Valentines Day. Great if you’re in a relationship, but if you’re single *ahem* then it’s just another day. Luckily I had plans to go and sample some delicious food and drink to take my mind off it. Tasty Tuesday at Whole Foods happens once a month and costs just £5 for five dishes…
Every second Tuesday of the month, the talented team at Whole Foods create a menu of five courses and you only pay £5 to try it all. As Tuesday was Valentines Day, they even offered a bonus sixth station! I’m a big fan of the event, having previously done it before (read here), and I knew they would throw out all the stops to make the evening feel special. Having missed the reception drinks due to working late, we arrived just as the event kicked off.
After a warm greeting from Hannah and her friendly colleagues in the Cheltenham store, we picked up our empty wine glass and food passport and wandered over to the first station.
with Chateau de Belleverne Beaujolais-Villages
You have to brie-eve me when I tell you how good this was (can’t resist a cheese pun, sorry) – even if it was slightly stinky!
With a generous layer of prosciutto and salami accompanied by mini gherkins and the best olives I’ve had in a long time, cheese was then poured over the whole thing to create heaven on a plate – or on this occasion, a dish. I love no-fuss food like this. It’s the kind of ‘throw it all together’ starter that works grate (sorry) in social situations, and the wine washed it down perfectly. I do however regret not picking up a knife as it was a little messy, especially when mid conversation you have stringy cheese to unravel from your mouth…
My lovely mother and I mingled whilst juggling glasses of wine and food boats, it was a REALLY difficult job I promise. Luckily there were enough spots around the store to put our drinks down to properly enjoy the food – especially as the first 3 courses required a knife and fork!
Onto Station 2…
with Jean Bousquet Malbec
As I was driving and I’d already had a mouthful of vino with the first course, I opted for a sparkling grape juice with this dish. Also, this course was all about the steak for me, nothing else.
Cooked tenderly, it practically melted in my mouth – not to mention, I could cut into it with my plastic knife and fork! Dressed in a smooth garlic butter and accompanied by sweet potato bites and rocket, it was the dish to beat.
I was starting to feel quite full already by this point, but it was onto the next round:
Greek Cheese Heart Pastries
with Spitting Spider Unoaked Chardonnay
These heart-shaped feta parcels of joy had to rival the steak which was no mean feat, and if I’m really honest I can’t say they did. The puff pastry was light and fluffy and were still extremely tasty, I just think I needed more of a break in between to appreciate it more. I’m tempted to try making these at home as I’m such a feta fiend, perhaps on a bed of leaves and homemade potato salad to accompany it in spring/summer time.
Now I’m not going to lie, I was most excited by station 4…
with Irish Coffee
Whilst I’m not usually a fan of Panacotta, I love coffee so I had a sneaking suspicion that I would enjoy it – and it didn’t disappoint. It was so smooth and flavoursome and perfectly paired with the Irish Coffee, it was a refreshing dish after all the meat and cheese. I’ll definitely be picking up some of that Coole Swan liqueur…
Nearing the end, I had just enough room for the delights of station 5:
Chocolate and Nut Dipped Strawberries
with Fresito Strawberry infused Wine
The ultimate treat for Valentines Day, even if you don’t celebrate it.
Fun fact (not so fun, actually), I used to have a strawberry intolerance and would break out in a rash around my neck whenever I’d consume fresh strawberries. Ever since, I’ve only eaten the odd one here and there, usually if it’s part of a dessert. I’m unsure if I’m still allergic, but I couldn’t resist a bite of these chocolate and nut dipped ones. It was mouth-wateringly good, and the texture of the nuts complimented the chocolate and fruit perfectly.
Now, there was a sixth station, but I totally forgot to stop off at it. How foolish?! I had a food baby brewing at this point and clearly wasn’t paying any attention post-chocolate dipped strawberries, but it would have been bubbles at the beauty counter – which sounds like a perfect match.
At the end of the 6 courses, we each had to choose our favourite to become the Whole Foods Tasty Tuesday champ by placing our Food Passport in the basket.
It was a toss-up between the Sirloin Steak and the Espresso Panacotta, but I ended up going for the latter. It was the (Irish) cream of the crop for me and left me wanting more – but perhaps after a lie down.
Turns out that Valentines Day isn’t so bad when you’re surrounded by good company and great food – especially when it only costs £5…
Tempted to try it out for yourself? You can find out more about Tasty Tuesday at Whole Foods here.