Local Food News
Once again the food and drink traders are working hard to bring you excellent local food and drink. Enjoy several outings of street food, drinks tasters, food festivals and fairs, and cookery classes this April and support local small businesses in the process. Win, win.
After a successful Spring Market in March, Eat Street MK’s normal monthly street food event returns on 5th April. As usual it will run from 5 until 10pm at York House, Stony Stratford. Hot food vendors will be Good Times Cafe, OMG Burgers, Saf’s Kitchen, The Rub BBQ, Wood Fired Wonders and The Greek Street Food Co., with dessert available from La Crepe Franglaise. Drinks will be available from Pro Cocktails and MK Biergarten.
A new monthly street food event starts on 6th April at the King’s Arms in Newport Pagnell. The King’s Feast will run from 12-5pm and will include street food, live entertainment and good company. This month the food will be provided by Stu’s Oven, Kaur’s Spice, The Rub, Belistore, Sizzlers Street Food and Wilson’s.
Fans of vegan streetfood can get their monthly fix on 7th April at Craufurd Arms, Wolverton with Ramming It Down Your Throat. This event will run from 12-5pm and vendors include AVegetativeState, Veg’AN’ Love, Squirrel Hut, Vork pie and Lakeside Ethical Treats.
The Drink Shed Tasting Weekend will be held on the weekend 6-7th April, running 10am until 5pm and 11am until 4pm Saturday and Sunday. Find The Drink Shed at Cherry Lane Nursery in Potterspury and join them as they open up new products to try.
As the Easter holidays get under way, Chin’s Kitchen have Bake and Decorate Cupcakes workshops running on Wednesday 10th April 2019. There will be two workshops taking place on the same day – one from 10am until 12pm and the other 2-4pm and they are £15 per child.
Frosts Garden Centre at Woburn Sands have a number of foodie events on this April. Their Spring Afternoon Tea is available every day from now until 21st April between 2.30 and 3.30pm. Easter Egg decorating is running 9.45am until 12.45pm every day between 8th and 18th April and there is a Webber Barbeque Masterclass on 20th or 28th April for those wishing to polish their skills ahead of the summer barbeque season.
The Coldsmoking Cookery Courses running in April are Sausage Making on 5th, 11th, 18th, or 26th, Food Smoking on 6th, Charcuterie on 12th, Cheese making on 14th and Chocolate Making on 27th April.
On 13th April Abington Park Museum are holding a Spring Food Fair from 11am until 5pm. This is a free to enter event so pop along to discover new flavours and indulge in some tasty spring time treats.
Also on 13th April, Pecks Farm Shop, Leighton Buzzard are hosting a Cheese, Chocolate and Gin Tasting Day. In addition to large amounts of cheeses and bowls of divine chocolates to sample, there will be two local award winning gin producers.
Your next street food fix of the month comes on 19th April with Newport Pagnell Food Truck Friday. Catch the regulars Sizzlers Street Food, Eat is Greek and Taco Shack, along with new traders to this event, Hilltop Catering (Moroccan) and Chicken George (Fried Chicken). The event takes place in Queens Avenue carpark between 5 and 9pm.
People who enjoy their food hot and spicy may be interested
in a Chilli Inspired
Super Club on 25th April. This is a collaboration between Bedford’s very
own creator of the Bedford Banger Chilli Sauce Range, Chilli Pepper Perrett, and
Pavilion In The Park and runs from 7pm until 11pm. The menu includes a jalapeno
chicken starter, beef chilli main course, and dessert options with chilli in
too. A vegetarian menu is also available.
The Bedfordshire Food & Garden Festival returns on 27th and 28th April. Taking place at Herrings Green Farm, Wilstead, Bedford, the event combines delicious food, beautiful flowers and garden inspiration with the resident birds of prey. The event will run from 10am until 5pm on both days and the entrance fee will give access to all the usual birds of prey, flying displays and activity barn as well as to plenty of hot food vendors and traders selling plants, garden products and food and drink.
Rounding off the month is another opportunity to eat street food. On Sunday 28th April, MK11 are holding another Street Food Heaven between 12 and 5pm. This month the vendors are Sizzlers Street Food, Hilltop Catering, Belistore, Wilson’s Street Food and Bokkies. In addition, there will be live music, live sports and kids’ activities.
