I’ve written so much about Hampshire food that you may have noticed I think it is pretty good. The council also think it is pretty good and in July have organised a food festival to celebrate it. I want to tell you about two events you won’t want to miss.
I’ll only mention two this time, more in the future, but you can read about them all on the Hampshire Food Festival website. For the lover of good things it is a bounteous list of brilliance.
Pride of Hampshire lunch at Fat Olives
The first thing you should attend is in easy reach of London in Emsworth, a lovely seaside town of great charm. Emsworth is home to the restaurant Fat Olives, which is where I have had one of the best meals of my time in Hampshire. I meant to write it up but, you know, I got distracted, drunk, imprisoned or something.
Fat Olives normally serve excellent Hampshire food, but for lunch on 5-27 July they are having a special Pride of Hampshire menu as part of the Food Festival. Given how much we enjoyed our dinner there, and how interesting the normal lunch looked, this is something you should be aiming to attend. Lunch is only £19.95 for three courses and coffee – very reasonable.
I would suggest that if there is any Hyden lamb on the lunch menu that would be the thing to go for; my portion was stunning in terms of quality, flavour and preparation. However, based on our meal you can safely choose anything.
Fat Olives’ website is here, or you can call them on 01243 377914.
Open day and ox roast at Woodlands Jersey Beef
I have made the effort to write about Woodlands Jersey Beef on multiple occasions and I’ve been right to do so, the beef is excellent. We had some of their rump steak last night and the flavour in their Jersey meat is truly amazing. I wish they’d just cut their steaks thicker!
On Saturday 28 July from 2-11pm the farm will be hosting an open day, with a chance to ogle the Jersey steers, look at them being fed, nosh on an ox roast and dance away the evening to live jazz. It’ll be a hoot and it is easily within range of Winchester so you can get a train down to here then share a taxi with us out to the farm.
At £10 per adult plus an extra fiver for the jazz it is a cheap way to get a taste of their beef and I think it’ll be instructive to see how cattle should be treated in order to make them at their tastiest. My chum Dan R insists that Jersey beef is ‘just the nuts’ and all one should be looking for in beef, so come and join us for a great evening of education, eating and entertainment.
Woodlands Jersey Beef’s website is here or you can call to book on 07977 732771
I should add that Woodlands Jersey Beef is about to open a farm shop. As well as the beef there are all sorts of goodies they are planning to sell. The address is: Woodslands Cottage Farm, Droxford Road, Chiphall, Nr Wickham, Hampshire PO17 5AY and you can call them on 01329 834214 or more details on their website.
Of course, everyone with a penchant for large vegetables, local business stalls and lustrous livestock should be attending The New Forest and Hampshire County Show from 24-26 July. I loved local agricultural fairs when I was a youth, and I don’t see why everyone shouldn’t now ‘middle youth’ is such a popular state for people to choose.
-  I love the name ‘Fat Olives’. I’ve wondered whether it has anything to do with The Bash Street Kids in The Beano comic. The Bash Street Kids’ school dinner lady is named Olive and she is quite a lard-arse. Food seems better at the restaurant than in the school, though. ↩
-  I got lost at the East of England show when I was four; it was a big place for a four year old to get lost. Because I was such a competent little boy I found my way back to my granddad’s car in one of the multiple large cark-parking fields and waited for someone to turn up. When I was found my mother asked if I was scared or if I got bored waiting for so long. I replied, “Oh no, every time I got bored I just let some air out of granddad’s tyres to cheer me up.” Apparently she felt didn’t fancy telling him he was driving around with flat tyres and my activities were not reported. I think when he reads this it’ll be the first time my father will come to know I endangered his dad’s driving safety. ↩