Mainly ups, but some downs. Then I read this article thanks to my best friend, Jodie, and things seemed to gain a little perspective. If you haven’t yet read it, I urge you to. I think it’s applicable to most people. It’s addressed “To Anyone Who Thinks They’re Falling Behind In Life” but is a particular good read if you’re possibly, potentially, maybe having a brief ‘mid-twenties’ crisis. You’re welcome.
A highlight of this week, without a shadow of a doubt, was curry night at my old man’s. It’s also his birthday today – so shout out to Pete and happy birthday from your number one favourite blogger, Sophie’s Scran!
Dad loves curry. He always has done, always will do. His recent stint living in north Manchester and desire to take a ‘healthier’ approach to eating curry almost daily, saw him ditch the takeways and has started making his own from scratch instead.
Inspired by a cookbook he got this Christmas (Atul Kochhar’s Curries of the World), he’s been experimenting will all sorts of new, authentic Indian flavours and techniques. So on Wednesday he made Atul’s British chicken tikka masala complete with homemade chapatis and chickpea dhal. Served with wholespice infused basmati rice. We even tweeted a picture to the twice Michelin starred man himself (Atul, that is), and he kindly tweeted back with his approval. Well done, Dad!
Sticking with the positives, we are dog-sitting this week for Brad’s parents. It’s so lovely to have their staffy/collie cross, Vinnie, with us this week. We took him on a three hour trek around Tatton Park yesterday, which also gave me the opportunity to browse their food offerings…
In the Housekeeper’s Store they sell all sorts of fancy local ingredients including venison reared on site. I’m making a Moroccan tagine for friends next week, so picked up some mutton, which I thought might be nice instead of lamb. All will be revealed next week!
In the meantime, here’s a cute picture of Vinnie absolutely living the dream after his walk!
Have YOU had a good week? I sure hope so. Happy Sunday, anyway.
Being a Cheshire-based food blogger can often be tricky, as it’s such a large space to try and cover. So, when an event like the Foodies Festival happens pretty much on your doorstep, there’s no way you can pass up the opportunity to go see what’s happening.
The weather was pretty good for a start – a little windy, sometimes sunny, sometimes overcast, but most importantly, no rain! A short drive from my house in Mobberley, and we arrived at Tatton Park – one of Cheshire’s most beautiful and scenic country parks, complete with freely roaming deer and sheep along the main pathway approaching the far-end of the park.
The Foodie’s Festival is located near to the parks’ wonderful kids fair and play area. On arrival we were greeted by smiling faces and a free sample of Stella Artois’s fruit flavoured Cidre with ice. It was refreshing, very tasty and got us straight in the mood to start the rounds by heading down the left-hand-side of the festival (where all the bars are!)
This year they had a lovely Pimm’s bar which was shaped like a big red teapot, and the usual big red London bus bar serving a great range of drinks at reasonable prices (£3.50 for a Rekorderlig cider with ice, £4 for a glass of wine, and £4 for a pint). Just down the way was Sloe Motion gin bar serving some amazing sounding cocktails, a Kingfisher truck serving its classic Indian beer, and a gorgeous Festival-style tent called The Cider House, which specialised in Somerset ciders as well as some unusual options such as an Italian cider called Montano (cider with Prosecco). Each bottle of the Montano bought (for £3.50) included a free black plastic tumbler, so I was sold, and it tasted fantastic!
It wasn’t too long before we were ready to eat. Being a huge fan of Curried Goat (admittedly there are not enough places where you can get it in Cheshire), Bradley’s Dad went for the Curry Goat with salad and Rice and Pea from ‘Big Bird Catering’. The goat was tender and the curry was packed full of flavour. The rice and peas were delicious too, and the guys gave me a sneak-peak of their special – Jerk Pork chops, which I must say looked amazing! They were absolutely huge for a start, as you can see (pictured below, top right). They also had some great smelling Jerk Chicken on the charcoal BBQ and were serving it all up alongside a cup of freshly squeezed orange juice. A nice group of guys, very friendly and serving food for the soul. It was great to meet them. ❤
Bradley and I can be indecisive at times, especially when surrounded by so many epic food options. But, when you know, you know, and we certainly had one of those ‘eureka’ moments when we came across Rad Burger Co‘s gorgeous little burger stall in the middle of the festival. They specialise in burgers using top quality, ethically-sourced produce from Kent (where they are based).
We both went for their “RAD BEEF” a 5 oz ground chuck steak patty with grilled halloumi, smoked streaky bacon, rocket, mango chutney and garlic mayonnaise. They also had lamb, pork and veggie options which to be honest all sounded equally as delicious and epic, but the beef one really caught our attention. The beef patty was tender, slightly pink, the bacon was juicy and thickly sliced and the halloumi cheese was, well, perfectly grilled halloumi ❤
The bun was soft and topped with poppy seeds which looked great and added a slightly crunchier texture than standard sesame seeded buns. The mango chutney was new to us (on a burger), but equally intriguing, but it added a soft sweetness that complemented the juicy meat and salty cheese/bacon perfectly. Just wow. We teamed it with a portion of their Rosemary Fries and ate every last bit. In my opinion, this was street-food burgers at their absolute best!
After letting our burgers go down a little, we were ready for a bit more shopping. A stall we were recommended was Continental Cottage who sell specialist German salamis, which get imported from Germany so are authentic, and really, really delicious! I couldn’t find their website (oddly), but we got a selection of 7 different varieties for £10 which I thought was excellent value. We were able to try before we bought too, which I always like to do, if possible.
Next up was a cup of tea. And possibly a slice of cake. We had spotted Daisy’s Vintage Tea Room on the first walk around the festival, and certainly didn’t spot anywhere else nearly as inviting to stop for a cuppa and a slice of cake, so we went back to get our fix. Serving up lovely English tea in bone China cups and saucers and an array of British classics, such as homemade scones with fresh clotted cream & jam and Victoria sponge cake. We tried both of these (pictured, below) and they were both delightful. The Lemon Drizzle cake however was really disappointing, it was so dry and not all that lemony at all. The dog liked it though!
After fixing our sweet tooth, we were done. We had tried some excellent food and honestly couldn’t squeeze in another morsel. So, it was on to a few more ciders in the sunshine whilst we people watched. We also ended up doing a LOT of dog watching too, as there seemed to be lots more canines there this time compared to last year… Including ours.
A few other noteworthy stalls were the Cooperative’s offering of Procecco & Pizza for just £4 – with all proceeds going to charity. It was good to see one of the big names there doing their bit, and it seemed to be quite a popular choice. The pizza did look lovely.
A further stall I want to mention, but didn’t get chance to eat from was World Food Cafe. Having done a little research, it turns out they are one of the street-food offerings of Plymouth-based event company “Main Event SW“. Their ‘Award winning saffron-infused chicken with all the salad, in a wrap for £8″ was going down an absolute storm. By about 2.30pm, the queue was unbelievably long, so I went over to take a few snaps to see what all the fuss was about! Pictured below (from left to right) is their saffron-infused chicken, the guys on their stall very hard at work and their beautiful array of salads.
A lovely lady who we were sat close to let me take a photo of her epic looking wrap, which was so nice of her and she probably thought I was a bit of a weirdo. Anyway, I’m really glad I did because this photo alone inspired my next recipe post. As we were too full-up to try one at the festival, I decided to recreate my own version at home that evening, a quick and simple version which you can literally knock-up in no time. Watch this space, foodies!