With the arrival of spring, the new selling season gets underway in earnest with street food events, markets and foodie courses to keep you busy this month. Let’s not forget that Pancake Day falls in March this year and at the end of the month mothers will be looking for some pampering and good food for Mother’s Day.
March kicks off with a Curry & Quiz Night
at 7pm on 2nd March at York House. Join the Riverside Parks Group to raise
funds for the Riverside Festival. Expect questions to challenge the best, great
food and entertainment throughout the night. Curry will be cooked by Saf’s
Kitchen and the bar will be open to help lubricate your brain. Tickets are £12.50
each and are available from Odells, York House or online at https://wegottickets.com/event/461803
Pancake Day this year falls on 5th March and once again the famous Pancake Day Race returns to Olney. The race takes place just before 12 noon and ahead of that the market place will be filled with a pre-race buzz and plenty of opportunities to tuck into pancakes.
On the 8th March, Bandit Street Food comes to MK Biergarten for the March edition of Street Food Friday. Also at the MK Biergarten this month, Oxford Brewery Tap Social will be taking over the taps on 1st March, the MK Bierclub on 11th March will be themed around Fruit Beers, and live music events will take place on 17th March for Saint Patrick’s Day, with Irish Hare and on 30th March with Rob Bray.
Following the success of last year’s event, the 10th March sees the return of Wolverton’s Second Annual Chilli Cook Off. Running between 12.30 and 5.30pm at the Bath House, this chilli cook off competition will include 3 categories: professional, including restaurants, street food traders and professional chefs, amateur, open to anyone not in the food business, and vegetarian, open to anyone. There will be trophies and cash prizes for the winner and the kudos of being the champ for the year. Refreshments will be provided by Bang Tidy Bars and Taco Shack will be serving up chilli from different states of America, from fiery 5 Alarm to Chilli Verde (green chicken). With tastings and games throughout the day, there will be something for all the family.
On 12th March there is Kids’ Pizza Making at The Betsey Wynne. It will run between 4 and 5pm and will offer the children a chance to make their own chef’s hat, roll their own dough, add toppings and have it cooked by the pizza chef in the woodfired oven. Suitable for children aged 5 to 12 and £9.95 per child. To book, ring 01296 720825.
The next Preserves Making Course at Coldsmoking Cookery School will run on 15th March between 9.30am and 2.30pm. Spend a morning learning the techniques behind the traditional methods of food preserving from award winning jam maker, Jam Moo Kow aka Hazel Roberts. Suitable for the absolute beginner or those who would like to refine their technique or attempt new recipes, this course covers jam and jelly making, chutney making and other preserving techniques. A light lunch will be provided by start-up business Scone Quest and will provide an opportunity to taste the preserves made on the course on delicious sweet and savoury handmade scones. By the end of the session you will have a selection of preserves to take home and you will feel enabled to continue making preserves in the future.
The March instalment of Food Truck Friday takes place in Newport Pagnell on 15th March between 5 and 9pm. Joining regulars Taco Shack, Eat Is Greek & Sizzlers Street Food will be Baja Cantina. Serving the traditional Canadian classic poutine – crisp fries topped with squeaky cheese curds and homemade gravy. Serving up hot drinks and dessert will be belistore. Their Madagascan vanilla infused hot chocolate topped with blow torch toasted marshmallow has been described as ‘the best in the country’ and their Belgian chocolate brownies, finished with popping candy, make customers repeatedly return for more.
This month’s Eat Street MK street food session is combined with other foodie stalls to make up the Eat Street Spring Market. Taking place on 16th March between 12 and 5pm at York House, Stony Stratford, the event offers street food, drink, music and stalls. Hot food will be on offer from Good Times Café, Baja Cantina, Little Oven of Joy, The Healthy Jamaican Kitchen and Soul Shack Chicks. Concrete Cow Brewery will be running a bar, and the artisan food stalls include Geoff’s Real Artisan Bakery, Open Air Foods, Jam Moo Kow, Fistful of Spice and The Chocolate Mill MK, with Outhouse by Hand selling handmade items in wood, Branch Out MK with local seasonal flowers/plants, Epitome Jewellery and The MOD Pod with Vinyl & music related items.
Nonna’s in Woburn Sand will be holding a mini Street Food Fest on 23rd and 24th March. They recommend that you wrap up and warm your bellies with some of the best, new exciting food stalls, German style beer tent and awesome entertainment. Confirmed vendors include Good Times Cafe UK and La Crêpe Franglaise all weekend and Baja Cantina, AVegetativeState and The Rub – Wood Smoked BBQ on Sunday only.
