It’s time for the final course at Emsworth’s Food Fortnight

The community seafood lunch at Emsworth Quay / Picture by John Tweddell
The community seafood lunch at Emsworth Quay / Picture by John Tweddell

The culmination of this year’s Emsworth British Food Fortnight features the final Great British College Lunch, an open air Harvest Festival and the donation of Emsworth’s food mountain to the Beacon Food Bank.

This weekend also features the A Thought for Food Market, a real celebration of Emsworth and local producers with something for everyone – food, wine and entertainment.

Following successful lunches with Fareham College and Highbury, South Downs College students take over the Hermitage Restaurant at the Brookfield Hotel – planning, cooking and serving a three-course lunch on Friday.

Emsworth’s First British Beer and Cider Festival at Emsworth Community Centre, Church Path, is a chance to enjoy up to 30 great British beers, both local and from further afield, along with some astonishingly good ciders.

There’s the opportunity to meet some of the brewers behind the beers at Meet the the Brewer sessions, sample some locally produced foods as well as enjoy live music on The Flash DAB Radio Stage, including Mike Handley and the Bone Idols on the Saturday evening, promising to make this one of the livelier events of the Food Fortnight.

Tickets are- £10 per session including souvenir glass and drinks tokens and are available from – Bookends & Harbour Records & www.wegottickets.com

I’m not sure this could be done anywhere else in the region; it felt very special with local food businesses giving their time.

The events runs on Friday (6pm – 11pm); Saturday (2pm-5pm & 6pm-11pm) and Sunday (12noon-4pm), organised by WemsFest as part of Emsworth Great British Food Fortnight.

A Thought for Food Market takes place on Saturday (10am-4pm) in the South Street Car Park,

Created to enable local food & drink producers from West Sussex and Hampshire to come together and showcase their products in Emsworth, this outdoor market has proved a big hit with both visitors and producers.

It involves 26 local food & drink producers, live music, poetry and creative writing readings – members of the public are invited to the Apple Box to read food related poetry or literature.

Entertainment is from The Portsmouth Shantymen and the return of local band Heronshaw; there’s a Southern Co-operative taster unit on site focussing on local products; Montezuma’s Chocolate offering samples of their fabulous chocolate; Meet the Emsworth Schools ‘Scarecrows’ – made by local schools to help celebrate the harvest; local shops and business will be offering a range of special offers – look for the Yellow Balloons and pick up a leaflet on the day.

There’s cookery demonstrations all day with Emsworth Cookery School; Fish preparation demonstrations with Fresh from the Boat; Vineyards of Hampshire Pavilion – taste the sparkling wines that everyone is talking about. Plus there are special menus and regional dishes in many of the restaurants, pubs and cafes.

A “Boost of Kindness” Harvest Festival takes place on Sunday (11.30am – midday) in St Peters’ Square.

It’s a special Community Harvest Festival Service with Emsworth Churches and Schools. Bring a food item and help in the building of the Emsworth Food Mountain for the Beacon Food Bank.

Everyone is welcome, so come and reflect for a moment and give thanks for all we have while enjoying live music, school choirs and the great Harvest Hymns.

Emsworth Community Seafood Lunch

The Emsworth Community Seafood Lunch was always likely to be one of the highlights of Emsworth’s British Food Fortnight – and it lived right up to expectations.

The community seafood lunch was set up as an event that really allowed Emsworth to showcase its food heritage, using local produce served on the town’s historic quay, prepared by some Emsworth’s leading chefs and attended by the members of the community.

Tickets sold out within two hours, such was the anticipation. At only £20 per ticket, it was accessible to all, with Stonepillow as the nominated charity for all profits.

The sun shone as the Quay was transformed with two long communal tables to seat 82 guests, with oyster and scallop shells and buckets and spades decorating tables.

It would be difficult to think of a more picturesque place to have lunch.

The menu was devised and prepared by four Emsworth chefs: Lawrence Murphy of Fat Olives Restaurant; Gary Pearce from Restaurant 36 on the Quay; Tyler Brooks of the Blue Bell Inn; and Jon Scourfield, Brookfield Hotel.

A three-course lunch featured local seafood for the first and main courses and a dessert of an ice cream cone from Northney Dairy and chocolate from Montezuma’s.

The event raised more than £500 for Stonepillow.

Alistair Gibson, of Emsworth Business Asso-ciation, said: “I’m not sure this could be done anywhere else in the region; it felt very special with local food businesses giving their time.”

Mr Murphy, the proprietor of Fat Olives, said: “Emsworth is such a special place and the opportunity to prepare a seafood lunch served on the Quay was a real highlight of Emsworth British Food Fortnight.”

* Emsworth British Food Fortnight - for more info see www.emsworth.org.uk

* For more info on British Food Fortnight – www.lovebritishfood.co.uk

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