I am currently on my way home from this years’ BBC Good Food Show for Winter 2017 at the Birmingham NEC. The last time I went to this show I was about 15 years old, so it’s been a good while!
On arrival around 11am, I was grateful to see a cloakroom. It’s freezing outside but it was warm in the event, there was no way I wanted to lug around a big Parka for five hours. We then went into the Venue which greeted you with Christmas trees and music, setting the mood! Ahead of us were stalls upon stalls for shopping, from food, drink, kitchen products and the odd stall with home gifts.
Now I should mention ticket holders have the option to see a live show. We were planning to go and watch Nadia Hussain but by the time we remembered the show slot had already passed. I had met up with family and friends at the event and we were too busy sampling!
There were so many stalls and almost every single one had a sample. I tried a lot of food, I’m fortunate to not have any allergies/intolerance to things. I also pretty much each anything except things like Oysters…just no!! So for me it was a case of everything goes, try it all (apart from the Oysters!).
There was definitely a feel of it being seasonal food, a lot of cheese! I think I ate my weight in cheese. There were a lot of sampling oils and dips, not something I would normally buy, however it was good to see the different varieties and know that you could also cook with them.
There were plenty of snack foods, crisps, nuts, crackling, olives, seeds, chutneys, oils, sweets, biscuits, cakes. The crackling was very tempting, from Pork to Duck. Problem is I eat these things too quickly!! We did buy some Slabs crisps, these are some of the best crisps I’ve tasted! They are full of flavour and are so thick…safe to say the stall was popular! There were also meats and fish to try.
Then there was the Alcohol. On my gosh I think the alcohol outweighed the food! Gin certainly seemed to be the tipple of choice this year, multiple Gin stalls. It also happens to be a huge favourite of mine so I was in my element. Each stall has tiny sample glasses and the majority of stalls give you the spirits neat so you need to pace yourself!
I tried so many different spirits, from multiple Gin’s, Vodka, Tequila, Ale, Lager, Rum, Wine and Port. So many different flavours, the sweetest Toffee, Chili Chocolate Vodka to the bitter bontanicals in the more traditional Gin.
I seemed to be more drawn to the sweeter tastes (not a normal thing for me), the Spiced rum from Bombo Rum and the salted caramel tequila from Carnival. I’m not normally a Tequila person as the taste doesn’t work for me so it was nice to try something a little different.
One brand I wish I had seen was the Unicorn Tears, I noticed someone had purchased it as I left. It’s one of those Gin’s I’ve seen on Social media and it always catches my eye.
So what did I buy? You can’t go to these things and not buy something! So you already know I have the Slabs which I can’t wait to tuck into. The second item bought was some Sweet Potato Gin from The Sweet Potato Spirit Company. It’s the first spirit I tried on the day and it stayed with me. The large bottles were around £20 event price. I liked a few tastes so I went for a smaller 4 bottle sample box at £15. This contains London Dry Gin, Plum Gin, Toffee Apple Moonshine and Marshmallow Moonshine. I intend to drink these neat, more of a little nightcap! The taste is amazing.
I then bought from an Ale Stall, The Indian Brewery Company, I am partial to a good Ale. These are brewed in Birmingham and as Ale’s go they’re everything I look for. Full of flavour! I opted for the Bombay Honey and the Peacock. The Bombay Honey is a bit more smooth and the Peacock bursts with flavour.
Lastly on the beverage front, my other half and I treated ourselves for a Cucumber Gin from The English Drinks Company. Gin is a drink that has a punchy, fresh taste. This sample came with a little tonic and you could smell the cucumber straight away! I sampled this twice, once at the beginning of the day and once before we bought. It was getting to a point, especially with Gin, where I couldn’t taste the difference as well as earlier. The cucumber was just as fresh and pleasant, so glad we got it!
The last item I bought was a beverage holder. This is for my Ale drinking, it’s a Viking Horn! It’s from Viking Drinking Horns. I noticed them as I was sat eating lunch and my eye kept wandering back over to them. They were all unique and had different patterns carved into them. The horn I chose is one of the smaller holding 100ml.
There were bigger options but I was drawn to the twisty shape. I got a little stand for it and cannot wait to sit watching TV with my Viking Horn and my Ale, as you do! My Dad also bought one for music festivals!
By the end of the day I couldn’t sample any more, it’s heavy on your system and I needed a break! My taste buds didn’t know what had hit them! I loved the day, it got me into the festive spirit as this year is all about the food and drink for me. I basically pig out for December and try to have a health kick in January.
A full list of this years exhibitors can be seen here
Thank you for stopping by,