THOUSANDS of food lovers enjoyed all manner of tasty treats at the weekend when Ayscoughfee Gardens in Spalding opened for South Holland Food Festival.
Visitor numbers for Saturday doubled to 4,000 compared to the Saturday last year – and another 4,000 poured through the gates on Sunday.
Boston College, Spalding marketing manager Katrina Gilbert said visitor numbers overall were between 1,000 and 2,000 up on 2011 but this year there were many more families enjoying the celebration of food and entertainment.
Highlights included demonstration kitchens which showcased the skills of celebrity chef Rachel Green, Carl Smith, from Boston College, Spalding’s Sage Restaurant at Red Lion Quarter, and Thierry Daugeron, of Stamford Cookery School.
Scores of specialist food producers and suppliers filled the grounds offering mouth watering fare such as spit roast chickens, delicacies dipped in a chocolate fountain, preserves, coffee, organic vegetables and honey.
There was live music and a host of children’s entertainment including a Punch and Judy show, bouncy castles and rides.
Ms Gilbert said: “We organise this event for the benefit of the South Holland community and we’re really delighted with the feedback we have had from visitors as well as the people who ran the trade stands – it was a first time show for some of the traders and the food festival has helped put their names out there.”
She said the Boston College, Spalding is starting its new courses at Red Lion Quarter in September and there will be a range of cookery courses for school leavers who want to train for a career as well as vocational courses for adults.
South Holland District Council deputy leader Nick Worth attended the festival to promote the dstrict’s community gardens.
He said: “It was a well attended event with lots of people to see and lots to do for all ages. It was a great atmosphere.”