Holyrood Park played host to the annual Edinburgh Foodies Festival this past weekend. The event finished on Sunday, having ran for three days. When the weather is good (and it was really very good on Sunday) the Edinburgh Foodies Festival is a perfect way to spend a lazy day sitting on the grass, while enjoying a tremendous selection of food and drink. The entry fee to the Foodies Festival is Â£10 per person, but that could be halved by using a 2-4-1 code if booking in advance. It’s worth bearing in mind that food and drink must be purchased separately. The entrance ticket is good for entry on all three days, so like many folk did, you can come and go as often as you please. Overall I really can’t pick fault with the Edinburgh Foodies Festival - it was a lovely day out.
There were three tents at the Foodies Festival: chefs’ theatre, food masterclass and drinks masterclass. On the Sunday we saw two great demonstrations in the chefs’ theatre. First off was Geoffrey Smeddle from the recently Michelin starred Peat Inn. He cooked a summery halibut dish, with tomatoes and gnocchi. Subsequently Stephen K Amos cooked a paella, albeit with a little help. This was very funny, with Stephen throwing in a few of his favourite jokes and generally just being a nice guy; chatting and jesting with the crowd. I managed to sample the fruits of his labour, which was heavy on quality ingredients, strong on taste but hot enough to burn a hole through your tongue! Tim Vine had cooked his scrambled eggs with broccoli the day before, which I imagine would have been equally funny. Unfortunately many folk were understandably confused by the ticketing arrangements - you had to queue up at the registration point by the entrance, to pick up free tickets for the events (first come, first served). An outdoor stage provided the musical soundtrack for the hordes of folk drinking their pimms, sampling their champagne or guzzling a pint of beer.
Despite all the cookery demonstrations, The Foodies Festival is all about trying food for yourself. And that’s going to cost you. Thankfully everything is sensibly priced. My favourites included:
- a high quality pork & jalapeno pepper (a.k.a. The Hot Duchess) sausage barbecued by the Great British Sausage Company (Â£4)
- an Arbroath smokie from the multi-award winning Arbroath Smokies. Although it was disappointing they completely “soled out” early on the Sunday
- a lovely small piece of gluten and wheat free battered haddock (Â£1.50) from the owners of the Land & Sea Fish & Chip Shop in Polmont
- one of the best, and largest, chocolate brownies I’ve ever tasted from Linlithgow’s Patisserie Dujardin (Â£1.40)
A tremendous range of food was on offer and the Edinburgh Foodies Festival is a great opportunity for tourists to sample a wide range of British and international cuisine. One of the largest food stalls was, amongst other offerings, selling prawns and paella from humongous pans. We’d have tried some of their noodles, but the serving staff were ignorant, so we headed elsewhere. The Foodies Festival seemed light on free samples, although we did manage a minute glass of strawberry cider and some rum and raisin fudge. Many stalls were selling their own products, including Anne Hempstock, who unsuccessfully pitched her Cream Cutie liqueur on Dragons’ Den.
Here are some of The Edinburgh Blog’s videos from the 2010 Edinburgh Foodies Festival:
- Stephen K Amos cooking his paella, while engaging in some audience banter
- A 360 degree view of the Edinburgh Foodies Festival
The Edinburgh Foodies Festival 2010 was held at Edinburgh’s Holyrood Park, 13th-15th August. Watch out for next year’s event - if the weather is good, it’s an essential visit.