South Downs food and drink was celebrated last night [September 21] with the regional launch of British Food Fortnight, when the team behind southdownsfood.org brought together over 120 leading lights in the industry and media at the Rathfinny Estate in East Sussex.
World beating vineyards from Sussex, including Bolney Wine Estate, Plumpton College, Bluebell Vineyard and Ridgeview offered tastings of their superb sparkling wines; MasterChef: The Professionals Winner Steven Edwards hosted local cheese and ale matching; and 20 local producers offered tastings of their fare, from chocolates to baked goods and from honey to roast lamb reared and made on the South Downs.
Tying in with the harvest festival, British Food Fortnight is the biggest annual, national celebration of the country’s food and drink and is a chance for farmers, producers and sellers to shout about the delicious food and drink they produce and for us to show them our support by tucking into it.
Said Paula Seager, co-director of Natural Partnerships CIC who created southdownsfood.org, “Southdownsfood.org is the place to discover local food and drink from in and around the National Park. It includes hundreds of local food and farm shops, restaurants, pubs and cafés, vineyards, breweries and food producers who sell directly to the public.”
Co-director Hilary Knight said, “Our goal is to help both local people and the many thousands of tourists who visit the area to find the very best local produce that is made, served and sold in the area and to help our vibrant food and drink industry to work together and thrive.”
From artisan cheese, wild venison, micro-breweries and some of the best sparkling wines in the world, the South Downs should be recognized for high-quality, sustainable food almost as much as its spectacular beauty and tranquil spaces.
Love British Food organises British Food Fortnight and is a year-round source of advice on producing, buying and eating British. Held in the autumn at the same time as harvest festival, it is the biggest annual, national celebration of British food and drink.
Throughout the fortnight, several producers in the South Downs region will be holding special events and promotions. Details can be found at www.southdownsfood.org, which was created by Natural Partnerships CIC with support from the South Downs National Park Authority and The Southern Co-operative.
Continued Paula Seager, “We want everyone to enjoy the incredible larder that we are blessed with here in the South Downs regional and to bring well deserved national attention to the South Downs National Park and all it has to offer foodies.”
Sign up at www.southdownsfood.org