Brecks Food & Drink Festival


2015 programme of events....

The Brecks Food & Drink Festival, 2015

The ‘Swaffham Market 800 Project’ is a Programme of Events scheduled during the summer and autumn of 2015 which will celebrate the 800th Anniversary of the town’s renowned Saturday market, an important food trading venue for the last 800 years. The Project has gained the backing of the Heritage Lottery Fund.


The centrepiece will be a Celebratory Weekend July 18/19th featuring re-enactment company Black Knight Historical who will take the town back to 1215 with a Medieval Encampment based on the Campingland featuring an array of exciting interactive attractions. These attractions will include: a medieval market, pottery, costume design, archery displays, have-a-go archery, fire eaters, battles, minstrels, knights and ladies on horseback, roving story tellers and much, much more! Re-enactments of the signing of the Market Charter and the Magna Carta will occur on a stage under the Buttercross. Entertainment and activities will also be taking place in the Market Place, including live music, visual entertainment and a Hog Roast.
Also linked to Norfolk Food and Drink, and as part of the Brecks Food Festival, a weekend of markets will take place on September 18/19/20th. On the Saturday, a workshop is a planned where chefs from local pubs and restaurants will create dishes using produce from the market stalls. On the Sunday, renowned Norfolk chef Mary Kemp will run a workshop demonstrating how to make local dishes showing how recipes and food preparation have evolved through the ages with a food historian.
The Museum will run fun workshops for children so they can learn about how market trading has changed over the years. The weekend will be preceded by a celebratory dinner at West Lexham Hall.
A series of Talks and Films will be staged at the Green Britain Centre and the Community Centre during July and August.
Educational activities are taking place in local schools enabling young people to learn about markets and trading.
Local organisations are planning to run events including: Swaffham-themed Quiz Nights, historical dress making, art competitions, the launch of a Swaffham Market 800 ale, a celebratory church service and a re-enactment of the ancient game of ‘Camping Kick’ on the Campingland. 

 ‘THE BIG ONION’, Elveden, part of Thetford's Great Festival

TASTE delicious food and drink from lots of local companies. LEARN about onions from the UK's leading onion grower.  LISTEN to great music all afternoon. WATCH demos from top local chefs.  Elveden is the UK's largest lowland arable in-hand farm growing around 25,000 tonnes of onions each year, which is around 6% of the UK total crop! Find out more about the farm at the festival!

Call 01842 898068 (Visitors)   01842 898055 (Exhibitors)


The Brecks Food Festival week at Broom Hall starts with cream tea on the terrace looking out across the gardens. During the week there will be a Food Festival Lunch for Pensioners and Friday evening is ‘Festival Pie Night’.  Broom Hall is a charmingly peaceful hotel on the edge of the Brecks where good locally produced food is a priority.

Swaffham Food & Drink Festival 2015

The first Brecks Food & Drink Festival was spearheaded in Swaffham in 2011 by a community partnership of Swaffham Tourism Association, the Brecks Partnership, City & Country Farmers Markets, Swaffham Town Council, the Iceni Partnership, Swaffham Newsletter, Swaffham Business Forum, Beachamwell WI, Swaffham Sacred Heart School, Strattons Hotel, the Green Britain Centre and Breckland Council. Due to its outstanding success it has taken place each year thereafter and is part of the county wide Norfolk Food & Drink Festival, now in its 10th year-the largest festival of this kind in the country. 
This year’s flagship weekend will be held on 18th, 19th and 20th September and is a wonderful celebration of local food and drink and the amazing countryside of the Brecks showcasing everything local from the humble potato to the delicate flavours of the macaron, from local cheeses to chilled ales and from game to garden produce. Local restaurants, attractions, retailers and schools come together in the Brecks as part of the increasingly popular month long Norfolk Food & Drink Festival.
The festival’s ethos includes reducing food miles and packaging, maintaining local varieties; some of which over time have become specially adapted to local conditions and recognising the contribution that food production can make to the countryside is good fun and will bring benefits to us all. Many of us have lost the connection between what we enjoy on our plate and what we value in our surrounding countryside. By re-connecting us to our surroundings we can better understand the impact that the vital necessities of food and drink can make to the countryside we see around us. 

