Hot stuff at new festival

Martin Reed, Karen Larkin and Brian Smart at the Chilli and Cider Festival.
Martin Reed, Karen Larkin and Brian Smart at the Chilli and Cider Festival.

THE first Cider and Chilli Festival to be held in north Northumberland has been hailed a red-hot success by organisers.

As a collaboration between Alnwick Round Table and Alnwick Food Festival, the inaugural event saw around 30 ciders on offer and six stalls selling chilli-related produce in Alnwick Town Hall at the weekend.

The cider event started on Friday night running through to Saturday evening while the mini-chilli festival took place on Saturday.

Tabler Mark Turnbull, chairman of the cider festival, said: “It went very well, we were over the moon with it.

“I think the chilli festival worked alongside it really well and everybody seemed to be happy with it.

“We sold out of about half the ciders which we reckon is better than we did at the first beer festival we held.

“We have taken that as a big positive. The way the beer festival has gone on means there is a good future for the cider festival.

“It looks like we will be having another one next year and we probably made around £500 to give away to local causes so it was a really good weekend.”

And Karen Larkin, director of Alnwick Food Festival, was also pleased with the first chilli festival.

“We want to hold a series of mini events throughout the year and the mini-chilli festival has proved we can,” she said.

“It was a fiery festival and worked well with the cider.”

A special chilli and ginger cider was made for the event by Thistly Cross Cider based in Dunbar.

Mark’s business, Turnbull’s of Alnwick also made a pork pie using the spicy cider to provide sustenance for visitors.