Southsea Thai food and craft festival celebrates 16th year

THOUSANDS of families flocked to Southsea at the weekend to immerse themselves in a different culture.

By Millie Salkeld
Sunday, 28th July 2019, 12:54 pm
Updated Sunday, 28th July 2019, 4:01 pm
Pictured is: Traditional dancers.

Picture: Keith Woodland (270719-39)
Pictured is: Traditional dancers. Picture: Keith Woodland (270719-39)

The Southsea Thai Food and Craft Festival returned to Castle Field for its 16th year to give city residents a taste of the Asian culture and Thai winery Monsoon Valley brought along their produce to give people a sip.

Marketing manager Chu Pryde said: ‘Our tasters have gone down really well and the feedback we have had is amazing. We stock in lots of Thai restaurants but it is great for people to be able to try it and find out more.

‘We love coming to the festival and I think it is really good to give people a chance to find out more about the Thai culture.’

A Thai diva show with ladyboys, street dance and thai boxing demonstrations entertained crowds in the sunshine who could also sample Thai food and get a Thai massage.

Organiser Sue Mayne came to Portsmouth 27 years ago and started the festival to allow the Thai community to come together and share their culture in the city.

She said: ‘The festival has got really popular and we see usually about 5,000 to 6,000 people over the two days. 

‘I think people really enjoy trying the different foods and seeing the entertainment we have and learning about our culture.’

Steve Hannan and his wife Rachel came over from the Isle of Wight for the day.

Steve said: ‘We have come to this festival for the last three years and we visit quite a lot of Thai festivals in the area because we like the culture and it is a nice day out and chance to experience something different.’

Among the traders was Chris Sturm who runs Asian Green and specialises in products from the continent.

He said: ‘Thai food although not as popular as Chinese and Indian yet is getting more attention from English people and a festival like this is a great way to talk to people about the different fruit, herbs and vegetables that they could use in their cooking.’