Oxford Foodie Festival

The Foodies Festival has been at South Parks this bank holiday weekend. A mixture of artisan producers, food vans, drinks tents, food and drink masterclasses, and local Michelin-starred chefs giving demonstrations, there is plenty to keep you and your taste buds occupied for the day.  It’s easy to spend a few hours sampling different varieties of cheese, oil and vinegar, confectionery, bread, jam and spreads, hot drinks, olives, cured meats, and many more delicious things I am sure I’ve forgotten. Not to forget the drinks (perhaps we were fighting a losing battle sampling these) wines from Bordeaux, Burgundy and Portugal, flavoured vodkas, home-made liqueurs, and top quality rum.

The masterclasses are additionally noteworthy. Included in the entry ticket, although first-come first-serve, we had an opportunity to attend a ‘champagne masterclass’, where we tasted five glasses of fizz from different champagne houses, to highlight the difference between different styles and grape proportions used. Having attended a good number of wine tastings, this one was very informative, and I learnt a good deal. There were many masterclasses on offer, such as wine tastings from Casillero Del Diablo, ‘traditional Jamaican street food’ with The Backyard Company, and ‘indulgent cakes’ with Outsider Tart, so whatever your food interests are, there’s a lot to take away.

With respect to the stalls, we found a few particularly interesting producers. The Well Hung Meat Company are a home-delivery meat company, selling meat from organic farms, and, as the name suggests, hanging it properly to let it mature. They vacuum bag the meat so it keeps longer, and deliver more sporadically, like once a month, with a customised box of different cuts and types of meat. We tasted some of their beef, and it really was good, so there’s a box with our name on it coming soon. Another producer was Demijohn, who source liqueurs from small producers, such as chocolate orange cream liqueur, or rhubarb vodka. But it was their bottles that got us excited, with many strange shapes and sizes, and they would write whatever you want on the glass as well- a great Christmas present, for sure. Lastly was a shop that had just moved to Little Clarendon Street in Oxford just a few days ago, The Oxford Pantry. They stock a lot of stylish cookware and homeware, so similarly, some great gift ideas there; we’ll be sure to check out their new location.

There’s still one day left to check it out (tickets £10, or £8 concessions)- if you are looking to find something something fun to do for the bank holiday, or just a day off from studies, it’s a great place to spend an afternoon. If you’ve missed it, though, they’ll probably be back this time next year. Or, you can check out some other food festivals- the BBC Good Food Show is coming to London and Birmingham in a couple of months, or Jamie Oliver is hosting a joint music and food festival near Kingham, Oxfordshire at the end of this week. And if those don’t suit, there are probably many food events like Farmers’ Markets going on in your local area as well.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Georgina@RubyWeddings
    Aug 27, 2012 @ 09:42:34

    I’ve been to the Foodies Festival for 3 years in a row and it gets better each year – keep an eye out for discount vouchers nearer the time next year, we paid just £9 through groupon for 2!
    Demijohn told me that they are hoping to open a store in Oxford next year too – watch this space!


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