Taste of Grampian - Thoughts From My First Experience

Taste of Grampian is an annual food festival that takes place at Thainstone mart at Inverurie, Aberdeenshire. It's a massive event that celebrated it's 20th anniversary this year, and at long last it landed on my weekend off! I was chuffed to bits to finally get to go along and experience the festival myself.

Gordon with Ovenbird Coffee cup at Taste of Grampian
Sweet toots cakery horsebox

Advance tickets would of cost us £8 each but as we weren't 100% sure of our plans, we waited and paid at the gate on the day - setting us back £10 each instead. I had some big expectations for ToG, and I'm not sure it quite lived up to them, so I thought I'd discuss it here. This is not a review exactly, just me getting some of my thoughts down...

So on Fire Taste of Grampian menu board

As we arrived around 12 o'clock, our first thought was lunch. I already knew what I wanted and made a beeline for the So On Fire stand. Their salt and pepper chips were just what I needed, although the portions were huge (not necessarily a bad thing!) and Gordon was too busy nursing a hangover to eat his. I grabbed a frozen watermelon daquiri from Soul and we ate in their marquee, where I then proceeded to knock said daquiri off the table and all down my jeans. Not the best start to the afternoon!

So On Fire salt and pepper chips
Muchacho Taco Stand

Other street food vendors included Avo and their infamous avocado toast, Muchacho with some tasty tacos, Malmaison flipping burgers and a couple of average looking vans. Maybe I was missing something, but I expected more of a variety. I'd planned a full day of eating but actually nothing else took our fancy after the mountain of chips.

The Teasmith gin stall at TOG2019
Prosecco at the Rutabaga stand

Drinks wise we enjoyed plenty tasters in the gin and beer tents, with Rutabaga's wine selection being a particular highlight of mine! Another stand out was the Teasmith's brand new Broich single estate edition which officially launches later this month. It's the first gin to be distilled with Scottish tea leaves and the perfect addition to the Teasmith collection.

The Teasmith Broich Single Estate Gin
Ovenbird Coffee stand

Gordon attempted to revive himself with a visit to the Ovenbird Coffee stand. I think the latte just about did the trick! Harley however was way more interested in the WowDog Bakery treats. Surprisingly he wolfed down the peanut butter biscuits, but wasn't so keen on the cheese version. The event was dog friendly, with them being allowed in all areas apart from inside the Thainstone Centre building itself.

WowDog at TOG2019
Harley the black lab at Taste of Grampian

With thousands of attendees, stalls were very crowded, especially the ones based inside the centre or marquees. We found it virtually impossible to get near some of the traders so I feel like we missed out on a lot, and didn't catch any of the celebrity chef demos or workshops either. I did however manage to squeeze in and treat ourselves to some Barra berries, Singularity Sauce Co's Het Sass, a pumpernickel loaf from The Bread Guy and some unusual sausages from the Devenick Dairy.

Lobster on a seafood stall
Udny Provender shrubs at Taste of Grampian

While I enjoyed our day at Taste of Grampian, and the crowds can only be a sign of it's success, I'm not sure I'd rush back next year. If I happen to be free, I dare say I'd pop along but wouldn't go out of my way to do so. Perhaps the trick is to get there earlier, and book in advance.

Taste of Grampian haul - Barra berries, Het Sass, pumpernickel bread and sausages

Did you attend this year's Taste of Grampian? What did you think?

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