Going to the Good Food Show every year has become our little family tradition; my mum went with my grandma when she was younger and now Mum and I go every December when it comes round each year. For those of you who have no clue what I am banging on about, the Good Food Show is a food and drink event that takes place at the NEC in Birmingham in the summer and winter where hundreds of brands, from big names to independent retailers, have stalls to showcase their products.
In previous years, Linda McCartney, Heinz, Carte d’Or, Lavazza, New Covent Garden Soup and so many more have been there! It’s absolutely worth going to if you’re a big foodie because you can get freebies, taste some delicious goodies and get the chance to see the likes of Mary Berry, the Hairy Bikers and Nadiya Hussain.
If you’re not a fan of massive crowds, this probably isn’t the event of choice for you, or you could come early and get out quick but that’s not really making the most of your money! The show starts at 9 and ends at 6, so you have all the time in the world to stroll (okay fast walk) around the show, to your heart’s content.
I ran straight over to this when I saw it and didn’t even realise it was the Hello Fresh stand I was just gunning for a photo on the grass sofa! Mum was ready and waiting with the camera to get some shots (she’s good isn’t she!?) and we had a lovely chat with the people there who were happy to explain what the company is about.
It’s so impressive to see plenty of vegan and/or vegan-friendly brands this year because I have to admit I was disappointed with the lack of options last year. The Vita Coco stand was really exciting to see because they were offering granola and coconut milk in a bowl so you could basically get your breakfast for free! I was happy to eat that to keep me going along with the other samples I tried throughout the day.
Some stand owners had been asking if I was a photography student because of my camera so I mentioned that I was taking pictures for my blog. One of the lovely girls on the Vita Coco stand enthusiastically told me she also had a blog and I suddenly realised she was someone I follow. The wonderful Petite Elise is a vegan blogger and I was so thrilled to meet her, what a genuinely lovely person she was! I’ll link her details at the end of the post. They were so sweet and handed me a mountain of vouchers and freebies (thanks, guys!!)
Oh, my goodness, Dele was such a lovely man with a real positive energy about him and you could tell he was passionate about his products. Dolce la Dolce is a fairly new brand in the UK which has been brought over from America to see if it’ll make the mark. I have no doubts it will be a hit because the products are delicious.
The first is the Almond Pecan Crunch which is made up of a cluster of almonds, pecans, brown rice syrup – there are no hidden nasties to be found! You would not think you were eating a healthy nut snack because it tastes like some kind of maple syrup flavoured treat. The other product that Dele was offering at the show was the Cashew Crunch which he mentioned was even sweeter than the Almond Pecan Crunch, as we didn’t try that cluster Mum and I decided to buy a selection of the Almond ones.
There are an abundance of alcohol stalls and when you arrive at 9 in the morning, I don’t know about you but I don’t fancy trying gin and vodka at that time in the morning! Later on in the day, Mum and I stopped off at The English Drinks Company stand because our eyes were drawn to the pink gin (naturally of course) I tried some of the pink and then the cucumber gin which was divine! It was mixed with a cucumber tonic style drink which was extremely refreshing. We decided to pick up some of the ‘Qcumber’ tonics because they make a nice alternative to the usual soft drinks you come across.
Now I have to say I am not a lover of peanut butter, I don’t know what it is about the taste or texture but it really doesn’t appeal to me. This Proper Nutty version of peanut butter, however, is delicious, maybe its because its all natural – all that is in the jar is peanuts (with the sprinkle of sea salt for the salted version).
There seemed to be so many vegan-friendly snacks and convenience foods this year, which is great to see because I like to mix it up when I am looking for a quick fix that doesn’t involve a biscuit! Why Nut? (a genius name may I add) had two products on offer, mum and I tried the almond balls which contain apricots, cashew nuts, almonds, quinoa and chia seeds. Now I know what you’re thinking, it doesn’t look the most appetising but please please try and look past that for a moment. I am quite fussy with foods I don’t like the look of but there is no harm in trying before you dismiss it. I am so glad I tried them because they were (and still are) delicious – cue mum and I making sure we stocked up for when we need a speedy snack on the go.
Now let’s have a moment to celebrate the wonderful creation that is Punjana tea. The Thompson’s Family Tea company have been at the Good Food Show the last few years and it’s always lovely to see their incredible teas. What’s great about Punjana tea is that they do not compromise on the quality of the tea for the price, its a really affordable price and Thompson’s make sure that the bags only contain pure tea. They recently trialled some new packing because many people were put off by the Punjana branding associating it with a foreign brand and you wouldn’t believe.. “for sounding Indian” Erm hello, tea is grown in India?? The lovely people on the stand recognised us from previous shows and gave me a lovely china cup which I’m sure as hell going to show off on here.
Feast your eyes on this beauty. Yes, tea always tastes better in china cups.
A throwback to Vita Coco for a brief moment, I had a mid-morning snack with my Dorset Cereal and coconut milk whilst watching a question and answer session. You’ll be pleased to know the combination was fan-bloody-tastic, go get yourself some asap!!
Now it is a tradition for mum and me to see a show on the main stage or big kitchen as it was called this year, this time we chose to see the national treasure that is Mary Berry. The shows are half an hour long and the chefs/bakers that host normally cook and prepare two recipes. Unfortunately, neither of the ones Mary made would have been my cup of tea but to see her was a treat. It was also lovely to hear that we will get the chance to see plenty of Mary on our televisions over the Christmas period on numerous cooking shows!
A bit of a whirlwind tour, I know but I hope you enjoyed a little read of my time at the Good Food Show.
Until next time,
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