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All set for a sizzling weekend of delights at Alnwick Food Festival

Alnwick Food Festival mascot Alf, an ambassador for the event's new Friends scheme, with Craig Martin, general manager at The White Swan Hotel, a platinum member of the scheme.
Alnwick Food Festival mascot Alf, an ambassador for the event's new Friends scheme, with Craig Martin, general manager at The White Swan Hotel, a platinum member of the scheme.

The Alnwick Food Festival promises a feast of gastronomic delights at the weekend.

There will be 50 food and drink stalls in the Market Place, a raft of family fun in the Kidz Zone in the Northumberland Hall and live music and street entertainment.

Alf, Alnwick Food Festival mascot, with Derek Oetting, from event sponsor Ford Motorcare.

Alf, Alnwick Food Festival mascot, with Derek Oetting, from event sponsor Ford Motorcare.

“Where do I begin?” said food festival chairman, Philip Angier. “More than four-fifths of the food producers and street food vendors taking part in this year’s festival are local to Northumberland and its surrounds.

“More than a quarter are making a first-time appearance at the food festival this year. It going to be a genuine mix of exciting new flavours and the return of old favourites.

“Then there is the whacky side with the Kidz Zone offering exciting hands-on slime workshops, cup-cake decorating masterclasses and a stunning free show from bubbleologist, Jesse Ward. All this made possible thanks to Specsavers Alnwick who will be giving away goodie bags at the event.”

There’s great street entertainment too – Nick and Eliza and Jenny Biddle will be headlining the music programme.

Some of the tasty 'free from' creations from Simply Nutritious Life.

Some of the tasty 'free from' creations from Simply Nutritious Life.

On Sunday, Make it Magical will be making it magical for everyone as they bring characters from The Greatest Showman to life in the Market Square.

“We wanted to make this year’s food festival a family affair and I believe we have the line-up to do it,” said Melanie Corn, marketing and promotions officer. “But hurry, there are limited places for some of the children’s workshops, and tickets are going fast, especially for the slime workshop.

“You can book by following the link from our Facebook page – www.facebook.com/alnwickfoodfestival.”

This year’s festival is being sponsored by Ford Motorcare Alnwick, who will have two of the new Ford Focus models on show in the Market Place over the weekend. They will be joining in the local food theme, promoting a free prize draw to win a local food hamper.

Nick and Eliza and Jenny Biddle headline the music programme at the Alnwick Food Festival.

Nick and Eliza and Jenny Biddle headline the music programme at the Alnwick Food Festival.

The White Swan Hotel is running special menus over festival weekend.

“We are delighted to support Alnwick Food Festival,” said general manager Craig Martin. “It’s great opportunity for all local eateries to work together to give the town a weekend of great food and great fun.”

As well as traditional cuisine, there are appetising vegetarian and vegan choices from two exhibitors new to Alnwick. Andy Steele, from Jedburgh, has just launched his new business, Borderesque, offering vegetarian and vegan street food.

And Samantha Sales, from Simply Nutritious Life, will be selling some of her tasty ‘free from’ creations, and also offering allergy testing and advice.

This could get messy!

This could get messy!

“The committee felt that it was important to acknowledge the growing awareness of food intolerances and to make the Festival inclusive of those who cannot, or choose not to, eat meat, dairy or gluten based produce. So we are delighted to have Andy and Samantha exhibiting this year,” said committee member Claire Watson-Laney.

The Produced in Northumberland brand will be very much in evidence at the festival.

“We are celebrating the best from our county: fresh produce, baked goods and preserves, craft beers and spirits. We will be offering some appetising tasters on our Taste of Northumbria stall including some of beers available at this year’s Beer Festival in the Town Hall,” said Jannick Genouw, of Spirit of Northumberland. “The Alnwick Food Festival is an important weekend for the town. We are looking forward to a successful event for all.”

The 2018 Food Festival which will take place on Saturday (9am – 5pm) and Sunday (10am – 4pm) in Alnwick Market Place. The Kidz Zone situated in the Northumberland Hall will offer family entertainment from 10.30am on both days. The Beer Festival will be hosted in the Town Hall over the same weekend.

WHAT’S ON WHEN AT THE FOOD FESTIVAL

SATURDAY

9am–5pm: Local food stalls in Market Place; Kidz Zone in Northumberland Hall ; Saturday market in Bondgate Within.

Live music

11am: Nick & Eliza, Market Square; Rachel Stevens, saxophonist, Bondgate Within.

1.30pm: Jenny Biddle, vocalist, Market Square; KEVI Steel Band, Bondgate Within.

3pm: Ron Creasy, trumpet, Market Square.

Street entertainment

Throughout day: Tommy Bungle, clown & balloon artist; Jesse Ward, bubbleologist.

SUNDAY

10am–4pm: Local food stalls in Market Place; Kidz Zone in Northumberland Hall.

Live music

11.30am: Jenny Biddle, vocalist, Market Square.

Street entertainment

Noon: The Greatest Showman.

2pm: Animal Antics.