Last week was that time of year again – when Mummy Bites and I jump into the car and head over to the Birmingham NEC for the BBC Good Food Show. With shopping bags in both hands and comfy shoes on our feet we were all ready to go. This year I was on the look out for start-ups and independent brands and I was really pleased to find that there were lots of new faces to the show. The summer show is always a good one because they team up with Gardeners World Live, meaning you can wander outside and look at all the plants and garden bits as well as the foodie stuff inside.
Bluebird Tea Co
I’ve always liked these Brighton based guys and have purchased their products in the past. I was lucky to be sent some samples pre-show which were delicious (try the ‘IceCream Float’) so I popped over to say hi and try their cold brewed teas – perfect for summer days. You can buy their tea online – put aside a good half an hour to decide what you want – there are over 70 varieties to choose from!
Lady Helen’s Preserves and Boozy Tipples
Mummy Bites and I enjoyed trying all the delicious chutneys and products available on this stall and discovered that Lady Helen (looking very smiley below) actually makes everything from scratch at home using ingredients grown in their garden or at the local pub. What wonderful provenance and I kid you not, the products were delicious. I purchased a jar of pickled shallots for a real treat – one week on and they’ve all gone! Look at for Lady Helen at food shows over the summer!
We loved these guys so much! As you know, I’m an old gin queen at heart and my collection is growing. I now have a bottle of Pinkster to go with my Sloane’s, Bulldog, Millers & Warner Edwards (ahem..). They are a family business based just outside Cambridge and their gin is tinged with pink from being tripled distilled with raspberries. Drank with tonic & mint, its delicious. They’ve been doing something right as they’ve recently been crowned the UK’s third best gin. My tip – tweet them, ‘The Colonel’ will reply in character – great fun!
The Antipodean Sommelier
We spent a while trying literally all of these wines. As a small scale importer of NZ and Aussie wines, they really knew their stuff. You can purchase their products in specialist wine shops, all of them listed on their website of course. Within the Midlands, their wines are stocked at Fraziers Wine Merchants in Solihull, Weavers on Castle Gate in Nottingham and The Leamington Wine Company in Leamington Spa (to name a few). I highly recommend the Caravan Petite Sirah – not a variety I’d usually buy but completely slurpable and a stitch at £11 show price!
The best of the rest:
The Ginger People made me laugh – mainly because of their product names. They did have some good things though and are worth checking out.
FireFly Barbeque – a lovely Manchester husband and wife team taking on the huge BBQ soulfood market. Their homemade sauces and rubs are delicious and don’t contain any of those nasties you get n shop bought sauces. I’m stocked up ready for a summer of pulled pork and BBQs!
On a final note, I couldn’t end without a shout out to my old mates at Spicentice! You know how much I rate their products and the latest for me to try is their Keema Karai. It’ll be on the blog soon so keep an eye out! You can buy their products in Co-ops and Budgens and online -sign up for 10% off your first order and there is also a competition to win a traditional cooking pot running at the moment!
So, that’s it for another year! Did you go to the show? What did you love the most?