Cheshire Food Festival and Taste of Cheshire
The Cheshire Food Festival brings together foodies from across Cheshire and Britain every September for good entertainment and family fun. Organised at Arley Hall & Gardens in Northwich, the popular event is also known as the Arley Hall Food Festival. The event supports local producers, with more than 100 present at the festival each year offering food and drink to visitors. The event boasts hot food, ale and wine bars, craft and gift stalls, and plenty of activities for all ages.
Some of the biggest crowds are seen at the festival's Men v Food Challenges, where both women and men compete in outrageous food and drink competitions. A cake-off also takes place over the festival's two days where visitors can enter their baking creations for prizes. A Kids Corner offers workshops for children as well as rides, face-painting and other activities. In addition to artisan talks, local chefs also lead demonstrations to provide visitors with tips and advice that will help with making the best dishes. Live music also entertains festival goers taking a break from sampling regional delicacies, whether savoury or sweet.
Part of the Great British Food Festival, the Arley Hall Food Festival typically takes place at the end of September. The year-long festival includes events in Lancashire, Derbyshire, Warwickshire, Northamptonshire, Wiltshire, Staffordshire and Yorkshire. Built between 1832 and 1845, Arley Hall is a country house five miles or eight kilometres north of Northwich in the village of Arley. Tickets include access to the property's stunning gardens. Children under five are free to attend the event, which offers free on-site parking. For more information go to www.cheshirefoodfestival.com.
Taste Cheshire Awards
From a Michelin star restaurant to family-run pubs in idyllic rural settings, Cheshire has plenty to offer for those in search of delicious food and drink. This is where Britain's oldest named cheese was first created during the Roman period, and where Mornflake was first developed in 1675. Cheshire is also where the Chester Grosvenor, one of a handful of Michelin star restaurants in the UK, is located. In recent years, Cheshire has been the scene of young chefs trying to break out. It is little wonder there is plenty to recognise in terms of achievement in Cheshire's food and drink industry.
The Taste Cheshire Food and Drink Awards honour Cheshire's hospitality sector with a black tie dinner. First organised in 2002, the event attracts more than 300 members of the industry. Over 20,000 votes are cast as the public helps decide on award nominees and winners, with the top four to five venues announced in each category during the evening awards gala. Awards recognise a broad range of categories, including the best sandwich shop, new comer, deli, café, bar, pub, small restaurant, large restaurant, local produce shop and family-friendly establishment. Awards also celebrate menus with local produce and excellence in customer care.
Voting for the Taste Cheshire Awards typically closes at the end of February or March, when Taste Cheshire tallies all the categories. The top four vote-getters in each category are then mystery judged by an independent panel of assessors to help select the winners, who are announced during a gala dinner in Chester. The event is typically held in March or April and coincides with the Taste Chester Food, Drink and Lifestyle Festival, which is staged around Easter and also supported by Taste Cheshire. The three-day festival features plenty of food and drink as well as chef demonstrations, kids cooking classes and cooking competitions with local chefs. Taste Cheshire is an online guide to food and drink in Cheshire. It promotes independently-run restaurants, local pubs, food and drink festivals, farm shops and local producers.
For more information about Taste Cheshire and the latest on its annual awards ceremony, visit tastecheshire.com/awards.