A weekend of fantastic food in Ludlow

Thousands of foodies flocked to Ludlow hungry for a taste of the three-day celebration of the region’s finest cuisine

A weekend of fantastic food in Ludlow

Ludlow Food Festival

Check out our gallery of some the many exhibitors at the festival.

An estimated 20,000 people filled the castle grounds and spilled out along the town’s streets during Ludlow Food Festival from Friday to yesterday.

The highlight of Shropshire’s culinary calendar pulled in crowds from across the country, keen to sample the mouthwatering wares of 180 exhibitors.

Professional chefs demonstrated their skills on stage while festival-goers ambled between bustling marquees full of delicious sight and smells.

Revellers feasted their eyes on enormous rounds of cheese, glistening olives, pink cuts of meat and barrels of beer.

A number of debut attractions satisfied appetites for something new, including sell-out master classes in Egyptian, Indian and Thai cooking.

Even the little chefs were catered for when they rolled up their sleeves in the KidzKitchen.

Inquisitive eaters set off on trails in search of sausages, bread, ale and even treasure – as this year £200 worth of gold coins were waiting to be found.

And after each successful day of sampling and shopping, some guests rambled off to a Secret Restaurant eight miles from the town 900 feet high in the hills.

One stall that had customers buzzing around it all weekend belonged to the Ludlow and District Beekeepers Association, where jars of golden honey were flying off the table.

Member Susan Hayday said: "It's lovely to talk to so many people about our fascinating hobby.

"Today we have 18 different types of honey. A bee's life cycle is just six weeks in the summer and each bee would make a teaspoon of honey so you can see thousands and thousands have made the honey that has gone into these jars.”

Inside the marquee Kate Gibbons, of Deli on the Square in Ludlow, was enjoying the hustle and bustle.

"We've had a lot of great feedback, lots of tasting and we are selling lots of cheese,” she said. “We've had such a nice lot of people and it's so busy but because there's more room in here this year it doesn't feel overcrowded."

But something did not smell right at the Snoggable Garlic Company’s stall.

"It's garlic you can eat and still snog - but I can't tell you why - it's a trade secret," said Belinda Welsman.

"People are really intrigued and want to come over and try it out. This year we have branched out into nut roasts which are really tasty for vegetarians and even non-vegetarians are buying it to use for stuffing.”

All that eating proved thirsty work and real ale lovers washed it all down with pints from Cleobury Mortimer-based Hobson’s Brewery.

Kate Pearce, of Hobson's Brewery, said: “We are one of the festival’s original exhibitors so we have watched it grow and develop.

“There's so much here that some people are a bit overwhelmed and then some are mega organised and have a look around before they go back and buy everything they want. Our publicans and regulars come to see us which is really nice."

For operations director Beth Heath a full year of preparation was a recipe for success.

“Friday I think the exhibitors were up on sales and because it was quieter people had the chance to chat to them about the product.

“Saturday is typically the busiest day and that has been the case this year. The sun was shining it was packed so it was brilliant.”

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