The York Food Festival returns on Friday – 10 days of fun, food, wine tastings and cookery demonstrations that will be in marked contrast to the period of mourning for the Queen that we have just been through.

This will be the 26th year for what is billed as ‘Yorkshire’s largest food festival’.

It will be based in Parliament Street and St Sampson’s Square as usual, with marquees and live music up until 9pm each evening.

But other events – including two foodie trails – will be held across the city centre.

“This year’s program extends across the historic city centre, with hands-on opportunities for visitors to take free cookery classes in the Museum Gardens and the Coppergate Centre,” said festival director and York restaurateur Michael Hjort.

“There are two trails which take the adventurous from beside the Minster to beside the Castle and through the doors of dozens of artisan food producers, delis and restaurants.

“Perhaps you will need a second day to take in the markets, street food and demonstrations, and finish with live music at one of the two live music venues in the early evening.”

Entry to the Festival is free - and only the trails and a small number of events are ticketed.

“We are very conscious of limited budgets and have been keen to keep many of the activities, like the Food Factory, without charge,” Mr Hjort said.

The free events will extend to places for over a thousand Key Stage 2 school children.

The vast majority of activities within the demonstration marquee will also be free.

“You can see some of York and Yorkshire’s best chefs there,” Mr Hjort said. “The program features Great British Bake Off winner David Atherton, Great British Menu contestant Bobby Geetha, James Mackenzie from Michelin-Starred Pipe and Glass, Steph Moon, Syrian pop-up restaurant Yahala Mataam and many more.”

The traditional evening venue (the entertainment marquee in Parliament Street) will again be run this year in conjunction with St Leonard’s Hospice.

It promises plenty of street food and a large real ale bar - and will be supplemented this year by a new venue in St Sampson’s Square and an enclosure run by York Gin featuring what is described as a ‘more acoustic and folk line up’.

“If live music is not your thing, you can visit City Screen to see a special screening of Chef, or enjoy a Malbec tasting at the Chopping Block or a Sherry tasting at Ambiente,” Mr Hjort said.

There will also be a range of special menus in hotels and restaurants - and historic venues are also getting in on the act. “Beautiful Bedern Hall will crown York’s finest pork pie at its York Pork Pie competition and the Mansion House will host a tea exhibition and tasting,” Mr Hjort said.

Full details of the festival, which runs from Friday until October 2, are available at