We arrived, and after parking, caught the courtesy bus to the entrance of the show halls. Thankfully Freddy was fast asleep in his buggy giving us an opportunity to wander around the stalls. My husband Ian was particularly impressed with the area hosting the alcoholic drinks! He happily wandered around sampling liquers whisky, cider, wine and Crabbies Ginger Beer. I had to rein him in a little reminding him that it was 10.30am and if he continued to "sample" the freebies he would be out cold by lunchtime!!
When I managed to encourage him to leave the copious amounts of free alcohol behind, we meandered around stands giving away crisps, cakes, bread, cheese, soups and ice cream! It made for an interesting snorgersboard of tastes and textures. As a vegetarian, we by-passed the hog roasts, pates and butchers. One pork seller eagerly offered us the chance to taste his sausages, but I politely declined explaining that we were veggies. "But our pigs are all vegetarians!" he replied. I told him I'd happily eat with his pigs, but I wouldn't be eating them myself!
As a keen comper, I enjoyed the huge amount of competitions on offer. I scribbled my details down on leaflets galore....fingers crossed. maybe I'll get lucky! I also loved picking up freebies...jelly beans, toastie bags, magazines, money off vouchers and canvas shopping bags. Ian picked up a Marco Pierre White headscarf from a pile on one stand, but in hindsight I don't think it was actually a freebie...oops! I have visions of Chef Marco searching for his missing headwear.
We stopped by to watch the Masterchef Experience hosted by Andy Peters (whose arms were hugely buff). We saw some Masterchef contestants and also saw James Martin at a book signing. I also recognised a lady chef from This Morning. We didn't go into the main theatre because by now Freddy was awake and ready to sample some of the offerings himself.
|Hand baked crisps|
|Gluten free snacks|
Freddy's favourite snack was the Jazz Apple which was a cross between a Royal Gala and a Braeburn apple and very tasty. He also loved the Tilda Rice that he devoured using a little plastic fork. He loved the samples and made a lot of friends on the stands who were eager to give him little pieces of cake, bread and pretzels!
My find of the day was an amazing Ginger Cordial by Belvoir ,which is going to be a perfect alcohol-free Christmas tipple for me! So I was well pleased.