FOOD, drink, entertainment and a free ride on a scarlet-painted London Transport omnibus were all on offer over the weekend in Leyburn.

Now firmly-established back in its Market Square location, the two day Dales Festival of Food and Drink certainly drew-in the crowds as festival organisers built on last year’s success.

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Renowned for offering the very best food and drink the region has on offer, this year was no exception with several thousand visitors benefitting from better weather than Barcelona.

With stalls offering diverse food from Baklava, to Yorkshire Puddings or luxury desserts, visitors were definitely spoilt for choice.

Abundant deckchairs scattered around ensured those who wanted a leisurely drink from either the town’s pubs or a converted fire engine that served as a bar was the order of the day.

Entrainment at the theatre marquee was either musical or a demonstration of culinary skills from the region’s top chefs.

Best-selling food author Hanna Sillitoe gave a well-received talk on gluten, dairy and sugar free food along with many of the area’s top chefs.

A craft and gift fair was also held.

A free shuttle bus in the guise of a bright red London bus ferried visitors from the car park area to the town centre, later returning them laden with their gastronomic booty.

Kind-hearted shop owners ensured that cold drinks were on hand for any four-legged visitors who found the sweltering temperatures just a bit too warm for a fur coat.

A mixed reaction was reported from some local businesses but it was generally acknowledged that Saturday was the busiest day with ice-creams and cold drinks selling well.

David Poole for the organisers thought the weekend had gone well.

He said: “It has been absolutely fantastic there have been a large number of well-satisfied visitors.

"I hope that the local businesses have benefited too.”