A tower of food – BBC Good Food: Feast

From 22-24 September BBC Good Food held a foodie festival called Feast in The grounds (moat) of The Tower of London.  There were so many stalls, cooking demos, supper clubs, masterclasses, street food, cocktails, skills school, pop up restaurants, bars, tastings and top chefs to meet such as the wonderful country boy Tom Kerridge, Michelin star Michel Roux Jr and Masterchef judge John Torode.

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Me at The Tower of London

I attended the event as a blogger/press visitor on Saturday afternoon and if only I knew due to the fact I was a special visitor I could have booked a slot and interviewed top chefs such as Tom Kerridge however due to the fact I did not get to the food festival FEAST much later in the day all slots had been taken up by other bloggers and press visitors.  However there was much to see so maybe it was a blessing that there was not any spaces for me to host an interview as otherwise I would of missed Tom Kerridge and Sebby Holmes demonstrating their cooking skills at FEAST kitchen sessions in the afternoon.

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BBC Good Food: FEAST

I attend many food shows throughout the year and even though this food show was quite small and there did not seem to be many visitors I did like the layout and the novelty of it being in the moat within the grounds of The Tower of London this made it quite special and different.

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Map

The book I was given as well was very clearly laid out and I loved the thickness of the paper, quality of the paper and the information provided in it. All the adverts were clear and many great recipes were also in the book supplied by various top class chefs. In my opinion this has to be one of the better guide books I have ever seen and it actually made me want to read every page.

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Feast Kitchen

Firstly let’s start with the main tents that held shows and classes. There were such a number of tents holding various shows, talks and classes. Here is a list of them all and what they held:

FEAST kitchen which was sponsored by Magimix and hosted by Sabrina Ghayour which you could watch the very best of the UK’s chefs such as Tom Kerridge, John Torode, etc. live on stage.  As well as picking up some tips for dishes, inspiration and memories.

BBC Good Food Stage which was hosted by Good Foods Barney Desmazey, the BBC Good Food Stage is the place to discover the secrets of the success of your favourite chefs and to see the magazine brought to life! With times throughout to ask your own culinary questions during the session.

FEAST Workshops you could pick up new skills and techniques in these hands-on masterclasses. The expert hosts will take you on a journey of discovery by sharing their knowledge and expertise in step by step sessions.  There were such classes (all at a cost) from Indian cooking, Champagne PIAFF tasting, cider tasting, jug cocktails, Middle Eastern tasting, cake decorating, sourdough workshop and steak workshop.

Le Cordon Bleu Skills School (cost £8 per session) held Cuisine and Patisserie hands on workshops where you could pick up new skills and techniques and have fun as the experts share their secrets. There was even certain session for children to get creative and learn such as piping techniques.

Cocktail Masterclasses (cost £8 per person) in where you could learn to make cockgtails of course.

The novel thing that really caught my attention though was that some shows and classes had a person doing sign language.  I have never seen this at any other food show I have ever attended so I was very impressed as it shows that they care about people that are hard of hearing. Plus also seats in the FEAST kitchen for example had numbered seats. So when you sign yourself in for the session you are allocated a ticket with a seat number so there is no panic in getting to the show say 30 minutes early to grab a seat as you are allocated a specific one.  However I was not so impressed that most classes such as the Cocktail Masterclasses, Le Cordon Bleu Skills School had a fee to pay. It was not a lot of money but I don’t expect to go to a food show and have to pay extra for shows or classes I always feel this should be included in the cost of the admission ticket.

Apart from all the classes, talks and foodie shows that were on offer there was also entertainment played at the bandstand and buskers station throughout the day from singing artists such as Callum Gardner, Hattie Briggs and Scott McMahon etc.

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Fentimans bar

There was also so many pop up bars, street food and restaurants dotted around to grab food and drink from such as Fentimans Botanical Bar who in my opinion sell the best fizzy soda pop around, Mac to the Future who sell the most amazing heavenly cheese mac n cheeses, The Game Bird who sells great meaty birds and are an award winning family of farmers and that is just listing a small selection of some of the best eateries/bars that they had to offer at the show.

Obviously because this is a food show there were also a vast amount of stalls selling food products, drinks, accompaniments and kitchen products such as Magimix mixtures.

