I had such a fun time at Birmingham's first Foodies Festival last year so I was excited to be back again this year. It's a great event to kick-start the summer, with plenty of booze, food and things to buy.
I went along on Friday evening with Yelp and we all had a mooch about, trying various free samples and chatting to the stall holders. There were plenty of local producers but I felt there were less local restaurants there this year.
So, the festival is split up into drinks and food stalls, shopping stalls and chef demonstrations. I don't tend to bother with chef demonstrations but others seemed to enjoy them.
There seemed to be more free samples this year. My first taste was from a pasta sauce company. I'm not the biggest pasta fan but I enjoyed this fresh and light bite.
Old Mout Cider had a lovely little stand set up, with plenty of free samples.
There was also the chance to win some prizes by pulling the fruits off the display in a silly fashion.
Reggae Reggae Sauce were handing out delicious samples of chicken marinaded in their sauce, plus a packet off sauce, which I used and enjoyed later that week on some chicken breasts.
We all enjoyed the samples of flavoured vodka and gin from Tipsy Tart. The bottles cleverly leaned to one side.
I loved the delicious pork scratchings from Snaffling Pig. I don't usually like spicy scratchings but they had some brilliant habernero ones. So good. I was tempted to buy but controlled myself. I've just spotted they are available on ocado so I may have to pick up a small packet as a treat.
The next day, Edd and I headed down for lunch and drinks and to meet my friend Rachael. Edd and I loved the gin van which was offering some great quality gins. Martin Miller's is one of my favourites and it was lovely with the touch of black pepper.
Stripy straws may shout INSTAGRAM ME but I want some. Don't judge me.
Edd and Rachael both went for a burger from Cau, which they both loved- juicy and oozy and cheesy like it should be. I've since had charcoal chicken from Cau via Deliveroo and I am now super keen to visit the restaurant!
I went for some favourites from last year. Swirly, spicy potato on a stick. What a lovely carby treat! Now I have a spiraliser I am tempted to try and make a baked version of this.
Later, after more gin, the charcoal grilled chicken wings were calling me.
Everything on the Flaming Rooster stand looked and smelled incredible.
My chicken wings had a smokey, almost spicy flavour but I felt the skin could have been crispier in places. I think I'm more of a wing connoisseur than I was last year.
Finally, we had room for pudding. At Whipsmiths, you choose your flavours and your ice cream is made in front of your eyes. I chose salted caramel- literally made with sea salt and caramel. It's wonderfully smooth and makes it hard to go back to normal ice cream.
A lovely couple of afternoons at Foodies Festival. I hope it's back next year and I'd like to see a few more local restaurants selling their wares. Look out in the next couple of weeks for a blog on Colmore Food Festival for an example of what I mean by that!
On the other hand, Foodies Festival has plenty of things I'm not able to try in Birmingham the rest of the year- whipped ice cream, potato on a stick and I came across a favourite new gin- Silent Pool.
Photos by me and Edd.
My tickets were complimentary through Yelp and through Foodies Festival. I paid for all my own food and drink other than the free samples.