I bloody love a food festival and Foodies is definitely a good one. I hit it up over Christmas in the Truman Brewery and had a marvelous time. I even bagged a couple of Christmas presents in the process. This year I’m looking forward to trying out one of their summer stops and with a brand new taste-bud-tickling weekend on the cards when Foodies Festival comes to Blackheath. I think I know where I’ll be headed.
From the 8th to the 10th July, Foodies will be taking over Blackheath with a stalls a plenty and a pretty impressive range of guest chefs including some of my faves: Rosemary Shrager, Arnaud Stevens, Tony Rodd, Emma Spitzer and Dhruv Baker – yeah, I know, I’m a big MasterChef fan girl.
There are lots of exciting and interesting areas planned for the festival so there is definitely something for everyone.
Discover – Feel Good and Superfoods
There is a new ‘Feel Good Foods’ theme at Foodies Festival this summer, with healthy living chefs and food writers cooking with superfoods including kefir, lucuma, freekeh, kelp and banana flour, and sirt rich foods such as blueberries, kale, celery, buckwheat, turmeric, chilli and red onion.
Sip – Drinks Theatre
Expert mixologists and sommeliers will host wine masterclasses and beer connoisseur and writer Melissa Cole offers entertaining craft beer tutorials. Plus, visitors can test their taste buds with blindfolded whisky challenges, where they will have to taste and smell to try to identify ingredients and country of origin. These classes are also a great opportunity for novices to learn about whisky and its history.
Feast – Street Food Avenue – One of my favourite sections!
With flavours from all corners of the world available on the Street Food Avenue, hunger will be banished and taste buds tingled with the huge array of cuisines on offer. Japanese, Thai, Malaysian, Argentinian, Turkish, Indian, Korean, Mexican, French and African are just some of the flavours to feast on this summer.
There’s a special focus on Brazilian street food this year to celebrate the Olympic host’s cuisine, including traditional Brazilian BBQ and Rio’s favourite dish Feijoada made from black beans, salted pork, trimmings, smoked sausage and jerk beef, which is cooked in a traditional clay pot. Brazil’s national cocktail Caipirinha, a mix of lime, sugar and Cachaça (made from sugarcane juice with an ABV of 48%), and Brazilian coffees will be available.
Shop – Artisan Producers Market
A glittering array of Great Taste Award winners are available to shop and sample from this year, each being hailed as a producer of ‘Exquisite, Outstanding and Simply Delicious’ food and drink – a fantastic opportunity for visitors to meet artisan producers from the local area and across the country, learn their story and stock up on award-winning produce. With over 120 stalls to peruse at each festival, selling everything from Seaweed Seasoning to Champagne Infused Fudge, visitors will be spoilt for choice for what to eat at the festival and take home to enjoy. Although usually I just buy cheese – and lots of it!
Indulge – Cake, Bake & Tasting Theatre and Vintage Tea Room
Baking extraordinaire Charlotte White, master chocolatier Fiona Sciolti and top local cake-makers work their baking wizardry on the Cake & Bake stage, inspiring visitors to reach for their whips and spatulas at home and create show-stopping cakes and delicious summer bakes. A neighbouring Chocolate, Cake and Bake Village sells freshly baked breads, sponges, tarts, jellies and trifles to enjoy with a bubble tea or fresh juice.
Afternoon tea can be enjoyed in the beautifully decorated Vintage Tea Room, where teas, handmade cakes and scones with clotted cream and jam are served on china from a tea trolley by vintage styled tea ladies and gentlemen, and vintage music for ambience.
Crunch – Into the Jungle
Festival goers can munch their way into the depths of the jungle this summer with a trip to the Vietnamese Street Food stand, where those with a taste for the exotic can indulge in insects, including grasshoppers, caterpillars, mealworms, beetles, scorpions, locus and ants. These tasty critters will also be sold in powder and flour form – a high source of protein – to bake, season and cook with. For those brave enough, there’s a daily Bush Tucker Trial on the Challenge Stage, where visitors compete against one another by eating jungle insects, from small ants to large juicy grubs, with the contestant eating the biggest and the most being crowned champion.
Explore – Childrens Cookery School
The Olympic theme continues into the Childrens Cookery School, where little foodies can decorate their very own gold medal with coloured icing, glitter and edible ribbon. Pizza and cupcake making classes also allow kids to explore their taste buds and learn basic cookery skills to practice at home.
Spice It Up – Chilli-Eating Challenge
The famous Chilli-Eating Challenge continues in 2016, inviting fans of spice to beat an eye-watering 16 million scoville record set by Shahina Waseem last year. Participants start at the low-end of the chilli spectrum by eating bell peppers, but things quickly get a lot hotter with Habanero, Scotch and Carolina Reaper (world’s hottest chilli) chillies being added to the menu. Those still standing are then inflicted to pure chilli extract, increasing in strength, until a winner is crowned.
Relax – Live Music and Pop-Up Bars
After a day of feasting and fun, visitors can relax and soak in the atmosphere with live music from the Entertainment Stage and a glass of bubbly or refreshing cocktail from the Giant Pimm’s Teapot or double-decker BarBus.
If this sounds like it could be up your street why not bag your tickets now?
Tickets are on sale now at www.foodiesfestival.com or by calling 0844 995 1111
Friday adult ticket £12.00/£10.00 concession
Saturday/Sunday adult ticket £16.00/£13.00 concession
Three day adult ticket £25.00/£18.00 concession
VIP day ticket £48.00/£45.00 Friday – includes a glass of bubbly with red carpet welcome, use of the decadent Deco Noir VIP Lounge and Mirror Bar, refreshments throughout the day, priority entry to food and drink masterclasses, show guide, and goody bag to take home.
Children aged 12 and under go free to all Foodies Festivals when accompanied by an adult.
8th July 11am – 7pm
9th July 11am – 7pm
10th July 11am – 6pm