WHAT a Malton Food Lovers Festival we had a couple of weekends ago. It really was superb to see the town so busy and positive.

Producers by the score, street food by the dozen and crowds by the thousand. It truly was a joyful event capped so beautifully by Levi Roots reggae concert on the Saturday night.

Here are a few of my favourite memories.

The variety I thought was better this year, still a way to go, but nice to see more options on both street food and stalls. I enjoyed some chimichurri chicken for the first time and also got to see “Rare Bird Gin’s” new bottle - Malton’s own gin distillery opens in Talbot Yard later this summer.

I loved meeting people from all over the UK who had come to Malton. Meeting a couple from Brisbane Australia, was a surprise and they had genuinely planned their trip to the UK to coincide with the festival. That really is commitment to visiting Malton. They had some wonderful things to say about many of the new independent businesses in town.

There was a little sprinkle of cooking royalty with Prue Leith in town, she even wrote that Malton was her “favourite foodie town”, now that’s a keeper.

And we had Yorkshire food royalty, too, in the shape of Henderson’s Relish, the Sheffield-based famous Yorkshire sauce.

Welcoming chefs Miguel Barclay, Simi Rezai and Bake Off star Richard Burr was also a thrill, alongside festival favourites Jonathan Batchelor, Stephanie Moon, Simon Woods and our very own Dan Graham.

It was great to see Stew & Oyster in the old town hall building doing a pop-up version of what I hope will become permanent towards the end of the year.

And what about Levi’s performance? Totally epic to see so many people dancing in the market place.

I think there is definitely inspiration now for creating a music festival at some other time of the year. Are there any people out there who could help us make that happen!?

And what did everyone think of Malton CIC’s brand new event Street Food Sundays?

The idea is to start to think of the market place in a different way and encourage people to dwell in the centre of town eating alfresco.

I certainly loved being able to relax in a deck chair with a beer and a pizza and it was great to see so many people enjoying this new event too.

Although in its infancy, I am confident that it will be a popular addition to the town’s event calendar.

Sundays are such an important day for visitors, it is crucial we make them busier in Malton.

Naturally, the May Food Lovers Festival will be back in 2018, but Malton CIC has masses more events coming your way this summer.

Malton’s Monthly Food Market will be back this weekend on Saturday, June 10, the Street Food Sunday returns on July 2and Malton’s “Harvest Food Festival” is back in September.

For more details about all of these events and mor, go to maltonyorkshire.co.uk