FOODIES will have a chance to dine with the nuns at England’s oldest living convent when the York Food Festival is staged later this month.

Sister Ann and Sister Agatha will host a special evening, dubbed Come Dine with the Sisters, at the Bar Convent near Micklegate Bar on September 19, the first night of this autumn’s festival.

They are leading the way as the festival offers the public the opportunity to dine at home with great cooks, hosts, wine specialists and enthusiasts.

Festival organisers said Sister Agatha was an established hand at welcoming visitors, being Visit York’s Tourism Ambassador in 2008 and renowned as an after dinner speaker.

“The evening promises to offer a special insight into life in England oldest living convent, which was founded in 1686,” said a spokeswoman, who said the meal would be cooked by catering staff based at the convent.

“Others offering meals include Dr Gareth Morgan, a York wine speaker offering the opportunity to try his Bordeaux Grand Cru Classé wines with an accompanying meal, Paul Tulip, a specialist importer of Spanish food and cookware; and Claire Davies, co-founder of The History Girls in York, who offers a three-course journey through food history.

“Two established dining clubs the Les Bons Vivants and Set the Table also offer meals during the Festival. Les Bons Vivants offer classic French Food and Set the Table vegetarian food locally sourced and seasonal produce.

“Tickets for the full range of these dinners, listed on the Festival programme as “Dine at my Table,” are on sale now.”

Festival director Michael Hjort said that while it was renowned for large ‘set piece ‘ dinners and wine tastings, he was delighted to be able to broaden community participation in this way.

“Sister Agatha is the ideal host for the first of this fascinating range of events across York,” he said.

“Some of them are joining the festival programme for the first time and “We are delighted with the quality and diversity of the programme.

“The festival runs until September 28 so, should any latecomers want to join in, they can be added to the listings promptly.”