SPONSORED :Phipps Festive Fayre
I hope that you all had an incredible weekend. Only one more left before Christmas!
I thought that I would share with you an event that I was invited to last weekend (5th December) in my home town of Northampton.
Sorry for the delay but I wanted to make sure that I did a decent write up !
I was invited to the Phipps Brewery Festive Fayre. The aim was to showcase some local food producers from the Northamptonshire area.
There has recently been a bit of a focus on trying to get people to buy from Local producers rather than the supermarket chains.
Phipps is located on the bottom of bridge street opposite the Church Restaurant
I've always been behind this movement as I think the smaller businesses tend to produce the higher quality food with better value for money.
So I decided that I would get a mini interview with everyone so that I could get to know their stories and a little bit about why they do what they do.
This post is a bit of a beast but bear with it you might discover a little hidden gem :)!
If you are in Northamptonshire / surrounding areas and want to know any contact details - then go to the blogs Facebook page... all will be linked there :)
Starting with Friar's Farm....
I was invited to the event by Steve from Friar's farm. This is a company that I have followed since it was established 2-3 years ago. Steve is a childhood friend of my Mums. On the stand today was his famous Chutneys and Jams.
I have had the pleasure of trying couple of different flavours from the selection. My Mum is crazy about them so I picked her up a couple (they are pictured below)
Fun fact : Friar's Farm supply our local Towcester Racecourse with chutney for their menu.
Featured Flavours : Apple and Fig, Spicy Plum and Mango Chutneys
They also served an interesting take on the traditional mince pie : Apple and fig pies with goats cheese (they were baked by the Good Loaf (pictured below) with the Cheese from Nene View Dairy Pictured below) )
The next stall was the Breweries own.
I'm not sure if you can tell from the pictures that follow of all the stalls but the space in which this event was being conducted is all in an active brewery. The product of which was being sold on the day.
I always had had a slight fascination with Northamptonshire's ales, sadly my taste bud would not allow me to like the general flavour so I have relied on Luke's taste buds for this one. I should say that if you are under 18 in the uk / 21 in the Us then this product is not for you as it is alcoholic and I'm not promoting under age drinking ;)
Luke tried the India Pale Ale last night and really loved it. We have yet to try the Sole Gin (we still are unsure how this is different to regular gin except the colour, I'll have to google it). I will post a little review when we have tried it.
Next up is Bite Me Spices.
Now I had tried some of their products before and I absoluteley loved them. To sum up, they produce sauces and spice rubs to accompany your meats and what not. I didn;t know but they actually supply one of Northampton's Favourite Restaurants the Smoke Pit.
Luke and I picked up a few sauces for Luke's Mum and we've heard that they have gone down a treat. I think that this is one company to keep an eye on as its just going to get bigger and bigger!
An interesting fact is that the owner started off as a Blogger like me! But we write in separate fields, but its always good to see how far someone has come in their journey.
Next up is Sweet Alchemy.
Sweet Alchemy is a family run and home based business in Northampton also.
On the day their stall was covered in chocolate products but I understand that they do Cakes to order as well
They featured at the recent Nothampton Comic Con
Now I was lucky enough to be given some free sample as can be seen below.
I'm a little funny with my chocolate to the extent that I am a bit of a snob. I know what I like and I know what I don't.
I have so far tried the dark chocolate (middle bar) and the mint (far right bar) and fallen in love.
I honestly think homemade chocolate tastes completely different to shop bought as you can taste the extra time that goes into them.
This is the end of the product reviews as we physically couldn't carry anything else.
But I will also introduce you to everyone else:
Next up :
Now I love flatbreads. I find that they are kinder to me than regular breads however when it comes to making them, I don't really have a clue how to.
There were quite a few flavours on offer including a festive one featuring Turkey which I thought was pretty cool.
Other flavours included Italian Flatbread with Pesto, Greek Pitta with Spinach and Feta and Stromboli!
Nene View Dairy
This is a company that produces their Goats cheese with the help of their many many Goats.
Apparently they are so well trained that they just trot in to be milked and then trot straight back out :) no fuss. I've always loved the idea of a pet goat. ( I blame the Hunchback of Notre Dame)
I have to admit that I couldn't join in with the tasting due to allergies so Luke did the honours. He said that he would definately consider purchasing them in the future.
The company, despite being new in creation has already won a fair few awards !
Now I could smell the next one before I walked over. In a good way. The smell of the sausages that were cooking were heavenly!
Next up is Blisworth Herd.
The Herd is a family run farm.
On the day they had a range of different flavours of sausages available to try.
Now if you read the blog a lot then you will know the way to my heart is through a sausage sandwich!
Luke fell in love with the Linconshire Sausages and I'm kind of gutted that we didnt go back and buy some. There's always next time!
Next up is the Vintage traveling Tea Room and Sweet Sensations.
I almost lost Luke on this stall as he has a rather sweet tooth..... Especially when he saw the brownies ( pictured below) .
The idea of this company is genius I think. They've done up an old caravans to travel around in, bring the vintage tea room to the customer. You can hire the caravan for a range of events but you better book quick I believe that they have orders all the way through to the summer!
Next is Honeysuckle Hampers:
A neat little idea, most of not all of the stalls already mentioned are put together and put in a nice little snazzy hamper of your choice.
Now I was gutted that I already had my mother's Christmas present by this point because it would have been right up her street.
You can custom pick the products and the hamper itself.
But only the finest ingredients are selected from Northampton and the surrounding areas. So you know that you are getting quality!
I sadly lost all the pictures for the next company. I'm really sorry.
Next was The Happy Little Cake Company.
This is a company with a difference as they offer all Gluten Free and Cealiac friendly food. There is alot in the media about cutting Gluten out of your diet and so forth.
However, the reasoning behind these reductions is due to a real life health condition so you can see the passion that went into all of the products that were on display.
As some one who is dairy free I can appreciate the struggle and the determination to over come food obstacles to have 'normal' food.
Steve from Friars Farm famously said I can't stand any of that grim gluten free rubbish but this actually tastes like food!
Last but not least is The Good Loaf. The smell coming from this stall was lovely ( as you can tell I follow my nose a lot).
The loads of bread are all made by hand and are huge. But it was the story behind the company that really impressed us both. The cafe is designed to help those recently out of prison get back on their feet. It helps teach them skills and gives them a job. The menu looks really nice so Luke and I said that we will both pop in!
It's located by the TA Centre in the middle of the town :)
Wow so if you are still with me.... Thank you. Thank you to all that were there on the day and spoke to Luke and I, I hope you like your little reviews.
Have a great Christmas!
Until the next post!