Now in its 10th year, the Leamington Food and Drink Festival will have more than 100 exhibitors taking over the Royal Pump Gardens this weekend.
To help you navigate through all the stalls, here are my top five things to eat while you are there.
Local residents Flic & Barney will be serving street food fans gourmet toasties from their big, green Jabberwocky van. We can’t get enough of the classic Tuna Melt. The chorizo, mozzarella, crayfish, pesto and watercress.is pretty good too though.
Slightly easier to fit into your pocket or bag than one of the a-mazing cakes, head to the Sweet As stall for a cake jar. All that sweet goodness of salted caramel, rocky road and chocolate orange in miniature. Look out for new flavours this year.
If it’s a little nippy, then a comforting bowl of unctuous mac n cheese from the Star & Garter’s Mac Shack should warm you right up. Spoil yourself with a choice of lobster, crab, pulled ham or pesto topping.
Stock up on mushrooms and truffles, where Antonio Carluccio himself will be revealing the best way to cook them at the Carluccio’s mushroom pop-up market stall between 11am – 1pm.
With flavours including hazelnut and butterscotch, caramel and distinctively Darjeeling, the Dulci Bella award-winning marshmallows are a sweet treat not be missed.
As Vermillion in Rugby says adios to their paella night, The Encore toasts the Bard in a special supper for Shakespeare’s birthday. April diary dates for foodies are now on the Events page.
On Tuesday I’ll be tuning into BBC2’s Great British Bake Off Easter Masterclass, to see Mary Berry make a traditional simnel cake. In the meantime I’ve found some more sweet treats for you to try at Easter.
From rabbits to chicks there are all sorts of novelty shaped chocolates, but the Galllina white chocolate hen stands out as being egg-stra special. Laying a bed of mini eggs, she is available from Carluccio’s for £6.50.
As I have girlfriends round for afternoon tea on Sunday, the Artisan du Chocolat Easter Tapas box is going to make an appearance. A selection of sugared ganaches and praline mini eggs, fried egg discs filled with apricot and tonka, crunchy milk chocolate honeycomb bites and gianduja coconut cubes for £19.95.
A Fairtrade dark chocolate egg from Marks & Spencer has caught my eye, as the shell is a mini explosion of colour with raspberries, chocolate covered crispies and silver coloured pearls.£10.
From their extra thick shell and gigantic Ostrich eggs to handy little gifts for egg hunts the Hotel Chocolat range of Easter eggs is stunning. Here you’ll find the Raspberry Eton Mess sandwich of two slices of white chocolate pressed between two beautifully decorated egg shells for £8.
Instead of an egg, my mum will love the Harvey Nichols alternative to petit fours. This pretty selection box of 25 bite sized marzipan spring flowers and hot cross buns is £15.95.
Now I’m going to let you into a secret. This beautifully wrapped dark chocolate bar is from Marou, the first single-origin artisan chocolate maker from Vietnam. Their cocoa beans are sourced directly from small farmers who harvest the pods and process them into fermented and dried cocoa beans. Marou is one of the very few artisanal chocolate makers in the world that are creating gourmet chocolate at the place of origin, all from locally sourced ingredients. This chocolate is rich in flavours and aromas – there are notes of citrus fruit, banana, cinnamon and honey, with a hint of tobacco, all embedded in the 80% cocoa bars. Try them at Chocolate Gourmet in Ludlow, Broadway Deli in Broadway Worcestershire and Defaba in Birmingham.
Easter chocolate treats from Hotel Chocolat, Chouchoute, Carluccio’s, Hamiltons and Mr Simms Olde Sweet Shoppe to tempt you on the Shop page.
Details of Kids Easter Biscuit Decorating Class at Carluccios; a Good Friday Fish Supper at Mallory Court Hotel; a Spanish themed evening at Grant’s of Sheep Street; a Jazz Brunch at The Arden Hotel; National Stilton Week and an Easter Sunday Lunch at Coombe Abbey are now on the Events page.