12 more Food and Drink Festival dates to sink your teeth into
- Credit: Ormiston Children & Families Trust
There's plenty to enjoy in the Norfolk Food and Drink Festival 2014. Stacia Briggs previews the second half of the packed programme.
It's the largest event of its kind in the country and it's right here in our fine county – the Norfolk Food and Drink Festival 2014 celebrates a delicious decade this year and has a programme of events guaranteed to whet every appetite.
This year, Southwold-based brewery Adnams returns for a third year of sponsorship, joined by Norfolk-based law firm Spire Solicitors LLP, which has eight regional offices across the county.
'The Festival celebrates the wide variety and exceptional quality of Norfolk's vibrant food and drink sector which delivers real and tangible benefits to the county,' said Andy Wood, chief executive of Adnams.
Kevin Oelrichs, partner at Spire, added: 'The Norfolk Food and Drink Festival is a key event for raising the profile of our thriving food and drink industry and helping celebrate the abundance of fine producers in the region. We very much look forward to supporting the organisers as they plan the festival over the coming months.'
The Eastern Daily Press is media partner with the Norfolk Food and Drink Festival and its patrons are Richard Hughes of The Lavender House Restaurant and Cookery School and the Assembly House, Chris Coubrough of Flying Kiwi Inns, Vanessa Scott of Strattons Hotel and Galton Blackiston of Morston Hall and No1 Cromer.
The festival also has a new co-ordinator, Anna Stevenson, who sat on the original steering committee 10 years ago and co-owns The Mill Café Bar and Restaurant in Yaxham with husband Hugo along with her own public relations and marketing company.
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Sarah de Chair, director of the festival, said: 'We are absolutely delighted to welcome Spire Solicitors LLP as our joint headline sponsor along with Adnams, which has kindly agreed to support us once again in such a landmark year for the festival.'
Here is a flavour of what's on offer during the final three weeks of the food festival.
• September 20 to September 21
Pop-Up Producers' Weekend at Hoveton Hall Estate
Supported by Lovewell Blake, this new event brings together producers from around Norfolk in the estate's Stable Yard and offers visitors free entry and a chance to buy themselves a locally-sourced picnic to enjoy in the grounds. There will also be live music. Free entry and parking from 11am to 5pm.
• September 22 to October 5
North Norfolk Restaurant Week
A culinary celebration of the coast's vibrant restaurant scene, the North Norfolk Restaurant Week returns after its successful launch last year. Take advantage of fixed price menus at some of the coast's most popular restaurants and pubs. Find out more at www.northnorfolkrestaurantweek.co.uk.
• September 23
Lloyd Addison's Moveable Feast, supported by Cozens-Hardy LLP
A thousand diners, three courses – each at a different venue – and a host of local, independent restaurants – the Moveable Feast is a favourite on the Food Festival calendar. The event raises money for Parkinson's UK and starts at The Forum before diners set off on a pre-determined route to three different restaurants for their dinner. This year, there's a new Golden Triangle route. For more information, contact 01603 617269 or visit www.moveablefeastnorwich.org.
• September 26
Institute of Food Research Tallest Jelly Competition
Use your culinary cunning to build a monster jelly. A team from the Institute of Physics will judge how well children use food science, physics, engineering and sheer ingenuity to build their edible edifices. Can anyone break the record of a 1m high jelly?
• September 27
Dining in the Dark, The Maids Head Hotel
A truly enlightening experience that combines a charity event, great food and a chance to understand the difficulties the blind overcome when eating out. The Maids Head will be serving a meal designed for eating without sight which will be served in dimly-lit rooms - you can choose whether or not to wear a blindfold for the full experience. All proceeds will go to the Norfolk and Norwich Association for the Blind. Tickets cost £40, for more details, call 01603 272008.
• September 26 to September 28
Great Yarmouth Food and Drink Festival
The third Great Yarmouth Food Festival will be held in the Market Place and will include food demonstrations, tastings and stalls. Local chefs, including last year's EDP Norfolk Chef of the Year, Mark Dixon from the King's Arms in Fleggburgh, will be cooking with seafood, meat, fruit and vegetables bought from the famous market.
• September 28
Best Scone Competition at Wroxham Barns
Thought to be the only event of its kind in the UK, there are five categories in which your homemade scone can shine: plain, fruit, cheese, freestyle and children's scones. Bring a freshly-baked batch along to Wroxham Barns by 2.30pm to be in for a chance. For more details, call 01603 783762 or visit www.wroxhambarns.co.uk.
• September 30 and October 1
The Great British Food Quiz at The Assembly House
Join Food Festival patron Richard Hughes for an evening of food, fun and frivolity at the food quiz that will test your taste buds while exercising your noodle. The ticket includes a two-course dinner, coffee and the quiz. The night begins at 7pm at the Assembly House and winners will be given great food-related prizes. Tickets cost £25 each or £200 for a table of 10. Book on 01603 626402 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
• October 2
The Lavender House and The Assembly House Pop-Up At The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital
From noon until 2.30pm, the teams from The Lavender House in Brundall and The Assembly House in Norwich will be offering staff, patients and visitors the chance to enjoy a gourmet pop-up restaurant at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. Chef Richard Hughes will be joining Serco executive chef Jon Batchelor at the hospital for a very special lunch service, which is raising cash for the Targeted Radiotherapy Appeal at the NNUH. Diners are being asked to pay what they think is fair for their meal, which will be a choice of three first courses: eight-hour cooked beef cheek in red wine with smoked potatoes, spiced parsnips, capers, parsley and lemon or crispy grilled sea bass fillets with crushed Norfolk Peer Potatoes, braised baby gem, pea, lettuce and mint veloute or potato, garlic and tarragon terrine with a crispy hen's egg, wild mushroom, pine nut and apple butter and three desserts, chocolate truffle torte with crème fraiche, blueberries and fresh basil or apricot tarte tatin with vanilla ice cream and sea salt caramel sauce or roasted pineapple with mint, lime and chilli and lemon sorbet. Lunch will take approximately one hour. To ensure a table, book at email@example.com.
• October 2 to October 5
Aylsham Food and Drink Festival
Visit the town which has embraced the Slow Food movement for a weekend of tasty temptation. A highlight this year will be a visit from the London Vegetable Orchestra – the ensemble carves instruments from vegetables and gourds to play popular music and the classics. There will be children's cooking workshops, family cooking workshops, a five-course gala dinner cooked by Aylsham High School pupils for 120 guests, Aylsham Country Market and the famous Big Slow Breakfast on Sunday morning where members of Slow Food Aylsham will be serving a full English breakfast to 120 people.
• October 5
Walk with a Fork
You should never run with knives, but you should definitely Walk With A Fork at the charity event that combines fundraising with a food safari. On Sunday October 5, Sennowe Park in Guist near Dereham will be throwing open its gates to welcome walkers for a food-based event which will raise much-needed funds for the Ormiston Children and Families Trust which works with children and young people across the east of England. Local chefs and producers have joined forces to provide a range of 'food stops' to fuel walkers as they make their way around an eight-mile trail. For more details, visit www.ormiston.org.
• October 11 to October 12
Waveney Food and Drink Festival:
There's plenty to whet the appetite in Waveney, from the Battle of the Bangers in Diss to a festival fair at Bungay Castle showcasing the best of the region on October 11 and 12.
The Norfolk Food and Drink Festival, sponsored by Spire Solicitors and Adnams, runs from August 30 to October 12 and includes a host of events across the county. For more details and to access the full calendar of events, visit www.norfolkfoodanddrinkfestival.co.uk