There’s something strangely therapeutic about spending money on good quality, often artisan and local, food and drink produce. And spending money you certainly need to be prepared for at the Cheltenham Food & Drink Festival because you will suddenly be thrown into a world filled with items you never knew you couldn’t live without.
Chocolate wine? How can I possibly have people round for dinner without it? Lavender cheese? My kitchen deserves more than just boring chedder. Massive box of macorons? Well I’m not sure how I justified that buy BUT it really is more than just your taste buds that get tantalised here (although boy, they sure do).
So what is it?
Cheltenham Food & Drink Festival is an annual event that you should definitely put in your diary ready for next year. This year it ran from Friday 9th June to Sunday 11th June with tickets ranging from £4 to £7, although discounts available online for the thrifty among us.
I feel the cost is reasonable here, and charging for entry probably helps contribute to the calm and pleasant atmosphere all weekend, people only go if they have a genuine interest in what’s on offer.
Myself and my comrades went on Saturday and Sunday, which allowed us to really sample as much as we could, or rather as much as our bellies would allow. Us food lovers were in our element, but nobody would feel amiss because even vegans seemed well catered for.
Between us we begrudgingly, force fed ourselves posh kebabs, Carribean, Greek, Thai and Peruvian meals (I’ve linked what I can), all of which was incredibly well received and incredibly well discussed, in great detail, afterwards. This was as well as brownies, cheese, ice cream, fudge, cheese, sausisogn, pie, cheese, sweet potato fries, honey and did I mention yet more cheese? Then there were the drinks to tickle your tastebuds, with chocolate wine, marshmallow vodka, toffee fudge vodka, pink port (drawn in by the colour alone), strawberries and cream liqueur (again, the colour…), cider and about as much gin as cheese.
The outside tents were made up mainly of food being skillfully and hypnotisingly prepared and cooked in front of you, ready to eat, alongside bars and drinks stands. Inside was row after row of stalls selling their company’s produce, and under that roof you had no choice but to let those aromas smack you in the nostrils and pull you in for closer inspection.
There were also demonstration tents to really inspire visitors, and a tent dedicated to wine which I tactfully retained some self control around.
The weather was pretty good this weekend which definitely helped, there was ample space outdoors to sit awhile, digest your food and enjoy the well chosen live music with a sweet cider in hand.
These are the companies that really stood out to me for quality, service, products and, of course, TASTE!
Beard and Sabre cider
Also check out Crumbs mag for loads of foodie goodness with recipes, features, places to eat and upcoming events.