An incredible experience, the Greenwich Wine & Food Festival on Saturday, October 5th, wins a solid spot in my list of most memorable and enjoyable adventures. From the moment I walked through the gates, I knew I'd entered a foodie Shangri-La. Bright sunlight, free flowing wine and beer, a waterside view, and true culinary masters surrounded me, as did a milling crowd of people who all share the same passion for good times and good food.
I must sheepishly admit, I was thrilled to receive a press pass and a CTBites "blogger lounge" pass, and couldn't help but feel like a celebrity even as I wandered around starry eyed myself. The whole CTBites model is one I admire, from the content they put out to their logo and branding, and to be included in their list of guests was a special moment. I've always had a passion for food and cooking, and after starting in the restaurant management realm (AGM at Rizzuto's in Bethel), I have made a happy transition to writing about the culinary world. I do feel a pang of nostalgia for the unique culture of restaurant life, but I don't think the long hours are something I could have kept up for long.
The atmosphere at the festival was so glowingly happy and pleasant, and the appreciation for both the event and the perfect weather was tangible. There was a silent camaraderie among festival-goers who all knew that the people around them were equally as pleased to be in attendance. Even in an incredibly crowded tent full of people stopping at random moments to take pictures, bumping into each other, and becoming increasingly full of alcohol, there was not a single instance of tension that I could detect. We were all just basking in the glow of a great experience. Who could ever be unhappy in the presence of fabulous food, wine, beer, spirits, and a gorgeous view?
As the day wore on, people lounged by the water and recharged for a second or third spin through the tents, and by 4pm the Southern Bash tent was ready to go. Burgers (Shake Shack wins my vote for best), BBQ, and beer were in unlimited supply, and even with a full stomach and a rosy glow, we pushed on!
I departed the festival in a euphoric state (yes, I'll admit my wine glass was rarely empty ;-)), and couldn't help but think to myself that I've found my calling and hope against hope that I can keep doing what I have been doing! I feel like a dork admitting it, but a big moment for me was when a stranger stopped me in the crowd and said "I follow you on instagram!" Social media has created such an interesting world! It's not isolating, it's a way to make connections that relate to real life. I think it's so interesting, and I feel so lucky. Nothing makes me happier than being around food, people who appreciate it, being able to document my experiences, and sharing my enthusiasm with others. I am thrilled to be a part of such a dynamic community of bloggers, reporters, photographers, and food lovers.
For all 117 photos from the day, click here for HamletHub Redding's Album.