Foodie fun this weekend at Chequers Fest

If you’re looking for a fun, foodie event this weekend you can’t go far wrong with Chequers Fest, at The Chequers in Eversley Cross,  this Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st August.

Okay, so this is a little outside of Winchester but I have reason to believe it’s going to be great, so thought I’d share the news. The whole of the lovely village pub The Chequers will be given over to two days of fantastic live music, bars and artisan food and drink.

The Chequers Festival of Food & Drink 5 low res

I’m told that the focus for this year’s festival is Great British Produce, with a wonderful array of great home produced things to eat and drink on offer, as well as plenty of opportunities to roll your sleeves up and get stuck in.

The pub’s invited some great producers to be there for the festival, with plenty of delicious things to nibble and quaff and lots of free tasters on offer (who doesn’t love free tasters!?). There’s a chance to try some fabulous oysters from the Oyster Bar and some delicious regional cheeses.

The Chequers Festival of Food & Drink 6 low res

You can get creative and make your own sausages and fairy cakes in a series of foodie workshops for all the family. Then relax over a glass or two of local ale or something chilled from the bar. There will be live music from Off The Record from 2pm to 4pm on the day as well. Sunday is the day for dancing, cocktails and more delectable food. There’ll be a tasty hog roast available as well as the pub’s usual summer menu.

The Chequers Festival of Food & Drink 1 low res

“Once again we’ll be having some great British produce on offer at the festival and putting on an amazing day dedicated to the good stuff,” says Jordan Marr, general manager of The Chequers.

“We love serving the good stuff here in the pub and this is our way of sharing the best of it with you as well as bringing great live entertainment and fun for everyone over the weekend. Come along and enjoy it all and of course have a brilliant day out,” he adds.

Tickets for Chequers Fest cost £10 for adults and are valid for both days. Under 12’s go free.  As the festival takes over the entire pub for the weekend, entry to The Chequers is only possible with a ticket. Chequers Fest takes place from 12 noon to 4pm on Saturday 20th August and from 12pm to 8pm on Sunday 21st August. The Chequers, Eversley Cross, Hampshire, RG27 0NS. To book tickets or find out more  go to www.thechequerseversleycross.co.uk or call 01184 027065.

Advertisements

I’m alive!

Long_Tumbleweed

^ This is a pretty accurate picture to represent FoodTeaLife of late – but exciting things are a foot and I do plan to post soon!

My last post saw me talking about my clean eating vs. calorie counting dilemma, after receiving comments and messages in response to this I decided to make a go of clean eating. So over the last few weeks have been busy trying out and coming up with my own recipes for cleaner eating, all whilst staying within the 5:2 diet where possible (not easy!). Of course, Easter and bit of a chocolate-feast has got in the way of things a little – but I hope to have recipes and updates to share soon.

I’m also expecting to have a few exciting foodie adventures to talk about this month too…watch this space.

xXx

 

5 Reasons I’m looking forward to Wine Festival Winchester

Winchester and Wine…two things I love! So, naturally I am very much looking forward to Wine Festival Winchester in a few weeks time and here are just a few of the reasons why…

The brilliant ‘Follow Your Taste’ system

Follow Your Taste at Wine Festival Winchester

Trying to articulate which wines you like isn’t always easy, so Wine Festival Winchester has something a little different to assist with this. In order to help you find wines you like at the festival, organisers Susie and Peter have devised a colour-coded system called ‘Follow Your Taste’. Wine is broken down into six flavour styles and bottles at the event will have coloured neck tags to indicate their style.

English Sparkling Wine

wine

I think it’s just fantastic to have our very own wine producers creating bubbly that tastes as good, if not better than Champagne. It’s even better that so many great producers are local to the area too. I’m delighted to see that Hattingley Valley, Hambledon Vineyard and Cottonworth are all exhibiting, along with many others. I can’t wait to stock up!

Listening and Learning

I don’t claim to know an awful lot about wine but I do love learning about it and hearing from passionate producers, tasters and sommeliers. Last year I heard some great stories about the production process, how certain wines got their names and even the inspiration for different wine labels.

Trying New Things

wine fest 2

Image credit: Catherine Skinner Photography

The wine festival is great place to step outside of your usual wine comfort zone and try something different. In a restaurant you so often just stick with what you know or make a snap decision when buying wines from a shop. How often do you get the chance to really think about different wines and trying something you wouldn’t usually go for? The festival is the perfect place for this.

Foodie Favourites

Chococo at Wine Festival Wincester

Image credit: Catherine Skinner Photography

Cheese and chatting with the team from Chesil Rectory was lovely last year and I’m happy to see that they will be exhibiting again. Chocolate enthusiasts will be delighted to see Chococo has a stand too. It’s also great to see that some of my farmers market favourites like Devese Farm Animals will be there too. So there’s plenty of foodie experiences to discover as well as wine ones.

