Yesterday the family were kind enough to indulge me in my love of food festivals and be dragged along to the Blenheim Food Festival. This took place at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire; a stunning World Heritage Site owned by the 12th Duke of Marlborough and his family. They are a huge employer in the area acting as a visitor site, a film location and a mineral water producer. Not to mention the beautiful Orangery restaurant, courses on photography, butlering (yep training to become a butler) and organ recitals. It’s a busy place old Blenheim; you can even get married there!
For the weekend of May 26th – May 28th they hosted a food festival curated by Fantastic British Food Festivals, who are part of the TCE Group; one of the leading corporate event hosting agencies in the UK . They are foodies at heart though and host 6 events per year.
Now back to the good stuff…the actual food and drink! As we were there on the morning of the first day I can imagine it got busier later that day and much more so on the Sunday and Monday when it was a bank holiday.
There were some great stalls in the likes of Gousto, the food delivery service. Stainswick Farm rapeseed oil, Freddie’s Flowers, The Strawberry Stop, Cornish Gouda Company (who were on a fab BBC documentary recently) and Tea People. It’s always inspiring to see so many new and upcoming food companies as well as well established ones at this type of event. It would be amazing to see more new ones who can’t necessarily afford a whole stand and want to have representation and feedback though. Perhaps an opportunity here for a start up section…?
As we were pretty hungry when we arrived we headed over for some food in the food section. The kids decided on a hot dog (surprise!) from a lovely vendor (I can’t recall the name frustratingly) who had amazing sausages – he even put 2 sausages in one bun which was a bit hit with the kids. Easily pleased 🙂
My husband had a Greek Meze which hit the hunger spot and I had a delicious Indian mix of chicken curry, salad and panner curry from Gupta’s. What I most loved about the Gupta’s team was that they were so delightful and helpful. It must be hard working at food festivals and some vendors are fed up before they even begin but not Gupta’s – they were absolute treasures and I will seek them out next time I go to a Food Festival. Further into the festival within the Cheese and Chilli area I found some more super friendly guys over at The Curry Man.
I also listened to a talk by Nutritional Therapist Eva Humphries which was great; she talked about cooking from scratch and how small changes can impact on health. There were some fabulous talks and demos and I would have like to see Wild Food UK, who run foraging courses, on the Sunday. Alas we weren’t there Sunday.