Chilterns Food & Drink Festival 2017

25 March ~ 2 April

The Chilterns is a living, working area of beautiful countryside whose character has been shaped by agriculture, industry and the people who have lived and worked here over the centuries. Once the larder of London, the historic market towns, tucked-away villages, pubs, farmland, chalk-fed streams and ancient woods all hint at the growing, trading and of course, enjoyment of good local food and drink.

This March, during the new Chilterns Festival of Food & Drink, you are invited to sample some of the delicious local fare that is produced with love, skill and an attention to detail that reflects what is of the Chilterns; quality, distinctiveness and great taste. There is a combination of paid-for and free events, and all bookings need to be made directly with the businesses. Enjoy browsing the festival programme below but don't leave your booking too late as numbers for some of these are events are limited.

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Festival Events

Waddesdon Wine Cellars

Discover the history of Rothschild wine

Have the history of Rothschild wine brought to life in a free 20 minute talk on the fascinating history of the Rothschilds and their wine; a family that has left a legacy on the Chilterns landscape. Talks are conducted by expert house guides, who will take you on a journey through the history of over 15,000 bottles of historic wines in the cellars, dating back to 1868. No booking required. 

Waddesdon Manor
March 25, 26, 29, 30, 31 and April 1 & 2
11.30am and 2pm
Free with a ground pass

Harrow & Hope

A labour of love

This is the story of a small family with a belief that with hard work and good fortune, the flinty soils of the Chiltern slopes above Marlow would yield a sparkling wine to rival the worlds greatest. Join a vineyard tour and tasting to see for yourself what the soil and toil have yielded.

Sunday 26th March
10am - 12 noon.
£10 redeemable against wine purchased

An appetising Chilterns walk

A hearty pub lunch and walk

This guided walk will start from the farm and will be through lovely undulating countryside with views towards the Thames and up in to the Chiltern Hills, with a stop at the Blue Tin Farm Shop that supplies local produce alongside fabulous free range meat, followed by lunch at the King William country pub at Hailey. Nordic walkers are especially welcome.

Garsons Farm, Ipsden OX10 6QU
Saturday 1 April

Milling and a Museum

Milling demonstrations at Redbournbury Mill

This historic watermill is a working mill producing a range of stoneground organic flours principally from locally grown grains. Situated in idyllic rural surroundings with water meadows to the north and south on the river Ver, that can be enjoyed on the signed walks around the mill. Buy your flour flour for your home baking from the mill and from the bakery. No booking required.

Redbournbury Mill
25 & 26 March and 1 & 2 April
Saturday from 9 - 1pm Sunday from 2.30 - 5pm

Nettlebed Creamery

Cheese Tasting Walk at the Nettlebed Creamery

Explore the beautiful Nettlebed Estate on a gentle 40 minute guided walk, returning to Nettlebed Creamery for refreshments and a talk by Cheesemaker Rose Grimond to learn how their distinctive and delicious cheeses are made – and to enjoy some cheese-tasting! Nettlebed Creamery is home to two award-winning cheeses made with organic milk from the Estate Dairy.

Nettlebed RG9 5DA
Monday 27th March
10.30 - 12.30pm

Meet the producer

Beechwood Fine Foods in Tring

Come and meet the producer of Beechwood Country Preserves; producers of high quality jams, chutneys and preserves all made by Sarah, joint owner of Beechwood Fine Foods. Discover too, the widest range of British cheeses in the town, which also includes other local favourites they support such as Kirsty’s free range scotch eggs and Ashridge honey. No booking required.

Tring HP23 5AU
25 March to 2 April
Shop opening hours

High Tea at Wycombe Museum

Custom-blended signature Chilterns tea

Book yourself a table in the Grade II listed building to sample a selection of indulgent baked goods, cakes and scones crafted by Downley-based Rachel’s Sweet Kitchen, and paired with your choice of tea from our range of locally made blends; the custom-blended signature Wycombe Museum teas, blends from Marlow-based Hippopot Teas, and FloraTea flowering teas.

High Wycombe HP13 6PX
Sunday 26th March
12 noon – 5pm
Entry to the museum is free

Farmers' Markets

Beaconsfield & Chesham local produce market

These popular local produce markets run on the fourth Saturday of every month and sell high quality food, drink and crafts within a ten mile radius of these two market towns. Highly recommended as a good source of local Chilterns produce, these markets attract customers who appreciate the high quality and good choice of local produce on offer. Beaconsfield Farmers Market is one of the biggest in the area and the market on 25th March marks their 15th Anniversary. Chesham Local Produce Market features local crafts in addition to a wide range of food and drink products.

