Emsworth getting ready for the British Food Fortnight

Emsworth Food Festival in its former incarnation in 2007
Emsworth Food Festival in its former incarnation in 2007
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David Curwen, centre, hugs his mother with whom he wa sreunited. Completing the group is his brother Keith

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EXCITEMENT is building for the annual British Food Fortnight in Emsworth.

Once renowned for its famous oyster industry, the small coastal town hopes to celebrate its heritage by taking part in a national celebration of British food from Saturday.

Emsworth is joining other communities across the country by hosting two weeks of food-filled fun with events and activities that have been put together to rekindle the tradition of celebrating the harvest in Britain.

Giles Babb, chairman of the town’s business association, has set up an opportunity for beer enthusiasts to meet a brewer at his pub, The Blue Bell Inn on South Street, this Sunday.

He said: ‘It will be a great night with lots of samples and the following night we have a gin tasting with guest talks from Twisted Nose Gin in Winchester and Chilgrove Gin about how gin is distilled and the history of it in the UK.

‘I’m really involved in the fortnight and it’s great to see so many people showcase what the town has to offer.

‘Some people don’t realise that we’re very fortunate to have such a great high street and if we don’t look after it we could lose it.’

Unlike many other towns, Emsworth still has a family-run butchers, a greengrocers and a fishmongers as well as a monthly market day.

Other highlights include the launch of the Emsworth Oyster Film, a winemakers’ dinner at Restaurant 36 with the founder of Hambledon Vineyard, and a community harvest festival service in St Peter’s Square.

The News’ wine columnist Alistair Gibson, one of the organisers, said: ‘We want to celebrate the different layers of the community, so we’re looking at education as well with the local colleges participating – South Downs, Highbury and Chichester – who will be hosting three evenings of The Great British Menu at the Brookfield Hotel.

‘We’re also conscious that we should be looking after people who are much less fortunate than us so we are going to be collecting for the Beacon Food Bank to raise awareness and provide support for those issues.’

To find out more visit emsworth.org.uk.