Southsea Food Festival: Thousands turn out to champion city’s restaurants

Michelle Thomson, left, and Carla Van Kooperen of 'Carla's Cake Emporium'
Michelle Thomson, left, and Carla Van Kooperen of 'Carla's Cake Emporium'
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THOUSANDS of people turned out to try a range of foods and support local businesses as part of the twelfth annual Southsea Food Festival.

Chinese, Italian and Indian were just some of the cuisines on offer, while local restaurants and bars including Drift, Kassia and Croxtons took their food and drink to the festival on Palmerston Road.

Sarah Wilcox from Fareham came to meet family and friends at the event which is run by Portsmouth City Council in partnership with Love Southsea and Hampshire Farmers’ Markets.

She said: ‘It is a lovely day out and I have been impressed with all the  different places.

My son has a dairy and gluten intolerance but there was lots of options for him and we bought some kits to make brownies at home that will suit his dietary requirements, so it makes it inclusive for everyone.’

Churro bars, cake stalls and pop up sweet shops also filled the street in Southsea for those with a sugary tooth while others enjoyed the live music from The Wedgewood Rooms stage.

Justine Webb said: ‘I live just round the corner and we come every year.

‘There is always something going on in Southsea that is fun and this is free to come along to with something for everyone.’

Director of Love Southsea, Lulu Whitmore, said: ‘When I first started Love Southsea eight years ago it was because lots of my friends were packing up their shops so I wanted to do something to support local businesses.

‘This food festival is a great way to champion local producers, restaurants and bars as well as the shops in the street because of the footfall it brings with it.

‘Each year we have different things going on and in some ways we don’t want to get too big because I want to keep it on Palmerston Road.

‘We have the Cheesefest addition this year on Castle Field so it is growing in different ways.’

City council events organiser Rebecca Coghlan said: ‘The first food festival we ran 12 years ago had eight or nine stands and now it’s massive and we have over 100 stalls.

‘It is a really popular event that supports local businesses.’