FOOD, glorious food is celebrated over five weeks as the Steyning & District Food & Drink Festival gets underway with a series of events, an array of food stalls, a farmers market and offers from the town’s foodie shops and eateries.

Now in its sixth year, the festival will be welcoming gin expert and writer David Broom for its first Gin Tasting Evening Dinner at The Sussex Produce Café and award-winning baker Emanuel Hadjiandreou during an evening hosted by the Artisan Bakehouse in Ashurst.

Starting on September 1 and finishing on October 6, both dates are celebrated with a Farmers’ Market with live music, cooking demos, pumpkin weighs and a series of food stalls..   

This year’s festival charity is St Barnabas House, a hospice based in Worthing that provides palliative care to adults with advanced progressive life-limiting illnesses. Events to raise money for it include the St Barnabas Supper & Live Music at Sussex Produce Café, a series of Breakfasts for St Barnabas, charity dishes lunches, dinners, pizzas and, for the first time, a charity scone at Cobblestone Tea House, when a contribution to St Barnabas will be made when they are chosen, a fishing competition at Passies Pond at Coombes Farm, Lancing,  a Heavenly Tea at Springwells, and a Mulled Wine & Star Gazing at The Star and the Wiston Big Picnic Field. 

Other events to tickle the tastebuds are a Beer Festival, The Great Steyning Bake Off, Cobblestone Walk Family Foodie Day, tours, walks, open days and soft jazz & tea.

Among the special offers are discounts at food producers including Alderwood Ponds Course Fishery, Broadbourne Poultry Farm, Bunces, C Morgan Fishmonger, Palace of Pooch, Springs Smoked Salmon, Pudding Fairy, The Artisan Bakehouse, The Sussex Produce Cafe, The Cooperative Food Steyning, The Star  and Steyning Butchers plus the Steyning Book Shop, and special food offers at venues including Best Western, Old Tollgate Restaurant & Hotel, Chequer Inn, Chez Joel, Cobblestone Tea House, Mamma Mia, Model Bakery, Pizza Oven, St Mary’s House, Gardens & Tearooms, Stan’s Bike Shack, stallholders at Steyning Farmers Market, the Castle Inn, The Fountain, The Fox, The Little Sweetshop, The Rising Sun, The Star Inn, Tottington Manor, Truffles Bakery, Truffles Cafe and White Horse Smokehouse & Grill.

Dubbed  ‘a festival within a festival, the Steyning Food & Drink Festival runs under the umbrella of the Horsham District Food & Drink Festival and is organised and run by the Steyning & District Community Partnership, Visitor & Toursim Group. Its chairman is Martin Leigh-Pollitt, vice chair is Reina Alston and members include Sussex Produce Company owner Nick Templeman, Derek Crush, the instigator of the Farmers Market, The Cobblestone Tea House Eddie Woodward, The Artisan Bakehouse’s owner Les Nicholson, Kate’s Cookhouse owner Kate Gover, secretary Denise Butler and social media coordinator Janice Fraser.


List of events:


Special St Barnabas Charity Dish on offer throughout the Festival period at:

Gorilla Kitchen(The Star car park)

Mamma Mia, Steyning

Pizza Oven (Steyning High Street Car Park)

The Artisan Bakehouse, Ashurst

The Cobblestone Tea House, Steyning.


St. Mary’s House & Gardens, Bramber – September Open Days.  See website for dates

Steyning Museum exhibition ‘Time Gentlemen Please’  throughout Festival.  Free entry                               

Recipe Line at  The Co-op throughout the Festival period


1 Farmers Market with music, live cooking demonstrations, Ready, Steady, Cook sessions and special offers from stallholders. In Steyning High Street car park

1 Farmers Market and presentation to winner of the Allotment Competition

1 Judging of Best Food Theme Shop Window Competition in Steyning High Street

1 Steyning Horticultural Show at Steyning Centre

1 Riverside Brewery Open Day – two tours at 11am and 1pm

2 Breakfast for St Barnabas at Cobblestone Tea House                                    

4/5/6/7 Festival Open Day – Lunches (including charity dish) & Afternoon Teas, The Artisan Bakehouse, Ashurst

