On 3rd September I was invited along to the media preview of the Woking Food and Drink Festival. Along with some other bloggers and writers, we were given a preview of some of the food stalls, a tour of the Tante Marie Culinary Academy, and front row seats for a demonstration by the Fabulous Baking Brothers, as well as the chance to meet them before their show.
I was firstly surprised by the sheer number of food stalls set up in the streets around the shopping centres. I’ve seen the Festival before but had never realised how many different stalls were open, all around the town centre. We first visited the Royal Riviera champagne bar, serving the only champagne given the Royal seal by the Crown Prince of Monaco. A delicious taste of this champagne certainly set me up well for a morning of food and drink tasting!
Our next stop was a stall with a delicious selection of French cheese including Morbier, goats cheese and Bleu de Gex.
The Giggly Pig stall had a range of handmade sausages, which were selling like hot cakes. I picked up a few packs later on, to try some of the interesting flavours.
Churros Garcia are a stall I’ve come across before, which were also proving very popular. Selling Churros con chocolate, this was also a very busy stall. A good tie-in with the latest Great British Bake Off as well!
Yummy Kubes Catering was a Caribbean stall selling curry goat, jerk chicken, rice and peas and Jollof rice. They were doing a roaring trade for lunch later on when I passed.
Over to the Tante Marie Culinary Academy for a tour of the premises. This beautiful cart full of fresh produce was next to the entrance, provided by the vegetable suppliers used by the Academy.
Inside, Andrew Maxwell, Managing Director and Principal of the Academy, showed us the facilities including the kitchens used by pupils of the academy, and the restaurant, where graduates of the school may go on to work.
Our next visit was to the Silent Pool stall, to try their gin made in the Surrey Hills and to hear all about how the recipe was developed. As a keen gin drinker this was my favourite stop of the trip!
Next it was time to meet the Fabulous Baker Brothers Tom and Henry Herbert, before their demo of hot smoked salmon sourdough bagels.
The demo was full of fun and hilarity as well as the food.
This beautiful autumn display of mushrooms at the Carluccio’s stall caught my eye. Antonio Carluccio himself was also at the Festival doing demos, and I may have been a little bit distracted by the fact he was sitting along from me down the front row during the Herbert brothers’ demo – Italian gastronomy royalty and all that.
I also picked up some delicious macarons from In Love with Macarons before heading home laden with bags of food! The Woking Food and Drink Festival takes place annually in September, if you are nearby I highly recommend you visit.
Many thanks to Woking Food and Drink Festival for inviting me to the media preview of the show. All views are my own.