Boaters Flock to Stone Food & Drink Festival

Drifters Waterway Holidays invites holiday-makers to moor up in Stone this autumn for a real gastronomic treat
At the north Staffordshire town of Stone on the Trent & Mersey Canal, along the route of the Four Counties Ring, plans are well underway for its 2011 food and drink festival to be held Friday 30 September to Sunday 2 October. To celebrate, Drifters Waterway Holidays is offering 15 per cent off holidays starting 23-26 September 2011 from its bases at Anderton, Great Haywood, Stoke and Bunbury.
Festival Chairman Richard Stevens explains: “Now in its 7th year, the Stone Food and Drink Festival is Staffordshire’s biggest celebration of all things gastronomic and has grown year on year to become an event to which visitors flock from far and wide, including many travelling by canal.”
With the theme for the 2011 event set to be ‘the best of Staffordshire’ there will be a real focus on local produce, with a host of activities and events for all the family to enjoy. Top chefs will offer tips and new recipes during free, interactive cookery demonstrations and there will be the chance to pick up great local food in the High Street Farmers’ Market (Friday and Saturday only).
For serious ‘foodies’, the Gourmet Marquee and Taste of Staffordshire marquee will provide plenty of opportunity to browse stalls and sample food from artisan producers – both local and international – as well as purchase unusual items of kitchen and tableware.
Real Ale fans, meanwhile, will be delighted to hear that the festival will this year include the Titanic Beer Festival – with Dave Bott of the local Titanic Brewery endeavouring to offer for sale beers from every brewery in Staffordshire.
Add entertainment and live music, kiddies’ rides and a licensed bar and it’s easy to see why so many decide to make a weekend of the festival and moor up at the ample towpath mooring sites throughout the town.
If you’d like to extend your stay to a full week, the festivities go well beyond the three days of the main festival itself – in the run-up week local bars and eateries organise a host of special events and there’s always the opportunity to join the now famous ‘Manger a Trois’ roving meals (three courses, three different restaurants) or a minibus ‘Real Ale Trail’; taking in some of the best pubs in Stone and its surrounding villages. And with the Potteries within striking distance and attractions like Trentham Gardens and Monkey Forest nearby, there will be plenty to keep you occupied!

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