TASTEBUDS were certainly tingling in Leamington at the weekend.
Thousands of appetites were whetted at Leamington Food Festival in the sunshine of the Pump Room Gardens.
More than 130 food producers and traders, demonstrations and a kids’ cookery school were enjoyed at the event organised by BID Leamington with the support of local businesses.
On the Live Kitchen the excitement was tangible as Sean Hughes went one better than last year to land the crown of Aubrey Allen ‘Home Cook of the Year’.
Sean won by a single point – after finishing as runner-up in 2018 – the narrowest winning margin in the six-year history of the competition which is the centrepiece of the festival.
His main course of beef was described by Clive Fretwell – who had worked for Raymond Blanc in senior roles for almost 30 years – as “perfection on a plate”.
The festival, which is in its 12th year, attracts around 25,000 people.
Alison Shaw, BID Leamington project manager and festival organiser, said: “We could not have been more pleased this year as the sun shone for most of the weekend which meant there was a great turn out for our traders, exhibitors and demonstrators – it was one of our most successful ever.
“The festival not only highlights many of the fantastic food and drink businesses we have in our area, but it’s also a great opportunity for people to visit and enjoy the town centre and we spoke to people from all over the country.
“Running for the second year, we offered spot prizes and the opportunity to win a £150 Food Hamper filled with local treats to those travelling to the festival by train and there was a great take-up which was really pleasing.
“We also have great support from Leamington businesses and hugely appreciate the support we get from a wide range of staff and volunteers who help make the event such a resounding success.”