Rain and gain as Food Month is hailed a success

Pam Mills

Calverley Grounds hosted the second Royal Tunbridge Wells Food and Drink Festival on Saturday and Sunday [September 22-23].

Heavy rain at some points meant visitor numbers were down on previous events, but organiser Steve Wood said thousands still enjoyed the flavour of the weekend.

“It was rammed for the first part of Saturday and it got busy on Sunday afternoon. We had 1,500 on day one and 1,000 on day two,” he said.

“I was disappointed the weather was so bad, but I was very impressed by the number of people who braved it. They are a very hardy lot when they are supporting our town and everyone was saying how sorry they were.”

Food Month has also seen the first Tunbridge Wells Beer Weekend as well as The Pantiles Food Festival and Farmers’ Markets all happening in September.

Royal Tunbridge Wells Together and Tunbridge Wells Borough Council have both played a role in the running of the events.

And Food Month is set to return next year to further cement the town’s status as a great place to eat and drink.

Organisers are on the look-out for an alternative venue with Calverley Grounds soon to be built on with the civic complex and theatre taking shape.

“We ran a taster menu,” Mr Wood added, “It was £4 a dish, which encouraged customers to buy more. We find that if they pay £8 for one thing, they are not going to buy anything else. The customers loved it.” He continued: “It is definitely going up as a good place to eat and drink.”

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