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Padstow Christmas Festival announces official return

Published July 6th, 2022


North Cornwall’s marker for the festive season is back, after a two year break.

Padstow Christmas Festival, one of the largest Christmas food events in the country, has announced its return on Thursday 1 to Sunday 4 December.

The volunteer-run weekend has taken place annually since 2008. Following two Covid-related cancellations, locals, regular attendees, and chefs have all expressed their delight at its return.

The celebrity chef trio Rick Stein, Nathan Outlaw and Paul Ainsworth will be back to host the four day event. They’ll be cooking alongside an array of A-list chefs, who will be sharing tips and tricks in the Sharp’s Chefs’ Theatre.

Nathan Outlaw, owner of Outlaw’s New Road and Outlaw’s Fish Kitchen, is thrilled about its return. He said: “What a strange couple of years we’ve had! Very little good news and not much to look forward to either – but that’s all about to change! Padstow Christmas Festival is back, bigger and better than ever!

“I’m really excited about returning to the festival to see old friends and meet new ones. It will be wonderful to see (and taste) what our artisan producers have been doing since we’ve been away.

“I’ve said before that the festival marks the beginning of the Christmas season for me and it really wasn’t the same without it, so I hope you’ll be coming along to enjoy everything on offer.”

Paul Ainsworth, whose Michelin starred restaurant No6 was recently named in the National Restaurant Award’s top 100 UK restaurants, is also looking forward to welcoming back the Cornish festivities: “It has become a favourite fixture in our diary at The Ainsworth Collection, and one that the team and I really look forward to,” he said.

“It’s the perfect time for food lovers to gather, meet some of their favourite chefs, and watch amazing cooking techniques. Padstow itself is decorated with Christmas lights and the whole place feels really festive. I’m delighted the festival is coming back this year, and I hope everyone supports it.”

Stallholders, street food traders and performers will be in and amongst the marquees throughout the weekend. Festive, family-friendly activities will also take place across the town, such as Santa’s grotto, live music on the bandstand, carol singing, and the much-anticipated firework display over the harbour.

The festival was initially a passion project which encouraged tourists to visit at what was an otherwise quiet time of the year.

Pre-pandemic, Padstow Christmas Festival welcomed 45,000 visitors over the first weekend of December, and generated £5 million for local businesses, putting the town on the map as the county’s festive foodie destination.

This year, a small entry fee will be charged to help cover soaring infrastructure costs.

Tina Evans, the festival’s organiser, said: “The cost for putting on the festival has increased dramatically this year. To ensure it can still go ahead and be as spectacular as previous years, we’re having to charge for tickets for the first time.

“Any funds raised will be used to cover costs, and any profit will go directly back into the community.”

A limited number of early-bird tickets will be available at a reduced rate. Release dates will be announced via the festival’s email newsletter list, which can be signed up to on the website: www.padstowchristmasfestival.co.uk.

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