11th September, Strattons Hotel, Swaffham
The Great Brecks Bake Off in Swaffham

Enter an 8" round or square decorated cake, using at least 4 local ingredients, there is an abundance of fruit and vegetable opportunities, also local flour, honey, eggs and dairy.  Featuring our own Paul Hollywood! Three classes open to enter, details from Vanessa Scott M:07500003316
& Lilac Afternoon tea with Defra Minister Elizabethe Truss, Strattons Hotel

Saturday 12th September
10-4pm The Green Britain Centre ‘Apple & Orchard Fun Day’

Join us at The Green Britain Centre for our annual fun ‘Apple Day’.  Explore our popular Heritage Orchard and Organic Gardens. Find out more about growing food organically, wildlife gardening, composting and heritage fruit, all in a fun way. We will be holding free children’s ‘Apple Pie’ master classes - make your own apple pie and enjoy eating this in the organic garden or take it home to share! Apples are provided from the centres own Heritage Orchard, taken from many of the 63 types of Old Norfolk apples and pears.
Children’s garden trails and games with food themes. Enjoy a snack or meal in the Orchard Café - a good range of homemade vegetarian food including produce grown in the Green Britain Centre organic vegetable garden-fresh and very local! Try our homemade apple-themed dessert menu too!
‘Meet the apple expert’ – get your own apples identified – bring your apple (and a few leaves and small branch if possible).
Sample local honey made by local bees, including from our own gardens!
Take a tour of the worlds’ only wind turbine open to the public to climb. Get a great aerial view from the top of the EcoTricity turbine over the Green Britain Centre gardens and orchard. Booking recommended.
ENTRY FREE to the centre and gardens.  A charge applies for the turbine tours - health & safety conditions apply.  Details and tour bookings 01760 726100

Thursday 17th September

800 year themed celebration dinner at West Lexham Hall with Flying Kiwi Chef Chris Coubrough
Celebrating the 800th year anniversary of Swaffham’s charter, a celebratory dinner is taking place by kind permission of Mr Ed Colville. TV chef Chris will be using traditional Breckland ingredients but giving a contemporary twist. Tickets £40, available from Strattons Hotel, 01760 723845

FRIDAY 18TH SEPTEMBER Festival of Markets Weekend, Swaffham
Swaffham Food Festival Indoor Market

A market of local traders, producers and artists. If you would like to take a stall to sell eggs, vegetables or other fresh produce please contact organiser Maureen Rutland 01760 725499.
Judging the best dressed window competition, Swaffham
Shops within the town of Swaffham have been marking the food festival month with window displays themed on farming, food and countryside. The annual window competition will be judged by the Swaffham town deputy mayor and receive the best dressed window competition cup which they will keep for a year. The competition is organised by Swaffham Business Forum, last year’s winner was The Green Parrot.
11am Harvest Festival at St Peter & Pauls Church, Swaffham
A celebration of the harvest in the Brecks where local school children from the Convent of the Sacred Heart will bring food baskets that will be sold off over the ‘Brecks Food & Drink Festival’ weekend to raise money for local charities the Home Hospice and St Peter & Paul’s restoration fund. At this special celebration local rare breed farmers Rob & Sarah Simmonds will be within the churchyard with their very special pigs and farmers Nick and Susie Emmett from Oxborough will join them with some of their sheep and a sheepdog.

