Alresford Watercress Festival 2021, UK
If you are a fan of cress then Hampshire is the place to head for this May. Held on 23 May, the 2021 Alresford Watercress Festival will see fifteen thousand visitors flocking to New Alresford, dubbed the ‘capital of watercress’.
Normally, 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.
However due to Covid, organisers anticipate that “The Essence of Watercress” will be held at Arlebury Park, Alresford, on Sunday 23 May, 2021. Further details will appear here.
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 10am 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, face painting, and Punch and Judy shows..
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
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.
For further insight on the Alresford Watercress Festival, read: Alresford Eating Competition.
When is the Alresford Watercress Festival 2021?
The 2021 festival will be on 23 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
Mark Bibby Jackson
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