Some of my favourite stalls were:

Cotswolds Gold Ltd had a number of their rapeseed oils that you could try out from Lemon infused rapeseed oil to a chilli flavoured one. Charlie Beldam set up in 2010 and started to produce high quality rapeseed oil.  He wanted to promote British farming by making premium extra virgin rapeseed oil and making it using traditional cold pressed methods that preserve the health benefits of the seed making the oil naturally high in Vitamin E, rich in omega 3, 6 and 9 and low in cholesterol. He only ever uses crops grown on the family farm in the Cotswolds.  The oils he had on offer all were so vibrant in colour with this pure gold colour.  I tasted most of the rapeseed oils as I am a fan of rapeseed oil and they all tasted so good not bitter so I had to buy a lemon infused one as I love making seafood risotto and that would be the perfect accompaniment. To find out more about his oils or even to buy some click here.

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Cotswolds Gold delicious rapeseed oils

There was a stall with these white bottles decorated with a sweet design of flowers and butterflies and the drink was gin and was called Dancing Dragontail.  This immediately got my attention and I was caught in a net like a butterfly and headed straight over.  The bottle made me think of fields, flowers, butterflies and fairies and gave me an immediate smile on my face and that was even before I tasted the product. The gin was great very strong but very smooth tasting and not dry. She was actually impressed that I and my friend and I drank it straight but least this way we could experience the true flavour. I could of drank lots as was so delicious then I really would have been seeing fairies. Two friends Kate and Helen launched their company and many gins back in November 2016.  They make their gins in a Gin kitchen (nano-distillery) in the Surrey Hills. They craft luxury spirits in tiny quantities, such as the Dancing Dragontail Summer Gin and Gutsy Monkey Winter Gin. Their gins turn pearlescent when diluted with tonic, releasing an explosion of flavour on the tongues palate. To buy any of their gin products click here.

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Dancing Dragontail gin heaven

Happy Mallows were also there selling their amazing spongy and ever so delicious different flavoured marshmallows always a hit with me and he even remembered me and the name of my blogger/reviewer community (Love Pop Ups – London) in which I am the founder of so I was very impressed.  Alas though as it was near the end of the day he just had one mallow left but thankfully a lemon one which is my favourite as lemons are my favourite fruit. To find out more about Happy Mallows or to buy any of their Happy Mallows click here.

The Flora Tea stand was beautiful as on display they had all different glasses with a flower in them.  They apparently appeared on BBC’s Dragons Den and they are now a multi-award winning London based wholesale and online retailer for unique Flora Tea.   Flora Teas are hand-tied individual first-pick tea tips (green tea) which are dried aromatic flowers forming a tea ball/heart, which reveals its secret centre when placed in boiling water then blooms into a beautiful flower giving a beautiful display and enriching taste. With all giving a dramatic show, artistic and stunning.  They are so good their teas have also won many Great Taste awards.

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Flora Tea magic

Also at the show there was a competition to win a Magimix Le Blender worth £159.99 you just had to fill out a postcard entry and post in the box at the information tent.  Still waiting for that call to say I have won it, in my dreams!

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Me and Tom Kerridge

For me though the FEAST highlights had to be meeting the lovely Tom Kerridge yet again as I have seen him at many shows now. He is always a joy to meet and brings a smile to me and everyone else around. Anyway obviously I had to get another photo with him in fact I think this may actually be my seventh photo with him now he must think I am a stalker.

So despite the size and the extra costs for classes would I return to FEAST again if it came back to London the answer to that is yes as there was plenty to see and do, taste, so many unique farm produced products to buy and lots of amazing top chefs to watch and see. Foodtastic!

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My friend Steve and I

1 Comment

  1. Steve says:

    Stepping back into the Medieval period at the beautiful Tower of London, the BBC Good Food FEAST spreads itself out in the deep moat around the tower. I have to say that being down in this space was such an exciting part of the day, so also being surrounded by amazing food and drink venues made for a great day. I was also there with my friend Jo, founder of LovePopUpsLondon.com, so we made a perfect duo as we’re both huge foodies and drink fans. Check out the rest of my experience here:
    https://neverfearnew.wordpress.com/2017/10/01/bbc-good-food-feast/

    Liked by 1 person

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