Hello! How was your weekend? We had a long one here in the UK (and in the US) - John was watching the cricket at Lord's on Saturday and I tried to catch the last of Chelsea in Bloom (and totally failed, as it was raining and half of the floral displays had clumps of dirt trying to cling on for dear life), but on Sunday, we managed to squeeze in a few hours at the Foodies Festival in Syon Park before John had to leave for Helsinki on a business trip. I was super lucky and managed to score two tickets to the festival via a contest that Yelp was running on Twitter, so we made the hike from North London to the beautiful park in West London. I hadn't let anything pass my lips that morning, so by the time we reached the festival at 1 p.m., I had a major case of "hanger" - you know, hunger-induced anger (sorry, John!).
The vibe at the festival was buzzing - with families (and dogs!) abound. Despite the presence of a Pimm's tent, I had chicken drumsticks for eyes by this point, so I charged about aimlessly in search of the most filling, outrageous meal I could find ...
Handing out double-stuffed hot dogs from the window of a vintage 1966 Bedford camper van just might be the classiest version of a food truck that I've ever seen.
After wrangling with the unruly macaroni and cheese (with perfectly al dente pasta, I'll add!) and smashing down the delicous herbed pork sausage sandwiched between the brioche bun, my blood sugar levels still hadn't quite been restored, so I went charging around again in search of our next conquest, all at the same time yelling at John for not giving me enough time to take the photos I wanted (helpful, and not at all rude, right?).
After making a couple of loops around the festival, we finally settled on a stall that had quite an exciting looking menu (sadly, we missed out on the rainbow fries, but I'm still intrigued!):
The Wandering Bun's pork belly bun with Thai mayo and slaw filling looked downright mouthwatering. I watched them put together two of these famous buns before deciding that I needed one ASAP (sidenote: check out the sheer intensity of the mayo-squeezing down there ... I mean, I seriously need to adopt that level of concentration in the kitchen, rather than the haphazard aim-and-misfire method that I typically employ).
But the bun itself ... oh my goodness. Some seriously intense flavors, with an interesting tangy, chilli kick! That crunchy slaw was epic, btw.
But I skipped a step. In between "courses", I'd stopped by The Brownie Bar to ogle their selection of brownies. Question: when asked to choose between over 30 different flavors, including salted caramel, millionaire, lemon meringue blondie (!!!), and s'mores ... which would you go for?? I almost always pick salted caramel anything, so went with that in this instance.
We also bought one of these incredible brownie-stuffed cookies ... yep, you read that correctly: a brownie within a cookie.
It just had to be done. The brownie was lovely and gooey, encased by a soft and chewy chocolate chip cookie. Must. Find. Recipe.
By now, my blood sugar levels had satisfactorily restored themselves, but I couldn't help purchasing a little tub of toffee waffle hazlenut ice cream from Simply Ice Cream, which is based in Kent.
Throughout the day, there were food demonstrations being given by top chefs and cocktail-making masterclasses ... all which looked interesting and fun. If we had more time (and - let's be honest - had I been in less of a mission to quell my hanger), I might have sat down to participate. But I was too busy stuffing my face with brownie-cookies (or, "brown-kie", as someone suggested over on Instagram?) instead.
Honestly? I would have liked to see a few more adventurous recipes and items on the menu at the Foodies Festival - some were pretty run-of-the-mill items, such as hog roasts and paella. I think we're pretty spoiled with the food markets near us in Dalston/East London e.g. Broadway and Netil Markets in London Fields and Sunday (Up)Market near Brick Lane/Spitalfields.
What's the best food festival you've ever been to? I really liked Smorgasburg in Broolyn, which is self-described "flea food market", rather than a festival, though I've been to Bite of Seattle in the past, which was a lot of fun too (not to mention, free!).