After all the hype, I was actually surprised by how small the event was but saying that, it was well organised and there was plenty of seating space, with a large area for diners. It was busy, but not to the point of nausea. For me, the venue alone ticked all the boxes, illustrating the advantages over the terrible Earl’s Court.
The only major down side – the Suttons stall were full of rather pricy plants, with several sales assistants, who were more interested in taking money, than helping customers with their inquires or purchases. Every time I passed the Suttons stall, all the sales assistants were in deep conversation with each other. Not the friendly, helpful or polite impression I was expecting from one of the nations major plant and seed seller. Sadly this experience stuck out and set a negative tinge on the entire visit.
There were a good variety of talks by the likes of horticultural greats such as Pippa Greenwood, Christine Walkden and James Wong. I was slightly disappointed with the cookery demos, the audience sat and watched the chefs cook and then that was that! It felt like watching a live version of a Jamie Oliver tv cookery show, without Jamie Oliver. Please can someone give Christine her own TV show, she is simply superb!
There were lovely chicken and turkey exhibits, with plenty of opportunity to seek information about how to raise your own, although I did feel a little sorry for the poor fowl being stared at all day by a bunch of strange people. I hope they will soon recover from the ordeal.
The other exhibitors were interesting, but I didn’t feel the positive or active audience engagement. It all felt a little flat to be honest. But being fair, it was the last day of the 3 day event, and even I struggle when the clocks go forward and I miss an hour’s sleep.
Ticket prices were reasonable at £12 (£16 for two), but all in all, it didn’t really live up to the hype of being the ultimate grow your own event. More like an extra long edition of the Gardener’s World tv show for wannabe Tom’s and Barbara’s.
Rating 2.5 out of 5
Summay – I did consider giving a rating of 3 out of 5, but the experience I had at the Sutton stall was such a disappointment.
For more information check out www.ediblegardenshow.co.uk