Food and drink stalls, a demonstration theatre, celebrity chefs and children’s entertainment are just some of the attractions visitors to this year’s Christchurch Food & Wine Festival can look forward to.

The main part of the event, now in its 16th year, takes place on the weekend of May 9 and 10, and has now expanded to cover two main sites in the town. There will be a traditional Festival Market in the pedestrianised High Street and Church Street as usual but this year there will also be a new Festival Village on the Quomps at Christchurch Quay.

The Festival Village will include food and drink stalls making a perfect picnic area if the weather is good. It will also be the venue for the demonstration theatre where the headline act on Saturday, May 9 will be the Jamaican chef famous for his Reggae Reggae products, Levi Roots.

Appearing in the demonstration theatre on Sunday, May 10 will be TV chef Dean Edwards who was a Masterchef finalist in 2006 and is currently a resident chef on ITV’s Lorraine. The festival’s patron, TV chef Lesley Waters, will also be appearing on the Sunday. There will plenty for the family to enjoy at the Festival Village as there will be the children’s entertainer, Jules, on both days as well as entertainment in the band stand. There will also be a VIP tent located there.

On Sunday, May 10, the Kings Arms will be hosting a Family Fun Day on the bowling green opposite the hotel. Organisers say the day was popular last year and are expecting many families to attend again to try the stalls and enjoy a picnic.

Kids Kitchen at The Priory School, running on May 9 and 10, will give children of all ages the chance to try their hand at cooking various dishes. Places are limited and can be booked via The Regent Centre.

Although the main event of the festival takes place over that weekend, events are taking place in restaurants, cafes and pubs throughout the month of May. There are also a number of ‘trails’ which people can go on throughout the month.

Some 13 cafes in the borough are taking part in a Coffee and Cake trail whereby people can go round trying out the offerings at each or any of them for £3.50.

A couple of alcoholic trails are also available – a Cocktail Trail at six venues will allow two people to try specially concocted cocktails for £10 for the two while an Ale Trail gives 50p off pints of real ale at six pubs in the borough.

Vicki Hallam, chairman of the Christchurch Food Festival, said: “The 2015 festival will be bigger than ever as we spread out to another new location with the Festival Village on the Quomps. “We’re all working hard to make sure this new addition is something that will entice everyone who comes to the market in the High Street to come down to the Quomps as well. There really will be something for everyone at this year’s festival.”

Held in association with Christchurch Food & Wine Festival, the Highcliffe Revival Food Festival will take place this year on Saturday, May 16. The theme of the event will be to shop local and support the food producers with lots of artisan food, seafood and meets from the local deli and butcher.

Food stalls, demonstrations and lots of street entertainment is also planned, and celebrity TV chef and author Valentine Warner will be giving demonstrations and attending a lunch at the Cliffhanger restaurant.

Other chefs appearing in the festival demonstration theatre will be Christchurch’s James Golding, chefdirector at the Pig group of hotels, and Luke Matthews, executive chef at the Chewton Glen Hotel. Simon Hallam and Jez Lenton will be representing the Lord Bute restaurant, and Cliffhanger head chef Stuart Parker will be demonstrating samples of the new summer menus.

Award-winning local butcher Chris Watson will demonstrate his butchery skills in tandem with local Highcliffe chef Ian Hewitt and, for keen cake bakers the great Highcliffe Baking competition will invite amateur cooks to bring along their cakes for judging.

Categories will be for both children and adults and be run in conjunction with Vanilla Pink Cakes. Find out more from

All the details of this year’s festival are on the website at You can also follow the Festival on Facebook and Twitter, @ChristchFoodFes