A festival of food: what’s not to love? My family and I headed to Arley Hall near Northwich in Cheshire on Sunday, September 23 for the last of this year’s Great British Food Festival events. The series of festivals combines the nation’s love of great food and drink with some of the country’s most treasured locations, providing an opportunity to explore new flavours and stunning venues. At Arley Hall the event took place across the weekend of September 22 and 23, and other festival venues in 2018 have included Bodelwyddan Castle, in North Wales, and Weston Park, in Staffordshire.
After arriving at the stately home, we made our way to the kids’ funfair. My eight-year-old son Ewan didn’t fancy the ghost train but, being a fan myself, I couldn’t resist. However, the ride was a bit of a let-down because it was over too quick and wasn’t worth the money.
In the main event area, Ewan loved the free circus workshop and activity zone. There was giant bubble-making, a drumming workshop, food Olympics and also a fun dog show.
But soon our taste buds were tingling, so we began exploring the tempting array of stalls, while sampling tasty treats along the way.
The Great British Food Festival showcases local, seasonal and speciality food and drink. Every taste is catered for, from the more traditional fare, such as prime steak, local burgers and sausages, to Thai, Mexican and Asian cuisine.
But it’s not all about the food and drink, as there was also a craft and gift tent, plus live music throughout the day.
Other entertainment included chef and baking demonstrations, as well as Great British Cake off and Men V Food challenges.
Ewan took part in a kids’ cookery class, where he made a delicious chocolate trifle (we booked this at the start of the day in case the places filled up).
Before we left, we explored Arley Hall’s glorious gardens and even had time for a spot of hide-and-seek.
And fans of Peaky Blinders may be interested to know that scenes of the gritty TV series are filmed here. Sadly, we didn’t meet any of the cast or crew during our visit.
Where is Arley Hall?
Arley Hall and Gardens
Tel: 01565 777353
How much is entry to the Great British Food Festival?
When’s the next Great British Food Festival?
Dates and venues for 2019 will be released soon. For further information, visit Great British Food Festival or call 01925 479140.
Things to note about the Great British Food Festival:
- Well-behaved dogs are welcome at the festivals, as long as they’re on a lead. Dogs aren’t allowed in the food marquees or inside some of the buildings, for hygiene and safety reasons. Note: never leave your dog in a car on a hot day
- Wheelchair users and families with prams are also welcome. Designated disabled parking is available as close to the event site as possible, but because most of the events are held in fields, the ground can get muddy. Disabled drop-offs can be arranged – contact the organisers in advance or speak to a member of the team on the day. There is a disabled toilet on the event field, and the individual venues often offer further facilities
- Ample free car parking is available at most events. Car parks may be a short walk from the site, and the majority are on grass, but stewards guide people in
- To find out more about booking a trade stand, email: email@example.com details of what you do and a picture of your stall (if you have one)
- The organisers try to include some access to the house or hall and/or access to the grounds and gardens, but this will differ for each venue
Upcoming events at Arley Hall and Gardens:
- Mushroom walks on Sunday, October 14 at 11am and 2pm. Tickets are £8
- Arley Hall Shopping Spectacular on Tuesday, November 13, from 6pm to 10pm, and Wednesday, November 14, between 9.30am and 4pm, to raise money for the Joshua Tree charity
Review by: Colette Warbrook
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* We were provided with free entry passes to the Great British Food Festival in return for a review. All opinions are our own.