Part One: Bank Holiday Fun & Frolics at the Bolton Food & Drink Festival

Hey guys, hope you had a smashing weekend! What did I get up to? Eating, drinking and generally being merry! The crowds were out in their droves at the Bolton Food & Drink Festival and refused to let the perennial rainfall dampen their spirits. The Festival has never been busier, with the teeming masses lapping up the culture (and delicious German beer) over the long weekend. It was heaven for a foodie like me. Stalls selling steaming hot street food, freshly baked artisan bread and home-made fudge are just a few treats to mention.

There was so much to see and a tonne to write about, so I’ve decided to split my post into two, just to keep it punchy and fun (like moi). I love how this festival only seems to get better each year. From a personal point of view, it would have been great to have more art/craft stalls (maybe food for thought for the event organisers). I know the focus is on food and drink, but the stall selling hand-made soap in a fantastic kaleidoscope of colours was a pleasure to behold and added variety and augmented a heightened festival experience. Still, it was good to see a pop-up gourmet caravan from one of my favourite stores, Harvey Nichols. Thoughtfully erecting a canopy where festival-goers could sip champagne, this was one of my comfiest hang-out spots. I love al fresco drinking and dining and you just can’t beat people-watching in the rain whilst cradling a glass of rosé champagne.

Now, what I love about this festival is the diversity of the stalls. Garlands of unctious smoked garlic, bratwurst chargrilled over smoky hot coals and chilled German beer made the cut on my Top Five Festival Places to be. This yearly event attracts stall-holders from as far afield as Hungary (the chimney cakes from one particular stall really are a feat of gravity) whilst calling on local stalwarts to fly the flag for Bolton. Franca’s comes to mind, which is something of an institution in Bolton. I had the pleasure of munching on their Tiger Tomato concoction (heaven in a jar), and the experience of sampling their delicious fayre whilst chatting to their enthusiastic and helpful staff was an absolute delight (kudos to Sarah for being supremely helpful). More of Franca’s in Part Two of my post, but for the time being, here are my Top Five Festival Highlights:

1. Spicy German sausage & Krombacher

2. Franca’s Italian

3. Harvey Nichols pop-up Gourmet stall

4. Great Moor Street Café

5. Chaat Cart

It’s been an exhausting weekend but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I need some beauty sleep, so here’s wishing you an awesome week ahead folks and catch you later for more Festival chat with Instagrammed pictures to follow too!