The Northampton Winter Food Festival came and flew by once again and I managed to attend on Saturday for a foodie filled day of food & gin tastings, as well as coming home with lots of local and independent products.
Last year, I got press tickets to attend the festival but I loved going so much, I knew it was well worth purchasing tickets to support this highly anticipated event.
This year, it brought all the crowds of Northampton and beyond.
Crispin and his team once again pulled off an incredible event and *thank god* the rain waited until the very end of the event, unlike last year where we got completely drained! But whether it’s raining or shining, the Northampton Winter Food Festival will always be on my agenda every November.
I wanted to share lots of highlights on my social media, but because there were SO MANY; I decided to write a blog post about the event, but you can also view my Instagram stories on our day.
Here is what we got up to and where we navigated…
Read more: Northampton Winter Food Festival 2018
Street Food Market
As we arrived at the Northamptonshire County Cricket Ground, the first place we ventured to was to explore all the street food vendors because it was 12pm at this point and we were STARVING.
Immediately, we spotted the Cocoa Caravan, who specialises in luxury hot chocolates, who had a wonderful display of alcoholic autumn drinks which spoke many volumes to me: hello, Pumpkin Spiced Rum Latte! It gave me a buzz for the rest of the day.
Our first bit of street food was from Milton Keynes based vendor, Bandit Street Food, of which we have loved since having our first taste at BiteStreet NN. I went for a John Dillinger with pulled pork and
After walking around the food halls for a little while, we visited The Pork Shack who, once again, we loved eating from when they attended the BiteStreet NN events.
I knew straight away, I had to have their Char Siu Pork Belly which is TO DIE FOR.
Other street food vendors present included Now Now African Street Food, Greek Souvlaki, Baja Cantina (gutted I didn’t get some of their scrumptious tacos!) The Flavour Trailer and many more to name a few.
If only we were able to eat from more street food vendors, but alas, the day went away with us and as you will see, we spent a lot more money on other things…
Food Hall 1
The festival consisted of two food halls were local food & drink producers from far and wide gathered to showcase their products and once again, I found myself browsing for HOURS – which you could easily do!
Highlights of Food Hall 1 included Stonyfield Wine who, though I didn’t buy any products from them on this occasion, their stall was decorated so beautifully and gave me all the festive vibes – they are certainly on my list of “to get” ahead of Christmas as I will be in need of some local, sparkling wine!
My favourite cheesemakers, Hamm Tun Fine Foods were present, Phipps NBC were launching their own version of a Christmas Pudding infused with their gin and I came across Daniel’s Delights which consisted of LOTS of chocolate!
And when I heard that Replete Flatbreads were doing a Marmite filled flatbread, I HAD to get one! I also said hello to the guys at Daily Bread Co-op who had some tasters of their homemade flapjack, as well as some sustainable handmade glycerine soap which gave me some Christmas gift inspiration!
Another discovery from last year who returned this year was Harrison & Griffiths who had their Caribbean Rum and Fruit cakes on display and Hustle Gin were tempting me to buy another bottle of their botanical gin!
We picked up some Roman Way EPA ale and some Hello Lemon from Wharf Distillery, where we had a chat with Alice and Laurence, the founders.
It was a very busy food hall, no matter what time we went inside and that wasn’t the end of it…
Food Hall 2
Food Hall 2 was just as busy, just as big and full of my favourite local food producers!
We spotted Steve on the Friars Farm stall straight away with his colourful attire and minion-like red hat! His stand had the autumnal touch and he had lots of his new products on display, including his new Pickled Pears which I got a sample of!
Right next door, we had Towcester Mill Brewery on the left where I got my first pint of Santa’s Tipple which is one of my favourite festive brews of the season.
Plus, Saxby’s Cider on the right who was showcasing their BRAND NEW Christmas Cheer which tasted like Mince Pie in a cup… must remember to grab some next time!
Obviously, I had to go and see Warner’s stand and try some of their Christmas Gin, which literally was like drinking Christmas in a glass.
Josh got us a selection of gluten and wheat free cheese dough balls from Casa Das Bolitas which consisted of Cheddar Cheese, Halloumi and Garlic. Just pure indulgence!
I said hello to the lovely family behind Mums Made With Love where we grabbed some Mild Curry sauce which we have become accustomed to!
I was also thrilled to see the team behind The Beer Garage who I haven’t seen in ages; their stand is always such an eye-catcher – but what did catch my eye was their BRAND NEW GIN which they launched at the event.
The Passion Fruit & Guava gin was a massive hit for me and for everyone else apparently!
We also tried to grab some cookies from Thomas Cookie Co, but every time we headed over to their stall, it was always jam-packed so we couldn’t get the opportunity to grab some! They looked delightful though!
Overall, the Northampton Winter Food Festival was a massive success! I wish I took part in one of the cheese or gin making masterclasses, but you literally spend hours looking around all the different varieties of stalls and artisan food & drink available that you get so caught up, you don’t have time!
Next year for sure, I will make a masterclass or attend a foodie chef demo, as they all looked and sounded fantastic!
I came away with SO MUCH STUFF including lots of gin, curry sauces, marmalades and jams and even some flatbread! I am well and truly sorted for Christmas thanks to the Northampton Winter Food Festival – a massive well done to the event organisers and volunteers!