Chilli Fiesta heats up a cool bank holiday
By: Steve Ott
West Dean’s Chilli Fiesta moved to the August Bank Holiday due to adverse weather at the end of July. Over the three-days 17,000 braved the bank holiday traffic and weather to attend what has now become the biggest and most established chilli event in the country.
More than 130 stallholders, selling everything from chilli candy floss to chilli-related T-shirts, could be seen at the Chilli Fiesta at West Dean last weekend.
The stars of the event however were over 300 varieties of chillies on show in the West Dean glasshouses. Visitors could also get some top chilli cooking tips from Rosemary Moon and special guests and expert advice on growing your own chillies from West Dean’s gardens supervisor Sarah Wain.
Two stages with live music kept the atmosphere warm and included Mano de Dios; young local bands from Chichester Music Academy, Burn the Floor stars Patrick Helm and Kate Moore; fiddle player Mandy Todd; Latin Fiesta; Spirits of Ishtar and the Chichester City Band.
Hire the Barman ran the three bars and unleashed a new cocktail, the Westdeani, which featured the UK premiere of Stolichnaya vodka’s new flavour Stoli Hot which is being launched in September.
Apple Affair, – 29 and 30 September, 10.30am-5pm
Art exhibition; House opening; Appley stands and products; Apple Doctors; Food demos and The Big Draw competition
Discounts and fast-track tickets are available to purchase in advance at www.westdean.org.uk/events
Adults £10.40 on the gate (plus concessions)
£8.60 in advance online (early bird ends 17 September)
Adults £11.50 on the gate (plus concessions)
£9.50 in advance online (early bird ends 17 September)
Christmastime at West Dean, 15-16 December, 10.30-4pm
This year, Father Christmas will be dropping in to spend the weekend with families at West Dean.
Magical elves will transform West Dean’s glasshouses and walled garden into an enchanting setting for children to meet Father Christmas. There will also be a special post office where children can write letters to Father Christmas and pop them into the Christmastime post box!
The sounds of children laughing will fill the air as they ride on one of the 50 beautifully painted horses aboard the traditional carousel. You can also take a turn around the family ice-rink complete with snow machine! Warm yourself up with mulled wine, spiced apple drink and roasting chestnuts or step inside for a winter warming meal. Sit back and listen to the brass band play and the choir sing or, for those with last-minute shopping still to do, a range of Christmas gifts, decorations and seasonal plants will be for sale.
To guarantee meeting Father Christmas in his Garden Grotto, you will need to prebook your tickets at www.westdean.org.uk/events
Early-bird (online only until 30 November)
Adult (Friend) FREE
Adult (standard) £8.00
Family (2+2) £20.00
Full price (on the gate and online from 1 December)
Adult (Friend) FREE
Adult (standard) £9.50
Family (2+2) £25.00
West Dean Gardens, Nr Chichester, West Sussex, PO18 0RX
01243 818 210 www.westdean.org.uk/events
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