There will be cookery demonstrations, celebrities and tasty treats galore when the annual Christchurch Food and Drink Festival returns next month.

The event promises two full days of live music and entertainment to feature around the town on Saturday and Sunday and organisers say this year will be better than ever.

As well as the main festival weekend, restaurants, cafes, pubs, bars and hotels throughout Christchurch will be offering all sorts of offers, special events and delicious menus between May 1 and 21.

Here's our guide to the event. 

When does it take place? 

The Festival Market and Festival Village open at 10am on Saturday, May 7 and Sunday, May 8.  On Saturday they will close at 6pm and on Sunday at 5pm. 

What's happening where?

Stalls will once again be located in the High Street lay-bys and Alley Market opposite Marks and Spencer.

The Festival Village will be back on the Quomps at Christchurch Quay which is where you’ll find food, drinks and entertainment.

The popular Italia in Piazza Italian Market will be on the Quayhead which will give foodies the chance to stock up on some traditional Italian fare.

What food will be on offer?

There will be a wide variety of local, regional and international food on offer from pizza, coffee, conker gin, crepes, sweets, ice cream, cupcakes, sausages, kebabs, cider, spices and herbs.

Which celebrity chefs will be there?

Dean Edwards who was Masterchef finalist from 2006 and is resident chef on ITV’s Lorraine will be demonstrating Aromatic Chicken and Peanut Thai Curry together with a Cauliflower Kedgeree between 1.30pm and 2.30pm.

Festival patron Lesley Waters will be joined by The Jetty’s Alex Aitken in the demonstration marquee on Saturday between 11.30am and 12.30pm. They will be making Smoked Salmon Vinaigrette, Lamb Daube and a Vanilla, Prune and Chocolate Tart.

Lesley will appear again from 3.30pm when she will be making Spatch-cocked Chicken with a Bacon & Egg salad, Beetroot Vichy Tarte and a Pistachio Pain de Gene.

Who else?

Other chefs include nutritionist Barbara Cox, Colin Nash, Head Chef at the Three Tuns and Simon Hallam, Head Chef at the Thomas Tripp, James Golding from The Pig Hotel and Jack Stein who will be demonstrating dishes from Rick Stein at Sandbanks.

What else is going on?

There will also be musicians performing in the Bandstand on Christchurch Quay, at the as well as in Saxon Square.

On Saturday May 21, Highcliffe will host the Revival Food Festival from 10am-5pm, which is also part of the Christchurch Food and Drink Festival. 

What is there for kids?

Cookery workshops for children will take place on Saturday and Sunday at the Kids Kitchen, held at the Priory School in Wick Lane at a charge. These include making Pan-Fried Griddled Haloumi with Sweetcorn, Pineapple and Coriander Salsa with Lesley Waters. 

Where should I park? 

Car parking is at a premium during the Festival weekend. Visitors are encouraged to travel into the town via public transport or park further away and walk to come by ferry from Wick or Tuckton.

How can I get there by bus?

Yellow Buses and morebus operate numerous services to Christchurch. With the High Street closed, the bus stops are moved to the Saxon Centre (just outside Waitrose) for eastbound buses (towards Highcliffe and the New Forest), and on Barrack Road opposite the Pit Site Car Park for westbound (towards Bournemouth)