Foodies Lounge

The Foodies Lounge is the place to be if you want to learn new things about food and drink, and try some tasty samples!

Throughout the weekend, there will be a series of foodie talks in our Foodies Lounge, where you can, hopefully, learn some new things about food and drink.

They will led by local food heroes and are meant to be both informative and fun. There will also be some free samples!

Our speakers are:

Laurence Conisbee, Wharf Distillery

Drinks entrepreneur Laurence began distilling in 2011 – the same year his flagship cider became a CAMRA Champion cider. He started off – naturally – with apple brandy but his still now produces a full pantechnicon of spirits - rum, whisky, even beetroot vodka.

Laurence recently took over Wakefield Estate farm shop in Potterspury where he sells his fine liquor along with a host of other goodies. He is turning the shop into a must for foodies with tastings and pop-up dining events.

Laurence will be Talking Spirits, revealing the tricks of the distillers’ trade and his penchant for using unusual ingredients to make hooch.

Richard Mawby, Forage Frolics

Richard is a self-taught forager. He lives off raw milk and the wild plants he finds while out foraging. Dandelions, clover, daisies, thistles and nettles – the kind of things the most of us regard as weeds, Richard regards as staples.

He runs foraging workshops in a private nature reserve in South Northants and hopes to lead a foraging walk around the racecourse after his talk. Richard will be Talking Foraging.

David Baker, Onley Grounds Farm Shop

David is an award winning butcher and part of a fabled farming family. On each day of the festival, he will run his Steak School in the Foodies Lounge.

He will butcher a so-called roasting – the part of the beast that runs from the fore-rib to the rump and includes every well-known steak – rib-eye, sirloin, fillet and rump.

As he goes, he will explain what gives each piece of meat its characteristic texture and flavour and tell you what you should be looking for when you shop for beef.

 Butchers' Guide

John Evans, Towcester Mill Brewery

The son of a brewer, John is one third of the triumvirate who launched Towcester Mill to the rapture of local drinkers.

The tap room has six real ales and as many real ciders on the go at any one time. Not that John manages to sample much – he has to drive home to Northampton.

John will be Talking Beer, revealing the different characteristics malts add to ale, with samples of the Mill’s best-selling beers Black Fire, Mill Race and Bellringer.

Phil Saxby, Saxby’s Cider

A local farmer and scion of the Saxby’s pork pie dynasty, Phil is the man putting Northamptonshire on the cider-making map. 

From small beginnings, Phil now makes a range of award-winning ciders, including a rhubarb version which may not be for the purists, but is heaven on earth to the rest of us. 

Phil will be Talking Apples, revealing the varieties of apples he uses and their individual and very different qualities, along with apple tasters to bring the flavours to life.

Phil Saxby

Hanna Sillitoe,

Hanna suffered for years with a painful skin condition for which doctors said there was no cure. After nearly 20 years of suffering with hot, scaly, angry, blotches all over body, she decided to change her diet.

Within two months, the rash had completely disappeared and she has gone on to write a best-selling book ‘Radiant’, which features a range of skin-friendly recipes. Hanna will talk about her journey in the Foodies Lounge on Sunday and will also demonstrate one of her recipes on the chef demo stage.

Bill Hulme, Fleurfields Vineyards

Bill is a rarity – a wine-maker in Northamptonshire, and an award-winning one at that. He grows his grapes in Brixworth, in a vineyard which overlooks Pitsford Reservoir.

Bill will be Talking Wine, how to grow grapes and the secret to making stuff that is good quality.



11am                  Richard Mawby – Talking Foraging

11.45am             Phil Saxby – Talking Apples

12.30pm             David Baker – Steak School

1.15pm                John Evans – Talking Beer

2pm                     Laurence Conisbee – Talking Spirits

2.45pm                Gary Bradshaw – Talking Cheese

3.30pm                Bill Hulme – Talking Wine


11am                     Richard Mawby – Talking Foraging

11.45am               Phil Saxby – Talking Apples

12.30pm               David Baker – Steak School

1.15pm                 Hanna Sillitoe – Being ‘Radiant’

2pm                      Laurence Conisbee – Talking Spirits

2.45pm                Gary Bradshaw – Talking Cheese

3.30pm                Bill Hulme – Talking Wine

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