The British Food Fortnight National competition is now in its seventh year, and looks for the best community celebration of British Food.

2019 saw the first local competition bought to Nottinghamshire by Love British Food volunteer, Lauren Clark of Notts on Toast, along with the East Midlands regional team Ronnie Ownsworth and Leisa Pickles, who also helped judge the competition.

Highly commended went to Burley's of Southwell, Carolyn owner of the gift shop entered the competition by decorating her Southwell shop window—British themed produce from the shop was used, she teamed up with local pie maker Brockleby's to offer a gift voucher and used some local produce from the Old Theatre Deli's larder as props.

"We really loved that Carolyn had engaged with the competition, even though she wasn't a food business or event" said Lauren Clark

Runner up spot was awarded to Southwell and District Young Farmers Clubs who provided a day of entertainment to those attending the Southwell Ploughing Match & Show in way of a human fruit machine. Young people dressed up as items of fruit and performed the 'machine roll' to pull out a British vegetable from a bucket, if all three vegetables match you were a winner, and got a prize!

"Young Farmers certainly know how to draw a crowd, especially when dressed as fruit. We loved their innovated take on promoting British produce," commented the judges.

The Bleasby Apple Fest event was crowned as winner of the competition. The community organised this free event. They were celebrating the very British apple and encouraging people to collect their unwanted apples and take them along to the event on the village green, where they could make it into apple juice. They held an apple themed bake-off, had an apple and spoon race with live music and food and cider from the Waggon & Horses. St Mary's church put on a historic display of local orchards and community groups came together with their own apple themed activities.

And its good news for the 2020 event, as 120 litres of juice was collected which is being transformed into Bleasby Wanger cider which will be available to enjoy at the next Bleasby Apple Fest, with the help from Leo and Emma of community garden project Summerwood Community Garden

There was a big team behind the planning of the event, Mike Fryer said: "We're all thrilled about our victory, and excited about the prospect of next year's event."

Lauren from Notts on Toast said: "It was a fun family event to celebrate the great British Apple, children enjoying getting hands on with the juice making and testing, there was something for the whole community to enjoy."

The competition runs throughout British Food Fortnight, which in 2020 runs from 19th September to 4th October. More information can be found at www.lovebritishfood.co.uk or contact Notts on Toast on Facebook, instagram or twitter for further support.