Until Sunday 11th September the Leeds Castle annual food festival will be in full swing – brought to us by ‘Fantastic British Food Festival’.
Situated on Leeds Castle’s ‘Cedar Lawn’, a wide variety of fresh regional food and beverages will tempt you (a visit at lunchtime is a must!) and many of the 50 stalls offer tantalising ‘try before you buy’ tasting pots to get your taste buds tingling.
Having attended the food festival today with my 3 year old daughter, I was pleasantly surprised by the chilled atmosphere and the abundance of activities to occupy a family audience.
From toddler fairground rides, a giant connect four, Jenga, dominoes, face painting and scheduled story times through to the three piece jazz band ‘Silk Street Jazz’ set up in front of hay bales for people to relax on and watch their set, munching on the food delicacies the festival has to offer.
You can find fresh food produce from Turkish Delight through to a multitude of cheeses and everything in between – Asian inspired cuisine, patisseries, liqueurs, fudge, gourmet burgers, jams and chutneys – you name it this food festival covers it.
I selected my lunch from ‘Dulce’s Patisserie’, a local business based in West Malling run by husband and wife team Dulce and Alain Chua.
One home-made salmon & broccoli quiche (plus some pistachio macaroons!) later and I had become a fan of their homemade fayre. I spoke to the chef, Dulce, about being part of the food festival and she said: “To be part of this is special to us as we are local but you still meet loads of people.”
This was the second year they had exhibited at the festival and it took Dulce and Alain three days to prepare. Dulce pointed out “everything is fresh”.
Visitors also enjoy Indian fusion inspired recipes from Reza Mahammad whilst Katharine Tate, ‘The Food Teacher’, will show you how to create delicious and nutritious food to combat stress. ‘Anna’s Cookery School’ will be serving up the perfect risotto and fresh tagliatelle and ‘The Kent Cookery School’, ‘Food at One’ and ‘Hush Heath Wine Estates’ complete a heavenly schedule for all foodies.
The festival runs until Sunday 11th September and festival entry is included in the standard entry price to Leeds Castle and Grounds.