This weekend between the 1st and 3rd August we visited the Nottingham Riverside Festival which was sprawling along the banks of the River Trent between Trent Bridge, the Suspension Bridge and spilling out over onto the playing fields by the Meadows.
For some of us it would be all about those fairground rides like the Roller Coaster, The Waltzer, and the Ghost Train
For some of us it was about trying some of that classic fairground food that we remember from our childhood such a some candy floss, perhaps a toffee apple and maybe even one of those candy lollipops?
As it happens there was quite a lot more food on offer, both fairground food and some food from local and regional producers. I will tell you what, why don’t you just take a quick stroll along with me for a while and we can see what we can find?
Start at Trent Bridge
As you walk on to the embankment up at the Trent Bridge end by the Riverbank Pub (or Casa, the Aviary, or the Town Arms depending on your age) you find a little group of food vendors by the stage in the Riverside Bar car park. There was Dinky’s Donuts, The Duck Fat Roasties guys, and the I love Ostrich Stall all in a row.
I have tried all these before so I turned my attention to one of the other stalls just next to them that was selling fresh flame grilled chicken. The Portugese Peri Peri chicken did sound tempting but in the end I decided to just try one of their Garlic Chicken Ciabatta for £4. It was quite nice, a decent piece of chicken breast in a toasted Ciabatta bun filled with lettuce and tomato. They were looking quite popular.
Craft Fair Section
After that I walked onto the main path under the trees and headed towards the Suspension Bridge. In amongst a load of stalls selling craft type things and stalls for local organisations I made a couple of great finds. The first was the Simply Cakes stall where they were selling… well they were selling er …cakes. They had slices of cakes, and this rather eye catching stand of cup cakes, but I only had eyes for their billionaires shortcake and I bought two slices which I will eat later while watching the fireworks!
Just along the path I found the Hartland Pies stall. These guys are really very good and you can find them as regulars at the local markets, food markets, and local events. I purchased a traditional scotch egg and a traditional pork pie (for the fireworks) but you could have got a chorizo pork pie or a black pudding scotch egg as well if you so wanted.
Main Stretch (Trent Bridge to Suspension Bridge)
From here I continued down into the main section of the fair on either side of the main road between the two bridges. There was a lot of fairground food in this section but there were also one or two other more interesting options that on another day I might have sampled.
If it had been a winter or autumn day and I was at the fairground then I might have had a pot of mushy peas with mint sauce to stir into then. They were selling a lot here and judging by the big tins of peas on the stall were expecting to do well. Perhaps tonight when it cools down I might be more tempted.
As I passed by the war memorial I came across the Mirch Masala stall ( the I in the Mirch being a red chilli). I have met these guys before at the Nottingham Beer Festival and they do serve really tasty food.
The chap behind the stall gave me some of the Paneer Tikka Masala to sample, warning me that it was quite hot and that I should really have it with some rice. It was really tasty had a decent spicy kick and I will say that it is well worth trying.
Suspension Bridge Area
As you approached the Suspension Bridge it was getting back into the typical fairground fare with donuts, fish and chips, and ice cream galore. I kept on walking.
Just past the bridge I stumbled on another gem finding the MemSaab stall. They were selling Indian wraps filled with meat that they were grilling up on skewers on the hot coals. I was seriously tempted but managed to keep my resolve (briefly), they were nice.
Moving a little further on along the embankment past the suspension bridge I found a really tempting stall selling fudge. I was most taken by the fudge they had that was made to look (and taste) like a Vanilla Custard Slice. This was one over sugary excellent treat. Well why not just add it to the candy floss and the toffee apple. In for a penny in for a pound!
Craft Tent on the playing fields
The next find was most unexpected, I had wandered off the embankment and onto the playing fields where the rollercoaster was and found myself outside the craft tent. There was a banner for the Nibble Nose Cheese Company so I thought I would pop inside and take a gander
They had a lot of small wheels of cheese that you could sample and even buy a ‘rainbow’ box of all 7 falvours for £20 which seemed like quite a good deal. I decided to forgo the opportunity to buy one, but I was not able to resist the chance to get my hands on a slice of the “Skegness Blue”
This was not the only cheese on offer in the tent, there was another stall selling ‘David Williams Cheese’ from Maccelsfield. I tried a couple of flavours then ended up buying a small wheel of their smoked cheddar called ‘Redwood’. Hopefully I will have time to eat all this cheese!
Well after all that food there is only one thing to do and that is to head back along the river to our chosen vantage point to wait for the fireworks.
I need a rest after all that drooling over food.
There was lots of other choices to eat at the festival- plenty of fairground burgers, hotdogs and even the odd roast pork sandwich, there were too many to sample or even take pictures of, so if you have been or are going tonight or on Sunday. I hope you find something to your fancy. There really was something for everyone