Another year, another Eastnor Castle Chilli Festival. This year we invited some uni friends who also share our love for chilli along with us. Whilst we knew it would be the same set up as last year, we were still excited to attend.
The main thing I love about the Eastnor Castle Chilli Festival is the serious love for independents. Indie food stalls, indie chilli sauce makers, indie drinks vans. Not only that, a proportion are local, so they’re giving local businesses the chance to show themselves off too! But there are plenty of other reasons I love the festival, so let me share them with you…
The Beautiful Setting – Eastnor Castle
The Chilli Festival is set within the stunning grounds of Eastnor Castle. Last year we went round the castle, but this year we were too busy enjoying the sun. But as part of your ticket entrance you can enter the castle itself and I suggest if you haven’t you do so. It’s wonderfully grand inside and it has some stunning views from inside out to the lake. The grounds are sprawling too, we went for a long walk around the lake to enjoy the sun instead of going inside, it was worth it. Although the ice cream queue was too long and Dr W refused to wait!
Delicious Cookery Demos
Last year I didn’t go to any demos, which I regretted hugely! This year I totally made up for it. We got there bright and early so we could check out Rayeesa’s Indian Kitchen. All being huge fans of curry, this was top of our list. Rayeesa showed us an amazing vegetarian curry, but also how to make paratha, which are next on my list to make! We also checked out The Beefy Boys cooking demo. Gutted we couldn’t get in on Dr W’s birthday, we wanted to find out their secrets to the best burger. Now after the demo, we’ve decided to book in around my birthday. I need to get my hands on the Rude Boy burger again that I had at last year’s Eastnor Castle Chilli Festival.
Oh So Hot Sauce!
We went mad and bought SO much hot sauce. First up we checked out Frank and Co’s Scotch Bonnet Hot Sauce. I ended up taking home the Pinapple Scotch Bonnet Jelly. I also grabbed a bunch of dried chillies from Chilli Zoo for my Rick Stein cooking adventures, especially as the ones mentioned in his Mexican book are a little more tricky to get hold of. We also got a sneaky look at Hell Unleashed, the world’s hottest chilli sauce, which because of it’s strength is not a sample on offer to taste! Haha! After this I caught up with the guys at Grim Reaper Foods, where we basically bought all of their hot sauces. We bought a few last year – The Maverick, The Raven and The Rookie Goblin. This year we bought the others from the range! Last but not least I picked up Tubby Tom’s Bone Sucker Rib Seasoning, which we are trying out later tonight (I am writing this post the day before and my ribs are already marinating). I’ll be sure to share the outcome!
Street Food Fun
The festival is ALL about food. However, with the weather I didn’t go mad on foodie stalls like last year. Instead I bought loads of sauces for my fridge instead. BUT. I did enjoy the Treacle Beef Nachos from Habanero Cafe. They were seriously tasty and their homemade habanero sauce was incredible. I will be checking them out when they run their pop up in Brum!
Have you been to the Eastnor Castle Chilli Festival? Do you like chilli? Let me know in the comments,
P.S. They’ve just announced the festival will be on the weekend of 5th and 6th May 2019! Be prepared!