'Putting the city on the map' - This is what visitors had to say about Sunderland Food and Drink Festival

Crowds flocked to Sunderland city centre as international street food vendors descended for a weekend dedicated to showcasing great food and drink.

Saturday, 22nd June 2019, 16:48 pm
Updated Saturday, 22nd June 2019, 22:00 pm

An international aroma of flavour and spices filled the air around Sunderland city centre as visitors enjoyed an array of dishes from around the world.

Queues trailed through the street as foodies waited patiently to try some of the cuisine on offer – including Greek, Spanish, Chinese, Venezuelan and more.

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Sharon Appleby, of Sunderland BID, said: “I’m really pleased with how it’s gone so far – the numbers were great yesterday and it started to have a really good vibe.

“Having Jean-Christophe Novelli here has been brilliant. He’s been here since 10am this morning, he’s been in and out of the businesses, he’s been talking to everyone, having his picture taken. People have just loved him being here.

“I think you can see by how many people are in the city centre today that it is delivering on what people want.”

Here’s what some of the visitors to the event, which will return on Sunday, June 23, said:

Pam Johnston, 64, who recently moved back to Sunderland from Yorkshire, said: “I think it’s brilliant. I was really impressed by the demonstration by Jean-Christophe at 12pm so I’ve come back to see him again.

“It’s fantastic to see so many people here and I think it’s been a really great event. Long may it continue.”

Trish Martin, of Ryhope, said: “It’s wonderful. Unfortunately for an event like this you normally have to head to Newcastle so the fact that we have something like this of our own in Sunderland is brilliant – it’s putting the city on the map.”

Michael Dobinson, 55, of Hendon added: “There’s a good variety of different foods so were just eyeing up what to try now. It’s something that’s good for the town and it’s nice to have something different for people coming into Sunderland.”