THIS weekend thousands of people from across the world are to flock to the seventh Abergavenny Food Festival.

Organisers are hoping the number of people coming to the town on Saturday, September 17, and Sunday 18 will beat last year's total of 25,000 visitors.

Director Martin Orbach said: "Bookings for specific events are well up on last year, so we are just hoping for good weather and that it will filter through to general entry ticket sales."

Programme requests now come from as far afield as Australia, the USA and Sweden, as well as across the UK.

Mr Orbach said: "Best of all, we are attracting a lot of regular interest from across South- East Wales."

General entry to the food festival for one day costs £3.50 for adults, £1.50 for children or £8.50 for a family. For a weekend ticket it is £6 for adults, £2 for children and £14 for a family.

This includes entry to the market hall, which will house a vast array of produce from Wales and elsewhere.

Away from the hub of the festival, there will be a children's programme at the castle, with workshops and demonstrations for budding chefs.

The choice continues with Waitrose at the Priory Centre, which will stage children's workshops.

There's a fish market and, at J Straker Chadwick & Sons, there will be a special cheese and wine selection on offer.

You can also buy specific tickets for events like masterclasses, demonstrations and tastings of everything from chocolate to chilli peppers.

Names like Anthony Bourdain, AA Gill, Peter Greenaway and Brent Cockbain triggered a rush of early bookings this year and have the festival's director bubbling with enthusiasm.

But Mr Orbach added: "I'm pleased we're having the children's venue and I'm excited to see how it goes. It's important that children are better educated about eating and we are trying to introduce them to the joy of food."