bbc gfs

BBC Good Food Show Winter 2015 Birmingham: Producer Preview

The Winter BBC Good Food Show at the NEC in Birmingham kicks off this very Thursday (26th) November! One of my favourite parts of the Good Food Show HAS to be the shopping. Discovering producers, tasting before you buy and generally having a good chinwag with the sellers, it’s all great fun.

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As part of the Blogging Community for the Good Food Show I’m usually lucky enough to get some samples through the post before the show, showcasing some of the great products on offer and this year was no exception. There are both some fab old faces and lots of new ones at this year, so let’s take a look at some of the producers to look out for this Winter:


This bakery has developed additive free breads and patisserie, all handmade. I tried the Farmers Country Grain loaf which was packed with grains and nuts. Seeded breads are a favourite of mine and this one, made for home baking is delicious.



These are a local favourite of ours who make some lovely infused rapeseed oils and also a fab range of crisps. Check out our review from a year or so ago to find out more!


I’d heard of this brand previously, but I’ve never tried any of their products. They do various flavours including honey, chilli and even sweet varieties like choccy apricot.  I’m loving sprinkling seeds over salads at the moment and these ones are enriched with omega 3, very healthy! As well as these large pots they also do tiny packets, perfect for snacking on the go.



Farringtons Rapeseed Oil is a firm favourite already with me so I’m glad to see they are back at the show this year. We usually pick up a bottle of their oil and the garlic mayonnaise in their range is SO tasty.



I love these guys and their great quality cured meats – we often have their chorizo in the fridge!




The Garlic Farm do all sorts of lovely chutneys, the Vampire Chutney a firm favourite of ours. We also loved their black garlic which we first tried in the summer of 2014. Currently we are working our way through a bulb of their smoked garlic, and this might be the best yet. Adding it to tomatoey sauces adds a beautiful smokiness which I am loving. Do pop by and see them as their stand is always done out amazingly too!


These gluten and dairy free sausages are taking the sausage market by storm and they will be at the shoe with their full range including some Christmas specials so make sure you stop by!



I first met these guys at this summer show and really loved their products – if you like liquorice then you will be in heaven!!


I was happy to see that Mr Vine are going to be at the show – I write about them earlier this year and their new wine ordering app which is so easy to use!


Another long term favourite of mine –  a fine food company based in the Cotswolds. Their terrines and pates are really brilliant and they also do various gift boxes such as The Man Box – perfect for food loving man in your life!

That is just a short selection of a few of the great producers you can find at the show – check out the full Exhibitor list here. It’s certainly not too late to get yourself tickets so check out the website for details!

See you at the show!



New Amsterdam Vodka recipe

Spirited Chicken Noodles with BrumYumYum & New Amsterdam Vodka

I was recently contacted about an interesting new campaign, the brainchild of New Amsterdam Vodka, taking place in Birmingham and several other cities called Project It’s Your Town, a content series following millennials in four ‘party cities’ around the UK as they showcase their town, on their terms.

To celebrate the launch of New Amsterdam Vodka in the UK, in Birmingham they have teamed up with Duncan Stanley, founder of Brum Yum Yum to create an ‘Ultimate Munchies’ menu for the project. Perfect to enjoy pre or post night out, the recipes are inspired by the best of Birmingham street food and can be easily recreated at home. 


About the Vodka

New Amsterdam Vodka is new premium spirit imported from the US, expertly crafted for discerning drinkers. Created using the finest quality grains of Missoui and Nebraska, New Amsterdam Vodka is triple filtered for unparalleled smoothness and five times distilled for a clean, crisp taste. Sound good right?

The project has created 3 recipe cards, each from a stalwart of the Birmingham Street Food Scene and all involve the addition somewhere in the recipe of New Amsterdam Vodka

  • Bloody Mary Kebabs from White Heat
  • Spirited Noodles from Buddha Belly
  • Chicken Tikka Pizza from Pizza Traders




So far we’ve tried out the kebabs and the spirited noodles and both were really good! The 3 birds eye chillies in the noodles blew our heads right off, so maybe just add one or two if you’re not that keen on spice!!

Take a look at our efforts




Disclosure: New Amsterdam Vodka sent me a parcel containing a sample of their vodka and a few things to make the dishes above – no other compensation was recieved.

Ireland Day 5: Ardmore to Dublin

The last day of our Ireland Road Trip!

If you missed the other days find them here:

Our last day was spent first exploring the town of Dungarvan – not a very well know place, but special to us as it where Lee’s mum is from, and lived until she was 16. Lee and his family used to visit a lot when he was a child, but he hasn’t been for 20 odd years so it was nice for him to go back and reminisce. Mostly it seems about the ‘red lemonade’ that him and his sister used to drink in the pub! Now contrary to what I thought, this isn’t alcoholic and tastes just like normal lemonade but it’s just blood-red, so his mum wasnt doing anything wrong bribing them with it to get them to sit still in the pub! We had a  brief look around Dungarvans castle ruins before setting off on the drive back to Dublin.

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In Dublin we spent a few hours exploring the city, had a pint or 2 of Guinness in temple bar and walked a good few miles along the river. Lee spotted the Guinness factory but I steered him away!!

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When in Dublin

I couldn’t bear to spend a day in Dublin without visiting one of their gorgeous Michelin starred restaurants, so booked us in for an early dinner on the ‘pre theatre menu’ at Chapter One. Well for us it was more like ‘pre ferry’ than ‘pre theatre’ but the food was delicious, so much so it deserves a post all of its own. And that was that. Dinner finished it was time to catch our 9pm ferry back to the UK.

