Thousands of food lovers visited the Leamington Food and Drink Festival this weekend - a year after it had to be postponed due to the pandemic.
Visitors to the event, organised by BID Leamington and held at the Pump Room Gardens, enjoyed the sights, sounds and smells of the 110 food and drink exhibitors.
People enjoyed the many different stalls serving global cuisine, as well as live music throughout from the bandstand and attractions such as the Kids Cookery School run by Get Cooking.
Top chefs showed their skills at live cooking demonstrations and were impressed by some of the best amateur cooks in Warwickshire during the Home Cook of the Year competition held on the Sunday.
Many attendees were glad to be back enjoying a thriving outdoor festival after Covid restrictions meant many events could not happen last year.
Suzi Spencer regularly visits the festival from Oxford and came this year with her partner Felix and their two children.
She praised the event as one of the best of its kind, adding: “It’s been a really good day. It’s been so nice with the sunshine, and the amount of people here is wonderful to see.
“We’ve been to a few different food festivals, and I think this one has the most variety, plus it helps that you do not have to pay for entry like at many others.”
And Rute Pereira, originally from Portugal and who has lived in Leamington for six years, loved being back at the festival again with her family.
“We’ve been really missing this kind of event – we try to attend all of the events that are held here in Leamington," she said.
“The Food Festival is almost like a family tradition – we always try to come. If we had something planned, we would change it just to come to the festival because it’s always very nice.
“We were saying how good it is to be back and to see people again, and it’s good for the businesses too.”
BID Leamington were delighted with the turnout over the two days, and are hopeful it is a sign of things to come for the town.
Alison Shaw, project manager for BID, said: “This weekend has been absolutely fantastic. So many people turned out to enjoy all of the wonderful food and drink Leamington and the surrounding area has to offer.
“After a year away, we’re so grateful that so many supported the festival at the weekend and it was wonderful to see the town centre buzzing. It means so much to the exhibitors who have had such a tough time during the height of the pandemic.
"We hope this support continues through people continuing to buy local as we head into autumn.
“We’re very happy with the success of this year’s festival, and already looking forward to next year.”