Festival aims to showcase Brecks tastes

Stratton's Hotel in Swaffham new head chef Julia Hetherton. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Stratton's Hotel in Swaffham new head chef Julia Hetherton. Picture: Matthew Usher. - Credit: Matthew Usher

The Brecks' larder is packed full of incredible seasonal produce, boasting soil that's perfect for growing world-class asparagus and blueberries and with an agricultural heritage which is renowned across the country.

It's the home of English Whisky, extraordinary ales, fantastic hotels and restaurants and suppliers who set the agenda when it comes to first-class produce.

This weekend is an opportunity to embrace the Brecks and celebrate the food and drink produced there at the Brecks Food and Drink Festival, under the umbrella of the EDP Adnams Norfolk Food and Drink Festival.

Hotelier, chef and Food Festival patron Vanessa Scott is keen to put the Brecks on the culinary map – or indeed any map at all: 'People often seem to think that the Brecks is 'on the way to Norfolk' as opposed to being part of Norfolk,' she said, 'we want people to see it as far more than the route to north Norfolk. This area has so much to offer, from recreation to food, and it's a place we want to shout about.

'The festival is a chance for producers, restaurateurs, suppliers, farmers and the community to get together to celebrate the very best the area has to offer. We hope to welcome lots of people here to see what we're all about.'

Vanessa, who owns Strattons in Swaffham with husband Les, said that this year's festival has something for everyone, from a pop-up supper club to children's gardening sessions, harvest festivals to art trails, cookery demonstrations to waiters' races, barbecues to farmers' markets.

'Some people have lost the connection between what's on their plate and where it came from, often because they buy from supermarkets, and we'd love them to come and see where their food comes from,' she said.

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'The Brecks isn't just somewhere to pass through on the way to somewhere else. It's a wonderful place in its own right and we hope this weekend will help people really appreciate that fact.'

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