It was Day Two of the Bolton Food & Drink Festival 2016 and the streets of Bolton were filled with curious visitors tempted in by some amazing sights and smells – the only disappointment is that four days is not enough to be able to enjoy everything on offer!

That said, we are only halfway through and there’s still a lot to look forward to tomorrow, which is all about family. Nadiya Hussain starts the day by hosting a brilliant family Sunday Brunch event at 10.30am, followed by her cookery demo at noon. In the afternoon there’s a wonderful Slattery Afternoon Tea Picnic, with some special guests dropping in for a chat. The cookery demos continue in the Chef’s Quarter in The Vaults in the Market Place, with another GBBO favourite Luis Troyano, Rosie Dummer and Mike Harrison. Of course all the stalls, street entertainment and children’s events continue throughout the day in Le Mans Crescent and at the Octagon, and not forgetting Amazonia soft play area and crazy golf in the Market Place Vaults.

Today’s headliners were Masterchef’s John Torode and wine connoisseurs Oz Clarke and Kate Goodman, who led some wine tasting sessions in The Vaults. After we had a chat with John, we headed down to Bolton Market to check out some of the regional chefs who were doing food demos. The first was our old friend, and local legend, Alain Job from Nkono who, as always, gave a passionate account of his commitment to the local area and of the value of using local produce. Later on saw gluten-free cake demos by Andrew George from Icky Sticky Cakes, who we shall be interviewing tomorrow, and indulgent truffles from Jessica at In Truffle We Trust.

Whilst we were in town, we decided to go a little off piste and pay a visit to the first Bolton Vegan Fair, which was taking place in the Victoria Hall. The place was really packed and there were goodies galore on offer. Having had a taste, I couldn’t resist a jar of luscious Raspberry and Almond jam from Erica Jayne, whose stall was a work of art in itself! We met the lovely ladies from Devi Workout, who were doing a cookery demo and browsed a wide range of delicious vegan foodstuffs, from cakes to pies, noodles and even giant hotdogs from VDogs. It may have been the first vegan festival in Bolton but, considering how popular the event was, I certainly don’t think it will be the last.

In addition to all the amazing food, there are also some very talented local acts appearing every day in the Victoria Square Bar and Kro Bar on Deansgate, both great places to take some time out to relax with a drink and a sit down while you enjoy some music. We shall be out and about throughout the festival, bringing you the highlights and featuring some of the stalls, but there’s no substitute for the real thing, so why not pop along and soak up the atmosphere yourself? There’s plenty for all the family to do and lots of free parking as well.

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