While H and I were at Hampton Court to see the Palace we coincided our visit there with the BBC Good Food Festival. You can read about our time in the palace and the exhibits we saw in this blog here. The food festival consisted of two long rows of tents stretching around the garden just outside of the palace as well as lots of deck chairs and bean bags on the lawn for people to sit on and eat food or to watch and listen to different bands and singers playing in the pavilion. H and I decided to wander the length of the festival first before settling on what we would have for lunch. We had already decided while in the Palace that gelato would be our final course as I was craving some.
Our first stop was at Dimkin’s Patisserie which stocked an interesting and enticing range of macaroon flavours. We picked up 5 each to nibble on and take home. The lady running the booth was friendly and professional. I thoroughly enjoyed all the flavours I picked up from this stall but the white chocolate and raspberry was my favourite.
We wandered past an olive store (Khayri Olives) and made a bag of mixed olives, which was the perfect thing to snack on while walking the length of the food festival. The stall had a collection of olives from which we picked some plain black olives, green olives stuffed with cheese, green olives stuffed with garlic and green olives stuffed with cheese and dill. The man running the booth was very curt and short with us but being the second day of the show and after lunchtime he may have been a little tired from dealing with a lot of people.
We also stopped at a flavoured spirits stall called The Tipsy Tart. The man working the booth was very cheerful and we had a great chat with him while there. The two base spirits the had was gin and vodka and with these have a range of flavours including blood orange, rosemary, and rose. I tried the rose vodka and H had the blood orange gin. We both enjoyed them and the bottle sizes on display for sale were a small portable size that would be perfect for a gift or to buy a few to taste and enjoy the different flavours. I would have loved to buy some of them but with leaving the UK so soon would not have the time to enjoy them properly between all my travels. I would highly recommend this brand however you are into flavoured spirits or looking for a slightly unique gift for a friend, who enjoys flavoured spirits. You can sip them on their own, mix them with a mixer for a refreshing summer drink or pop into a glass of bubbles or champagne to mix it up for a flavoured sparking drink.
We also stopped in at the A2 milk stand and the man at the stall was very interesting to chat with about their product. The sample offered was really nice and I had been noticing that milk was beginning to not agree with me across my travels as I do have an intolerance to dairy products if I consume too much of it. The man working the booth explained that there are different protein strains A1 and A2 that different cows produce. Most of our milk comes from A1 type cows as these cows produce more milk in general and tend to be favoured by farmers for this reason. Supposedly A1 is more what people are intolerant to rather than lactose if milk occasionally gives them an upset stomach. I was not overly aware of this but found it interesting and something that I should conduct more research into as I do know that from time to time I cannot consume dairy products for a short time period.
For lunch I ended up choosing a roast pork roll with crackling and applesauce. The bread used was fresh and light and did a great job of keeping the pork and sauce in place for me to devour it. I grabbed my pork roll from the stall being run by Woodhouse Farm. This is a dish that you have to try while living or visiting the UK and is often sold at most festival events there.
Our last stop and the one planned from the beginning was for gelato. H and I spotted our favourite one (Rialto Gelato), which had a great range of flavours to choose from and made our way back to it before heading off into the palace gardens to wander while eating our ice creams. I went for the wild berry cheesecake and cherry flavours which went perfectly together. H tried the mint chocolate and amaretto flavours and enjoyed them also. This gelato hit the spot and satisfied my craving that I had pestered H about for the few hours before we’d arrived at the food festival.
After all our nibbling, lunch and gelato H and I were stuffed at continued our exploration of the Palace and grounds. The BBC Food Festival was a great experience and I tried some delicious food and met some lovely people and brands. I would advise however that you go early on so that you can spend some time in Palace as the ticket to the food festival also includes entry into the Palace (£17) or you can purchase a ticket to that Palace as H and I did which entitles you entry to the grounds of the Palace where the festival was being held (£16.50). The palace is well worth wandering for 3-5 hours and the food festival can easily take 1-2 hours or longer if you want to nibble more or watch more of the entertainment provided. I also advise to pack something encase of wet weather as there was little shelter provided at the BBC Food Festival.
A big thanks to H for organising the day out and for dragging me along after I’d nibbled my way up and down the food festival.
Nearest station: Hampton Court (National Rail) or Kingston (National Rail) 20-40 minute walk or 111/216 bus for 13 minutes.
Cost: £16.50-: £17 (on-line purchase price of Palace or BBC Food Show).