BRIDPORT’S now famous food festival drew in more crowds than ever this year with around 5,000 people flocking to the Asker Meadows event at the weekend.

Chairman of the festival committee Amanda Streatfeild said: “We deserved a good year weatherwise but having said the population of Bridport come out whatever the weather but I am delighted they could really enjoy it this year.

“It was wonderful to have everybody totally chilled out on the grass, drinking different beers and eating al the wonderful food we have here.”

She said the numbers on the gate were up, with many people coming from away specifically for the festival and feedback from visitors and stallholders was very good, She added: “We are thrilled to have the support of all our sponsors and that is what helps us make the whole thing affordable for everybody.

“It is a good showcase and practically all the stallholders came from a 25 mile radius, so they really are local and we must have had more than 60 or 70 producers.”

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This is now the 11th year and the ninth one on Asker Meadows and although the festival is growing there are no plans to expand.

Mrs Streatfeild added: “I don’t think we want to make it much bigger but hopefully we will offer slightly different things each year.”

And Bridport Round Table’s beer festival was the best-ever, said chairman Pete Dacey.

There were 63 beers and 30 ciders – but thirsty visitors made short work of those and the round table team had to bring in extra barrels of lager to keep the crowds happy, he said.

Mr Dacey said the fundraiser made £14,000 last year and 2014 looked set to break that record.

The money will go to round table charities and a Palmers’ run Pims and wine bar raised money for Help the Heroes.