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Thousands descend on town for annual food and drink festival

PUBLISHED: 13:22 27 May 2018 | UPDATED: 13:44 30 May 2018

Trying the food at the Beccles Food Festival is George Clark, aged 10. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Trying the food at the Beccles Food Festival is George Clark, aged 10. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

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Thousands of hungry people enjoyed a taste of Suffolk at a packed food and drink festival.

Johnny Spillings, owner of the Penny Bun Bakehouse, with some of the varieties of bread he has at the Beccles Food Festival. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYJohnny Spillings, owner of the Penny Bun Bakehouse, with some of the varieties of bread he has at the Beccles Food Festival. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Beccles Food and Drink Festival, on Saturday, May 26, saw people from across the region flock to sample the best and boldest flavours the region has to offer.

The festival, from 10am to 4pm, saw 70 stalls set up in the centre of Beccles in New Market, the Public Hall, and St Michael’s Church, selling a variety of raw and cooked food, preserves, pickles oils, and other condiments, confectionery, and alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.

Paul Parravani, from Beccles Business and Tourism Association, who organised the event jointly with the Beccles Lions club, said: “It has been a fantastic event. We have had a huge amount of people, 70 stalls, and the town has been full all day.

“It has been a beautiful day as well so we are really pleased with how it has gone.

Crowds gather around the Penny Bun Bakehouse stall at the Beccles Food Festival. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYCrowds gather around the Penny Bun Bakehouse stall at the Beccles Food Festival. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

“We have had a couple of new people this year including the guys from Harleston Cider and it was nice to see them come along as well as a lot of the old favourites as well.”

He added: “It all seems to have gone nice and smoothly. I couldn’t have asked for it to be any better to be honest, we’ve had no hiccups at all.

“The food festival team has worked really hard and the Beccles Lions have helped us because we were struggling with people. Lots of people have done bits and pieces for us to help it go smoothly, and thank you to all of them.”

The day’s entertainment also included a programme of cookery demonstrations and talks.

Cakes at the Beccles Food Festival. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYCakes at the Beccles Food Festival. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

These included Jim’s Butchers showing how lamb is butchered and the various cuts that result, Lynn Lockwood, a chocolate sommelier and founder of the Norwich Chocolate Festival, showed how to taste chocolate properly, with David Patterson and East Coast College students demonstrating how to make a chicken liver pate for a dinner party.

Ben Mitchell of Flint Vineyard spoke about wine and developments over the last year at his Earsham vineyard and winery, while David Nash, head chef at Andover House in Great Yarmouth, demonstrated how to give a few traditional dishes a modern twist.

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