THE Foodies Festival at Tatton Park at the weekend proved a Christmas cracker, serving up another hearty helping of entertainment and attracting record numbers.

More than 15,000 people flocked to the attraction to enjoy gorgeous grub, cookery demos, wine tasting, craft workshops, carol singing and more.

Visitors had their pick of delicious food from around the world in Street Food Alley, which served up Mexican, Malaysian, Spanish, Italian and Greek dishes.

More than 100 exhibitors attended the festival, showcasing a diverse range of goods from handcrafted pies, cakes and festive fancies to artisan gin, cider and whisky.

The fun took place in a giant marquee decorated with fairy lights and Christmas trees.

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Great British menu winner Aiden Byrne on stage in the Chef’s Theatre

Popular were workshops to make gingerbread men tree ornaments, cupcakes and mulberry puddings.

Gin tasting went down well, as did demos for stress-free cookery including tips on making the perfect turkey and goose.

Aiden Byrne gave his twist on the main event for a Christmas table – salted duck.

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Young visitors at the Reindeer Food Bar making pizzas

Children had messy fun making pizzas and decorating biscuits at the Reindeer Food Bar, and grown-ups had fun tasting wines in the Drinks Masterclasses.

The Gin Bar did brisk trade, and more than 8,000 samples were handed out to visitors keen to try Amarula liqueur made with a peach-like South African fruit.

More than 1,000 award-winning Cornish pasties were sold over the weekend, stilton and broccoli being a favourite, and Lancashire cheese firm Cheese is Grate sold out of a spreadable blue.

Other varieties including garlic and mango and ginger were big sellers.

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Cheese-lovers snapped up different varieties including a sell-out spreadable blue

Coffee-lovers had their pick of the best as did those whose tipple is something slightly stronger, with fine Scottish whisky and brandy on offer.

Interesting varieties of chorizo sausage, olives and chutneys saw visitors stock up for Christmas.

Foodies Festival organisers are now planning to return to Tatton in the summer.

Edinburgh-based director Sue Hitchen said: “We’ve been coming to Tatton for years, and this Christmas event saw ticket sales up by eight per cent, a new record.

“Visitors were keen to get into the festive spirit and came from across the north west.

“We take the festival up the down the country, but Tatton always proves to be a much-loved family destination.”

For the full programme of events for 2020 visit

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Manchester Voices led carol singing

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Samples of a South African liqueur went down well with thousands of visitors

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Interesting varieties of chorizo sausage including a best-selling hazelnut