Following the London Foodies Festival, Mahnoor Mahmood truly is a happy foodie.
Over the weekend, I went to the London Foodies Festival at the Old Truman Brewery in the heart of Brick Lane. The festival was actually quite hard to find, as many will know, Brick Lane is no easy place to make your way through! But after many laps around the area, I finally made it. As with any good food fest, the exhibition area was overwhelmingly packed with various stalls. Yet, exploring was made easier by the dividing of stalls into different areas; including, the Cake and Bake Theatre (my favourite!), the Festive Workshop, Street Food Arena and the Elf Workshop for children’s cooking.
On entering, I was greeted by a stall selling macaroons, with some delicious flavours like Caramelised Banana and Tiramisu. Another was selling (and giving free samples of) various flavours of chocolate and fudge. That pretty much set the tone for the rest of the day. As I continued my exploration of the festival, I found stalls selling baked desserts like cupcakes, vegan pies and gluten free brownies. There was even one completely dedicated to all things Carrot Cake-flavoured! One stall was selling vegan nut butters and their Cocoa Hazelnut tasted perfectly of Nutella, but without all the added sugar we all try to ignore. Some more were showcasing cheeses, whereas others were selling olive oil, vintage teas or cured meats. The choices were endless really, and the best part was that they all had free samples! You’d think small bites here and there wouldn’t make you full… but it slowly adds up, believe me.
The best element of the festival were the different workshops being held. My personal favourite was the Cake and Bake Theatre. Unfortunately, I didn’t make it on the day this year’s Bake-Off Champion, Candice Brown, was presenting (sigh), however, the other presentations were amazing nonetheless. I saw the ‘Burlesque Baker’, Charlotte White, prepare three tier carrot cakes and chocolate fudge cakes that tasted amazing. That’s right, we got to sample everything at the end! I also learnt some useful cake and buttercream-making tricks that I’ll hopefully get to apply in the near future. Plus, in the Chefs Theatre I saw a presentation on the perfect roulade by top chef, Ed Baines. In the Festive Workshops everyone was given a chance to try activities essential for any perfect Christmas, including cupcake decorating and creating the perfect cheeseboard, as well as decorating pavlova wreaths too beautiful to describe (three words: Edible. Gold. Glitter).
All in all, the festival surpassed my expectations. Going in, I thought that I’d be spending only an hour or so, all but jumping around from stall to stall, then workshop to workshop. Actually, I managed to spend my entire day there! Needless to say, a foodie with a stomach full of free samples, a box of cupcakes to take home and new knowledge on cooking and baking, truly is a happy foodie.