REPRESENTATIVES from many of these businesses that are members of Hampshire Fare gathered at No. 5 Bridge Street in Winchester for one of the group’s informal monthly network events.

Members were eager to catch up on their plans for the year ahead and mix with other producers, chefs and buyers.

Melissa O’Dwyer, from Little Bee Bakery, said: “The Hampshire Fare networking evenings are a fantastic opportunity to make new business connections, but more importantly you get to be part of a bigger foodie community which is incredibly supportive. We all have advice and tips to pass on.

“For our business, 2018 is looking like it could be our best year yet. We have a new website, plans for an online retail shop for our iced biscuits – which we can now offer gluten free, dairy free and vegan.”

Businesses involved with Hampshire Fare receive marketing and PR support, exclusive event opportunities, business training, routes to market and promotion via the group’s communication channels. The overall aim is to engage the public in the local produce made here in Hampshire.

Ideal Collection, the hospitality group behind No. 5 Bridge Street, have been long term supporters of local producers.

Oliver Weeks, director said: “This evening’s event emphasises just how alive the Hampshire food scene is.

“We are extremely fortunate to work alongside such passionate and talented producers.

“Sourcing local ingredients has always been a focus for Ideal Collection and

working with Hampshire Fare has brought new opportunities.”