The traditional Saturday Market, Swaffham Market Place-Swaffham Town Council

‘Markets have been a part of rural life for centuries’
The traditional 800 year old Saturday market will be held during the day. The Food Festival Saturday market will be enhanced with bespoke bunting created by Beachamwell Women’s Institute. Half a kilometre of bunting started as a project for the inaugural Brecks Food Festival and has grown to a whole kilometre!
The granting of a charter for a market in 1215 was very important for the people of Swaffham and surrounding parishes.  The large area in the centre of the town lent itself to a regular market and 3 large annual fairs for the sale of sheep, cattle and other livestock
also Mary Kemp Cookery Theatre with local chefs cooking market produce dishes

SUNDAY 20TH SEPTEMBER in Swaffham organised by Swaffham Town Council
All Day Brecks Food Festival Farmers Market, Swaffham Mkt Place

Local foods from around the Brecks celebrating “Farming, Food and Countryside”
The distinguished annual farmers market promotes regional agriculture; goods on sale have been grown, reared or made by the stallholders themselves.  Craftsmen and craftswomen also sell their unique wares, all of which have been handmade by the stallholders.
There will be a variety of stalls selling items including cheese, pies, olives, savoury and sweet pastries, preserves and plants, herbs (in pots), vegetables, fruit,  flower and herb seedlings, recipe books, willow sculptures/structures, wooden planters, herb pillows, herbal teas, jams and chutneys, meat, juice, alcohol and more.  There will be music and refreshments a small eating area for tired feet and swingboats rides for children.
Mary Kemp Cookery Theatre with food historian celebrating Brecks food & drink
Sacred Heart School Harvest Festival produce baskets
The very popular stall of fabulous harvest festival baskets from the gardens and homes of Sacred Heart students will be in the Farmers Market again .  All proceeds from this stall will go to the local home hospice charity and St Peter and Paul’s restoration fund. 
Swaffham Market rental rates for traders are highly competitive and include a discount system for regular traders and an incentive scheme for those wishing to trade at the Swaffham Food Festival.  Anyone interested in booking a stall or finding out more information can contact Sara Porter, Assistant Town Clerk, Swaffham Town Council, Town Hall, 4 London Street, Swaffham, PE37 7DQ.  Telephone: 01760 722922, Email:, Twitter @SwaffhamMarket.

Street Theatre

Street theatre with Sally North & Nelly; a unique take on bygone times and rural life. Sally is a well
known local figure who has also toured schools with her music and drama productions for over 30 years.

International Food Day, Assembly Rooms, Swaffham in conjunction with the Farmers Market (2pm to 5pm), organised by the Iceni partnership

An event with a selection of food and drink from around the world with entertainment including music and dance and something special for the children. No need to book, come along to taste a range of cuisine from the home countries of some of our town's diverse residents.

A Taste of Wayland Food Festival September at College Farm Thompson, College Farm, Thompson, Thetford, Norfolk, IP24 1QG phone: 01953 483318
College Farm is a recently refurbished Grade II* listed building built as a college for priests in 1349 by Katharine’s ancestors. Again Katharine Wolstenholme will be offering supper each night cooked with ingredients that have not travelled more than 5 miles – for example venison from her garden and pork from their own pigs reared on the farm. 
On Saturday September 5th Katharine will be offering her famous and home produced cream teas and on Sunday 6th there will be a lunch party –known locally as Lavender’s Lunch - in the garden with food prepared by Katharine and villagers (again all with local ingredients) with donations to the local parish church.

Oxburgh Hall Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th September

Local themed menu, featuring local suppliers including the Large Black Pigs farmed next to the hall  
Oxborough, Norfolk, PE33 9PS Tel: 01366 328258

Throughout September Greenbanks will be featuring local ingredients on all menus

Sample cheeses, game, handmade sausages and wonderful Brecks beers, all alive with flavour! Greenbanks Hotel, Main Road, Great Fransham, Norfolk, NR19 2NA
Tel: 01362 687 742    ‎



Places to Stay

Spoilt for choice, in and around Swaffham has a great choice of accommodation!

Places to Eat

Something for all, a great selection of restaurants, pubs, cafes and takeaway's!


Lots of possibilities, Indoors, outdoors, cultural, athletic, and extreme!


All year round, daily, weekly, and monthly!

Contact Us

Telephone: 01760 722255

Reference Links

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