Thousands of food and drink lovers basked in beautiful late summer sunshine as Local Food Britain’s Countryside Food Festival returned to Priory Farm in South Nutfield, Surrey for the second time this September.
The event, which raised more than £3,500 for Macmillan Cancer Support, featured everything from fantastic food and drink stalls, family cookery workshops and expert talks to birds of prey displays, beekeeping, children’s activities, a brass band and a classic car procession.
Visitors relaxed in the beautiful surroundings, enjoying drinks from local wine, spirit and beer producers and nibbles from top class food vendors, while watching the world go by and the light aircraft gliding overhead to the nearby aerodrome.
“We’ve received so much wonderful feedback about this year’s event, from stallholders and visitors alike, and it’s fantastic to have raised such a significant sum for Macmillan Cancer Support,” says Tracy Carroll, founder of Local Food Britain.
“With everything going on in the world at the moment, it’s been quite a difficult year for many small businesses. So it really means a lot to be able to host a purely celebratory day showcasing the food and drink of so many hardworking and talented local people.
“Priory Farm is such a beautiful location and Local Food Britain’s Countryside Food Festival has quickly developed a really lovely feel-good community vibe. We’re very proud of what it’s become in such a short space of time.”
A fun family day out
As well as offering a taste of what many brilliant local food and drink businesses have to offer, the festival also sought to educate and reconnect people with some of the amazing flavours and ingredients to be found on their doorstep.
Popular Surrey food experts Jack Sturgess from Bake With Jack, Ian Jones from Hill House Farm, Morgan Arnell from Crumbs Brewing, Francis Gimblett from Taste of the Vine, Emma Fuller from Velvet Fig, Mandira Sarkar from Mandira’s Kitchen, Stephen Dixon from Hot Pods and Laura Scott from Epsom Supper Club delighted audiences in The Lambing Barn with their expertise.
Beckie and Christian from The Salt Box, who are also based at Priory Farm, appeared alongside Hill House Farm to discuss their shared field to fork philosophy before showcasing the art of open fire cooking and leading family cookery workshops.
Among the other attractions, a food and drink tombola with items kindly donated by many of the stallholders helped to raise further funds for Macmillan Cancer Support. The event’s fundraising total will also be added to post-Christmas by the sales of this year’s Preserves with Passion competition winner.
An annual competition held by Local Food Britain, which is open to home cooks and their seasonal produce, the Preserves with Passion judging panel featured chef Laura Scott, John Bartlett from Bartie’s Sussex Faire and Katharine Dunwoodie from Macmillan.
The judges chose Jacqui Furse’s Spiced Beetroot Chutney, which featured beetroot and onions grown on her allotment, as the winning entry.
At the time of judging, John Bartlett said it had a “lovely balance of flavour between the beetroot, orange and spices. It will be good with cold meats - a perfect winter warmer.”
Jacqui’s Spiced Beetroot Chutney will now be recreated as a special edition product in the Bartie’s Sussex Faire range to be sold at markets through the autumn and winter season. Profits made from its sales will be going to the charity.
This year’s Countryside Food Festival coincided with Local Food Britain making the final three in the Best Local Food Event/Initiative category at the Surrey Life Food & Drink Awards 2019 – an award that would eventually go to our friends at The Salt Box.
We would like to take this moment to thank everyone who helped to make our festival possible. Here’s to all the fantastic local producers who inspire us every day of the year and to every single one of you who joined us at Priory Farm to make the Countryside Food Festival 2019 such a success.
Tags: food and drink