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Highcliffe Food & Arts Festival 2024 hailed a ‘huge success’ by organisers





Around 15,000 people attended Highcliffe Food & Arts Festival at the weekend, with organisers hailing the event “hugely successful with the best attendance yet”.

The sun shone over the two days, with food stalls along the high street and on the recreation ground with two stages of live music and 60 arts and crafts sites.

Local and national chefs were also in attendance, telling the secrets behind their menus, along with cookery schools, award-winning authors and experts.

Highcliffe Food & Arts Festival 2024 (picture: Steve West)
Highcliffe Food & Arts Festival 2024 (picture: Steve West)
Highcliffe Food & Arts Festival 2024 (picture: Steve West)
Highcliffe Food & Arts Festival 2024 (picture: Steve West)
James & Ericka Golding with Mary Reader, Highcliffe Food & Arts Festival 2024 (picture: Steve West)
James & Ericka Golding with Mary Reader, Highcliffe Food & Arts Festival 2024 (picture: Steve West)

Festival directors Tina Jaffray and Mary Reader said they were particularly struck by the “wide age range” of visitors.

“We were delighted we were able to offer something for everyone,” they said. “There were lots of happy faces enjoying the music from our two stages, which offered professional musicians and local amateur groups.

“High-quality cookery demonstrations, using first-rate local chefs and food writers, were also extremely popular; Lesley Waters created lots of fun and some sumptuous recipes, and award-winning food writer Sue Quinn taught how to use leftovers in a most creative way from her latest book Second Helpings.”

Highcliffe Food & Arts Festival 2024 (picture: Steve West)
Highcliffe Food & Arts Festival 2024 (picture: Steve West)
Highcliffe Food & Arts Festival 2024 (picture: Steve West)
Highcliffe Food & Arts Festival 2024 (picture: Steve West)
Lesley Waters, Highcliffe Food & Arts Festival 2024 (picture: Steve West)
Lesley Waters, Highcliffe Food & Arts Festival 2024 (picture: Steve West)

The range of children’s activities was expanded this year, with the circus school proving the most popular.

Crafting sessions were put on in the children’s tent, run by the Guides, Brownies, and Bella and Barley Craft, and there were sessions from Mad4Dance and South Coast Sports Academy, along with book reading by local author Julie Ratcliffe.

“Even tiny children learnt how to plant vegetables in the ‘Grow Your Own’ run by Highcliffe in Bloom,” said Mary. “And the Horticultural Society made seeds bombs to take home.

“Biscuit icing sessions were run in the Old School, and a pop-up play village enticed the younger families in on Sunday.”

James & Ericka Golding, Highcliffe Food & Arts Festival 2024 (picture: Steve West)
James & Ericka Golding, Highcliffe Food & Arts Festival 2024 (picture: Steve West)
Kids Kitchen, biscuit decorating, Highcliffe Food & Arts Festival 2024 (picture: Steve West)
Kids Kitchen, biscuit decorating, Highcliffe Food & Arts Festival 2024 (picture: Steve West)
Highcliffe Food & Arts Festival 2024 (picture: Steve West)
Highcliffe Food & Arts Festival 2024 (picture: Steve West)

Mary said it was “really heartening” to see so many visitors, with many “staying from beginning to end because there was so much to see and do”.

“The local hospitality sector including bakeries, coffee shops and restaurants also did a roaring trade on both days, such was the huge influx,” she added.

Looking to next year, she has made a plea for more volunteers to come forward and help out.

“Without the dedicated team of community volunteers we wouldn’t be able to do it,” she said.

For more information about the festival, visit www.highcliffefoodandartsfestival.co.uk

For more pictures and to buy images, visit www.photos.iliffemedia.co.uk/p805747889

Big Band, Highcliffe Food & Arts Festival 2024 (picture: Steve West)
Big Band, Highcliffe Food & Arts Festival 2024 (picture: Steve West)
South Coast Seafood, Highcliffe Food & Arts Festival 2024 (picture: Steve West)
South Coast Seafood, Highcliffe Food & Arts Festival 2024 (picture: Steve West)
Kerry Witt, Chocolates by Miss Witt, Highcliffe Food & Arts Festival 2024 (picture: Steve West)
Kerry Witt, Chocolates by Miss Witt, Highcliffe Food & Arts Festival 2024 (picture: Steve West)
Highcliffe Food & Arts Festival 2024 (picture: Steve West)
Highcliffe Food & Arts Festival 2024 (picture: Steve West)


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