Tasty treats from more than 30 restaurants, cafes, bars and pubs will make up one of the highlights of this year’s Stratford Town Centre Food Festival.
Eateries and watering holes across the town are taking part in the popular Taste and Ale Trails at the festival, which returns on Friday September 23 until Sunday September 25.
The event, which attracts thousands of visitors from across the country, will this year feature world-famous chef Jean-Christophe Novelli who will be showcasing his award-winning skills at the Waterside Cookery School on the final day of the festival.
But to get a taste of Stratford’s own culinary talent and local pubs and bars, visitors can take part in the Taste and Ale Trails, which allow 200 daily ticketholders to try free samples from businesses across the town.
As part of the Taste Trail, which runs from noon to 4pm on the Saturday and Sunday, food fans can visit local eateries including Boston Tea Party, Wildwood Restaurant, Carluccio’s, Huffkins Bakery, La Marina Café and Paxton & Whitfield for a free mini taster.
For just £3 a ticket, visitors will be given a Taste Trail Map with a list of places to visit then can enjoy a stroll around town to sample a selection of tastebud-tickling treats.
Jen Julian, manager of Carluccio’s, said: “We are really excited to be part of the taste trial this year. It's a fantastic platform to showcase our fresh, high quality, authentic Italian food in turn giving us the opportunity to discuss our love for food with a few sneak peeks of our new menu launching October 2016!”
The Ale Trail, which runs from 2pm-8pm on the Saturday and Sunday, will give thirsty punters the chance to visit town centre hostelries such as The Bear Freehouse, Church Street Townhouse, the Keys & Kitchen, The Dirty Duck, The Lamplighter, The Pen & Parchment and The White Swan Hotel where they can swig a sample of selected tipples.
With tickets priced at £5, visitors will be given a free commemorative Festival Ale Trail ⅓ pint glass along with a map of the Real Ale Trail with a list of beers and descriptions.
Marilyn Herdman, landlady of the Keys & Kitchen, said: “The amazing Ale Trail brings in people from all over the world to drink in our side street pub, to see our quirky back garden, savour our unusual ales and lagers from around the world - without this they would never find this little gem.”
Taste and Ale Trail tickets can be reserved on the Stratforward website (http://www.stratforward.co.uk/events/stratford-town-centre-food-festival/) then will be available for collection and cash only payment between 12pm and 2pm from the Stratforward Site Office on Waterside on Friday 23rd, Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th September.
The festival, organised by Stratforward in association with Geraud Markets, is sponsored by local restaurant Loxleys for the second year running.
Alongside the Taste and Ale Trails, it will include chef demonstrations from Stratford’s own culinary talent, workshops for adults and children, and a new Local Producers Area on Waterside on the Friday and Saturday.