The Darlington Festival of Food is a reasonably new kid on the event roster, and it went toe-to-toe with Tynemouth last weekend in terms of scheduling. It certainly didn’t feature as many stalls, but we were still looking forward to visiting. We had never been to the town centre before, and our only experience of eating in the area was featured in our Robineau Patisserie post recently.
We had no specific plan of the street food vendors we wanted to try, but by the time we arrived we were super hungry. Our first port of call was Scream for Pizza, which I’d heard of as they do a ‘pop up’ at The Staiths Cafe in Dunston. Jnr is a huge pizza fan, although he tends to choose ‘plain’ versions like Margherita. This was freshly made in front of us and cooked in Goldie, which has a wood burning oven inside. Very impressive!
We were serenaded by the rather flamboyant band, who seemed to make a beeline for me! They were really good, even if they did embarrass me into performing briefly with them.
We couldn’t visit the festival and not say hello to Olive, the VW campervan we have previously hired from Sweet Campers. Rachael and Graham were there to sell retro sweeties and to promote Olive’s services. She was a real draw for people, as we knew from our own driving trips with her in the Yorkshire Dales.
One stall I was particularly excited to try was Don Churros. Having expressed a nonchalant attitude towards the churros I’d previously tried at Zapatista, I wanted to see whether these were better or worse. They were so good I wanted seconds! I have been unable to find anything online about this company other than the Facebook page I’ve linked to. I found this disappointing as I’d love to know about other events they attend. £4 is a great price for the portion size we got, and the caramel sauce was delicious.
I was surprised to see a Longhorns stand at the event, but more than happy to try their Badass Brisket Brioche. I was already a fan after we visited their restaurant in Newcastle a few months ago – see blog here. It isn’t the prettiest or cleanest food to eat, and I ended up with BBQ sauce all over my chin! My only gripe was the meat was cold, which was disappointing when we hoped the food was cooked fresh. Raf ate a hog roast sandwich from a neighbouring van which cost £3.50, but Longhorns was far superior in quality.
We spent a small fortune at other stalls. We purchased incredible brownies we ate for supper from Brown and Blond, which were 3 for £5. I had to stop Jnr devouring his Toblerone version before we’d left the stall. He’s not good with everything in moderation. Ahhh, to have the hollow legs of a teen! We bought 4 mini-cheesecakes for £5 from Love Cheesecakes, although they took a bit of a tumble and ended up a bit squished in the car. They still were a good eat, regardless of how mixed the flavours got by the time we arrived home. We bought some bangers from The Northumberland Sausage Company to have with mash for a simple Monday night supper and some lovely bread from Rise, an Artisan Bakery based in Durham.
Jnr is a big fan of spicy food, so when Twisted Chilli approached him with curry samples he wasn’t going to refuse. I left the tasting to the boys as I have a low tolerance for heat. Both said Tikka Massalla was good, so I bought a pack of the ground spices to try out at home. Jnr spotted their Naga Phall, which I was also coerced into purchasing. My Dad, who also loves hot food, will be charged with cooking this for the two of them. I don’t think either me or Raf would be brave enough for a five chilli heat curry!
We couldn’t leave the event without visiting the La Petite Creperie stall for a Nutella and Caramel crepe. As always, Julien was a delight! There were large queues building, so we couldn’t loiter for too long. It was heartening to see how popular LPC are when they do these pop-up events, and certainly deserved.
We were pleased we took the time to visit Darlington Festival of Food. It may not be able to rival Tynemouth in terms of location, but we certainly found it easier to park and didn’t encounter huge queues. There was a good community spirit too. Hopefully with the success of this years’ event next year may be even better!
Thanks for reading,