A celebration of local fare
July’s Hampshire Food Festival celebrates the delicious food and drink that is grown, reared and served in the county…
Now in its 16th year, the Hampshire Food Festival has become a not-to-be-missed date in the diary of every food aficionado. The festival is like no other, offering not just one day or a weekend, but a month of food and farming events from 1st-31st July.
Masterminded by the local food group, Hampshire Fare, the festival is an opportunity to discover the food and drink made across the county and the talented people working behind the scenes. Many events are free and you can just turn up on the day but others need booking in advance with popular events selling out early.
Events are varied and appeal to all ages, with farm and tractor tours, cookery classes and demonstrastions, pop-up restaurants and artisan markets, vineyard and brewery visits and plenty more besides.
Newlyns Farm Shop near Hook will be opening the farm gates as part of the festival. Owner Emma Higgins explains: “In the evening on Thursday 7th July we will be holding Celebrating Beef at Newlyns. People will be able to see the cattle on the farm, talk to our butchers, watch demos from our chefs and then tuck into a meal in our pop-up restaurant. We have been involved in the Hampshire Food Festival for many years, it is a chance to engage with existing and new customers and come together with other local producers to shout about Hampshire’s food and drink. We should be really proud of the food and drink made in the county.”
To celebrate the festival and also to mark the 25th anniversary of Hampshire Fare, 25 chefs have created 25 locally sourced dishes which they will serve in their restaurants, hotels and pubs throughout July. The Chesil Rectory in Winchester will be serving a Hampshire trout dish, Forte Kitchen will showcase Hampshire charcuterie, The Corner House will tempt with a Tea Cup Tiramisu, Caracoli in Alresford will be offering an indulgent Old Winchester soufflé.
A full list of the 70+ festival events, 25 plates and places to stay are available at www.hampshirefare.co.uk, the latest festival news can also be followed on Twitter @HampshireFare. Programmes are also available across the county in Southern Co-operative stores, farm shops, pubs, restaurants and tourist offices.
During July, more than 70 events are set to take place across the county. Here are just a few of the highlights…
Lavender Fields Open Days
Saturday 2nd July, Sunday 3rd July, and Saturday 9th July and Sunday 10th July, 11am-4pm
See the lavender and wild flowers in bloom. Tours, talks, tractor rides, massages, cream teas, gifts and plants are all available. No dogs please.
Where: Lavender Fields, Hartley Park Farm, Selborne, Alton GU34 3HP
Tickets: £4, under 12s free, no booking required just turn up www.thelavenderfields.co.uk
Leckford Food Festival
Saturday 9th July, 10am-4pm
Meet local producers in the grounds of the Leckford Estate. Plenty of flavours to try and buy.
Where: Longstock Park Nursery, farm shop and café, Stockbridge SO20 6EH
Tickets: free, no booking required
Mill Farm Organic Open Day
Sunday 10th July, 10am-4pm
An opportunity to see behind-the-scenes of this family farm near Alton.
Where: Mill Farm Organic, Isington, Alton, GU34 4PN.
Tickets: Adults £2, children £1, booking advisable 01420 22331 www.millfarmorganic.com
Exclusive Chefs Academy pop-up restaurant with a difference
Friday 15th July, 7.30pm
For one night only, academy chef Andy Mackenzie and Lainston House head chef Olly Rouse will join forces with the students at The Exclusive Chefs’ Academy run their own pop-up restaurant serving a four course set menu with matching wines from Hattingley Valley.
Where: Hattingley Vineyard, Lower Wield, Alresford SO24 9AJ
Tickets: £65 per person (including wines), booking essential www.hattingleyvalley.co.uk
Summer Fare at Mid Hants Railway
Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th July, 9am-4.30pm
A weekend of local food, drink, crafts and wildlife at the local steam railway. Meet some friendly farm animals and find out about the goods which used to be carried on the line and travel on the line yourself.
Where: The Watercress Line, The Railway Station, Alresford SO24 9JG.
Tickets: Adults £16, children £8, no booking just turn up, www.watercressline.co.uk
Pick your own and treat yourself!
Between 1st-15th July when you spend £15 on PYO fruit and vegetables you will get a free ice-cream as a reward!
Where: Durleighmarsh Farm Shop, Petersfield, GU31 5AX