Simon helps launch Hampshire Food Festival 2023

Our Executive Chef, Simon Hartnett, was among a galaxy of culinary artists at a brand new event launching Hampshire Food Festival 2023.

Running over Saturday and Sunday, 1st and 2nd July, Celebrating Hampshire was a collaboration between Festival Place in Basingstoke and Hampshire Fare. The focus was on a chefs’ kitchen in Festival Place’s Porchester Square with an artisan produce market plus sampling.

Cookery theatre

Tracy Nash, Hampshire Fare, said: “It was so great to have a cookery theatre in the centre of this popular shopping centre showcasing our region’s great chefs. Thanks to Festival Place supporting local, this event was a true celebration of Hampshire. Cooking demos featured Hampshire ingredients, while local growers, makers and producers sold their products. What is not to LOVE!”

Hampshire Fare

Queens Hotel General Manager, Paul Playford, said: “It was great that Simon was part of such an exciting showcase event that launched the Hampshire Food Festival 2023.

“We are great supporters of Hampshire Fare and Simon loves to use local produce in his menus. There’s so much great produce on our doorstep and we are proud to champion it at the Queens.”


Hampshire Food Festival 2023

Organised by Hampshire Fare, the Festival encompasses a delicious programme of events running across the region: including chef demos, menus, markets, tours, tastings and workshops. What’s more, the 21st Hampshire Food Festival has been given a makeover. It will now run throughout the summer across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. For more details:


Photo credit: The Electric Eye Photographer

A new food industry networking event, Eat the Island, takes place on Thursday 8 June from 3 – 6pm at the Queens Hotel. It is for local food and drink producers, independent retailers and hospitality venues in Portsmouth and the South Coast region.

Eat the Island is a free networking event organised by Portsmouth City Council, Hampshire Fare and the Queens Hotel. It aims to bring together local businesses to inspire, create opportunities and celebrate the area’s vibrant food and drink culture.

Showcasing local produce

The Portsmouth food industry event will offer producers the opportunity to showcase their products to local hospitality venues and retailers. It will help them to grow a sustainable and thriving supply chain in the heart of Portsmouth. In addition, there will be a programme of short talks covering good practice, increasing revenue and enhancing the consumer experience.

Jane Lamer Head of Economic Development and Skills at Portsmouth City Council, said: “Eat the Island is a new initiative resulting from our work to support local businesses through the annual Southsea Food Festival. 

“By bringing together food and drink businesses, we hope to enable greater opportunities to work together and grow Portsmouth’s economy.”

Joining up the foodie dots

Tracy Nash, Commercial Manager at Hampshire Fare, said: ‘Joining up the foodie dots is what we do best at Hampshire Fare. This is going to be a great example of this. We are delighted to be involved in this Portsmouth food industry event. We are very excited about the vibrancy of the food and drink sector in this region’

The event builds on the success of Southsea Food Festival and the city’s lively food and drink offering.

Portsmouth – a food destination

Paul Playford, General Manager of the Queens Hotel said he was delighted to host the first Eat the Island event.

“We are keen for our island city to be seen as a food destination. 

“We look forward to working with other hospitality providers and local producers to put ourselves on the foodie map for the UK,” he said.

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