Hitchin Wine & Food Festival goes down a treat

PUBLISHED: 18:14 19 November 2018 | UPDATED: 18:16 19 November 2018

Hitchin Wine & Food Festival 2018. Picture: Alan Millard

Hitchin Wine & Food Festival 2018. Picture: Alan Millard

Alan J Millard 15 SG4 0BS

A record number of exhibitors and visitors enjoyed the sunshine as Hitchin Wine & Food Festival marked its 10th anniversary on Saturday.

Hitchin Wine & Food Festival 2018. Picture: Alan MillardHitchin Wine & Food Festival 2018. Picture: Alan Millard

The annual event, organised by the Rotary Club of Hitchin Tilehouse, has raised more than £7,500 for various local, national and international charities supported by Rotary – with an estimated £50,000 donated since the first festival a decade ago.

This year the food stalls expanded from Market Place into the High Street and visitors were treated to all the old favourite vendors providing a barbecue, burgers, churros, Turkish food, cheeses, oils and crepes.

Hitchin Wine & Food Festival 2018. Brothers Martin and Paul Murrell of Chilli Pepper Pete. Picture: Alan MillardHitchin Wine & Food Festival 2018. Brothers Martin and Paul Murrell of Chilli Pepper Pete. Picture: Alan Millard

But there were a variety of new vendors too, selling everything from Caribbean, Brazilian, Mexican and Indian street food to delicious cheesecakes, Christmas puddings, Campfire gin, honey, chocolates and ice creams.

The Rotary mulled wine and beer stalls were very popular again this year and the wine exhibitors in Church House had a particularly busy day with an estimated 300 visitors being able to talk directly the very knowledgeable independent wine sellers, sampling and buying their wares.

Hitchin Wine & Food Festival 2018: Hitchin Tilehouse Royary's Uta Courts and Cheryl Fisher enjoying some mulled wine. Picture: Alan MillardHitchin Wine & Food Festival 2018: Hitchin Tilehouse Royary's Uta Courts and Cheryl Fisher enjoying some mulled wine. Picture: Alan Millard

Reflecting on the day, Rotary Tilehouse president David McIntosh said: “We are very grateful to everybody who has supported this event and contributed to its amazing success – especially James Nye, our patron, local businesses who advertised in our brochure, the incredible food vendors and wine exhibitors, Rotary club members who ran the whole event, Hitchin Town Rangers who assisted with the logistics, Hitchin TV, photographer Kasia Burke and of course the Comet for their support in helping to publicise the event.

“We are also very grateful to the people of Hitchin and surrounding areas who attended and supported us by coming to the event and spending their money.”

Hitchin Wine & Food Festival 2018. Picture: Alan MillardHitchin Wine & Food Festival 2018. Picture: Alan Millard

James Nye – managing director of Anglian Country Inns which owns The Hermitage and The Fox at Willian, among others – was this year’s patron and visited the stallholders and wine merchants with Rotary Tilehouse festival chair Fiona Gray.

James said: “Hitchin has grown and evolved over my lifetime as a thriving market town and events such as this festival are great for bringing people together and adding vigour and spirit to the community. It has been my absolute pleasure to give my time and help to promote the vibrant Hitchin food and drink scene.”

Hitchin Wine & Food Festival 2018. Picture: Alan MillardHitchin Wine & Food Festival 2018. Picture: Alan Millard

Hitchin Wine & Food Festival 2018. Picture: Alan MillardHitchin Wine & Food Festival 2018. Picture: Alan Millard

Hitchin Wine & Food Festival 2018. Picture: Alan MillardHitchin Wine & Food Festival 2018. Picture: Alan Millard

Hitchin Wine & Food Festival 2018: Pudsey made an appearance after Children in Need the day before. Picture: Alan MillardHitchin Wine & Food Festival 2018: Pudsey made an appearance after Children in Need the day before. Picture: Alan Millard

Hitchin Wine & Food Festival 2018. Picture: Alan MillardHitchin Wine & Food Festival 2018. Picture: Alan Millard

Hitchin Wine & Food Festival 2018. Picture: Alan MillardHitchin Wine & Food Festival 2018. Picture: Alan Millard

Hitchin Wine & Food Festival 2018. Picture: Alan MillardHitchin Wine & Food Festival 2018. Picture: Alan Millard

Hitchin Wine & Food Festival 2018. Picture: Alan MillardHitchin Wine & Food Festival 2018. Picture: Alan Millard

Hitchin Wine & Food Festival 2018. Lauren Davis with chocolate Guinness cake on the Dulce Carmen stall. Picture: Alan MillardHitchin Wine & Food Festival 2018. Lauren Davis with chocolate Guinness cake on the Dulce Carmen stall. Picture: Alan Millard

Hitchin Wine & Food Festival 2018. Picture: Alan MillardHitchin Wine & Food Festival 2018. Picture: Alan Millard

Hitchin Wine & Food Festival 2018: Radcliffe Arms chef Daniel Jones gets to grips with the pizza oven. Picture: Alan MillardHitchin Wine & Food Festival 2018: Radcliffe Arms chef Daniel Jones gets to grips with the pizza oven. Picture: Alan Millard

Hitchin Wine & Food Festival 2018. Picture: Alan MillardHitchin Wine & Food Festival 2018. Picture: Alan Millard

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