Ludlow Food Festival: Thousands arrive to sample delights - with pictures and video
Thousands of foodies poured into the historic castle grounds for the first day of Ludlow Food Festival.
The 23rd annual festival drew in people of all ages who flocked to the town to taste everything from cheese and chocolate to marshmallows and meringue.
More than 160 exhibitors from all over Shropshire and beyond set up for the weekend to show visitors what they have on offer.
Among the activities this year is The Fire Kitchen, hosted by online-hit DJ BBQ, Bake in Time and the Pop Up bookshop.
The 2012 Bake Off winner John Waite held a demonstration on the Wots Cooking stage yesterday.
Two festival goers were sat on a bench tucking into their jerk chicken and cocktails at lunch time.
Bob, 66, and Jo Roche, 59, from Bayton, had bought salt from Droitwich Salt, a shin of beef, and African Peanut Curry Sauce.
Jo, a genealogist, said they come every year. She said: “We’re really liking the new layout this year, inside it was quite enclosed, this is far more accessible.
“We do a lot of local shopping anyway, it’s nice to see what’s out there and support these little independent producers.
“It’s interesting to see what comes each year, this year there seems to be a huge amount of flavoured gins and cheese this year. Years ago they probably wouldn’t have thought of it, but now the atmosphere is right, people have the opportunity to start small businesses like these.”
Friends Nathalie Hacking, and Amy Templeton, both 26 from Shrewsbury, were sampling some flavoured liqueur from British Cassis while browsing freshly baked bread from Swifts Bakery. Nathalie, who works at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, said: “I love it here, I’ve been before and I absolutely love it, especially the demonstrations and trying the local produce.” Amy, a support worker, said: “It’s very popular here and it’s a lovely setting for it. Everyone seems really happy. It’s very accessible for everyone.”
The chairman of Ludlow Food Festival said that he has had compliments about the new arrangement of the event.
Phil Maile said: “The festival is going well considering that early on there was a downpour and now the sun is coming out. I’m feeling a lot more optimistic now. We’ve got a lot of new stalls that we’ve never had before and we’ve got a new layout this year as people said they’d like to see change in previous years.”