Food and a day in the sunshine? I am totally sold, which is what lead to me discovering the Essex Food Festival and putting the date straight in my diary. Sadly when the day rolled around (as is always the way with British summertime) it was raining, and so my sunshine dreams were dashed, but that certainly didn’t put any dampers on me and the hundreds of others enjoying the day!
Based at the Cressing Temple Barns, a local historic landmark I will admit to having had no knowledge about, the Essex Food Festival was back this year and bigger than ever. Set across the various barns, marquees and outside too there was simply so much local produce on offer that it was difficult to know where to start.
From rums, ciders and mojitos to gluten free cupcake mixes, fudge and spices – the festival certainly covered all angles. There were free samples a plenty which gave you the opportunity to try before you buy, something we miss out on when buying from our local supermarket. There were also many “show special offers” which meant you could purchase great quality products for much less than RRP!
Aside from the cheese, meat, marshmallow and many many other stalls that offered produce to take away with you, there was also a wide circle of stands offering hot food to eat there and then. From duck wraps, hog roasts, Caribbean dishes and so much more it really did leave you spoilt for choice – and making the decision to eat just one dish was pretty impossible.
I didn’t quite know what to expect in terms of size of the food festival, but I was pleasantly impressed. It occupied us for a good few hours, and we certainly would have spent more time there if the sunshine had been out to enjoy too. We purchased some delicious dairy free fudge, gluten free cupcake mixes and a few other bits that we have been greatly enjoying since. I will certainly be putting next year’s date in the diary!0