New Forest District Council is expecting a tourism boost in November as the area prepares to stage its first ever Food & Drink Festival Week, from October 31-November 6.
Fifteen foodie themes, including Glorious Game & Roaring Fires, Cheese & the Forest Larder and The Vegetarian Forest Feast will be headlined by a range of events including a six-course ‘Tastes of the Forest’ menu at Chewton Glen and the ‘Six Sausages Dishes’ and chef’s challenge at the New Forest Inn.
There’ll be a Mad Hatters’ Tea Party for young foodies, as well as a talk on The Very English Afternoon Tea at the Montagu Arms Hotel and events connected to Pannage pig, forest drinks including our wines, beers and ciders, sweets and chocolates, foraging, pies, the great New Forest Breakfast, charcuterie, plus fish and seafood from our 40-mile coast.
Free events include a Living and Learning Event at Beaulieu Road Pony Sales yard on Wednesday November 2 where locals and visitors can learn all about the forest’s rich history and cultural heritage – followed by some scrumptious outdoor food cooked by top chefs. There’ll also be a producer’s market and chef demonstrations at Brockenhurst College on Sunday November 6.
The event has been organized by New Forest District Council in conjunction with the New Forest Tourism Association (NFTA) to bring additional visitors to the forest in the post-half term and pre-Christmas shoulder season, to provide activities for our locals and to showcase the unique food and drink available in the area.
Anthony Climpson, Destination Manager and Chairman of the New Forest Food & Drink Festival Week said: “Local menus have long included venison, officially foraged fungi and the New Forest’s unique Pannage pork – and this made us realise that we needed to celebrate our food and drink heritage a little more formally.
“The festival week will not only be a showcase of the epicurean delights of our magical destination, but also a celebration of the distinctive personalities and characters who grow, cook and serve our fabulous forest food and drink.”
As research shows that more people are holidaying and travelling in the UK – and this has increased since Brexit – a trip across the country to discover an interesting new area, try some locally-sourced dishes or learn from a Michelin-starred chef has become increasingly attractive to the British public.
The latest Economic Volume & Value survey for the New Forest estimated that visitors spent over £164 million on food & drink in 2015, so the impact of a successful festival could be worth millions of pounds of extra revenue for the forest’s businesses.
For more information or to book tickets, visit www.thenewforest.co.uk/newforestfoodfest
Press release for New Forest District Council about Food Festival