Food festival is on the menu this weekend

People packed into Alnwick Market Place for the event.
People packed into Alnwick Market Place for the event.

The popular Alnwick Food Festival takes place this weekend, with plenty on the menu for all ages.

The annual culinary showcase is being staged in the town on Saturday and Sunday.

The two-day celebration of food and drink will serve up a busy programme, including more than 50 stalls, demonstrations and children’s activities.

During the course of the festival, the Market Place will be awash with the region’s best street-food vendors and local producers, selling a range of goods, including breads, jams, cheese, fish, homemade pies, cupcakes, meats, sauces and spices, and confectionery.

New for this year is a series of interactive talk and taste sessions in the Northumberland Hall, featuring food/drink experts who will share their passion for their craft, but with plenty of opportunity for those in the audience to get involved, to taste, to ask questions and take away some goodies.

On Saturday, these sessions are: Michael Oswald, of Earth and Fire, giving top baking tips and tasty treats, from 11.30am to 12.30pm; Bev Stephenson, of North Chocolates, will put you in chocolate heaven, from 1.30pm to 2.30pm; and Sophie Hall, from Alnwick Treehouse, will serve up some cocktails, from 3.30pm to 4.30pm.

On Sunday, Amina Begum, from Mivesi, will be teaching the art of Asian cuisine, from 12.30pm to 1.30pm.

This will be followed by a charity afternoon tea, in aid of HospiceCare North Northumberland, from 3.30pm to 4.30pm.

These sessions are ticketed, with a small charge. To book and for details, visit the website – alnwickfoodfestival.co.uk
As well as food and drink, there is plenty of other entertainment on the menu. On both days, there will be the Barnacre Alpacas, birds of prey, face-painting and Charlie Carpenter – a clown/entertainer who has an amazing fire-eating act. Bari Tea, on Narrowgate, will hold a tea festival.

Saturday’s programme boasts the appearance of balloon artist Alun, as well as Make it Magical – a fancy-dress company which will be wearing Disney outfits.

There will be musical entertainment during the festival. On Saturday, the Giant Industrial Poets will perform in the Market Place, from 10am to noon, and 1.30pm to 3pm, while Jenny Biddle will entertain shoppers on Bondgate Within from 10am to 1pm.

On Sunday, live music in the Market Place will feature Duo (10am to 12.30pm) and the KEVI Steel Band (1.30pm to 4pm).­

The food festival takes place from 9am to 5pm on Saturday, and 10am to 4pm on Sunday.

Cheers! the beer festival is back

Running alongside the food festival is the Alnwick Beer Festival, run by Alnwick and District Round Table.

The event, the 11th of its kind, features real ales from local and national breweries, ciders, wine, soft drinks and for the second year running, the incredibly popular gin bar.

The event is being staged in the Town Hall, today (6pm to 11pm); tomorrow (11am to 11pm); and Sunday (noon to 6pm). Tickets are £5 on the door and include entry, event programme and souvenir half-pint glass. Entrance and soft drinks are free for nominated drivers.

Organiser James Hester said: “The return of the beer festival sees Alnwick Round Table really ramping up the quality and selection of drinks available. We are amazed how far people travel to come to the event and look forward to welcoming regular returning faces and new ones.”

The festival is one of the club’s main fund-raising events. With the sponsorship afforded by Warcup Law and the Joiners Arms at High Newton, as well as all the individual beer and cider sponsors from local companies, it can really help make a difference in the local community.

Alnwick Round Table chairman Michael Brown said: “Without the kind support of our sponsors and the continued growing interest of the public who come along, it wouldn’t be possible for Round Table to be as supportive as we are.

“Every penny made over the weekend is directly given back to local causes, clubs and people in need who contact Round Table seeking help. It’s a great opportunity for people to come along and have some fun, while knowing they are giving back to their local community.”