a screenshot of the chesterfield food and drink festival website, with all the details about what's happening

On 4th August, Victoria had a leisurely mooch around the Food and Drink Festival, set up in Queens Park, Chesterfield. Here’s her review of the day…

“Initially, the sat nav took me to the Queens Park Leisure Centre, so I was a bit disorientated at first, as I’m not familiar with Chesterfield, living 30 mins away in Mansfield.

However, when I arrived at the park, I was really surprised to see there was no entry barrier or fee to go into the festival. Since reading the website again, it does say FREE ENTRY! Doh.

Being a lovely warm summer’s day, the event had a really colourful and welcoming feel to it. I arrived around 11.30am and there were already lots of people of all ages wandering around or sitting on hay bales and eating something they’d just bought from a stall.

In the background I could hear live music, so as I did an initial quick browse of the stalls, I headed to the big blue tent where the music was coming from. There was a very talented female singer performing the Elvis classic; ‘I can’t help falling in love with you’ and the live music certainly helped the good vibes to flow. You can’t beat a bit of Elvis!

Next to the music tent were all the alcohol stands, so it looked like a mini music festival inside the food festival, if that makes sense? I was driving, so I avoided the bars, and went back to peruse the food and drink stands, mostly local from the East Midlands I noticed, which I’m a big fan of.

A horsebox transformed into an ince cream van with two ladies inside selling the ice creams

There were about 30 food and drink stands, plus the usual charity stands you see at these types of events. The Caribbean Food stand had a long queue, as did the chocolate and churros tent! Other stands I remember sold cheeses, honey, whisky, garden furniture and disco fries!

There were a couple of horsebox businesses, both beautifully decorated, one was selling savoury snacks and the other sold ice cream.

Now let me just explain, I had already planned my food for the day on My Fitness Pal. I knew that I was in for a high protein and low fat kind of day, so when I stood at that ice cream stand, it all went right out the window!

I ordered a gin and elderflower sorbet, two scoops actually. And when I was asked would I like a pot or a cone, I answered: “a cone please, to avoid plastic.” The lovely ladies (Debbie and Pip) explained that the pots and spoons are fully biodegradable, ah those wonderful words! Music to my ears!

Then, when I told them about my Energy Ball Recipe Kits, they were excited to hear more. Then they said I look like the type of person who eats energy balls, adding that I look full of energy and healthy! Wow, that’s a nice thing to hear 🙂

So, the sorbet went down a treat, I can’t even tell you how much it was, because my eyes were like 50p pieces and the money just jumped out of my purse. It was so much more creamier than I expected, more like ice cream than a sorbet, totally totally delicious.

David from Derbyshire Distillery stood behind rows of his gin and a gift box of a gin and 2 glasses

The next stand to catch my eye was also gin related by chance. This time it was the Derbyshire Distillery tent, with two flavours of gins on show to sample, who on earth can say no to that?

David explained to me about how he and his business partners started the business a few months ago, they designed their dry gins, choosing botanicals, trialling and testing, and have grown the production to 90 bottles from each batch.

So the Derbyshire gins are hand-crafted and produced in small quantities which ensures they maintain the high quality output. The pink coloured gin is pomegranate flavoured and the clear is their standard dry gin.

So I didn’t come away empty handed, I treated myself and Phil to a pink gin with 2 Derbyshire Distillery branded gin glasses for our home bar. Can’t wait to try this out with our friends.

I mooched around some more food stalls on the way out and then stopped to talk to a couple of lasses from Hot Pod Yoga. They run the Chesterfield classes and are starting classes in Rotherham soon. The big inflatable pods are really great, and maintain the warmth to help the yoga poses and stretches to intensify. It’s a fun way to exercise and relax the mind.

I think I left around 1.30pm. I met a lot of passionate foodie people, chatted a LOT, came away with something new and had a nice feeling as a left, that I’d spent my Saturday wisely.

The Chesterfield Food and Drink Festival is on for another day, Sunday 5th August, if you don’t have plans, I totally recommend it!”