Until next time Ireland!



Butternut Squash, Goats Cheese & Basil Bruschetta

One of the best things about autumn and winter for me has to be the abundance of different types of squash and pumpkin. Squash chunks roasted with some salt pepper and olive oil is something I love to eat, and can incorporated into so many dishes; salads, pasta, the list is endless. One thing I love to make with it is a more wintery take on the classic bruschetta.

Butternut Squash Goats Cheese and Basil Bruschetta

This version has soft goats cheese, rocket and basil mixed with the butternut squash and drizzled with some fantastic quality olive oil. I’m currently using some fabulous basil oil from Pomora which I used both to roast the squash and to drizzle over the finished dish. It has a really subtle clean basil flavour which I love.



Butternut Squash, Goats Cheese and Basil Bruschetta (Serves 2 for lunch)


  • Half a butternut (or other) squash, peeled, seeds removed and cut into 1cm chunks
  • 2 small handfuls rocket
  • 4-5 basil leaves, shredded
  • 4 tbsp basil oil
  • 4 slices of ciabatta bread
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 100g soft goats cheese, broken roughly into small pieces
  • salt and pepper to taste



  1. Put the squash chunks in a roasting tray and drizzle with 2 tbsp of the olive oil and season with the salt and pepper. Roast at 200ºC for 30-40 mins until soft
  2. In a bowl mix the rocket, basil and goats cheese, then when ready add the squash and mix gently
  3. Take the clove of garlic and rub over one side of each of the ciabatta slices and then drizzle the bread with a tiny amount ( 1/2tsp max) of olive oil
  4. Heat a griddle pan and toast the ciabatta. The time this takes will vary depending on how hot you pan is, but keep an eye on the bread and when slightly charred, turn and do the same on the other side, then remove from the heat
  5. Top the ciabatta with some of the squash mix then drizzle with some of the remaining basil oil.

Happy eating :)




Review: The Pointer, Brill

The Pointer in Brill, Buckingshire is the epitomy of what I would called a great local pub.



A lovely cosy bar area with comfy chairs and roaring fires, complete with the snoozing golden retrievers of locals lolling on the stone floors. This gives way to a back room converted into a sympathetically decorated restaurant area with low beams, stone walls and ecclectic artwork. If you go, do take note of the neon farm animal pictures dotted around which I loved.



The Chef cooking up a storm here in the kitchen is Mini Patel, who you might know from his appearance on this years Great British Menu. We went down to try out their Sunday lunch menu – which is good value at 2 course for £23 or 3 for £27.


We started off with some bread – Herb And Sea Salt Swirls and Sourdough. Arriving in a brown paper bag it was warm and inviting. A beef dripping butter and salted butter were perfect indulgent partners for it.



For my first course I chose the Pork Croquettes, Sweet Mustard, Baby Pickles and Crispy Ears whilst Lee went for a somewhat lighter option  (probably sensible given the mountain of meat that came with his main!)  – Oxford Blue Cheese and Comice Pear Salad, Truffle Infused Honey, Candy Walnuts, Brambles, Gingerbread Croutons.

My croquettes were jam packed with juicy shredded meat, and the pickles and mustard added enough sharpness to cut through that really well. Delicious shards of pigs ear adorned the plate and were incredibly moreish.


Lee couldn’t praise his salad enough. Each ingredient was prepared to the highest standard and all went so well together. In particular those croutons of spicy gingerbread and the sweet but sharp dots of bramble puree stood out.


Lee (obviously) went for a Roast for the main – Slow Roast Pointer Farm Middle White Pork to be exact, which came with Savoy Cabbage and Bacon, Kale, Apple Sauce, Roast Potatoes and Scrumpy Cream. The Pointer have their own farm and sell a lot of their meat in their own Butchers Shop, next door to the pub. Shame it wasn’t open on Sundays otherwise I could see us having a freezer full of meat right now!

He particularly enjoyed the meat, and there was plenty of it! The cabbage and the apple sauce were also extremely good. The roasties were decent, but in Lee’s opinion no one can beat his own home cooked roasties (and he’s right – they’re the best I’ve ever tasted!)


Weirdly for me I chose the fish option, although when I saw the Roast Sirloin of Longhorn Beef going out to others I had insane beef envy as it looked spectacular. My Loin of Cod, fresh Crab, Roast Heritage Carrots and Spiced Mussel Broth though was also very good. The cod was exceptionally cooked and I enjoyed the spice of the broth against the fish and the sweet carrots. My only nitpicks (and they’re very little ones) is that I would have preferred it served in a shallow bowl or similar, to allow me to eat the broth more easily and a bit more crisp on the fish skin.


Not quite defeated by these large portions we ploughed on into desserts. With the time of year, warming winter puddings were high on the agenda. I chose Sticky Date Pudding with Butterscotch Sauce and Vanilla Ice-cream and Lee went for Oakley Apple Crumble, Blackberries and Proper Custard. These both hit the spot to leave us full to the brim and practically rolling out the door.



For me The Pointer had the whole package for what I want in a great country pub, but as well as that it’s good enough to be a ‘destination’ place and I would happily travel to eat there again.
Disclosure: we were invited to the pub to try out the food which was free of charge. All opinions entirely honest as always