Lichfield Food Festival 2016 success

Lichfield Food Festival 2016
Lichfield Food Festival 2016

More than 180 food and drink stalls, Great British Bake Off stars, children’s entertainment and live music were just some of the treats enjoyed at Lichfield Food Festival over the Bank Holiday weekend.

Lichfield Food Festival, the annual celebration of great food and drink, took place across Lichfield city centre on Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 August.

The free entry event was the biggest yet, attracting thousands of visitors from across the region.

Festival-goers enjoyed browsing around 180 food and drink stalls and choosing from a massive array of street food on offer – from Malaysian curries and Mexican delicacies, to traditional hog roasts and wood-fired pizzas.

On top of all the food, a great selection of free entry events and activities took place over the two days, including cookery demonstrations by chefs and bakers, headlined by Great British Bake Off stars, Howard Middleton and Ali Imdad.

Ali Imdad cookery demo
Ali Imdad cookery demo

The sun shone over most of the weekend, which added to the festival feeling. However, there was a heavy downpour late on Saturday afternoon which meant that the Hue and Cry live acoustic set moved from outside Lichfield Cathedral to The Angel Inn.

Events company, Cocker Hoop Creative, organised the market, cookery demonstrations and Hue and Cry performance.

Jon Arrowsmith, Director of Cocker Hoop Creative, said: “What a weekend it’s been. We had tens of thousands of visitors to the city centre and had so much on offer down every street.

“The positive feedback has blown me away with so many people saying how much they enjoyed the festival and many of our traders sold out so we’re all thrilled.

“It was a pleasure to be involved in Lichfield Food Festival, as it’s a great opportunity to showcase the beautiful city of Lichfield and really champion it as a food destination.

“Plans are also being worked on by the Cocker Hoop team to bring food and drink stalls to Lichfield Georgian Festival on Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 September, so make sure you put it in your diary!”

Festival goers also enjoyed watching KitchenAid cookery demonstrations in The Kitchen Shop on Market Street over both days of the festival.

Lichfield Arts hosted a local brewers’ event, offering real ale and craft cider in the Guildroom of the Guildhall on Saturday.

Then on Sunday home bakers entered their homemade birthday cakes into the Birthday Bake Off and more than 200 festival goers voted for their favourites, before the main judging by Julie Crisp from Cakeydora Baking Academy.

Cakeydora awarded four-year-old Sophie Antcliffe first place in the junior category (ages 4-15) for her salted caramel cupcakes and Katherine Archer came first in the adult category with her Finding Dory birthday cake.

Festival goers voted Six (and three-quarter) year-old Theo Harrison-Lark’s Lego construction inspired cupcakes top in the junior category for the People’s Choice award and Katherine Archer’s Finding Dory cake in the adult category.

This year the Lichfield Food Festival organising committee was headed up by the Lichfield BID Manager, Morag Pringle. She said:

“The city was packed and there was such an amazing array of food on offer. I’d like to thank the whole committee for all their hard work and effort, especially Jon from Cocker Hoop Creative and Lizzy Braine from The Kitchen Shop.

“I’d also like to once again thank our sponsors for their support, with their help we were able to make it our biggest and best festival to yet. Plans are already being shaped for next year, and we’ll announce the date soon.”

Family Fun Zone crafts
Family Fun Zone crafts

Lichfield Food Festival also offered plenty for families with a Family Zone featuring free craft and cupcake decorating activities, thanks to Three Spires Shopping Centre and the Lichfield Garrick.

Lisa Prokopiou, Centre Manager for Three Spires Shopping Centre, said: “We were delighted to once again support the Lichfield Food Festival, welcoming thousands of extra visitors to Three Spires. We hosted food and drink stalls on the centre malls together with the Birthday Bake Off, and were pleased to offer families free cupcake decorating and craft activities in our Food Festival Family Zone, which was also supported by the Lichfield Garrick.”

Lichfield Food Festival is organised in partnership by Lichfield BID, Cocker Hoop Creative, The Kitchen Shop, Three Spires Shopping Centre, Lichfield Arts, Lichfield Cathedral, Cakeydora and the Lichfield Garrick. It is also supported by Lichfield District Council.

The festival is sponsored by main sponsors Central England Co-operative and Tempest Ford, along with MCL Create, Tippers, Taste of Staffordshire, Lichfield Chamber of Trade & Commerce, The Smile Centre, Pom’s Kitchen & Deli and The Best of Lichfield.