A showcase of the best of West Sussex food and drink was on offer for MPs and guests, with West Sussex-based MasterChef Champion 2018 Kenny Tutt making a special appearance on Thursday (November 29) at the Houses of Parliament.
It was attended by over 300 MPs and staff from across the UK who are based there.
They took part in tastings from 16 artisan producers from across West Sussex, a county which is becoming increasingly well-known as a foodie destination.
The showcase was suggested and hosted by Sir Peter Bottomley, MP for Worthing West.
Others attending included Tim Loughton MP for East Worthing and Shoreham, Nick Herbert MP for Arundel and South Downs, Gillian Keegan MP for Chichester, Henry Smith MP for Crawley and others from outside West Sussex, including Chi Onwurah MP, Liz Truss MP and Jo Churchill MP.
Sir Peter Bottomley said: “West Sussex has many jewels in its crown. Food and drink are, by far, the most attractive.
“Many of our producers have been picked up globally, with chocolates selling in China, gin in Germany and biscuits in Brazil. Our food and drink are not just an export, they’re an import too. Tourists flock from across the world to see our vineyards and our kitchens – they are an asset to each and every constituent and something we should be proud of.”
Leader of West Sussex County Council Louise Goldsmith said: “This exciting opportunity allowed us to demonstrate the extraordinary breadth of West Sussex artisan producers, from fine cheeses, ales, roasted coffee, ciders, spirits, chocolates, baked goods, honey and wine, and of course the famous Sussex sparkling wines of the region.
“West Sussex is a fantastic foodie destination with so many amazing experiences for visitors to enjoy and it was a pleasure to see MPs from other parts of the country enjoying a taste of what our amazing county has to offer.”
Cheese producers High Weald Dairy and Bookham Harrison Farms offered tastings of their superb, award-winning cheeses, including Sussex Charmer, which won Best British Cheddar at the 2017 Quality Food Awards.
Sparkling and still wines from Bolney Wine Estate, Highdown Vineyard and Wiston Estate Winery were sampled, alongside Silly Moo Cider, gin from Slake Spirits, Wobblegate apple juices and ciders and ales from Hepworths and Co Brewers.
Locally roasted and blended teas and coffees from Edgcumbes were on show, as well as beautiful chocolates and sweet treats from Frog Hollow Catering and Noble and Stace chocolatiers and honey from South Downs Honey.
Baked delights were served by The Artisan Bakehouse, also known for its superb baking courses and experiences, as well as gingerbread people from Sam’s Kitchen and award-winning pies, quickes and sausages from renowned farm shop Rushfields.
More foodie experiences can be discovered at www.experiencewestsussex.com