Thousands of people get involved in the first 10 days of the Hampshire Food Festival

Thousands of people get involved in the first 10 days of the Hampshire Food Festival

Last week saw the start of this year's Hampshire Food Festival organised by Hampshire Fare. The month-long celebration gives people the opportunity to engage with producers, sample local food and see behind the scenes of our county's food and farming.

On Friday Parsonage Farm near Andover held 'It's Meat and Drink to Us'. The event began with the farm's butcher demonstrating his knife skills at the block with lamb and pork joints. The meat was then transformed into delicious dishes by Peter Lane from catering firm 'I Cook, You Eat'. The audience tucked into samples of the food with wine and beer matched by the experts from 'Grape Expectations' and 'Mobile Bar3'.

There was plenty of ways to enjoy the good weather on Saturday and Sunday with a packed weekend of events.

Local beer took centre stage with tours, tasting and fun days at Flack Manor Brewery in Romsey, Alfred's Brewery in Winchester and Andwell's Brewery in Hook. Wine lovers toured Wickham Vineyard in Shedfield and tasted a selection of local wines at a joint event involving No 5 Bridge Street in Winchester and the Hampshire Wine School.

Meanwhile thousands took the opportunity to tour local farms including Newlyns Farm in North Warnborough, Hyden Farm in Waterlooville and the Lavendar Fields in Alton. Newlyns Farm welcomed more than 3,000 visitors to their event which continued on the Sunday with the final of the Newlyns Hampshire Amateur Chef of the Year Competition which was won by Jonathan Cantelo-Jones from Fleet.

For those eager to learn and try their hand at new skills there were jam-making workshops with The Hampshire Jam and Chutney Kitchens near Winchester, chocolate workshops with Le Salon du Chocolat and meat and fish cookery classes with Uptons of Bassett in Southampton.

Visitors to Lainston House on Sunday certainly made the most of the fantastic weather as they relaxed on the terrace with music from The Andy Dickens Jazz Band. A locally-sourced cold buffet was served including a selection of salads, local cheeses from Lyburn cheeses, buffalo mozzarella from Laverstoke Park Farm, roast rib of beef, hog roast pig, baked local trout, and a beautiful selection of summer desserts.

Tracy Nash, Commercial Manager of Hampshire Fare commented on the first week of the festival: 'We are delighted that so many people have already got involved in this year's Hampshire Food Festival. It's great to see so many people engaging with our local producers and discovering more about the amazing food and drink which is grown, reared, made and served across our county.'

The Hampshire Food Festival continues until the 4 August with events for all ages. This week there are more chances to try and learn about local food with more cookery classes, tours and tasting events. Discover more about the events in your area by clicking on the links below.

Related Links