Five local children, aged between 7 and 11 years old, have become young food critics writing reviews after tasting free lunches at well-known restaurants in the town as part of the Creative Restaurant Critics project.
The project was set up by Christina Birt to inspire children to learn more about cultures and linguistics through food, while developing their literacy and communication skills. The project will culminate with an award ceremony at the beginning of the Global Folk concert to celebrate the restaurants involved: 1921, Casa Del Mar, Nandos, Valley Connection and Wagamama.
All 5 children taking part attend the Creative Education Centre, Fornham All Saints, which offers educational opportunities for 5-11 year-olds based on Montessori methods with a focus on arts, creativity and outdoor learning.
Freya, Isabelle, Joseph, Grace and Amelia each wrote detailed reviews recording their impressions of the ambiance and service, as well as the tastes and smells of food from different cultures. Their comments included:
"My starter was very garlicky and salty (just how I like it) with a cheesy taste from the mozzarella"
"I had choc-a- lot cake for dessert which was like a wizard putting a good spell on me"
"I don’t usually like trout but the vodka smoked sea trout was AMAZING! With it there were delicious quails eggs and shallots (shallots are like pink onions but much better)"
"When our dips came, a jolt came to me with excitement. In the little dishes there was mango chutney! That was my favourite one"
"This is the place to go jungle chomping with your friends"
Nick Wells, Festival Manager, said:
"It’s great to be able to involve young people in the Festival whether they’re singing with Global Folk or taking a fresh look at local restaurants. Restaurant critic Jay Rayner is making his Festival debut this year and may well pick up some tips from these young reviewers!"
A huge thank you and well done to everyone involved in this project, in particular the 5 Creative Critics themselves (Amelia, Grace, Joe, Isabelle and Freya), the 5 restaurants involved (1921, Casa del Mar, Nandos, Valley Connection and Wagamama),and Christing Birt and the Creative Education Centre.
To read the Creative Critics restaurant reviews in full, click their name's, below:
Amelia | Grace | Joe | Isabelle | Freya