Rutland food and drink festival proves a success

Oakham Food and Drink Festival 2017
Photo: Lee Hellwing
Oakham Food and Drink Festival 2017 Photo: Lee Hellwing

A week of events celebrating Rutland food and drink producers culminated in a spectacular event in Oakham on Sunday.

Oakham Town Partnershp hosted Sunday’s event, which included demonstrations in both Victoria Hall and Oakham Castle, as well as a range of stalls around the Market Place and High Street.

Oakham Town Centre manager Carolyn Acton-Reed was the brainchild behind Sunday’s event and she said she was absolutely delighted with how the day went. It saw hundreds of visitors packing the town centre with queues even forming outside the Victoria Hall before the doors opened at 10am.

Carolyn said: “When we were setting up on Saturday and Sunday morning I was a little bit worried as you would be before a first event but there really was no need. It was such a lovely event and I’ve never seen people queing to get into Victoria Hall.

“All the stallholders seemed to be doing really well and it was great to raise the profile of all our local food and drink producers.”

Victoria Hall featured Fish Tank Sushi, 
Lotus Bakery and Rutland Cookery School all running demonstrations, while over in Oakham Castle, Rutland Cake Company was running cupcake decorating glasses and The Grainstore had a bar, which was also selling some of the beer products whisked up by Naomi Morgan from Rutland Cake Company.

Outside there was an array of stalls cooking up foods with delicious smells wafting into the fresh cool Autumn air.

Carolyn said: “I think the weather did make a massive difference because it was such a beautiful day.

“For me the highlight was just seeing the town buzzing and families having a really lovely day. There was such a great atmosphere that it made the hard work worthwhile.”

Ahead of the weekend event, there was a chance to meet local chefts, bakers, brewers and farmers at a variety of events hosted by Discover Rutland.

Carolyn said she was delighted to partner with Discover Rutland’s event and is hoping to make it at least an annual event, if not twice a year.

She said: “I really think this was such a fantastic event that we should keep up the momentum and perhaps look to run another in the Spring.

“There’s so many fantastic food and drink producers across Rutland that we should be shouting about them.”