Bolton Food and Drink Festival 2017

After success in previous years, the Bolton Food and Drink Festival was back for 2017 and was better than ever!

The festival takes place each year within several venues close to the town centre and has so much on offer.

With a seemingly never ending food and drink market there was so much choice when it came down to deciding what to have for lunch. The olive stalls, hand made desserts, noodles, pies, cider, wine… almost everything you could think of was on offer.

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Highlights from this year included:

Mad Hatter’s Tea Party

A fantastic interactive experience complete with a picnic fit for a Mad Hatter.

Children watched a lively Alice in Wonderland musical performance by Bolton Octagon Theatre, took part in fun craft activities, played croquet with the Red Queen, shared a snack with Alice and sipped tea with the March Hare. Each child also received a picnic containing goodies from Slattery, Carrs Pasties and Aldi.

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At just £5 per child I thought it sounded like excellent value! I was able to access the tea party before the guests arrived and take some photos of the setting. It was truly marvellous to see the huge effort that had gone into this part of the festival.

The highlight of the scene though had to be the magnificent cake! If I hadn’t seen it for myself I’d never have believed it was a cake.

All aboard for platform 50!

The Octagon is turned its theatre into a magical train platform for this year’s festival. Entry was free and there was a train, lots of railway-themed stories, and activities for all the family including face-painting and interactive songs.

The Main Auditorium served as Platform 50, with the bar will being transformed into a Lost Property Office, and the Studio will became a stop at Ancient Egypt, with sand and the Nile.

Photo courtesy of

To celebrate the new Eternal Egypt gallery which is being installed in Bolton Museum, Ancient Egypt was also one of the destinations at the Octagon.

Bolton Library and Museum Services provided a River Nile for visitors to paddle in and a desert with real sand. Visitors could uncover hieroglyphics, build their own pyramids and take a selfie with Tutunkhamun!

The Peter Rabbit experience

An interactive experience with storytelling from Peter Rabbit, food tasting from Mr McGregor’s garden, and singalongs. There was an opportunity to take a selfie with Peter Rabbit at the end of the experience too, just as Red Rose Mummy’s children did!

On the Sunday my mum attended the Slattery’s Afternoon Tea with Ainsley Harriott – read about how it went here.


  1. It sounds like great family fun for the school holidays! Definitely something a bit different, with amazing food to boot. That cake looks absolutely amazing!

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