Shaftesbury celebrates the best of food and drink

A FAMOUSLY challenging race, some of Dorset’s finest chefs and a line-up of the best in local food and drink will all be on offer for this year’s Shaftesbury Food Festival on Sunday 13th May.

There will be stalls throughout the town centre, with Dorset Farmers Market and Dorset Food and Drink members in the High Street and Anonymous Travelling Market on Park Walk.

One of the highlights of the day will be the Gold Hill Cheese Races up the famous, cobbled and very steep Gold Hill – competitors race up the hill each carrying a truckle of cheese. Itt is not for the faint hearted – but highly entertaining.

The cookery demonstrations will be taking place outside  Shaftesbury Town Hall at the Chefs on Stage Kitchen, on the hour from 10am through to 4pm. Taking part will be David Griffin-Shepherd, chef-proprietor of Shaftesbury’s long-established award-winning restaurant with rooms, La Fleur de Lys,  Mark Hartstone, chef-proprietor of La Fosse restaurant with rooms at Cranborne and current holder of both Dorset Chef of the Year and Restaurant of the Year awards, and freelance chef Steve Bant, who was development chef at the Lesley Waters Kitchen near Yeovil and chef at the Watch House Cafe in West Bay and is currently working in London with the Dorset-based  Guild of Fine Food, which runs the Great Taste Awards and is a sponsor of the festival.

Elsewhere, there will be local musicians, arts and crafts in Swans Yard, dance group Steps in Time will be performing in Shaftesbury Abbey Gardens.

Pictured: Festival goers crowd around the stalls in the High Street and Commons; Mark Hartstone (left) David Griffin-Shepherd in the cookery theatre.