On 23rd March the Great Brickhill Gardening Club will be holding a local produce market at the Old Red Lion, Great Brickhill event. The event will run from 10am until 1pm and will include 10 local producers set up at the rear of the pub in their garden area. A variety of local crafts, gardening products and foodie sellers will be there including Jam Moo Kow’s locally grown and made jams, chutneys, marmalades and curds, Kaur Spice’s spice blends, Three Locks Farm with locally reared meat, honey and eggs and Willow Tree Distillery’s locally distilled gin.
Finishing off the month will be a new event from MK1 – Street Food Heaven. The live sports venue will be bringing you the finest street food vendors, live musicians and live sports on their numerous screens between 12 and 5pm on 31st March. Street food will be on offer from Sizzlers Street Food (Burgers), Kaur’s Spice (Authentic Indian Cuisine), Stu’s Oven (Wood Fired Pizza), Crumb De La Crėme (Desserts and Cakes) and Baja Cantina (Poutines and Fries).
Don’t forget that Mother’s Day falls on 31st March this year so keep an eye out for local cafes and independent restaurants offering deals on afternoon tea and Sunday lunches – there are plenty of places out there advertising their special menus and deals!
As usual, the farmers markets will be running this month and here are the dates:
Sunday 3rd – Olney
Sunday 3rd – Winslow
Saturday 2nd and 16th – Wolverton
Friday 22nd – Newport Pagnell
Saturday 16th – Leighton Buzzard
Sunday 17th – Woburn
Friday 22nd – Stony Stratford You can keep up to date with all the latest news in the local food scene by liking our facebook page at Artisan MK Food & Drink. We also have an email list so that we can directly email food producers and interested customers to let them know about upcoming food events that we hear about so please send us a message via facebook to let us know if you would like to join our mailing list. If you would like your event to get a mention in future editions of the blog, just email with the details.
With February kicking off with snowy conditions, it can be tempting to stay indoors but there are plenty of reasons to go out this month and you will always receive a warm welcome from the local food and drink businesses.
Starting on 1st February and running all weekend, The Drinks Shed are open for a Tasting Weekend . Find them at Cherry Lane Garden Centre, Potterspury and enjoy sampling before you buy. You can expect to find a selection of their gins open with recommended mixers and ways to enjoy as a simple cocktail. They will also be popping the cork on a selection of wine and fizz so you can find yourself the perfect accompaniment to your stay-at-home Valentine’s romantic dinner. In addition, Tim from Chafor Wine Estate will be present on Saturday 2nd Feb, giving out samples and telling you all about his local vineyard and the exquisite wines he produces.
With Valentine’s in mind, you will also find The Chocolate Mill MK at The Drinks Shed on Friday and Saturday with a selection of their special Valentine’s chocolates for you to buy. If you can’t get there in person then you can always order them online from their website. However, if you are considering really going the extra mile and fancy hand making your sweetheart some chocolates this year, then you can book yourself onto their Chocolate Making Workshop on 3rd February at Coldsmoking Cookery School, Great Linford.
Saf’Tastic Friday Curry Night returns on 1st February. If you have missed out on placing your orders for this month’s edition, look out for it returning soon or if you fancy learning how to make authentic curry yourself then Saf has a couple of beginner’s cookery classes on 23rd and 24th February at Cruck Barn, Bradwell Abbey. Book yourself a place now.
The outdoor market at Odell’s Yard returns on 2nd February after a short winter break. Pop along from 9am to shop from Open Air Foods with their fantastic selection of Cheese & Olives; Moorgate Farm with fresh, local vegetables; Kaur’s Spice with a delightful range of spice blends and Indian cooking advice and Anna’s Card Box with Flamingo Paperie Cards.
A new free 6 week cookery course starts on 5th February, run by MK Community Fridge. The Cookalong For Parents & Kids will be held at the Bath House, Wolverton on a Tuesday evening between 4-6.30pm.
