IT may be approaching its quarter century but the Ludlow Food Festival like a fine wine just seems to get better.

The Festival, in the grounds of Ludlow Castle, on the second weekend in September, continues to be the biggest weekend in the annual calendar of events in the town.

This is no idle boast given the popularity of the Ludlow Fringe Arts Festival in the summer, the classical music festival in St Laurence Church and other events throughout the year.

Crowds that flocked in over the three days were fortunate in that the weather was almost perfect with the best kind of conditions that are associated with late summer and early autumn.

The crippling heat and humidly that characterised so much of the past summer was gone but people were still able to enjoy the very best of food and drink in short sleeved shirts and shorts.

Visitors and exhibitors came from all over Ludlow and south Shropshire as well as Tenbury and the Teme Valley.

The Food Festival is an opportunity for local producers and sellers to showcase their products and services to an audience that also included people from all over the country as well as some overseas visitors.

People also had the chance to learn and watch some top chefs perform on the cooking stages.

There were cooking demonstrations throughout the weekend with experts in their field giving vital tips on how to turn excellent local meat and produce into a very special mouth watering experience.

Amongst the local exhibitors was Swifts Bakery with shops in Tenbury and in Ludlow and south Shropshire. A collection of artisan breads gave a taste of how wonderful a simple loaf can be.

This also applied to other many different foods and drinks where expertise and care often on a small scale can result in a very special treat for the taste buds.

Chefs and food experts from the surrounding Marches area included Andy Link from the Riverside Inn at Aymestry – recently awarded Visit England Tourism Pub of the Year - and Karl Martin from the acclaimed Old Downton Lodge.

Herefordshire food writer and restaurateur Bill Sewell was also on hand alongside Joe Gould of Ludlow’s Fishmore Hall, Andrew Thomas from Leintwardine’s acclaimed The Jolly Frog and Rory Bunting from Wigmore’s The Oak.

As well as the food there was plenty of other entertainment available to visitors.

There were some changes this year including the replacement of a large marquee with smaller covered areas.

This was all part of a process of evolution rather than revolution to the event.

Ludlow Food Festival was the first of its kind in the country and wants to stay ahead of the rest.