Artisan bakers, cuisine from all over the world and unique drinks on offer – this is a Surrey festival not to be missed.
In a country that is ever divided, there is certainly one thing that the residents of Surrey can all agree on and that is their appreciation of good food, drink and local produce.
On Sunday 8th September 2019, Epsom hosted a Food and Drink festival. Its venue, Rosebery park, makes a sudden change from the busy one-way system of Epsom’s town centre. The entrance to this free festival lay next to the park’s pond where willow trees swoop gently over the water. With the sun shining down on this warm Autumnal day, it seemed destined to be the perfect time to enjoy homemade food and drinks. The sheer variety and density of stalls brought together some of the best local Surrey businesses.
The Festival was host to numerous drink stalls yet surprisingly only one van was serving coffee. For those of us that needed a dose of caffeine – mainly parents with young children – “George Bakes” quickly had a queue forming. The stylish grey Citroën van sat at the entrance of the festival and it was far too tempting to turn down the chance of accompanying a coffee with a homemade cake. Where the tagline of the business is “Happiness is Homemade” there is no doubt that this rang true for all who tasted their deliciously stylish artisan bakes.
As Gin grows in popularity so do the local Surrey distilleries, each one offering a bespoke taste. “Silent Pool”, with their distinct blue bottles and gold foil pattern, is a company that clearly does not compromise on style or taste. Their intricate and attractive bottles go hand in hand with the picturesque hills of Surrey where their gin is distilled.
Shining out amongst the stalls stood a bold yellow “Beetle Juice” cocktail bar. With music drifting out of their built-in sound system, the sun shining, and cocktails being shaken in the open top VW van, you’d be forgiven for believing you were at a music festival. With the bar staff’s lively style and affable manner there is little surprise that they cover all sorts of events from corporate gigs to weddings. And when the rain begins to pour? “We just drop the roof down a little lower, crouch down and shake the cocktails on the floor!”
The food on offer was a mouthwatering world cuisine. From Goa to the Caribbean, France to American BBQ, this festival had something to please everyone’s tastes. “French Comte” provided a spectacle with their two large woks mixing together smoked sausage, French cheese and potatoes followed by a rotating Raclette that was heated and scraped over the top. “Ollo Food” proudly handed out samples of their homemade sauces. Their vegan dosas were fresh and crisp with a perfect mixture of spices. The smell of fried chicken from “Barnyard Birds” drifted out over the field and their fully packed brioche buns drew in the hungry lunch crowd.
As families, couples and friends sat outside to enjoy the atmosphere it was clear that the festival was a success. And if you missed out on this one? Look out for another Surrey Food and Drink festival or even your own local Farmers Market each month where many are regulars. Some of you may be lucky enough to find one of these vans parked on a high street near you.