Foodies Flock to the Leamington Food & Drinks Festival
Over 150 businesses – with one coming from as far afield as Devon – served up an array of food and drink to thousands of customers when the event kicked off in the Pump Room gardens on Saturday 10th September.
Although grey skies persisted on Saturday, Sunday proved to be the sell-out day with hot temperatures and non-stop sun.
The main attraction on Saturday was The Great Leamington Bake Off, with local baker Susann Gallion slicing victory with an spectacular painted cake.
Susann and her husband Michael moved from Germany to Warwick in 2001 when he was posted to the area with his job in the car industry.
She said: “To begin with we did not want to stay and now 15 years later we are still here and we love it.
“I then said if I had a child I would go back – but our son Joshua is 13 and very British. I won’t be going back now.”
Beneath the painted icing lay an Italian lemon cake with homemade lemon curd and lemon cream.
“I wanted a cake to celebrate Leamington,” Ms Gallion added.
“It is such a lovely place and everyone is so very friendly.
“It is small enough that people get to know you and say hello when you are shopping. I love it.”
New this year was a fringe event in Regent Court with demonstrations from local retailers and restaurants, while cookery demonstrations by professional chefs and a Kids’ Make and Bake cookery school also proved popular.
Stephanie Kerr, executive director of BID Leamington, which organises the festival, said: “It was a really memorable event.
“Saturday was overcast and we had rain, but the day brightened up and people really entered into the spirit of the event, with even the ice-cream going down a storm.
“There was a great selection of stalls and it really underlined the quality of diversity of restaurants and food providers we have in and around Leamington.”
Among the well established traders were a few new faces, one in particular being Boozy Scoops who make boozy ice cream. They won’t divulge the secret recipe which makes their ice cream able to freeze with so much alcohol in, but rest assured there’s plenty in there.
Also proving popular was the Gaucho Barbeque, who come from Devon for the event most years. They sell 20kg of meat in a day, slow cooked over hot coals in a style seen in the South Americas.