Summer Food Fest at Highcross

We’ve been enjoying the Summer Food Fest at the Highcross Leicester this week with free samples, offers and special talks. A small group of bloggers were also invited down for a very special meal to celebrate the festival and I was pleased to be one of them.

We began at Pizza Express for our starters. There was a great selection of treats on offer for us to pick at – just the way I like my food, shared with friends! There was a crisp calamari, pesto bruschetta and antipasto. Oh, and it wouldn’t be a trip to Pizza Express without dough balls of course! Those little warm pillows of doughy goodness really go a long way toward making a good evening out.

I was quite taken with the antipasto selection – the selection of cold meats with assorted spicing along with the piquant Roquito peppers went really well with the mild South African chardonnay that I selected. A really excellent start to the evening and conversation was in full flow at this point.

On to the next venue, ladies!

But of course time waits for no man and so we were off to Bill’s for our main course. We were welcomed by a really lovely team who explained their menu selection for us. It was the signature fish finger sandwich, something which has been with Bill’s since the very beginning, but has gradually evolved from a quickstop snack into more of a gourmet treat – with soft, flaky fresh cod in a dark crisp crumb, served on toasted bread with rocket, ketchup and homemade tartare sauce. A great comfort food dish and absolutely huge, the portion size is amazing, it’s a real feast.

We also took the opportunity to sample their cocktail menu – I went for an old favourite, the espresso martini.This was a delicious choice, with a great hit of good coffee flavour and the light creamy froth on the top making the difference from similar cocktails I’d had in the past. Great texture and flavour in that one.

By this point we were naturally pretty full so we were pleased to hear that it was on to Ed’s Easy Diner for a shake for pudding. Ed’s is somewhere I’ve enjoyed visiting in the past – both when it opened for a review and relatively regularly for lunch since then – so I had been looking forward to this part of the evening!

There appeared to be some crossed wires though, so they had actually prepared Bubba bacon and cheeseburgers for us as well as our shakes! Of course we couldn’t eat it, but couldn’t waste the food either, so we had them all packaged today. I enjoyed mine for dinner this evening and can confirm that the burgers are still juicy and nicely cooked!

On to the main event, with the Reese’s milkshake and it is everything you are wanting it to be – thick, creamy and absolutely peanut butter packed. Definitely more than enough for a dessert, the milkshakes are served in a metal can which easily pours two glasses.

Plenty of foodie treats on offer then and a real joy to be able to  try a few places in the same evening. I’d definitely recommend trying it if you fancy something a bit different, with so many restaurants so close together around the Highcross area it’s really not a lot of hassle to have a main in one place and a starter or pud somewhere else. 

What a lovely bunch!

If you missed the Highcross Summer Food Fest this time around, it’s still not too late to take a bite of the action by downloading the Highcross Plus app – it’s just been revamped and as well as giving you access to information, special offers and invitations to VIP events you will also get access to some exclusive freebies. It’s a free cookie from Millie’s at the moment. Can’t be bad!

Many thanks to Highcross for inviting me to this lovely evening and to Pizza Express, Bill’s and Ed’s Easy Diner for making us feel so welcome!


Bestselling author and freelance drinks writer. Champion of pubs and breweries. Occasional printmaker.

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