What time is Norwich Food & Drink Festival and what can I do there?
PUBLISHED: 11:50 12 June 2018 | UPDATED: 13:47 12 June 2018
It's the last ever Battle of the Bangers at the festival this Sunday.
Get your tastebuds revved-up for Norwich Food & Drink Festival this weekend. Sponsored once again by Norwich solicitors Cozens-Hardy, Norfolk Food & Drink’s flagship event is the only place to be on Father’s Day (Sunday, June 17).
Dozens of amazing producers will descend on The Forum, St Peter’s Street and Bethel Street from 10am to 5pm, with loads to see and do – and, best of all, entry is free.
A massive highlight of the festival is the hotly contested Battle of the Bangers (sponsored by Canaccord and organised by the RedCat Partnership) which pits sausage makers from across Norfolk against one another. This year is the last ever battle and nine producers are taking part in the challenge, organised by Sarah Daniels of Red Cat Partnership, which sponsored one of the very first Battle of the Bangers.
Head over to the ‘battle ground’ on the day to try the sausages for yourselves and vote for the best of the best.
In the meantime, here’s what you can expect from some of the contenders.
Pell & Co with The White Horse at Neatishead
Once again these guys have worked with Tavern Tasty Butchers, hoping to take the prize with a Pell & Co vodka Bloody Mary sausage. It’s not the first time booze has played a part in their bangers. Last year the White Horse team came up with gin and tonic flavoured links, which won the Sponsors Choice award!
Along with the vodka and Tavern Tasty Butchers rare breed pork, the sausages are blended with tomato puree, celery salt, horseradish and, of course, a few secret ingredients.
Back to the Garden, Holt
Patrick of Back to the Garden, which is taking part for the first time, says: “We get so many compliments about our sausages from customers, who have had them in our restaurant and purchased from the butchery, we thought it would be fun to enter and showcase Paul, our butcher’s, sausage-making skills.” All the pork used is locally sourced rare breed Gloucester Old Spot, and currently customers are voting on which sausage makes it to Battle of the Bangers – traditional, Cumberland, hog roast, sweet chilli or lamb merguez.
Old Hall Farm, Woodton
The sausages from this growing enterprise are made with the farm’s own home-grown milk-fed Hampshire/Large White pork.
Rebecca Mayhew says: “We will be entering our premium sausages which are by far the most popular with our shop customers. The sausages are 98% pork, so nothing extra is added in except a few spices. The benefit of this is, of course they cook consistently, don’t shrink, are gluten-free and taste amazing. We are very excited to be entering the battle. There might be stiff competition but the proof is in the eating.” This is the first time Old Hall Farm have entered the competition.
Coxfords Butchers, Aylsham
Coxfords has won four awards in the three years its entered the Battle – so hopes are high. Jason Gibbons says: “All our pork comes from local pig farmer Tim Allen of Morley Farm, South Creake. Only the best pork can make the best banger. It doesn’t just put Coxfords Butchers on the map, but we feel we are representing Aylsham as a whole.”
The Fruit Pig Company, Wisbech
Known for its amazing fresh blood black pudding, this producer has taken part in the battle for many years. “We’re putting our brunch sausage into this final battle,” says Matt Cockin. “We sell it semi-cooked sliced or in 1.7kg sticks! It’s a mix of our classic sausage, cold smoked bacon and award-winning fresh blood black pudding.”
Tasty Tavern Meats, Swafield and Horning
“Sausages have always been a strength of ours,” says Claire Hudson, who reveals Tasty Tavern Meat’s entry (smokey chipotle and sea salt) was launched in the Horning shop in April. “It’s not for the faint-hearted though as it has a fairly intensive chilli flavour. It’s big and it’s bold and we love it!” The sausages are made with traditional breed pork – often Gloucester Old Spot from their own farm in Smallburgh.
Archer’s Butchers, Norwich
Is this award-winning butchery the one to beat? So far it’s won the public vote six times and the judges’/sponsors’ vote twice. “We have a lot at stake, being the last Battle of the Bangers,” says Jamie Archer, “and trust that the public and the judges will vote for the best sausage on the day, whether it’s ours or someone else’s. The Battle of the Bangers has been a great competition and has given us the confidence to enter more competitions over the years with the recent success – Britain’s Best Butchers – being our best win to date.”
In 2018 Archer’s bring their classic Traditional Norfolk pork sausage which has always been the shop’s best seller, made to a top secret recipe handed down from Jamie’s grandfather who started the business on Norwich provisions market in 1929.
The Scrummy Pig, Hoveton
“We are entering the Battle of the Bangers for the last time this year as it was the very first BOTB that forced the birth of The Norfolk Sausage Company,” says Samantha Tate. “Our sausage this year will be our Caribbean Kick. This is flavoured with one of our Rubz in Tubz meat rubs which can be used to flavour all sorts of different foods.”
The Station Smokehouse, Wroxham
This popular restaurant has become much-loved for its small-batch smoked and live fire pit cooked meats. Another newcomer to the Battle, they’re bringing along their cast iron train barbecue.
Norwich Food & Drink Festival is organised by Norfolk Food & Drink, which is run by a team of volunteers and just one part time paid co-ordinator. It’s recognised as one of the best foodie days out in Norfolk.
<box> Don’t miss
Producers Street Market - More than 40 producers of some of Norfolk’s finest food and drink come together in this area, sponsored by Lovewell Blake. Bring your reusable shopping bag and fill it up!
Foodie Fun Zone – Get kids involved with fun and games from Orchard Toys, food and science in action from the British Science Association and the hilarious Splat the Dad (in aid of the Norfolk & Norwich Association for the Blind).
Cookery Demonstration Theatre – Some of Norwich’s best chefs are lined-up to cook.
Adnams Pop-up Festival Bar – Adnams will be in situ with their full range of wines, beers, ales, soft drinks and a prosecco bar. There’ll be cider from Norfolk Raider too, and hot drinks from Green Farm Coffee.
Street Food- Whatever your craving, there’ll be something nommy for you to chow down on. This year’s street food line-up includes waffles, pizza, Thai, Mexican, hog roast and more.