Taste buds tingle at Hampshire Food Festival launch

Taste buds tingle at Hampshire Food Festival launch

We were very proud to launch this year’s Hampshire Food Festival to press and supporters of Hampshire Fare 'at home' on Wednesday 8th June in the grounds of our office at Rownhams House and Gardens near Romsey.

The stunning gardens of the weddings and events venue were transformed into a mini-festival with Hampshire producers offering tempting tastings whilst chatting to guests about their products. The array of flavours included local cheese, wine, charcuterie, pies, ale, gin, chutney and the list goes on.

Local food was also showcased with canapés created and served by a team of catering companies; Courthouse Catering, Elizabeth’s Kitchen, McCrimmon & Reid and Vanilla Catering. Meanwhile cocktails were shaken and stirred by a new local venture called Bring & Mix who used their expertise to create a menu of Hampshire cocktails incorporating local spirits and cordials.

The talented vocal duo Lilo’s Wall added to the festival vibe with their beautiful sounds. Whilst fruit was sent flying into the air by a juggling stilt walker from Creative Palaver. This year's Masterchef Champion and Hampshire resident, Jane Devonshire, even swung by to show her support for local producers.

During the evening guests were invited to gather and to raise a glass of award-winning Hattingley Valley sparkling wine to toast the 25th anniversary of Hampshire Fare. Mike Wright, Chairman of Hampshire Fare commented on the milestone:

“We’re very proud to be celebrating Hampshire Fare’s 25th anniversary at this evening’s launch event. We were set up by a handful of dynamic farmers and here we are 25 years on working with 400 members and launching our 16th food festival. The festival demonstrates what Hampshire Fare is all about. It brings together the county’s farmers, local producers, chefs, hospitality venues and retailers in a big combined effort to shout about Hampshire’s wonderful local food and drink.”

July will see more than 70 food and farming events across the county with something for all tastes and ages. Events this year include farm and vineyard tours, pop-up dining experiences, cookery classes and more. For this year only, 25 chefs have created 25 dishes which we be served at venues across Hampshire to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Hampshire Fare.

All Festival events are listed online and in the free programme which is available to pick up from local Southern Co-operative stores, pubs, farm shops, hotels and restaurants. For all the latest festival news follow @Hampshirefare on Twitter and www.facebook.com/hampshirefare.