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Alresford Watercress Festival 2022, UK

May 15

Alresford Watercress Festival

If you are a fan of cress then Hampshire is the place to head for this May. Held on 15 May, the 2022 Alresford Watercress Festival will see fifteen thousand visitors flocking to New Alresford, dubbed the ‘capital of watercress’.

The town centre will transform into a giant street festival with local fare available from the more than 120 food stalls. Try a watercress burger, or perhaps the beer or ice cream.

At 10am there will be a procession through the town with the Watercress King and Queen handing out watercress to spectators, accompanied by dancers and musicians.

Delivering watercress the traditional way at the Watercress Festival
Delivering watercress the traditional way at the Watercress Festival

The Watercress Festival Awards will be presented to those who come up with the most “awesome use of watercress”. In 2018 the prize, judged by BBC journalist and presenter Laura Trant, went to Sarah Hunt of Tatchbury Manor Farm, for her watercress filled scotch ‘egg’, where the egg was replaced by watercress pesto.

Chefs will include MasterChef 2012 Champion Shelina Permaloo, Tom Hinsley of the Greyfriars Pub, Chawton, Lesley Waters from Shaftesbury Cook School, Andy Mckenzie and Phil Yeomans, and Becca Hoddinott of the Natural Cook Company.

In addition to food demonstrations from celebrity chefs, jazz bands. There will also be and a Kids’ Zone with workshops in circus skills, face painting, and Punch and Judy shows. Music will include the Alresford Ukelele Jam, the Sussex Jazz Kings, Pete Harris Trio, Tuto Marcondes bringing some Brazilian carnival,

Chefs and farmers will be on hand to explain the health benefits of watercress, together with Dr Lucy Williamson, a nutritionist. To read more about why watercress really is good for you, click here.

Long before the vegetable developed into a superfood, watercress was grown in Hampshire since the 19th century, with produce transported to London’s Covent Garden, first by coach and subsequently by rail, on what became known as the Watercress Line.

World Watercress Eating Championships

Alresford Eating Competition
Contestants taking part in the annual watercress eating competition.

Serious superfoodies can take on the challenge of the Alresford Eating Competition, by munching your way through 85g of watercress; the Guinness World Record currently stands at 32 seconds. 2018’s winner took 41.6 seconds, surely you can beat that? But make sure you have a light lunch beforehand. The 2020 competition will take place at 3pm.

For further insight on the Alresford Watercress Festival, read: Alresford Eating Competition.

Alresford Watercress Festival Programme

Details of the 2022 Programme can be found here.
When is the Alresford Watercress Festival 2021?

The 2022 festival will be on 15 May from 10am to 4pm. It is free to attend the festival and there are packets of watercress to take home with you, but the organisers ask you make a donation to local kids’ cancer charity, Joe Glover Trust.

Getting to the Watercress Festival

During the festival a free shuttle service with a difference will operate, as you can ride the steam train from Ropley to Alresford along the Watercress Line.

Alresford Watercress Festival Photo Gallery

 Things to Do in Hampshire

The Alresford Watercress Festival is just one of many activities going on in Hampshire this year, for more information on the county’s events, click here.

For further inspiration on things to do in Hampshire, read Mark Bibby Jackson’s Hampshire: Cricket, Dockyards and the D-Day Story.

More information on the Alresford Watercress Festival

For everything else on the festival, click here, or visit the official Facebook page. Photos provided by the Alresford Watercress Festival.


May 15
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