Steyning Food and Drink Festival returns

Harry and Pip Goring from the Wiston Estate, which is offering a wine tour as part of the festival
Harry and Pip Goring from the Wiston Estate, which is offering a wine tour as part of the festival

Forget muddy fields and music, when it comes to festivals in Steyning, it is all about grow your own, beer and cream teas.

Steyning and District Food and Drink Festival is back again this year for the third time.

Organised by Steyning and District Community Partnership visitors and tourism group, it will run under the umbrella of the Horsham Food and Drink Festival organised by Horsham District Council.

Taking place from September 5 until October 4, a number of exciting foodie events are planned and visitors will also see a couple of familiar faces.

Celebrity headliners this year include the famous wine expert Oz Clarke on September 22, and actress and winner of last year’s Celebrity MasterChef, Sophie Thompson, on October 1.

“Together with all committee members, we are extremely proud to be bringing to the area the third Steyning and District Food and Drink Festival,” enthuses Reina Alston, a member of the organising committee.

“It is, of course, loads of hard work, but also great fun putting together all the offers and events, which could not happen if it were not for the enthusiasm and support of all the local businesses.

“This year we have approximately 60 events and more than 40 offers. Every year, the whole event just grows and grows.”

Supporting local businesses, there are a number of events to get your teeth into, including a safari supper in aid of the Chestnut Tree House children’s hospice, a wine tour around Wiston Estate and a ‘pick it cook it’ hedgerow workshop.

There are also a range of festival offers from free chocolate to discounts in shops, special lunch offers, free coffee or desserts and discounts on wine.

During the final week of the festival there will be a best food theme shop window competition, with prizes being sponsored by Steyning and District Business Chamber.

All shops are encouraged to participate, whether or not they are food shops, with the judging taking place at 11am on October 3.

Throughout the festival there will also be a hidden recipe competition with a number of High Street shops.

The aim of the treasure trail is to take the clues and figure out from the ingredients found what the name of the well-known classic dish is.

Under the Harvest Festival banner, other competitions taking place will be best own home grown fruit, best children’s fancy dress (food theme) and a baking contest, all of which will be taking place at the Ashurst Country Fair and Dog Show.

People from the Steyning and Upper Beeding area can also enter in the best allotment competition.

“Everyone needs to get hold of one of the programmes as most offers require sight of the booklet,” explains Reina.

“Our website is also full of information and will give you dates of events and where to buy tickets, where required, and, of course, ever more offers.

“All in all, the festival is something to really look forward to.”

There are also a number of free events for people to enjoy including a live cooking demonstration at the farmers’ market in Steyning High Street, the Big Picnic at The Rifle Range with Steyning Downland Scheme and ‘tea time treats and etiquette of this very British tradition’ at the Cobblestone Tea House.

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