Recently the foodie town of Nantwich was jam packed with food and drink as far as the eye could see, as the annual Nantwich Food and Drink Festival rolled up at its usual early September spot! Car Parks were converted into Street Food havens and huge marque’s were erected housing hundreds of artisan producers and suppliers. The Festival, a spectacle for any food a drink fan boasted a three day event from Friday 2nd September until Sunday 4th September.
Cheshire Foodies (ever hungry), ventured out to see what was on offer to tantalise the taste buds, and the selection certainly didn’t disappoint! In search of something exciting for tea on the Friday evening we skipped over to the Love Lane car park, which had been converted into a bustling street food scene complete with a gourmet food hall! The food Festival was open until 8pm on the Friday evening, which meant many visitors were able to pop down after work and grab a cocktail or two and a bite to eat. The Gourmet Food Hall was open until about 5pm, which gave us enough time to have a little wander around, making mental notes of what we fancied coming back to later. We couldn’t resist the fantastic smells from the food trucks any longer and picking a stack of nacho’s with cheese sauce and a mango and chicken wrap from 63 Islands we took a seat and also enjoyed a Hedgerow cocktail from ***. The Nacho’s weren’t the best we’d ever tasted, however my Caribbean wrap stuffed with tasty chicken, Caribbean coleslaw and rice was fantastic! It was a perfect mixture and although it was massive I couldn’t leave any – it was too good!
Returning on the Sunday with a Nantwich Food Festival newbie – Poppy from Poppy Rose Tearooms in Northwich, we had a quick look in the Gourmet Food Hall, full to the rafters of people and things to buy, tasting sausages, cheese and pies, we then caught sight of glasses of Prosecco on offer on an Italian Stall so purchased a couple to enjoy whilst walking around. We then toured the street food stalls trying to choose between the fabulous selections, first stopping at a little pop up stall Aroi Thai had set up behind their restaurant, they were offering noodles and chicken skewers the latter which we tried with their homemade satay sauce, which was absolutely delicious! The Satay sticks went perfectly with our glass of fizz, the perfect accompliment to the lovely flavours of the chicken satay! We wandered, fizz in hand to the main Nantwich square, where a range of stalls were busy displaying their produce and wares, as well as Chatwins The Bakers (Nantwich’s number one) who were sampling and selling their new range of artisan breads, which we just had to try! The Sourdough won my vote hands down, with my friend picking up a loaf of the cheese and onion, which she found utterly delicious! We quickly snapped up a loaf each, and our purchases were packaged in reusable Chatwins bag – a lovely touch! We then moseyed on to another marque in the square which Cheerbrooks – the local farm shop had sponsored and brought their fabulous suppliers too! Cakes, pies and pesto vied for our attention as samples of Cheshire Farm chips were handed out piping hot and delicious! There was also an assortment of teas on offer and the marque was a buzz with people snapping up samples and goods.
After purchasing some pesto and a cup of Earl Grey, we moved on to St Mary’s Church where an orchestra were playing a wonderful rendition of the James Bond Theme tune, which we enjoyed sat on one of the benches whilst sipping our tea. Fully refreshed and still in search of food we ventured to the Bowling Green Car Park, which featured another Street Food scene with Persian, Chinese and Mexican food on offer as well as churro’s, mussels and a selection of bars. The backdrop to this was the Mornflake marque, which was full of different produce and drink from all over the UK and further afield. Having hit this spot at lunch time the queues were long and the crowds were huge, due to this we slipped back to the Love Lane Car Park promising we would go back later. Peckish and in need of a sit down, we took a punt on an Applewood Pulled Pork brioche bun and a sweet and spicy pulled pork bun, complete with a portion of rosemary and sea salt fries from The Pickled Porker. The pulled pork was lovely and tasty, but unfortunately it just didn’t wow me – the bun just needed something more! The fries however were very tasty and something that could easily be recreated for a moreish meal!
In search of liquid refreshment we ordered a Rose and a glass of Chianti from a wine and Champagne stand, which paired beautifully with a hot portion of the all in one – halved new potatoes and gherkins smothered in melted Raclette cheese from the La Raclette stand! Chatting and eating, we were joined by Andy who brought with him a couple of glasses of champagne for us and a bottle of French Cider for himself. Our first dish already gone we next tried the Camembert – a fantastic street food idea in my opinion! A whole Camembert served warm with chunks of fresh French baguette to dunk! As you can imagine it didn’t stay around for long! I wish I’d tried everything from this stand, as it was just what was needed for enjoying with friends and loved ones on a cloudy and slightly cool day!
After an hour or so of eating and drinking and listening to the live bands, we ventured back to the Mornflake marque which was now much quieter as the show was almost over. We sampled our favourite Mason’s gin who had brought along a Lavender version, which was fantastic and quickly bought! At the closing of the show we stopped for a toast with a glass of prosecco from The Mussel Pot. Enjoying our prosecco, the music died at 5pm and the clean-up began with volunteers of the festival busily collecting chairs and clearing tables! We wandered home, our bellies full from a feast of delicious food and drink, already looking forward to 2017!
Thank you to everyone involved in the 2016 Nantwich Food Festival, it was a fantastic Foodie Treat!