Win Tickets for The Real Food Festival

OK so here’s the deal: I’ve got 4 pairs of free tickets to give away so I’m running a little competition. All you need to do to win some is tell me a little food story. It can be as short as a few words or as long as your arm; as simple as telling me the name of your favourite dish; a  joke; a guilty pleasure you’re happy to embrace or a moment of consumption that you’re genuinely ashamed of. Get it off your chest – I’m all ears.

My 4 favourite comments will win the tickets, so the judgement will be based on my whim and fancy; there will be no random number generator or witness present. I’m easily impressed so fire away.

There’s also a 2 for 1 deal up for grabs – that’s 2 tickets for a bargainous £12 for a runner up, should they wish to take the deal.

The Real Food Festival is taking place in Earl’s Court again this year, but don’t let that put you off – many of the people inside are selling some really lovely stuff. I know because I went to visit some of them last year and wrote about it on the RFF blog. I’ll be there myself, serving up tea at the ‘Mad Hatter’s Tea Party’, which will involve Henrietta ‘tea lady’ Lovell and those crazy kids Bompas and Parr. Do pop over for a cuppa.

I’ll choose the winners on Monday 3rd May.

Category: Competitions, Food Events, Markets, Tickets | Tags: , , 37 comments »

37 Responses to “Win Tickets for The Real Food Festival”

  1. Pete Jones

    I’ve recently moved from Brisbane Australia to London, and my tastebuds have literally been blown. I love a bit of cooking, and the variety of things to play with here have blown my mind. I stumbled across your blog in my snooping, found your post on Persia in Peckham, and, since I’m living in Brixton, have already ordered the book and can’t wait to make a trip to the deli there to start cooking. I love that there’s a community of foodies here that connect the boroughs together, and that a guy from Brisbane, Australia can end up buying a book from an author 2 miles away from where he now lives and then go to her deli and buy the ingredients to cook a recipie. Amazing!

  2. sharon Payne

    Thought I would tell you a little joke. A man went into a bakers shop. The assistant came over and asked for his order. He said ” Can I have 3 jam doughnuts, 1 scone, and a wasp please”. The assistant looked at him bewildered and said ” I`m sorry sir we don`t sell wasps”. He replied “you have one in the window”.

  3. Steve

    Padstow. Many years ago.

    Sitting on the sea wall. Eating fish and chips out of the wrapper. Drinking a can of cider.

    Wondering why any of the other chippies even bothered trying to compete with Rick Stein’s

    Padstow. Recently.

    Being able to afford going to his seafood restaurant. Twice. Once for a serious dinner and once for lunch grazing at the bar. And still being impressed about how well they perform, whichever end of the spectrum you’re coming from.

    Barcelona. Always

    La Boqueria is to die for.

    Forget expensive hotels and restaurants. Rent an apartment, shop in the market, and dine royally.

    Anywhere else.

    Never mind what the critics tell you to do. Just go out there and enjoy. Because that’s what “Real Food” is about.

  4. meena

    I would love to take my mum and have a great girls day out. I went last year and met some wonderful people and sampled really tasty food. The difference between supermarket and food here is fabulous. I tried so many new things and learnt some great dishes. I would love to go back and spend the money saved on tickets on some great produce. drooling at the thought of the chococlate and cup cakes washed down by some really nice tea

  5. I Sicilian

    I stumbled onto your blog and since I’m a food blogger also, I was curious so I came in to see you. First, I want to tell you your recipes look great. Secondly I understand you like stories so I wanted to make you familiar with my blog. The majority of my recipes are accompanied by personal stories of my life in Sicily. I will list some that i think you might enjoy. Third, If you like my stories don’t choose me as the winner of your tickets. I live too far away to make the trip. This is just my gift to you
    Anyway I hope you enjoy my blog stories. Try these below, but the blog is full of them

  6. Dangerous Variable

    I love my food and I live to eat. My hometown, Penang, is famous for its bulls penis broth which is called ‘sup torpedo’. Yummy! Since coming to London, I usually get a funny face or a stare when I ask the butcher whether he could get a bull’s penis. The answer is usually NO!

  7. Lyndsay

    I’ve been on a diet since November for my upcoming wedding in July and to be honest I feel like I have been hungry since November. The stupid thing is I torture myself by reading your blog every morning when I get to my office, I read your stuff and drool over your pictures while I am sadly stuffing cucumber and carrot batons into my mouth.

