Matlock Food & Drink Festival to debut at Hall Leys Park this weekend

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A new food and drink festival arrives at Hall Leys Park this weekend, with a mouthwatering line-up of tastes and traders on the menu.

The Matlock Food and Drink Festival will run over two days, June 8-9, 10.30am to 4.45pm, packed with flavours from Sri Lanka, Greece, Mexico, Spain, Italy, and right here in Derbyshire.

Ruth Hattersley, of the Mad Hatters Events company, said: “We’re based in South Normanton and we love coming to Matlock for the Christmas market every year, so we thought it would be great to do a summer one.

“We’ve got eight festivals this year, all in Derbyshire, and this one seems to have got people excited, with something like 11,000 registering their interest on social media. The feedback has been phenomenal.”

She added: “I think the fact that it’s free opens the festival up to a lot more people. You can come down, bring the family, wander round and not spend lots of money if you don’t want to.

“We’ve ordered sunshine, and fingers crossed it will show up and stay dry.”

Around the tennis courts, visitors can find liqueurs, freshly baked breads, cheeses, pastries, and an abundance of chocolate cakes including gluten free and vegan varieties.

To wash that down, there will be bars serving real ale, home-brewed cider, a huge variety of gins, and the summer classics Pimms fruit cocktails and champagne.

Elsewhere, there will be a huge arts and crafts marquee, and stalls selling everything from silver jewellery to hedgehog houses and garden furniture.

Music lovers can enjoy some of Derbyshire’s finest homegrown talent on the bandstand throughout the weekend, or try an escape room-style experience courtesy of Matlock’s Deception rooms.

Ruth said: “We also have three Man v. Food challenges each day which are always a huge hit — six competitors will race to finish a pie, a tub of ice cream, or a pile of doughnuts.”

Derbyshire County Council and Derbyshire Dales District Council will also be present, offering tips to tackle food waste and enjoy healthy lifestyles.

Visitors from out of Matlock are advised to use the station car park. Dogs on leads are welcome in outdoor areas.

For more information, go to https://bit.ly/2HS4Dcu.