Food Festivals and Exhibitions


You would be well advised to look at the two food events taking place this week.

These are:

Birmingham International Food Festival in Chamberlain and Victoria Squares and New Street (free entry)
BBC Summer Good Food Exhibition at the NEC shared with the Gardener’s World Live Exhibition (combined entry about £20).

I’ve been to both and they are well worth a look if you’re interested in food, and who isn’t?

The Birmingham Festival is mostly populated with food to go, but there is a lot of choice. However, there are some commodity stalls. My recommendations are the two selling dried sausages. Both have bargains, a Dutch one is selling a handful of salami type sausages for £10, and a French one suacissons at two for a fiver – both tremendous value! I’ve purchased and eaten(!) the French Pur Porc saucissons and they are terrific, as good in my recollection as most I have encountered in France!

Many of the other stalls provide ethnic food by local companies, but there are German Frankfurter stalls as with the Christmas Frankfurt Fair but I think they are more expensive.

There is a large and pleasant beer and wine tent in Victoria Square with plenty of seating, which, given warm weather is very inviting.

As usual with these events it is the ambient atmosphere of people enjoying themselves that is the best part.

The latter can also be said of the NEC exhibition. I went on Wednesday 16 June and thoroughly enjoyed the friendly and celebratory atmosphere. People who go to this regularly, enjoy the food tasting and, of course, the wine tasting which acts as a catalyst to promote good feelings.

Like in other years (and the winter ones in November) there is always plenty to taste for free and the chance to compare one offering with other similar ones and purchase your choice. My recommendation is the Sicilian sausages on one of the hot sausage stands, 4 packs for £10 can’t be missed.

The terrific weather (wall to wall blue sky and sun) fuelled the feeling of bon vivant enhanced by the village type atmosphere of the lawns enclosed by the exhibition halls. These were populated with stalls and splendidly decorated with ornate themed gardens (below) created especially for the GW exhibition – a must!


So there we are, two very notable Birmingham events not to be missed.

Geoff Caine