Dinner is served! 20th Christchurch Food Festival set to be ‘the best yet’

Crowds enjoy the Christchurch Food Festival

A CABARET night featuring a delicious dinner you can enjoy while being serenaded by wonderful singers Jax Hall and Lea Martin will be kicking off the Christchurch Food Festival at a special party night.


Held tonight (Friday), the event in the demonstration theatre on Christchurch Quay includes a welcome drink, one-course supper from the gastropod, followed by the entertainment which also includes a disco. Tickets are only £25 per person.

Festival founder Mary Reader said she believes the event, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, is going to be the best yet.

She said: “I am so proud that the Christchurch festival has made it to 20 years old. It is thanks to the amazing team of volunteers who have stayed together and worked so hard to bring this great event to town.

“It supports the economy and community of Christchurch and little did I think that when we all started to work together that it would grow and become a festival where entire families can come along to enjoy a great weekend, as there is literally something for everyone.”

On the weekend itself there will be more food stalls than ever meaning visitors will be able to enjoy virtually every cuisine from all over the world.

The street market in the high street will feature over 100 stalls selling everything from bratwurst, cider, Cornish Gouda, curry, crepes, gin, marshmallows, fudge, olives and chocolate.

In homage to local former football manager and famous ‘I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here!’ winner Harry Rednapp there is even a stall selling jam roly poly – the treat Harry dreamt about eating when he came out of the jungle.

New for this year Saxon Square is a vegan and vegetarian quarter where non-meat eaters and even those who just want to try something a bit different will find lots of really interesting foods to taste.

On the Quomps there is the festival village where celebrity chefs will be showing off their skills including Lesley Waters, Dean Edwards, Alex Aitken, James Golding and Andrew Gault.

Demos start at 10.30am both days and finish at 4.30pm.

For the children there is a Kids’ Kitchen learning zone where they can be taught by Dr Sean Beer from Bournemouth University how to pick the best ingredients to cook with. He will be helped out by Di Thomas, healthy eating specialist for Waitrose.

At 11am each day there is ‘A meal for someone you love’ session followed at 1pm with ‘Cooking for children from Roald Dahls revolting recipes.’

At 3pm the kids can have another go at cooking up something lovey-dovey. All sessions are free with just a donation to charity.

Organisers of the festival are appealing to visitors to travel to it by public transport. But for those who need to drive new for this year is park & stride where for £5 you can leave your car at Stanpit Recreation Ground, BH23 3NA.

You can stroll to the festival via the cycle path which should take around 10-15 minutes. The walk is also suitable for wheelchairs and buggies. The park & stride is open from 10am-5pm.