Steyning & District Food and Drink Festival 2019 revels in community spirit

A busy programme is promised at the Steyning & District Food and Drink Festival 2019.

Festival fare
Festival fare

Spokeswoman Reina Alston said: “The whole Festival started with a bang at Steyning Farmers Market and ends with a pumpkin at the October 5 market!

“Each date will have different extra attractions, including such things as live music, cooking demos, sloe gin demonstrations, the annual pumpkin weigh, Chestnut Tree House Children’s Hospice raffle for a farmers market produce hamper, plus, of course, all the wonderful produce stalls with special offers for the Festival.

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“The Great Steyning Bake Off is a really community spirited event with cakes, scones, tray bakes, cup cakes etc, being lovingly prepared and then brought to be judged. They are all carefully secreted in tins, boxes and bags so no one can seem them until they actually reach the judging table. Although a fun event, there is a serious element as well, as everyone wants their delicious entries to be given that coveted first prize.

“The beer festival (September 20, 21, 22) takes place at Steyning Cricket Club, with its glorious views across to the South Downs. Running from Friday evening across the weekend, it highlights not only brews from our two local breweries – Adur Brewery & Riverside Brewery – but also other local sources. Locally made ciders complete the offering. With live music for the Friday and Saturday night sessions, it is a great celebration of real ale. Free entry.

“The Author Dinner at the Sussex Produce Café (date not yet confirmed) is annually a star of our Festival, and every year we await with real anticipation the name of the author who will be joining us. All we can say is that it includes a superb supper at the Sussex Produce, an informal chat with our celebrity conducted by Sara Bowers from the Steyning Bookshops and a personal book signing by the author of their new publication, a copy of which is included within the ticket price.

“The Ashurst Tasty Walk (September 18) is another firm favourite – a wonderful combination, lunch at The Fountain, a wonderful, guided walk along the Adur riverbank, a stop for a cream tea at the Artisan Bakehouse, more walking and then back to The Fountain for a well-earned bevvy before heading for home. This always sells out quickly, so rush to get that ticket before they are all gone.

“Cobblestone Family Foodie Open Day (September 14) is Steyning’s best kept secret. Hidden away from the High Street with its collection of independent shops, it will be holding a foodie extravaganza. Food from around the world and local produce, tasty delights and health foods all alongside animals, crafts competitions and games. Fun and enjoyment is the priority on this wonderful family day out.

“Wiston House Garden Tour & English Sparkling Wine Tasting is a first for this year and something that be a sell out pretty early on. A wonderful tour of the beautiful gardens at Wiston guided by head gardener Lachlan Rae together with a Wiston Estate Winery Sparkling Wine tasting led by Kirsty Goring,all paired with delicious canapes.

“Although I have done so, it is not really fair to single out any of our events as there are so many wonderful options: Henry Nicholls Valuation Evening, Cocktails & Canapes at The Artisan Bakehouse; Mulled Wine & Star Gazing at The Star; Harvest festival celebrations; special themed walks; farm cream teas; Pick It Cook It Workshops; wine tours and open brewery days; garden party and soft jazz; pub quiz; orchard apple day; The Big Picnic; champion allotment competition – the list just goes on.

“The Festival celebrates our area’s wonderful connection with food and drink. Last year The Artisan Bakehouse (Ashurst); The Sussex Produce Company (Steyning) and Garlic Wood Farm Butchery Street Food (at that time situated in Steyning) all won their classes at the Sussex Food & Drink Awards.”