This weekend, Disneyboi and I ventured down to Inverleith Park in Edinburgh. This was the venue for the 'Foodies Festival' which is now in it's tenth year.
The festival is promised as a celebration of food and drink over a three day period. This year it had doubled in size as part of it's tenth year celebration.
We got there on Saturday just before midday. As we were lucky enough to be given VIP tickets, we went to the VIP tent and had a complimentary glass of fizz and collected our 'goody bags' .
We met up with our friends 'Fanny' from fab blog 'Keep Calm and Fanny On' and also Janice from 'Farmersgirl Kitchen'.
After a brief catch up, we went to book tickets at the events which were on were on in the various theatres at the park. There was the Chef's Theatre, Drinks Theatre and the Tasting, Cake and Bake Theatre to choose from, with various shows in each throughout the day.
There wasn't too much which took our fancy but we went for 'Autumn Drinks with Gin' hosted by Mike McGinty and 'How to Sniff Cocoa like a Rock Star'.
We had a wander around the festival, to try and take in as much as we could and get our bearings. We then grabbed a bite to eat, before the gin show. We both had pulled pork baps with black pudding and a bottle of Thistly Cross Strawberry cider, very refreshing.
We then headed to the tent for the Gin show. Mike was a very knowledgeable guy about gin and gave us samples of new a Bombay Sapphire gin 'Star of Bombay'. This was a very citrusy fresh drink and we sipped this as Mike then showed us a cocktail recipe for 'East India Punch' which had gin, tea, lemon, orange and peach and cardamom syrup. We had a taster of this also, getting a bit squiffy by this point.
Not to be deterred we then had another wander around the stalls and headed back to the VIP tent where we enjoyed a blonde ale from a company called The Campervan Brewery and chatted a bit more to 'Fanny'.
We visited more stalls and then it was time for the 'How to Sniff Cocoa Like a Rock Star' show. I have to say this was the low-point of the festival for me. A professional chocolate taster described how to sniff cocoa powder, stating that this was not something for children and wasn't really something to be recommended you do everyday. To be honest I wasn't sure why you would want to at all. There was no explanation as to what this was for - I expected an explanation akin to wine sniffing or something. But no, it just seemed to be for the hell of it - strange. He had a wee contraption that he sniffed the cocoa from then allowed all the audience the chance to do the same. - hope there were no drippy noses in the audience...
We declined and made our excuses. This whole show took approximately 5 minutes and was pointless to us. Still everyone else seemed to want to shove cocoa powder up their nostrils - each to their own I suppose.
We bought some lavender sugar from the Colstoun Cookery School stall. They were there promoting their full day cookery courses at their estate in hear Haddington, East Lothian, plus selling some of their produce too. I bought a couple of bunches of lavender too and might try making my own.
We also saw a stall for Audrey Baxter's relishes and curd range. Baxter's perhaps better known for their warming soups have a signature range of curds and we picked up new passionfruit and mango, very zingy, and raspberry. Our toast will be slathered with this stuff (or I may use it in some bakes)...
It was getting time for us to head away after having been there for a few hours. The party was still in full flow, with the entertainment near the entrance still pumping out.
I was disappointed this year at the lack of baking in the theatres, especially when one of the tents was called the 'Tasting, Cake and Bake' theatre. Sadly I missed 'Confectionary Made Easy' by Fiona Sciolti that was on once each day, which I'm sure would have been good. But I wonder if they struggled to get others to appear on stage for baking demos. A pity, as the nation does seem hooked on baking. Even though I'm practically unknown I would gladly appear next year, whipping up a sweet treat or two, or even my Arbroath Smokie cupcakes, if they struggle again!
The festival, which has doubled in size this year, seems to have made up for the extra stalls by putting in non-foodie related ones such as teeth-whitening, e-cigarettes, wooden furniture, jewellery - not quite the foodie extravaganza!
However, that was our day. The weather stayed fine for us and I even got a touch of the sun! Mostly great foodie fun...
Disclosure Statement: I received free to tickets to the event and was not requested to promote the event. Any opinions expressed are entirely my own.