Something for everyone at this year’s Bridport Food Festival

A food conference, a talk about 18th century eating habits and a seafood festival are just some of the delights of this year’s Bridport Food Festival.


Running from Sunday 10 June to Sunday 17 June, the food festival week promises to tantalise the taste buds of locals and visitors to the town. The main event will take place on Saturday 16 June in Asker Meadows with marquees of food producers, the local farmers’ market and tents with children’s activities and a focus on seafood.


Understanding Bridport’s local food economy and identifying how local food production, retail and consumption can help towards achieving a low carbon economy will be some topics under discussion at this year’s food conference.


Tim Crabtree of Wessex Community Assets, who is helping to organise the event on Friday 15 June, said: “The aim is to bring together people from all parts of the food supply chain, from producers, retailers and community organisations to draw a current picture of Bridport’s food economy and to identify how we can build on this in the future.”


Dr Sara Pennell’s talk “The Best I Ever Ate: Recipe Collecting in 18th Century England” will discuss how recipes were collected, made into books and passed around families. She’ll concentrate on two collections from the Dorset area – The Trenchyard and Smidecombe Collections that can be found in the Dorchester Museum.


Dr Sara Pennell, ahistorian of 17th and 18th Century manuscript and print recipe collections,said: “It’s all about how we relate to recipes and food. Today we just do it slightly differently using blogs or email. But we still like to share our favourite recipes with friends and family.”


The talk, on 14 June at 2.30pm at the Bridport Town Hall, will be followed by afternoon tea with the History Girls. The menu will featurecurried chicken tarts,Cranbourn biscuits with cheese and pickles,apple tarts and lemon cake.


Fishermen Peter Newton and Gary Copp will be talking about their fishing in the waters off West Bay at the Seafood Festival, hosted by the Riverside Restaurant on Sunday 10 June. The festival will celebrate the best about locally caught fish West Bay has to offer, with the chance to chat to the fishermen and suppliers who bring fish to the table.


The emphasis on the day is on fish and shellfish caught in local waters – exactly what will be dependent on the weather on the day but Riverside chefs, fishermen and representatives from Samways will be on hand to offer advice on how to prepare and serve fish.


The fish theme will continue on Saturday 16th June when the Hive Beach Cafe will be running the seafood tent with Davy’s Locker on Askers Meadow. The seafood demonstration area will provide an educational stand to reinforce the Cafe’s stance on sustainable fishing, the importance of sourcing local produce and highlight a great selection of fish available across local waters. Champagne and local Dorset oysters will be served on the stand.


Other highlights taking place in Askers Meadow on Saturday 16th June include a special children’s marquee, sponsored by Bridport Round Table, full of different activities such as story telling by Sophia Mosely, creating 3D food sculptures withDarrell Wakelam and a Fancy Dress Box Photo Booth with local photographer Dawn Potter. A fancy dress competition for the Best Dressed Vegetable is open to all children under 11 and will be judged by Chris Marley from Bridport Round Table at 2pm.


Cookery Demonstration Theatre


In the morning the cook-off of the three finalists in the Taste of Dorset Food & Drinks Awards’ Cooking Competition, compered by Michael Michaud while in the afternoon Ian Simpson of the White House Hotel, Charmouth will be the compere for a selection of local producers who will discuss and prepare food and drink. These demonstrations will start from 12.30pm onwards but exact timings will be found on and in the festival brochure available on the day.


·        Caroline Drever – Dorset Shellfish: shell fish dishes

·        Tim Edwards – The Somerset Distillery: Cider brandy tastings

·        David Richards – Capreolus Fine Foods & Tim Maddams – formerly River Cottage Canteen: English artisan charcuterie

·        Shigeaki Takezoe: exotic cooking using simple ingredients


Tastings and special dishes


Throughout the week local restaurants and cafes will be offering selected dishes and tastings of local produce. These include:

·        Hive Beach Cafe

·        Watch House Cafe

·        Felicity’s Farm Shop

·        The George, Chideock

·        The Three Horseshoes, Powerstock

·        Simon Dunn Chocolatier

·        Balsons Butchers sausages

·        Jaxsons Deli apple cake

·        Tiger Inn bitter

·        Four Seasons Preserves Apple & Ginger Chutney


To get the most up to date information of events and activities visit