While the county plays host to a wealth of self-catering accommodation, Dorset also provided a high quality alternative to self-catering in the form of the Eat Dorset food festival in Beaminster, West Dorset. The event was highly popular and featured a range of stalls, demonstrations and tasty food to try.
The event opened with a bang with celebrity chef Michael Caines MBE kicking off the proceedings, both opening the festival and choosing the winner of the best autumn recipe. Amateur cook Sue Norris took the top prize with her apple pudding, a dish Caines enjoyed so much that it is taking pride of place on the lunch menu at his award-winning restaurant.
Caines also did an impromptu demonstration which showcased the ingredients available at the festival itself, which provided a highlight of the festival for many. Other chefs that ran demonstrations included Masterchef winner Mat Follas, Mark Hix and Mitch Tonks. Besides the demonstrations, there was also plenty to see and taste, with over 60 stands showcasing the best of local produce. TV chef Lesley Waters also ran a pop-up cookery school throughout the festival, emulating her existing successful cookery school which is also in Dorset, allowing festival-goers to get hands-on with the produce the festival had to offer. The festival was not just all about the food either, with companies such as Black Cow vodka and Somerset Cider Brandy making an appearance, and David Smith also closing the show on both days with a cocktail-making demonstration.