A Personal Look at Leicester’s Fifth Annual Summer Food & Drink Festival

June 2, 2014

It’s been an exciting couple of days what with the new indoor market opening on Friday and of course Leicester’s Summer Food and Drink Festival on Sunday.

I never tire at events such as this because of the sheer amount of good grub that is on offer and the frenzy of wide eyed excited shoppers that flock to festivals like this. As a foodie these festivals are an oasis of amazing food, and I tend to act like a child in a toy shop; rummaging, poking, tasting and getting involved and probably getting in peoples way.

IMG_4598This year was no exception. I arrived at around 12 – it was busy of course (as it is every year) and the smells only served to tempt my already salivating palate. Trying to work my way through the bustling crowds towards the tempting treats was probably the hardest thing, but the turnout was a joy to see.

Andy Bates was there doing a cooking demo, a traditional Brazilian pork and beans brunch called feijao tropeiro, which looked delicious.  All the vendors were friendly and approachable, offering little tasters of their wares, from infused loose teas, cakes and spices to organically reared meats and even goat curry pasties were on offer. Given the chance I would have eaten my way through the entire place.

There was a section at the far end of the festival cordoned off and policed by a man in a high vis jacket.  Of course it was the obligatory drinks zone, and walking inside felt like I was in some sort of exclusive club. They had all sorts of local ales, beers and ciders on offer and also a stall selling beer making kits which – had I remembered to go back – I would have bought one, but that’s my memory for you.

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The biggest joy for me was to see was just how busy it was, that to me is the ultimate prize, seeing gleaming faces chomping on great food, sauce on fingers and crumbs on laps, it’s the sound of people laughing and the chinkle of money exchanging hands between customer and vendor. The people of Leicester clearly love their food and milling about it all and watching little food memories unfold before my very eyes will always stick with me. A fantastic year yet again, and a big thank you to those that orchestrated this behind the scenes, you did our city proud.