The Proper Food & Drink Festival, North Shields brings together the best street food vendors and food producers in the region. Relax and enjoy some music whilst you eat.
One of the signs that summer is on the way are the food festivals that take place across the region. One of these is the Proper Food & Drink Festival. The first festival took place in North Shields in 2012. This year the event is taking place in six different towns around the North East. We took advantage of a sunny day and went to the North Shields event, the first of the year.
The Proper Food & Drink Festival has the slogan, Proper Food for Proper People. As well as being able to enjoy live music in an outdoor picnic area, there is a licensed bar, street food and the best artisan food producers from around the region. It is a free event and a great addition to the food market scene in the region.
The North Shields event takes place in Northumberland Square. This is an elegant space, Georgian town houses surrounding a small park in the centre. The buildings provide an interesting backdrop to the Proper Food & Drink festival. The square was busy, lots of people were enjoying the food and sunshine.
On the road round the park we found the artisan food producers from around the region. The stalls were busy and it took us a while to explore them all. Whilst we were exploring we saw a large chicken wandering round with an egg in hot pursuit. They were a great attraction for the kids.
There were plenty of different stalls with everything from chocolate to sausages to beer and nuts. Take plenty of money and a shopping bag as you will find lots to tempt you. There are also lots of samples on offer so you can try before you buy. Our first stop was Geordie Bangers where we picked up some sausages. Their hog roast sausages are delicious and perfect for a Sunday breakfast or a barbecue.
We also picked up some pease pudding from Pete’s pudding. I have made my own pease pudding before but this pease pudding has flavourings. The gammon and leek is really tasty in a ham sandwich. French Oven Bakery is familiar from the Grainger Market and we love their freshly made bread. There was plenty to try and new stalls to discover.
All that shopping is hungry work. Fortunately there were plenty of street food vendors on hand to stop us from starving. We found them inside the park along with a picnic area and a stage with entertainment. It was lovely to sit in the sun for a while and enjoy the music. Deciding what to eat was hard as many of our favourites could be seen.
The burgers from Fat Hippo were a hit for me when we went to the Battle of the Burger at Wylam Brewery and their distinctive van was there. The red colours of Zapatista burrito bar also caught my eye. I keep meaning to try them but somehow always get distracted. Sorry guys. In the end I went with a falafel from Papa Ganoush which was very tasty. My son and his friend had burgers from The Northumbrian Smokehouse and my husband tried the Tokoyo Kitchen. Drinks were also available, either an exotic coconut or from Wylam Brewery. We left the Proper Food & Drink Festival full with plenty of food to take home to try later. It is a great day out.
If you want to catch the Proper Food & Drink Festival in one of the other locations over the summer these are the dates to put in your diary.
Have you been to the Proper Food & Drink Festival before? Let me know below. I suspect we may visit a couple more this year.