Frestival: Shropshire 'free-from' festival cooking up new ideas

By Lucy Todman | Shrewsbury | Shrewsbury entertainment | Published:

Shropshire’s first ever ‘free-from’ festival will this week open its gates to thousands of visitors from across the Midlands and beyond.

Megan Taylor and Abbie Shakeshaft – part of the team getting the Shrewsbury Frestival ready for the weekend

Specialising in raising lifestyle awareness, Frestival is the first event of its kind in the region and will take place on Saturday at the Greenhous West Midlands Showground from 10am.

Free-from chefs will be taking to the cookery theatre stage to cook up a variety of dairy-free, gluten-free, Vegan and low-carb dishes, while the lecture theatre will see visitors learn about raw chocolate, vegan wine, lowering sugar intake, reducing plastic, combating allergies and more.

The event is set to offer information, guidance and tips on free-from lifestyles, as well as a traders village offering free-from food and products and a ‘free-from technology’ children’s area featuring a straw pool and mud kitchens!

Organiser Ian Bebbington said he felt the booming ‘free-from’ industry deserved an event of its own in Shropshire.

He said: “Whether you are someone already living a free-from lifestyle due to choice or allergies, want to find out more about it, or are looking for ways to help reduce plastic and protect the planet, Frestival will be able to help.

“We know people are looking to find out more about all sorts of diets and lifestyles and why there is so much talk about it.”

Megan Taylor and Abbie Shakeshaft

The Frestival cookery theatre will welcome a number of local chefs, including Mytton and Mermaid head chef Chris Burt; Richard Fletcher, chef and proprietor of The Pheasant Inn at Admaston and Lajina Leal, of Lajina Masala.


Jenny Tschiesche, founder of the Lunch Box Doctor, will also be taking part in the cookery theatre, with fantastic recipe ideas for parents to make healthy school lunches.

A best-selling author, nutritionist, recipe developer and presenter, she offers tips, tricks and simple, nutritious recipes to help create healthier meals and lunches families.

She said: “Lunchboxes don’t have to be stressful. I love showing parents who have children with food allergies how to make simple, free from dishes to make life that bit easier, especially on a busy weekday morning."

Michelle D’Arcy from the Shropshire Veggies and Vegans will have an information stall to tell people all about the vegetarian and vegan lifestyles and an open discussion on Food and Fibromyalgia will close the lecture theatre at the end of the day.

For more information about Frestival and to book tickets, visit

Children under 16 are free.

Lucy Todman

By Lucy Todman

Senior reporter for the Shropshire Star and Shrewsbury Chronicle based in Shrewsbury.


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