Estate has big hit with Big Onion as thousands pour in

The Big Onion Festival in the grounds of the Elveden Estate.   Adrian Nuttall and son Joshua from the Chilli Company in Mendlesham.
The Big Onion Festival in the grounds of the Elveden Estate. Adrian Nuttall and son Joshua from the Chilli Company in Mendlesham.

FOOD fans were in onion ecstasy over the weekend as a massive estate event took place for the second year.

And not a tear was shed as the Elveden Estate held the Big Onion on Saturday, with a host of onion-themed stalls and attractions keeping visitors happy.

The Big Onion Festival in the grounds of the Elveden Estate.    Howard Dawson shows how to string onions together.

The Big Onion Festival in the grounds of the Elveden Estate. Howard Dawson shows how to string onions together.

Highlights included tractor and trailer rides, live music, free culinary samples and specialist food stalls ranging from Copella Apple Juice, to the Chilli Company, Hill Farm Oils and Gilfords Hall Vineyard.

Frances Armstrong, from Elveden Estate, said the event was a success, with nearly 2,000 visitors pouring into the traditional walled garden throughout the day.

“The Big Onion went really well. The onion stringing with Howie Dawson, an Elveden pensioner, was particularly popular, raising more than £140 for the East Anglian Air Ambulance and teaching children the traditional technique.

“Free tractor and trailer rides were another big hit, plus the live bands and cookery demonstrations, which entertained the crowds all afternoon,” she said.

The Big Onion Festival in the grounds of the Elveden Estate.

The Big Onion Festival in the grounds of the Elveden Estate.

The food-focused event saw demonstrations from a number of top chefs.

Richard Bainbridge, from the Great British Menu and head chef at Morston Hall, Justin Kett from The Swan at Lavenham and the estate’s own Peter McBurnie cooked up classic recipes using estate produce.

Away from the kitchen, more than 60 classic cars were put on show, including Rolls Royces, Daimlers and Bentleys.

Children’s entertainment was provided by Madame Zuccini’s vegetable theatre show, with interactive creature workshops, mini tractors and a bouncy castle rounding out the entertainment.

The Big Onion Festival in the grounds of the Elveden Estate.   Joe Foster and Julian De Marco from the Norfolk Nutterjacks Food Co.

The Big Onion Festival in the grounds of the Elveden Estate. Joe Foster and Julian De Marco from the Norfolk Nutterjacks Food Co.

In total, more than 50 stalls were on display.

The Big Onion Festival in the grounds of the Elveden Estate.   Cookery demstrations with author of cook books Mary Kemp and Scott Taylor, head chef at the cafe on the estate.

The Big Onion Festival in the grounds of the Elveden Estate. Cookery demstrations with author of cook books Mary Kemp and Scott Taylor, head chef at the cafe on the estate.