I can’t remember how many food/drink festivals I’ve been to in the last month, but I can tell you my jeans don’t fit anymore.
Last but by no means least for July’s overindulgence was Independent Birmingham Festival, at the charming Aston Hall. As you can see from the photos, this place is just awful. Not picturesque at all…
It’s no secret I love the Independent Birmingham festivals, having had a dreamy day at the last one back in March. They’re a great way to discover the street food, bars, cafe and restaurants we’re so lucky to have on our doorstep all in one place, and (my favourite part) over eating is encouraged. I went along with Ellen, George and Chloe and others to see what was available this time.
I have to say, the line up for the two-day Aston Hall incarnation was insane. Who else could bring The Meat Shack and Laghi’s Deli together in some glorious edible unison other than Joe, the keeper of IB cards and all round gem of a bloke? I owe him a lot for all the joy he brings to my life; he owes me my size ten skinny jeans back. Swings and roundabouts.
We turned up slightly hungover (shock/horror) on the Sunday with cash to splash and the urge to eat until we rolled home. The only issue was where to start and what to eat first; a common problem when you’re a greedy bastard. After making a stranger vaguely uncomfortable by eyeing up his lunch for too long, I made a beeline for Buddha Belly for the crispy chicken noodles with satay sauce. A bit of a hack and not strictly a menu item, I loved this bowl of happiness. Also, in terms of value for money these guys offer great bang for buck, plus a seriously fab vegan option that also got devoured.
Being that we had tickets for the Sunday I missed out on Low N Slow’s oak grilled leg of lamb Saturday special, so I got my meat fix from Flying Cows. If you follow my Instagram adventures you’ll know I’m a big fan of the Beefy Blue, and a bit of FC groupie. As well as the award winning High Flyer, Dan’s crew brought a Japanese inspired burger filled with a teriyaki glazed patty, spring onion and wasabi. I made some noises that could best be described as inappropriate as I shovelled this in my gob, and it was an absolute beefy banger.
Other notable eats came from BoneHead (wings for days), Laghi’sDeli (gnocchi and pastries) and Faculty Coffee. Hello Snickers brownies. Also, it’s not actually possible to attend an IB festival without eating halloumi fries so we had plenty of those from Street Chef as well.
Booze was obviously flowing, with the standouts for me being the mead slush from The Vanguard and the rhubarb and custard gin slush from 40 St Paul’s. You know when you discover something you never knew was missing from your life – yeah, that. I don’t know how many slushes we had, but it was a lot. The Wolf had some great craft beers too including Auric, a session IPA brewed by Salopian Brewery.
With 27 traders from Brum, 2 market halls packed with Birmingham’s best independent retailers, creatives and artists, plus cracking live music, this was a seriously knockout event. Take a bow, Joe. Take a bloody bow.
Want to know more about Independent Birmingham? Click here to get your card.
Disclosure: I paid in full for my ticket and all of the food and drink included in this post. All words and photos are mine.