Tag Archives: The Stratford Food Festival

Food Festival At the Races at the final furlong for a family, foodie weekend for all.

Stratford Food Festival returns for its eighth year at the end of this month in it’s new format following a successful first year at Stratford Racecourse. Organisers Showplace and the racecourse have teamed up to present ‘Stratford Food Festival at the Races’ and as the event draws closer it is shaping up to be an action packed weekend for all the family.

Visitors will enjoy the best of both the foodie and the racing world with over 70 confirmed exhibitors showcasing an array of food and drink alongside evening race meets on the Friday and Saturday evening. On Sunday the event is FREE for the whole family to enjoy and £5 parking all day.


Historically the event has been set in September but both organisers felt the event could prove even more popular if brought forwards. Steph Reed, Events Manager at Showplace Events says, ‘The event is essentially a condensed version of previous years with the added bonus of having a race meet on the Friday and Saturday evening. We are also really looking forward to bringing back the Friday evening element of the festival which hasn’t happened since 2010’.

Highlights include local exhibitor The Lazy Cow steak and ale house, who will be hosting resident live bands and doing live butchery demonstrations from their stand whilst they serve burgers, steak sandwiches and cocktails.

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On Sunday, kids will be able to take part in FREE cookery workshops hosted by Kidz Kitchen as well as inflatables, facepainting and balloon modelling around the site. The Racecourse is also hosting the Race for Life charity event on Sunday 1st June.


Steph adds, ‘We have worked really hard to ensure the racecourse is more accessible than ever this year and are delighted to announce long term travel partners Johnsons are running shuttle services linking the event to town and Stratford Train Station’.

Horseracing will commence from 6pm on both Friday and Saturday evening.

Times of the Food Festival Fri-4-9pm, Sat-1-9pm, Sun 10-4pm.

For more information about the event visit www.stratfordfoodfestival.co.uk or follow us on Facebook- /stratfordfoodfestival or Twitter- @foodfest2014.

For all media enquiries please contact Steph Reed on 01789 262701 or email info@stratfordfoodfestival.co.uk

Even More on Offer at the Racecourse Over the Food Festival Weekend

The Stratford Racecourse will feature two great events on Sunday 1st June, Stratford Food Festival as well as the Cancer Research 5km Race for Life. Both events with share the venue and compliment each other well. Join in and support a well deserved cause and then refuel with a tasty treat at the food festival. Bring the whole family along, activities for children will be available to keep them amused while the adults have a wonder through the bustling artisan food and drink markets. This last weekend in May will be loaded to the brim with things to do. Make sure you don’t miss out stick the dates in your diary Friday 30th May – Sunday 1st June at Stratford Racecourse.


Tickets for Stratford Food Festival at The Races (Friday 30th and Saturday 31st May) are available online now! Advance tickets will include parking, all those paying admission on the day and wanting to park a vehicle will be charged additional for this.

Click here to find out more on how to enter the race for life event.

43 days to go….find out the latest updates

With the event developing week on week, its all go for the newly formed Stratford Food Festival at The Races this year. 2 events in 1, you can get the best of both worlds and if you don’t fancy the races then not a problem, Sunday will feature the food festival only and is free admission to all.


Updates this week:

– AGA, sponsor to the races for the weekend will be bringing along their trailer unit to allow visitors to get close up with the AGA range and what they have to offer.

– Competition giveaways have began and will continue, make sure you follow us on facebook and twitter to see how to enter. Prizes include event tickets as well as other foodie items.

– Exhibitor numbers are still growing with around 75 currently booked in, great variety so far. You will be spoilt for choice over the event weekend. Have a look at the current exhibitor listing.

– We now have the timetables available for the Johnsons Shuttle Service. The shuttle will link Strtaford Train Stration, Stratford Town Centre (Rother Street) and Stratford Racecourse. £1.50 return charge with 50p from every ticket being donated to charity.

The Lazy Cow of Stratford have announced their resident band will be performing over the festival weekend, to add to the atmosphere. They will be offering their delicious burgers and steaks alongside a cocktail bar for the event.

– Tickets are now available to buy online! Advance tickets will include free onsite parking.

– Children’s activities have been booked, you can expect to see anything from inflatable fun activities and face painting to magic and balloon modelers.

