DURHAM will host its first food festival next week, celebrating the best of regional, national and international fare.

The inaugural Durham Food Festival will be held across Durham City from Thursday, October 20, until Sunday, October 23.

Highlights include a gourmet food fair, chef demonstrations and various markets.

The event begins with Durham City Farmers’ Market in Durham Market Place on Thursday, October 20, from 9am to 3.30pm. A Continental Market will also be in the Market Place, from 9am to 5pm from Thursday to Saturday and from 10am to 4pm on Sunday.

More than 75 food producers and retailers will be represented at a gourmet food marquee on Palace Green, open from 9am to 6pm on Saturday and from 10am to 4.30pm on Sunday. Entry costs £2.50 for adults but is free for under 16s.

There will be cooking demonstrations in the marquee on the hour from 10am to 4pm on Saturday and Sunday. Chefs will include Bill Oldfield, former Masterchef finalist Dave Coulson, Great British Bake Off winner Edd Kimber and celebrity chef Dan Lepard.

Mr Lepard will give a demonstration on Sunday at 12 noon and launch a new book in the festival’s Book Cafe, which will be open from 11am to 4pm on Saturday and Sunday, at 2.30pm.

School pupils will take part in a Harvest Festival service in Durham Cathedral on Saturday at 11am.

Mr Oldfield, owner of Oldfields Restaurant, in Durham, said: "The Durham City Food Festival is a wonderful addition to the city’s calendar and I’m very pleased to be a part of it."

For further details, visit durhamfoodfestival.com