I really don’t want you to miss next week’s World Food Festival in Welwyn Garden City, so make a date in your diaries for Saturday 20th May. Now in its 6th year, this lovely event continues to grow and is one of the best food festivals, right on our doorstep.
The festival is free to enter, unlike many in the UK, and with over 30 food stalls as well as demonstrations and live music, there is plenty to do. You will recognise many of our local favourite indie businesses from the markets, restaurants and cafes, and you will be able to buy food from over 20 countries, along with foodie gifts and homeware.
The festival takes place on the green on Howardsgate, between 11-5, so perfect for morning coffee, a delicious lunch and then afternoon tea (or perhaps churros, choux buns or crepes?). Last year over 10,000 people visited the festival, so plan to arrive early and walk into the centre if you can.
You will be able to eat lunch from Brazil, Japan, Indonesia, Lebanon, USA, South Korea, Mexico, Spain, Italy, France, Greece and Cyprus; so there really will be something for everyone. Look for local favourites such as Red, whose popular restaurant nearby sells delicious Indian food and Comida Brasil; their stall in St Albans town centre is also very popular. There is plenty of choice if you want vegan and vegetarian options, and I am looking forward to trying 24 Carrot, who sell juices, salads and wraps.
The Cooking Demonstration Stage is always a focus, with chefs sharing their tips throughout the day. This year, Great British Bake Off winner Frances Quinn will be appearing between 1.30-2.15, and it will be interesting to see what she creates for us. Frances’ book Quinntessential Baking, published by Bloomsbury, is full of amazing creative bakes, so this is a must for any keen bakers out there looking for new inspiration. Since winning the Bake Off, Frances has had some amazing cake commissions, including for the Tate, Nike and the illustrator Quentin Blake. There is no need to buy a ticket; just turn up and watch. Space will be tight with everything else going on, so the organisers recommend coming early to ensure a great view. Other demos include Sophie Lotinga who won the Oaklands Young Chef of the Year competition last year and a soda bread class with Linda Dobbs from Mill Green Museum.
As well as some of the small indie businesses, there will also be stands from Waitrose, Mill Green Museum and Oaklands College who train many excellent chefs that go on to work in leading London and local restaurants, including Michelin-starred.
The live music sounds excellent, with local favourites The Swanvesta Social Club (1pm) and Easydread (4.30pm) playing, along with the new talent of Oaklands College’s Music & Performing Arts students. There will be plenty of space for picnics, so see you there!
The Welwyn Garden City World Food Festival is organised by the WGC Business Improvement District (BID) and Oaklands College.