Finally it was here (and I’m not talking about the sun) but the Edinburgh Foodies Festival. Now in its 10th year, the festival was bigger than ever and promised to be the a spectacular event. It did not disappoint.
We set off early as I had a feeling it would be busy given this was shaping up to be the first nice weekend weather wise in a long while. It paid off as when we arrived at half 10 it was relatively quiet and there were no queues.
We headed in and immediately we were served with some tasters of Stella Artois Cidre in delicious summer flavours such as peach and elderflower. I like cider but often find it can be quite sweet and heavy but these ones were really light. Which helped me justified having two samples so early on a Sunday morning!
However, it seemed the drinks stalls were all situated at the entrance so after half an hour I’d sampled gin, vodka, cider and liqueurs so we called it quits and decided to head further for some food and to make me not feel so bad for consuming so many alcoholic samples so early in the morning.
The festival was very well laid out with a ring of stalls round the outside and rows in the middle. We didn’t want to miss anything so strategically we started at one end and worked our way up and down the rows.
The festival had a great atmosphere and the venders were all willing to let you taste some of their samples. We stopped first at a little stall selling packet sauces and after sampling a few we were away with our first purchase.
It was great to see a real mix of vendors, some local and well loved names were spotted alongside unknown stalls from around the country to the big name brands. Of the food biggies, I loved Vita Coco’s stand. I’m a long time user of coconut oil but had never thought to add it to popcorn, no salt or sugar needed it was so tasty and in my book it definitely counts as a healthy snack. A lot of the stalls were offering special deals, Vita Coco included so away I went with my cute little popcorn tub and a giant jar of coconut oil.
As expected, there was also a strong presence of Scottish seafood at the festival and I managed to sample a fair amount of it. The best stall by far was there to promote Scottish fishing and local produce. I’m a huge seafood eater but CB is definitely not. As we walked past we were offered some of the crab tortellini with a crab bisque. I wolfed it down it two seconds as the chef was asking CB if he wanted to try some. Well the chef was up for a challenge so as CB said he wasn’t in to seafood we got the works to try and convince him including a dressed crab (I always have mixed views about this, I love the sweet white meat but I’m not a fan of the brown meat), a couple of crab claws and a few more bits of the tortellini. Well CB did a good job at trying everything but it wasn’t for him so I got left will all the samples. The crab tortellini was absolutely delicious and really reminds me of a prawn risotto I used to make with a prawn bisque and that I need to start making it again.
There was also an oyster stall and after tasting some for the first time at the beginning of the year I’ve been hooked so this was a done deal. Just going for one, as they were pretty large and we still had lots of eating to do, they shucked them as you ordered. They tasted so fresh and delicious. I like mine with a tiny bit of tobasco and a squeeze of lemon.
Lastly, we sampled some lobster mac and cheese curtsey of the Edinburgh Catering Company. They were offering up a great selection of meals using Scottish produce including fish tacos and Cullen skink (a delicious cream soup with potatoes and smoked haddock to my non Scottish readers).
There were of course a great selection of sweets treats there too and we sampled many chocolatey brownies, sweet fudge and chewy macarons. I picked a selection up from the highly acclaimed Mademoiselle Macaron in rose, gin, earl grey and elderflower flavours. I’ve been meaning to stop by their place for a while so it was nice having them come to us. (Having demolished them that evening I can confirm they were chewy morsels of deliciousness.)
We finished off by heading back to the alcohol stands and enjoyed a lovely couple of glasses of gin fizz from Edinburgh Gin, sampling all the flavours rhubarb and ginger, elderflower and raspberry. Even with my love for all this elderflower it was hard to pick a winner!
Foodies Festival is back in Edinburgh for their Christmas festival and no doubt will return in the summer next year. Make sure you follow @foodiesfestival on Twitter so you don’t miss out!
Not wanting to miss out on the first weekend of the festival, we headed into the Royal Mile for a (slow) wander past all the performers. As if we hadn’t already eaten enough we finished up our great weekend with a small bite to eat in my favourite Italian street food eatery, Civerinos. Yes, than my friends is an Aperol slush, you are welcome.
I was provided with 4 tickets to the festival by Lanyard Media. All opinions are my own.