Stay tuned for more updates to follow. We hope you enjoy your Easter weekend!


Who’s Joining Us This Year??

It’s no April fouls, the Food Festival is returning this year and we have moved to May! The Event as you may already know has had a make-over and has been bolted onto a weekend of horse racing at our venue Stratford Racecourse. What could be better, 2 events for the price of 1.

The Event will focus in on the real artisan food and drink producers and we have had a great response from our traders with over 60% returning from last year and a great selection of local businesses.

We want you to be able to get to know those companies who will be joining us before you come and attend the event, so a weekly blog will feature a selection of our exhibitors. Have a look at the first batch below;

Granny Tiggs:

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Their unique product, like nothing else on the market is a special ‘bright orange’ dressing, which is suitable for all types of food – from salads to oysters, sandwiches to steaks and is produced using all natural ingredients. This company and product has a great story behind it with the sellers grandmother being the creator of the winning recipe. Why not come and try some for yourself at their stand, located in the Artisan Markets for the weekend.

Blackmans Bakery:

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Local Bakery, Blackmans Bakery (formally known as Grants Bakeries) are again joining us this year after exhibiting at the event for the past few years. Last year they received the ‘Pride of Stratford Small Business of the Year 2013’, they are an artisan bakery and patisserie in the heart of Stratford upon Avon. They offer a wide range of traditional and specialty breads, pastries, patisserie and cakes, all baked daily on the premises. Supplying to a wide range of Restaurants, Cafes, Delis and Shops across Warwickshire. Find their stand in the Artisan Markets onsite at the Food Festival this year.


Church Farm Brewery:


This year at the festival we have a dedicated tent for local real ale and cider producers. Church Farm Brewery are located on the outskirts of Warwick and offer craft ales full of flavour and passion. In November 2012 they sold their herd of dairy cattle and converted the milking equipment into a microbrewery. They brew by hand, the traditional way using water from the farm’s well, locally sourced malt and hops and just add time and dedication to create a cracking pint. Come and try their products alongside other local brewers in the tent during the festival weekend.


The Strawberry Stop:

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A returning exhibitor to the Stratford Food Festival this year, they will be located in our Street Food Alley along with a wide variety of food and drink offerings to tuck into there and then. The Strawberry Stop join us from Herefordshire and use freshly grown Strawberries from their farm. They will be offering these with a variety of different flavoured creams and gourmet toppings all sourced locally.

Queens Park Preserves:

Queen Park Preserves

Queens Park Preserves have been with the festival for a couple of years now and we are happy to have them return again this year. Based in Hickley there handmade jams and chutneys are cooked using traditional open pans. They are free of artificial additives and colouring, are suitable for vegetarians and are gluten free. And …they taste delicious! They will be located in our artisan markets so come and have a look at what they offer.

Find them on Facebook.

The Lazy Cow:

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Local restaurant and bar The Lazy Cow, who opened their steak & ale house and cocktail bar in Stratford centre last year on the banks of the river, are joining us at the event in May. They will be offering dexter beef burgers, steak sandwiches and a range of cocktails as well as creating a bit of a buzz with their resident live band seen at the 2012 Stratford Food Festival.


My Cottage Kitchen:

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My Cottage Kitchen was established in 2010, based in Shrewsbury and is the result of Ursula’s passion for home baking. She offers award winning AGA baked fruitcakes. All cakes are baked by herself in her own kitchen and made using the traditional methods. Come and meet the women herself at the food festival and take one of these home with you, her stand can be located in the Artisan Markets over the weekend.


Stay tuned for your next installment of exhibitors coming next week, giving you further insight into more of those joining us this year. Tickets are now available online for the Friday or Saturday Click Here. These tickets include the racing and food festival. Remember Under 18’s go Free all weekend and advantage tickets brought include Free parking on the infield of the site, closer to the action.

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We are also on Instagram and Pinterest.


Stratford Food Festival at The Races 2014! All New, Redesigned Event – Launching this May!

Stratford Food Festival returns for its eighth year this summer, in a whole new, revised format, after a successful year at its new venue in 2013. Showplace, event organisers, and Stratford Racecourse have come together in creating a redesigned event, which will launch this May, ‘Stratford Food Festival at the Races!’