Beaconsfield & Chesham
Saturday 25th March
10am - 1pm

Spring Supper Club

Frithsden Vineyard

Simon and Natalie have brought a disused Chilterns vineyard back to life, growing unusual varieties that are specially developed to cope in our cooler climate. Grown, pressed and bottled in the onsite winery building, you can enjoy a five-course set menu plus a glass of Frithsden wine. All homemade and lovingly prepared, enjoy.

To book please call the vineyard on 01442 878 723 or email the organiser below

Saturday 25 March

Daws Hill Vineyard Tasting

Hand-crafted Chilterns' wines

Daws Hill Vineyard is a small Chilterns vineyard and winery, proud to grow and produce everything onsite; from hand pruning and singing to each individual vine, to hand picking bunches of grapes, small batch fermenting and bottling to labeling by hand. Each bottle is lovingly cared for, aged for a minimum of 3 years in our converted stables. We have taken our time to make sure each vintage released is the best it can be. To book please call the vineyard on 07833462597 or email the organiser below.

Radnage HP14 4DY
25th and 26th March
Throughout the day

Putting Agriculture First

Buckmoorend Farm on the Chequers Estate

Buckmoorend Farm is a small, family run farm surrounded by natural woodland and nestled in the beautiful Chiltern Hills on the historic Chequers Estate. Daniel Hares, third generation farmer, will give an interesting and amusing talk on the realities of life down on the farm and the benefits to all of us of non-intensive traditional farming methods.

Tours at 12pm and 2pm on Saturday April 1st and Sunday April 2nd

Butlers Cross HP17 0UT
Saturday 1st April and Sunday 2nd April
30 minute tours

The Chiltern Brewery

Brewery Tours & Tasting

Founded in 1980 by Richard and Lesley Jenkinson, George and Tom, brothers and current directors of the family run brewery, remain the oldest independent brewery in the Chiltern Hills and Buckinghamshire. This brewery tour and tasting will give you a fascinating insight into the art of craft brewing, followed by a tutored beer and food tasting session with a delicious selection of locally made chandlery.

Chiltern Brewery
Friday 31st March and Saturday 1st April

What a beautiful ewe!

Chilterns-inspired Chess Valley flavours

Here is a unique opportunity to experience the beautiful Chess valley and its wonderful views and Chilterns-inspired meat and honey flavours from its delicious local produce, with the Chiltern Society. The walks include a light two course lunch in the grounds of the Tudor Grade I listed Chenies Manor using the products featured in the walk, followed by a guided tour of this historic manor.

Meet at Chenies Manor on the A404 WD3 6EP
Saturday 1 April
10am until 3pm
£15.00 for Chiltern Society members £20 &r non members

The Spirit of the Outdoors

Puddingstone Distillery evening tour

Pitching camp on the boundary between classic and contemporary gins, Campfire Gin is produced in small batches using ten carefully selected botanicals. You can enjoy this new Chilterns flavour when you book a two-hour event at the distillery which includes two drinks from the gin menu, a talk about the distillery and the distilling process plus a chance to ask questions and socialise.

To book please call the distillery on 01442 502033 or email the organiser below.

Willstone HP23 4NT
Thursday 30th March
8 - 10pm
£15 per person, payable at time of booking

A World of Chocolate

Around the world chocolate tasting

If you thought all chocolate tastes the same, think again! Auberge du Chocolat is a unique artisan family business with a passion for chocolate, ice cream and fudge. The hand made products are created with love and passion that is shared with their customers. Join a free chocolate-eating workshop before embarking on a chocolate tasting adventure. No booking required.

Chesham HP5 1SD
28th - 31st March
Between between 9am & 5pm

Fire and Feast

If you go down to the woods today

On this Fire and Feast course you will be baking breads, roasting meat and cooking fish over your campfire. A fabulous opportunity to spend a day close to nature in a beautiful Chilterns woodland, building campfires and cooking up all manner of tasty meals. Eating al fresco is such a treat and when you’ve cooked it over a campfire that just adds to the fun.

Chalfont St Peter SL9 8TP
01 April
9am - 5pm

Take a Vineyard Tour

A guided sightseeing Chilterns e-tour

The latest electric bike models can tame the steepest of Chiltern Hills, allowing cyclists to admire panoramic views that typically the only red kites have enjoyed. Choose this guided Vineyard Tour with friends and family that takes you on an easy cycle through areas of outstanding natural beauty through ancient woodlands, pretty villages, before indulging in a tasty Chilterns-inspired picnic lunch.

