With the 2018 Stone Food & Drink Festival on the horizon – the main event takes place on Westbridge Park over the weekend of 5, 6 & 7 October – the North Staffordshire town is gearing up for a whole week packed with foodie fun.
Alongside several festival-organised events, local businesses have once again come out in force to support the festival and put on an array of themed evenings, special offers and food & drink festivities – kicking off with Lymestone Brewery’s ever-popular Chilli-off on Friday 28th September.
The Tapas Trail, kindly sponsored by R.A.Knight & Co Accountants, will return this year with a slightly different format. Some eight eateries will take part – including The Crown of India; Beth Lauren Cake Parlour; Roo’s Bar; Little Seeds; Granvilles; The Crown and Anchor, The Wheatsheaf at Oulton and Moddershall Oaks – each serving a tapas-style dish for just £3.50pp. Diners can complete a voting card as soon as they’ve finished eating and pop it into the box at each venue to help decide the best tapas dish on the trail, with the chance to simultaneously enter themselves into a draw to win a meal for two at the victorious venue. Full details of opening times for each venue and the dishes on offer will be available on the festival website and at participating venues in the next couple of weeks.
Ale lovers will be delighted to hear that a strong contingent of the town’s real ale pubs have signed up to have a Staffordshire brewed guest ale on tap during festival week to celebrate the county’s brewing heritage – look out for window posters and beer mats in participating pubs! Stone’s own foodie history will be marked with a Guided Foodie History Tour of the town on Wednesday 3rd October. Meeting in the Market Square at 6.45pm prompt for a 7pm start spaces (£2pp/£1 under-16s) will be allocated on a first come, first served basis before Steve Booth and Philip Leason of Stone Historical Society wax lyrical about the town’s links to Hovis flour; Gooseberry fairs, fish ponds, breweries – and much more besides. All proceeds to Stone Historical Society.
In addition to these festival week stalwarts, there is a hugely diverse programme of events being run courtesy of the town’s great local food & drink businesses- ranging from special festival week offers at independent shops to food & drink quizzes, special menus, themed evenings and tastings of everything from beer to gin – and pretty much everything in between. Festival Chairman, Richard Stevens, says:
“We’ve once again been humbled by the response to our call to action from Stone’s local businesses. It’s fantastic to see so many keen to get involved with the event and show their support, and it all helps create a very special vibe in town during festival week. We hope that lots of you come into town not only for the ‘big weekend’ but to support these great local restaurants, bars, pubs and shops throughout the week – Stone has so much to be proud of!”
The full programme of events happening during festival week can be found on the Stone Food & Drink Festival website – programme page – alternatively, you can pick up a printed programme at numerous food and drink venues throughout town.