It may sound a bit early for some, normally I would say the same, however I feel rather late and unprepared this year. YES I am talking about Christmas!
Last weekend I travelled to Tatton Park, Cheshire for the first ever Christmas Foodies Festival. Finally time for me to start getting into the Christmas spirit, wintry and cold weather added to the Christmas effect😉
But luckily inside it was warm and more inviting... beautiful Christmas lights filling the tent, Christmas decorations and of course the obligatory Christmas music. It was slightly strange at first but then we all got into the spirit..all singing along to Michael Bublé by the end of the weekend 😀
As always the set up remained the same, traders galore- everything from food, drink, Christmas gifts, decorations, art and homeware. Dotted around the stalls were the demo tents. Chef's theatre, cake and bake theatre and the drinks tasting. Unlike the summer events where workshops are held for kids, there were also workshops for adults! Time to learn how to make some wonderful cakes and how to decorate them, just in time for Christmas.
This festival was slightly different for me, more time was spent backstage than exploring the festival. Getting involved with preparation and on the final day a cheeky appearance on the demo stage, hosting "the end of the show, show" with Charlotte! Something I am looking forward to doing a lot more of next year.. And also some demoing. So make sure you come to the summer Foodies next year! ;-)
The nice thing about Tatton Park was it played host to local talent, talent very interesting to me as they baked vegan and gluten free! Saturday welcomed Natasha from Nicely Kitchen, the cake (which you can see below) was epic! Vegan is not boring and tasteless but inspiring!! What I liked about this bake was Natasha used 100% homemade, no preservatives or additives. Even the chocolate and butter were made by Natasha herself, in her kitchen. A gingerbread spiced cake a perfect centerpiece for the Christmas table. Iced with a silk tofu.. Yes tofu! Not bland or unappetising as you'd think, but the opposite. A real surprise, a subtle smooth flavour which I definitely want the recipe for!! It just shows, if you have the imagination you can make absolutely anything.
Alongside Nicely Kitchen we had Hey Little Cupcake, Sarah was showing us how to make and decorate the most beautiful gluten free cupcakes.
And if like me, you are a fan of Bake Off you would have loved The baking Nanna and Rob, they can be found on social media under the name of "twitter bake along". Their showstopper cakes would definitely feed everyone this Christmas!! They also hold competitions for you all to get involved with so go follow them! 😉
As well as local talent we also had a few Bake Off and MasterChef stars... Action from Simon Wood and Luis Troyano in the Chef's Theatre joining them too was Ex Corrie star, Sean Wilson and other locally acclaimed restaurateurs. But more importantly we had Jane Devonshire returning to the Cake and Bake Theatre. Gluten free baking from Jane with a splash, well quite a few splashes of brandy helped create a tasty dish!
The final baker in the tent who we cannot forget, Charlotte! Not only does she bake up amazing cakes to feed everyone, she plays host to all of the other bakers.. making them feel comfortable on the stage ;-)
Bakes from Charlotte included scrummy Christmas pudding scones with the most edible brandy butter.. A yummy alternative chocolate Christmas cake and a after dinner mint tart - I can confirm all tasted delightful.
It really wouldn't be Foodies without Charlotte, check out her blog and follow her on social media, her bakes are inspiring! :-)
As much as I love helping out in the theatre I also love to explore the event, to find new products which I can use in my cooking or baking, and of course delicious treats to enjoy there and then! Tatton Park did not disappoint!!
I came home with a selection of goodies including cheese, macarons, brownies and gin. Of course none were as you'd expect. I mean chocolate and wine flavoured cheese? Mint cake liqueur? and peanut butter brownies and macarons, just because I couldn't resist!!
If you fancy checking out the brands I love then click on the below links! 😉
It was a busy weekend, but I am finally feeling festive, I even began my Christmas shopping! Now just need to decide on the recipes for Christmas day...
... Thank you to everyone who made it fabulous, and I wish you all a very happy and healthy Christmas <3