Attending food festivals is fast becoming one of my favourite things to do in my spare time and last weekend I was asked to attend the Great British Food Festival by the lovely people at Tastecard.
The festival visits lots of locations around the UK throughout the Spring and Summer months, with the closest to me being Castle Howard near York, the most beautiful castle with huge gardens and grounds perfect for hosting the stalls and all of the visitors. 
Despite the weather forecast telling us it would rain, we were fairly lucky that all we had to deal with was the wind. 
There were so many stalls, it really was a foodies heaven! We came away with lots of treats including handmade pork pies and sausage rolls, rocky road and salted caramel slices from Ridiculously Rich by Alana (winner of last year's The Apprentice), the gooiest brownies I have ever eaten, bags of popcorn and so much more.

While working our way around the festival we were able to sample so many beautiful things like cheeses, homemade breads with dipping sauces, jams and relishes, different flavoured cider and gin, handmade fudge and some delicious sausages. 
Elodie sometimes gets a little bored at food markets and festivals, but this one had lots of things to keep the youngsters entertained. As soon as we arrived we booked her into one of the children's cookery classes which cost £3.50 for around half an hour. 
All of the children were gathered in a tent to make chocolate trifle, it was very basic but it worked well and kept the group of mixed aged children busy and feeling rather important for a while! 
There was also a circus workshop, a few fairground rides and face painting.
As well as food and drink there were plenty of other stalls selling handmade gifts, cooking accessories and so much more. We bought Elodie a twig pen with her name on it and some handmade bath bombs and soapy sponges (which smell amazing!)
We also spent a lot of our day saying hello to all of the gorgeous dogs that people had brought with them for the day... I wish I'd managed to snap photos of them all, they were so cute!
Enjoying food samples while you're there isn't the only way to indulge, there is of course all of the stalls selling hot food ranging from curries, pizzas, bbq pulled pork, burgers, chips... I could go on and on, but there really is something to tickle everyone's taste buds at these festivals!
We opted for a hog roast bun, which we ate while sitting on some deckchairs listening to live music by John Clapper and Elodie tucked in to some triple fried chips. If the weather had been warmer or if the wind had dropped, this would have easily been my favourite part of the day.

What turned out to be my favourite part of the day was the Cake Off, where members of the public had baked cakes to be judged by some volunteers and Howard from The Great British Bake Off. The theme of the Cake Off was Victoria Sponge, and there were 19 to be tasted... Some looked really incredible.
The best thing about this was that the audience were able to taste as many of the cakes as they wanted too... Elodie even offered to help hand out slices of cake, which was such a big deal to me. She can be quite shy, so the fact that she put herself forward to do this made me so proud... It also meant I got to try lots of cake!
They tallied up the votes and the top three cakes were announced, surprisingly 1st place went to the cake that I liked the best too.

There were also talks and demonstrations on throughout the day from Howard and other chefs and bakers.

Before we left the festival we had a little look around Castle Howard's grounds and the beautiful rose gardens... If you've never visited before I really recommend it, it's such a gorgeous place.

If you'd like to visit, The Great British Food Festival will be visiting Bowood House in Wiltshire on 26th, 27th and 28th of August and Arley Hall in Northwich on the 23rd and 24th of September.
Thanks so much to Tastecard for inviting us, we had a lovely day!
Some posts may contain PR/gifted samples, please read my disclaimer for more info.