The popular Paisley Food and Drink Festival is taking a different shape for 2021 – with a tempting online programme across nine days this April.

The festival will take place from Friday 16 – Saturday 24 April and will showcase the rich diversity of Renfrewshire’s food and drink offer through a series of vibrant short films and a mouth-watering menu of interactive experiences, including online cooking demonstrations, tastings, workshops and much more.

Paisley Food and Drink Festival aims to support local businesses, cafes, bars, restaurants and growers across Renfrewshire and the surrounding area, with spending local more important now than ever.

As part of the festival, Renfrewshire Council is working with culture and lifestyle publication Mill Magazine to produce a series of short films shining a spotlight on local food and drink businesses and the range of cuisine available across the area’s towns and villages.

The ‘Taste of Renfrewshire’ videos will be screened online across the nine days alongside a fantastic programme of virtual experiences for food and drink lovers to enjoy.

Gantry Paisley will host a virtual gin tasting evening on Friday 23 April with new local producer Tear Drop Gin – perfect for gin-lovers and those looking to sample something new.

Virtual tasting kits, including four different gins paired with a suggested tonic and garnish, can be purchased online and will be posted out ahead of the event.

Inchinnan’s Barnhill Farm will also stage a variety of farm to table experiences across the festival with fantastic online cooking demonstrations.

Pick up locally sourced ingredients and recipes from the Barnhill Farm Shop before learning how to make a delicious BBQ, a tiramisu that will tickle your tastebuds and succulent sourdough bread along with ‘how to’ videos from the farm.

Plus, there’s more than just foodie experiences to enjoy over the nine days, as Paisley’s historic bar and venue The Bungalow hosts an online evening of music and cocktail making on Saturday 24 April.

Enjoy performances from The Vegan Leather, Tom McGuire and The Brassholes, Skaledonia, John Rush and Well Happy Band alongside tips on how to make some of your favourite cocktails by local businesses The Gantry, The Lane, The Swan, The Gleniffer Hotel in Paisley and The Brown Bull in Lochwinnoch.

Paisley Food and Drink Festival is also working closely with local takeaway website and app Paisley Eats to help promote businesses across Renfrewshire. Food outlets who would like to put forward a special dish or offer can do so as members of the Paisley Eats App or through the Paisley.is website.

Paul Dickson, Mill Magazine Director, said: “Over the last few years, it’s been a pleasure documenting Renfrewshire’s flourishing food and drink scene through Mill Magazine. Standards keep rising, new places are opening and there are more bars and eateries entering our orbit on a regular basis.

“The films we are producing for the Paisley Food & Drink Festival are intended to spotlight this exact depth and quality that the region now offers to local people. Although it was impossible to include everyone’s favourite places, the selections we have made are a real testament to what Renfrewshire now provides – and are the product of the exponential growth and evolution that’s taken place before our very eyes.”

Jason Smith, owner of Gantry Paisley, said: “Gantry@Home is delighted to be involved with Paisley Food and Drink Festival, maintaining our reputation for quality spirits and service.

“Our online tastings allow those who join to try some amazing spirits that they may not usually get a chance to try while at home – all in a relaxed and informal style.”

Regular Paisley Food and Drink Festival partners The Rum Shack and Three Sisters Bake are back for this year’s online event with a special Rum Shack Takeover evening of rum tastings (rum boxes can be purchased in advance), live bands and Caribbean cooking and cocktail making on Friday 16 April and an exclusive Three Sisters Bake-along live on Friday 23 April.

Zero Waste Scotland will also showcase a number of online cooking demonstrations during the festival as part of its Love Food Hate Waste campaign, including MasterChef – The Professionals 2016 winner Gary Maclean’s top tips for cooking with kids, recipes for two special eco-friendly cocktails and advice on how to avoid wasting good food.

Louisa Mahon, Head of Marketing, Communications and Events at Renfrewshire Council, said: “We are delighted to be back with a digital festival for 2021 that enables more people and more local businesses to get involved.

“This year’s programme has something for all ages and all pockets, with nine days of interactive activity from cooking demos to virtual tastings and brilliant ideas to get families cooking together.

“We will be shining a spotlight on the exceptional food and drink offer in Renfrewshire – just as restrictions ease and our hospitality sector begins to reopen so the timing is perfect. We are asking everyone to join us online, stay local and spend local.

More programme details for this year’s Paisley Food and Drink Festival will be announced online in the coming weeks. Follow @paisleyis on Facebook and @paisleyfoodanddrink on Instagram for the latest updates.

Information on the events and how to get involved in the interactive experiences and online cooking demonstrations can be found at https://paisley.is/featured_event/paisley-food-and-drink-festival/