Hampshire Food Festival Celebrates 20th Anniversary

Tracy Nash says: “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. There’s an event for everyone from pop-up dining to sausage and ale mini-festivals.”

This year Hampshire Fare’s award-winning Hampshire Food Festival celebrates its 20th anniversary. Established with the initial aim of promoting local food and drink producers, over the years it has developed into a cultural experience and made a significant contribution to the renaissance of interest in local food and drink.

Back at the turn of the Millennium, other food festivals were up and running, but nothing was on the scale of Hampshire’s. From the off Hampshire Food Festival had an ambition not seen anywhere else in the country. A jam-packed programme showcased pubs and restaurants as well as producers (which was not the usual approach then). It quickly grew, running for a fortnight during summer with events such as walks, talks, farm tours, tastings and demos. As other event organisers approached Hampshire Fare keen to be involved in collaborations, the Festival grew, in 2008 evolving into a month of activities during July. The Festival began regularly collecting Gold and Silver at the Beautiful South Awards, organised by Tourism South East. And as the food scene has developed, so has the Festival, taking in the county’s latest produce, including quality wine production and the revival of interest in spirits – with vineyard tours and opportunities to make your own gin.

Tracy Nash summarises: “The Hampshire Food Festival continues to provide what it set out to achieve 20 years ago: 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.”

The Hampshire Food Festival pages will be updated as the year progresses. In the meantime you can subscribe to our monthly newsletter to be kept informed. If you are interested in getting involved in this year's celebratory Festival contact the office on info@hampshirefare.co.uk or 02380 733830. Collaborations are open to non-members.