Recently voted Farm Shop of The Year by Surrey Life, Priory Farm in Nutfield laid on a sparkling event to give food lovers the chance to taste gourmet goodies and buy early for festive entertaining.
More than 80 stalls selling artisan and locally-produced fine food and drink were busy over the two days, showcasing award-winning products and offering seasonal tastings.
“So many people tell us that our Food Festival marks the start of their countdown to Christmas,” said Will Edwards, Priory Farm’s general manager.
“It’s always a fabulous event with a really great atmosphere and, above all, an opportunity for our customers to meet the people behind their favourite farm shop products.
Attending the festival for the first time were farmers Adrian and Sarah Joy from Bramble Farm in West Horsley, who specialise in slow-reared, free-range turkeys.
“We’ve loved every minute of it,” said Adrian. “We’ve been offering samples of our bronze turkeys and the farm shop has taken lots of orders already, which is great, but it’s also been fantastic to have the chance to introduce ourselves to Priory Farm’s customers.”
Other first-time exhibitors at the festival included Local Food Britain member Titsey Brewing Co, whilst visitors were delighted to welcome back familiar faces including Chalk Hills Bakery, The Real Pie Company, Greyfriars and Crumbs Brewing.
“The festival is a huge undertaking and every year it seems to be bigger and better than the previous year,” said Will Edwards.
“All the Priory Farm team and our suppliers worked so hard to provide a feast of food and drink that meant our visitors were spoilt for choice. We like to keep things fresh, too, so it was great to see new exhibitors and to extend a warm Priory Farm welcome from everyone.”
A surprise visitor to the festival was Father Christmas, who delighted the crowds as he browsed, and gave out treats to the children, helped by two giant snowmen.
Priory Farm owner Nic Shinner was thrilled with the festival. “My parents bought the farm in 1957, so as a family, we’ve enjoyed a lot of Christmases here,” he said. “It’s a really special place and our customers feel like extended family, so we really love helping everyone get ready for their own family festivities.”