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Food festival to debut at Leytonstone Big Weekender

The Leytonstone Big Weekender returns in style this month – and this year the free Council-run event features the grand finale of the inaugural Eat Drink Waltham Forest food festival.

The popular Big Weekender takes place on Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 September, and once again promises an action-packed weekend full of arts, culture, live entertainment – and food.

This year, the family-friendly event will coincide with the culmination of a week-long celebration of food and drink in the borough.

Funded by Waltham Forest Council, Eat Drink Waltham Forest starts on Monday 7 September and features a variety of free cooking masterclasses and beer and wine tastings throughout the week.

The food festival, which is being organised by The Event Umbrella, will come to an end with a celebration of food and drink at the bus station in Kirkdale Road and along Church Lane during the Leytonstone Big Weekender’s car free day on Sunday 13 September. There will be an array of street food, local crafts and produce, a cream pie eating competition open to all and special guests Glenn Cosby from the Great British Bake Off 2013 and Stefan Gates from BBC Gastronauts.

Promising to be a favourite with foodies, the Eat Drink Waltham Forest finale is one of many exciting events during the Big Weekender. On Saturday 12 September, in Cathall Green, a family fun day offers visitors the opportunity to explore William Morris’s passion for Indian textiles and have a go at block-printing or painting your own fabric design with artist Sba Shaikh at the William Morris crafts activities stand.

Then, on the Sunday Leytonstone hosts its annual car free – at which there will be a fantastic line-up of free entertainment, including top ska band The Selecter, DJ Kevin Morrish, Rags Rudi, Fruitful Earth, President Lincoln, Madness Tribute band 'One Step Behind' and more.

Council Leader Chris Robbins said: “The Leytonstone Big Weekender promises to be yet another fantastic free event which will bring the community together in celebration.

“The addition of the Eat Drink Waltham Forest food festival will, I’m sure, go down a treat with food lovers across the borough while Sunday’s car free day will once again open the town centre up to residents wanting to explore everything on offer in a much more relaxing environment.

“The free event and all of the many activities throughout the weekend are part of our ongoing efforts to ensure local people and families continue to enjoy a good quality of life here in Waltham Forest.”

Also on Sunday 13 September, the recently reopened Leytonstone Library will host an official relaunch event following its £1.5million Council-funded refurbishment.

The new-look community resource boasts a comprehensive collection of books for all ages, improved digital and internet connectivity, access to a wide range of Council customer services, a ground floor cultural space for art events and displays, and a fantastic community theatre hall with new projector and speakers.

At the relaunch event, which starts at 12pm there will be a book reading, meet-and-greet with local historian and author Lindsay Collier and an interactive trail around the library for families as well as a puppet show.

For more information about the Leytonstone Big Weekender visit And to get all of the latest updates about activities and classes as part of the Eat Drink Waltham Forest food festival follow the Council on Twitter @wfcouncil.

Notes to editors

Eat Drink Waltham Forest masterclasses include:

  • Sham’s Kitchen on Thursday 10 September. Sham’s Kitchen provides Pakistani home cooked food using fresh, seasonal and locally sourced ingredients. Her masterclass in her own kitchen will give 10 lucky people the opportunity to learn how to make an authentic masala, daal and pakoras – whether you are a newbie foodie or a culinary expert, there’s something for everyone in Sham’s Kitchen.

  • Fantabulous Cakes class on Friday 11 September. Ruth Adekoya of Fantabulous Cakes will be hosting a masterclass in Cup Cake decorating in Christ Apostilic Church.

  • Wild Card Brewery on Saturday 12 September from 1pm to 2pm. Wild Card Brewery's in-house sommelier will talk you through how their signature beers are created. You will be given a sample of the core range and a tutored tasting. Educate your palette by learning how to pair your beer with your meal while enjoying free samples of food prepared by Wild Card. Every guest will be given a free take-home guide explaining the brewing process, the history of Wild Card Brewery and how to taste beer and pair it with food so you can try it at home.

All masterclasses are free and must be booked in advance via – spaces are limited so book early to avoid disappointment. Follow the Council and The Event Umbrella on Twitter and Facebook for details of beer and wine tastings and bakery classes that will be announced in the coming days.

If you would like more information about any of these press releases or have a different media enquiry please contact us at or on 020 8496 4521 / 4802.

For out of hours please email or call 07966 915 157.