5 Vintage Garden Tea Party & Soft Jazz at The Artisan Bakehouse, Ashurst

6 Heavenly Tea at Springwells House. Donation to St Barnabas

6 St Barnabas Supper & live entertainment at the Sussex Produce Cafe

8 Fishing Competition at Passies Pond. Donation to St Barnabas

8 South Downs National Park Walk led by park ranger. Free    

9 Breakfast for St Barnabas at Sussex Produce Cafe        

9 Pubs & Breweries of Steyning Walk led by Dr Janet Pennington. Free      

9 Steyning Downland Scheme, The Big Picnic, The Rifle Range, Steyning. Free    

9 Pick It, Cook It at Daylands Farm.  Sloe Gin/Hedgerow Booze Workshop

11 Wiston Estate Winery Tour with wine tastings & canapes

11 Ashurst Tasty Walk – lunch, guided walk & cream Ttea      

11/12/13/14  Festival Open Day: lunches including Charity Dish & Afternoon Teas at The Artisan Bakehouse, Ashurst

12 Autumnal Flowers Arranging with Lunch or Sussex Cream Tea at The Artisan Bakehouse, Ashurst

15 Breakfast for St Barnabas  at Chez Joel     

15 Adur Brewery Open Day     

15 Cobblestone Walk Family Foodie Open Day     

15 West Grinstead & District Ploughing Match & Show

16 Pastures New – Bramber Nature Reserve guided walk (free) & Tea at St Mary’s House (optional extra)      

18/19/20/21 Festival Open Day- Lunches including Charity Dish & Afternoon Teas at The Artisan Bakehouse, Ashurst

19 Vintage Garden Tea Party & Soft Jazz at The Artisan Bakehouse

19 Gin Revolution: Gin Tasting with Spirit & Cocktails author Dave Broom at the Sussex Produce Cafe

20 An evening with Emanuel Hadjiandreou, award-winning baker/author at The Artisan Bakehouse. Bread, Wine & Cheese tastings       

Pictures from last year’s Steyning & District Food & Drink Festival and, above, its logo

Above: a cookery demonstration

Below: Derek Crush at the Farmers Market

Above: Wiston Wine

Below: Pick It Cook It

Above: the Bake Off

Below: The Little Sweetshop festival window

Above: an array of bottles set out for the festival

Below: the window display at Smiffy Bears

Above: enjoying food production outdoors

Below: campaigners promoting the festival

Above: some of the members of the committee that organised the festival

20 The Towers School presents Food for Wellbeing. Free                                                

22 Mulled Wine & Star Gazing at the Star Inn & Wiston Big Picnic Field. Donation to St Barnabas

22 The Great Steyning Bake Off – proceeds to Family Support Group                          

23 Farm Walk & Cream Tea at  Daylands Farm.      

25/26/27/28 Festival Open Day – Lunches including Charity Dish & Afternoon Teas at The Artisan Bakehouse, Ashurst

25 Food & Drink Pub Quiz at The Star Inn

27 Autumnal Flower Arranging with Lunch or Sussex Cream Tea at The Artisan Bakehouse, Ashurst

27 Pick It, Cook It at Daylands Farm.  Sloe Gin/Hedgerow Booze Workshop

28/29/30 Beer Festival      

30 Steyning Methodist Church Harvest Festival Service & Lunch

30 St Peters, Upper Beeding and St. Nicholas, Bramber  – Harvest Festival Service & Lunch              

30 Breakfast for St Barnabas: Truffles

30 Farm Walk & Cream Tea at Daylands Farm


6 Farmers Market with music, Pumpkin Weigh, cooking sessions, special offers and Stallholders Produce Hamper (created on the day) for St Barnabas raffle 

6 Breakfast for St Barnabas at The Chequer Inn       

6 Steyning Community Orchard Apple Day at Memorial Playing Fields, Steyning

7 St Andrew & St Cuthman Church, Steyning: Harvest Festival Service & Lunch