Shoppers in Thame were treated to culinary delights in a new initiative in town, as thousands flocked to the food festival.
The Thame Food Trail was launched at the weekend, bringing plenty of business for retailers as visitors also arrived by shuttle from the showground event.
Visitors to the town centre on Saturday, September 30, were invited to have fun following the trail, sampling food delicacies, drinks and special offers put on for the day by retailers.
Eighteen food and kitchen shops, cafes and pubs took part in the trail, a new event organised by 21st Century Thame and sponsored by A Bell & Co, Steamer Trading Cook Shop, Rumsey’s Chocolaterie and the James Figg.
A leaflet produced by 21st Century Thame, handed out by volunteers, contained a guide map of venues.
There were also displays of cookery books at the Book House and the Oxfam Bookshop, and live piano renditions of Elvis Presley numbers at the Coffee House.
The party atmosphere was enhanced by the Swervy World Band, entertaining with music on banjo, sousaphone, saxophone, percussion, plus vocals.
At Rumsey’s Chocolaterie there were demonstrations and samples, the Deli at No 5 had British cheeses to taste, AGA Thame demonstrated food cooked in the ovens, Umberto’s offered olives and Italian charcuterie, the Cross Keys served artisan beers, and Jack and Alice served red and white wines accompanied by cheese fondue.
The Birdcage featured connoisseur gin-tasting, What’s Cooking dished up wild mushroom ragout, while Treacles Tea Rooms and the Spread Eagle had some special offers.
Stephen Catherall, of Steamer Trading Cook Shop, said: “We were really busy and thought the event in town perfectly complemented the Thame Food Festival on the showground, with the shuttle bus taking people between the two places.” ornfield Bakery also thought it was a great day, and their sourdough breads were eagerly devoured.
Dian Parker, of A Bell & Co, said: “It was a great idea and we were delighted to have a visit from Cllr Linda Emery, deputy mayor, who enjoyed our tasty fruited tea bread baked in Miele ovens.”
Helen Johns, of 21st Century Thame, said: “We have a fantastic variety of shops, restaurants, cafes, pubs and kitchen shops in Thame, and it was a pleasure to put together an event that showcased the fine food, wines, beers and kitchen accessories they offer. We are very grateful for the support of our sponsors. The positive feedback suggests our food trail event will definitely not be the last.”