Food festival alert! Time to fill your face in the sunshine…

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Stunningly pretty hot day? Check.

Food festival in the lovely Highgate area of London? Check.

Dozens of stalls and trucks touting all kinds of familiar, new and trending foods? Check.

With 9 different locations nationwide, the Foodies Festival bills itself as the UK’s largest celebration of food and drink so when an offer appeared on Groupon for discounted tickets, it seemed rude not to take advantage of it. Cue a fabulous, early summer day in one of London’s green and leafiest areas and an opportunity to enjoy time spent among fellow foodies who were both selling and sampling the smorgasbord of culinary offerings at Kenwood House.

A bar aboard a London Routemaster? I actually didn’t think I could love those old buses anymore but throw a bar on board, park it next to a Masterchef double decker and hello? You just managed to improve on old-school transport perfection and for that, I applaud and thank you.

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As well as plenty of opportunities to purchase ready-to-eat food, there were also lots of places to buy things to take home and use such as this overflowing herb garden where blooms of familiar basil and sage nestled side by side with the more unknown apple mint and lemon verbena. Optimistically, I bought basil, rosemary and apple mint. Sadly, my skills in the kitchen have yet to translate to the garden and my little herby children are no longer with us. Honestly, every time I try and every time they end up in that big herb garden in the sky…I’m like the Hannibal Lecter of the herb world…

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As a sucker for anything sweet, a pretty little stand with a) bunting, b) bite size treats and c) the words gluten free, organic and condensed milk all in the same vicinity was always going to attract me and the super cute and lovely London Brigaderia three wheeler van ticked all those boxes.

I have a deep, geeky appreciation for learning about new foodstuffs and if they have a charming story behind them, all the better. Brigadeiros are traditional Brazilian sweets named after Eduardo Gomes, a dashing brigadier who in 1945 ran for the presidency. To celebrate his single status and easy-on-the-eye appearance, a group of ladies made these sweets to sell and raise funds for his campaign. Sadly, Senor Gomes lost the election but the tiny treat remained popular and was named ‘brigadeiro’ in his honour.

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Well you can see how hard it was for me to sample these but you know, on behalf of the blog and all, that’s exactly what I forced myself to do…coconut, strawberry and cream, white chocolate and blueberry and chocolate.

Undeniably sweet, these mouthfuls are the perfect size because anything bigger would tiptoe into sickly territory; dense and silky and almost ganache and truffle like in texture with the fruit flavour shooting through the luscious creamy chocolate, I could see these being the ideal after dinner treat or the perfect accompaniment to a flute of chilled Prosecco…

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I was excited to see this Vegan Soda Bread stand here because it was something I recognised from the Partridges Fine Food Market as being totally creative and utterly delicious. If you’re the kind of person who views vegan baked goods with more than a hint of suspicion, I understand. It’s acquired a slightly negative reputation through the years as being free of fat and sadly, free of flavour. Fear not though, because this lady knows. Her. Stuff. Strawberry champagne vegan soda bread…sounds all kinds of confusing doesn’t it? Tastes all kinds of good though…moist, dense and crumbly with juicy berry flavour and just a hint of bubbles…

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If you want something a little out of the ordinary, how about creating your liquid nitrogen ice-cream or sorbet in a matter of minutes? Or hiring your own champagne and strawberries minivan to add a touch of vintage glam to a wedding or birthday? All the brides to be in my life right now, you know I’m talking to you!

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One Pots from the Soulful Food Company offered deliciously hearty and healthy ‘square meals in round tubs’ with the butternut, lentil and spinach being one of four generous samples to try and proving to be equally filling and energizing while the AnySharp stand offered lively and personable demonstrations of the ‘world’s best knife sharpener’…well they worked on me because I walked away with one. Err, just to clarify I did pay for it, there was no case of my actually just walking away with one…

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With dates yet to take place over the summer in Bristol, Cheshire, Edinburgh, Battersea and Oxford, if you’re looking for a great day out where you can watch live demonstrations, make your mouth water with the sight and smell of various foods or simply take a blanket, get yourself an ice-cream and soak up something a bit different, you should really head over to http://foodiesfestival.com, find your nearest location and do all of the above…

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http://foodiesfestival.com

http://www.thelondonbrigaderia.com

http://www.soulfulfood.com/onepots-soulful-food.html#.U7mQsvldWSo

https://twitter.com/Bubbles_Berries

http://www.anysharp.com

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