A couple of months ago, I ventured down to the free Brighton Food and Drink Festival for the first time and I was pleasantly surprised by just how many stalls there were and the diversity of activities on show.
In the centre of the city were fairground rides including a bouncy castle slide and coconut shy with smatterings of food stalls around the outside. However, amongst the North Laines, something was brewing. As soon as I Jubilee Street, my nose was filled with so many different wonderful smells from around the world it was hard to comprehend – BBQ pulled pork, west country sausages, spanish paella, spicy chilli mexican wraps and much, much more.
After getting over my fear of markets, (I know it’s irrational, it’s just lots of people in once place intimidates me ), I stumbled over to the Carluccio stall and bought a Pesto and Tomato pasta salad for a couple of pounds and was not disappointed. It was probably the most delicious pesto salad I have ever tried, every mouthful was so full with flavour, I could truly eat it every day for lunch.
I then took a wander around Pavillion Gardens in an attempt to work off my portion of pasta and listen to a couple of the bands that happened to be playing in the park for the festival. There were some very tuneful buskers around the North Laines too, a distinctly remember a young boy and his guitar, he sounded a lot like Starsailor did back in their heyday.
After having walked about for a little bit, it was time to treat myself for a dessert – the main part of any decent meal. Never trust a person who says they don’t like a good pudding! I tried out one of the independent bakery stalls in town and bought an Iced Cinnamon Swirl for £1! Yes, that pastry, as big as my face, all for a singular coin. I was thoroughly happy inside and out by the time I had finished
and I nearly didn’t. Truly delicious.
It was then time to try the coffee shop in Brighton that I heard and saw everyone raving about, a little shop called the Small Batch Coffee Company. Unfortunately, I was thoroughly disappointed with the Soya Latte I ordered. I can’t speak for everyone, of course but I used to work in a coffee shop and all I could taste was burnt beans and soya. I wish I’d had a cup of tea. The customer service wasn’t fantastic as well, although, I appreciate that they were busy. It was a shame as I’d been looking forward to trying them out for a while.
I do, however, recommend Union Coffee by Brighton Station. That is truly service with a smile.
Have you ever visited a food festival? What is your favourite coffee shop and why?