Highcliffe Food and Arts Festival back after two-year break
HIGHCLIFFE Food and Arts Festival is back after a two-year break with a packed line-up of music, children’s entertainment and cookery theatres.
More than 140 traders selling artisan food and drink, along with a huge variety of crafts, will line the town’s high street and take up part of the recreation ground. It will run on Saturday and Sunday 11th-12th June.
The chef’s demonstration tent boasts celebrities such as Michelin starred Jean-Christophe Novelli and Dorset-based Lesley Waters, along with home-grown talents including Alex Aitken from Christchurch Harbour Hotel and The Jetty restaurant, James Golding of The Pig in Brockenhurst, and Luke Matthews from Chewton Glen.
Vegans will also be well catered for with appearances from Will Firman, from the Crow Spotter at Retreat New Forest; he will host a special Sunday morning workshop for those wanting to learn more about plant-based foods.
Two entertainment stages – one on the green and the other outside Tesco Express – will feature music from Swing Unlimited, The Fifinellas, Not Just Sax, SUBBzero, and No Liability, a five-piece band comprising students from Brockenhurst College.
Singer-songwriters include Sara Harris and Susie Kimber, and young pianist and vocalist Karl Lattimer is sure to impress with his original songs and covers.
Returning to the festival this year will be the Chefs on Stilts, and Christchurch-based online directory service The Little Craft Shack will again be running the crafts section on the green, showcasing a huge variety of local creatives selling unique handmade items.
Children’s entertainment will include a show by Tom Franck as the Rocket Man and the Mad Hatter, Little Gizmos, and a children’s circus skills area. There will be activities such as pottery and art workshops, a treasure hunt, face painting, storytelling and chocolate-making classes.
Coached by award-winning master chocolatier Kerry Witt, kids will make chocolate lollipops and giant buttons, which they can decorate.
Mary Reader, founder director of the festival, said: “What we are always really keen to do when running this festival is promote Highcliffe and what it has to offer all throughout the year.
“One of the town’s businesses, the Gourmet Grocer – which has a tremendous range of fresh produce you would struggle to find anywhere else – will be putting a stall out.
“Russell’s Plaice, which sells fresh fish caught locally out of Mudeford, is also involved in the festival, and Lauren Matthews Home, which sells locally crafted goods, will also have a stall.
“The point of the festival is to encourage those people who come to return to the town.”
Businesses in the town are taking part in a jubilee-themed window display competition, sponsored and judged by The Lord Bute. Decorations will remain over the weekend of the festival.
With a special green focus this year, organisers have ensured all traders supply compostable containers and cutlery.
Dorset waste collection service Junk-O-Saurus will also be on hand at the event, and reclaimed wood bins will be clearly marked for the disposal of recyclables.
To encourage sustainable travel, festival organisers have teamed up with Beryl Bikes, which will be providing additional cycles in the area.
For more information and regular updates see www.highcliffefoodandartsfestival.co.uk