eat:Wellington on Saturday 1 September brought big crowds into the town and offered both a great day out for everyone and valuable trade and exposure for local businesses and Wellington Farmers’ Market. Taunton Deane MP Rebecca Pow and Wellington Mayor Councillor Gary James both supported the festival which illustrates what the town and the region has to offer.
Organised for the third year running by eat:festivals’ organisers Beth and Sarah Milner Simonds, the festival offered a vibrant showcase for food grown and produced locally.
Nearly 80 stalls on South Street and High Street sold an impressive range of food, including high quality beef, lamb and pork, a range of local cheeses, beers and ciders, speciality teas, local fruit and vegetables, jams, chutneys, spices and sauces, chillies, cakes and bread and everything from the best burgers on the market to speciality vegan dishes, to gluten free sweets and slices.
There was also lots of street food illustrating how the flavours from around the world have become hugely popular in the south west and Country Bumpkin Catering brought along their thatched Landrover to dispense ‘hearty English food’ sourced from a farm at East Huntspill.
Members of Wellington Rotary Club were selling bags of fresh peas donated by Ken Coles with proceeds going to charity.
The organisers now manage five food festivals in the region and have launched initiatives to make each one sustainable – plastic-free, recycling-friendly and low carbon in choosing local suppliers.
Other initiatives this year included a Family Trail, a circus skills entertainer and face-painting for families with young children, Avtar Indian Dance, a ‘Best in Show’ competition, cookery skills classes and demos and a bursary scheme sponsored by Thatchers Cider to give 10 new businesses their first steps in trading.
Stewarding was provided by Taunton Eagles, the fast-growing group of young volunteers aiming to make local communities better places to live in, changing the perception of young people and giving them a voice.
With crowds filling the centre of the town on a bright, dry day, Sarah Milner Simonds said, “We’re absolutely delighted with the response here today. It’s great that so many people have come out to enjoy the festival.”