Steyning & District Food and Drink Festival - 2018

Saturday 1st September was the Opening Day for the Steyning & District Food and Drink Festival and it started not just with a bang, but one gigantic bang! The sun shone and the Farmers Market was in full swing with a live band, cooking demonstrations and a-buzz with wonderful food and drink stalls plus the official Prize Giving for the Best Allotment Competition 2018. The town was full of happy residents and visitors and the High Street was a feast of Competition shop window displays, which this year was being judged by Leigh Chambers from the Horsham District Economic Development Department. HDC started the whole idea of a Districtwide food & drink festival many years ago and six years ago Steyning & District took the event to their hearts and now represents a huge percentage of the businesses involved in this annual event.

The Opening Day morning started with Derek Crush from Daylands Farm, who judged the Allotment Competition, presenting a 1st place cup and £40 Voucher to Adrian Brown; 2nd place and a £20 voucher went to Sarah McCrimmon and 3rd place plus £10 voucher to Charley Lowe. All vouchers were very kindly donated by The Old Barn Garden Centre, Dial Post.

The shop windows and displays – all with a theme of food & drink – were superb and the second competition of the day. The effort & creativity was evident to see. As usual our Judge did not have an easy task in selecting the winners and was left feeling guilty that he could not select all as champions. There were two categories one for Non Foodie shops and one for Foodie, so all started from a very level playing field.

The results were:
Non Foodie section:
1st Mary Matthews Handmade;
2nd Baby Boutique;
3rd Smiffy Bears;
Highly Commended Steyning Antiques.

Foodie Section:
1st The Little Sweetshop;
2nd The Cobblestone Tea House;
3rd Green & Healthy;
Highly Commended Truffles.

The week following included a Heavenly Tea at Springwells where Hoogly Tea and Jordan Cakes served up a fun afternoon, sitting in the sunshine amidst Springwell’s beautiful gardens. £151 was raised for our Festival charity, St Barnabas. That same day, the St Barnabas Supper also took place at Sussex Produce, where again funds were raised – a superb £353.90. The Charity Breakfasts and special Menu dishes at several venues around the district were also in full swing, and raising monies for them. We will need to wait until the end of the Festival before we can report on the total sum raised.

The Ashurst Tasty Walk was over-subscribed with walkers who started off with a delicious one-course lunch at The Fountain, enjoyed a guided walk around Ashurst and the banks of the River Adur before arriving at The Artisan Bakehouse for a superb Strawberry Cream Tea. There was also successful Open Days at both Riverside Brewery & Adur Brewery, a South Downs National Park Walk, a Wiston Estate Winery Tour with wine tastings & canapes and a Flower Arranging Lunch at the Artisan Bakehouse.

At the time of writing the Festival still has loads of other wonderful events to enjoy, including the Gin Tasting Dinner with Dave Broom, The Great Steyning Bake Off, An Evening with Emanuel Hadjiandreou, the Cobblestone Walk Family Foodie Open Day and the Beer Festival, but these will need to be reported on within the next issue of our magazine. For full details of offers & events that will continue until 7th October 2018 visit:

The prize money was once again generously sponsored by: Steyning & District Business Chamber.
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