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Bloom in the Park 2016 – Not just a bed of roses

For those of you who don’t know, Bloom in the Park takes place every year in the Phonix Park in Dublin during the June bank holiday weekend. Bloom festival as the name suggests, is a garden festival.  It demonstrates gardens from the most renowned landscapers across the country.

When I first heard of Bloom three years ago I didn’t think it was the type of festival I wanted to go to. Flowers are not my forte. As the summer approaches, I usually buy flowers for the house which last a month or two (if I’m lucky). I currently have an orchid in my living room which I think may be dead but I am unwilling to give up hope it may regenerate if I continue to water it once in a while.

So why after three years do I go to Bloom every year? Bloom is so much more than the plants on display there. The main reason I go is because of the large Food Village which displays all the tasty local products that Ireland has to offer (probably because the event is sponsored by Bord Bia).

This year Bloom, as usual, did not disappoint. The Food Village seemed much bigger as the layout was slightly changed. I love going to the different stalls and meeting the people who make the products and tasting samples of their food. Here are some of my favourite stalls this year:

Mad food Company

The Mad Food Company.

The Mad Food Company produces various puddings including chorizo pudding which is my favourite. This year they are now producing different kinds of hot dogs including BBQ and vegetarian. The owner is so passionate about his products and always eager to chat with people

jos farm crisps

Joe’s Farm Crisps 

Made in Cork, these beetroot and parsnip crisps are divine. They are hand cooked and produced on their farm. I eat the whole packet in one sitting they are so good. You have been warned.

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Mallow Mia 

These gourmet marshmallows are made in Donegal in a range of flavours. They taste lovely and are something a bit different in the dessert range. I also love their logo and packaging.

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Couverture 

Their tagline “the premium Dessert Specialists” does not disappoint. They produce a selection of mini desserts for parties or any function.

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Monier Irish Wine

Monier’s signature wine is a strawberry fruit wine which is made with 150 strawberries. This was really tasty and as a non-wine drinker I thought this was really enjoyable and a refreshing beverage for the summer.

At the chefs’ kitchen stage, I saw Catherine Fulvio and Neven McGuire give cooking demonstrations which were really enjoyable. I will definitely be using Catherine’s method of ricing mashed potato in the future.

This year there was a “BBQ Bliss” section which had all food stalls that BBQ their food. I got a lovely chicken kebab from Kinara which was delicious.

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I also stopped by the thisisbanter.com tent where they always have interesting discussions on food and quality standards.

If you are interested in craft, there is a craft section where every year where you can buy various craft pieces as well as DIY info talks.

I spent most of the afternoon  sitting outside near the entertainment stage where they had a range of band and singers including the Garda Brass band which I was pleasantly surprised with.

Towards the afternoon, I felt guilty and decided as it was the main reason for Bloom I should take a walk through the display gardens. All gardens are sponsored by different charities and organisations including Savills, Glenisk, Goal and the Marie Keating Foundation to name a few. I think this year was the best year I have seen in terms of the show gardens display.

As you can see there is more to do in Bloom than just looking at flowers. Make sure you put it on your calendar for next year. I guarantee you will be pleasantly surprised.

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