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Alresford Watercress Festival 2019
If you are a fan of cress then Hampshire is the place to head for this May. Held on 19 May, the 2019 Alresford Watercress Festival will see fifteen thousand visitors flocking to New Alresford, dubbed the ‘capital of watercress’.
For the 15th year, the town centre will transform into a giant street festival with local fare available from the more than 80 food stalls, including members of the Hampshire Farmers’ Markets and other local producers, creating a fresh market showcasing the best that Hampshire has to offer. Try a watercress burger, or perhaps the beer or ice cream.
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.
In addition to food demonstrations from celebrity chefs, jazz bands will entertain attendees in a street cavalcade up Broad Street at 10.30am led by the Watercress King and Queen on their horse and cart, who will distribute bunches of watercress to festival goers. There will also be and a Kids’ Zone with workshops in circus skills.
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. During the festival a park-and-ride service with a difference will operate, as you can ride the steam train from Ropley to Alresford.
World Watercress Eating Championships
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. Last year’s winner took 41.6 seconds, surely you can beat that? But make sure you have a light lunch beforehand.
For further insight on the Alresford Watercress Festival, read: Alresford Eating Competition.
When is the Alresford Watercress Festival 2019
The festival is on 19 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.
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. Photos provided by the Alresford Watercress Festival.
Mark Bibby Jackson
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