Food festival comes to Newcastle for the first time

A summer highlight for North East lovers of food is coming to Newcastle for the first time this year.

Proper Food and Drink Festivals – which were launched in 2012 – have been held in Northumberland, North and South Tyneside and Gateshead but never in the city.

That changes in July when McCracken Park in Gosforth – the home of Northern Football Club – is transformed from a rugby ground into a festival site featuring food stalls, street food trucks, beer and cocktail bars.  There will also be plenty of live music – a highlight of the event.

The festivals, which are free to attend, are organised by Mark and Shelley Deakin and their name reflects the couple’s support for local producers who deliver food without fuss.The Proper Food and Drink Festival

“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 Mark.  “Some have opened their own restaurants while the festivals have helped others to realise just how good they are.”

The Gosforth Proper Food and Drink Festival takes place on the weekend of 13 and 14 July and runs from 10am to 6pm each day.

As well as the producers’ market, street food trucks and bars, there will also be an area devoted to crafts and plenty of activities for children.

“It’s a great location, handy for public transport, and everybody knows where it is,” said Shelley Deakin. “We’re always keen to come to new places with an event which we know will be really popular.”The ever-popular South Shields Proper food and Drink Festival

This summer the Proper Food and Drink Festival is also visiting Northumberland Square in North Shields over the May Bank Holiday weekend – 4-6 May. It then goes to Bents Park in South Shields for the late Bank Holiday weekend, 25-27th May. Spanish City Plaza in Whitley Bay follows on 15 and June, before its debut in Gosforth.

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