VIDEO: Food lovers flock to South Shields

FOOD lovers flocked to South Shields seafront over the weekend to get their hands on some tasty treats.

Despite a slow start on Saturday, due to bad weather, hundreds turned out to Bents Park, in Sea Road, yesterday for The Proper Food Festival.

HAVE A TASTE ... the Proper Food and Drink Festival 2014 at Bents Park, South Shields.

HAVE A TASTE ... the Proper Food and Drink Festival 2014 at Bents Park, South Shields.

A smorgasbord of culinary delights were on at the festival – which is also taking place today.

The free event was packed with people sampling the delights from 70 gourmet food and drinks traders.

Companies from around the North East and beyond displayed and sold their goods to delighted customers.

Everything from gingerbread men to cupcakes, and cheeses to sausages were on offer.

Entertainment was also on offer with a variety of performers taking to the stage.

Gemma Nixon’s company, is based in Durham.

She said: “It’s been really, really good despite the weather. There’s been a lot of people and a lot of interest and everyone looks like they’re enjoying themselves.

“It’s a great way to get the word out about the business.”

Ian Shaw travelled from Dumfries, in Scotland, with his Galloway Fudge Company.

He said: “I’m really enjoying it and it’s such a great location.

“We visit a lot of food festivals all over the place and it would be great to come back here for another one.”

Audrey Grieve, of North Shields-based Boulevard, was selling a selection of smoked salts, peppercorns and oils on her stall.

She said: “I spent a lot of time in France and over there they used a lot of smoked salts.

“When I came back home, I found you couldn’t get them anywhere except for London and it was ridiculously expensive.

“I learnt how to do it myself and now make smoked salts, peppercorns and oils.”

She added: “The food festival is great because there isn’t really anywhere in South Shields where people can go to buy really different stuff.

“It’s a good opportunity to showcase what we’ve got on offer.”

Jean Read, of Newcastle’s JR Jams, said: “It’s been a bit of a shame about the weather so far but it’s been really good.

“I’m really enjoying and I’d definitely like to come back if there’s another festival.”

Joanne Welsh, of South Shields-based Cupcake and Co, was also at the festival.

She said: “It’s been excellent so far. It’s really well organised and there’s been lots of people coming down.

“It’s a really good way to let people know about the business and it’s great to see something like this happening in South Shields.

“There’s nothing else like this around here and we’ve seen a good busy start.

“Hopefully it’ll continue and we’ll see more events like this in the future.”

The Proper Food Festival continues today from 10am to 5pm.

Twitter: @shieldsgazvicki