Make Arundel your base when you visit these Food and Drinks Festivals…
Although the Arundel Food Festival has been on hiatus for the last few years there’s still loads of great festivals for foodies to enjoy in the surrounding areas.
Food festivals are a dime a dozen these days, but you can bet your bottom dollar that the urban events that have popped up over the last few years pale in comparison to those found in the countryside. Unlike the large scale commercial ventures that have proved to be a magnet for urbanites, the festivals we’ve featured here are community run affairs that shine a spotlight on the very best artisan craftsmen and local producers.
Book into one of the many excellent B&Bs or hotels in Arundel and spend a weekend indulging in your favourite foods – you might even discover some new ones along the way!
West Dean Chilli Fiesta
The nearby West Dean Gardens truly come alive during August each year when literally thousands of chilli-lovers make the pilgrimage to the West Dean Gardens Chilli Festival. The festival has been run for over two decades now and presents visitors with over 200 species of chillis in West Dean’s picturesque Victorian Glasshouses. You’ll be able to bone up on chilli growing techniques, watch cooking demonstrations and taste every conceivable kind of chilli product. Once you’ve eaten your fill you can dance your socks off to Latin tunes and even learn how dance the Salsa!
The Arundel Festival has been running for 40 years now and has become a key date in the community’s social calendar. Not only is there a bounty of live music and performers to enjoy throughout the 10-day festival, but there’s also some fantastic food on offer courtesy of The Swan Hotel, The Burger Shop and The Loft. The festival is absolutely ram-packed with a huge variety of events both free and ticketed. Free street theatre keep the town buzzing throughout the 10-days, but it’s the annual Dragon Boat Race that consistently provides the biggest spectacle.
Weald & Downland Living Museum Food Festival
This award-winning museum should definitely be on your list of things to do if you’re thinking about visiting the area, first opening to the public in 1970 the exhibits focus on the preservation of historic buildings many of which have been transported in their entirety to escape demolition. Although it might seem like the organisers are temping fate by hosting open flames so close to these old buildings the annual Food Festival has proved to be a real hit, attracting celebrity chefs and top demonstrators.
Craft Beer & Gin Festival at The Norfolk Tap
It was only matter of time before a fashionable craft beer came to Arundel and The Norfolk Tap ticks all the relevant boxes: trendy styling, wide range of beers from all around the world and some truly winning events. On top of pub quizzes, free cheese afternoons and movie nights, they also run an annual Craft Beer & Gin Festival that showcases dozens of beers from the West Sussex, as well as highlighting the talents of local mixologists and musicians. This year expect to see award-winning produce from Liverpool Gin Distillery make it’s way across the country, as well as plenty more tasty treats!
We all love a sausage roll, but not everyone loves to actually bake.
Baking is a hobby that takes real time and effort, as opposed to eating which only requires the aforementioned if you’re intending on consuming a whole bakery.
Still, this goes a long way to explaining why there are so few bakers and so many cake eaters. Thankfully, Arundel is well known for its small community of baking enthusiasts who have been busying themselves for years creating and selling their fantastic baked goods.
It doesn’t matter what you’re looking for, whether it’s a top-class Apple Butterscotch Tart or an award-winning loaf, the bakers of Arundel and its surrounding areas can help you out:
Those Baker Girls
It’s always a pleasure to see people following their dreams and that’s exactly what Lesley and Gill Tapson have done. Whereas other people would have perhaps thought of starting a cleaning business or buying a pre-existing franchise, Lesley and Gill have followed their passion for baking and created a business that has proved to be an unqualified success. You can find them selling their wares at the Arundel’s Farmers’ Market on the third Sunday of every month (except August) or you can contact them directly to get a cake designed and baked for you!
13 Dozen Bakery
Every town has its ‘go-to’ bakery, a place where you’re guaranteed to be able to grab a bite to eat with minimum fuss and maximum satisfaction. For the town of Arundel that place 13 Dozen Bakery, whilst other towns might have fallen under the spell of chain stores and multinationals, the people of Arundel have stayed staunchly loyal to this little bake-house where you can pick up quality baked goods throughout the week, as well as fresh break, pasties, sandwiches, and a good range of hot and cold drinks. Long may the independent bakery reign!
Pallant of Arundel
There has been an independent grocers in Arundel for centuries, a tradition that Pallant of Arundel has sought to continue over the last decade. Business partners Mark Robinson & Jonathan Brantigan spent years working with some of the most prestigious food retailers in the business before deciding to start their own small business right here in Arundel. They sell everything from wines to cheese and meats, but there’s also a good range of pies and quiches to peruse too…
If all this chat about baking has got you eager to try your hand at doing some yourself, then why not give it a go? Although you could find a cookery book or peruse the internet for a recipe that catches your eye – there’s no need to bother looking when Wiz from Drink Gin & Bake has dedicated a whole blog to outrageously attractive bakes. Wiz is an Arundel-based engineer-cum-amateur baker who has been wowing the internet with her wacky creations, and she’s been kind enough to share the recipes! You can check out her Instagram to keep up to date with what she’s been making and then head to her blog to look for how to make them!