Hundreds Hit Highcliffe Food and Arts Festival

HUNDREDS hit the Highcliffe Food and Arts Festival at the weekend for fine food, delicious demonstrations and marvellous music.

The two-day event, which saw a smattering of rain on Sunday morning, included 150 stalls, celebrity cookery demonstrations, two music stages and a host of children’s entertainment.

Highcliffe Food and Arts Festival 2023

Highcliffe Food & Arts Festival 2023 (picture: Steve West)

The Portman Stone-sponsored cookery marquee featured top names including Cyrus Todiwala, Lesley Waters, James Golding and leading local chefs Alex Aitken, Luke Phillips, Pete Axworthy, Will Firman, Colin Nash, Ismael Pajaro, Loic Gratadoux, Christian Orner and newcomer Eduardo Lemus.

Lesley Waters at Highliffe Food and Arts Festival 2023

Highcliffe Food & Arts Festival 2023 (picture: Steve West)

The new children’s activity tent saw nature-inspired crafts, drama yoga and dance. The Grow your Own, supported by Eco Ecology, was a great hit, and the Kids Kitchen in the Old School hosted by Biscuits by Sarah was also hugely popular.

Highcliffe Food & Arts Festival 2023 (picture: Steve West)

Also in the Old School was a display of art by the children from Highcliffe St Mark’s primary.

The music stages, sponsored by the Chewton Glen, featured festival favourites including the Swing Unlimited Big Band, Sarah Bolter and Not Just Sax, and The Fifinellas.

Highcliffe Food & Arts Festival 2023 (picture: Steve West)

Also belting out tunes were Celtic Confusion and Highcliffe School, together with a range of soloists including Soldoro latin band with Sara Harris.

Loz Waters from the Little Craft Shack, who supplied more than 60 curated craft stalls, said most of her traders did well and praised the “great community atmosphere”.

Highcliffe Food & Arts Festival 2023 (picture: Steve West)

A shop window competition with the theme ‘We do like to be beside the seaside’ was won by village newcomer Natz Bitz, with Sue Ryder and Howie and Tickner coming joint second. This was judged by the Lord Bute who gave prizes of free meals to the winners.

Festival communications director Mary Reader said: “Judging by the many favourable comments on social media our visitors really enjoyed their visit; and the festival directors Terry Lester, Tina Jaffray and myself are very grateful to our small hard working committee of volunteers, sponsors and traders who support us year by year.

“We are aware that some of our residents who live in the village centre could not move their cars due to our road closure and we are really grateful to them for their co-operation. “To see the many shops, cafés and restaurants that became fully involved doing so well made it all worthwhile.”

stilts at highcliffe food and arts festival

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