The Shrewsbury Food Festival had such a lot to see and do – take a look at some of the highlights
Shrewsbury Food Festival 2015 was held on 27th and 28th June in the beautiful setting of the Quarry Park in Shrewsbury. This was the third time that the festival had been held, but I was visiting the festival for the first time. There had been a real buzz about the Shrewsbury Food Festival on Twitter in the preceding weeks, and I was really looking forward to it.
I visited the festival with Ollie and Lyle on the Sunday, as Mark was unfortunately busy with other plans that day. The weather was cool and overcast – Saturday had been the better day for weather. We arrived in Shrewsbury around 10.30am, parked easily and walked down to the Quarry Park. The Park was a little bit quiet when we first arrived, but it was Sunday morning so I expected that it would get busier as the day progressed!
I’d been told to expect around 200 stalls in the Quarry Park, with other foodie events being held throughout the town. We started looking around the stalls, and it was soon obvious that there was a great selection of food producers at the Shrewsbury Food Festival. We saw some old favourites – Cooper’s Gourmet Sausage Rolls were there with their delicious produce, and the Battlefield 1403 stand had some delicious sausages and scotch eggs. We bought some of them to take home for a picnic tea.
Part of the fun of a food festival lies in walking around the stalls sampling the produce, and Shrewsbury is no different! We tried smoked sunflower and pumpkin seeds from Wil’s Smoke House, rare breed beef biltong from BigHorn Biltong, and olives from The Olive Press. By now my shopping bags were starting to get heavy, so I dropped them off at the bag creche and carried on looking around.
It was great to see that Old Granary Pierogi were at the Shrewsbury Food Festival, you might remember that I first saw them at the Good Food Summer Show last month. Unfortunately they didn’t have the Bigos filled Pierogi this time, but the boys really enjoyed trying the other flavours that were on offer. They will also be at the Ludlow Food Festival in September, and I’m crossing my fingers that I’ll get my Bigos fix then!
We decided that we wanted to have something a bit substantial when lunchtime came around, so had a good look at the food stands and vans in the main part of the Quarry. We were really interested by the food on offer at the Gourmet Game Centre stand, and all chose to have zebra burgers. It was very tasty, but I think I wish I’d gone for the kangaroo burger as I love kangaroo!
I was also tempted by the ice creams at Polly’s Vintage Ice Cream Parlour (@), but as Lyle is lactose intolerant I don’t often buy ice cream when we are out. I might have to sneak one next time I see the van at an event! However, we did have some doughnuts. Cooked right in front of us and covered in sugar and chocolate sauce, they were delicous!
There was plenty on offer as well as the food producers at the Shrewsbury Food Festival. We noticed a children’s marquee in the corner of the Park, there was a Chef Demo stage, plenty of competitions and prizes to be won. We sat down and rested our feet in front of the Buttermarket stage, where unsigned groups and singers were entertaining the crowd. My personal favourite though was the ukulele band who were playing near the entrance to the Quarry Park. I stood and watched them for a while, and really enjoyed their interpretations of popular songs.
The Shrewsbury Food Festival was incredibly well organised, with plenty of volunteers in their bright orange t-shirts happy to help visitors with any queries. Last year’s show attracted 20,000 visitors and I was told that this year’s show had that many through the gate on Saturday alone! The show is organised by the same people as Ludlow Food Festival, and it’s a great addition to the foodie calendar. I think next year I will plan to visit on the Saturday, and maybe stay in the town overnight to make the most of the events in town as well.