LAST week the 10th Malton Food Lovers Festival took place. What a weekend, and what a festival. We were so lucky with the weather. Is there anything better than seeing those huge crowds in Malton, the town buzzing, sunny skies and most importantly people enjoying themselves?

I hope you will forgive me if I do a bit of a round up of my own favourite moments; I know each of us will have taken special memories away from the weekend but these were some of mine.

I still get nervous on Friday before the festival - even after 10 years I worry that people won’t show up. However, on Saturday morning what started as a trickle soon turned into a river of people that surged and flowed through town all weekend.

So many familiar faces and cheerful stallholders but also many new visitors too. I spoke to people from all over the UK who had chosen to visit Malton for the festival and each time I met someone who had come from a little further away it made me smile.

There were people from Scotland, the South East, Brighton and even Devon. Visit Britain had organised a group of foreign journalists to visit and I was amazed they had come from Spain, Lebanon, India, China and New Zealand. Malton is going international no less.

The demonstrations were great again this year and it was thrilling to see the crowds greeting Michael O’Hare and Tommy Banks when they arrived on stage (very much the rock star reception).

Tommy even sold-out of his new cook book at the book signing and has vowed to bring more next year. “I didn’t know it got so busy,” he said. And, of course, there was the food. Steamed Korean pork bao buns, beef brisket cooked over smoking coals. I spotted lovely golden slabs of farm fresh butter being sold, as well as cheeses, bread and wonderful cured meats.

I thought the mountain of cherries JB Fruits was selling would definitely last all weekend, but amazingly they went too. Graham will definitely have to restock for his regular pitch on the weekly Saturday market.

Haxby Bakehouse sold out, Staal Smokehouse sold out, in fact lots of stalls sold out, the queues were off the scale at Groovy Moo and even the Talbot gardens were packed for the first time with people drinking champagne and gulping down oysters.

I have noticed queues at the cash point in Market Place before but not in Wheelgate and Yorkersgate. That was new.

A special mention has to go to the amazing, cheery and generally fab volunteers who made the festival so efficient, so friendly and so fun. United with our cow aprons, the volunteers are truly the beating heart of Malton and fantastic ambassadors for the town.

What a weekend and a great showcase for the town. If you already feel a bit deflated (I know I do) you can rest assured that on Saturday, June 9 and Sunday, June 10, Visit Malton has a double header of a weekend with the monthly food market on Saturday and Street Food Sunday the next day. Plus there are two more Street Food Sunday’s each month until the new Marathon Du Malton on August 26 and the big Harvest Food Festival rounds the summer off on September 8.

A festival is only a weekend, but what a weekend it was.