    Don’t get me wrong I had a few pounds to loose and I have, which is great because who wants to look like a fat marshmallow when they are walking down the aisle but it has got to the stage when I am already picturing rolls and sausage and potato scone on the morning of the wedding plus toast and butter and jam, cause lets face it eating it then isn’t going to make me fat for the afternoon.

  8. Zoe Ali

    me and my sister are both allergic to Gluten and we were always on a gluten-free diet ever since we were teenagers. *

  9. Anthony

    Around that time I will be taking part in some culinary deception, cooking ahead and prepping a meal so my wife can look like she’s cooking while she finishes it off and serves to her book group. I’m thinking chicken tagine and a bulgur wheat pilaff, and perhaps some simple greens to complete it.

    After faking it like that, a visit to the real food festival would restore the balance quite nicely don’t you think?

  10. Tweets that mention Win Tickets for The Real Food Festival — Food Stories --

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  11. gourmet traveller

    I can’t think of any amusing stories or witty food ditties so am going with a killer cocktail recipe (everyone likes a good cocktail!).

    This one featured heavily in many a night out during my uni days. Bearing in mind that was over 10 years ago (and a lot of those days were pretty hazy), these may not be the exact measurements…but I think it’s about there and will be pretty tasty all the same!

    Red Apple:
    1 part Absolut Citron
    1 part Apple Schnapps
    1 part Cranberry Juice
    juice of half a lime

    Shake over ice in a cocktail shaker and serve in a martini glass (or any ol’ glass you can find). Enjoy!

  12. sabrina fancy

    m pregnant and am craving Basil like anything. I have eaten 3 basil plants in the last week. Is this normal?

  13. Sabrina Kapur

    I am about to be married and started a cooking class. the instructor asked us why we decided to tkae a class with her. My husband ( who was only with me for the first lesson) decided to answer for me saying ‘ She needs to learn how to cook so I don’t starve.’ Charming!

  14. Lynne

    I don’t think you have enough jokes yet…

    Tommy Cooper must have been a secret foodie, cos a LOT of his jokes are about food… here are just a few of my faves cos I don’t want to COMPLETELY bore you :)) :

    * I bought some HP sauce the other day. It’s costing me 6d a month for the next 2 years.

    * Police arrested two kids yesterday, one was drinking battery acid, the other was eating fireworks. They charged one and let the other one off.

    * I went to the doctors with a jelly stuck in one ear and custard in the other. The doctor asked, ‘what seems to be the problem?’ I said ‘you have to speak up, I’m a trifle deaf.’

  15. Chris

    I have a little collection of hilarious mis-translations in foreign menus, which one day I may do a post on. In the meantime, here are a few of my favourites:

    Grilled Angler in its own juices
    Fish with seamen sauce
    (all from various places in L’Escala, Spain)

    Ice Cream, Cream, Cream and Choco Chops
    (from a dessert menu in Barcelona, Spain)

    Griddled octopussy
    (Dubrovnik, Croatia)

    Hake to the grill
    Chicken to the grill
    Meat to the grill
    (Four separate menu items from a restaurant in Cuba. To this day I still regret not ordering the ‘meat to the grill’ and the ‘grill’ just to see what the difference was)

    And last but not least, not strictly a translation error but who can forget the recipe from a pasta cookbook in Australia which called for “Freshly ground black people”, necessitating the pulping of a good 7000 copies –

  16. Anthony Hett

    My girlfriend is a brilliant cook. She is Greek and makes an amazing Moussaka but unfortunately there is just one problem. She never seems to have any food in her flat. I stayed at her flat last night and she very sweetly brought me breakfast in bed this morning. I shouldn’t really complain but the breakfast consisted of toast without butter and a glass of water.

  17. Gav

    Basically I am shamefacedly trawling through all the food bloggers websites to get free tickets but Niamh has Cornishware. I love Cornishware. How about you give me the free tickets and she gives me the Cornishware and you both get a glass of wine

    And some bacon

    Everyone likes bacon

    Bribery is the way to my heart especially when it involves bacon

    PS Your goat curry recipe was very good, very good indeed.

  18. fabhat

    My story is more of guilty non consumption…

    Many years ago, while sharing a student flat and a cooking rota, I had one flatmate, Marco, who always made minestrone for supper when it was his turn to cook. One night some of us decided to go out for pizza instead of braving the soup again, and when Marco protested, I suggested he freeze it for another night. The next week, on his night to cook, there in the kitchen, was the bag of minestrone defrosting greasily on the drainer, but no sign of Marco. In an evil moment, my flatmate, my boyfriend and I decided to throw the frozen bag out of the window into the garden rather than eat it.

