TV chef Simon Rimmer will swap Sunday Brunch for Saturday brunch as part of three special events topping the bill at this year’s Bolton Food and Drink Festival.

And there is also the chance to drink wine with Strictly Come Dancing star Ainsley Harriott and match your pint to your pasty with beer expert Annabelle Smith. This is of special interest, as I’m learning more about beer flights.

Super-fans of Simon Rimmer can join him for a special brunch at 10.30am on Saturday, August 26. They can tuck into their own brunch whilst watching the co-presenter of Channel 4 Sunday Brunch cook up a dish (adult £20, child £10).

Beer lovers and fans of the humble pasty will be able to join Simon and beer sommelier Annabelle Smith on Saturday, August 26 at 2.30pm, as they advise which pasties match which pints best.

Bolton-based Carrs Pasties will provide six different types of pasty to taste, whilst Annabelle will advise on the best beer to accompany each one (adults only: cost £15).

Wine afficionados and budding sommeliers can join in wine tasting with celebrity chef Ainsley Harriott and top wine critic Simon Woods on Sunday, August 27 at 6pm.

Try a range of award-winning wines and nibbles, supplied by headline sponsor Aldi, as Simon and Ainsley provide top tips about matching food and wine (adults only: £25)

The festival, which takes place between August 25 and 28, is organised by Bolton Council in association with Aldi.

Other special events over the weekend include a Slattery afternoon tea on Sunday, August 27 at 2pm.

Ainsley Harriott will be joined by chef John Whaite, expert baker Rose Dummer, and Apprentice 2016 winner Alana Spencer, to chat about baking, whilst the audience enjoy a delicious afternoon tea along with a glass of fizz (adult £25, children £10).

Aiden Byrne will also be bringing ‘Made in Bolton’ – a pop-up of his restaurant ‘Manchester House’ for one night only to Victoria Square, on Saturday, August 26 from 6.30pm (cost: £60).

The festival will open on Friday with two Michelin-starred chef Michael Caines, and over the Bank Holiday weekend the event will also feature cookery demonstrations from Ainsley Harriott, Simon Rimmer and James Martin.

Last year, more than 263,000 people attended and the festival won a coveted national award for having the best food market in the country.

Leader of Bolton Council, Councillor Cliff Morris, said:

Last year we found that visitors really enjoyed our special one-off events. This year we have got even more one-off events on the menu for visitors to the Festival to enjoy. Whether you are passionate about pasties, or a wine buff, we think we have got something for everyone and we’d urge you to buy your tickets as soon as possible. We do not want people to be disappointed as there are limited numbers for all of the fantastic events.

Tickets are available from Bolton Octagon Theatre, via or by calling 01204 520661. The box office is open 9am to 7pm, Monday to Saturday.

For updates visit, follow Bolton Food and Drink Festival page on Facebook, @boltonfoodfest on Twitter or @boltonfoodfest on Instagram.