What's a self-professed food aficionado going to do on a bank holiday weekend? Go to the annual 'Foodies Festival' of course! Trekking to Alexandra Palace, I was excited for a day at the UK's biggest celebration of British-produced food & drink. With the sun blazing, artisan food & drink surrounding me, I began my munching adventure...A couple of hours in and multiple dishes stuffed down me later, I basked in the sun and took a well-deserved rest (after all walking around and trying dozens of samples requires severe concentration, strength & stamina - which I ran out of) and began to think about which brands stood out the most to me.Almost a week later (it really was a tough choice), here are my top 5 British brands from the day:
Since going to production in 2015, this 'Beetroot Ketchup' has a healthy and simple take on one the country's most loved condiments. Naturally sweet and bursting with vitamins minerals & antioxidants (30% less sugar than normal ketchup for any health conscious babes out there); honed over 3 years and has the founder's children stamp of approval - this versatile & flavoursome ketchup is a staple for anyone's food cupboard. For the more daring, try their new 'Hot Beetroot Ketchup' for a chili-infused experience!
Launched by Greene King and passionate about 'unbottling potential' - this brewing team of 2 apprentices and 3 mentors have already made a name for themselves with their new range of beers. With catchy names, eye-popping packaging & delicious flavour, you can choose from 5 beers: Over Easy - 3.8% Session IPA, Big Bang– 5.6% IPA, Bitter Sweet - 6% Black IPA, Desert Ryeder - 4. 8 % Rye Beer and High & Dry - 5% Dry hopped larger ). FYI for any espresso martini lovers out there, the 'Bitter Sweet' is a must a try! I am very proud to say that my friend Nancy Nangle is one of the apprentices on this amazing adventure (and no I wasn't biased with this decision)!
Founded by former model, Brad Smith, the industrial design graduate has conjured up the world's first instant ice cream. Based in the UK and now expanded to Europe, this UK-based liquid nitrogen ice-cream is out of this world. With over 3,000 possible flavour combinations, the choice is endless...I recommend the 'Butter Moon' a mix of white chocolate and peanut butter - genuinely felt like I had died and gone to heaven! Available for private hire and large campaigns - I advise you to find an excuse to have them round, I know I will!
Starting as a small brand - this soft drinks brand has grown into a multimillion pound business and quality stands at the core of its values. Artificial and concentrate free, these drinks all contain one key ingredient: pressed apples. Masters in blending, fruit & apples, the brand has now come out with a new range of 6 fizzy drinks: Rhubarb, Cloudy Apple, Cucumber & Mint, Ginger Beer, Gooseberry & Elderflower Lemonade. I tried all 6 and my firm favourite was the 'Rhubarb' - subtle, tart flavours make this delightfully refreshing for a hot summers day or, in my case being a teetotaller, a new drink to add to my list of appropriate drinking drinks - saving myself calories and a sugar hangover - a 100% WIN/WIN
Rachel Hanretty started her business in 2013 in her kitchen. 4 years later and she has 7 employees, a cafe in Edinburgh, stocked in Harvey Nichols (available to order online from their website) and has even got her own branded merchandise. She certainly has come a long way in a short space of time! With a boast of different flavours starting from 'Salted Caramel' & 'Vanilla'; to more obscure flavours of 'Innis & Gunn' and 'Scottish Whammy' - there is a certainly a flavour for everyone. Perfect as gifts or for a girls night in, or even simply, just to treat yourself - go on, get some!
Well Londoners I wish you all a happy Friday and a lovely weekend - make sure to try out the brands and more importantly, top up on some Vitamin D :)Ciao, Olivia xxx