    That evening recriminations and raised voices and puzzlement about where it had actually gone followed and even though there was no absolute proof that we’d done it, it would be fair to say we were the chief suspects.

    Sorry Marco. Hope you’ve found someone to appreciate your cooking these days. I haven’t eaten minestrone soup since…

  19. Krista

    I studied in Paris for my 6th form and was placed in a house with a French family.

    Very typical Parisienne family, super slim and scary dominant wife, tall quiet peaceful husband who read lots and was very clever, she had a disgusting mutt that was ugly but she adored.

    The wife was really strict with me and between coming home from school and eating dinner at 9pm I was only allowed a hot chocolate and 2 broken biscuits before being sent off upstairs to do my homework.

    I grew to rely on these biscuits as my source of nourishment, despite being broken.

    One weekend they had visitors with children and we ate lunch in the garden while the children played with the slobbering mutt. The wife told them to go and get some dog treats …. lo and behold they appeared with my biscuits.

    The reason mine were always broken was in full shape they were shaped like bones! The witch had been feeding me dog biscuits!

    (for those that want to try they are not overly disgusting and go well with hot chocolate)

  20. paul haine

    Can I submit my attempt at cooking with tongue?

  21. Emma Patterson

    I’ve decided to start trying to hide chocolate from myself to save my waist expanding at a rate faster than the national debt.

    As my memory is appalling, it’s working quite well. Except that when I am looking for places to hide a new stash of a sumptuous cocoa-based product, I stumble across booty that I have previously hidden….

    I’m doomed!

  22. Wendy

    Ok, I’m not entering ’cause I don’t live anywhere near London but since we’re doing food jokes my favourite (which you have to say out loud) is:

    What kind of cheese do you need to get a bear out of a tree?


    Tee hee.

  23. Wendy

    One more. Again, must be said out loud and, this time, with the accent:

    A Glaswegian walks in to a bakery and points at a cake.

    “Is that a doughnut or a meringue?”

    “No, you’re right,” says the shop assistant. “It’s a doughnut.”

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  25. Howitzer

    I always crave for my favorite pork recipe during any meal. My mom used to cook it a lot when i was still living with them. I have learned on how to cook and improve the pork recipe but it really did not seem as delicious as when my mom cooked it.

  26. Tyelperion

    Two stories from my family:

    Back in the 80s in Hong Kong my dad was an associate at a law firm trying to make partner. He and my mum, along with a couple of other aspirants were invited over to the partner’s house for dinner. It was a real over-done 80s dinner party where the hostess had attempted to recreate a fancy restaurant at home, 3 wine glasses each, 4 sets of cutlery, 5 courses etc etc. The cook had made most of the food but the partner’s wife had made the dessert which was her piece de resistance and she talked about it all night, how she makes this all the time, she doesn’t ever let the cook make it because he would get it wrong and so on. My parents dutifully responded by how much they were looking forward to it, and after 4 other courses it was served with great ceremony, the hostess supervising even the placement of the plates in front of each guest. One bite and it became clear that the hostess, clearly unacquainted with her own kitchen, had mistaken salt for sugar and the dessert was disgusting. My dad remembers that all the guests caught each other’s eyes and knew that they had to soldier on – must suck up to the bosses wife!! So no one said anything and they sat there choking down this salty lemon pudding while the hostess sat there chattering away about how special this pudding was, until she finally got around to taking a bite. There was a terrible silence, and then she suddenly burst into tears and rushed out of the room, not to appear again that evening. My dad did make partner in the end though!

    The other story also involves my dad, this time at a party at our house. A very heavily made up woman was badgering him to open the champagne she had brought because she clearly thought it was better than the stuff we were serving. He tried to put her off by saying she had just arrived, it was warm, etc etc but she insisted and he started to open it. Since she had just arrived it was a bit shaken up and suddenly the cork flew off and hit her right between the eyes, along with a formula 1 worthy spray of champagne (he swears he didn’t aim it at her but I wonder…) It completely melted her pancake makeup and she clapped both hands to her face and rushed out. 5 minutes later, she came back as if she was just arriving at the party and nothing had ever happened, fully re-made up with the makeup again plastered on with a trowel. My brother and I were dying in the corner and my mother had to shut us in my bedroom until we could stop laughing.

