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Taste Buds Tantalised Over Two Days Of Great World Food
It came from seemingly every part of the globe - from Australia to Vietnam and beyond - and it attracted thousands of people to the Staffordshire cathedral city of Lichfield. This, of course, was the Lichfield Food Festival with delicacies from all over the world to delight and tempt the taste buds of visitors who followed their noses to the centre of Lichfield over the two days of the event.
The 2016 Lichfield Food Festival, which took place over the weekend of Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 August, consisted of around 180 food and drink stalls, as well as street food from Malaysian curries and Mexican delicacies to traditional hog roasts and wood-fired pizzas all around the city centre. Wherever you turned, there was another country or region's culinary heritage represented on a stall, with Indian, Caribbean, Polish, Vietnamese, South African and Australian cuisine, among others, also on offer.
Visitors were able to try out the Food Festival Family Zone within The Arcade in the Three Spires Shopping Centre on both Saturday and Sunday which included free family crafts, cupcake decorating and balloon modelling. At the same time, many of Lichfield's restaurants and bars also took to the city's popular Bird Street to show off their favourite dishes and drinks.
The thousands of people drawn to the Lichfield Food Festival also had plenty of other things to attract and entertain them. These included a series of live cookery demonstrations performed by a line-up of guest chefs, headed by former Great British Bake Off contestants Howard Middleton and Ali Imdad. The cookery demonstrations took place on the half hour outside Lichfield Cathedral, on both days of the festival.
Former Bake Off contestant Howard Middleton gives a cookery demo
In addition, demonstrations of KitchenAid equipment could be viewed outside The Kitchen Shop on Market Street over the weekend of the food festival, while Lichfield Arts hosted a local brewers' event at the Guildhall on Saturday, from 12 noon to 6pm, which offered thirsty visitors the chance to sit down and enjoy a pint of real ale or cider from a local brewery. There were also a couple of special 'mobile pubs' to help whet the appetite in between the inevitable food tasting.
Entertainment throughout the weekend was provided by a brass band performing in the city centre at regular intervals, while there was also a special live concert at The Angel Inn on Market Street in Lichfield by former 80s pop band Hue and Cry on Saturday evening. The group, made up of brothers Patrick and Gregory Kane, performed a two-hour acoustic set of their soulful pop hits. Entry was available on a first come basis.
Jon Arrowsmith, Director of events company Cocker Hoop Creative, which organised the markets, cooking demonstrations and Hue and Cry concert, said: "We had tens of thousands of visitors to the city centre and had so much on offer down every street. We have had so many people saying how much they enjoyed the festival and many of our traders sold out, so we're all thrilled. The Food Festival is a great opportunity to showcase the great city of Lichfield and really champion it as a food destination."
The Lichfield Food Festival organising committee was this year headed up by Lichfield BID manager Morag Pringle who said: "The city was packed and there was such an amazing array of food on offer. Thanks to the support of our sponsors we were able to make this our biggest and best festival yet."