Last weekend I was lucky enough to be invited along to Ascot Racecourse by Fisher & Paykel to join them at the Festival of Food and Wine fair. Taking Coby and Lucy along and leaving Steve at home to watch Liverpool
lose play we jumped in the car and drove over all excited and eager to try lots of delicious food, place a few bets and generally sit in what is most likely going to be the last bit of sunshine we’ll have for a while.
As predicted, and typically English, the sun blazed down for ohhh about 2 hours, a cool breeze was blowing billowing dresses into the air exposing ladies bottoms… OK that last bit mostly just happened to me, but you know, it’s my own fault for wearing a floaty dress. At least I had tights on to protect my modesty a little!
I’ve always had a love of horse racing. I grew up in York surrounded by the sport, often working at the restaurant in my teenage years, and the love of racing has stayed with me.
What was happening?
I’m sure you’ve all heard of Royal Ascot, the pinnacle of the racing calendar. It’s apparently the Queen’s favourite racing event too, and is attended by Her Majesty and many of the royal family. This event was something slightly different though. More relaxed, less manic and definitely less formal. Bunting sprawled the grandstand and over 100 food stalls created an absolute feasting extravaganza with lots of on-the-go and casual food options available.
Spoiled for choice and a little overwhelmed Coby had his standard panic of what to eat first with the thought of getting full too quick and missing out on something delicious look on his face! We walked all the way up testing the fudge… and all the way back down again. We all created mental lists of what we wanted to try and nibble on.
One of my favourite things to eat and I’ll probably be eating these for as for as long as olive… 😉 Stuffed with garlic, laden in coriander and drizzled with lemon. Discovering new olives has kind of become mine and Lucy’s thing. We get excited when we spot an olive stand and give each other a knowing look that we both know means lets go eat as many as we can!
The charming stall holders will hand you samples.
You can stock up on nibbles to accompany wine later.
Coby eventually took a breather and settled for the paella. We found a quiet(ish) spot on the lawn and worked our way through our wares.
Now, I may have gotten somewhat distracted along the way… but Fisher & Paykel sponsored this post to talk about their Social Kitchen. So here’s the lowdown. The Social Kitchen is about everyone meeting around a table, enjoying chatting and connecting over food. With two celebrity chefs taking centre stage and demonstrating what they know best, it was always going to be a success. Candice Brown (for those who don’t watch GBBO, she’s the 2016 winner) and Raymond Blanc demonstrated what they love to cook, how they use certain ingredients and also shared some secret hints and tips.
Now, you can’t go to Royal Ascot and not have a bet right? I tried my best to explain to both Coby and Lucy how betting worked but they typically just went for the horse with the name they liked the most. Each to their own. We pooled our funds and took our spot by the finish line, shouted and screamed for our horses to win. They got that carried away they forgot to actually look if their horse even placed! It did. They were impressed.
Just as it began to spectacularly pour it down we decided we better ‘hoof’ it off home. Super full and super happy after the perfect family day out.
Good food, good drink & the potential to win some money. The perfect combo!