On Friday morning Adam and I jumped on the train armed with our homemade prosecco sangria ready to enjoy a fun-filled weekend in Edinburgh. We booked tickets for the Foodies Festival at Inverleith Park on the Saturday, an event for die-hard foodies to sample, buy and learn about all things food and drink! Finding a hotel in the centre of Edinburgh proved difficult as it was the start of the Fringe festival that same weekend (more on the Fringe festival in a later post!). Today I’m talking about the highlights from the Foodies Festival, what we sunk our teeth into and a few tips if you plan on making the trip yourself next year.
On Saturday morning we decided to walk to the venue which took us around 25 minutes from our hotel in Leith. We arrived to Inverleith Park around 11am where the queue to get in was short and sweet. Upon entry we were given our show guide for the day and our goodie bags which were included in the price of our tickets. Our goodie bags included a small can of Lucozade zero, a bag of Seabrook crisps and a sachet of gluten free porridge. I expected more from a festival that claims to be the ‘UK’s largest food festival’ and some quirky new food samples, not Seabrook crisps that I’ve been eating since I was a kid. Nonetheless, you can’t grumble at a freebie!
The Foodies Festival takes place in 10 different locations across the UK. As we went to the event in Edinburgh, we went prepared with our waterproof jackets as Scotland is worse than the North East for unpredictable weather. Having never been to a ‘festival’ before, I wasn’t sure what to expect from the venue. Due to a huge downpour the day before, the field where the festival took place was extremely boggy. Luckily I wore some cheap Primark plimsolls which I was able to bin after the event as they were covered in mud. In some spots it was so bad that my shoes got stuck in the mud!
Despite the mud, the sun was shining and there were some great vendors, activities and shows going on throughout the day. There was a stage that featured live music from some great artists such as Rachelle Rhienne who was a fantastic singer, this was the perfect backdrop to sit and sip cocktails in the sun.
Before deciding on what we wanted for our lunch, we browsed the stalls and bought a few things. There was a good mixture of businesses selling sweet treats, condiments, kitchen tools and gadgets and even teeth whitening products which me and Adam decided to go halves on. We also bought a garlic grater set from Ginger and Garlic Grater, the demonstration for this was fab and the plates are pretty damn cute too! We also tried some condiments from the Mary Berry Foods range – the spiced tomato chutney is to die for!
I couldn’t pass the Vintage Shake Lab without trying one of their extravagant shakes that was topped with a lolly, a stick of rock and an oreo biscuit. I went for the caramel oreo crunch shake which satisfied my sweet tooth.
For lunch we both decided to try the paella from the Picoteo stall. There’s something about those giant Spanish pans that makes paella so much more appealing. I opted for the Chicken Valenciana whilst Adam got a mixed bowl with chicken and seafood. The portions were extremely generous and the paella tasted amazing!
From top chefs including the winner of Masterchef 2016 to beer pairing, there were plenty of shows to watch and take part in in various tents across the duration of the weekend. We didn’t bother watching any of the demonstrations as we didn’t want to be restricted with time and nothing really took our fancy this time around. We finished off our time at the Foodies Festival by sitting in the sun and sharing a plant pot full of Pimms from the giant Pimms teapot.
Tips for attending the Foodies Festival
- Prepare for the changing weather – Despite it being a summer festival, make sure you wear some shoes you don’t mind dirtying, take an umbrella and some sunglasses!
- Shop around – Don’t buy from the first stall you see, shop around first. Adam bought a glass of prosecco from £5 as we walked into the festival to find it was cheaper at another stall further down.
- Ditch the goodie bags – If your goodie bag isn’t included in the price of your tickets already, I wouldn’t bother paying the extra for them as they’re not really worth it.
- Don’t pay full price for tickets – We managed to get our tickets on a 2 for 1 deal from Ticketmaster and there was also offers with special discounts on the run up to the event so there’s no need to pay full price for tickets despite them only being £16 per ticket anyway.
Is Foodies Festival something you would like to go to?