This winter (27th November-1st December 2013) saw Brian Turner, Frances Quinn, James Martin, Lisa Faulkner and Natalie Coleman opening the doors of the NEC for the 23rd year running of The BBC Good Food Show in Birmingham. The nation’s biggest food event really had something for everyone, no matter their age, budget, or dietary requirements. Present were a selection of well-known brands, the opportunity to discover new local and regional produce of the finest quality, dining equipment, cooking accessories and appliances, demonstrations, live cooking (featuring over 50 chefs and experts), book signings, free samples, and Christmas decorations.
What we liked:
I really liked the Christmas feel to the place – with things not only to decorate the arena but also to buy and inspire this festive season. Of course this encompassed smell too – as well as taste with some of the samples, or opportunities to buy.
Again I liked that there were things for all budgets – I picked up some fantastic metal cookie cutters at a bargain price! Of course the best bit was the demonstrations – of how to make things from Christmas figures to Christmas meals.
M&S Christmas Theatre
This beautifully set theatre was very festive and inviting. With a tasty sample as we waited for the live cooking to begin it also gave the opportunity to have a rest. There were tips on how to prepare for Christmas, how M&S can help, and of course a fantastic Christmas pudding alternative recipe.
We really liked having the opportunity to sample things (and really enjoy) that we may have not otherwise tried.
We came away with a very nice jar of Hot Chilli and Red Pepper Chutney from The English Provender Co – who did them in gorgeous gift bags too. Knowing how hard my husband can be to buy for I think this would make a great stocking filler idea. They are also running a competition to celebrate the release of Downton Abbey Series 4:
1st prize: A luxury weekend at Stoke Park, Europe’s leading 5 star Country Club, Spa & Hotel.
- Two nights’ accommodation in a Mansion or Pavilion room
- Enjoy a three course dinner on both evenings
- Full English or Continental breakfast each day
- Use of health and racquet facilities
- Two £90 spa vouchers
- Luxury Stoke Park hand-selected chocolate box
- A basket of seasonal fresh fruit
Runners up prizes: Runners up could win 1 of 10 copies of Downton Abbey Series 4 DVD & a hamper stuffed full of The English Provender Co. goodies.
I love dinosaurs so it was good to see some about the place – especially as one belonged to local business Cotswold Gold Oils, I’m sure that these would have been great at entertaining small children who had attended (as well as all the great food). At this point I’d like to mention the plenty of seating areas and well-kept toilets – very important to me, especially if the children had have come with me.
I particularly liked how inspiring the day was to help with improving our diets. Love Sweet Potatoes say that nutritional reports show that sweet potatoes are full of anti-oxidants which aid anti-aging as well as providing slow-releasing carbohydrate. They are a great source of soluble fibre, and are high in vitamins A & c, and beta-carotene. So how great is it that they’ve made them into crisps for me to munch on!
Another healthy snack without realising as much because they tasted so great are Munchy seeds – honestly I had to restrict my children from having too many, even then 2 420g tubs were gone within a couple of days. Both of our tubs were sunflower and pumpkin seeds – which I had previously tried to encourage consumption to no avail.
It was good to meet and discover Alupro who specialising in metal recycling – and help us to think about recycling our metal packaging more and realise that every can counts. They say that every drinks can you recycle could be back on sale as another can in as little as six weeks.
My advice would be to know what you want to visit and plan your day a little if you can. We didn’t really get to see much of The Great British Bake Off Village ;where fans of the show The Great British Bake off were in for a treat with winners and contestants from the hit TV show baking their favourite dishes. This area was devoted to all things baking and also the opportunity for afternoon tea. Nor did we visit The Supertheatre, (which was sponsored by Tesco finest*) where tickets could be purchased on the door for a standard seat, so missed out on James Martin, The Hairy Bikers, Paul Hollywood & Mary Berry.
The BBC Good Food Show returns in the Summer and runs 12 – 15 June, NEC, Birmingham
Advance ticket prices start at £24.25 and please check the website for more details bbcgoodfoodshowsummer.com
The BBC Good Food Shows are organised and presented by River Street Events Ltd
The GoodFood word mark and logo are trademarks of BBC Worldwide Limited. Copyright 2013 BBC Worldwide Limited
Bloggers are a great source of food inspiration. Why not check out these bloggers’ posts:
I received a Press Pass for myself and a Plus one to attend the BBC Good Food Show 2013. All thoughts and opinions are my own.