Bents Park in South Shields is this summer again hosting two free events guaranteed to tickle your taste buds.
The Proper Food and Drink Festival returns over the late Bank Holiday weekend in May, and the third Great North Feast takes place in August on the last Bank Holiday weekend of the year.
Proper Food and Drink Festivals were started by Mark and Shelley Deakin in 2012. They choose the name to reflect their support for local producers who deliver food without fuss.
“When you come to a festival you want fantastic food you can eat there and then, or buy to try when you get home,” said Mark.
“These are very important events for local producers as they provide a real opportunity for them to get face-to-face feedback from their customers – and as a result they really pull out the stops.”
Over the years many producers have used the festivals as a stepping stone to bridge the gap from being talented amateurs to full-time cooks, bakers or brewers.
“It’s fantastic to see how they’ve progressed,” said Shelley. “Some have opened their own restaurants while the festivals have helped others to realise just how good they are.”
The 2018 South Shields Proper Food and Drink and Festival, for example, saw the return to the town of Steven and Sally Green who grew up in South Shields before moving to London and successful careers in the television industry.
Six years ago they settled in North Yorkshire and set up Harrogate Tipple, using the world-famous Harrogate Spring Water to produce their gin and rum – which both proved very popular for visitors to the festival.
As well as the producers’ market, street food trucks and bars, there will also be an area devoted to crafts as well as plenty of activities for children.
The Proper Food and Drink Festival visits Bents Park 25, 26 and 27 May. This summer the event is also being held in North Shields from 4-6 May, Whitley Bay on 15 and 16 June and Gosforth on 13 and 14 July.
The Great North Feast takes place on 25, 26 and 27 August. More details will be announced soon.
For more information about the Proper Food and Drink Festivals visit www.properfoodanddrinkfestivals.co.uk/