THE best produce and food from Loch Lomond and beyond will descend on the area for a two-day event this week.

Taking place over this Saturday and Sunday, September 14 and 15, The Loch Lomond Food and Drink Festival celebrates annually the high standard and variety of food and drink produced in this area.

It is held as part of the Scottish Food and Drink Fortnight, and is the eighth food and drink festival to go ahead.

This event brings in more than 20,000 people to the Bonnie Banks.

Highlights will include: food and drink stalls, with delicious local produce and samples; a real ale tent; the world’s best shortbread; cookery demonstrations, with Ian McCulloch and Scotia Spice and a mini-zoo and birds of prey displays.

The chance to milk a cow is with the RHET is also on offer. There will be live music on both days and a chance to see performances from Rapture Dance. For the cookery demonstrations Ryan Neill from Cameron House will be taking to the stage with colleague Yasmin McDonagh. There will also be a vegetarian selection to suit, and all demonstrations are free.

Kenny Macdonald is a well kent face in the Whisky fraternity and he will be running tasting sessions with some interesting bottles over the weekend. One hour tutorials with his will be available on how to know your whisky and how to match whiskies with specific foods.

There will be five whiskies sampled in each tutorial and you will have some food tasting alongside.

The tastings are on Saturday and Sunday (September 14 and 15) and are running at noon, 1.30pm, 3pm and 4.30pm can be booked in advance by emailing or turn up on the day.  Spaces are limited so advance booking is advised.

James Withers, chief executive of Scotland Food and Drink is delighted to celebrate the festival. He told the Reporter: “Loch Lomond Food and Drink Festival showcases local produce with lots of local specialities.

“Scottish Food and Drink Fortnight is a highlight of the Year of Natural Scotland, encouraging people to discover Scotland’s natural larder which offers the high quality premium produce which makes our country a land of food and drink.

“More than 200 events will take place across the country with something for all tastes and ages- I invite people to participate and Eat Scottish.” Two shows featuring well known TV personalities — but with widely differing content — are coming to the Victoria Halls in Helensburgh next week.

On Thursday, Scots entertainer Elaine C Smith brings her own one-woman show to the halls.

Elaine is fulfilling a long time ambition to perform in some of the iconic West Coast entertainment venues and has chosen Helensburgh as part of the tour. Elaine will deliver her own brand of outrageous and wickedly funny stand up, and the audience will get the opportunity to question the woman herself.

Then on Friday, Derek Acorah, one of the most respected spiritualist mediums of a generation visits the halls.

Derek is noted for his insightful and accurate talents and he also has the ability to entertain.

Derek’s sincere and friendly approach marks him out as someone very special as he continues to bring help and support to so many.

Elaine C Smith is at the halls on Thursday, September 12 and Derek Acorah on Friday, September 13 .

Both shows start at 7.30pm with doors opening at 7pm. Tickets for both shows are £18 adult and £16 concession.

The Reporter has two tickets for each show as competition prizes. To be a winner, all you have to do is answer the following questions: Elaine C Smith is famous for starring with Gregor Fisher in which TV comedy show?

What skills have made Derek Acorah famous?

Email your answers to by Wednesday, September 11 and the winners will be picked at random.

This contest is open to both readers of the Reporter and the Helensburgh Advertiser.