Everyone loves a food Festival and last weekend there were two right on my doorstep.
I live in Christchurch so headed to the Christchurch Quay on Bank Holiday Thursday, I love watching the kitchen demonstrations and normally see some familiar faces. This year was no exception Dhruv Baker former winner of BBC MasterChef and co founder of Tempus Food and James Golding Chef Director of The Pig Group of hotels.
I'm a big fan of local producers so headed to the Hampshire Fare tent and visited a few other local favourites first.
Starting with the lovely Tracy Thew from New Forest Shortbread who loves to bake, her delicious decorative boxed shortbread can be found in many hotels and holiday cottages around the forest.
Brothers Harry and Will own Two Fields Zakros, olive oil, grown, picked and cold pressed in Zakros, Crete. If you have a moment have a look at their website and read how they came to be selling olive oil. I was so pleased to learn that Two Fields is now being used by the Pig Group of hotels, obviously a sign of it's quality product.
Mavrik was a new product for me but one I shall be finding out more about in the near future.
Shanty Spirit - based in Poole, small batch Organic vodka with five hand foraged organic British seaweeds.
I met Belen of Whimsical Forager Liqueurs back in February 2021 and loved her products they can be enjoyed neat over ice, in a cocktail or added to a dessert.
La Patisserie Macaron - handcrafted Parisian macarons made by Steve a former chef with over 15 years experience. Delicious, click the link below if you want to see more of his work.
Deelicious chilli jams were created in 2015 and since then has won several prestigious awards, alongside the spicy jams you can now buy from a collection of spice rubs, perfect for those bbq evenings.
Dorset Tea of course needs no introduction.
If you want to find any of these producers the links are below.
A couple of other stalls worth a mention Carribean Store who import goods from Barbados, St Lucia and Greneda - their sauces, syrups and rum cake were delicious. Interestingly all of the products arrive with the weekly banana delivery.
The other that caught my attention was Mighty Spice - pre blended spice mixes that only require you to add vegetable or protein and cook with water. I tried the chicken and chick pea versions and thought they were really good. Oh, I almost forgot the Truffle Guys products looked really good too but I forgot to go back to purchase some truffle dust.
Poole Seafood Festival
Saturday we caught the train to Poole to visit the Poole Seafood Festival, first stop the demo kitchen, thankfully just in time to catch Giuseppe Sinaguglia from The Olive Tree Cookery School demonstrating his sea bass dish. If you are interested in attending a cookery/ foraging class check out the website for available dates.
Our next stop was to see our friend Ricky Knowlton who was running the Harbour View pop up restaurant for the weekend, Ricky owns Ricky's in Southbourne we are regular visitors especially for his Chimichurri steak and dirty fries.
We opted for the The Dogs Pollocks and Nippers, both up to Rickys usual standard (naughty and delicious).
Da Vincis were serving a wonderful selection of seafood in addition to their usual restaurant offering, it was so lovely to see the restaurants spilling out onto the music filled streets, you just can't beat eating outside in the sunshine.
We popped into Tin of Sardines Gin Bar for a quick drink in the sunshine before returning home, the bar has one of the most impressive selections of gin I've ever seen and has been on my to do list for a while. Be warned it may take longer to choose than drink the drink it.
All the pubs and shops seemed to busy with people enjoying the food and extended Jubilee Festivities, let's hope they all had a bumper weekend to start the summer season.
Bring on the festival season.