Delayed Harvest Festival proves a feast for the eyes

THE Pantiles’ Harvest Food Festival saw foodies ‘turn out in force’ despite the event having been postponed from its usual slot following the death of the Queen.

The celebration of food and local ingredients returned to Tunbridge Wells’ iconic promenade on Saturday and Sunday October 15 and 16, running from 10am to 4pm.

Thousands descended on The Pantiles over the course of the weekend, where they were able to see local chef Will Devlin from The Small Holding restaurant in Kilndown, Scott Goss from The Beacon, Alex from the new Pantiles start-up Kumquat and Dan Hatton from Hattons, as well Matthew Sankey from his eponymous fish restaurant, in action.

“Wow we were lucky with the weather,” said Julian Leefe-Griffiths, organiser of The Pantiles Harvest Food Festival. “We rescheduled the festival due to the sad death of Queen Elizabeth II. We normally run the event in the second week of September but chose to put it off for a month.

“Running an outdoors festival in the middle of October wouldn’t be my natural choice, but we got so lucky with the weather and had two fairly warm sunny days.


“The lovely Tunbridge Wells residents came out in force and were really receptive to the wide variety of foods and products on offer.


“There were lots of delicious treats to eat, from tasty German sausages to lovely home-baked bread and succulent olives. One of the great hits was the Kombucha stall, which gave tasters and sold bottles of fruit infused fermented Kombucha. Sounds crazy but it was delicious.

“There was local gin, Italian cheese, Riverford organics and tasty macaroons! And as well as lots to eat there was also a lot to see.

“The demonstration kitchen featured superstar Will Devlin from The Small Holding restaurant, Dan Hatton of Hattons and Alex Boyd from Kumquat on The Pantiles. It finished off with a great performance from Matthew Sankey, the festival sponsor and Tunbridge Wells’ fish impresario.

“It takes a huge amount of work to organise and run this event and we would really love to thank everyone who came down and took part – the chefs who put a lot into the demonstrations and the traders who braved the risk of the weather to bring us those tasty treats.

“So a massive thank you to all who took part in or visited the festival.”

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