Swaffham launch for food fest

Brecks Food Festival From left - Vanessa Scott, Jonathan Reed, Meg Heale, Neil Featherstone and Kay Wells  Photo: MLNFPBswbf0027
Brecks Food Festival From left - Vanessa Scott, Jonathan Reed, Meg Heale, Neil Featherstone and Kay Wells Photo: MLNFPBswbf0027

Producers and retailers are set to celebrate the culinary delights the Swaffham area has to offer during the Brecks Food Festival, which begins this weekend.

Although the town’s main festival events are scheduled for next weekend, residents and visitors will be able to enjoy a range of food activities throughout the coming week.

First staged in 2011, the festival is part of the month-long Norfolk Food and Drink Festival, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year.

And event chairman Vanessa Scott is hoping this year’s festival will be bigger and better than ever.

She said: “What we’re really trying to do is showcase the food we have got in this area.

“It’s a very diverse offer. No-one has the game we have, but it’s also about the root crops and all the things that grow in this area and trying to make a fuss of the producers.”

The festival programme opens this weekend with events at Elveden, near Thetford, and Saham Toney.

Swaffham’s programme will begin on Monday when youngsters will be able to test their knowledge on a food trail organised by the Iceni Partnership.

The trail, which will include questions in cafe and restaurant windows, will continue all week, along with a special “Food Week” menu.

And students at the Nicholas Hamond Academy will also be preparing dishes for their teachers as part of the festivities.

The main weekend of events begins next Friday with the regular indoor market at the Assembly Rooms.

There will also be a harvest festival service at the St Peter and St Paul church, where pupils from the Sacred Heart School will present food baskets which will be sold during the festival in aid of the church and the Swaffham and Litcham Home Hospice.

Other highlights will include a Great Brecks Bake Off competition, plus a butchery demonstration by Impson butchers, between 7 and 9pm.

Next Saturday’s programme includes the traditional Saturday market, plus an Apple and Orchard Fun Day at the Green Britain Centre, between 10am and 4pm, and a Food and Norfolk quiz at the Assembly Rooms, from 7pm.

And the final day’s schedule includes an all-day farmers’ market in the Market Place, which is due to be opened by the town’s MP, Elizabeth Truss.

There will also be cooking demonstrations, showing how easy it can be to eat healthily using locally-sourced produce, the chance to see a rare breed black pig, a climbing wall and other children’s activities, plus a world food afternoon in the Assembly Rooms.

Mrs Scott said: “We’re hoping people will come out for the whole day. There will be plenty to eat, plenty to see and plenty to do.”

More information about the festival is available at http://aroundswaffham.co.uk/general/brecks_fest or by phoning Mrs Scott on 07500 003316.