Everything you need to know about the North Norfolk Food and Drink Festival 2019
- Credit: Archant
One of the county's most beautiful coastal estates plays host to the event for the 10th year.
Late August is a bountiful time of year. Bundles of vegetables are plucked from allotments, ready for pickling and preserving. The perfume of ripening plums, apples and blackberries fills hedgerows and orchards. The cooling evenings prepare us for the game season to come.
So when better to celebrate locally produced food and drink? In its 10th year, the North Norfolk Food and Drink Festival (at Holkham Hall's Walled Garden from 10am to 4pm on August 31 and September 1) is all about meeting growers and makers directly, sharing their passion for and knowledge of their products and ingredients and, most importantly, trying and buying!
Talking about this year's event, festival chairman and owner of The Flying Kiwi Inns, Chris Coubrough, says: "The North Norfolk Food and Drink Festival isn't just a celebration of our rich, culinary heritage and a chance to showcase outstanding field-to-fork produce, it is most of all, a fantastic weekend to enjoy food and drink with friends and family in a stunning, iconic location. It's a feast for all the senses!
"We're thrilled to be welcoming new stallholders this year, including our first vegan stall - Heart Street. It's a fantastic event to take part in and grows year on year, demonstrating just how popular and diverse Norfolk's food and drink scene is."
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Headline sponsor Kettle Foods is once again offering its extremely valuable mentoring prize to one winning stallholder. Producers are asked to self-nominate for the prize, which provides £1,000 to the winner and business advice from senior management at Kettle Foods. Last year, Sarah Pettegree of Bray's Cottage took the prize. She says: "I was so thrilled to win, obviously the £1,000 has been amazingly helpful, but also as an established business it has been even more valuable to have Kettle Food's MD, Ashley's, input and experience; it has helped shape our busiest year yet. I'm very grateful for what they have done for us, especially as I've long admired the hands-on and committed way they work as sponsors of the food festival."
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Who's in the cookery theatre?
The theatre is sponsored by Arthur Howell Butcher and there'll be a line-up of leading chefs from the area, headlined by Kettle foods, Winbirri Wines, and Land and Sea to Plate.
What's for lunch?
You could make your own picnic up on the day from one of the 60 food and drink stalls, but if you'd prefer a nice cup of coffee and cake, or a hot lunch, there you'll find a concession area just outside the Walled Harden, with straw bales and picnic tables to sit on. As well as a full bar and hog roast, there'll be duck fat chips and duck wraps from Duck Truck, seafood from Brancaster Bay Shellfish, tasty noodle and curry dishes from Siam Rice Box, healthy, filling vegan food from Heart Street, and homemade pies (from steak and ale to chicken, smoked ham and leek) from Pie Central, plus many others.
What can I buy?
Only the very best the region has to offer will be available at the festival, including many award-winning businesses. These include the fantastic St Giles Gin, and regional winners in the 2019 Countryside Alliance Awards, Nortons Dairy - well known in Norfolk for its creamy soft cheeses made with milk from their own herd.
Nora of Bakeshack brings an Oriental twist to the day with her unusual and incredibly flavoursome savoury pies and buns, fusing Asian ingredients with prime local produce. Pie fillings (encased in her own flaky pastry made with goose fat) range from chicken with black truffle, to venison with sweet dried mandarin, bamboo shoots, citrus, soy and Chinese spice.
Blackbird Cottage make and sell the most luxurious pates, terrines and rillettes, made in an authentically French manner with local game and meat.
Sample Candi's award-winning chutneys. Stock up on Eastgate Larder's medlar fruit cheese and jelly - superb with cold cuts, game meat and East Anglian cheeses.
And make sure you check out the Kettle Foods stall where you can make your own limited edition crisps in aid of The Feed.
Is there anything for children to do?
A dedicated area is being run by Kinnerton's Chocolate for youngsters with tastings, chocolate-themed activities, face painting, and stories from Tilly the Talespinner.
How much is entry?
It's completely free but parking is £3 (cash only). Low signal on the site means most of the stalls can only accept cash so ensure you bring enough with you.
Can I bring my dog?
Well-behaved dogs on leads are welcome and there are dog waste bins across the park.