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Picture special: Taste of normality at Stratford Food Festival





Tereza Vondrackova of Churtopia spent the weekend serving Spanish churros. Photo: Mark Williamson S94/9/21/8857. (51476595)
Tereza Vondrackova of Churtopia spent the weekend serving Spanish churros. Photo: Mark Williamson S94/9/21/8857. (51476595)

MORE than a hundred stalls, thousands of people and millions of calories… Stratford Food Festival was back in town at the weekend.

The first major event to take place in Stratford since the start of the pandemic, the two-day event included free cookery and drinks demonstrations, workshops and tastings as well as live music… and even some sunshine.

Bridge Street, High Street and Henley Street were closed to traffic as more than 110 stalls were set up offering a huge variety of food and drink – from micro herbs and churros, to samosas, cheese, bread and flapjacks.

There was a strong showing from Stratford’s businesses with Barry the Butcher, Shakespeare Distillery, Welcome Hills Vine Yard, the Crowne Plaza, Bobapom and Hotel du Vin all involved.

Claire Picken and Sam Evans welcomed visitors to the Shakespeare Distillery stall at Stratford Food Festival. Photo: Mark Williamson S94/9/21/8868. (51476598)
Claire Picken and Sam Evans welcomed visitors to the Shakespeare Distillery stall at Stratford Food Festival. Photo: Mark Williamson S94/9/21/8868. (51476598)

Some of the area’s top chefs were in action at the cookery demonstrations on Bridge Street, including Paul Foster, the owner of the Michelin star Salt restaurant in Church Street, who showed an audience how to create a partridge dish served with a sweetcorn ragu.

Festival sponsors Loxleys Restaurant and Wine Bar were also involved in the demonstrations on Bridge Street (with a sumptuous duck dish) as were Mor Bakery, Bobapom and HR Coffee.

Sunday saw a range of workshops taking place, including fudge making with Stratford’s Roly’s Fudge where my children managed to make toffee (they were over stirring), pizza making and wine tasting.

Tor Wilkes, marketing and events manager at Stratforward, which organises the festival with Cotswold Markets, said: “There was a real buzz in town with many happy faces! People said how good it was to see Stratford as it used to be, with people together, supporting town and our fantastic food and drink businesses.

Camel Milk from Idlecote’s Joseph’s Amazing Camels was sold by Daisy Fossett and Ryan McGinley. Photo: Mark Williamson S94/9/21/8874. (51476602)
Camel Milk from Idlecote’s Joseph’s Amazing Camels was sold by Daisy Fossett and Ryan McGinley. Photo: Mark Williamson S94/9/21/8874. (51476602)

“Fabulous free demonstrations covered a wide range of subjects from sourdough with Mor Bakery, wine and food pairings with Veeno, Gin Bingo with Shakespeare Distillery and bubble juice with Bobapom. Sunday’s hands-on workshops in Bell Court had something for all ages, including painting ceramics with The Spotted Treehouse, making toffee apple fudge with Roly’s Fudge, pizza flairing from Pizza Express and even wine tasting with Welcombe Hills Vineyard.”

She added: “This is our first food festival in two years and it’s brilliant to be back. We are delighted to be able to stage an event for our town and community.

“We are grateful to the 420 Stratford town centre businesses that fund Stratforward which made this event possible, to the highly skilled chefs, talented musicians, and the significant events team including security, traffic management, police, volunteers, first aiders, Stratforward staff and the event sponsors, Loxleys Restaurant and Wine Bar, for their support.

Jonathan Kelsey encouraged visitors to smaple his Welcmbe Hills Vinyard wines. Photo: Mark Williamson S94/9/21/9300. (51476648)
Jonathan Kelsey encouraged visitors to smaple his Welcmbe Hills Vinyard wines. Photo: Mark Williamson S94/9/21/9300. (51476648)

Loxleys director and general manager Jonathan Lea said: “We’re really proud to have sponsored such a great event for Stratford yet again. It was wonderful to see so many people out and about and enjoying themselves again, both at the festival itself and at the businesses in the town across the weekend.

“We hope this will be an ideal lift-off for Stratford as we head towards autumn and the all-important Christmas season!”

