Steyning & District Food and Drink Festival


The Steyning & District Food and Drink Festival starts with a bang at the 7th September Steyning Farmers Market and ends with a “pumpkin” at the 5th October market!

Each date will have different extra attractions such as live music; cooking demos; sloe gin demonstrations (hopefully some to taste & buy as well!), the annual pumpkin weigh-in, Chestnut Tree House Childrens’ Hospice Raffle for a Farmers Market produce hamper, plus, of course, all the wonderful produce stalls with special offers for the Festival.

The Great Steyning Bake Off - date not yet confirmed - a really community spirited event with cakes, scones, tray bakes, cup cakes etc., being lovingly prepared. They are all carefully secreted in tins, boxes & bags so no one can seem them until they actually reach the judging table. The thought of damaging them on their journey from home to competition is terrifying! Although a fun event, there is a serious element as well, as everyone wants their delicious entries to be given that coveted first prize. Last year children reigned – winning many of the classes; it was amazing. Our judges are Les Nicholson from the Artisan Bakehouse; Eddie Woodward from Cobblestone Walk and Laure Moyle from Pudding Fairy – all experts in their field. This year there will also be a STAR BAKER, who will be overall champion for the day.

The Beer Festival - FREE ENTRY - 20th, 21st, 22nd September – 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 & Saturday night sessions, it is a celebration of real ale.

The Author Dinner at the Sussex Produce Cafe (again another date to be confirmed) is annually a star of our Festival. Every year we await with real anticipation the name of the author who will be joining us. Unfortunately as the release of new books to be published in September is not available until end of June, it is always one of our last minute events, as far as confirmation of details. 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. Past headliners have included Mary Berry (one never to be forgotten!); Gennaro Contaldo (Restauranteur, Author Chef & Celebrity – what a show stopper & delightful man); Sophie Thompson (winner of 2014 Celebrity Chef, acclaimed actress and sister of Emma Thompson – a real character, giving a superb, witty interview) and Oz Clarke (Wine legend, author, TV presenter & broadcaster - what a fun evening that was!). As usual Steyning Bookshop and Sussex Produce will be organising this outstanding evening – watch this space for this year’s ‘name’!

The Ashurst Tasty Walk - 18th September – 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 - 14th September – Steyning’s best kept secret, hidden away from the High Street with its collection of independent shops, will be holding a foodie extravaganza. Food from around the world and local produce, tasty delights & health foods all alongside animals, crafts competitions & games. Fun and enjoyment is the priority on this wonderful family day out.

Wiston House Garden Tour & English Sparkling Wine Tasting
- 8th September  – a first for this year, and something that be a sell out 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.

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 & Open Brewery Days; Garden Party & Soft Jazz; Pub quiz; Orchard Apple Day; The Big Picnic; Champion Allotment Competition – the list just goes on.

Getting so excited about all the events, we must not forget all the awesome offers – Free digestive with dinner; free starter or dessert with any main meal purchased; free tea, coffee or chocolate with specified food purchase; discount on wine; free wine with specified meal taken; discounts on specified store purchase total – there is such an array of different offers, not really enough space to list them all. To find out more make sure you get hold of the Steyning & District Food and Drink Festival guide, or go to the website: www.steyningdistrictfooddrinkfestival.com

The Festival celebrates our area’s wonderful connection with food & 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. Grand Finalists were Steyning Farmers Market, Garlic Wood Farm Butchery. Finalists were Steyning Butchers (Steyning).

Our district is a special place, and food and drink here is pretty special too. All of our many foodie businesses are ‘stars’, so try and visit each and every one of them.

Throughout the Festival season some of our eateries will have a special Charity Dish on their menu. Should the dish be chosen, a donation will go to our Festival Charity which this year Is the Chestnut Tree House Childrens’ Hospice.

Make sure to check when you are dining to find out which dish will help our charity, as well as being something you will enjoy! Dishes included cover lunches, dinners, pizzas and even scones!  There will also be other events taking place through the 4 weeks that will produce donations for this wonderful cause.
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