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Hampshire Food Festival is back after two-year break



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A MONTH-LONG celebration of food will take place across Hampshire from tomorrow (Friday), including an exciting programme of festivals, pop-ups, farm tours and cookery theatres in the New Forest.

The annual event will run throughout July and is organised by Hampshire Fare, a not-for-profit community interest company which works with nearly 400 members within the food and drink industry.

Tracy Nash, commercial manager at Hampshire Fare, said: “Hampshire Food Festival celebrates one of the great pleasures in life: food and drink with a relaxed carnival atmosphere and opportunities to discover new tastes and experiences.

Hampshire Fare's Tracy Nash (third from left) with guests at the launch event of the Hampshire Food Festival at Quob Park Estate, a vineyard estate and wine cellar club near Wickham (photo: Robin Creative Media)
Hampshire Fare's Tracy Nash (third from left) with guests at the launch event of the Hampshire Food Festival at Quob Park Estate, a vineyard estate and wine cellar club near Wickham (photo: Robin Creative Media)

“The festival continues to provide what it set out to achieve when it was set up in 2000: a great opportunity for independents to raise their profile and a unique way for everyone to enjoy and appreciate Hampshire’s heritage, culture, and sense of place.”

Balmer Lawn Hotel in Brockenhurst will kick off the foodie fun in the Forest, with a weekend of homemade pizzas, locally brewed ales and live music in the Lodge Kitchen Bar. The event will run from 7pm today and tomorrow, and between 2pm and 5pm on Sunday.

Lyburn Farm in Landford is hosting tours followed by a cheese supper from 6.30pm on 5th, 12th, 13th and 14th July. Booking is essential, with tickets priced £12 per person. Call 01794 399982 or email lyburncheese@hotmail.com

A Pothecary Gin pop-up tasting session with Martin Jennings will be held at the Montagu Arms Hotel in Beaulieu from 6.30pm until 9.45pm on 6th July. Booking is a must, with tickets costing £65 each. Call the hotel on 01590 612324.

Hordle-based Naked Jam will run a tasting event at its Silver Street base on 16th July from 11am until 4.30pm. This is a free event and is suitable for children - simply turn up!

For gin lovers, New Forest Spirits is inviting the public along to its headquarters in Ringwood to distil their own gin to take home on 16th July from 10am until 12.30pm. Tickets are priced at £110. To book visit wyrdspirits.com

Demonstrations have been a staple of Hampshire Food Festivals over the years (picture: Electric Eye Photography)
Demonstrations have been a staple of Hampshire Food Festivals over the years (picture: Electric Eye Photography)

Tatchbury Manor Farm in Winsor is showcasing its new wood-fired oven and baking traditional breads and pastries on 20th July from 10am until 2pm. The event is free, but donations are welcome and will go to Lymington’s Oakhaven Hospice. The event is not suitable for dogs.

This year’s New Forest Show from 26th-28th July will, as in previous years, host cookery demos featuring top chefs including Nathan Eades from The Montagu Arms, Andrew du Bourg of the Elderflower Restaurant in Lymington, Aaron Harris from New Forest Hotels, and James Golding from The Pig in Brockenhurst.

There will also be a local produce market jam-packed with New Forest Marque and Hampshire Fare members.

Food festival organisers will this year be celebrating the event’s postponed 20th anniversary, and say they are excited to be back after a two-year break.

The first ever Hampshire Food Festival in 2000 was one of the first of its kind in the country, according to a Hampshire Fare spokesperson.

“Back then, it helped to make a significant contribution to the renaissance of interest in local food and drink,” she said. “The festival also quickly achieved an ambition and scale not seen elsewhere.

Jennifer Williams of Hordle-based Naked Jam is hosting a free tasting event
Jennifer Williams of Hordle-based Naked Jam is hosting a free tasting event

“At a time when most food festivals were based around a market format and held for one day, Hampshire’s ran for a fortnight during the summer and included walks, talks, farm tours, tastings and cookery demonstrations.

“This ignited interest and by 2008 it had evolved into a month of activities during July, encouraging locals and visitors to explore Hampshire’s countryside, villages and market towns and discover its abundance of food and drink.

“Some of our greatest chefs and cooks contributed to the festival over the years, holding demonstrations, giving talks or writing the foreword to the festival programme. The impressive roll-call includes Raymond Blanc, Gino D’Acampo, Rose Elliott, Sophie Grigson, Ainsley Harriott, Shaun Hill, Mark Hix, Prue Leith, James Martin and Gordon Ramsay.”

Balmer Lawn Hotel in Brockenhurst will be kicking off the foodie events in the Forest this weekend
Balmer Lawn Hotel in Brockenhurst will be kicking off the foodie events in the Forest this weekend

Hampshire Fare was established in 1991 with an evolving role to champion local food, drink and craft, encourage high standards and best practice, and to assist producers to compete as viable enterprises. All members share a commitment to sourcing local, supporting their communities and contributing to a sustainable future for the county’s food and farming industries.

Festival programmes, listing more than 70 events across the county, are available from various farm shops, village store, pubs and restaurants. Alternatively, visit www.hampshirefare.co.uk/local-produce/publications



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