Following a year’s absence, the Christchurch Food Festival returns this weekend. Here’s your guide to what’s on when and where.
Whereas the popular festival has previously been held along High Street in Christchurch, this year’s event will be held on The Quomps.
The festival’s Chef Demo Theatre will host top local and national chefs, and a full line-up of entertainment is planned for the festival’s main stage.
Children’s fairground rides will also be available as well as livestock demonstrations with the Sheep Show and music on the bandstand.
What’s new for this year?
A pop-up restaurant has been set up on Christchurch Quay, serving the very best product from two of Southbourne’s most well-respected businesses – The Larderhouse and Terrior Tapas.
Hosted by Onyx Events and sponsored by Shorefield Holidays, the Farm Dining pop up was open prior to the event from August 20-25 but will return for the bank holiday weekend.
To reserve a table, click here.
What time does the festival site open?
The free-to-attend festival will be open from 10am to 8pm on Saturday August 28 and Sunday August 29, but with an earlier finish on Monday August 30 at 5pm.
Who’s appearing at the festival?
British chef and TV presenter Rosemary Schrager heads up a strong line-up of celebrity chefs at the festival, which also includes The Pig Hotel chef James Golding, as seen on BBC Countryfile and C4 Sunday Brunch, who will be hosting two demonstration sessions over the weekend.
James will be joined on stage on Sunday with good friend and winner BBC One’s 2010 MasterChef competition Dhruv Baker.
Private chef and chocolatier Christian Orner, owner and chef of Salt Co. in Poole will also be gracing the stage as well as Colin Nash, head chef of the Three Tuns in Bransgore and Luke Matthews, executive head chef at Chewton Glen.
What happened at the last Christchurch Food Festival?
The last event, which was held in May 11-12, 2019, attracted around 75,000 people to the streets of Christchurch, as the festival was able to be held on Christhcurch’s high street and Saxon Square as well as Christhcurch Quay.
Chewton Glen head chef Luke Matthews and James Golding, group chief director at The Pig Group also attended the weekend event, which was the last instalment run as a Community Interest Company.
Should I drive? How else can I get there?
Organiser say that parking can be very difficult during the festival and have advised visitors to leave your car at home or park at a distance and get a bus or train into the town.
A number of Yellow Buses routes run to, or close to, the festival site, including numbers 1, 1a, 1b, 33 and 31, and morebus have the X1 and the X2 which run from Bournemouth to Lymington via Christchurch.
A Park & Stride scheme will once again be operated at Stanpit Recreation Ground. The car park, which has space for around 500 spaces, will be open between 10am and 8pm on Saturday and Sunday and closed earlier at 5pm.
The parking area will be manned by the Air Cadets with parking costs to be paid as a voluntary contribution that goes to them.
Where are the toilets?
There are toilets on the Christchurch Quay which include disabled toilets.
Is there disabled access?
There is disabled parking in all the town centre car parks, but it will be at a premium with so many visitors to the Festival.
The festival is only on Christchurch Quay this year which is easily accessible. However, the Quay is all grassed and so could be difficult for a wheelchair if the grass is wet.
Can I bring my dog?
As the Quayside gets extremely busy during the festival, which may make it very stressful for your dog, visitors are urged to keep their pets at home.
Guide and assistance dogs are, of course, welcome.