THE Food and Drink Festival 2004 is set to hit Cestrian taste buds in two weeks' time.
And there are more than 240 events taking place throughout the Chester area, nearly doubling last year's total.
The festival is under starters orders with the Cheese Rolling Competition down Bridge Street at 11.30am on March 10. This ever-popular, free event will draw into battle Cheese Rolling Giants from Cheshire, Cumbria and Lancashire.
On Monday, March 15, master chocolate maker of Le Chocolatier, Michael Levy will be conducting a chocolate appreciation evening.
A sell out event at the Chester Festival of Romance, the night will give you an opportunity to learn about the history and developments of chocolate.
If you prefer the savoury option there is a wine and cheese evening at The Office.
On March 17 there are a host of St Patrick's Day celebrations throughout the city, but also at The Office is the Mixology competition, designed to route out the best bartender in Chester.
For those wishing to indulge in wines rather than cocktails there is the chance of a free wine tasting at Pastarazzi with your meal.
On March 19, if you have missed out on the Sheriff's breakfast which is fully booked, why not have a girls night in at Brasserie 10/16 hosted by MFM Djs? You can try new beauty products, sample treatments and just chill out with friends. You'll also have the chance to indulge in the exotic flavour of WKD free of charge. Ticket prices are £5 which includes a glass of wine/soft drink and nibbles.
March 19 is also the day where the search for Cheshire's finest sausage is on, with the sausage trail at 1pm. There is also a guided Tasty Cheshire Tour learning about food and drink from the Roman Invasion to the present day. This ends at the Producers' Market and Sampling Day in the Town Hall Square from 10.30am- 4pm. The Producers' Market will also feature cookery demonstrations by celebrity chef Brian Mellor.
The Annual Assize of Ale is on March 20 and is entirely for charity - last year more than £4,000 was raised. There is a short hop to the Guildhall for the Medieval Feast in the evening. Tickets are going fast at £12.50 and are available on 01244 320 431.
The festival awards will be presented at a gala dinner at the Town Hall on March 23.