Visiting BBC Gardeners World Live & BBC Good Food Show Summer at The NEC, Birmingham

by Julie Wallis

Visiting BBC Gardeners World Live & BBC Good Food Show Summer at The NEC, Birmingham

Once again the BBC Gardeners World Live and BBC Good Food Show Summer have arrived at The NEC on the edge of Birmingham until Sunday 17th June and as always there is plenty to see and do.

On our visit on opening day we started with visits to a lot of the food stalls. There are so many retailers there it really would be very hard to visit every stall so we prioritised by choosing to visit the stalls with samples of food or drink. We enjoyed flavoured oils, balsamic vinegars, cheeses, chutneys, jams, gin, whisky and fudge just to name a few of the delights on offer. Of course everything is just a small taster and with absolutely no pressure to buy anything. It certainly is a fun way to explore the food halls.

Award winning Made in Birmingham Garden
Award winning Made in Birmingham Garden

We also got tickets to see one of the live cookery demonstrations in the Big Kitchen. There are many of live shows taking place throughout the duration of this long weekend it’s easy to find something to appeal.

All our favourite tv chefs and gardeners are here. We plumped for a cookery lesson from Raymond Blanc, and actually #BrumHour Dave thinks he made an executive decision but I think I did some mind control because Raymond Blanc was my absolute go to choice of celebrity chef. It was funny as well as interesting, Raymond along with his trusted sous chef Adam made a crab and pink grapefruit salad as well as fruit and rice desserts. Handily, the recipe for the crab and pink grapefruit salad is included in the event show guide.

A bicycle powered blender
A bicycle powered blender at the Zespri UK Kiwifruit stand

I think it’s essential to pick up a tour guide as soon as you can after arriving. As well as having a map of where to find everything it has a time table for all the different shows and demonstrations. So if you fancy seeing Mary Berry on Saturday, Michel Roux Jr on Sunday or home grown Brummie Glynn Purnell you may still be able to get last minute tickets, check the information point in hall 6.

There is also opportunity to get your cook book or gardening book signed, although I suspect you should be buying a new cook book from either of the book shops. Guide dogs for the blind have a Shop and Drop point, and a plant crèche. It’s easy to get carried away so for a small donation you can drop off your bags and carry on enjoying the show unhindered.

Birmingham based Tan Rosie
Birmingham based Tan Rosie

The halls and the outside space for the gardening show are plenty big enough that even though it very well attended it never feels too crowded.

All too soon we found ourselves running for our train and there was still so much to see, it really is a full day here.

Dave Massey spoke to Paul Stone about his award winning BBC Gardeners World Live Garden called Made in Birmingham for the #BrumHour on Brum Radio show. Listen to the interview here starting at (03:52)

Book tickets to BBC Good Food Show Summer and BBC Gardeners World Live here:

This isn’t a sponsored post. #BrumHour was invited to both shows by the PR company organising and we had a great day.

Julie is  normally #BrumHour’s regular theatre blogger and can also be found on her own blog at: