The second annual Ideal Collection ‘Best of Hampshire’ dinner was held at Sunnyfields as part of the Hampshire Fare Food Festival. The event was a great success and showcased the fantastic produce Hampshire has to offer. This year’s theme was vegetarian – the idea was to give guests inspiration on alternative, meat free dishes. Guests experienced dishes like the baked organic courgette, Sicilian stuffing, tempura flower, Loosehanger crème cheese. The majority of the produce was from Sunnyfields and was picked the same day.
Nearly a hundred guests sampled four courses on the beautiful setting of the farm. On arrival guests were given complimentary G&T’s that were made with Conker Gin from the New Forest and garnished with rosemary picked from the Community Roots allotment in Southampton. The team at the allotment also created 10 veg boxes and the table flowers – which were sold at the end of the evening, raising over £100. The Community Roots Project is Ideal Collection’s first charity project. The allotment located in the Polygon in Southampton offers an area for people who are experiencing a range of issues and challenges to gain new skills, socialise and achieve a feeling of self-worth.
With the sun shining on the beautiful surrounds of the farm, guests enjoyed live music from two local musicians; Lucas Raye and do.it. Once seated guests were given a brief description of how each course was assembled and more about the produce used.
There was a full bar on offer during the evening, with guests able to sample more local fare. Including, cider from Mr Whitehead, Ideal Collection Ale – which is brewed specifically for them by Itchen Valley Brewery and Stone Gorge Wine, which is a French wine – but a Hampshire-based company.
Daniel Turner, Marketing Manager commented on the evening, “We’re corporate partners with Hampshire Fare and we wanted to do a special event for their Food Festival. The dinner allowed us to showcase our local supply chain and the fantastic skills our chefs have in producing vegetarian cuisine – an area we’re focusing much more on our menus.”
Tracy Nash, Commercial Manager of Hampshire Fare attended the event with her family, “Tonight’s event has been inspiring in terms of how delicious vegetarian food can be with some thought and the right ingredients. Ideal Collection’s talented team of chefs created a wonderful selection of dishes using Sunnyfields’ fresh and flavoursome produce. I look forward to attempting some dishes myself using the Community Roots veg box I’ve bought this evening!”
As the evening drew to a close all agreed it had been a wonderful evening, the glorious sunset showed how picturesque Sunnyfields is. It now only leaves another year to wait for the next culinary feast during the Hampshire Food Festival 2016.