All systems go for Aylsham Food Festival!

Music and magic are on the menu at this year’s Aylsham Food Festival, presented by Slow Food Aylsham.

The ever-popular event returns this week with a packed weekend of old favourites and family entertainment.

Alongside regular features like the Country Market, Farmers’ Market and Slow Brunch will be the walkabout musical act Banana Ukulele Band and magician and children’s entertainer, Robbie James.

Organised by Slow Food Aylsham (SFA), the festival will be in its customary early October slot, from Friday 5th to Sunday 7th.

SFA chairman Patrick Prekopp said: “While the focus of the festival will, of course, be on food and particularly local produce, we want to make people think differently about food. It should be fun, and we hope to sprinkle a bit of magic and stardust around too.”

The programme kicks off a week earlier with a “fringe taster”, Rosie With Cider, on Friday, September 28, at the Town Hall. Rosie Warren and her dad David, from Aylsham, will demonstrate the art of cider-making using a cider press – accompanied by Aylsham folk musician, singer and cartoonist, Tony Hall on melodeon. Bring your own apples and sample fresh apple juice, or David’s home-made scrumpy, or buy from the barrel. It starts at 6.30pm and tickets are £1 at the door.

The festival proper starts on Friday morning (October 5) with the weekly Country Market in the town hall where you can sample a wide range of home-baked, home-grown and home-made products.

Later, it’s An Evening with Richard Hughes at Aylsham High School (6.30 for 7pm). Celebrated Norfolk chef Richard will talk about his 40 years in the business – from pot-washer to proprietor of the Lavender House Restaurant, Norwich Assembly House and his renowned cookery school. This will be followed by a beef and ale pie supper prepared by the Slow Food group. Cost is £15 per person.

On Saturday morning, come and say “Yellow!” to the Banana Ukulele Band who will entertain visitors to the monthly Farmers’ Market, where there will also be a variety of attractions for adults and children. On hand, too, will be the popular local jazz band, One Foot in the Groove, making sure there are no gaps in the entertainment.

Saturday evening is devoted to wine tasting. Led by Brian Sullivan, from Harper Wells, wine merchants of Eaton, there will be a selection of wines and cheeses in the Heritage Centre at 7pm. Tickets are £17 per head from the Heritage Centre.

The Big Brunch on Sunday not only features the famous fry-up and the all-you-can-eat continental buffet, but table magician Robbie James as well. Catered and served by members of Slow Food Aylsham at the Town Hall, this family event usually sells out fast. Tickets are £7 per person.

All tickets available at Barnwells Newsagents in the Market Place or phone 07519 361812. Watch for updates on www.slowfoodaylsham.org.uk or search on Facebook and Twitter.

The Banana Ukulele Band who you can see Saturday morning in the marker place.

Richard Hughes who will be giving a talk on Friday evening.

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