As Bolton Live’s resident food blogger, I am really looking forward to the Food & Drink Festival over the Bank Holiday weekend. Such big occasions bring a lot of excitement (and visitors!) to the town and offer the chance to try new products and learn about the latest foodie innovations and techniques.

I love mooching around and trying new things, but it’s easy to get carried away and forget that we are actually lucky enough to have an amazing variety of high quality products available all year round, courtesy of Bolton Market (on a day to day basis) and the monthly Artisan Market at Heaton Fold. Bolton Market offers a dazzling range of exotic fruit and veg, as well as a vast range of cheeses, meats, fish, eggs, real ale, coffee and much more, all at competitive prices. The Artisan Market however, as its name suggests, showcases high quality, locally produced goods, from skilled craftspeople.

If, like me, you can’t wait for the Food Festival, or just want to soak up the flavours a bit early, then pop along to Heaton Fold this Sunday, between 10am and 4pm. There is plenty of free parking and you can browse the high quality and locally sourced food, drinks and crafts from around 20 producers and suppliers, as well as checking out what the garden centre has to offer for autumn colour.

The market has a range of tasty treats on offer, including cheese, olives and antipasti, delicious pork sausages, samosas, chutney and preserves and, to round it off nicely, delicious brownies  and cupcakes.

Goods on offer include: handmade jams; breads; pies and chocolates; speciality teas; Lancashire cheeses; fresh fruit and vegetables; bespoke home furnishings; crafts and jewellery. If you fancy a hot snack, sausages from Bowland Pork will be available all day.

The market takes place at Heaton Fold garden centre, on Overdale Drive, off Chorley New Road, from 10am to 4pm.  Free parking is available on site.

Brian Hood, from Signature Soaps – a Bolton-based artisan producer of handmade soaps – organises the market in conjunction with the council. For further information or to enquire about joining future markets, contact Brian Hood, Signature Soaps, on 07888 845112 or e-mail