    Now I’ve thought of a third one (yet again involving my dad!) – he went over to a girlfriend’s house in high school for the big scary introduction and dinner with her parents, and at some point during dinner the girl’s father got a pea lodged between his cheek and his nostril. It sat there all evening and no one said anything! So of course my dad got the giggles and made a pretty poor impression – that girlfriend didn’t last long!

  27. Tweets that mention Win Tickets for The Real Food Festival — Food Stories --

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  28. Emily Martin

    I think that the fact that I’m up at 3:00 am, wracked with food poisoning (not of my own doing!) but am researching pork roasting techniques and reading my favourite food blog proves that I’m food obsessed. That I can be contemplating the way to the perfect piece of crackling while pressing my sweating forehead against cool porcelain must be worth something!
    Will be more careful about trying sausage samples at farmers markets from now on….a little.

  29. A Peckham Experiment

    Yesterday, I baked bread – a simple, white loaf with a few oats and linseeds thrown in for good measure. There was already half a loaf in the house from the weekend’s baking bonanza, but I made this one specifically for a particular pleasure of mine: the first slice of the bread straight out of the oven, shards of 70% cocoa chocolate squares broken over it, the slice folded (always folded, not cut in half), a moment’s pause as the chocolate melts. The perfect piece (as we call a sandwich in Northern Ireland).

  30. Helen W

    Food = life;
    Better food = a better life;
    Grow what you can, that’s better still!

  31. Krishan K


    My wife is pregnant and eating everything in site. I think she would enjoy this and I would love to take her as to show her that i appreciate her. :)

  32. Jason P


  33. Becky Thorn

    My guilty pleasure teases me all day as it takes up to 6 hours to cook and fills the kitchen with porkiness. One large soft and floury bap over filled with slow cooked pork shoulder, a spoonful of pork juices to soak into the bun, a dollop of home made sage and apple stuffing and friends who don’t mind seeing me with food on my chin. Heaven.

  34. Lucy

    Live to eat or eat to live? What do you think?
    For me, food is all about the memories it invokes and the memories it creates. Nothing quite beats that feeling when a mouthful or a gulpful of food or drink takes you back to that happy place. Food is so closely affected by emotions and we should celebrate that.

    So my food story is actually an on going story, but it’s nearing its end…
    My best friend and I are obsessed with the TV show LOST. In our seven bedroom uni house last year, we used to make everyone evacuate the lounge, we had the lights off and we had a food and drink feast in front of us as we enjoyed the show. Now, we’ve graduated and of course we are trying to re-live every moment. Thus, we have created the tradition of Friday night dinner to eat whilst watching LOST. We vary it up each week. Sometimes we have pasta dishes with our favourite garlic bread, chicken kievs with curly fries, fajitas. We have many epic meals and our favourite is a vatful of our infamous macaroni cheese. It’s just 4 weeks until the finale and it’s going to be a touch decision deciding which will be our final supper.
    I’ve loved setting up a tradition, recreating the uni experience with a large bottle of cider. Great food, great entertainment and most importantly, great company to share these memories with.

  35. Danielle

    For the last couple of years I’ve been struggling with an eating disorder but slowly through the world of food blogs, especially yours(!), i’ve been inspired to start cooking again and am finally on the road to recovery. I’ve remembered just how much fun and pleasure a good home cooked meal can bring. My husband and I have instigated a challenge to cook a new dish every week we are creating a top ten and a worst ten at the moment. As you can imagine it’s definitely led to some interesting experiments! I’m obviously winning in the top ten stakes so I’d love to go along to the real food festival and get inspired and find some gorgeous ingredients to knock his (and my) socks off. So please pick me, pretty please I’ve never won anything in my life!

  36. bela

    There’s something quite wonderful about ‘street food’, tiny titbits, mouth-watering morsels, food that illumintes the eyes and fires the palate.

    Clutching two polystyrene containers, we were served with freshly fried quails eggs, twelve each of golden gems, laying on a bed of finely shredded cabbage, and sprinkled with soy sauce…

    Loitering in a doorway, greedily feeding one another, emitting noises that wouldn’t be considered out of place in a bedroom, we were suddenly showered with a bucket of very cold water from a tiny old Thai woman, who had take umbrage to our, more than appreciative grunts of pleasure.

    Street food – I love it!

  37. Howitzer

    Wow! Id love those with some sweet chili sauce. Id always wanted to cook some good filipino recipe using ingredients as this. Really would look yummy red.

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