Following the success of the community fridge at The Bath House in Wolverton another fridge is now open in the south of the city. Woughton community fridge opened in November 2018 at the Community Council Hub in Coffee Hall local centre and is open Mon 6-7, Tues 12-1, Wed 3,30 – 4.30 and Fri 9-10. They have a throughput of around 120 -130 kg of food per week from Costco via a Church group and from a Tesco store. All the food collected is redistributed within about half an hour, mostly to local people. It is a parish council initiative aimed particularly at local residents and is proving a good way to build community engagement. Another fridge is planned to open shortly in The Chapel, Broadlands, Netherfield. Daisychain Children’s centre in Bletchley also have a community fridge and Great Linford Parish are working on opening a community fridge in Great Linford soon.
This month’s Bierclub at The MK Biergarten takes place on 11th February and this month offers the opportunity for dark beer tasting. On the menu will be stouts, porters, imperial dark goodies and black IPAs, including some special editions and rarities as well as some old favourites.
Of course, 14th February is Valentine’s Day so look out for special events and menus being offered by local cafes, restaurants and pubs. At Café Ole they are running a special meal and music night. Enjoy a live performance by Jack Randle, the sound of Sinatra whilst you enjoy a special meal for two tapa sharing menu. To check the menu and book your table, please follow this link https://oletapasbar.co.uk/promo/val.html. Early booking recommended.
If you have been missing your fix of the local street food during the winter then you’ll be pleased to hear that, due to popular demand, Newport Pagnell Street Food are returning in February. Catch them in Newport Pagnell High Street on 15th February then every third Friday of the month after that. This month the food vendors will be Taco Shack, Sizzlers, Eat is Greek, The Little Oven of Joy and Waffles on Wheels.
The 11th Annual Bletchley Seed Swap takes place at Freeman Church between 10am and 2pm on 16th February. If you have every fancied growing your own food this is an excellent place to start as they have a range of interesting seed varieties available and plenty of gardening advice too. You can even learn how to use food waste in a wormery to make compost for your garden. Home made cakes and light lunches will also be available to purchase at the event.
The Buckingham Food Fair Takes place on 23rd February between 10am and 3pm in The Buckingham Centre, Buckingham. This year the stallholders include: Lola’s Ices, Modern Foodie, Baja Cantina, Replete Flatbread, Geoff’s – Real Artisan Bread, Crumb De La Creme, Milton Keynes Cup Cakery, Springfield Kitchen, Indian Orchard, Towcester Mill Brewery, Kaurs Spices, Reason To Season, Buckingham Fairtrade, Cindy’s Kitchen UK, MK Food Distribution and Elaine Goss.
As usual, the farmers markets will be running this month and here are the dates:
Sunday 3rd – Olney
Sunday 3rd – Winslow
Saturday 2nd and 16th – Wolverton
Friday 22nd – Newport Pagnell
Saturday 16th – Leighton Buzzard
Sunday 17th – Woburn
Friday 22nd – Stony Stratford
You can keep up to date with all the latest news in the local food scene by liking our facebook page at Artisan MK Food & Drink. We also have an email list so that we can directly email food producers and interested customers to let them know about upcoming food events that we hear about so please send us a message via facebook to let us know if you would like to join our mailing list. If you would like your event to get a mention in future editions of the blog, just email with the details.
The New Year always brings with it a feeling of making a fresh start and doing things better or differently in the year ahead. Milton Keynes now has a vibrant and well-established independent food and drink scene and there promises to be a whole host of amazing markets and events once again in 2019 so why not make a resolution to shop local and support small businesses this year.
There are an impressive seven farmers markets that happen locally every month. Olney and Winslow are on the first Sunday of every month. Wolverton takes place on both the first and third Saturday of every month. Stony Stratford is on the last Friday of every month and Newport Pagnell is the third Friday. Woburn pops up on the third Sunday of every month and Leighton Buzzard happens on the third Saturday. The hardy farmer market stallholders will be out during January so come along and support them straight away and start 2019 they way you mean to go on.
In addition to these, a handful of local foodies can be found every Saturday in Odell’s Yard in Stony Stratford and every Friday there is a community market in the Old Bath House in Wolverton which offers a good range of local crafts and handmade foods. If getting things delivered is more convenient for you then both Riverford Veg and Moorgate Farm have veg box delivery services that run all year, with fruit and vegetables changing with the seasons.