This classic Citreon coffee van driven by Jem Hedderwick made the journey from Cirencestor to Stratford Food Festival. Photo: Mark Williamson S94/9/21/8878. (51476603)
This classic Citreon coffee van driven by Jem Hedderwick made the journey from Cirencestor to Stratford Food Festival. Photo: Mark Williamson S94/9/21/8878. (51476603)
Stratforward BID team members, from left, Diane Mason, Pauline Field, Tor Wilkes, Sandi Lewis, Phil Coldicott and Karen Howe were pictured in good spirits. Photo: Mark Williamson S94/9/21/9224. (51476596)
Stratforward BID team members, from left, Diane Mason, Pauline Field, Tor Wilkes, Sandi Lewis, Phil Coldicott and Karen Howe were pictured in good spirits. Photo: Mark Williamson S94/9/21/9224. (51476596)
Paul Foster from Salt at Stratford Food Festival (51452313)
Paul Foster from Salt at Stratford Food Festival (51452313)
A packed Bridge Street during Stratford Food Festival. Photo: Mark Williamson S94/9/21/8846. (51476593)
A packed Bridge Street during Stratford Food Festival. Photo: Mark Williamson S94/9/21/8846. (51476593)
Live music played in High Street over the two day Stratford Food Festival. Photo: Mark Williamson S94/9/21/8887. (51476604)
Live music played in High Street over the two day Stratford Food Festival. Photo: Mark Williamson S94/9/21/8887. (51476604)
Rachel Key, Lifespace CEO, and her colleague Helen Smith, programme coordinator, ran a raffle at the festival raising money to fund the recruitment and training of a volunteer mentor for the charity. Photo: Mark Williamson S94/9/21/9287. (51476645)
Rachel Key, Lifespace CEO, and her colleague Helen Smith, programme coordinator, ran a raffle at the festival raising money to fund the recruitment and training of a volunteer mentor for the charity. Photo: Mark Williamson S94/9/21/9287. (51476645)
It was a family affair on the Fosseway Brewing stall with owner Stepehn Hewitt, right, being helped by his mother and father Stephen and Marion Hewitt. Photo: Mark Williamson S94/9/21/8904. (51476606)
It was a family affair on the Fosseway Brewing stall with owner Stepehn Hewitt, right, being helped by his mother and father Stephen and Marion Hewitt. Photo: Mark Williamson S94/9/21/8904. (51476606)
Fudge making at Stratford Food Festival. Photo: Mark Williamson S94/9/21/9265. (51476612)
Fudge making at Stratford Food Festival. Photo: Mark Williamson S94/9/21/9265. (51476612)
Fudge making at Stratford Food Festival. Photo: Mark Williamson S94/9/21/9271. (51476613)
Fudge making at Stratford Food Festival. Photo: Mark Williamson S94/9/21/9271. (51476613)
Simply Grow owner Sylwia Golebiowska and her colleague Max Warkoczynski sold microgreens in Henley Street at the festival. Photo: Mark Williamson S94/9/21/9280. (51476621)
Simply Grow owner Sylwia Golebiowska and her colleague Max Warkoczynski sold microgreens in Henley Street at the festival. Photo: Mark Williamson S94/9/21/9280. (51476621)
Hotel du Vin head chefPhil Hase demosntrated his culinary skills at Stratford Food Festival. Photo: Mark Williamson S94/9/21/8832. (51476590)
Hotel du Vin head chefPhil Hase demosntrated his culinary skills at Stratford Food Festival. Photo: Mark Williamson S94/9/21/8832. (51476590)
Hotel du Vin’s head chef Phil Hase at work at Stratford Food Festival. Photo: Mark Williamson S94/9/21/8840. (51476592)
Hotel du Vin’s head chef Phil Hase at work at Stratford Food Festival. Photo: Mark Williamson S94/9/21/8840. (51476592)
Exotic pastries at Stratford Food Festival. Photo: Mark Williamson S94/9/21/8864. (51476597)
Exotic pastries at Stratford Food Festival. Photo: Mark Williamson S94/9/21/8864. (51476597)
There was a taste of the Mediterranean on Mo Javanmardu’s stall at Stratford Food Festival. Photo: Mark Williamson S94/9/21/8897. (51476605)
There was a taste of the Mediterranean on Mo Javanmardu’s stall at Stratford Food Festival. Photo: Mark Williamson S94/9/21/8897. (51476605)
Even dogs were catered for at the festival with healthy canine eating on off from Sophie Holland and Darcy Grey from Butternut Box. Photo: Mark Williamson S94/9/21/8906. (51476607)
Even dogs were catered for at the festival with healthy canine eating on off from Sophie Holland and Darcy Grey from Butternut Box. Photo: Mark Williamson S94/9/21/8906. (51476607)
Tucking in at Stratford Food Festival. Photo: Mark Williamson S94/9/21/9224. (51476609)
Tucking in at Stratford Food Festival. Photo: Mark Williamson S94/9/21/9224. (51476609)
A job well done … Stratforward BID’s events manager Tor Wilkes enjoyed a drink at the end of the festival. Photo: Mark Williamson S94/9/21/9295. (51476647)
A job well done … Stratforward BID’s events manager Tor Wilkes enjoyed a drink at the end of the festival. Photo: Mark Williamson S94/9/21/9295. (51476647)


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