Food bloggers are a weird bunch. I’m including myself in this. We spend most of our time focused on food. Thinking, talking, and reading about it, cooking it, planning it, eating it, but not before we’ve taken pictures of it and thoroughly analysed it. And then we write about it. And so the cycle continues.
I’ve always been obsessed with food, it’s something Mr M and I enjoy as one of our main activities together, but as usual I’m slightly more extreme about it. Since I started this blog, he’s seen my love turn into an obsession, as have my friends and family.
Food preparation and restaurant choices revolve around whether something is blogworthy, while mealtimes are paused for photos and note-taking. I’m even writing this sat by a beautiful pool on holiday in Corfu – blogging is never far from my mind, see.
So, where is this going? Well, despite my husband and loved ones’ endless patience with me, it’s fair to say they probably don’t quite “get” the whole food blog thing. What better then, than to spend an evening with people who have exactly the same affliction as me?
Being a slight newbie to the blogging scene, I’ve not been to many food blogger events, but I’m lucky that there’s not only a talented and prolific gang of food bloggers in the Midlands, but they’re also pretty friendly. I’ve stalked most of them on Twitter no Instagram for months, reading their foodie experiences, getting hints and tips, and checking out recommendations, but I hadn’t actually met many in person.
Until I was invited to the recent opening of the Fuzzy Duck in Nuneaton.
Obviously, I’m always excited to go to somewhere new, but I also knew a gang of like-minded foodies would be there, so it was a chance to meet them and have an evening of foodie fun with some fellow obsessives.
The Fuzzy Duck Pub and Kitchen is a new offering to the food scene in Nuneaton. Despite it only being a few minutes on the train from Rugby, the furthest I’ve got to Nuneaton is the pub outside the train station one night when waiting for a connection. I’m not sure whether there’s a burgeoning gastronomic scene these days, but either way, the Fuzzy Duck seems like a welcome addition.
So, on a sunny Thursday afternoon, I stopped on my way home from work to take a look and finally meet an array of other Midlands food bloggers. There’s always something quite strange about finally meting people when you already feel you know them thanks to social media, but a few slurps of the cocktails on offer and any awkwardness was gone.
The Fuzzy Duck is going to offer a range of food, from sandwiches to stone baked pizzas, sharing platters, pasta, risottos and salads, to steaks and burgers. On the launch night, instead of a full sit down meal, we had a selection of canapés instead, but got the chance of chat to the head chef about his plans for food at the Fuzzy Duck.
With meat from Joseph Morris in Rugby, and eggs collected on his way into work as just a few examples, it’s clear that local produce is high on the agenda and always great to see. He plans on decently-cooked, seasonal dishes, with regular specials and little twists like a cheeseboard of local cheeses that he can come out and explain to diners.
We’re all familiar with canapés – the trays come, predatory hands appears and before you can say, ‘Can I just take a picture?’, they’re all gone. Not so at a bloggers event. If you Google Fuzzy Duck Nuneaton, I’m fairly confident you’ll find a range of Twitter, Instagram, and blog posts – including mine – featuring trays of neatly-arranged canapés, artfully photographed.
Crostini with mozzarella and sundried tomatoes, sausage chunks with mash, chicken skewers, prawn skewers, cod and chorizo balls, and homemade brownies. They’re all there.
And this is the beauty of bloggers eating together. The food arrives and there’s a patient pause as everyone takes pictures. Nobody frowns on you or mutters at you for trying a few different angles, people wander around the table to get a better photo, comparing cameras and photos and ideas.
There’s the shout of : “has everyone got a picture of the balls?” (props to Ginger Bites for most entertaining comment of the night). And then, only then, do people start to dig in. For all of us who are used to being a pain in the arse, the weirdo whose behaviour our friends and family tolerate, this is bliss. The freedom to be a food-obsessed, blog-loving idiot for whom each mealtime is an event.
I’d like to thank the friendly food bloggers of the Midlands for welcoming me into the fold, and giving me my first real taste of what goes on when bloggers unite. I loved it.
I was invited, along with other food bloggers, to the launch party for the Fuzzy Duck. I wasn’t asked to write a review.