The new location and new format of Thame Food Festival proved to be a winning formula over the weekend, with thousands enjoying the two-day event.
Even the overflow car park at Thame Showground was filled to over flowing and many more visitors arrived by free shuttle bus, courtesy of Aylesbury Waterside Theatre, from the town centre to the showground on Saturday, September 30, and Sunday, October 1.
The event, packed with over 180 stalls, saw an extensive artisan food market alongside hot street food which served into the night. Complemented by a busy botanical gin garden, pop-up pub and the pop-up restaurant by The Milkshed from Weston on the Green, there was much to choose from.
The new event format also saw a delicious chefs’ banquet on Saturday night with each course prepared by leading chefs and companies including Belazu, Chris Wheeler from Stoke Park, Ryan Simpson from Orwells Restaurant and artisan cheeses.
Through-out the two days headline sponsor Magimix UK’s stage showcased over 20 demonstrations from many of the country’s leading chefs and bakers. Rammed with people, one lucky visitor from each demonstration won a Magimix Le Glacier.
The Big Thame Bake, which invited local bakers to show their wonderful baking skills, led to the overall winner receiving a Magimix Le Patissier food processer. There were a myriad of demonstrations around the showground including expert tuition by Bell Kitchens on the Broil King barbecue, wine tastings and fantastic talks by Belazu. The foodie mix extended to specialist dog treat stalls for our four legged friends, with demonstrations and fun dog shows by locally based, national charity the Hearing Dogs for the Deaf.
Lotte Duncan, patron and organiser of the event, said: “What an event! We were always conscious about changing the location and the format, but due principally to safety concerns in the town centre with the volume of people, we just had to do something or there would have been no event at all. However, we believed in the event and in our fabulous supporters and just had to look at the alternatives.
“Our move to Thame Showground meant we could take the opportunity to extend the food festival over two days and the additional space also meant we could add a number of new attractions.”
She added: “It was so fabulous to see all the hard work of everyone come to fruition. And as part of British Food Fortnight, I am so proud that yet again alongside our main sponsors and feature stalls, we have given the opportunity for small artisan producers to showcase the wonderful diverse and delicious range of foods inspired from around the world, but produced here in Britain.”