This is just simply my heaven. You can watch top chefs and experts in theatres and masterclasses, browse the producers market, dine at top pop-up restaurants, relax in private VIP areas, enjoy an afternoon tea and dance in the Vinatge Tea Tent, chill out in the Real Ale and Cider Farm, picnic on the grass while listening to live entertainment, and taste fabulous wines.
The best of all was that they allow you to take dogs too, so Teddy attended too. He also had a great time sampling different hams, sausages and cured meats!
The trouble is always where do you start? Which stall, what type of food? I think a quick meander and circuit of everything gives you a good idea of where to deploy your time the best. We got there early and it was still a little drizzly but this provided good opportunity to get around the stalls.
There's plenty to sample and taste, and quite often you get a guided gastronomy tour from each of the vendors. Much of the food and drink is about celebrating the best of British, there was a wonderful display from British cheese vendors, I was so impressed with one that I bought one of each cheese; a mature cheddar with herbs that was incredible, the creamiest of goats cheeses I have ever tasted and a melt-in-the-mouth blue cheese.
For sauces, relishes, salsas and tapenade it was as good as it gets, with every variety you can imagine. I'm a real sucker for sauces for all occasions and all dishes.
I plumped for a smokey chipotle barbecue sauce to compliment the British chorizo I also bought; that on a baguette with some of that creamy goats cheese I purchased will be a snack that makes me very happy!
Michelin-starred and top local chefs cook their favourite dishes, give tips and inspire you to recreate meals at home. Expert chocolatiers and bakers cook their favourite recipes and let the audience sample their creations.
There was a selection of wine from around the world with tasting tents and experts to talk you through the nose and notes.
In the end the sun came out and I was so full from all the tasting I only just managed to fit in a wild boar burger and butternut squash chips… Teddy helped, naturally!
Quality of food and traceability is now paramount in the industry, and here at QVC we are passionate about it too. I was really impressed – it was enjoyable, educational and delicious. I for one will be returning next year for more of the same… why not check out if there's one near you!