This year’s Stone Food & Drink Festival, kindly supported by Joule’s Brewery, will once again see local pubs, restaurant and shops get in the festive spirit and host a packed programme of events and special offers in the run up to the ‘big weekend’.
This year, with organisers having joined forces with the Stone Traders’ Group, which represents both local independent and national chains in the town, there are no less than 10 days of foodie fun planned before the main festival opens its gates on Westbridge Park on the 4, 5 & 6 October.
Kickstarting celebrations is the third edition of the ‘Feast Stone’ street food event on Wednesday 25th September from 3 – 9pm. Organised jointly by the Stone Food & Drink Festival, Staffordshire Sauce magazine and Stone Traders’ Group, Feast’s first two volumes earlier this year saw bumper crowds flood the High Street to sample a fabulous selection of global street food. The ‘fest edition’ of Feast is set to be the biggest and best yet, with some 22 street food traders lining Stone’s main drag.
This kickstarts a 10-day programme of events featuring everything from foodie pub quizzes to themed meals and great deals on food and drink. Lymestone Brewery’s annual Chilli-off competition at the Mount Street brewery on the evening of Friday 27th September, challenging cooks to concoct their favourite fiery recipes for judging. Foodies will be keen to hear that chef Chris Cohen of Feat with Friends will be taking over the kitchen at Bear Stone on Saturday 28th September from 7pm; creating a ticket-only 5 course ‘Waste to Taste’ menu featuring a variety of different food & drink waste products from the coffee house’s day-to-day life.
Another new addition this year is ‘Pub Orienteering’ – kindly sponsored by Titanic Brewery, beer fans can discover 10 great Real Ale pubs around town by following an ‘orienteering’ map and buying a drink in each to get their card stamped. Each pub will have a question hidden somewhere on the premises which orienteers need to locate and answer for the chance to win one of several great prizes. Pub Orienteering will take place from Mon 30th Sep – Sun 6th Oct, and participating pubs include The Pheasant, The Bridge, The Borehole, The Talbot, The Royal Exchange, The Poste of Stone, The Crown and Anchor, The Red Lion, The Swan, and The Star.
Among the most popular events will undoubtedly be festival Saturday’s Farmers’ Market, when a bigger than usual contingent of stalls will line the bustling High Street, selling everything from farm-fresh meat and veg to cakes, cheeses, sweet treats – even smoked fish.
The full festival week programme is available to view and download at https://www.stonefooddrink.org.uk/town-centre/ – Print copies can also be picked up at various shops and pubs around town.
The 2019 Stone Food & Drink Festival will take place on Friday 4, Saturday 5 & Sunday 6 October on Westbridge Park in Stone. Gate prices are £7pp (day ticket) and £15pp (3 day pass); accompanied under-16s get in free and a Park & Ride service will operate from Aston Marina – head to www.stonefooddrink.org.uk for more information and to buy advance discount tickets.