Colourful scenes of Leamington Spa helped banish the cloudy skies as the town’s Food and Drink Festival helped bring in the crowds.

Attracting over 25,000 people and more than 150 businesses – from as far afield as Devon – a huge range of food and drink was served up to the weekend crowds in the Pump Room Gardens.

But it was a cake from very close to home which took top honours.

Susann Gallion won the Celebration Cake category in the Great Leamington Bake-Off with a creation decorated with the scenes of a summer town centre including Leamington’s parks and gardens.

Susann and her husband Michael came to live in Warwick from Germany when he was posted to the area with his job in the automotive industry in 2001.

She said: “To begin with we did not want to stay and now 15 years later we are still here and we love it. I then said if I had a child I would go back – but our son Joshua is 13 and very British. I won’t be going back now!”

Beneath the painted icing lay an Italian lemon cake with homemade lemon curd and lemon cream.

“I wanted a cake to celebrate Leamington. It is such a lovely place and everyone is so very friendly. It is small enough that people get to know you and say hello when you are shopping. I love it.”

Royal Leamington Spa Food and Drink Festival – in its ninth year – not only proved popular with visitors and local people but also stall holders with all slots being sold out in 10 days.

New this year was a fringe event in Regent Court with demonstrations from a host of local retailers and restaurants, while cookery demonstrations by professional chefs and a Kids’ Make and Bake cookery school also proved really popular.

Stephanie Kerr, executive director of BID Leamington, which organises the festival, said: “It was a really memorable event. Saturday was overcast and we had rain, but the day brightened up and people really entered into the spirit of the event, with even the ice-cream going down a storm.

“There was a great selection of stalls and it really underlined the quality of diversity of restaurants and food providers we have in and around Leamington.

“It was also wonderful to see the children and adults alike enter into the bake-off and Susann’s cake was also a beautiful combination – a work of art you can eat!”

“Next year the Food & Drink Festival is planned for September 9th and 10th so get the date into your diaries early”

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