Colmore Food Festival is one of the most anticipated events in the Birmingham foodie calendar. Held in Victoria Square, the festival is free to attend and all dishes are capped at £4, giving visitors the chance to try some of the best offerings from around the Colmore Business District.
Dave and I headed down on Saturday to eat some food, grab some cocktails and enjoy the sun. The festival was busy when we arrived, with lots of people enjoying the live music and cooking demonstrations.
It was so hot by the time we got there, so rarely for us, food was not our first priority. A cold drink was in order. I headed to Purnell’s Bistro & Ginger’s Bar where I ordered a Strawberry Feels, which was gin, elderflower, lemon, apple and mint. It was very tasty, if a touch sweet for my tastes, which I wasn’t expecting from a drink involving lemon. Dave took himself to the stall from Jekyll and Hyde, where had a Hibiscus twist on a Tom Collins. His was much better, I thought, with a sharp edge to the flavour.
We took our drinks down to the stage, where the incredible Elements of Song were performing. The group are from Aston Performing Arts Academy, and they’re truly amazing. I’ve seen them before at my work’s Christmas party, and they wowed me this time too. They are so full of energy, and are all great singers and dancers. They really know how to get a crowd joining in with them and having a dance in the sunshine.
Suitably cooled down, we went in search of food. Dave was drawn in by the Cowboy Sandwich from Viva Brazil. Piled with steak and cheese, this disappeared pretty rapidly, so I think I can safely say it was good.
Continuing my thinking from my cocktail choice, I decided to try somewhere that would probably be out of my budget usually, so I checked out the offering from Gaucho. The Vacio was tender flank steak, with humita, corn, mozzarella and peppers. The steak was buttery soft, and well accompanied with the summery corn. A perfect summer dish.
Last to be shovelled into our faces, we both couldn’t resist the Rib Tips from Nosh and Quaff. Rib tips are lumps of pork belly, deep fried and tossed in barbecue sauce. These were the best thing we ate, hands down. We both love pork belly, and this was cooked perfectly. Soft, so it fell apart when you pressed your fork down, with a delicious crisp outer coating. The sauce had some kick without drowning out all flavour from the meat. I could have eaten these by the plate load. It might actually be enough to tempt me into Nosh and Quaff, a venue I’m yet to be lured into.
Full of food, I went back to the Jekyll for a Gin & Tonic, and Dave and I bagged ourselves some deckchairs. The atmosphere of the festival is always so fun, and it was bliss to lounge in a deckchair in the sun for a bit with a drink, before we rolled home. I’m already looking forward to next year.
Colmore Food Festival is free to attend. All food and drinks were paid for in full by me and Dave. All opinions are honest and my own.