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Food & Folk Festival at Weald & Downland Open Air Museum

PUBLISHED: 14:33 27 March 2015 | UPDATED: 14:41 27 March 2015


Sunday 3 – Monday 4 May 2015 - The Weald & Downland Open Air Museum’s spring food show is an annual celebration of the South East’s finest produce, crafts and traditions, which has been running since 1989.

Food & Folk FestivalFood & Folk Festival

Visitors to this year’s event, the Food & Folk Festival, will enjoy over 70 local food, craft and trade stands, including dozens of fantastic food and drink producers from the region. In addition to browsing and buying, there will be a series of talks and cooking demonstrations in the Southern Co-operative Cookery Theatre, plus traditional folk music, storytelling, dancing and rural craft demonstrations. There is no need to book to watch the talks and demonstrations – all visitors to the show are welcome.

In the Southern Cooperative Cookery Theatre:

• Antonio Carluccio, celebrity cook, writer and broadcaster, will join the festival on Sunday 3 May to give a seasonal talk followed by a question answer session. Antonio will also be signing copies of his books.

• Chocoholics can discover the journey of chocolate from bean to bar with Sara Jayne Stanes OBE, Chief Executive of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts on Sunday 3 May. Plus, on Monday 4 May, Dawn Shrives from Le Salon du Chocolat, will present The Real Chocolate Experience.

• Author and chef Rob Silverstone, will be signing and promoting his new book; A Mule Across the Water – Real Food in Sussex & Normandy. Rob will also be cooking up delicious local food in the Southern Cooperative Cookery Theatre over the two days.

Storyteller and Musician, Ben Fairlight, tells stories that actively involve the audience, whatever their ages. Visitors are encouraged to sing along with the songs, so that everyone is part of each story as it unfolds. Whether folk myths, legends born of one place, or dubious yarns, he welcomes gibes, questions and ideas to feed into the living tales. Visitors can also listen to Abbie Palach, Storyteller and Teacher, performing Medieval and Tudor tales.

The Pelican-in-her-Piety Living History Group will be letting visitors into the secrets of the Medieval larder and offering the chance to try on a knight’s helmet and hold a sword, plus other exciting activities. Children can have a go at milking a replica cow, enjoy horse-drawn wagon rides and the Fun Food Academy’s Children’s Cookery School hands-on sessions. Tanya Wheatcroft from Ouse Valley Foods will be reading her children’s book Mrs Marmalade & Farmer Tractor.

There will be seasonal cooking demonstrations in Winkhurst Tudor Kitchen. Visit the Museum’s working watermill from Lurgashall to watch corn being ground into flour and sample delicious produce made from the end result. A range of Museum produce will be on sale including biscuits and flour, and children can treat the ducks to a bag of corn.

Richard Pailthorpe, Director of the Weald & Downland Open Air Museum, said: “The Museum has a long history of supporting local food and drink producers. We were pioneers in helping to promote their wares with an annual food show – a show which has now been a fixture in the Museum’s calendar for over a quarter of a century, because it is a firm family favourite.”

Find out more about the Museum and its events at


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