Taste of Mediterranean arrives in West Dean

Tastebuds were well and truly tingled – in Mediterranean-style – during the first-ever MedFest in West Dean.

Thousands flocked to West Dean Gardens to experience Mediterranean foods and cookery demonstrations, as well as taking in the 35 acres of beautiful gardens.

Mark Ford inside his giant chilli on show at the MedFest. C111157-1

Mark Ford inside his giant chilli on show at the MedFest. C111157-1

Smells of cheeses, spices, paella and Spanish doughnuts named churros wafted around the gardens as flamenco and Lebanese dancers entertained the crowds.

“The important thing is people come out to enjoy the gardens and have a nice time,” said gardens manager Jim Buckland.

Local act, Roots Around the World, performed music which transported its audience from the Iberian peninsula via Italy to Algeria.

Cancion Gitana staged some Flamenco performances with the help of Italian songsters Buona Nota and Algeria Rai.

Lebanese dance group Meziza brought the taste of the exotic east to MedFest.

There were also walks and talks.

Myth, Magic and Medicine of Mediterranean plants was led by Steve Taylor while Sarah Wain hosted a talk entitled Eat the Med! Growing a range of Mediterranean crops.

Stallholders served a wide range of foods and crafts were on the picnic lawn, and there was also a plant creche (with all proceeds going to charity).

The Chilli Fiesta takes place at West Dean Gardens between August 5 and 7.

Tickets for Friday, August 5 are cheaper and can be bought for £8.

For all other prices and information log on to www.westdean.org.uk