A weekend of gastronomic delights arrives courtesy of Great British Food Festival. The picturesque grounds of 18th century Stonyhurst College is hosting stalls dishing up British culinary delights: wood fired pizza, game like wild boar, and Asian-inspired sushi. Having visited last year, I know this event is pretty damn good.
Clitheroe alone is a beautiful location to visit, irrespective of the GBFF. The North Lancashire town is a tourist hot spot because of its pastoral Lancashire landscape. Well-kept lawns and trimmed bushes are dotted all over the town that is more akin to a village because of its religious qualities. Clitheroe is also a parish in the Borough of Ribble Valley.
To clarify, Stonyhurst is an estate of Clitheroe, and the grounds are bounded by the River Hodder, the village of Hurst Green and Longridge Fell. It's hard to believe such poetic names are given to towns and place in the North.
Live demonstrations will be lead by chefs such as Simon Rimmer (of Sunday Brunch) and Paul Riley, but the fun doesn't stop with the celebrities. Events will include a cake-off challenge, Man vs Food battles, and cupcake decorating advice. I strongly advise attending the cupcake-decorating class because the bakers provide some invaluable nuggets of information. Live music from local acts, as well as locally reared produce, vintage and craft stalls will abound.
The GBFF is a family event, so the organisers have made sure the little ones are also entertained; there will be a 'kids corner', as well as a junior chef competition.
Tickets range from the following prices, and can be bought on their website
[One Day £6, Two Days £10[/B], Three Days £13 Kids Ticket £1, Family Ticket £16: (includes 2 adults, 2 kids 5-12yrs plus a recipe book) Recipe Booklet £2.50. Under 5's enter free.
The prices hike up due to the presence of celebrity chefs, but you also save money if you opt for the full three days.
Great British Food Festival has drawn on all the different cultures, and cuisines that are popular in Britain at this moment in time, as well as emerging food trends. South American food, traditional Caribbean delights, and a lean towards exclusive cuts of meat are going to be at the festival. Popular European, and Asian dishes, have also been found at the food fest', and last year when I visited with a couple of friends we tried some unfamiliar foods that were surprisingly delicious.
I only went for one day last year because it is a whole day of eating and events inspired by food, which is great if you have the appetite. The atmosphere was alive with hungry foodies from curious to particular palettes. I fell into the particular category, mainly because I couldn't eat much more after eating three meals, and the numerous proffered samples. Portions were generally large, and even though I was fit to burst I wanted to 'try everything' because I was only there for the one day.
While GBFF is a bank-holiday event a little history always puts things in perspective, and just to admire the beauty of Stonyhurst, with its rather holy air, will be quite something. If you've got other plans, but happen to be in the area at least you won't go hungry if you're passing by between 10.30am and 5pm.