Sun-soaked Telfood Feastival draws big crowds

A sun-soaked Telford Town Park provided the perfect venue for thousands of food lovers to indulge in some of the finest tasting treats in the county.

The second ever Telfood Feastival returned with a bang as more than 100 producers and stallholders packed out the picturesque park, with the unmistakable aromas of freshly cooked bacon, sausages, coffee, barbecued ribs, and donuts, leaving the visitors licking their lips while working out where on earth to begin.

Jane Frost, who was visiting the festival with her young daughter Daisy, said she was impressed with the amount of entertainment for children and was looking forward to trying some of the treats on offer.

She said: "I think it's great. I haven't started eating yet because there are a lot of great things for children so my daughter has been monopolising the time so far. She's been on the climbing wall, and she's about to do a cookery lesson."

The children's cookery lessons, just one of a number of hands-on activities for youngsters, were provided by Cook Stars and challenged the children to create their own 'no-bake cookies and cream cheese cake'.

Natalie Porter, who was running the sessions, said the children enjoyed the chance to have a go at cooking something themselves - and to take it away to eat afterwards.

She said: "They love it because they get to do stuff a lot of people would not do at home because cooking can be pretty messy!"

The organisers had nearly every base covered with the circular park providing a lap of sausages, bacon, cider, ale, cakes, crepes, American diner style burgers, barbecue, hog roasts, churros, cheese, cocktails, making sure there was something to cater for any taste.

The sunny Saturday afternoon also provided a perfect setting for visitors to relax in the seating area in front of a live music stage to re-charge the batteries before they returned for another bite to eat.

The event had proved popular with visitors from across the region with Wolverhampton trio, Stacey Orme, Kylie Brown and her mum Sharon, all taking advantage of the weather to enjoy a culinary day out.

Sharon said: "We have had some nibbles and some cider to wash it down with, then we're going to have some lunch then get a couple of portions to take home, one for tea and one for tomorrow."

The demonstration tent, run by Telford corporate catering firm So Food, was specialising in offering simple recipes people could replicate at home, and giving them a sample afterwards – and with a classic Shropshire fidget pie on the menu they were not short of takers.

Company director Kris Lea, said they wanted to show people things they could do themselves.

He said: "It is quite a new concept. I think people do start to get bored of just coming to see people cook in a way that they won't do at home.

"We thought 'keep it simple', and we give people recipe card so they can take it away and give it a go themselves at home."

Event organiser Beth Heath, who works under the job title 'director of fun', said they had focussed on variety and making sure that the event is just as fun for children as it is for adults.

She said: "Every food you can think of we have here. We try and make sure there is a really good variety. We have a lot of really good producers we work with at every festival so it is easy for us to make sure we have a great selection for the people that come out to enjoy the festival.

"The children's element is also really important for us. I am a parent so I know what it is like to go to events and have to pay out for everything they want to do. We do have things which we charge for, like the climbing wall, but we also have lots of simple fun activities children can enjoy for free and that is vital because it really is an event for the whole family."

Beth also praised the efforts of her team of volunteers for making the festival happen, as well as the venue itself which she said provided a perfect setting to showcase the best Shropshire's producers had to offer.

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