It was bank holiday Monday and a rare glorious British summer’s day. As a birthday treat for my Mum, my sister and I were treating her and my Dad to a day out at the Foodies Festival on Hampton Court Green. Given the weather on the days leading up to the bank holiday I was a little apprehensive that this plan might end up being a total wash out, literally, but come the weekend the sun had put his hat on (just for 3 days mind, wouldn’t want to go spoiling us or anything) and it was perfect picnic weather.
Thankfully, both my parents being newbies to this type of thing, they absolutely loved it. I’m sure that my Dad must have mistakenly thought it was obligatory to eat something from every stall. I know a big appetite and a love for food runs in the family, but I’m not sure I’ve ever seen someone eat so much. Apparently a pork belly bap from Randall & Aubin and a pulled pork bun from Jamie’s Italian are two entirely different things and its perfectly acceptable to consume one immediately after the other. I can hardly criticise though, I too ate almost everything I laid eyes on!
I kicked of the day with a starter of seafood paella from Casa Spanish Grill. My mum and I shared this and it really was gorgeous, with squid, prawns and mussels the helping of seafood was generous, I think the prawns were a bit lost among all the strong flavours but the squid was delicious.
Wasting no time I hopped over to Bleecker Street Burger which my sister had found whilst we were busying ourselves with paella. I have seen Bleecker Street at a few festivals now and it’s always been the one I’m too stuffed to try once I eventually get round to it, so this was our chance! We ordered two cheese burgers and waited, not so patiently, as they sizzled away on the grill. There weren’t many frills with the burger just a bit of lettuce and sauce so I wasn’t expecting ground breaking, but my gosh was this burger good, so juicy and the flavour was incredible. This burger doesn’t need frills it’s all about the meat. 45 day aged beef is savoured in every mouthful. I could have easily polished off another couple! But it was early in the day and there were more delights to be sampled. Meanwhile Dad was doing his bit for Hugh’s Fish Fight and had one if their tasty mackerel baps.
Bleecker Street Cheese Burger
Stopping of for a cocktail on the lawn for a break we soaked in the atmosphere and I got a piña colada from a great little truck that was blasting reggae music. This reminded me of the Jerk City stall I’d noticed being set up earlier on and being a recent convert to jerk chicken (my boyfriend cooked it for me a few weeks ago because he was appalled I’d never had it and insisted I try it) I headed off for some Caribbean cuisine, stopping of for some fresh coconut water along the way! The chicken was great but smothered with a little too much sweet chilli sauce for my liking, I prefer to taste more of the jerk seasoning.
I was, by this point, getting a tad full but was of course up for some dessert! We got a selection of brownies between us from one of numerous cake stalls. My absolute favourite had to be the lemon meringue blondie. I have to find a recipe to try to recreate this, it was to die for and like nothing I’ve ever really had before.
Before the end of the day I stopped by one stall to pick up some chorizo and various salami sausages. They had a great deal going on selling one of each of their sausages (7 in total) for a tenner. I thought this was too good to miss and now have a fridge stuffed full of sausage I need to come up with some recipes for. Suggestions welcome.
I’d strongly recommend the Foodies Festival, it’s a fantastic day out, great experience and great food. I’m not so keen on the stalls trying to sell fancy saucepans and kitchen gadgets but these aren’t in abundance and there’s more than enough other things going on to be able to comfortably ignore these. Don’t get me wrong I love a fancy kitchen gadget, just for me this isn’t the place for it. Foodies Festival is on again this weekend on Clapham Common and the weather’s looking to be gorgeous again so if you’ve got no plans get down there and try it out for yourself.