FOOD lovers are in for a tasty treat at this year’s Stratford’s food festival where a new car is just one of the things on the menu.
The Town Centre Food Festival, organised by Stratforward Business Improvement District (BID) and sponsored by Loxleys Restaurant and Wine Bar, returns on 21st and 22nd September and features a veritable feast of culinary delights on High Street, Henley Street and Bridge Street.
There’s plenty to get your teeth into from learning top tips at the demo theatre to sampling the live music around town; browsing the bustling 120-stall food market; getting hands-on at the free workshops in Bell Court; or exploring the town’s restaurants, cafes and pubs on the Food & Ale trails.
There’s even the chance to win a brand new Citroen for a year, as part of a raffle being held in aid of local children’s charity Molly Olly’s Wishes, courtesy of the festival’s sponsor Loxleys which has donated the impressive prize.
The Win a Car raffle will be one of the highlights of this year’s event, which champions local food and drink in Stratford-upon-Avon.
This year the cookery demo theatre, which entertains and educates with free cookery and drinks demonstrations, will be held at Bridge Street in an effort to reduce road closure disruption.
There is a ‘farm to fork’ demonstration where Loxleys chefs will take food lovers on a journey of one of the restaurant’s much-loved dishes, teaming up with Adam Lucock from local business Barry the Butcher, who supplies Loxleys, as well as the local famer who supplies him. Free workshops include a kids’ pizza master class, wine tasting and scone perfection lessons.
The taste trails will once again provide festival-goers with the opportunity to sample some of Stratford’s finest eateries for just £5, at venues such as Carluccio’s, El Greco, White Swan, Veeno and many more. Vote for your favourite taste trail experience and you could win a meal for two.
Back by popular demand, the ale trail returns to help people wash down the tasty morsels with a souvenir 1/3 pint ale trail glass and at least seven 1/3 pint samples at different venues.
Family-run restaurant Loxleys, which is based in the heart of Stratford on Sheep Street, is sponsoring the festival for the fourth year and this year has added the raffle to its contribution to the event.
For just £2 a ticket, participants will be in with a chance of winning the use of a brand new Citroen C3 for a whole year, with all proceeds from the raffle being donated to Molly Olly’s Wishes, which supports children with terminal or life-threatening illnesses and their families, granting individual wishes and donating therapeutic toys and books to both children directly and to hospitals throughout the UK.
Those hungry for more will be delighted to learn that this year’s food festival isn’t the end of the eatery experience for the town. Restaurants and cafes will also be hosting two weeks of special food offers and events from 4th-20th October as part of Stratford-upon-Avon Feasts where people can enjoy special menus, tantalising tasting and gastronomic adventures.
Stratforward Marketing and Events manager Tor Wilkes said: “A massive thank you has to go out to the 420 Stratford town centre businesses who fund this festival and provide the chance for everyone to see that Stratford’s food and drink industry is a recipe for success.”
Jonathan Lea, General Manager at Loxleys, said: “As a local, independent restaurant in the heart of Stratford, we love getting involved in the Town Centre Food Festival. It’s a great way of showing people from across the region exactly what we and all the other food and drink businesses in the town and surrounding areas can do.
“We’ve sponsored the festival for four years now and this year we really wanted to up the ante so came up with the idea for the raffle. This way we’re not just contributing to a great local event, but giving something back to help a local charity that does so much to help others.
Since 2012, Molly Olly’s Wishes has helped more than 1,500 children from new-born up to age 18 by granting individual wishes, from funding equipment to help a child live day to day with their condition, an alternative therapy treatment to complement traditional medicine, or even a special occasion or day out.
Rachel Ollerenshaw, trustee at Molly Olly’s Wishes said “We are extremely grateful to everyone at Loxley’s for their support. As a charity we have received an increased level of requests this year and the help is vital in ensuring that we can make a very real difference to children facing very challenging circumstances. It is great to be a part of the Food Festival and we would like to thank Loxley’s and all the businesses who are getting involved selling tickets.”
Loxleys will be selling tickets for the raffle from the Sheep Street restaurant in the run-up to the festival as well as at the event itself, when the car will be parked by its stand on Bridge Street, giving people the chance to see it for themselves.
To find out more about Molly Olly’s Wishes, or to donate, visit: www.mollyolly.co.uk