Steyning is positively buzzing as visitors gobble up a range of tastes and experiences at a multitude of events running throughout September and into October.
The Steyning Food and Drink Festival is in full swing, with one more week to go.
The past two weeks have seen all sorts of activities taking place in the town and surrounding villages.
The Cobblestone Walk Family Foodie Open Day last Saturday brought young and old together for fun and games in the sunshine.
Louise Read, one of this year’s allotment competition entrants, had a stall packed with fruit and vegetables, local honey proved a crowd puller on the hive stall and Smiffy Bears offered special ‘bear’ food for the children.
The Pastures New guided walk, led by Nick Mills and Brianne Reeve, gave more than 40 visitors the opportunity to visit Bramber Brooks, the recently-created nature reserve.
Nick, managing director of Riversong, which owns the 40-acre site on the River Adur floodplain, explained the various steps taken place to open up the land to the community.
He also talked about ambitious future plans, which include a community orchard.
Brianne, a member of the management committee, gave an enlightening insight into the flora and fauna, as well as the importance of the area as a feeding ground to birds travelling south.
At the end of the walk, Peter Thorogood and Roger Linton welcomed the party to a superb St Mary’s House cream tea, including a look around their beautiful gardens.
Celebrated author Dave Broom was the star of the Gin Revolution dinner and book signing last Wednesday, organised by The Steyning Bookshop at Sussex Produce Café.
He talked about the history of gin and included numerous samples.
This year’s Great Steyning Bake Off supported the charity Family Support Group.
Reina Alston, one of the festival organisers, said: “It was amazing, with a fantastic array of superb bakes. The room was humming with excitement as the judges started their difficult task of tasting and deciding.
“After the champions were declared, all the lip-smacking entries were put on sale to aid the charity and there was a fair old stampede to snap up the delicious offerings.
“This is the second year of this competition and it is definitely set to be a food and drink festival favourite. Judges Les Nicholson from The Artisan Bakehouse, Laure Moyle from Pudding Fairy and Jodie Woodward from Cobblestone Walk were taken aback by the high standard of baking.”
The cup cake class was for children aged under 12 and overall, young bakers proved the stars, winning two of the four adult classes as well.
Results were: best scones, Michelle Leigh-Pollitt; best bread Luke Gregory; best cupcake, Sam Kerr; best traybake, Clare Clark; best chocolate cake, Rory Horne.
Another sell-out was An Evening with Emanuel Hadjiandreou at The Artisan Bakehouse. The award-winning baker showed how to accomplish top-class sourdough, with tastings of wine from Hennings Wine and Sussex cheeses.
Visit www.steyningdistrictfooddrinkfestival.co.uk to see all the wonderful offers and other event dates still to enjoy, including the beer festival from Friday to Sunday.