Foodies Festival @ Hampton Court

Spent most of bank holiday Sunday at the Foodies Festival in Hampton Court.  They are set up at  different locations throughout the year.  There is going to be one in Edinburgh for example during the Edinburgh Festival in August. Foodies focuses on seasonal food and drink, specialty and local produce and local restaurant talent.

The weather was good, always a real bonus at this type of event. The show itself is not as big or as well attended as Taste, but I have to admit I prefer this one. Very few queues,  space to see what you want to see, easy access to tables and chairs.

We attended several sessions at the Chefs Theatre, including  the one from Gary Lee of The Ivy, who made a real point of stating that he was not a celebrity chef.  The highlight here though, had to be Katie & Giancarlo Caldesi of Caffe Caldesi. Katie had been on Saturday Kitchen the previous day and there was some hilarity as she compared cooking with James Martin to cooking with her husband. The BBC missed a trick not having them both on together. They are a great double act.

There were unfortunately not too many top restaurant stands.  Benares was the most high profile one. However there were some very good small stands.  They included Lauden, one of my favorite chocolatiers, Doughmasters who made lovely club sandwiches using bread that was baked while you wait (not something you see often) and a stand selling Whoopie Pies – the trend following on from Cup Cakes,  I had a maple syrup one, delicious.

On the drinks front, Joe Wadsack at the Cordorniu wine presentation was very good. He is a real raconteur. The El Dorado Rum tasting was fun and the champagne supplied by Eminent Wines (pictured), much to my surprise, really cut through a spicy Jamaican Pattie I had just eaten. So yes maybe good Champagne does go with everything.

Will definitely try and do this event again next year.

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Theo Randall – at the InterContinental Park Lane

I discovered Theo Randalls cooking a few years back at the  Taste of London – Food Festival, so I was looking forward to something quite special when I visited his restaurant at the InterContinental Hotel, especially since the restaurant has 3 AA Rosettes.


We went for “the cheap option”, i.e., a pre-theatre deal.  Thinking that might be an easy way to check out the Restaurant.

I really do not understand it when quality restaurants let themselves down at this stage.  My view is that if they make the cheap deal appetising, I am going to want to go back and try more of the menu.

Theo Randalls pre theatre menu was really basic, the pasta was not very exciting and actually a bit messy.

In fact the excitement was just outside the window next to our table, the Paparazzi were there covering some award ceremony in the Ballroom. On the plus side this  meant we got good service, as the staff kept popping over to have a look 😉

Marks out of 10

Food 4

Service 6

Ambience 5

Theo Randall on Urbanspoon


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