How very well organised of the Allergy+FreeFrom Show to have picked bonfire weekend for this year’s show – especially since this year marked the 100th anniversary of the Cunard Building and so Liverpool put on a massive firework display on the river. This picture comes courtesy of the Liverpool Echo and if you go to their page you can see loads of other pics – and a video!!
I have to admit that Cressida and I cheated as I had a rather charming garret room in our new hotel, the Nadler. (We finally had to give up on our much loved Parr Street Studios as two whole nights of listening to Liverpool partying when we had to work next day became too exhausting even for us…) Anyhow, from my lovely garret at the Nadler (triple glazed so silent as the dead all through Saturday night) we saw the whole display while remaining pleasant warm and nibbling Eat Real Veggie straws washed down with delicious spiced, alcoholic ginger beers from Fentimans and Crabbies from the show!
Cressida had a very busy show, catching up with old friends and meeting the usual great selection of new freefrom producers that we always find at the allergy shows, wherever they may be. You can see what she found, with links to all, of their sites, here on her food pages.
I had a busy enough time too, catching up with old friends. Here is Lucinda Bruce Gardyne (just visible behind her cooker!) who spent most of the weekend either cooking on the Genius stand or speaking in the Learning Zone. Elsewhere, Tesco were showing their edible
Christmas decorations, show sponsors Dr Schaer were handing out bulging gluten-free goodie bags, BFree were offering samples of their great breads and Yorica (shortlisted for the FreeFrom Eating Out Awards) were serving massive totally freefrom ‘ice creams’ from their trendy little van. And here is Laura of 2015 FreeFrom Food Awards winners, Voakes FreeFrom, showing off their new ‘celebration pies’. (Laura and Nick Voakes got married last year and you will be glad to hear that they did have a massive pork pie wedding cake – although they did back it up with a conventional one too!)
However we were lucky enough to have a stand right by a ‘window’ into the Doves Farm ‘space’. This first appeared at the Allergy Show at Olympia in July and is likely to be a fixture for the next few years. A great idea, it is a sort of
exhibition within the exhibition with demonstration areas, shopping areas, ‘sitting out’ areas where Clare and Michael Marriage hold little seminar and discussion sessions, sitting out areas where you can actually sit out and a stage for exercises in the morning and for live music in the evening.
The other lovely thing about it is that the whole of the Doves Farm staff get to come to the show and to meet some of then people who eat the food that they grow and mill. So this chap who is offering samples of their ‘no top 14 allergens’ cereal bars to a visitor would normally spend his days driving a tractor round the farm – which is maybe why he is looking slightly confused by what the lady is asking him.
But however delightful watching the goings on on the Doves Farm stand may have been, our show was definitely ‘made’ by being opposite Maxburn Fitness Plate Oscillators (with built in bluetooth and LED lights)!! The theory is that by standing on the plate and allowing it to jiggle you, you will get a great deal fitter/slimmer/healthier…… Goodness knows whether it works but it is certainly a laugh a minute watching people try! Here is Cressida having a go…
And here she is being balletic….
However, I cannot complete a blog about a visit to Liverpool without a short reference to one or the other of the cathedrals! (For the full Monty on both cathedrals see my report back in 2014….)
Because we were staying closer to the Prot. cathedral, and because it has the wonderful St James’ garden cemetery – and because the Prots get up earlier so their cathedral is open at 7am while, the Holy Romans do not open till 8am – my early morning vote goes to the Prots! And this year I was blessed with a bitingly cold but beautifully clear and sunny morning – as you can see…..