British Food Fortnight
Discover the flavour of the South Downs with British Food Fortnight, running from 17 September – 2 October. British Food Fortnight is the annual, national celebration of British food and drink.
We believe that the South Downs National Park should be recognized for high-quality, sustainable food as well as its natural beauty. This is just some of the speciality produce the South Downs provides.
The banks of the Meon and Itchen rivers in Hampshire are the UK’s home of watercress. Watercress has a distinctive peppery, mustard-like flavour and grows in mineral rich spring water.
The Watercress Line is a heritage railway line in Hampshire that was historically used for transporting locally grown watercress to markets in London. The line is open throughout the year and offers real ale and dining trains, as well as educational visits.
South Downs orchards have the perfect conditions for apples to grow and thrive. Autumn is time to celebrate the fruit harvest with lots of events; there’s Apple Affair at West Dean, Slindon’s Apple Day autumnal fete and Blackmoor’s Apple Tasting to name a few.
There have been grapes growing in the area since Roman times, helping to shape the landscape we take pleasure in today. Our warmer, later summers are ideal for ripening the grapes used in making sparkling wine, while cool breezes coming in from the sea add needed acidity to the flavour.
Delicious ice cream and cheese is made from the milk of cows that graze the South Downs. Caroline’s Dairy in West Sussex comes with a warning that their ice cream exploits human weakness! While over in Pulborough, Charlie’s Farm Shop has its own dairy and lots of mouth watering local produce.
Autumn puts Slindon on the map with the bizarre colourful pumpkin festival, complete with artistic displays and just about every kind of pumpkin, gourds or squash for sale.
Sussex Cattle are an ancient breed and it’s believed they descended from the red cattle that inhabited the Weald at the time of the Norman Conquest. The beef is said to have a fine texture with a traditional flavour that is much in demand.