Bon Appétit for Nailsea people
eat:Nailsea festival sizzled with street cred on Saturday, October 5, when it served up fantastic food and drink to the hundreds (and hundreds) of people who attended.
Who would have thought that along with plum duff and Somerset ale, authentic Japanese dumplings and Caribbean reggae nachos they would be cooking up a storm in the great North Somerset outdoors.
Somerset Square and High Street were filled with stalls manned by more than 60 different food and drink producers.
What made the event was that despite the weather forecast predicting showers it stayed dry and at times the sun came out too.
Along with the traditional farmers market produce of ciders, breads and cheeses were stalls selling worldwide cuisine.
Beverley and Sarah Milner Simonds are the brilliant people behind the concept of the award-winning eat festivals which now run in 10 West Country towns.
The food and drink festivals are free to attend, family-friendly, accessible and run on a not-for-profit basis as a social enterprise funded by traders, sponsors and grants.
Any profits are ploughed back into other local food and drink projects.
See all the Nailsea people you can spot in the photographs in the collage top and slideshow below.
As well as the stalls there were face painters, balloon artists and street entertainers plus a soundtrack of laid-back music.
At 65 High Street there was a pop-up cookery school and screen-printing workshop.
The menus included plenty of vegan and vegetarian choices, as well as gluten and dairy free options.
And the event was single-use plastic free with all festival packaging completely compostable!
All the young cyclists received goodies of weatherproof saddle or rucksack covers and free bike check-ups.
Local shops and cafes also reported a brisk trade as the footfall for the town was magnified.
This event was supported by Nailsea Town Council, North Somerset Council, AMS Electrical SW and Westcoast Properties.
Nailsea People think the success of the eat:Nailsea festival was the stallholders were selling goods people wanted to buy - there was no tat or plastic prizes.
The festival runs in several other West Country towns and people from Clevedon came to see what it was all about before confirming they wanted one too but sadly the event planned for Portishead in August had to be cancelled dfue to high winds and torrential downpours.
This is what people said on the Nailsea People Facebook.
Word on street
Nicole Jelliss: “There is a lot of lovely food!”
Stacey Bamford: “It's brilliant. Will this be a regular thing? It's great how the stalls are at the top of the precinct and along the High Street instead of just down the bottom where the farmers’ market usually is? Annually will be great as it brings people to the town.”
Sheila Black: “Great selection of food...well done.”
Helen Shalders: “Brilliant event. Tried lots of things and bought a fair amount too.”
Lou Dann: “Amazing community spirit.”
Melanie Gould: “Was a lovely morning browsing and trying different things. And of course, the gin and vodka tasting was nice.”
Sarah Hunt: “Loving it!”
Stella Hicks: “Would love this to be a regular event.... monthly?”
Elizabeth Jones: “Great event- well done!”
Alison Edmonds: “Fabulous time wandering from stall to stall. Hope Nailsea does it again soon.”
Mary Blatchford: “Well worth a visit.”
Mary Wills: “Well done Nailsea, hope it will be back next year.”
Alan Goddard: “Excellent day well done to all who were involved in making this happen.”
Lesley Westlake: “Cafe 119 was buzzing all day.”
Darren Kelly: “Awesome event!! Can you do another at Christmas?”
Chris Perry: “Nailsea School allowed the stall holders to use their car park so the car parks in the town centre weren't taken up by them…very well organised event and hopefully it will return. Spoke with some of the stall holders and they were very pleased … some sold out!!”
Suzanne Claire Williams: “It was great to see shops full too a good day all round.”
Nicky Bielby: “Was good that Nailsea was busy.”
John French: “Good that the High Street was included and not just the precinct. More atmosphere somehow. How the Christmas fair used to be.”
Jan Thomas: “Really enjoyed it.”
Sammy Fothergill: “We loved it please come back again.”
PREVIEW: On Saturday, October 5, Nailsea town centre will be filled with a fantastic array of new producers when the first eat:Nailsea food and drink festival happens.
The festival will be filling the High Street and part of Crown Glass Shopping Centre at Somerset Square with nearly 70 different food and drink producers.
The High Street will be closed to traffic from the roundabout near Wetherspoons to the Link Road.
You can expect traditional farmers market stalls with local ciders, breads and cheeses alongside some top-quality street food, making worldwide cuisine with local ingredients.
The event is all about food, but there’s so much more to be enjoyed between 10am and 4pm. The organisers have booked face painters, balloon artists and street entertainers plus a soundtrack of laid-back music.
There will also be two free workshops during the event at 65 High Street.
A drop-in Cook School where you will be helped to make delicious Italian vegan treats and a Screen-Printing workshop where you will be able to print bespoke designs onto festival tote-bags.
The event is fully accessible and there are plenty of vegan and vegetarian choices, as well as gluten and dairy free options.
The event is also single-use plastic free and all festival packaging is completely compostable! The organisers are encouraging visitors to walk, cycle or ride into Nailsea town centre - with free bike check-ups and all-weather rucksack cover for anyone cycling in.
This is event has been generously supported by Nailsea Town Council, North Somerset Council, AMS Electrical SW and Westcoast Properties.
Go to www.eatfestivals.org for the latest information