And as if to prove how fool-proof his beef cooking method was (I’m still not sure if this was a genuine mistake or part of the ‘act’) – even when the oven had somehow been turned up to 160degrees for a short time, the beef still came out perfectly pink!
We had an absolutely fantastic time looking at all the different food producers and gadget stalls, it really is a wonderful day and I would thoroughly recommend keeping an eye out for the next show!
Lotsa Love! Abbie x