TOFFEE cheese, squirrel pies and chocolate concrete were among the delights on offer as a record number of visitors flocked to this year’s Alcester and Forest of Arden Food Festival.
Organisers estimate the number attending the fifth annual event on Saturday (May 17) was upwards of 10,000.
Almost 100 stalls were set up throughout the High Street and Church Street as visitors basked in the sunshine while tucking into jumbo sausages, rabbit pasties and oysters. The festival also saw the launch of the black pudding sausage by Freemans butcher based in Kinwarton Road, which proved a massive hit, selling out within the first hour-and-a-half.
There was also the return of the annual tasting competition, sponsored by the Redditch and Alcester Standard and hosted by Coffe@26 in the High Street, with judges running the rule over 13 different types of apple pie. In the end it was the Dog and Partridge in Bleachfield Street which took top spot for the second year running following on from their best pudding title last year.
Christine Jackson, from the Great Alne and Kinwarton WI and one of the judges, was full of praise for the winning entry.
“It was full of flavour and had a lovely balance between pastry and filling.”
Frank Wood, festival chairman, said it had been a record year for the festival and the aim was to build on it for 2015.
“We couldn’t have taken more people at one point there were so many walking up and down.” he said.
“The heat caused a problem for those selling chocolate, cheese or anything meltable but 95 per cent of people there were either pleased or delighted with how they did.”
Mia and Chris Bingham have a taste for cheese. Pictures by Mike Baker 21.014.008reddMDB49
Barrie Newitt samples some pork scratchings from Tim Gilmore 21.014.008reddMDB41.
Sylvia Eden and Sue Adams from the Rotary Club of Alcester serve up a refreshing glass of Pimm’s to visitors 21.014.008reddMDB34.
A record number of people flocked to this year’s Alcester and Forest of Arden Food Festival. Picture by Ian Dipple (s).
Claire Catterall gets a glass of traditional lemonade from Kayleigh O’Mahony of The Split Screen Bakery 21.014.008