LOVE drinking and eating? Love sampling really good local produce? Well, you will be delighted to hear that the New Forest Food and Drink Week is back for the second time.
Running from Monday 29th October to Sunday 4th November 2018, the event is a celebration of all the fantastic food and drink on offer in the New Forest area.
Chefs, farmers, bakers and butchers will be among the producers coming together to show off their skills by selling their wares at special events, or putting on demonstrations to showcase their talents.
The first New Forest Food and Drink Week was held in 2016 and was a huge success, bringing out locals in their droves and attracting visitors from all over the UK.
This year organisers are aiming for an even better and bigger event.
Loads of restaurants, cafes, pubs and tearooms will be serving up tasty treats all week long, making it a great time to go out and discover what is right on the doorstep.
The fifteen themes include Cheese and the Forest Larder, Forest Fruits and Fruits of our Sea, Glorious Games and Roaring Fires, Heritage, Artisan and Charcuterie, Sensational Pannage Pig, Forest Fish and Fruits of the Sea and The Vegetarian Forest Feast.
Restaurants, cafes and pubs will be putting on special events which people can pay to attend, or just pop in to sample special celebratory dishes on their menus.
Among events planned is a local gin tasting at the Thatched Cottage Hotel and Gin Bar in Brockenhurst, which costs £14. Their gin bar actually has 100 bottles on offer! But for New Forest Food and Drink Week they will be concentrating on what local artisan distilleries produce.
At Hockey’s Farm Shop there will be sausage-making demonstrations and a ‘New Forest Foods’ Menu at Hockey’s Farm Shop, Fordingbridge. There will also be a special demo for the kids on 3rd November at midday.
Customers who drop into the shop at 11am will be able to see sausages being made in the traditional way by the store’s butchers. The New Forest menu will focus on Pannage pork, which comes from pigs who have roamed freely in the forest and chomped their way through acorns and beech nuts.
Experts say the seasonal diet gives the pork a unique flavour which you will be able to discover for yourself during the week by tucking into dishes such as a pulled pork bap, or The Great Forest Banger which is a chili pannage pork sausage served with coleslaw and baked beans.
At The Old Station Tearooms, Holmsley, they will be celebrating Sway Butcher’s wonderful sausages by using them in an array of dishes throughout the week.
If you really want to push the boat out book into the Balmer Lawn Hotel’s Beresfords restaurant for an evening gala dinner on Friday 2nd November costing £60.00 each.
There will be a seven course tasting menu with accompanying wine flight and live music from Saxonist Graeme Budd.
Many eating places will be offering a special dish on their menu to celebrate the week. At The Bell Inn at Brook you can tuck into the amazing meat produced by our famous Tom Hordle in the form of a burger priced at £15.00.
If you’d like how to produce your own fare with then you can pop along to the Chewton Glen Cookery School for their Fish and week.
You will learn how to make Crab and Saffron Tart, Nage of Fish and Shellfish and Escabeche of Vegetables with Soused Mackerel. Chef tutor Steve Bulmer will bet taking the classes which cost £95.
Kids can also a junior chef lesson featuring Bonfire Night Specials at the Cookery School costing £45. For that they learn how to make some sweet treats with a Bonfire twist such and chocolate and vanilla pin wheels and poison apples.
The week will end with a spectacular Food, Drink and Craft market, ‘New Forest Eats ‘n’ Treats’, on Sunday 4th November, which will be held at Brockenhurst College and will feature artisan food stalls, craft workshops and a pop-up food court.
At this fantastic market you will be able to try, buy and learn about local food, drink and crafts at the many stalls and at the chef demos happening throughout the day. One of these will be held by award-winning confectioner ‘Chocolate by Miss Witt’. Kerrie Witt who created the brand has just won Silver and Bronze medals at the 2018 World Academy of Chocolate Awards.
There were a record breaking 1,200 entries made up of chocolate produced in more than 45 countries this year.
Kerrie was thrill to receive a Silver Medal for her Mulberry and Lemon Chocolate and Bronze Medal for her Espresso chocolate.
It won’t just be chocolate on offer at the market you will also be to sample Beachcomber Gin, Ahh Roma Coffee, Barley Fudge Shop, Southbourne Ales and Naked Jam.
There will also be stalls where you can buy crafts such as candles, bags, bunting, wooden toys and clay figurines.
If all that sampling and buying leaves you hungry, the New Forest Pizza Co. and Clark’s Kitchen will be on hand to fill you up, along with a whole array of other food stalls including vegan options. There will also be some brilliant live music to enjoy throughout the day.
Eats ‘n’ Treats will be the perfect opportunity to buy high quality, unusual and local Christmas presents from the craft stalls. Entry is free and there is also free parking available.
For more information, visit The New Forest Food & Drink Week website at www.thenewforest.co.uk/food-and-drink/food-and-drink-week