Well what a great event. The comments started flowing on Facebook that the festival was mobbed with people pretty much as soon as it opened so I was itching to get there by lunchtime. The lovely Bearwood Pantry ladies did not disappoint – and nor did their stall holders.
The area of Bearwood Road outside Bearwood Baptist Church was transformed into a mini street food festival itself with three enticing offers – Barek Oscarek’s polish food (the yummy peirigis sold out fast!), Chocolate Dreams (yep, massive chocolate fountain) and Pimpernel’s Delights French food – oh, the steak sandwiches looked amazing!
We were eager to get into the main hall to see the rest of the stalls – and what a sight. The centrepiece was an inviting table of Bearwood folk, all sitting around chatting and eating, washed down with home made cordials and lovely tea.
The atmosphere was characteristic of the handmade fairs – welcoming and friendly, a feel-good-day in Bearwood. But this was something extra. Here, the social aspect really seemed the central focus – the opportunity to meet with friends, neighbours and say hi to folk I recognise from just being around our neighbourhood.
And of course the food – talking about and sharing the food – was the reason for all the chatter and excitement. Whilst I would happily have eaten my Blueberry and Coconut Cake (by Have Some Cake) all on my own, without sharing it with two 2-year-olds and a husband, it was probably more delicious precisely because we were all enjoying it together (honest!). And what’s more, sharing it meant I had enough room in my tummy to finally understand all the fuss about French Macaroons (yummy yummy).
I’ve talked about the dessert before my main haven’t I, typical. But today’s savoury course shouldn’t play second fiddle – Nin and Melody’s curry was delicious. We had chick peas and dhal and it was scrumptious. And wow, was it hard to choose – the queue for the veggie burgers was enormous and the Polish kitchen out the front had sold out it was so popular.
Mixed in with all this were some brilliant stalls – Charlie’s Mom’s Chocolate Factory, Maiden’s Fayre and other fabulous producers from Bearwood and the wider Birmingham area – live music by a range of Bearwood favourites including Phil Mahon and Amelia Wallace, a food bank collection point and a recipe swap.
Our friends at the Bearwood Pantry were on a high and it was truly infectious. I hope they’ll do it again soon, it was a great day for Bearwood.
Tell us what you thought and what you like the most – and if you want to find out more about the stall holders were there, check out the Bearwood Pantry’s blog!