Great food whetted visitors’ appetites

Sharing a shake: George (3) and Evie Williams (5) get into the Food Festival spirit. Photo: SG130811-12MD
Sharing a shake: George (3) and Evie Williams (5) get into the Food Festival spirit. Photo: SG130811-12MD
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EXCITEMENT about the great food that’s produced in Lincolnshire whetted the appetites of thousands who came along to the second South Holland Food Festival.

Good weather and the ideal venue at Spalding’s Ayscoughfee Hall and Gardens contributed to a happy and positive atmosphere that was remarked upon by both stallholders and visitors, and brought out much larger crowds than the 7,000 counted through the gates last year.

Festival-goers followed their noses to delicious aromas from dozens of food stalls as well as cooking demonstrations by head chef Carl Smith of the prestigious new Sage training restaurant at Red Lion Quarter, TV chef Rachel Green and Spalding deli owner Karl Sergison.

While their parents were browsing and grazing on food samples and purchases, children weren’t short of things to do.

There were monster inflateables to play on, a poetry tent where poets Tamsin Kendrick and Mark Grist gave workshops for young writers and local pupils gave readings of their own poetry on Saturday, and an activities and crafts tent where the Guides attracted huge interest and applications from would-be members.

Live music throughout was varied, ranging from solo pianists Abbi Clayton and Brian Stout to medieval band City of Lincoln Waits and Swineshead Silver Band.

This year’s festival was run by South Lincolnshire College, Spalding’s own branch of Boston College based at the Red Lion Quarter, with support from last year’s organiser South Holland District Council.

Boston College corporate services director Janet Hemmant said: “We’ve had fantastic feedback from both stallholders and visitors, each praising the other, and both schools and organisations like the Guides took a full part in activities. It was a really happy weekend.”

VIP judges including John Hayes MP are lined up already for the finals of a Design a Sausage contest launched at the festival. If you didn’t pick up an entry form there, get one at the George Adams shop in The Crescent, Spalding. Finalists will get their sausage made up by George Adams, cooked and served to the panel.