A scaled down, compact and focused food event will take place on the back of an existing double race meeting weekend in the racecourses annual calendar. Taking advantage of the Food Festivals following, built up over the years and the racecourses expanding audience, these two events bolted together will bring a whole new mix of demographics to both parties.

The event takes place on Friday 30th, Saturday 31st May and Sunday 1st June. Friday and Saturday of the weekend will feature evening horse races, between 6pm-9pm, and will be included in the ticket admission (Under 18’s go FREE). Tickets are On Sale Now, pre-booked online through the Racecourse website, all advance tickets for the food festival will include free parking, visitors can also pay on the day. Sunday there will be no racing but the food festival will take place and is FREE admission to all.


This three day tasty twist on the traditional races will give both our foodie audience the chance to experience an evening of horse racing as well as regular race goers the opportunity to experience the usual aromas and hustle and bustle provided by some of the country’s best artisan food and drink producers. From cheeses and preserves to real ales, not forgetting the street food avenue set to tantalise the taste buds, there really will be something for everyone. Click here to take a look at who will be join us at the exhibitor list. 

Yet again we have great local support from previous exhibitors who are joining us again this year including The Lazy Cow, Havilands, Blackmans Bakery, Clever Sweets, Church Farm Brewery, North Cotswold Brewery, Ettington Park Hotel, Blueberry Hill Patisserie, Fine Chocolate Spa to name a few.

Visitors can wonder through the bustling stalls before, during and after the horse racing takes place (Friday & Saturday). Traders will have the opportunity to entice a footfall, seen in 2013, of approx 14,000 foodie enthusiasts over the weekend plus the additional 8,000 regular race goers.

Johnsons have come onboard with us again this year as our Official Travel Provider to offer a shuttle service which will link up Stratford Train Station – Stratford Town Centre – Stratford Racecourse during opening hours of the event, so if you don’t drive or would rather leave your car at home then take advantage of this service. Further details will be available at the Food Festival website including timetables and bus route.


There will be plenty on offer over this weekend to whet everyone’s appetite – don’t miss out, stick the dates in your diary!

Keep up to date with what’s on at www.stratfordfoodfestival.co.uk. Or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

Getting to know ‘Queens Park Preserves’ exhibitors at this years Stratford Food Festival.

We interviewed Alison from Queens Park Preserves when they attended our preview event…find out more about them and what to expect at the Food Festival.

– How did the business begin?

I had always made jams and chutneys for people at Christmas and they proved so popular I decided to start a business.  We have been going since April and it has been fantastic.

All our products are vegetarian, gluten free, no preservatives….totally natural. Made in the old fashioned, open pan method and only made in small batches as well. We offer lots of unusual flavours like mango and lime, fig, apricot & brandy, strawberry and black pepper and our very popular chilli jam. We also make traditional jams and marmalades as well.



– What are your plans for the food festival?

We are going to launch our chilli jam at the festival.  We have promoted it on a small scale at county shows but we believe the Stratford Food festival will be an excellent springboard for this great product.

– Any plans for the future?

We are already in a couple of shops, but what we would love to get from the Festival is a stockist in this are as we dont have anyone who sells our products in Warwickshire.  We  currently have two retail stockists in Leicestershire and would love to expand into other areas. The chilli jam is also exported to Poland and the shop there have given it to someone in Switzerland so we are hoping that may lead to something.  You never know!!

– Do you source the ingredients locally?

Yes, some of these here like the raspberries and the strawberries are from an award-winning farm in Herefordshire. Where ever we can we get them (ingredients) locally, but when we can’t , such as Mango, we use local markets. But I mean everything else like the gooseberry jam we do, we actually pick them ourselves from our local farm. Like this one the English Pear Chutney….there from trees in Fillongley in Warwickshire, my mum lives there. She’s told all the local farmers and the next thing I knew they were turning up with hundreds and hundreds of pairs, bramley apples, all sorts of things. Living in the area that we do you can use all the local things, there’s so much to choise from.

We just want to get back to making proper jam, jam that tastes of fruit not sugar!

– Good Luck with the Festival, see you there.   






