Harry Potter star and giant pumpkins at Steyning Food Festival

The annual pumpkin weighing competition. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-150410-231411008
The annual pumpkin weighing competition. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-150410-231411008

With a Harry Potter star and giant pumpkins, this year’s Steyning and District Food and Drink Festival had an air of magic about it.

Actress Sophie Thompson, star of films including Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Emma and Four Weddings and Funeral, was a guest speaker at one the festival’s events.

Thel Pumpkin competition - the winning family, Adrian and Claire Ridley and their children Jacob, 7, and twins Noah and Mabel, 3. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-150410-231433008

Thel Pumpkin competition - the winning family, Adrian and Claire Ridley and their children Jacob, 7, and twins Noah and Mabel, 3. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-150410-231433008

Sophie, who won Celebrity Masterchef 2014, delighted fans and fellow diners at the Sussex Produce Café with tales of her theatrical career and a talk about her new book, My Family Kitchen.

Reina Alston from the Steyning Food Festival said: “All present for the evening were so pleased to welcome Sophie, as she was more like an old friend than a celebrity, signing copies of her book with wonderful personalised messages.”

Elsewhere in the festival, Steyning car park was filled with giant pumpkins for the annual pumpkin weighing competition on Saturday morning.

Reina added: “The Farmers Market was also in full swing, with Kate Gover from Kate’s Cookhouse presiding over cooking demonstration of pumpkin based recipes, along with live music and local produce stalls.

Derek and Vicky Crush who run the market. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-150410-231455008

Derek and Vicky Crush who run the market. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-150410-231455008

“Derek Crush from Daylands Farm starts the whole process by selling pumpkin plants early in the year, with all proceeds going to St Barnabas Hospice. Entry fees for the competition are also donated to the charity.

“Attending with his weighing machine was Malcolm Atterbury with his trusty tractor and hoist. Derek proclaimed the winners as the Ridley family - young Jacob, twins Noah and Mabel and their father, Adrian. The family won last year as well - the soil in their garden must be really special.”

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Lynne Paris - 'Rowdy and Fancy's Chocolate'. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-150410-231444008

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Steyning Farmers Market - Amelia Hilton. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-150410-231327008

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Steyning Farmers Market. John Pittam - Adur Brewery. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-150410-231349008

Steyning Farmers Market. John Pittam - Adur Brewery. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-150410-231349008

Carol Smith made Sloe Gin. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-150410-231305008

Carol Smith made Sloe Gin. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-150410-231305008

Jess Streeter, Sussex Roses. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-150410-231316008

Jess Streeter, Sussex Roses. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-150410-231316008