TEACHING assistant Sonja Patané will have fond memories of this year’s Stratford Town Centre Food Festival after winning a meal for two.
And that meant a welcome return to Marco’s New York Italian Restaurant – one of her favourite Stratford eateries.
Sonja, who lives in Ettington, took part in one of the three taste trails during last month’s popular free food festival, giving the Chapel Street venue top marks when she entered a prize draw.
Her vote helped Marco’s top the poll among Sunday’s taste trailers with 33 The Scullery and The Arden Hotel leading the way on Saturday.
Sonja’s name was drawn along with Karen Mercer who won a meal for two at 33 The Scullery in Greenhill Street.
Festival-goers also had the chance to vote for the best beer served on the two ale trails which were another popular festival attraction.
Stratford Upon Avon Brewery’s Malty Pig Bitter scooped the honours on Saturday with real ale fans able to sample the brew at two town centre hostelries – the Rose and Crown and the Stratford Alehouse.
And Sunday’s visitors to The Bear were impressed by The Bear Best Bitter which is brewed specifically for the Bridgefoot pub by the North Cotswold Brewery.
Tor Wilkes, events and marketing assistant at Stratforward which organised the festival, said the taste and ale trails had been a huge success.
She said: “We had 1,000 places available over the weekend for the taste and ale trails and they proved so popular that we had to turn people away.
“The feedback from those sampling some of the best food and beer on offer in Stratford was very positive. Many plan to go back to places they’d tried for the first time. It was the perfect opportunity for businesses to show what they offer throughout the year.”