On Saturday 18 September Whitchurch Silk Mill held its first ever Food Festival.it was lovely weather which helped to tempt many families to come along and have a browse at what was on offer.
There were several local trade stalls including Bombay Sapphire gin distillery who are based at Laverstoke Mill. They had their new ‘Sunset’ gin on display, a Special Edition gin inspired by the orange glow of the setting sun. Many others gins were also available plus lots of fantastic cocktails with very original names and tastes They provide tours of the distillery, including group visits, and are open 7 days a week. The entrance price includes a free cocktail.
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Mike Duncombe who is the owner of Grandad Mike’s Homemade Fudge had a delicious display of fudge including vanilla, caramel , choc orange and the current favourite choc chilli. Mike commented “ I make my fudge the traditional way in copper pans which makes all the difference to the end result. I have been making fudge for years but when I retired I started making it on a bigger scale . I make it from my home and I sell my fudge mainly at Artisan markets. It’s not a business, it’s just my hobby”.
Local to Whitchurch and a very talented cake maker Karina is the owner at Karina’s Cakes.She specialises in bespoke celebration cakes for any occasion, but also makes brownies, cupcakes and biscuits to order. Karina also makes treat boxes for special occasions and does all her cooking from home.
She can be contacted on www.karinascakes.co.uk or on 07526575269.
If it’s a pint of hand-crafted Hampshire Ale you fancy why not try Longdog Brewery on www.longdogbrewery.co.uk The brewery is the only one in Basingstoke and was founded in 2011. Husband and wife team Rod and Jenny took it over in 2019.. They brew 11 different beers from Skinny Dog which is a very low alcohol beer to Longdog IPA which is a 6% traditional India Pale Ale brewed with locally grown hops. Other beers include Basingstoke Pride and Lovely Nancy. Two local pubs The Andover Tap and The Clatford Arms stock Longdog ales. You can also order them online . Mr Whitehead who lives south of Alton brews cider for Longdog. He collects apples from the villagers where he lives for this purpose.
Pimms was on sale throughout the day as was traditional Thai food from Thai Bites.
Barry and Justine Walker own the Hampshire Deli Farm Shop in Wolverton. They sell many hand made products such as pasties, pork pies and scotch eggs. Barry is a 2020 Champion of the Hampshire Charcuterie awards and he sells his award winning Salami at Hampshire Salami Company also in Wolverton.
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Children were well catered for with a massive teddy bear raffle where everyone was a winner! Proceeds from this went to Alice’s Arc who fundraise for research into, and treatments for, childhood cancers. There was also craft, Messy Nessy face painting, a garden maze, games and Cookery Doodle Doo cooking classes Here the children made delicious peach and raspberry trifle.
The Mill café did a great trade with snacks and drinks on sale all day and many people choosing to sit by the river and eat.
Visitors were invited to look around the Mill where there were weaving demonstrations to see and the huge water wheel which ‘works’ the Mill. At the moment the wheel is out of action . Some of the looms have been changed to electrical power for demonstration purposes A member of staff commented ”We are trying to raise £15,000 to make essential repairs to the water wheel and then it should be ready to run for another 100 years. When we have raised the first £6,000 that will be enough to replace the bearings and lubricate the whole system but that’s just the start”
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