The Truffler

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Indy Lifestyle Online

The programme's packed and so are the streets. The Ludlow Marches Food & Drink Festival we previewed last week is in full swing this weekend. Today's attractions are a marquee full of food and drink producers, including stalls from twin towns in Italy and Normany, demonstrations, cheese tastings, children's marquee, sausage trail engineered by the six independent butchers Ludlow boasts, and pâté tasting, all assisted by the town's many pubs. Tomorrow there's more of the same, minus the sausage trail, pâté and cheese tastings. Hit the town that justifiably claims to be the foodiest in Britain, but don't even think of trying to book a table at one of its Michelin-listed restaurants this weekend. Festival inquiries 09068 884526 or www.foodfestival.co.uk

The programme's packed and so are the streets. The Ludlow Marches Food & Drink Festival we previewed last week is in full swing this weekend. Today's attractions are a marquee full of food and drink producers, including stalls from twin towns in Italy and Normany, demonstrations, cheese tastings, children's marquee, sausage trail engineered by the six independent butchers Ludlow boasts, and pâté tasting, all assisted by the town's many pubs. Tomorrow there's more of the same, minus the sausage trail, pâté and cheese tastings. Hit the town that justifiably claims to be the foodiest in Britain, but don't even think of trying to book a table at one of its Michelin-listed restaurants this weekend. Festival inquiries 09068 884526 or www.foodfestival.co.uk

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Bradford may not be so closely linked with gastronomy, but it has fine Asian restaurants, a reputation for enterprise and tourism, and is holding its first Food & Drink Festival. Today and tomorrow there's the Yorkshire Pantry market in Centenary Square until 5pm, with local producers of ice cream, venison, pork pies and pastries to feast on. There will be demonstrations ranging from how to prepare fish and chips, baltis, cakes, tapas, Malaysian, Chinese, Kashmiri lamb, and seafood dishes by local chefs over the week. Many of the city's restaurants are offering meal deals and events. For free tickets to wine tastings or the £35-a-head Taste of Asia Dinner cooked by Kashmiri chefs in the new Life Force Museum later this week, call the Bradford Food & Drink Festival Hotline (01274 391666).

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Show me a city that isn't gearing up for a Food & Drink Festival - Manchester's is in October. But the Conran group's Zinc Bar and Grill is the latest eaterie to open in a city showing signs of having too many already. Lagging further behind are Chez Gerard and Livebait, both due to open there later this year. The Gaucho Grill Argentinian steak house - not for veggies or fainthearts - opened last month, and apparently 49 other new licence applications have been granted in Manchester this year. But Mash - one of the city's fashionable frontrunners when it opened four years ago - has closed owing to lack of business, and Reform, haunt of the rockstocracy and football élite, is in receivership. If customers keep legging it to the latest restaurants these newcomers too may fall foul of the fickle crowd.

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Sturminster Newton in Dorset is the home of one of Dairy Crest's creameries, but though this is its main link with cheesemaking, its Cheese Festival involves the whole town, and many local cheese producers, in a cheese marquee today and tomorrow from 10am to 5pm. Tomorrow there's a farmer's market, too.

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