Steyning Food Festival could attract visitors to ‘beautiful setting’

JPCT 210813 S13341479x  Steyning & District Food & Drink Festival. -photo by Steve Cobb
JPCT 210813 S13341479x Steyning & District Food & Drink Festival. -photo by Steve Cobb

The organisers behind the first ever Steyning Food and Drink Festival are ready for the beginning of the festival’s events next week.

After launching on Wednesday (August 21), the festival’s first event is a ‘food for free or very little’ at Steyning Museum on August 31.

Events will continue throughout September and into October, with a number of local businesses offering promotions and discounts.

Martin Leigh-Pillitt, 69, is the chairman of Steyning and District Community Partnership Visitors and Tourism Group, which organised the festival.

He said: “A few of us got together to think of a way we can promote the excellent food outlets we have in this beautiful setting in the South Downs.

“Thanks to a very hard-working committee here we are, with our own food festival in Steyning.”

Fellow committee member Reina Alston added: “It is the first time ever we have done it and it is the fact that we want to bring as much business to Steyning as possible.

“The Horsham Food and Drink Festival are very pleased with us, they think we have done a superb job.”

One of the highlights of the festival is a cook book which has been produced by Kate Gover.

She said: “It is a celebration of local dishes by local people - all the recipes have been submitted by residents, or people that have a connection with Steyning.

“All sorts of people have submitted and we’ve got all sorts of dishes. Most of the produce for the recipes can be bought at the farmers’ market.”

21 businesses across Steyning, Bramber, Ashurst, Edburton and Wiston plan to offer some kind of attraction over the festival.

Vicki Crush, who assists with the town’s farmer’s market, said: “A lot more visitors would be very nice because there is a lot to offer.

“We hope it will be very popular and that people will enjoy it, and hopefully come again next year.”

Organisers believe that is not just the food and drink aspect of the festival that will see the festival a success, but also that the natural South Downs area is integral to the festival.

Katharine Hale, representing South Downs National Park at the festival’s launch, said: “I hope it will bring more money into the town and recognise Steyning as a really good place to visit and hopefully they will come back.”