23 Sep 2013

Sheffield Food Festival 2013

On Sunday Kyle and I went to the Sheffield Food Festival.  I'd been looking forward to it for ages, especially seeing as we weren't able to make it last year.  Luckily for us, it also coincided with our anniversary so made for a perfect day out.  It was also really warm and sunny, so warm that we had to go back home after we'd left to get changed into summer clothes so that we didn't end up melting.  The weather really couldn't have been any better.

We arrived really hungry, which you'd think would be perfect for a food festival, but we were both initially a little overwhelmed by the vast choice of food.  I was fully prepared for most of the dishes on offer to be very gluten based and as I can only tolerate a small amount, I had to keep my eyes peeled for food with as little as possible. I ended up stopping at the When The Boat Comes In stall run by the people from Showroom Café/Bar.  I went for queen scallop tempura and chips which were delicious.  A very light, crispy batter on the scallops and big, hand-cut chips served in a cone with a wedge of lemon. 

Kyle returned with a 100% beef doner kebab from the Lokanta stall, which is a mezze bar and Turkish restaurant. I had a little try of the filling and it was very yummy and Kyle literally wolfed it down, so quickly that I didn't even have time to photograph it.  Fully replenished, we set off to have a proper look at what was on offer.

The potting shed in the festival allotment was brilliant and really has me wanting a shed with a vegetable garden on top too!  They had courgettes, tomatoes, peppers, beans and lots of wild flowers to attract bees. There was also a working horse from Green Estate and some very gorgeous knitted pumpkins by Ruthie Ford.

Some of the produce on the stalls that we saw included preserves, artisan flavoured vodka, organic vegetables, rapeseed oils, chocolates, cakes, pastries and beer.  There were stalls selling curries, kebabs, pulled pork, barbecued exotic meats, curried goat, focaccia, super salads, venison, craft beer and cider.  

After taking in more of the stalls, we decided to get something sweet.  We felt we had to stop at Toms Fudge as it is run by fellow Loughborough University graduates, who started selling fudge at the local market whilst we were still studying there.  They are very inspiring and you can read more about their story here.  The fudge is also absolutely delicious!  We had some of the banoffee pie flavour and got a 'Loughborough' discount,  which was very generous.

By this point we (I say we, mainly Kyle) were peckish again.  Unfortunately, when exposed to so many food smells it's pretty hard not to want to eat more.  The warm weather had us gravitate towards the Whirlow Hall Farm Shop barbecue.  Kyle had a sausage sandwich with onions and ketchup and I had a hot dog which was essentially just half a sandwich.  I didn't eat the bread, but I thought asking for a sausage, onions and ketchup in a napkin would have been just a little bit weird.  Kyle ate my bread, this made him happier than it should have. The sausages were high welfare pork and really rather good!

Our next stop was Autumn Harvest Mushrooms.  I am a total lover of mushrooms and in fact I can remember when I went on holiday when I was nine, instead of ordering chicken nuggets and chips like my friend did, I ordered portobello mushrooms with cottage cheese and chives.  This was a bit weird apparently.  Anyway, the wonderful array of different wild and exotic mushrooms led me to buy the gourmet mixture and some truffle and porcini mushroom butter.  We actually ended up using it all for our dinner and it was amazing, but I will show you that in another post, or this one will be beyond mammoth.

We popped to the Spilt Milk mobile café so Kyle could have a cup of coffee.  I would have ordered some cake, however I was very distracted by a girl trying to purchase an iced coffee with a fifty pound note.  The mind boggles.

As we walked round the corner we saw James Morton who came runner up in The Great British Bake-Off, signing his new book.  The photo below does make me look like a bit of a creeper, but I promise that I wanted to get his photo just because of being such a fan of the show.  Ahem.

We then headed back to the Peace Gardens and listened to some of the live music whilst soaking up the sun.

We left with very happy tummies and having learned about so many different restaurants, shops and organisations in the Sheffield area.  I would highly recommend it to anyone as it was such a lovely day out and we will definitely be returning next year.  If you're not from near Sheffield, it is worth your while doing some research and seeing what food festivals are on in your local area.

I hope you enjoyed a slightly different (and a darn sight longer) post than the usual, as I'm just trying to mix things up a little bit.  Have a great day!


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