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4,000 visitors for your first effort means Holkham’s festive food fair should be back next year

PUBLISHED: 09:44 19 December 2017 | UPDATED: 09:44 19 December 2017

Holkham food fair. L-R, Amanda Williams, business partner at Tiny Tipple, Celia Deeley, general manager Holkham Enterprises, and Karen Rees, business partner at Tiny Tipple. Picture: David Bale

Holkham food fair. L-R, Amanda Williams, business partner at Tiny Tipple, Celia Deeley, general manager Holkham Enterprises, and Karen Rees, business partner at Tiny Tipple. Picture: David Bale

Archant

More than 4,000 visitors for your first event is pretty special - but organisers are hoping to double that figure in the next few years.

Holkham festive food fair. Tom Wheeler with the Norfolk Charcuterie barrow. Pictures: David Bale Holkham festive food fair. Tom Wheeler with the Norfolk Charcuterie barrow. Pictures: David Bale

The first Holkham Hall Christmas food fair was a popular success over the weekend, despite Sunday being a bit of a wash-out.

But with stalls both inside and outside visitors were able to take shelter from the rain whenever it threatened to dampen spirits.

This year’s event was the first time they had opened up the Lady Elizabeth Wing for food stalls, and there were also food and craft stalls in the courtyard.

And the festive fair was combined with the traditional Christmas events at the north Norfolk stately home, including An Audience with Father Christmas, which have been growing more popular in previous years.

Holkham festive food fair. Elaina Pitt from So Sweet. Pictures: David Bale Holkham festive food fair. Elaina Pitt from So Sweet. Pictures: David Bale

Celia Deeley, general manager of Holkham Enterprises, said: “We stage the Norfolk Food and Drink festival at Holkham in September. It’s always been a great success attracting up to 10,000 visitors. This is the sixth year we have done a Holkham Christmas event, but the first we’ve used the Lady Elizabeth Wing for a food fair.

“We have had 40 food exhibitors, mostly local. We would like to do it again next year, pretty much on the same weekend.

“We have had 4000 visitors over the weekend which, for the first time, we’re delighted with. But we would like to double that number over the next few years.”

Three prizes were awarded at the event. The Tiny Tipple Company, from Lowestoft, won the best dressed exhibitor stand. Business partners Amanda Williams and Karen Rees said they were “very excited to win”.

Holkham festive food fair. Chef Charlie Hodson up on stage. Pictures: David Bale Holkham festive food fair. Chef Charlie Hodson up on stage. Pictures: David Bale

The best dressed outside chalet went to chocolate and fudge firm, So Sweet, based in King’s Lynn, whose owner Elaina Pitt said she was very pleased.

And the best dressed barrow was awarded to Norfolk Charcuterie, from Burnham Thorpe in north Norfolk. The business is run by Lisa Wheeler whose husband Tom Wheeler attended the fair.

The event brought some of Norfolk’s most delectable food and drink products together and visitors were entertained by food demonstrations from chefs, including Norfolk’s own, Charlie Hodson.

The Festive Food Fair was sponsored by Charlie’s Norfolk Food Heroes, Woodforde’s Brewery, Norwich City College, Kettles Crisps, Norwich College, Crush Foods, Crown Supplies and Archant - the publisher of the EDP - with production sponsored by Cookery Live.

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