These five choices are a mere snapshot of the reasons why Wine Festival Winchester is going to be a fabulous event – I plan to write more about the festival as we get closer to the date (27th – 29th November). Until then, you can find out more at www.thewinefestival.co.uk.

Wanted: Briton Willing to Go Without Solid Food for Entire Year for £35K

I’ve just received some interesting news from Huel, the makers of a powdered food product, which launched in June of this year. It’s quite an interesting concept, a nutritionally complete, powdered food providing everything your body needs – could it be that this is the future of food? It certainly feels futuristic, I can see that there are clear logical benefits. I can also understand how many people would feel this isn’t the right direction for food and nutrition.

Whilst I’m unsure of where I stand, I’m intrigued by their latest announcement and thought some of you may be too. Huel Powdered FoodHuel are on the hunt to find someone who is prepared to go without solid food for an entire year. The company is open for applications from any members of the British public who are willing to try out a powdered food-only diet for a year-long period in order to gauge the effects of forgoing traditional food altogether.

The inventors behind a nutritionally-complete powdered food solution, which launched earlier this year, are seeking a candidate prepared to go without any solid food for one year, in exchange for £35,000. Quite an experiment! Could you do it?

The powdered food product, www.huel.me, has been a huge hit on the UK market, selling out three times in the first month of trading in spite of meeting with some controversy and criticism. The powder has been rigorously tested during development and delivers 100% of the government-recommended nutrition that the human body needs, all the while being vegan-friendly with no added sugar. The flavour has been compared to vanilla porridge, purposely designed not to be too flavoursome to minimise the risk of users overeating.

The successful candidate will be required to undertake daily video calls with the monitoring team to report their progress, via Skype, and agree to weekly visits to the Huel headquarters in order to maintain regular medical assessments. Although they will be free to continue all usual daily duties, including work and family responsibilities, they will be required to perform no less and no more than 30 minutes of physical activity per day, which will be dictated by the team at Huel, in order to clearly show the effects of the Huel diet. Applicants must have a healthy BMI in order to be considered.

Here’s a comment from Julian Hearn, Founder of http://www.Huel.me:

“We completely understand that this is no easy feat; not many of our customer are on Huel 100% of the time, the norm is probably about 50% Huel and 50% traditional meals. Having said that, we are intrigued to understand more about the role of eating in our culture. What would life be like with no solid food? Huel provides everything the human body needs, in a healthy and sustainable way, so we know that it is a perfectly nutritious way to consume what we need – but what will happen if this really is the future of all food? What will life be like when we have so much more time in our day and so much less to think about? We are keen to get a better insight into the longer-term effects on our behaviour, health and social lives.”

He continued:

“Our search is certainly on to find the right person. We need to be able to trust them to tell the truth; cheaters need not apply! We will be undertaking regular monitoring, but it’s important that there is complete honesty there. For the right person, this challenge could actually be very liberating. There was a lot of scepticism when we first launched and no doubt many people will find this an unbearable thought, but clearly Britons are far more interested in changing their lifestyles and habits than many initially expected.”

It’s interesting isn’t it? I’m not sure I could so it with my restaurant-frequenting habit but do you know someone who could?

5 Confessions of someone who REALLY loves food – is it just me?

Everyone likes food and everyone loves certain foods but some of us just get more excited about food than others…am I right? I just love food, whether I’m snacking on ingredients as I cook or filling up on bread in a restaurant before my meal comes – food just makes me happy. If you’re one of those people (some might use the word greedy!) you’ll relate to the situations and statements on this list…

1) You always forget to photograph your food

an-empty-plate

When something really delicious arrives in front of me at a restaurant my first instinctive reaction is to put a little bit of it in my mouth rather than snap a photo. I usually remember just as it’s too late and I’ve taken my first bite, that’s why some of the photos on my blog usually feature a dish with a little bit missing! Not good for a food blogger. Does anyone else just dive straight in?

2) A restaurant menu is REALLY exciting

cebf20b529caec59a2cadd741d5a30c7

The possibilities, the choices – all those dishes that talented chefs are just waiting to make you! Browsing a restaurant menu makes me very happy indeed. The excitement when you spot your favourite dish or ingredient, the umming and erring between two seemingly perfect choices – is there anything better than choosing food at a restaurant?

3) You have to eat some of your food shopping right away

shopping

I tend to get mine delivered and have usually been looking forward to what I’ve ordered. So when the weekly food shop arrives I just have to snack on some of it as I’m putting it all away. And if I’ve been to a supermarket then I’ll usually have to have a nibble of something in the car. Anyone else?

