Leamington's popular food and drink festival set to return

Last year's event was cancelled due to the pandemic

Thursday, 12th August 2021, 3:04 pm
Updated Thursday, 12th August 2021, 3:22 pm
Alison Shaw with Russell Allen at Aubrey Allen in Leamington – which is running the Leamington Food Festival’s Home Cook of the Year competition. Photo supplied

After a year away, the popular Leamington Food and Drink Festival is set to return this September in the heart of the town to celebrate the best in local and regional food and drink.

The festival, organised by BID Leamington with the support of local businesses, will be held on Saturday September 11 and Sunday September 12 from 10am to 6pm at the Pump Room Gardens.

This year, the free to attend festival, will feature around 110 exhibitors offering a variety of food and drink to enjoy on site and to take away.

Old favourites such as The Drawing Board and Libertine will be serving up their dishes – and new faces from Leamington will also be there.

Pizza restaurant Birtelli’s, sweet treats cafe Little Cup, Bedford Street Bar, drinks specialists Decanter Spirits, and Nana’s Japanese Café will all be making their first appearances at the festival this year.

The bandstand will also host music from local bands, the Live Kitchen will be back - featuring cooking demonstrations from top chefs – and Aubrey Allen’s Home Cook of the Year competition will also return.

Entries for the Home Cook competition are open until August 20. Entrants must submit their three-course menu ideas to Aubrey Allen in advance, before the top three are invited to cook their menu live on the Sunday in front of the judges.

Alison Shaw, BID Leamington project manager, was delighted the Food Festival was able to come back this year.

“We know the Food and Drink Festival is a much-loved event in the town’s calendar, so following a difficult year for everyone, we are excited to see it return,” she said.

“I am particularly looking forward to welcoming back our regular exhibitors, some of which we have worked with for more than 10 years, and we also have some wonderful new exhibitors to introduce.

“As always, we expect the event to attract food festival regulars from all over the country who will be delighted to see it return, and of course we are extending the invite to those that have never been.

“Although we may be a little smaller, we are sure the local flavours of all kinds, alongside the return of popular attractions such as the Live Kitchen, Kids’ Cookery School and Home Cook of the Year, will delight and entertain visitors.”

Russell Allen, managing director of Aubrey Allen, is excited to host the popular Home Cook of the Year competition once again.

“We absolutely love supporting the Food and Drink Festival every year, as it is such a fantastic event for the town and our customers love it too,” he said.

“Our ‘Home Cook of the Year’ competition, which is always a highlight, is now in its eighth year and we have seen some brilliant cooks enter and participate in the live cook-off over the years.

“This year we are delighted to be inviting entries again, and we will also be welcoming back some great judges, including Sean Hughes who was a past winner and local Michelin star chef Paul Foster.”

This year, the event has been organised with COVID safety in mind, so stalls will be a little more spaced out to provide visitors more room, and hand sanitiser will be available for people to use.

Exhibitors will also be thoroughly assessed in accordance with Local Authority guidelines, ahead of coming to the festival.

For more information on the festival as well as a full list of exhibitors, go to: www.leamingtonfoodfestival.co.ukTo enter the Home Cook of the Year competition, go to: www.aubreyallenleamington.co.uk/homecook (closes August 20).