Getting to know ‘Previns’ exhibiting and demonstrating over the Food Festival weekend

We spoke to the guys from Previns, Niraj and Robert, when they attended our preview event earlier in the month. See what they had to say….







The company is named after Niraj’s Dad, Pravin, who had a passion for cooking, music and socialising with a combination of all three, sharing the freshly cooked foods.  When he passed away people missed his food. Niraj started off by cooking sauces for his friends, having a background in construction, he then decided to start-up the Previns business instead.

The eat, local and fresh concept with sustainability is what Previns are keen to portray. Dinning as a social tool is also something they are keen to promote, the product provides a unique way to create a social dining experience as family and friends can get involved as well. Along with getting people off additives and build people’s confidence in cooking.

Their kits illustrate a step by step recipe for indian dishes, including all the essential spices in the pack that are needed. Listing all the additional ingredients and amounts for the dish to be created. Each recipe serves 4 people. Using the kit also minimises wasted ingredients. Each kit is hand packed and blended in Leicester.

They have currently launched five different kit types including:

– Chicken Korma

– Lamb Kebab

– Masala Fish

– Chicken Curry

– Bombay Potato

A variety of different kits are still yet to be lauched…look out for them. One is a Caribbean range, an exciting concepts being looked at as Robert originates from the Caribbean.

At The Stratford Food Festival the company wish to promote their products and concepts of eating fresh and buying local ingredients. Can’t wait to see what their stand has to offer, if the preview event is anything to go by…expect a colourful, exciting experience.

To visit their website click here.


See Previns at their stand over the festival weekend and also in the Multi Entertainment area on Sunday at 1.00pm looking for an audience volunteer to come and cook their Bombay Potato kit, showing everyone how easy it is to produce wonderful, tasty,
traditional Indian food yourself from scratch in your own home.



Entertainment Update for The Stratford Food Festival….

The entertainment line-up this year is getting even more exciting week on week, we have a whole host of different acts to keep you entertained while enjoying all the delicious delights the festival will have to offer.

Acts added to the Line-Up include:

On the Banstand

Bianca and the Topcats







3 piece acoustic group, Bianca & The TopCats perform well-known covers, a blend of blues/soul/jazz, raw and earthy and yet very subtle. Not too overpowering! See them on the bandstand on the Sunday.

Supine Orchestra





Supine Orchestra are a Coventry based folk/country/pop duo Rich Sykes and Joel Kendrick. They may only be a duo…but Orchestra does begin to give an idea of their philosophy…“think big and the rest will follow”. Two acclaimed albums of original songs have been released – ‘Stumble, Mumble… Talk’ (2008) and ‘Oil on Beaverboard’ (2010). Playing live with hushed harmonies, soft guitars and a dash of harmonica and cajon. Supine Orchestra’s music first went live in Poland but has been slowly revealing itself around the Midlands circuit since.


Kel Elliott, Kelvin Leitch & Dave Page

These artists in their own right, come together for a one off gig at the Stratford food festival.  They will be entertaining you as you eat with popular classics from the 1880s to the 1980s. Double Bass, acoustic guitars, vocal harmonies and lots of chat, a perfect accompaniment to your foodie experience. Catch them on the bandstand and at the One Elm stand.

In the Multi-Entertainment Zone

Tell Tale Theatre Company

Tell Tale is a new Warwickshire-based theatre company focusing on traditional story telling, oral and social history and physical theatre. Winners of 2012 Best new writing award at Stratford fringe festival.

Play: “The Austerity Games”
WINNER of Best New Writing award, Stratford fringe festival 2012. “A Christmas Carol meets Chariots of Fire”. Beleaguered Britain is recovering from the Blitz, rationing is in full force across the country and there is a heat wave on the way. But old Martha Britt wants to bake a cake and her skin burns in the sun. To make matters worse it is the eve of the 1948 Olympic Games and she cannot abide sport. Can a posthumous visit from her late husband and the ghosts of the games past, present and yet to come convince her to save the Olympic spirit and herself? Tell Tale blend a theatrical triathlon of physical storytelling, British wit and slapstick with a dash of Dickens to bring you the sportiest play you’ll ever see. Pip, Pip!

Click here to see the full line-up for the festival weekend.