Dorset Food & Arts Festival

Dorset Food and Arts Festival at Queen Mother Square in 2012, photo by Provincial Pictures
Dorset Food and Arts Festival at Queen Mother Square in 2012, photo by Provincial Pictures.

An artist's impression of how Queen Mother Square will look when building work is finished
An artist's impression of how Queen Mother Square will look when building work is finished.

Market vegetables

Helen James © Duchy of Cornwall
Helen James © Duchy of Cornwall

The Dorset Farmers' Markets, Dorset Food & Drink & the Duchy of Cornwall are delighted with the success of the 2016 Dorset Food & Arts Festival which took place in Queen Mother Square on Saturday 6th August 2016 with over 9,000 people joining us on a gloriously hot and sunny day!

The 2016 committee welcomed our guest opener, Annabel Elliot, interior designer and founder of Annabel Elliot Interior based in Dorset. The new Public House and Inn in Queen Mother Square is named in honour of her sister, HRH The Duchess of Cornwall.

More than 70 local food and drink stalls attended the day and cookery demonstrations by some of Dorset's leading chefs including the ever popular Lesley Waters, together with the Brace of Butcher's butchery demonstration and the Omelette Challenge, were held in the Dorset Farmers' Market Mobile Kitchen.

The music programme proved to be an eclectic blend of rock, folk, jazz and opera, with a welcome return for the north Dorset soprano Charlotte Hewett, the popular duo Ansell and Gretel, Flute Cake and the winner of this year's Dorset's Got Talent competition.

Whilst work continued during the Festival on the stone plinth which will bear the focal point of the Square, a cast bronze statue of the late Queen Mother by renowned sculptor Philip Jackson, the newly extended Waitrose enjoyed an increase in customers visiting their store.

Weldmar Hospicecare Trust hosted a hugely successful cream tea event in the pannier building known as Jubilee Hall and the many visitors were able to enjoy their homemade scones and jam and admire the cast iron columns salvaged by the Duchy of Cornwall when the original Jubilee Hall in Weymouth was demolished in 2006.

Royal Pavilion, a classical building of 20 luxury apartments, designed by one of our gold sponsors, Ben Pentreath of Working Group Architects provided a magnificent back drop to the stage and food demonstration kitchen.

'Pulling a Pint' with the family and staff of the new and soon to be opened Hall & Woodhouse 'Duchess of Cornwall Inn', which includes a 20-bedroom hotel as well as restaurant facilities & traditional public house offerings, proved a popular event with many aspiring landlords happy to take a turn.

Dorset Wine Company's fizz bar meant that everyone had the opportunity to celebrate the day and to see just how good local sparkling wine tastes!

Ultimately, the Festival proved to be another 'great day out' and a fabulous way to support local artisan food & drink producers, Dorset farmers, Dorset musicians & local charities.

Here's to 2017!