A CELEBRATION of the city's culinary delights will take place this summer as Winchester Food Festival returns with a whole week of fun and events. 

Hampshire Fare, the county’s food, drink and craft group, announced the return of the Winchester Food Festival after a successful inaugural event last year.

In collaboration with Winchester BID and Winchester Cathedral, this year's festival promises to be bigger and better. It is free to attend and is a celebration of the finest local produce from the Winchester district and beyond.

Hampshire Chronicle: Winchester Food Festival

The 2024 Winchester Food Festival will feature an expanded array of stalls, activities for all ages, and chef demonstrations on the main day, Sunday, July 14, in the picturesque Outer Close of Winchester Cathedral. Attendees can indulge in a diverse selection of local delicacies, including micro-greens, trout, coffee, orchard juices, cheeses, honey, beer, and gin.

New this year, Winchester Food Festival will be preceded by a week-long programme of events from Monday, July 8 to Saturday, July 13 under the umbrella ‘A Taste of Winchester’. 

Hampshire Fare will be working with Winchester City Council to engage with local food, drink producers, makers and hospitality businesses based within the Winchester district and encourage them to get involved in the build-up to the festival day by holding events and activities, from tastings and foodie masterclasses to special offers and themed menus.

Cllr Lucille Thompson, portfolio holder for business and culture, said: “This inclusive community event allows residents and visitors to to savour flavours from across the district. A week of culinary events will not only add another exciting dimension to the festival but will also help to support local businesses and encourage both visitors and residents to ‘shop local, think local and support local’, especially during independent business month. Winchester City Council is delighted to be working in collaboration with Hampshire Fare, Winchester BID and Winchester Cathedral to celebrate the district’s food and drink offer.”

Hampshire Chronicle: Winchester Food Festival

Natasha Dochniak, Hampshire Fare's commercial manager, said: “Hampshire has an abundance of exceptional food and drink producers, and we are delighted to be growing our event to celebrate A Taste of Winchester. The Cathedral provides a stunning backdrop for the Food Festival, and we can't wait to share our plans for the week as they unfold."

Dr Paul Spencer, Winchester Business Improvement District (BID), said: "Winchester BID is thrilled to once again support the Winchester Food Festival. Winchester is a haven for food enthusiasts, and July 14th will be a feast for them. We also look forward to seeing our members working together in A Taste of Winchester and celebrating Independent Business Month.”

The Outer Close of Winchester Cathedral will provide a stunning backdrop for the Food Festival and the perfect setting to savour a picnic of local delights while enjoying the chef's stage performances.

John Blake, Winchester Cathedral's commercial director, said: “We are pleased to be hosting this wonderful event again and see it grow. We are excited to welcome Hampshire Fare, their members and the public to celebrate the great flavours of the county.”

Hampshire Chronicle: Winchester Food Festival

All the news and events will be shared in weekly local newspaper, the Hampshire Chronicle, which is also this year's media partner. 

Kimberley Barber, editor of the Hampshire Chronicle, said: “We are so excited already for this year’s Winchester Food Festival and A Taste of Winchester. It’s such a great event. We are looking forward to meeting lots of great local producers and tasting some delicious food! We are delighted to be this year’s media partner too, and we will be bringing our readers all the news in the build-up to the event in July and after.”

The Winchester Food Festival is made possible by the generous support of local businesses, such as partner, Clarke & Son, Hampshire Fare’s valued legal partner.

Hampshire Chronicle: Winchester Food Festival

William Anderson, director, said: "We are really happy to partner with Hampshire Fare to celebrate local produce and craft at the Winchester Food Festival. This festival embodies the spirit of collaboration, and we are proud to play a part in fostering community connection and supporting the local businesses of Hampshire.”

Businesses are being encouraged to sponsor the event. For more information email natasha.dochniak@hampshirefare.co.uk.