4) Eating whilst cooking

cheese

Whatever the dish, you have to test out the ingredients as you go…or at least I certainly do! Even if it’s just raw veg as I prep a salad or stir fry. Of course it’s much worse if I’m cooking anything with cheese!

5) Things can get out of control at farmers markets and farm shops 

bread

I have to limit myself because I always end up spending a fortune at the farmers market or farm shop. Local cheese, pies, bread, chutneys, cake…I need it all in my life and buying it feels so good. Getting home and eating it all feels even better!

Am I alone in my food excitement? Let me know if you can identify with any of these food loving statements too!

xXx

Foodie event! Thyme & Tides Food Festival

Hampshire foodies, here’s an event you won’t want to miss – the Thyme & Tides Food Festival at Stockbridge Town Hall, Saturday 18th April. 

Iain and Sally Hemming, owners of Thyme & Tides who will be putting on a food festival on 18th April

Iain and Sally Hemming, owners of Thyme & Tides who will be putting on a food festival on 18th April

For anyone who hasn’t been, Thyme & Tides is a lovely deli, bistro and fishmonger in Stockbridge. The food festival is in celebration of Thyme & Tides’ fifth birthday and will feature special guest appearances from BBC’s Nigel Barden and Valentine Warner as well as demonstrations from foodie experts showcasing their skills with bread-making, gin, wine, cheese and much more. I’m told there will be plenty to try and buy with around 20 of Thyme & Tides top suppliers inviting guest to enjoy their wares! These include Olives et Al, Ballancourt French pates and terrines, Hennart French cheeses , Purbeck Ice cream and ciders, Isle of Wight Tomato Stall and Utta Nutta Peanut Butter and more.

Upstairs I’m told there will be a demonstration theatre where you can hear from Valentine Warner and Nigel Barden, BBC Radio 2’s food and drink critic and broadcaster. They will be joined by Darren Bland of Hoxton Bake House, James Robinson of Spanish food experts Brindisa, Mark Dawson of Langley’s Gin and Tom Badcock of The Cheese Cellar.

Best of all, entrance to the main event is free and tickets for the food demonstrations are just £2.50 for adults, kids go free. A proportion of all ticket sales will be donated to the Alex Lewis Trust too. Sounds like a fab foodie day out to me!

Doors open at 10am, until 5pm. The event, which is supported by Hildon Water, will take place at Stockbridge Town Hall, High Street, Stockbridge SO20 6HE. You can find out more at: www.thymeandtidesdeli.co.uk, call 01264 810101 or join me and follow the event on twitter @foodfeaststockb.

Coffee Festivities

Life is pretty busy as a freelancer, so my FoodTeaLife posts have become a little sporadic but I still find time to get out and about doing foodie things (mostly eating!). There just seems to be less time to write about it all. However one thing I am making the time to write about is the recent London Coffee Festival.

The smell on arrival was heavenly! The fresh coffee scent just surrounded us and it wasn’t long before we purchased our first caffeine-filled beverage. The bright and early start meant a cappuccino to kick off the day was an absolute must. My first coffee of the day was accompanied by a slice of toast spread with avocado and vegemite, a strangely good combination.  Wandering around I saw coffee demonstrations, plenty of quirky things to buy and try and something which turned out to be a real highlight, a Kalhua coffee cocktails bar!

kahlua coffee bar

Mixologists or baristas? The busy Kahlua bar staff creating coffee cocktails

 

We started off with a couple of White Russians, who doesn’t love their creamy coffee goodness?

White Russians

Delicious White Russians!

 

There was one cocktail on the menu we simply had to sample…Espresso Martinis! I’ve always wanted to try one since I saw Nigella Lawson make them and what better place to try my first one than at a coffee festival?

Espresso Martini complete with three coffee beans on top

Espresso Martini complete with three coffee beans on top

 

These were certainly strong, rocket fuel in fact! But it was great to finally try an Espresso Martini.

My first Espresso Martini

My first Espresso Martini (photo courtesy of Aminah Khan)

 

I certainly left the festival buzzing and on a high fuelled by caffeine and fun times!

Coffee fun! Thanks to Aminah for the brilliant photos

Coffee fun! Thanks to Aminah for the brilliant photos

 

The festival goody bags were pretty good too – loved my sachet of Drink Me Chai’s Earl Grey Latte and the free Fox’s Caffe Thins have been going down a treat (since discovered they are great topped with a molten marshmallow!).

These yummy biscuts were a fab London Coffee Festival Freebie

These yummy biscuts were a fab London Coffee Festival Freebie

Earl Grey Latte from Drink Me Chai, another lovely festival freebie!

Earl Grey Latte from Drink Me Chai, another lovely festival freebie!

 

All in all it was a lovely, foodie day out – I’d definitely go again next year.

xXx

Previous Older Entries