Cakes all the way, plus posh fish and chips for Fizz!


Day Three of the Bolton Food & Drink Festival 2016 was mainly about families, and there were lots of activities in the town centre to keep everyone happy all day.  Visit our Facebook page and scroll down to check out our live Facebook interviews with some of the stars of the day (Nadiya, Luis, Rose, Jenny and Aldi staff) as well as our previous chats with John Torode and Michael Caines and some of the great live music on offer.

Bolton College’s Learning Kitchen joined the had some great hands-on activities alongside all the other fun on Le Mans Crescent, the sun continued to shine at the Octagon Theatre Pleasure Beach, while at the Marketplace, Amazonia soft play and jungle express, with crazy golf, were doing great business in The Vault. Nadiya Hussain from GBBO was the day’s celebrity chef, hosting a Sunday Brunch and Afternoon Tea for all ages.

As it was a quieter day today, we managed to take some time out to mingle and browse some of the stalls, as well as checking out the street entertainment. The food queues were testament to the great choice and quality on offer, and the bars were packed with people enjoying a chat and drink while listening to the live music on offer. I visited Aldi, one of the festival’s major sponsors, who have been out and about throughout the weekend, highlighting their produce and dishing out some tempting tasters.

As a real ale drinker, I also picked up some tasty golden ale that was on offer from the Achill Brewery in Ireland, which I was intrigued to see listed carageenan moss in its ingredients! I chilled it when I got home and I must say it was a light and refreshing lagered beer, perfect for a summer’s day.


Tomorrow sees the final day of yet another massively successful festival, so if you haven’t had the chance to pop in and soak up the atmosphere yet, why not spend at least a little bit of your Bank Holiday Monday checking out what’s on offer? Of course many of the artisan, or exotic, products can be expensive, but you can still enjoy tasters, the street entertainment and a bit of window shopping for free and the children’s events are mostly free or low cost, so it needn’t cost the earth for a family day out.


When we weren’t browsing, we were thoroughly enjoying the free regional chef cookery demonstrations taking place in the vaults every hour throughout the day. Paul Crone was the compere for the demos and managed to make a mess of just about everything he tried! Here’s who we watched:


Luis Troyano, a previous Bake Off finalist who now owns the Hive Bakery in Poynton, did three varied demonstrations. The first was a beautiful and fragrant decorative choc/orange star bake, the second a chocolate layer cake smothered in buttercream and the third was a batch of savoury muffins, which were deliciously light and moreish.


Rose Dummer (Rosie Cake Diva), whose very popular YouTube channel helps to demystify cake decorating and inspire everyone to have a go and she is known throughout the world. Rosie offers lots of very practical tips and hacks to make life easier, and she has a very friendly and engaging style. Rose showed us how to create, and pipe, multi-coloured buttercream on a budget, to transform a basic bun/cupcake into a beautiful and delicate rose, sunflower or marigold. She even made a convincing flowerpot cake to display the flowers, which would make a wonderful centrepiece for a special occasion.


This was followed by Michael Harrison, who offered with Jenny McAlpine, aka Fizz from Coronation Street, who faced both her food heaven and food hell, in the form of posh fish, chips and peas and a deconstructed Manchester tart.


Andrew George from Icky Sticky Cakes. I am planning to have a chat with him about his gluten free delights, but as he was drafted in last minute to give an impromptu cookery demo, this will follow tomorrow.  Don’t forget to check back, especially if you are, or cook for, a coeliac!

One more day ahead, with festival favourite James Martin and another selection of great regional chef demos at the Marketplace, so why not come and join us and share your pics?

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