Stratford-upon-Avon Food Festival (September 18 and 19) was the town's first major post-pandemic event.
It proved a real tonic for the town with crowds out on both days to enjoy the celebration of Stratford’s food and drink scene.
Over 110 stalls in Bridge Street, High Street and Henley Street, free cookery and drinks demonstrations, workshops and tastings from some favourite Stratford businesses, plus live music in High Street and Bell Court, made the event go with a swing.
Positive vibes were felt around town with crowds on both days and the food market and the town’s pubs, cafes and restaurants doing brisk trade.
Stratforward marketing and events manager Tor Wilkes said: “There was a real buzz in town with many happy faces! People said how good it was to see Stratford as it used to be, with people together, supporting town and our fantastic food and drink businesses.
“Fabulous free demonstrations covered a wide range of subjects from sourdough with Mor Bakery, wine and food pairings with Veeno, Gin Bingo with Shakespeare Distillery and bubble juice with Bobapom. Sunday’s hands-on workshops in Bell Court had something for all ages, including painting ceramics with The Spotted Treehouse, making toffee apple fudge with Roly’s Fudge, pizza flairing from Pizza Express and even wine tasting with Welcombe Hills Vineyard.”
Food market traders came from near and far with more than 50 per cent being familiar names to Stratford such as Barry the Butcher, the Giggling Squid, the Crowne Plaza and Monsoon Estates Coffee. Stalls were laid out in a way to create a sense of space and to allow businesses such as Bardia’s and York to run their great outdoor spaces.
Tor added: “This is our first Food Festival in two years and it’s brilliant to be back. We are delighted to be able to stage an event for our town and community.
“We are grateful to the 420 Stratford town centre businesses that fund Stratforward which made this event possible, to the highly skilled chefs, talented musicians, and the significant events team including security, traffic management, police, volunteers, first aiders, Stratforward staff and the event sponsors, Loxleys Restaurant and Wine Bar, for their support. Put a date in your diary for next year’s festival - 17 & 18 September.”
Dave Joynes, Director of Cotswold Markets co-organised the Food Festival, said: “Cotswold Markets is absolutely delighted to have been part of Festival. It is the best to date and we would like to thank the traders, customers and our partners Stratforward BID for helping to deliver such a great event.”
Loxleys director and general manager Jonathan Lea said: “We’re really proud to have sponsored such a great event for Stratford yet again. It was wonderful to see so many people out and about and enjoying themselves again, both at the festival itself and at the businesses in the town across the weekend. We hope this will be an ideal lift-off for Stratford as we head towards autumn and the all-important Christmas season!”
Gin Go Bingo with Shakespeare Distillery
1. For Stratforward’s photography from the event, go to: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/lo9w5fipfvud7x6/AAAlUXf9udVJ2d5SDc_RZH0xa?dl=0
2. For further details, contact: Tor Wilkes firstname.lastname@example.org
3. Stratforward is Stratford’s Business Improvement District (BID) which represents 420 shops, cafes, pubs, restaurants and businesses in Stratford town centre.
4. Loxleys is a family-run, two-floor restaurant and bar on Sheep Street in Stratford-upon-Avon. Serving creative British cuisine seven days a week.
5. For further information, go to:
www.stratforduponavonfoodfestival.co.uk 01789 299011
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