Last weekend, I was invited to the Foodies Festival at Tatton Hall in Knutsford. I’ve been to this particular festival a few times at Tatton, Harrogate, Clitheroe and Arley Hall, but hadn’t been to this one for the last couple of years so I was excited to be going back – plus, you can never go wrong with a food festival.
The festival itself was started in 2006 by Sue Hitchens in Edinburgh who wanted to set up a fun, family-orientated festival in her hometown celebrating local produce but also allowing Michelin-starred restaurants the chance to share their recipes with a ‘foodie’ audience.
We were offered VIP tickets to the event, which normally retail at £38. Once we arrived, we were directed to a separate tent to pick up our wristbands. The wristband meant that we got a glass of fizz on arrival, free rosé, tea and coffee throughout the day and a recipe book.
We met up with a couple of friends who were also there, and went for a wander around, rosé in hand! The thing I love about food festivals is a number of vendors that you don’t get anywhere else. We saw a Venezuelan BBQ, Yorkshire based halloumi and dark chocolate and fennel sausages, to name a few.
Throughout the day, there are chef demonstrations, baking tutorials and a drinks tent, where you can meet big names from bake off and Masterchef – I managed to quickly meet Candace, bake off 2016 winner, before she went to do her thing!
I wanted to try something random for my late lunch and went for a traditional Peruvian dish called Aji de Gallina, which was creamy chicken, rice and potatoes, seasoned very well, and incredibly tasty and nothing like I had ever tried before!
After having lunch, I felt as though I wanted to try the gin bar, so off we went to have a nosey and what was on offer. The brand was called the Gin Spot, and had a huge selection of flavours and mixers: I went for a Rhuberry gin and ginger ale, as it was the closest to what I had at the gin festival back in March, and I loved it.
As a self-confessed sweet tooth, after we had done a round of the hot and cold food stalls and had a few samples, I was on the hunt for something to satisfy my cravings. If you know me at all, you will also know that I am a huge fan of fudge, and made it my mission to be taking some home, which I did – malteaser and kinder bueno, if you were wondering.
If you were following my Insta stories, you would have also seen that there was a brownie stall where you could get hot chocolate sauce poured on top – absolute heaven – so of course, I got one of these too, and it was divine (salted caramel, obvs…)
The thing I really love about food festivals is the variety of choice on offer. I’ve been to a fair few markets in my time, but usually, they are much smaller, so it is interesting to go somewhere that is totally dedicated to food and drink.
If you get the chance to go to a foodies festival, I would definitely recommend going to check it out just for the atmosphere if nothing else takes your fancy!