Food, Glorious Food in Cheshire This October
Cheshire is home to a huge amount of history, culture and natural beauty, but it’s also a great place to be if you’re a lover of food. In addition to the restaurants and bars which litter the centre of Chester (and indeed, the surrounding countryside), the county will also play host this autumn to some intriguing festivals of food. Let’s take a look and see exactly what’s on.
Food and Gifts fair
First on our list of gastronomic distractions is the food and living gift fair, which is due to take place in Tatton Park this October. Tatton Park, for the uninitiated, is a historic estate near Knutsford, where you’ll find a large hall that dates back to the medieval era, alongside substantial gardens and other historical curiosities. It’s signposted off junction 19 of the M6 and from the M56, making it easily accessible wherever you might happen to be.
Admission is free, but, rather confusingly, entry to the park isn’t. This means that if you’re driving (and the park is virtually inaccessible by any other means), you’ll have to pay £5 to get in. When split between a carload, this isn’t too substantial a sum, especially when one considers the plethora of food available, and the fact that entry to the park costs £5 anyway. What’s more, you’ll be presented with free samples upon entrance to the tenant’s hall, the wing of the mansion where the festival is being held. The day is therefore effectively a visit to a hugely beautiful and impressive country estate, with the bonus of a food and crafts fair thrown in for good measure. You’ll struggle to find a more complete day out for the whole family to enjoy.
It’s due to take place on the weekend of the 10th and 11th of October and will attract artisan food producers and artists from all over the Northwest, all keen to show off their wares. You never know what culinary treats you might discover, so make a weekend of it!
North West food lover’s festival
Are you based in the North West? Do you love food? If so, it stands to reason that you’ll enjoy the North West Food Lover’s festival. It, too, is going to be at Tatton Park, but it’s a slightly grander affair than the food and gifts fair earlier in the month.
It’s set to take place between the 23rd and 25th of October, and will feature more than a hundred different specialty food and drink producers – more than anyone could possibly squeeze into a single day! This means you’ll be able to make a return later in the weekend to see what you’ve missed out on – or you might just decide that you’d rather enjoy your favourites again.
The event will enjoy its share of celebrity chefs, including Simon Rimmer, of Sunday Brunch fame, and the winner of the Great British Menu, Adam Simmonds. Each will be performing live cooking demos, meaning that you’ll be able to pick up a few handy hints to take home with you. There will even be free cookery classes for children, so that they can learn to eat well (and with any luck, cook up a storm when you get home).
Finally, there will be a food court where local producers will offer you a chance to try their wares and buy them. You never know – you might pick up something to enjoy, and even seek out again once the festival has packed up for the year.
Where can I stay?
If you’re not local to the area, then you needn’t be dissuaded from making the trip in order to enjoy everything it has to offer. There are a wealth of hotels near Chester and Tatton Park is virtually equidistant from Liverpool and Manchester, too. This means that, if you’re staying anywhere in the Northwest, you’ll have no excuse not to jump in a car and head out to Tatton park for either weekend this October.
If you’re looking for Chester hotels, then Carden Park is among the most reputable. As well as being one of the county’s foremost hotels, it offers a spa, swimming pool and two golf courses, along with two bars and two restaurants. There you’ll find more culinary distractions even after a long day spent eating – the only difference is this time the food will be brought to you. If you’re looking to put on a corporate retreat, it’s also among the best meeting venues in Cheshire.