Good food and pleasant company

Sorry, I can’t talk.  I’m on a train.

DSCF9277 (2)Jim, at the ticket office at Lime Street told me mine was the fifth ticket he’s sold that morning for Birmingham International – something going on?  Sure is.  It’s the summer show for the bbc good food and gardening world exhibition at the exhibition centre in Birmingham.  Every year I meet my lovely dad and Big Sis at the nec and go round the displays sampling as many of the free goodies as we can and buying loads of goodies that we wouldn’t normally be able to get elsewhere.

DSCF9289My dad is a keen and experienced gardener and has a large garden in which he can indulge his passion.  We usually have a picnic lunch with salad supplied from my lovely dad’s garden and some cheese, artisan bread and tomatoes from the stalls at the exhibition.

Here’s a sample of some of the goodies on display


Chocolate Greetings Cards

Chocolate Greetings Cards

A taste of New York – came away with a bag of bagels – what else?

A taste of Japan.

Or maybe something more Mediterranean?

Childhood Sweethearts

Childhood Sweethearts

The good food exhibition is extremely popular and gets very busy.  Very busy indeed. And gets very crowded.  So there is very little time to stop and chat.  I had arrived early enough, before it got too crowded, to give me time to chat to this lovely couple.  Childhood sweethearts, they lost contact and drifted apart then met up 15 years later.  Now partners in every sense of the word. It was lovely to stop and chat with these guys about Greece, cameras, the north/south divide and olive pate.  You can buy their stuff online at  I went in search of olive pate, but they had sold out on the first day of the exhibition, so I will be trying out their organic spicy olive paste.  Can’t wait.

Now for the cheese.  But what is that he’s cutting?  Black cheese?  Surely not?

Rest assured, it isn’t liquorice flavoured even if it is black as coal. It is charcoal that gives it the colour. It still has a strong and creamy cheddar taste.  I came away with a truckle of black cheese and their ginger cheddar. Strong cheese that just melts in the mouth. Again you can order online here at

By 11 o’clock it was beginning to get really busy, which made it difficult to stop and chat and take photos. Besides which I was on a serious pursuit of Celtic alcohol – Blueberry Whisky liqueur and sloe gin from Anglesey, sorry I mean from Ynys Mons.

A lunchtime picnic, part squatting on the floor. The rain persisting, which gave us an excuse not to go outside across to the horticultural exhibits.  so time to head back and track the miles and miles back to the railway station.



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