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Sussex sparkles at Borde Hill this Christmas

Chef Valentina Harris

Last year’s lockdown saw a huge amount of interest in locally grown food and drink, with many consumers actively choosing to support Sussex farmers and producers, writes Nick Mosley. With Christmas just around the corner, there’s a great one-stop-shop for gifts and goodies for the festive table at Borde Hill near Haywards Heath this month.

This year sees the first Jeremy’s Christmas market, running over the weekend of 11-12 December at Borde Hill. Curated Karen Manton-Cook of Borde Hill Garden and chef Valentina Harris – who is currently running Italian food masterclasses and cookery workshops in the space previously occupied by Jeremy’s Restaurant – 27 Sussex food and drink producers will be exhibiting alongside 29 local craft stalls.

“Visitors can expect a wide variety of delicious food and drink including local wines, honey, cheeses, puddings, biscuits and chocolate – including from Chantal Coady OBE, founder of the famous Rococo”, said Valentina. “We’ve also got crafts and lots of fabulous Christmas gift ideas such as jewellery, toys, pet accessories, candles, clothing and accessories”.

For those wanting to pick up a bite to eat then Café Elvira will be open serving up chef Vera Ashpool’s curries and tagines, whilst street food vendors will be selling crepes, beef burgers and handmade pizzas. The bar will be offering local beers, wines and ciders alongside warming mulled wine. Entertainment will be provided by carol singers.

The event will run in the former Jeremy's Restaurant and marquee

“We have carefully selected the very best traders, offering wonderful Sussex produce”, said Valentina. “I really want this to be a joyful experience for all our visitors and a really successful trading weekend for our vendors”.

Two exhibitors who have joined the line-up are Stopham Estate near Pulborough and MDTEA from Brighton.

"We are delighted to be amongst the hand picked producers taking part in the festive market”, said Marie Davies of Stopham Estate who will be selling their award-winning Sussex produced still and sparkling wines. “There’ll be a plethora of festive food and drink treats and ideas for Christmas gifts from local Sussex producers.”

“We’ll be selling our delicious blends and a range of tea inspired gifts”, said Helen Taggart of MDTEA. “Come and visit us in this fabulous location, where there will be an abundance of independent stalls for the best stocking fillers around”.

Exhibitors have a free run of the former restaurant including the marquee meaning that the show will go on whatever the weather. Entry to Jeremy’s Christmas market is free and for this weekend only entry to Borde Hill Garden is also free of charge (weather permitting). The event runs 10am - 5pm on Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 December.


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