Taste Ayrshire Food Festival in Largs

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What a fantastic time we had at last Sunday’s inaugural Food Festival in Largs organised by Taste Ayrshire. Unfortunately, many local people knew nothing of the event until the huge marquee was erected on Friday afternoon however, interest soon developed as food and drink producers from Ayrshire descended on the prom on Saturday and early Sunday morning to set up their stalls inside. Despite a very blustery start and heavy showers in the afternoon, visitors and families, in particular, just kept on coming and weren’t disappointed with Ayrshire’s fantastic offering.

Fans of all things fishy were delighted with a fantastic offering of fish fresh from Fencebay Fisheries and right next to them promoting their stylish restaurant at Largs Yacht Haven was Scotts with their delicious new cocktail, Ayrshire Bramble.

North Ayrshire Council were doing their bit to encourage everyone to “Discover North Ayrshire” and all that’s on offer throughout the region and the ever-smiling Alyson Holden from Cameron Confections was queued from start to finish for her fantastic Great Taste award-winning Scottish tablet. It’s also available in Sugar & Spice by the way! In addition, confectioners and artisan producers Lime Tree Larder and Threepwood Fayre satisfied those with a sweet tooth.

Without a doubt, the busiest and largest stand of the day was Costley’s Patisserie selling their tasty ready-made meals, handmade chocolates and artisan ice cream although the biggest buzz from their stand was caused by their fabulous baked breads which sold out in the first couple of hours.

And then there was me and my Mama Mia, Sweet Caroline, doing our bit to promote our handmade chocolate selection from The Arran Chocolate Factory, available at Sugar & Spice. How wonderful it was to chat with so many of my customers who visited the event and didn’t even know I stocked Arran Chocolates. All my samples disappeared very quickly I have to say and I even got a visit from the lovely Harold whom I hadn’t seen in a long while (you know who your are!)

Moving on down the line there was Cookschool Scotland entertaining the little visitors with their Kids Kitchen stall decorating cupcakes and their main stall selling produce from around the region on behalf of producers who couldn’t exhibit on the day.

Many of Ayrshire’s hotels were represented too promoting their programme of events for Christmas 2013, weddings and restaurant facilities – SimpsInns, Annfield House and The Park Hotel were all running prize draw promotions for dinner at their venues and early bird discounts for Christmas.

Many men were delighted to find the chefs from Ayr Spice and the team from Ayr Brewing Co dishing up curries and ales – what more could they have asked for?! Meanwhile the ladies were captivated on an hourly basis by Ayrshire’s best chefs dishing up culinary tips at the very popular cookery demonstrations.

There was lots more to see and do including live music throughout the day, face painting, the RNLI demonstrating their life saving skills on the water and WestFM’s ever-popular roadshow.

All in all, a big thank you to North Ayrshire Council and the organisers at Taste Ayrshire as this was one very well organised event in Largs and will hopefully go on to promote all the producers, shops, restaurants and accommodation providers who contribute to make this wonderful region of Scotland what it is.

Well done and pleeeeease, make it an annual event!