This weekend the annual food and drink festival took place at the cattle market in Melton Mowbray. Normally I head over on the Sunday and spend the day drinking wine, cider and beer with my favourite producers, but alas I had to work this weekend so was able to get over for a couple of hours on Saturday to catch up with people and take a few shots.
Natterjack cider is usually my first point of call at any Melton food event and this year was no different, although I opted for one of his wonderful apple juices instead of the hard stuff. Booze was everywhere to tempt me and the lovely chaps from CAMRA were making my abstinence all the more difficult with their beer tasting sessions.
Beer tasting, one of my favourite pastimes
Mark from Gourmet Spice was there, he’s ace. I always love seeing him at events and checking out all his new spice rubs, oils and vinegars. His Togarishi spice blend is awesome, the best I’ve found in the UK, blows your head off mind! His new Mango and Green Apple balsamic vinegar is an absolute cracker too. I ended up leaving with a bag full of his new goodies!
The lovely Mark from Gourmet Spice
There was cheese a plenty which always makes me happy. You should definitely seek out Sparkenhoe vintage Red Leicester, it’s made with love and care by the fabulous and local LeicestershireHandmade Cheese Company, it’s the perfect example of an artisan cheese, just heavenly. I sampled their new blue cheese Battlefield Blue, yeah that’s a cheese I could quite happily bathe in…
Handmade Cheese Co new cheese, it’s absolutely wonderful
Good cheese = a very happy Hazel
Plenty of game for sale
I was taking a shot of hanging cured meat when I bumped into the lovely Rachel who organised Melton Pie Fest, yes I’m taking photos of meat because I LOVE cured meat and look how beautiful it is…
Cured meat, come to me baby!
No one went hungry…
The lovely fellas from Pomegranate were cooking and selling an array of Iranian culinary delights
Fluffy cloud meringues, toasties and Chinese food all did well
Fear not, it didn’t take me long to find the macarons…
Pretty macarons, I had a pistachio and a lemon one, breakfast macarons are the way forward
My absolute favourite stand is always the GB Italia stand. Not only are their Sicilian wines, liquors and limoncello divine but Rosemarie is the most awesome lady ever. I only get to see her once a year but I made sure I stocked up on some Limoncello to get me through until my homemade one is ready. Even if you are not interested in food and drink your ticket cost is worth it just to hang out with Rosemarie and her total enthusiasm for life and Sicilian wine will cheer even the grumpiest of souls.
From Limoncello to purple cauliflowers, all my kinda food and booze
It took me ages to find the Great Food Magazine stand manned by editor Matt Wright. I kept asking friends who I bumped into and they all replied with: “he’s somewhere over there apparently, haven’t found him yet”. Well after quite some searching I did eventually find him behind a wicker basket stand (yeah I’m not entirely sure what that was doing there) and he broke my booze abstention instantly by his determined persistence: Matt: “Time for a beer?” Me: “Hell yeah”. I really do have no willpower, actually thats a lie I just got a half from the `Belvoir Brewery stand (located by the Great Food stand, coincidence? I think not) just ordering a half took serious willpower. This was rewarded however by the abundance of free badges on the Belvoir bar that simple said “I Love Beaver”, obviously I picked us up a couple.
Matt was behind the basket stand everyone
I also bumped into Tim Burke who writes all the news for Great Food mag. “Have you seen today’s Leicester Mercury?” He asked, errr no. “We’re in it!” He exclaimed. So thrilled to be featured in their new Food Special as one of Leicestershire’s Food Heroes for this blog!
“News, views and recipes from the Great Food magazine writer, who also contributes to the website Domestic Sluttery. Her own blog demands a visit, if only for the hugely entertaining About Me section.” Awesome.
Really thrilled to be included, also there was Tim for his blog and Matt for the fab Great Food magazine, celebratory beers were called for.
Also there was the wonderful Just Soaps Of The Earth with her stunning handmade soaps, creams, balms and all manner of treats to make you look and smell better. I couldn’t resist her Kitchen Soap and Patchouli shower gel so I currently smell like my 15 year old self, in a good way, not in a stinky teenager cider and fags way, hmmm actually I probably smell exactly like my 15 year old self.
One is edible, one will make you smell amazing
Ace to see so many lovely friends there with so many new brilliant products, were you there? Did you find something awesome?