I have always wanted to attend a food show or food fair in UK and finally had the opportunity to attend the BBC Good Food Summer Show held at the NEC in Birmingham from 11 to 14 June 2015. It was a lovely experience as I got to see so many stalls promoting various types of food, drinks and wine. The best part of it all, there were lots of samples and tasting sessions for the visitors. There were also ample of stores selling products as well as promoting newly launched products.
I would definitely recommend attending an event like this as you would get your money’s worth in food samples, discounts on purchase as well as meeting celebrity chefs at the Supertheather and Interview Stage. Some of the celebrities featured this time were Mary Berry, Tom Kerridge, James Martin and Michel Roux Jr. amongst others. My suggestion would be to go as early as you can and spend the whole day there.
I have listed here some tips, must-dos and more food photos of the event.
If the hour long show at the Supertheatre is too long for you, try to catch some famous chef at the Interview Stage for some tips or cooking demonstration.
I found the halls to be large, so make sure you have got comfortable walking shoes and bring along a huge shopping bag or a trolley bag to help you carry your shopping around.
Having a camera is also very handy, as you may bump into a celebrity and it also gives you the chance to snap up shots of your favourite food which the vendor is promoting but not selling at the time.
Tips for attending
1) If you know you are going to the show, book your tickets online to save you queing up, there was a very long que at the ticket booth when I arrived on Thursday. Booking in advance will save you time.
2) Park at the North side not East if you’re going to NEC. You do not need to pay for your parking ticket when you arrive, you can do it later. You can also pre-book your parking ticket online if you want. But most importantly, please remember to write down where you park your car as its a huge place and after a long day, you may not remember where you parked your car.
3) You need to get the shuttle bus from the parking area to the exhibition centre. The busses are free and quite frequent but depending on the time you arrive or depart, the que for the bus can be long. If you’re in a hurry, keep an eye out for the shuttle van which shuttles you to the venue but charges £1 per person
4) Arrive early, I got there on a Thursday, just before noon and it was packed. It did not help that there was another show, BBC Gardeners World Live Show going on at the same time. But then again, my ticket allowed me to attend both the Food Show and the Gardener’s World so I had more things to see and do.
5) If you want to watch your favourite celebrity chef at the SuperTheathre, then go early to avoid dissapointments, as the places are limited and goes on first come first serve basis.
All in all a fabulous experience and I can’t wait to attend the next BBC Good Food Show which will be in Winter, 26 to 29 November 2015 at the NEC in Birmingham as well.