The 20th hampshire food festival

Come and join in the fun of the Hampshire Food Festival, returning this summer. Now in its 20th year, the award-winning Hampshire Food Festival is a glorious celebration of the region's food and drink with a programme of events throughout July. This is the biggest Food Festival in the country: encompassing BBQ, markets, pop-ups, shows, tastings, trails and tours across the county from 1st-31st July.

Hampshire Fare established the very first Hampshire Food Festival back in 2000 and it quickly achieved a scale not seen elsewhere. When most food festivals were based around a market format and held for one day, Hampshire’s ran for a fortnight and included walks, talks, tours, tastings and cookery demos. By 2008 it had evolved into a month of activities, encouraging locals and visitors to explore Hampshire’s countryside, villages and market towns and discover its abundance of food and drink. 

In this year’s Festival events programme MasterChef winner and Hampshire local Jane Devonshire writes: “The message to try local is a message which truly resonates at the moment. Choosing local supports your neighbours, considers the environment and strengthens the local economy. Just as important, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight’s produce is among the very best on offer across the country and, indeed, the world."

This popular Festival continues to feature a wide variety of tasty events. Highlights from this year’s programme include old favourites, among them farm tours and cheese suppers at Lyburn Farm in the New Forest; Fizz Fest, at Black Chalk vineyard in the Test Valley; and the local produce market and chefs’ kitchen at the New Forest Show. Exciting new experiences are also lined up, among them: a Gin and Beer Fest at the Gin Palace in Andover; Cocktails and Canapés with MasterChef winner Jane Devonshire at Gorilla Spirts in Upton Grey; gin tasting at Kimbridge Barn in the Test Valley; Pothecary Gin pop-up at Montagu Arms in Beaulieu; and Raimes Sparkling Wine Summer Courtyard in Tichborne. There are also BBQ Masterclasses with SoCal in Southampton, baking workshops with South Downs Sourdough in Cheriton, and a Food Fare at Westlands Farm Shop near Wickham. Special dining experiences will be popping up at Hampshire Deli in Wolverton, Balmer Lawn in Brockenhurst, and The Lighthouse in Milford, plus a Coates & Seely special event at The White Horse, Otterbourne, Winchester. 

Tracy Nash comments: “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. 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. We are inviting everyone to join the celebration, and how welcome that will be after the past two years.”

Free copies of the Hampshire Food Festival events programme will be available from various farm shops, village stores, pubs, restaurants and hotels, events and markets including the Summer Fete at The White Horse, Otterbourne, this Saturday 25th June, and Winchester's Tourist Office. The events will also be listed on the Hampshire Fare own events page HERE. A digital version of the Hampshire Food Festival events programme can be read HERE.