Wirral Food and Drink was always a regular in the calendar of most foodies in the North West. Last year the organisers took a sabbatical but have returned bigger and stronger this year with Farm Feast. This two day festival of food, drink and music based in Claremont Farm in Bebington, the event, running over the tail end of the bank holiday (Sun 25th and Mon 26th May), is an enterprising expansion of what was already so good about Wirral Food and Drink – the food and drink, but with the addition of a new music event – Livestock.
For me there are certain things any decent food show needs to have: food stalls, drink, something for the children, a few famous names and of course music. So how does Farm Feast fare against these criteria?
Farm Feast promises a vibrant and extensive range of artisan stalls offering everything from the traditional bread and cheeses through to meats, pickles, pies as well as more obscure arts, crafts and culinary equipment. The sheer number of stalls and exhibitors is very impressive, putting many other food shows into the shade. From previous experience I can guarantee that there is certainly something for everyone, just remember your wallet!
The old Wirral Food and drink always had plenty of decent pop-up bars offering a range of quality craft and small brewery ales and ciders. this year that seems to have expanded even further by teaming up with the legendary Ship and Mitre to ensure that there is something for everyone ranging from fresh and fruity beers to the more industrial offerings of the Mad Hatter Brewing. But this year it is not all about beer and cider. Cocktails, wine and whiskey (sounds like a normal Saturday night!) are on offer with the Polynesian paradise of the Aloha Tiki Bar and the more hardcore Berry and Rye whiskey den.
Something for the Children
For the children as well there will be plenty to do in the Little Feasters Zone. Here they will be able to have a go at cooking themselves, watch displays on cooking, story telling, bushcraft and even a treasure hunt. This is a working farm and they have always used this to good effect with many animals involved in an attempt to educate children, and adults, about farming and the issues facing farmers today. I am particularly looking forward to seeing the Mike Prichard’s working horses displays.
A Few Famous Names
In addition to the stalls there are also chef demonstrations and talks from the likes of Liverpool Yacht Club owner and chef Adam Franklin, the scientifically driven mad professor-cum-chef and gastronaught Stefan Gates and my wife, Red’s, personal favourite Great British Bake Off star Brendan Lynch.
And finally music. Well during the daytime Farm Feast there will be an eclectic mix of offerings across the Main Stage and the Courtyard Stage. With reputable artists such as the rock and roll of Rob Vincent and LMA Female Artist of the Year Natalie McCool on the Sunday and the indie based Ragamuffins and cello led rock and roll of the Mono LPs on the Monday.
Wait! That is not all. This year sees the addition of its own music festival in the form of the wittily entitled Livestock. This promises to be a really enjoyable evening of musical entertainment, particularly with the scoop of having Peter Hook and his band as the headliner act. He promises to deliver an excellent set including some greats from his New Order / Joy Division days.
Beyond the headliner though the undercard is also pretty decent with up and coming star Dan Croll singing from his acclaimed debut album Sweet Disarray, the all-female artiness of Stealing Sheep and in preparation for the LIMF, Liverpool based Soho Riots.
So all in all this whole event has something for everyone. So get your tickets, bring your wallet and don’t forget your wellies!