Photo gallery: Crowds flock to North Norfolk Food and Drink Festival at Holkham Hall

Food lovers flocked to a gastronomic feast at Holkham Hall today (Saturday) which kicked off the EDP Adnams Norfolk Food and Drink Festival.

People from far and wide enjoyed the sights, smells and atmosphere of the North Norfolk Food and Drink Festival.

The event, which is in its third year, featured some 60 stalls and showcased the best food and drink on offer, including pies, popcorn, spicy relishes and ice cream.

Lady Coke, of Holkham Hall, said she was 'incredibly proud' of the festival.

She added: 'The numbers of people who come are increasing each year and long may it last.'

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Last year 8,500 people enjoyed the festival when there were just under 40 stalls.

Teddy Maufe, North Norfolk Food and Drink Festival chairman, said this year's event offered a greater array of 'delectable and delicious' food and drink.

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'It never ceases to amaze me how much local produce this area has,' he added. 'I would be quite happy to just eat local north Norfolk food forever.'

Arthur Howell who was running the hog roast said: 'It is brilliant. It brings all the best produce from the shopkeepers and farm shops.

'The area is fantastic - we have got some of the best food and chefs.'

Mr Howell sells fish, meat and bread in Wells, Burnham Market and Binham.

Dr Sally Francis, proprietor of Norfolk Saffron, based in Burnham Norton, said: 'We love it because it is a real opportunity to speak with our customers.'

Ian Kew, owner of Kew's Pies in North Walsham, said Holkham Hall as a venue is 'awesome'.

He added: 'There is a great cross section of people and there is a great atmosphere.'

Other exhibitors at the weekened included Chillis Galore from Drayton, which produces chilli jelly and sauces, and the Norfolk Popcorn Company, based at Manor Farm, Bintree.

Farmer Algy Garrod, who developed the business, is the only popcorn producer in Britain.

Businessman Matt Dickens, 35, of Cromer, was visiting with his wife and two children.

He said: 'We came to try the food. It is great. We came last year for the first time and liked it so much we came back.'

The North Norfolk Food and Drink Festival continues tomorrow between 10am and 5pm.

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