All the ingredients for feast of food fun

Alnwick Food Festival and Beer Festival 2010.'Sean Wilson at the Saddleworth Cheese Company stall.
Alnwick Food Festival and Beer Festival 2010.'Sean Wilson at the Saddleworth Cheese Company stall.

A FEAST of fun for all the family is on the menu as the final countdown to this year’s Alnwick Food Festival starts.

In just over a week, the 7th food event will see an array of stalls in the Market Place as well as cookery demonstrations in the Northumberland Hall.

Jean Christophe Novelli.

Jean Christophe Novelli.

Local chefs such as Roberto Perruzo from Café Tirreno, Jonathan Bird from The Apple Inn at Lucker and Iain Inkster from the Fishing Boat Inn at Boulmer will be showcasing their talents.

And Sean Wilson, formerly Martin Platt in Coronation Street, is set to return to Alnwick with his Saddleworth Cheese Company. He will also be assisting Miss Sunderland (Pip Attle) in the cook-off against Miss Northumberland (Laura Hickey) with Juan Iniesta of Blackmore’s at 1pm on Sunday, September 25 in the Northumberland Hall.

This year will see the addition of an arts and crafts market as well as some lifestyle stalls, including Northside Surf School and Cyclelife.

Karen Larkin, festival director, said: “There are lots of different things going on this year and I think it is very important for every business and local trader to capitalise on the anticipated footfall.

“Last year saw numbers reach nearly 20,000 visitors over the weekend and, with the added attraction of Jean-Christophe Novelli, I would like to smash last year’s record and aim for 25,000.

“I have taken quite a big step by bringing Jean-Christophe Novelli to Alnwick and I am certain he will fall in love with the town and enjoy the warmth and friendliness that it provides.”

The Alnwick Beer Festival also takes place in the Town Hall and will once again compliment the food festival perfectly.

The Community Market takes place on Sunday, September 25, in Bondgate Within and there will also be the opportunity to take a ‘drive with a difference’ courtesy of Smart Car.

On purchase of a prize draw ticket from either of the information stalls, priced at £1 each, you can gain access into The Alnwick Garden from 4pm on September 24 and 25 after 4pm on each day. There is also a children’s food festival taking place there.

There will be stilt-walkers, jugglers and some mystical mesmerisation acts as well as some great music to entertain visitors.

And Alnwick is on the map to take part in the nation’s Bandstand Marathon on Sunday, September 25 and there will be plenty of foot-tapping, finger-clicking opportunities over the weekend.

There are two tables of 10 left for sale at the Dine with Novelli event which takes place in the Northumberland Hall on Friday, September 23. This promises to be an amazing chance to enjoy an intimate dining experience with one of the world’s top 25 chefs. The Northumberland Hall will be transformed using lighting and tables will be beautifully decorated to ensure a memorable evening.

Tickets can be purchased from Karen Larkin, 07846542929.

They are priced at £50 per ticket and include three courses, two bottles of wine on each table of 10 and the chance to meet Jean-Christophe and ask questions throughout the evening.

And tickets are still available for the Northumbrian Night in the Northumberland Hall on Saturday, September 24.

Accordionist Alistair Anderson will be entertaining guests while Tina and David Hogg of Black Olive cafe will be providing a buffet of local produce.

Alistair said: “Northumbrian music offers such a wide choice from lively jigs to lyrical song tunes influenced by traditional melodies from both sides of the Border, the music is revived and reinterpreted by each generation as it is passed down.

“The programme for the 24th will serve up some familiar favourites, but also introduce some more contemporary interpretations of our distinctive local heritage.”

As an added treat, award-winning Spurreli Icecream will be offering tasters from their Gelato Lounge during the second interval.

Starting at 7.30pm, tickets, which include the cold buffet and a first drink, are still available priced at £16.50 and can be obtained from the Alnwick Tourist Information Centre or from Philip Angier on 01665 605348. The evening has been sponsored by Co-operative Membership.