BBC Good Food Show – Olympia – 9 November 2012
After months of excitement leading to the build up to the BBC Good Food show London, the day finally arrived as a drizzly, gray autumn morning. The train was surprisingly quiet up to London, however, that would change at Olympia, where as usual London Transport were offering a limited service to Olympia (knew I should have taken the overground from Clapham Junction), twenty minutes waiting and as every new train arrived, more excited visitors poured on to Platform 4 until I began to worry about health and safety! Honestly, London Transport needs to sort this situation out better during events!
Happily, once I arrived at Olympia the sky had brightened up and the rain had departed. I remember the very first show, which was held in a hall at the back of Earls Court, so it is lovely to see how big it has grown. Olympia is a lovely building, very bright and airy, so much better to wander around in good light, rather than the gloom you sometimes get in exhibition halls.
I had a quick wander around to get my bearings for a more thorough investigation later. However, did mange a cheese tasting and an Irish Coffee before taking my seat in the Supertheatre for Brian Turner. The introduction was made by a newly svelte Olly Smith, who has lost a considerable amount of weight this year. Brian Turner was he’s usual jovial self, showing us first how to pickle herring before setting light to a piece of paper, then the herring! He set about showing us three recipes, the herring recipe, a sole recipe and one with kidneys and chipolata sausages. It was great sitting and being part of the experience. Later I stood at the side and watched the Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry banter as they made iced buns, ah memories from my childhood.
Next, I returned to the stalls, with artisan producers showing of their produce, most not available in your local supermarket. I loved discussing cookery school options with the Caldesi’s staff, all very knowledgeable on their subject. I sampled some Greek Feta, chilli sauces and spicy curry mixes. The quality of the produce was amazing and the fiery chilli sauce left me speechless, not something that happens often. There are many stalls selling hog roast, sausage rolls and sausage in buns, but for a more upmarket experience, buy some credit and enjoy the restaurant experience upstairs. The Restaurant Experience brings the best in the restaurant scene, such as the Blue Elephant, Kensington Place and The Bowler. You will also find the Wine Experience on the upper level as well. Pay £2.00 deposit for your wine glass and have a stroll around the many stalls, tasting wine from various regions. I particularly enjoyed the wine from the Stellenbosch. For spirits head downstairs to taste Toffee Vodka, Gin, Crabbies and Chocolate Liqueur. I tried them for you and can confirm their yumminess. I even parted with money to purchase Tipples Brandy and Amaretto to go in my festive coffee.
Next year I would like to attend as an exhibitor, but would recommend adding this to your foodie calendar.
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