One of the UK’s largest free food and drink festivals will cook up a storm with the addition of a new exhibition area at the event.

Foodie fever will spill into the town centre throughout the weekend of the two day event, with nine independent and national chain stores getting in on the action to provide a fringe-style event with Q and A sessions, food sampling, freebies and discounts.

Town centre retailers and restaurateurs will be serving up a treat in Regent Court as part of the annual Royal Leamington Spa Food and Drink Festival, which takes place in the Royal Pump Room Gardens on September 10 and 11.

Businesses involved include Turtle Bay, Gusto, Rosie’s Tea Room, LK Bennett, Gourmet Burger Kitchen, Prezzo, Lille Perle and Jaeger, with entertainment provided by jazz band, the Sheila Fawkes quintet, who will be performing live.

Warwickshire food blogger and journalist Ellen Manning, of Eat With Ellen, will also join the line up to host a live Q and A session with local chefs in Regent Court. Ellen regularly reviews eateries across the region and will be offering her best culinary tips and advice on both Saturday, 10, and Sunday, September 11.

Stephanie Kerr, executive director of BID Leamington which organises the festival, said: “After nine years, the Food and Drink Festival is seen as a highlight in the town’s event calendar and we know thousands of people visit from all over the country.

“With so many visitors in the town centre it is great to be able to show off our fabulous food and drink offer to the fullest, so we are very pleased to have the Regent Court businesses supporting our first ever ‘Fringe Food Fest’.

“This year we have over 50 town centre businesses involved – be it on stalls, demonstrating on the Live Kitchen, judging competitions or offering tasters, so there is going to be something for everyone.”

Visitors to this year’s festival can expect to sample exotic cuisines from more than 150 exhibitors, ranging from Italian breads and pastries to Indian street food, Zimbabwean preserves, alcoholic liqueurs and healthy smoothies.

A host of other activities will also take place in the Pump Room Gardens, which Stephanie said will make for an exciting programme of demonstrations, cooking and baking competitions, live music and entertainment.

She added: “As with every year, we will be hosting a number of popular activities in addition to the many delicious eateries exhibiting.

“Action over the course of the weekend will include the return of the Great Leamington Bake Off, which invites bakers to enter cakes and have them judged by the town’s best local chefs, as well as the Home Cook Of The Year competition.

“Organised by Leamington butcher’s Aubrey Allen, it’s been running since 2014 and will judge entrants on a three course cooking challenge, with the winner being crowned Leamington’s finest amateur chef.

“This year’s festival will also see children encouraged to get involved, with a kid’s cookery school hosted by Gusto Restaurant, Nandos, Pizza Express and Yo! Sushi.”

For more information on the fringe event in Regent Court and to find out what offers are available, visit