What's on the menu?

What's on the menu?

Monday, 15 June 2015

The Nottingham Food and Drink Festival Showcased in List of 33 of the UK's Top Festivals

It's amazing how food is becoming the new rock and roll and being showcased alongside music festivals. Hotel group Jurys Inn has recently compiled a list of 33 of the UK's top festivals and our August Nottingham Food and Drink Festival features prominently.

The Jurys Inn 33 Top British Festivals for 2015

Sunday, 14 June 2015

On Tour- Lunch at Fifteen Cornwall

Sampling the Delights at Jamie Oliver's Fifteen Cornwall

A trip down to Newquay and the Cornish Coast means so many different things to so many different people. There's the surfing, the beaches and for us the allure really comes with the food and drink. The coastline plays host to some superb restaurants and our trip allowed us some time to sample some of the delights on offer.

Wednesday 8th June saw us have lunch at Jamie Oliver's Fifteen Cornwall restaurant that looks over the beach at Watergate Bay a few miles north of Newquay.
The view from our table at Fifteen Cornwall looking out onto Watergate Bay
For a reasonable £32 we chose from the 3 course lunch menu which was limited to 2-3 choices per course however took a lot of the guesswork out for us over what to have and if you consider we could have starter, main and a dessert for around £20 at most standard pubs and restaurants at home the extra £12 doesn't seem significant for a specialist restaurant.

Fifteen Cornwall is primarily an Italian restaurant so expect exquisite pasta dishes and Mediterranean flavours alongside fine local produce.

The interior at Fifteen Cornwall

Saturday, 13 June 2015

An Afternoon at the Not So Great Food and Drink Festival

We Love Nottingham and Food: But as with most projects it's really failed to deliver on giving us a Great Food and Drink Festival

Last weekend saw the Great Food and Drink Festival in Nottingham with a group of us associated with the Food Lovers blog making our way over to Nottingham Castle on Saturday to enjoy an afternoon in the sunshine with a few sweet and savoury treats.

The idea of a food festival (just like the Beer Festival) inside the iconic Nottingham Castle is a great idea. There's plenty of space and it provides a real focal point for tourists although whilst the beer festival which runs every October completely takes over the grounds, this years Great Food and Drink Festival needs a little bit more of an in injection of food, and particularly drink which we found to be somewhat lacking which considering the cost of tickets for us was a bit of a let down. I'm not sure about anyone else but when we go to a food or drink festival we want to try, try, try and try foods and the not so Great Food and Drink Festival was seriously lacking on that note. There were a few standouts who deserve a mention below however.

For £8 and adult (£7 in advance) we expected much, much more having been to other festivals where there's been more on offer for considerably less money. There were a small number of exhibitors sampling but nothing of real significance. It was the equivalent of paying to get in Wetherspoons and then still having to pay out for your food.

There was some fantastic food on offer from the exhibitors however maybe it was the organisation that let them down by promising something bigger but our biggest annoyance above anything was the lack of any companies sampling. If you go to a food festival you usually expect to sample what people have on offer. Therefore below we've focused on a selection of the sellers that we felt showcased their products well whilst offering the chance to try what they had on offer. If the company name isn't mentioned it's because they were there just to sell products, not introduce us to them.

One of our other annoyances was that it seemed the organisers had given exhibitors some exclusivity. One hot chilli sauce seller, one cupcake baker, one pizza company, one doughnutv company. It was like there had been a degree of selection on place. Sadly this really limited the number of exhibitors and restricted what was on offer. We'd have loved to see one of the local breweries having their own stand (Castle Rock, Navigation, Lincoln Green are always present at local events so why were they missing?) and much more variety for future shows. The top field looked conspiciously empty and this made us think there was something wrong with the event. When we go to a food festival we want food, food, food and usually something to wash it down. If you compared the event to Lincoln Christmas Market or our own Market Square offering which are both free I know I'd be heading to Lincoln for their huge variety.

Best Sampling of the Day

Whilst in general we felt the amount of food on offer was on the low side there were a number of exhibitors who went all out to showcase their product and help keep our hunger at bay whilst introducing us to some very nice food in the process. 

The Cheshire Cheese Company had a nice varied selection of cheeses on offer with a nob of each being cut at request. Their Black Bob was a fantastically creamy mature cheese with a very smooth pallet that we subsequently treated ourself to for an at-home tasting.