Event Date:24 August 2013 – 26 August 2013
Drop into The Chequers in Eversley Cross over the August bank holiday weekend and you’ll be in for a treat!
That’s the weekend the village local has teamed up with the village store and a wealth of local food and drink producers to lay on a Great British Food & Drink Festival.
Pub manager Jordan Marr is working with award-winning foodies from the Eversley Centre Stores, John Hartle and Gill Lewis, to help stage the three day event, and bring together great producers from all corners of Hampshire in a celebration of good things to eat and drink.
As well as an amazing programme of food demos and talks, with fun hands-on activities like sausage-making, fairy cake decorating and chef demos to get involved with, there will also be plenty of delicious local Hampshire fare to try and to buy, and even a Great British Menu inspired dinner made with great local produce on the Saturday night.
With a beer festival dishing out tasters of local ales from a beer tent on the Sunday and great live music and entertainment all weekend, the event looks set to be a fantastic, free family weekend.
“We take a lot of care in choosing the ingredients that go into the food we serve and our chefs cook with as much great quality local and British produce as they can get their hands on,” says The Chequers manager Jordan Marr. “We also want to do as much as we can to support local food and drink producers, and spread the word about the good stuff they grow and make, so others get to know about them and buy them, whether direct from the producer or from places like Eversley Centre Stores who do so much to champion local fare.
“There’s still a lot to be done to make more people aware of the amazing independent producers we have all around here, so we decided to hold an event that told people about it in an entertaining yet educational way, would be just the thing,” he continues.
“So, working with John and Gill we came up with the idea of a food festival that would be a community event and hold it at the pub, for as many people as possible to enjoy. Using the long August bank holiday weekend, when many people are at home enjoying a bit of down-time, felt like good timing, so together we’re going all-out to make it a really exciting three days,” he says.
The event kicks off in earnest at 5pm on Friday 24th August, with a masterclass in gin tasting from one of the country’s leading gin brand ambassadors, followed by a well-deserved G&T afterwards. The initiated can then stay on for a great steak at the pub’s regular Grill Night in the evening, when the experts from Aubrey Allen, butchers to the Queen, will be on hand to explain how the pub gets all its great meat from field to fork.
The carnivorous theme continues on Saturday morning, with sausage-making using Blythburgh free-range pork from Jimmy Butler’s Suffolk farm and a butchery demo where people can learn about choosing and using different cuts of meat.
At 12 noon until 4pm, there will be a local produce market where Eversley Centre Stores will have their own stall packed with great local produce, alongside a wealth of Hampshire producers selling their own fare. Here, pub-goers can stock their larder with everything from locally brewed ales and ciders to lovely Hampshire cheeses, chutneys, jams and cakes. There will also be flowers and floral displays as well as beautiful home fragrance and body care products from New Forest Aromatics.
During the afternoon head chef Ray Brenner will be doing a cookery demo sharing his tricks of the trade on making the perfect poached and scrambled eggs with hollandaise sauce, before going back into the kitchen to cook the ultimate British dinner menu. Tuck into four delicious courses then vote for the winning dish in this TV-inspired dinner and menu challenge. Booking is essential to enjoy this event.
Sunday sees a local beer festival with some hearty and lighter summer brews from Andwells, Ascot Ales and Hogs Back, alongside a great selection of local sausages grilled to perfection to savour with your brew.
The organisers are hoping as many people as possible will come down for what promises to be an incredible celebration of good Hampshire fare, and a fantastic festival of great British food and drink.
“We love local food and drink and are keen to do all we can to support local suppliers, so that as many people as possible try what they make and grow” says John Hartle from Eversley Centre Stores. “Supporting local produce is not only beneficial to the community, it also reduces carbon footprint and, most of all, it tastes great! With so much on our doorstep here, we’re pleased to be able to shout about it and hope that people will come along to the food and drink festival to enjoy it for themselves.”
The Great British Food & Drink Festival takes place between Friday 24th and Sunday 26th August at The Chequers, Eversley Cross, Hampshire, RG27 0NS. For more info please go to www.thechequerseversleycross.co.uk or call 01184 027065 to book for the Great British Menu dinner.