Thursday, 05 August 2021

New food festival postponed for a year

A NEW food festival for Henley has been postponed until September next year.

A NEW food festival for Henley has been postponed until September next year.

The Henley Food and Drink Festival was originally due to take place on May 7 and 8 but the date was changed because Henley-on-Food, another new culinary festival, is launching at Shiplake College the week before.

It was then moved to June 11 and 12 but this clashed with the Henley Highwayman triathlon.

Organisers sought Henley Town Council’s permission to use Market Place over the two days but councillors gave priority to the sporting event, which is run by Henley Swim.

Now the organisers say they would rather hold the festival at the end of the summer because the town’s social calendar will be less busy and by putting it off until next year they will be able to attract more sponsors. They say several companies have expressed an interest.

Festival co-founder Tracey Pryce, who is also event co-ordinator for the Henley House and Garden Show, said it was important to ensure the first year went smoothly instead of rushing it.

She said: “September is a better time because the summer is quite hectic and although that’s great for Henley it makes it hard to launch anything new. Although we’ve postponed it, it’s going really well behind the scenes. We’ve got lots of sponsors on board and lots of people are eager to exhibit so it should be brilliant.

“It’s a much better outcome for us in the long-term. We’ve got more time to put it together and September is better for local producers to showcase their wares properly.”

The festival will include a marquee in Falaise Square and other venues including the town hall and Old Fire Station Gallery while King’s Arms Barn will be used for cooking demonstrations and the sale of cooking products.

It is supported by chefs Paul Clerehugh, the

Henley Standard’s
food columnist and owner of the Crooked Billet in Stoke Row, Antony Worrall Thompson, of the Greyhound in Gallowstree Common, and Ryan Simpson and Liam Trotman, of Orwells in Shiplake.

The former Henley Food Festival was held in 2006, 2007 and 2009 and its permanent cancellation was announced in 2011.

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