AD | BBC Good Food Show SUMMER Review

There are some pretty cool perks when you're a small influencer, and getting tickets to events is up there as one of my favourites. This year we were invited to the Good Food Show & BBC Gardener's World LIVE SUMMER event at the NEC Arena, Birmingham, and I snapped at the chance to go with my family. I'd been to the winter version of the BBC Good Food Show before with my husband, Lee, so the opportunity to take the whole family and go to the big event was not one that I wanted to miss!

The show itself was HUGE. Taking over halls 17-20 and then a large proportion of the outdoor space, I actually couldn't get around a lot of it in the one day. Weekend tickets, I was told, allow you in for the whole weekend, and I would definitely need to make space for this in my calendar, because an entire section of the gardeners world I wasn't able to get around.

We prioritised the food section of the event and made our way around the various stalls. A large proportion of stalls were alcohol (gin, wine and flavoured liquors), with various cheese, biltong and honey stalls thrown in with sampling stations. There was a LOT of honey. To be completely honest, I was disappointed with the lack of variety at the food halls. I was hoping to find some surprising stations, or sample something unusual, but after sampling the third set of flavoured cheddar I found I was growing bored. We saw a few original stalls - a kimchi station offering various pickled condiments, and a Kombucha stall with the most amazing AppleMary Kombucha - but they were mostly the same as you'd find at any other food fayre.

I took the kids this year. It was my first time taking children, usually opting to keep them at home and have an adult day, and I found they struggled with the general busy-ness of the event and the lack of activities for them to do. At previous Good Food shows there have been more samples, more games, more competitions to enter, and so I thought their attention would be grabbed, but (probably due to covid), this year felt very stringent on interaction. Many places weren't offering tasters, there were only two places offering any kind of interactive activity (Florette with their NHS finger painted rainbow and KoKo with their spin the wheel and win comp), so the children decided fairly early on that it wasn't for them. I let them try as many items as they could, but the place was so busy that it was hard to sample things, and queue times were long. I think I'd leave them at home next time. 

I did come away with a handful of deliciousness for my pantry though. Some major brands were there offering heavily discounted items (heck sausages and belvoir drinks for instance), and I also selected some mini cupcakes and samosas (I can't resist a samosa), but there weren't many free items. At the Christmas event we came away with a goody bag chokka with biscuits, cheese, chocolates and discount coupons, but the only freebie we got this summer was a BonneMamman mousse - which to be fair was delicious. 

I suspect the emphasis during the summer is the Garden Section of the event, and I saw a lot of people walking around with various plants and tools. It was a shame I wasn't able to get around that section much, and next time for sure I'll go back across the weekend and make sure I see the whole thing. 

For sure next year I will keep the kids at home and keep this as an adult only adventure. I'm not sure the event has the capability to keep children entertained for longer than a couple of hours, and the place is so big that you easily need two days to properly explore it. I'm sure that had I properly engaged with the gardeners world section of the event I would have come away full of excitement about my day, but because we just did the food halls I was left a little disappointed. There winter one is MUCH better for food. I would go back though as I love this kind of event, and I'm sure that my disappointments could be easily fixed by making the adjustments previously stated and going for longer. I shall go sans kids next time and let you know!

Until next time.....


Popular Posts