Last week I attended the wonderful Romsey Food Festival on a beautifully sunny Sunday morning where the smell of sweet treats, herbs, spices and foods filled the air. I was attending to visit the Gourmet Grilled Cheese stand to try one of their toasties but as they say when in Rome! I also tried Hampshire honey, fudges, a lovely apple juice from Hill Farm Juice and of course cheese which I will mention later in this post.
We arrived in Romsey at around 11.00am but there was a distinct lack of car parking, assuming all hope was lost when on the last go around a car park the fates opened up a car parking space at 11.30am! Having calmed myself and realised that I was going to get to try some food we continued into the High Street where we were told around 8,000 people were going to visit in the space of a few short hours! I have attended a number of food festivals but this one really was busy and it was quite compact so we had our Versailles (Visited Versailles in France in 2012 and you couldn’t move!) moment again. We had a wander around and bought some rather lovely variety of fudge (although nothing can beat the fudge from the Boardwalk Candy shop in Disneyland Paris I have to admit) from a couples stall, I then recognised some friendly faces and visited the Waitrose tent where they had the Hampshire Honey lady in a rather quirky & fun bee jumper but her honey was very good. Moving from there we headed in search of Emma & Andy at The Gourmet Grilled Cheese Company for a delicious toastie.
Having found them we joined the queue and I was very eager to look at the menu to see what toastie I could have and I went for the ‘Signature Smokey’ but have a look below and see which one you had have picked:
While waiting I observed an ever growing line of people who were also very eager to try the wonderful grilled cheese toasties, and there was also a happy customer who went back and complimented them both for the toastie. Having never seen them in action before I was watching and trying not to lick my lips too many times in the queue but it was extremely difficult!
After waiting patiently my ‘Signature Somkey’ arrived and in a word it was perfection. Now I expect at some stage or another we have all had a toastie or grilled cheese sandwich but I can safely say this is the pinnacle of that. Its as if all flavours combine to form a wondrous food orchestra for the taste buds, and knowing that it uses local producers helps you enjoy it even more. The Lyburn Oak Smoked cheese does well to provide that rustic & authentic smokiness without overpowering the toastie and there is a lovely homemade tomato chutney that adds a sweetness & depth. Now I made the mistake of adding the famous red sauce to the side of my tray but believe me you don’t need to add it because it just doesn’t lend anything to this glorious flavour. After I had said my Thank you’s & Goodbyes we moved on from the stall towards the Farmers Market but not before I could have a photo with my toastie.
Just look at my face I think it sums up a happy Gourmet Grilled Cheese customer!
We arrived at the Farmers market where Loosehanger cheeses were selling there lovely smoked cheese which is very versatile but particularly good for adding flavour into cooking. It has a creaminess and a slightly sharp flavour but the smokiness complements this well and is a brilliantly flavoured smoked cheese.
Unfortunately we then looked at the time and the clock was ticking for the car parking so we had to make our exit from the food festival. Overall this was a lovely day and had a good mix of foods and it seemed to be a hit with all who attended the event. I’m looking forward to planning this in next year but maybe arriving slightly earlier so not to be disappointed by parking. It was nice to see all the people there in particular Emma & Andy who have a very good future ahead of them in the Gourmet Grilled Cheese toastie business.
Have a good weekend!