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A Quick Guide to the Essex Festival of Food and Drink


One of the most popular events in the Essex county calendar is back next month for the seventh consecutive year! That’s right, the Essex Festival of Food and Drink will take place on 15–16th July at Cressing Temple Barns’ beautiful grounds. This year’s event has an action-packed line-up of food events, cooking demonstrations, expert talks and tutored tastings, as well as fun free events for the family such as cookery classes and live music..

There will be over 150 artisan food and drink producers setting up shop for the weekend and the festival will be providing two amazing open-air food courts, which can seat over 600 attendees!

An event of this size should not be missed by hospitality traders, food and drinks traders or locals. Check out our quick guide below to get involved and not miss out!

Which Exhibitors Will Be Attending?

Every year the Essex Festival of Food and Drink attracts exhibitors from all over the county and country to showcase and sell their exceptional quality produce, promote their company with great demonstrations and invite visitors to take part in their tasting sessions.

Exhibiting producers sell everything from cheese, preserves and chutneys to wines and ciders. As the festival likes to place a particular focus on local traders, there are two marquees packed full of based producers based in Essex and the East of England. The Only Way is Local pop-up marquee will be showcasing the very best of the county’s food and drink providers, whilst the Taste of Anglia marquee will feature the largest selection of industry traders from across the region.

Unfortunately, if you’re looking to trade, all stands are already sold out for 2017. However, if you think you’d fit right in, now is the time to apply to exhibit in 2018!

Essex Festival of Food and Drink Highlights

This summer’s event has already secured a number of exciting chefs including James Martin and The Great British Bake-Off winner Nadiya Hussain, as well as lots of fantastic local chefs like Broil King’s Chris and Jeff Galvin and Tom Haward of Tom’s Salty Shack.

Industry demonstrations will be taking place, too, with David Innes running an Off the Hook Butcher demo showing visitors how to master traditional butchery techniques and Essex turkey farmer Paul Kelly teaching a session on how to make the most of turkey all year round.

Tips for Exhibitors

Already bagged yourself an exhibition slot? Here’s a few tips from TFH Gazebos on how to make the most of the day and creating the perfect stall.

• Set up early to avoid any last-minute rushing.
• Ensure you have plenty of petty cash/float so that you can keep selling all day long. Always overestimate!
• If possible, arrange your perfect location beforehand — points of interest such as public amenities or demonstration stages are great options.
• Be prepare with a checklist of all your essentials.
• Price correctly. Before the day starts have a scout around similar stalls and competitors to compare their pricing. Don’t make the mistake of pricing your goods too high or too low.
• Use the day as an opportunity to network with other traders. You’ll never know if a great relationship could strike up!

For more advice on exhibiting, check out our top ten tips for market stall traders . If you have any last-minute equipment needs, we’re also on standby to help out with all your pop-up gazebo and trading requirements.