Visitors will be spoilt for choice, as the annual Stroud Fringe Festival and the Open Eco Homes event will also be held at the same time. Dubbed Stroud Festival Fortnight, more than 150 events will be spread across 17 days between 3rd and 19th September.
Unveiling the programme, one of the festival directors Greg Pilley claimed: ‘It is often said that people don’t value enough what is right under their noses. We hope this festival fortnight will highlight the great quality food, drink, music and countryside that is available in the town, and that people will use it as an excuse to visit at least one place that they have never been to before.’
The Food and Drink, Walking and Fringe Festivals are all funded by Stroud Town Council. Mayor Andy Read is delighted that so many traders and community groups are involved.
“In recent years, there has been a huge increase in people’s awareness of the wonderful range of food produced in and around Stroud,’ he said. “Stroud now has a wide range of restaurants, pubs and cafes to suit every taste.”
Most of the events have limited places and so early booking is advised. A 36-page Festival brochure is available from tourist offices and all participants and full details are available online at www.stroudfestivalfortnight.com
The Food & Drink Festival was officially launched on Thursday July 1st with an event hosted by one of the participating businesses, who took the opportunity to unveil their own new initiative which mixes local food and walking.
Miles Connolly and Lotte Lyster at the Prince Albert on Rodborough Hill (pictured right) are now offering a Ploughmans4Walkers Menu.
“It’s been something people have been asking us to do for a while and we thought the Festival was the perfect opportunity to launch it,” explained Lotte. “Using locally-sourced ingredients it aims to offer an extra attraction to the thousands of walkers who visit the neighbouring commons every year.”
Elsewhere in the programme, Oeno in Stroud’s Kendrick Street is holding a series of special wine tastings including two events with meals at the Clothiers Arms and Woodruffs. The Crown and Sceptre is the place to be for a beer and cider festival whilst The Food Emporium in Union Street will become a seafood cookery school. JRooL Bistro is going for contrasts, with a pudding evening, a seafood weekend, Tapas evening, a wine tasting and a Spanish menu.
The Kendrick Street Deli is hosting its second Taste Of Stroud Awards, with the Stroud Brewery and Stroud Homebrew also joining forces for a home-made beer and wine competition. The Shambles Market will be transformed for a special Medieval Day, the Guerrilla Banquet offers a three-course meal cooked on a wood fire in an exquisite setting and numerous community projects will be highlighting their work.
On the final weekend of the Festival Fortnight the music, the art and the food of India is combined for a month-watering treat at Star Anise Arts café, whilst Stroud’s first Independent Street Fair sees the traders in and around Kendrick Street throwing a party on Sunday September 19th.
There is an equal feast for walkers with a record number of 47 guided events exploring every corner of the Stroud District, from Miserden to Wotton and from Chalford to Frampton.
Article added online 1st July 2010
Pictures by Andy Read
Below (lft-Rt): Three of the Festival directors Richard Davis, Bernard Jarman and Bernard Wakefield-Heath help launch the official festival programme with a ploughmans and a pint at the Prince Albert.