Review of 'Foodies Festival Christmas with Top Chefs (2016)'

I was not planning on visiting the Foodie Festival this Christmas after a bit of a disappointment last year but a ticket offer came up that I could not refuse so attended again. The festival this year was located largely on the first floor of the Truman Brewery with the larger demonstration area on the ground floor. Last year the ground level also had additional stalls but these were missing this year - Indeed, the show seemed a lot smaller this year though the crowd trying to get in was quite long…

The stalls seemed to be generally more food-based though quite a number, as might be expected, stalls selling alcohol products (I would say about 2/3 food and 1/3 drinks). My favourite area was the “Producer's Grotto” which was a small room off of the large “Exhibitors Hall” that featured a number of smaller producers that offered interesting and specialist items. The larger hall tended to feature a number of very big companies and organizations. Every stall operator seemed to be more than willing to talk about what they do as well as actually selling you things - Free samples galore!

The “Feasting Hall” had a number of producers selling food for eating right there and then as well as a stage featuring live entertainment. The prices here were quite reasonable and there were a large number of choices of interesting and delicious food available.

I sat at the back of one of the cooking demonstrations where some Asian food was being prepared. It was not well attended whilst down the hall was a wine tasting session that was packed - Though I suppose this is to be expected (!). There were a number of demonstrations throughout the day as well as tasting sessions and hands-on cooking experiences. All of these could be booked (free of charge) on site but the tickets, of course, generally went very quickly for popular events.

I also dropped by on a demonstration by this year's Great British Bake-Off Champion “Candice Brown” which was also extremely busy - I was only able to see her from quite a ways off…I did not stick around too long.

The show was on for three days - Friday through Sunday and open up to 7 pm each day.

The verdict: I enjoyed the show but it did not seem terribly new or different. They have a big problem with space with the popular events - those that are guaranteed to be popular - are in spaces no where near suitable for the crowds. The vendors are all very friendly though prices can get quite high there are offers available at the show. Tickets on the door were fairly expensive but those in the know would never pay full price for tickets as offers are commonly available.

Rating: “A bit better than average”

Review Date: 2016-11-19

The Old Truman Brewery

Location: London (England)

Address: 91 Brick Lane, London E1 6QL ENGLAND

Public Transport: TUBE Liverpool Street NRLOGO Shoreditch High Street Station


The Old Truman Brewery is the site of a number of trendy shows and events in recent years. Located midway along the Brick Lane market it is ideally placed with the ground floor often given over to street food vendors. Public transport to the area is difficult and generally involves a bit of a walk but it is generally worth the trip.