The best Christmas pies in the UK come to Clitheroe next month, when the town hosts its annual festive markets.
And shoppers looking to get into the spirit will also find a gold-award-winning gin produced in the Bowland fells at the Christmas markets, which take place on Saturday, December 7th, 14th and 21st.
The "queen of Cossack cuisine" Leeza Murina will showcase her multi-award-winning chicken, cranberry and walnut piroshki pie – recently named Christmas Savoury Pie of the Year by British Baker Magazine – at the three markets.
Her piroshki pies – handcrafted from light dough, with 90 per cent less fat than traditional pastry and unique fillings, such as sea bass and cod and salmon and cream cheese – are feted by food enthusiasts across the UK, including radio personality Chris Evans, who has poured praise on them on air.
Meanwhile, Bowland-based Goosnargh Gin, whose signature tipple recently received a Gold Award in the International Wines and Spirits Competition, will be on hand to warm the spirits with their unique gins crafted from organic botanicals in traditional copper alembic stills.
And if that wasn’t enough, not only will the Platform Gallery a short stroll away host its annual Northern Star Christmas exhibition featuring a feast of handmade items from over 50 of the best artists and craftmakers in the UK, but shoppers can tuck into free parking at three town centre car parks from 9-30am.
The Clitheroe Christmas markets start on December 7th, with a festive lights switch-on at 3pm by Ribble Valley Mayor Stella Brunskill, live entertainment from Swing Commanders front man Peter Riley and a visit by Father Christmas.
Peter Riley will make an appearance again on December 21st, while on the 14th the market bullring will rock to the rousing sound of the Clitheroe Pop Choir.
Alongside the Russian Food Company and Goosnargh Gin, the markets will feature over 40 food, drink and gift producers, including the Ribble Valley Gin Company, the hand-poured soy natural candles of both Blenheim Candles and Matty’s Candles, and the vegan, cruelty-free and carbon-neutral skincare and makeup of hot brand Tropic.
Northern Star at the nearby Platform Gallery will feature a large selection of unique, handmade items, including ceramics, glass, jewellery, textiles, pewter and woodwork, with prices from just £2.
Artists include former Clitheroe Grammar School pupil Ella McIntosh, who is one of the UK’s leading pewter designers; Claire Williams, whose textiles draw inspiration from the windswept moorland landscape surrounding her Helmshore home, and Print for the Love of Wood, a small design and letterpress studio based in Great Harwood that produces cards, posters and paper gifts using traditional hand-set type and tree-friendly stock.
The Platform Gallery is open from 10am to 5pm Monday to Friday, 10am to 4-30pm Saturday and 11am to 4pm on Sunday, December 1st, 8th, 15th and 22nd.
Free parking is on offer on Saturday, December 7th, 14th and 21st, at the following Ribble Valley Borough Council car parks: Lowergate, Market and Railway View (council offices) in Clitheroe and Barclay Road in Longridge.
The free parking is available from 9-30am for shoppers only and other council car parks are not included.