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20th March 2012

Take a bite out of NewcastleGateshead with EAT!

EAT! NewcastleGateshead, 13-29 July 2012,

Visit one of the largest city centre food festivals in the UK and see a 100sq metremap of Great Britain made entirely of cake.

 Cakebook Britain – The People’s Picnic (Sunday 15 July) sees teams of more than 100 amateur cake bakers descend on Gateshead’s Saltwell Park to create a 100sq metre map of Great Britain – made entirely of cake – as part of the opening weekend of EAT! NewcastleGateshead.

This giant fully edible map will feature landmark structures and places from across Great Britain including Stonehenge, Nelson’s Column and Buckingham Palace in recognition of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.  Following Cakebook NewcastleGateshead in 2010 and Cakebook North in 2011, Cakebook Britain is bigger than ever and will include a Food Adventure Playground as well as children’s cookery workshops, and live music and performance. Tickets are priced at £4 for adults with free entry for children aged 14 and under.

EAT! NewcastleGateshead continues through July with a series of innovative food events before culminating in another major weekend event.

Guild member Alastair Gilmour will be leading a series of beer and pub walks at the festival.

NewcastleGateshead will come alive on the weekend of Friday 27, Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 July as St James’ Park hosts London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic football matches.  To celebrate, EAT! NewcastleGateshead will transform the streets of the twin cities into one of the largest city centre food festivals in the UK.  The Big EAT! Weekend (Fri 27 – Sun 29 July) sees everything from a pop-up cookery school, Chilli & Beer Festival to a street food celebration and a Loaves and Fishes themed City Fête.


This packed weekend also includes Meet and Drink beer tasting tours with award-winning beer writer Alastair Gilmour, EAT! Food Walking Tours and cookery demonstrations led by local chefs.


EAT! NewcastleGateshead’s wider festival programme sees the welcome return of popular events; Secret Paladares (restaurants in people’s homes), which this year includes The Sunday Supplement focussing on the traditions of Sunday Lunch; Artisan House Party (expert bakers, butchers, fishmongers and more lead these modern day Tupperware parties) as well as new events; EAT! Speakeasy (a hidden underground drinking den and host of the Prohibition launch party) and Trial Shift (where talented amateur cooks compete for the chance to become Head Chef for the day at one of NewcastleGateshead’s leading restaurants).


Simon Preston, festival director of EAT! NewcastleGateshead said: “Every year we introduce fresh ideas into the festival and this year is full of exciting new adventures in food.  We’ve brought back some firm favourites such The Big EAT! Weekend and Eat-a-Long Movies and launched topical and creative new events such as our very own EAT! Speakeasy and the Pot Luck Paladar. 


“We receive so much positive feedback from both festival goers and those working in the food and drink industry, we’re expecting 2012 to be another brilliant year for EAT! NewcastleGateshead.”


Carol Bell, head of culture and major events at NewcastleGateshead Initiative said: “EAT! has positioned itself as one of the major food events in the UK and we’re delighted to play a major role in putting  North East produce on the map.  The festival attracts visitors from all over the country and it’s a great success story for NewcastleGateshead and the North East.”


EAT! NewcastleGateshead – produced by NewcastleGateshead Initiative – celebrates its sixth year in 2012 with an ambitious programme of events that make “the hipster capital of the northeast” one of the most popular city break destinations this Olympic year.


EAT! NewcastleGateshead takes place from Friday 13 – Sunday 29 July 2012.  Tickets for all events can be purchased from the EAT! NewcastleGateshead website,, or from the Theatre Royal Box Office on 08448 11 21 21 from mid-May 2012.


For information on travel and accommodation in NewcastleGateshead, please visit



For further information, interview requests, images etc, please contact David Brookbanks, Media & PR Manager for NewcastleGateshead Initiative on 0191 440 5740 / 07946 581 417 or email




  • EAT! NewcastleGateshead is developed and produced by NewcastleGateshead Initiative as part of its festivals and events programme.
  • EAT! is funded by Newcastle City Council and Gateshead Council. For further details see
  • Simon Preston is a freelance food consultant. For further details see




David Brookbanks

Media & PR Manager


T. +44 (0)191 440 5740

M. +44 (0)7946 581 417

F. +44 (0)191 440 5721