Preview: Wells Food Festival

by Dan Izzard

15 August 2017

Talks not to miss this weekend at Wells Food Festival


Wells Food Festival has teamed up with Wells Cathedral providing three talks which include a 30 minute tour of Wells Cathedral. One of the Cathedral’s knowledgeable guides will bring to life stories and customs over centuries of history reflected in representations of food and drink in the medieval stone carvings and stained glass.

It will include a sampling session in the Vicars’ Hall, the original dining hall for the men of the Cathedral Choir, almost unchanged since the mid-14th century and not normally open to public

The three talks are:

11.30am: Christopher Somerville, Walking Correspondent of The Times

Christopher will follow his taste-buds around the Mendip Hills and adjacent lands in a talk entitled ‘Ales, Trails and Snails’. He is a firm believer that “walkers, like armies, march on their stomachs, and a walk without a pub is like a kiss without a squeeze.”

1pm: Kate Lynch, local artist and social historian

Kate has spent nearly twenty years painting, drawing and interviewing Somerset farmers, largely on the Levels, culminating in her celebratory book, ‘FARM’.

Kate will talk about the characters she has met and their history, illustrating her talk with paintings, drawings and sound recordings.

2pm: Cider tasting tour of the UK with Bob Chaplin

Local cider consultant, Bob has worked in the cider industry for 45 years.

Bob has selected seven ciders from six counties in the south of England for guests to taste. He will explain how the differences in taste are influenced by the apples and the cider makers’ ideas, methods and beliefs. “I will start and finish the journey in Somerset, the home of cider making!”

Tickets for the talks and Cathedral tour are £6 from


There is also a visit at the festival from William Sitwell, one of Britain's foremost food writers and a familiar face on BBC's Masterchef.

At 12pm in the Undercroft at The Bishop’s Palace, William will give a talk on the subject of his book, ‘Eggs or Anarchy’. It reveals the remarkable tale of how Lord Woolton, Minister for Food, fed the people of Britain during the trying times of the Second World War.

William’s talk will include a tasting of Woolton Pie, recreated for the occasion by The Unusual Pork Pie Company based in Shepton Mallet.

Tickets are £6 and include a 2 for 1 voucher to visit the Bishop’s Palace and Garden at a later date. Available from