Back to the future | SORTEDfood and Heritage Ford at Goodwood Revival
Goodwood Revival has never overly appealed to us, we’re not a massive fan of automobiles, otherwise we’d be called ‘We Love Cars, It’s All We Drive’ (makes mental note – could actually work!) But as you know, we do love food and the boys from SORTEDfood were the main reason we accepted the invitation from Ford for their #fiesta40 event. That and the chance to attend the Goodwood Revival to see first hand what all the fuss is about. Plus the spelling of ‘Ford’ is pretty damn similar to that of ‘Food’…
Now, SORTEDfood have history with Ford – back in March they launched their ‘Unlearn food on the go‘ challenge, swiftly followed by the results – the BBQ rib balls were my winner, I’ve got to make me some of those bad boys. Fast forward a few months and the SORTEDfood team has teamed up with Ford again, this time to ‘Unlearn 70s food’. Why 70’s food? I hear you ask, well the Ford Fiesta has just celebrated its 40th birthday and thus a child of the 70s – get it?
While Mike and Barry (Jamie couldn’t make it) were prepping their dishes back at the Park House Hotel & Spa we went for spin though the beautiful rolling hills of Bepton and Midhurst in one of Ford’s heritage Fiestas, so very British. Driving these old motors through these county lanes was brilliant, although some of the younger guests didn’t quite understand why there were only four forward gears and had absolutely no idea whatsoever about the choke lever!
All this pot-hole avoiding and puddle splashing fun was making us a little peckish. The solution? An afternoon cream-tea at the incredibly cosy Spread Eagle Hotel, where we bumped in a rather ‘tired’ looking Les Dennis.
Full of cake and tea, it was back to our hotel for a quick freshen up and to slip into our 70s themed fancy dress. Saff looked beautiful in her suitably hippy-esque dress, but then again I think she’d look gorgeous in a sack! [What are you after? – Saff] I, on the other hand morphed into a crazy disco-hippy hybrid – big itchy afro wig, flower-power shirt, flared slacks and platform shoes.
As mentioned, SORTEDfood‘s latest ‘ultimate challenge’ was to unlearn 70s food. They took three typical 70s dishes/ingredients and brought them kicking and screaming into the 21st century. Then we had to pick a winner from these slightly oversized hors d’oeuvres. Here’s our verdict – the official winner will be announced on their website along with the recipes so you can make them all at home (flared trousers optional).
3rd PLACE The humble prawn cocktail is always trying to make a comeback but no matter how hard any top chef tries to reinvent it, it will always remind me of my Nan’s still frozen prawns, brown edged limp lettuce and homemade sauce (created by mixing ketchup and salad cream.) This staple starter was pimped up using breaded scampi rather than prawns, served on a bed of crisp shredded lettuce and tomatoes and drizzled with Marie Rose sauce. It was good but not that different from a standard prawn cocktails of old.
2nd PLACE Spam was big in the 70s, I’ve heard horror stories that Spam fritters were served to children at school. What would Jamie Oliver say about that? Also in this decade, the humble pineapple made a leap out of the fruit bowl and on to a pizza (and thus the Hawaiian was born).
Not to mention the party buffet classic of chunks of cheese and pineapple on cocktail sticks (often served rammed into an tin foil covered half cabbage disguised as a hedgehog – yes, really.) I liked SORTEDfood‘s treatment of these ingredients – a chunk of spiced ham coated with panko crumb and deep-fried, paired with a cube of grilled pineapple and a chipotle mayo dip. Extra points for authentic presentation (on a stick), minus points as it wasn’t quite spicy enough.
THE WINNER: A guilty pleasure of mine is retro dessert classic Angel Delight. It brings back childhood memories of sitting on the sofa with my dad sharing a bowl of the strawberry variety and a hot chocolate while watching a Saturday night TV film (usually cheesy B movies such as Tarantulas or The Swarm).
Fond memories or not, this self-setting dessert (using witchcraft I believe) leaves a horrid gritty film on the roof of your mouth – a problem that the SORTEDfood version, er, sorted. A delicious butterscotch cream mousse, salted caramel sauce, malted chocolate crumb and another amazing 70s classic – a brandy snap. A deserved winner and no unpalatable aftertaste.
After dinner in the hotel where we were served other nostalgic dishes such as coq au vin, there was just about time for an exclusive SORTEDfood video for my son before we said our goodbyes. Next on the itinerary was a masterclass by the top chaps from The Cocktail Service. Now we’d already had gin and tonics (before dinner) and wine (with dinner), the two cocktails we made during this fun (and informative) masterclass just about tipped us over the edge. But the straw that broke the camels back was cocktail competition.
We were asked to rustle up our own creations, Saff sprung into action and devised the ‘Cherry Good’. We wanted to make sure it tasted just like a cherry bakewell, so there was a bit of trial and error mixing and matching until finally (and about half a bottle of cherry brandy later) our Cherry Good cocktail with a bakewell chaser was ready to be judged. All that effort (and cherry brandy) was worth it – the mixologists from The Cocktail Service gave us first prize – more gin!
We sloped off to bed to snatch a few hours sleep so we’d be ready for the real reason that Ford invited us along – the Goodwood revival. We were warned that the traffic around the Goodwood estate could get rather busy. So we decided to get up nice and early and head on over for a famed bacon brioche bun and a strong coffee in Ford‘s lounge area.
This lounge couldn’t have in a better position – right on the start/finish line and touching distance from the cars in the pit lane (and the parade of glamorous grid girls). The rumble and roar of these vintage cars sure blew away any cobwebs from our over indulgence the night before.
Goodwood revival has an incredible vibe, everything is themed from the 40s to the 60s. It’s all so authentic and dream like – just like the scene in Back To The Future when Marty sees the 50s version of Hill Valley town square for the very first time. The fact that 90% of visitors are dressed in vintage costume just fuels this illusion.
Saff wore a 40s tea dress from Lindy Bop, complete with a fluffy netted petticoat teamed with pumps because Goodwood requires a lot of walking. I was meant to be a WWII soldier, but according to the comments on my Facebook page, I looked more like Sergeant Bilko/Frank Spencer/Benny Hill. Oh well.
It’s a shame the heritage Ford Fiestas couldn’t squeeze into Goodwood revival‘s time frame, even a 1976 Mk1 is a tad too modern – does that make me modern too? (I very much doubt it.) But fret not, there are plenty of other Fords on display as well as nearly every other vintage make and model ever built. As mentioned right at the top of this post I’m not a massive fan of cars but at Goodwood revival that really doesn’t matter, there’s so much more to do. We had an incredible time, so much so we’ve even pencilled next year’s event in to our diary, enough time to assemble a more impressive outfit.
We visited Goodwood as guests of Ford, this does not affect our review in any way. We always write with complete honesty.