Last weekend I had the pleasure of going to the much anticipated BBC Good Food Show, held annually in my home city of Birmingham. The four day Winter edition at the NEC was as expected, full of festive food and drink, and an energetic buzz as people shuffled around the arena in the Christmas spirit. Anyone looking for gift ideas would have been spoiled for choice this year. On Saturday, a few of my fab friends and bloggers got rather special treatment at the event with access to the press room, personalised press passes, seriously good refreshments and free reign to take as many snaps as we wanted throughout the event – safe to say we had a fun filled day taste testing, filming, chatting with exhibitors and enjoying the live demos by celebrity chefs. It was something different but definitely worth doing, and as Not Without Cake is new off off the ground, it was a great networking experience for me. I’m certainly excited to be involved with more events like these.
With over 400 exhibitors, the venue was full of amazing fresh and locally sourced food and drink, homeware and techy gadgets for the kitchen from brands including Braun, Kenwood and Hotpoint. Everything from homemade beers, cheese and bread, to festive hampers, decadent chocolates and confectionery filled several stands. There was no shortage of hot food either; Moroccan mezzes, Spanish Paella and good old British burgers were on offer in the food courts. The thing I love most about these kinds of events is the variety – smells, colours and flavours. You certainly come away with new food knowledge as well as that empty purse!
Over at the Colgate hub, we enjoyed some amazing mixed berry ice cream after sampling their new Sensitive Pro-Relief toothpaste. It reminded me of a science experiment at school with puffs of smoke and men dressed in white. Another highlight was Heathers Harvest, offering award winning jams, pickles and preserves handmade in Shropshire. I’m a huge fan of homemade preserves so their sweet and spicy carrot chutney was a clear winner for me. And the packaging, ohhh.
We also enjoyed Praana’s range of delicious spiced herbal and fruit teas, Sponge Cakes (try them and thank me later), artisan cakes from Tarte and Berry and not forgetting Joe and Steph’s Gourmet Popcorn. Amongst all of these independent brands and big electrical names, well known favourites including Knorr, Ocado, Lurpak Cook’s Range and Costco Wholesale also featured at the event. Oh and just when we thought things couldn’t get any more delicious, we stumbled upon Merangz produced by The Little Round Cake Company – seriously impressive free range egg meringues traditionally made in Shropshire – giant Swiss pistachio, passion fruit bites and hazel nut praline nests amongst so many other flavours. Need I say anymore? Food heaven.
Did I mention the best part? I met acclaimed TV chef and Belling brand ambassador that is Brian Turner. Talk about star struck! That’s certainly one to tick off the bucket list. Until next year, then.