Sunday, June 5, 2011

A Blooming Fantastic Day Out

Today, myself & my friend Denise decided to brave the damp and drizzle and head to Bloom in the Phoenix Park.  Organised by Bord Bia, this 5 day event is Ireland's largest food, garden & family festival with hundreds of exhibitors, cookery and craft demonstrations and 27 show gardens.

We decided to start at the furthest point (the Garden area) & work our way back to the food.  The garden exhibits were absolutely spectacular and my two favourites were the Ire-Su garden & the Alice in Wonderland garden.  The Ire-Su garden could be summed up in one word : serene.  It was very calming, with beautiful paving and wonderful attention to detail.

The Alice in Wonderland garden was fun and I really loved the signage that greeted you...

Another highlight was the Victorian Kitchen Garden where I amazed myself by identifying loads of plants (see Mum, I was paying attention all those years ago - it didn't go in one ear and out the other like you thought...). I thought the display of the old gardening equipment & signage was really eyecatching - especially this sign

Once we had walked the length & breadth of the garden area, it was time to hit the area I was looking forward to the most... the Food Village.  As we were starving, first stop was the Crowe's Farm stand for a pulled pork sandwich.  I forgot to take a photo of it because I was too busy devouring it while listening to the dulcet tones of Mr. Donal Skehan doing a cookery demo at the Chefs Summer Theatre

Get in my belly...

Donal & one of his fans

Once we had stuffed ourselves full of pork, it was time to open the purse & buy some gorgeous goodies from the Artisan Food market.  Some of my favourite food producers were there, including Noirin's Bakehouse where I was given a quarter of their Hi-Fibre Breakfast Bread to bring home (I am a big fan of their Wholemeal Brown Bread & it's our Saturday morning treat in Maison Baba).  Denise bought 2 of their Spelt Loaves as well.

Yummy bread from Noirin's Bakehouse

Then we high-tailed it over to the Hicks stand to try the famous Bacon Jam.  It was worth the wait - salty, sweet and savoury - and flying off the shelves too!

I also bought more herbs from Tom & the team from O'Hanlon Herbs - this time they had Lemon Thyme - the smell of which drove me mad on the way home and some rapeseed oil from Derrycamma Farm.

This was my little haul...

So, if you've nothing planned for tomorrow, get yourself to the Phoenix Park for the final day of the Bloom festival - there really is something for everybody.

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