Thanks to Fisher and Paykel, I spent Saturday 6th May at the Althorp Food and Drink Festival in Northamptonshire. They sent me along for a family day out to find out what I thought of the event.
I love going to food festivals.
When it comes to food and drink, nothing comes as close as actually seeing it, smelling it and the important bit – tasting it.
You had me at ‘free food’
Food festivals provide a great matchmaking service for people like me who are looking for local brands that would otherwise get overlooked on a shelf. It’s also a great opportunity to meet the people behind the food.
For example, I met Mr Jelley (behind Jelley Vodka). Yes, Kelly met Jelley.
The Althorp Food and Drink festival is held in the grounds of Althorp House, which is the stately former home of Princess Diana in Northamptonshire. It’s a gorgeous backdrop for a food festival with its expansive grounds and a lovely family day out.
With so many great exhibitors that I could rave about, I’ve picked out three of my favourites to cover drink, savoury and sweet taste buds…
Drink: Jelley’s Eldeflower Vodka
I may have sampled this vodka more than once… after all – you have to be sure that you like what you’re planning on purchasing.
As a local award winning drink – winning new local drink of the year in the Carlsberg UK Northamptonshire Food & Drink awards 16/17, I can see why it’s a winner.
It’s smooth and full of character – I’m afraid that’s as far as my palate will take me in terms of an eloquent description. Just know this: I wanted more. It doesn’t have the gag factor of many other vodkas and you totes wouldn’t find it lolling around a Student’s Union bar.
It’s actually enough to make me rethink my view on vodka. As a former student *cough* a long time ago *cough*, vodka in my mind is usually synonymous with getting rat-arsed. The chosen spirit in alcopops and the cause of many of my student hangovers.
But Jelley’s is different. It’s mature and in my mind revolutionises the way I think about Vodka. I could have sipped on it neat (which probably would get you rat-arsed if I’m honest). The bottle is also a thing of beauty rather than the usual back-of-the-cupboard bottles that we all hide.
I was absolutely gutted that I couldn’t buy a smaller bottle, so I shall have to source some from their website at a later date as we didn’t have enough cash to part for a big bottle.
Sweet: Seed and Bean Chocolate
Now… did you know that Northamptonshire has its own chocolatiers? No, neither did I and I live here.
Seed and Bean is a Northamptonshire based company that hand make their chocolate IN Northamptonshire. Did you know that most other UK organic / fairtrade chocolate is actually made thousands of miles away and shipped in from Poland, Italy and Germany? Me neither.
So, if you’re into ethical trading and supporting British businesses, then you need to get your hands on this chocolate.
They’ve even thought about their packaging as their ‘foil’ is compostable!
If that’ not enough, they have 18 varieties of chocolate, of which we bought 3:
- Extra dark coconut and raspberry
- Creamy white lemon and poppy seed
- Fine dark – sweet orange and thyme
Looking back at this list, I’m actually quite surprised that we chose two varieties of dark chocolate. We are usually a milk chocolate family, with dark chocolate being too bitter, but with the mix of flavours it is just divine.
All tasted amazing and I’d urge you to try them out for some speciality chocolate. I think it’s also available in Waitrose.
Savoury: Farmer Lou’s Posh Pork Sausages
Based in Rutland, this female farmer is doing it for the gals. And boy – This girl can make sausages.
As well as tasting amazing (we loved the cheese and spring onion, boar and firecracker and now have enough sausages to last AGES!) they are locally produced.
The pigs are fed with Northamptonshire produced feed, are left to mature at a natural rate and seen daily by the farmers as well as being transported and butchered by them with no middle men. They care about their pigs and the produce they make and that really comes across in the quality of their sausages.
The flavours they’ve produced are just amazing. We could have quite easily bought more.
Not only that, but after spotting Georgia they quickly offered her some of their plain sausage as well as giving her ‘one for the road’. Genuinely nice, caring people.
So, if anybody has any great sausage recipes, I’m all ears!