A POPULAR Bishop's Waltham culinary event made its return.

“Bishop’s Waltham Bites” saw hungry residents sample treats, tasting their way around food businesses on the High Street on Saturday.

Food lovers sampled delicious delicacies in eight different businesses.

Participants were able to sample tasty treats for a fee of £5 at eight different businesses as part of the sold-out day.

Those who managed to get their hands on the ticket were treated to award-winning sausages, local cheese and apple juice, a Thai style seafood salad, locally roasted coffee and other goodies.

With the participating outlets providing the samples for free, and promotion costs covered by a grant from The Southern Co-operative, all proceeds from ticket sales were donated to Bishop’s Waltham Youth Club.

The group will use the money to fund an outdoor activity day at Marwell Activity Centre.

Serving up tasters were Natural Deli, The Southern Co-operative, Giorgio’s Mediterranean Restaurant, Piccola Roma, Any Fish, Grover’s Butchers, Apple Crumble and Kitsch and The Crown Inn.

Among the participants were large groups of friends, families with members from three generations and individuals, some of whom had just moved to Bishop’s Waltham and were using this event as a way to discover new shops and places to eat.

Anthea Hunter who attended the event with a group of friends said:“It’s brilliant. We’re supporting local businesses and it gets you into shops you haven’t been to in a while, or perhaps ever, and you see new things.”

Jenny, who moved to Bishop’s Waltham just 6 weeks before, said: “It has been a lovely opportunity to talk to some interesting people and to get to know what shops there are in Bishop’s Waltham. That’s the reason I did it. I’ll get the family along to the next one.”

Michael Mirahmadi, owner of The Natural Deli, said: “It went really, really well – a great success. Lots of new people who didn’t know we were here and even regular customers who normally just have a coffee tried our food and were really excited by it. So we’ll definitely be doing it again in October.”

The event has been organised by Winchester City Council’s Market Towns Development Team in collaboration with the Bishop’s Waltham Town Team to support local businesses and showcase the abundance of restaurants, cafés and shops that the town has to offer.

General manager of The Crown Inn in Bishop's Waltham Kenny Dryden said the event was enjoyed by 100 people and was a big success.

He said: "To my knowledge it went really well I hope the event comes back next year, they had 100 tickets and it is good to celebrate local food and local businesses."

"Each one brought their own uniqueness to the table, for instance the Butcher's had their award winning sausages and Piccola Roma served up pizza."

The next Bishop’s Waltham Bites event will be held on October 7 with tickets going on sale around three weeks in advance.