Tasty treats in store as festival heads back to Whitley Bay

Alyson Archer, of Simply Cheesecake, who will be among those at The Proper Food and Drink Festival in Whitley Bay.
Alyson Archer, of Simply Cheesecake, who will be among those at The Proper Food and Drink Festival in Whitley Bay.

Thousands of people are expected to descend on Whitley Bay for a popular festival.

Tasty treats are in store at The Proper Food and Drink Festival, which will take place on the Spanish City Plaza from 10am to 5pm on Saturday and Sunday.

On offer will be the best in local produce from dozens of stalls, with drinks and freshly cooked food taking their inspiration from all corners of the globe.

Mark Deakin, organiser, said: “It’s a perfect spot. Have a walk along the new prom and come and see us.

“We’re particularly looking forward to seeing lots of dads on Father’s Day.”

The Proper Food Festival has already visited North and South Shields this year, attracting a record number of people.

Each weekend provides a showcase for north east producers, whether they are brewers, butchers, distillers, bakers or chefs.

Mark said: “Some of them have been at every event we’ve had, but there is always somebody new as well.”

Making a return is Alyson Archer, a former manager with Greggs, who started Simply Cheesecake five years ago. What began as a hobby is now a full-time job, based at the Team Valley and offering 200 different types of cheesecake.

Visitors to this year’s festivals will notice an absence of plastic. There are no single-use straws and all suppliers are being encouraged to use containers and packaging that can be recycled.

There is also a chance to win a five-star London break provided by Smooth Radio.

It is offering a weekend for two in London, staying at the five star Renaissance Hotel, with dinner at Jamie Oliver’s 15 restaurant.

“People who come to our events know that music is very much part of what we provide so Smooth is the perfect partner for us,” said Mark.

After Whitley Bay, there are two more Proper Food and Drink Festivals this summer: Cramlington on July 28 and 29, and Blyth on August 11 and 12.

Mark and his wife Shelley also run the North East Chilli Fest, which this year has a new home at Meggies Burn Fields at South Beach in Blyth, and The Great North Feast, which returns to South Shields over the August Bank Holiday weekend.