Local producers do roaring trade at Chippenham's first food and drink festival

This Is Wiltshire: Ali Smith and Trina Swan from Tiddleywink Treats based in Chippenham. Picture by Diane Vose Ali Smith and Trina Swan from Tiddleywink Treats based in Chippenham. Picture by Diane Vose

Forty stallholders – double the number of the usual monthly farmers’ market – did a roaring trade at Chippenham’s first food and drink festival.

The inaugural festival celebrated local producers and tickled tastebuds in the High Street, Market Place and Emery Gate shopping centre on Sunday.

Locally made pies, cakes, pastries, breads, ice cream, preserves, ciders and beers, cheeses, chilli products, truffles and olives were on sale.

The festival was organised by the same people who bring the farmers’ market to the town each second Sunday of the month.

Organiser Sue Thomson said: “The value of quality local food and drink contributes to the way in which people perceive Chippenham, as a place to invest in as well as visit.

“Buying locally means food and drink is traceable and supports local businesses and keeps money in the local economy. Ninety-five per cent was Wiltshire-based, because we are near to [county] boundaries here. The accepted definition of local is within 30 miles.”

Chippenham itself was represented by Tiddleywink Treats, Rosie’s Relish and Pickle, Acorn Cakes and FHC Churros, and a hog roast by Butler’s Butchers was a third gone in under an hour.

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Miss Thomson said: “It was a really relaxed, pleasant day and a great success for the traders. There was a fairly constant gentle sea of people in the High Street. It would be good to think this will now become an annual event.”

She said it would probably be held in autumn next time.

“We may move it because there’s so much already going on in the summer,” she said.

“If we do have it in September, we’ll be able to do a full-on chilli tasting, because chillis don’t come out until later in the year. You just know people are going to try the hottest and then regret it!”

Catherine Maxwell from Any Body Can Cook! led a workshop making faces on crackers, aimed at getting children interested in healthy eating. Miss Thomson said: “I think it’s important to make healthy eating fun for kids. It’s amazing how good grated carrot or frilly lettuce looks for hair.”

The event was sponsored by Wiltshire Council, Emery Gate, Digiprint, Good Energy and Barrett Homes. For more details email admin@wiltshire farmersmarkets.co.uk

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