The Old Bath House is also the location of the Wolverton Community Fridge and this is an excellent place to take unwanted food or to pick up food donated by shops and others. They hold a café every Thursday, using their donated food and all the food on offer is free, regardless of your circumstances. From January through to March, they are also hosting a number of free cookery workshops for secondary school aged teenagers. These take place on Friday afternoons from 4pm and all the ingredients are provided free too. Places do, however, need to be booked in advance. Look out for other community fridges popping up in 2019, including one in Great Linford.
Fans of street food can look forward to enjoying more regular events during 2019 too. Eat Street MK returns in March and then takes place on the 1stFriday of every month at York House, Stony Stratford. And Newport Pagnell Streetfood organise events on the third Friday of the month to raise funds for their big event and fireworks in November. If you can’t wait that long for a street food fix then Good Times Café will be in Market Square in Stony Stratford on 1st January at the Vintage Car event and MK Biergarten are continuing their monthly Street Food Friday events, with the January edition taking place on 11th January (6-9pm) with Little Oven of Joy serving pizzas.
If you enjoy a tipple, then you will be sure to enjoy the annual beer festivals and the cider and sausage festivals that take place locally every summer. The MK Biergarten hold a monthly Bierclub and in January this takes place on 14thJanuary, taking New Zealand as the theme for the choice of 6 beer tasters and paired snacks. Between 18 and 20th January, the MK Biergarten will also be hosting a mini festival of local and craft cask beers so pop along to enjoy CaskFest.
Wharf distillery is one to watch for all things related to spirits. Having recently closed their shop at Wakefield Courtyard, they have relocated their alcoholic beverages to The Drinks Shed at Cherry Lane Nursery, Potterspury. During January, CAMRA are promoting Tryanuary, to encourage people to try different beers and to reflect this, there will be over 50 different beers available at The Drinks Shed during January, with tasters available. They are also running a promotion called “Drink Ginuary Dry”, with 10% off any bottle of dry gin. Starting in March, they will be running a Gin School and they are now accepting bookings for this at their online store.
There are annual events that are worth noting down in your fresh new diary. The Olney Pancake Day Race happens on Shrove Tuesday and in March local cafes will be offering Mother’s Day afternoon tea specials. For Easter, why not make a break from the supermarket eggs and support a local chocolatier such as The Chocolate Mill MK or Petite Cherie.
Stand out food festivals to catch in 2019 will be Althorp Food & Drink Festival in May, Frosts Food Festival in August, the MKFoodFest in September, the Northampton Winter Food Festival in November and Dickens of a Christmas in December. And don’t forget the Apple Day events that take place in October too.
Meanwhile, as most of the local traders recover from a hectic run up to Christmas, there are a few events taking place during January to keep you amused or to educate you.
On 5th January, the Mid Shires Orchard Group invite you to the Woughton Winter Wassail from 1.30 to 4.00pm at Woughton Orchard. Bring the family and join them for their traditional New Year celebration, to wish good health for the orchards, wealth for the community and a bountiful fruit harvest. Bring musical instruments, pans and spoons, whistles or anything noisy! Help to make a jolly din to chase away pesky spirits as you process round the fruit trees, then fete the decorated ‘King and Queen of the Orchard’ and sing the traditional Wassail songs. Enjoy orchard-themed refreshments and a winter wander around the fruit trees to finish. Free entry but donations welcomed towards refreshments.
Those taking part in Veganuary may wish to know that the Veganuary Edition of Ramming it Down Your Throats takes place at the Craufurd Arms, Wolverton, on 6th January between 12-5pm. Vegan food will be available from AVegetative State, Minkiemoo Bakery, Vego and Aunt Norma. On 27th January there is a Winter Vegan Fair at Hanslope Village Hall between 11am and 4pm, providing another opportunity to buy vegan food and goods.
If you are looking to take part in a new kind of local dining experience in 2019 then visit www.noidining.com. NOI, meaning ‘us’ in Italian, is a social dining platform that lists local in-home restaurants together in one place. NOI gives hosts a chance to make an additional income from home, whilst sharing the food they love with paying guests. Think of them as the Airbnb for food! If you would like to get involved and become a host (or know of someone who might), then please drop them a line, they’d love to hear from you.
Food courses during January include Charcuterie Making and Sausage Making at Coldsmoking Cookery School, Afternoon Tea Pastries at Claire Clark Academy, and Indian Cuisine with Saf’s Kitchen. Take a look soon before they get fully booked.
So get yourself organised, make a plan and enjoy amazing local food and drink events throughout 2019.