Meet at Swiss Farm campsite RG9 2HY
Thursday 30th March
10.30am - 3.30pm

Campfire Bread Baking

If you go down to the woods today

On the Campfire Bread Baking course, you will be making traditional yeasted breads, bannock, flat breads and ash cakes. All the baking is done over a campfire, some baked in pots other directly in the fire. All set in a peaceful Chilterns woodland, you’ll be eating freshly baked breads and light lunch seated around the fire, whilst listening to the sound of the birds and the crackle of the fire.

Chalfont St Peter SL9 8TP
26 March
9am - 5pm

Rebellion Brewery

It's all about being local

Dip into the Rebellion brewery shop to sample from their selection of over 300 wines; they choose a selection of bottles and open them up for all to sample. It's the perfect opportunity to try some new flavours, find some unexpected, add to your favourites and take home some great wine - and local produce that is also stocked in the shop. No booking required.

Marlow SL7 3LT
Saturday 25 March
10.00am - 5pm

All Aboard!

Cream Teas on the Leighton Buzzard Railway

Everyone loves a ride on a steam train; the Leighton Buzzard railway, or 'BuzzRail' is one of the last survivors of the hundreds of 2 foot (610mm) gauge light railways built in Britain for industrial use. Now a popular leisure pastime, feel the wind in your hair and a tasty cream tea!

Cream Teas will be served from 13.30 to 16.30 and all trains depart from14.10 until 16.00.

Leighton Buzzard LU7 4TG
Sunday 26 March
Cream Teas served from 1330 to 1630

Chess Valley Food Trails

A Beer and Watercress Ramble

This Chiltern Society-led walk starts from the manor grounds and leads into Chenies Village, follows the ridge until it drops down to the River Chess and then up to visit the Paradigm Brewery at Sarratt. The walk returns to the river to meet the next producer; Crestyl watercress farm, which has been run by the Tyler family for three generations, before returning to the historic Chenies Manor for lunch and a guided tour.

Meet Chenies Manor on the A404 WD3 6EP
Tuesday 28 March
10am - 2pm
£15.00 for Chiltern Society members & £20 for non members

One Foot in the Chilterns

A walking tour of Chilterns' culinary delights

Meeting at the one of the oldest vineyards in the Chilterns Old Luxters is a fitting place to start this walk that will take in the Beechwoods and quintessential Chilterns village of Turville, whose church has a beautiful stained glass window by John Piper before tucking into lunch at the Turville barn - accessible by four legs or two only - this 'no car cafe' in a traditional barn where host Robin will prepare a meal from local produce.

Meet at Old Luxters, Henley-on-Thames RG9 6JW
Wednesday 29th March
10am - 4pm

By Appointment to The Queen

Old Luxters is home to 'Chiltern Valley Wines'

The two-hour ‘behind the scenes’ tour around our Winery, Brewery and Liqueur production facilities demonstrates a fun and extensive learning experience that includes a full explanation of the grape pressing machinery that is used during the harvest. The bottling, labeling and capsulation machinery can also be seen, and last but no means least the tour is completed with a tutored 30-40 minute tasting of a generous selection of our wines, ales & liqueurs.

Henley-on-Thames RG9 6JW
25th - 31st March
1100-1300 & 1500-1700

Malt The Brewery

MALT tours & tasting

A Micro-Brewery at the heart of the Chilterns in Prestwood, Great Missenden. These tasting tours offer the opportunity to get closer to the natural ingredients and traditional processes that go into making your pint of real ale. Choose from these three tours;

Taste MALT: enjoy 3 x ½ pints complete with tasting notes

Explore MALT: meet your host at the tasting station

Tour MALT: a hosted brewery tour and tasting. To book please call the brewery on 01494 865063 or email the organiser below.

Great Missenden HP16 0HW
25th March to 2nd April
On demand 7 days a week
Taste MALT £5 Explore MALT £10 Tour MALT £15

Take a Tea Tour

A guided sightseeing Chilterns eBike tour

Enjoy a day out with friends and family cycling through the beautiful Chilterns' countryside. The Ashridge and Berkhamsted tours will take you through areas of outstanding natural beauty and includes to visit a castle built after the Norman Conquest, to easily cycle through ancient woodlands, see red kites flying overhead before indulging in a home made cream tea.

Meet at Berkhamsted Football Club HP4 2AL
26th March and 1st April
10.30am - 3.30pm

Wendover Produce Market

Weekly Royal Charter Market

Since 1464 (with only a brief pause of 100 years) Wendover has had a Royal Charter enabling a weekly market that is held on the third Saturday of the month on the Manor Waste; so called as it was once the traditional resting-place for sheep on their way to or from Aylesbury Market. Make a day of your visit and enjoy the beautiful village and its surrounding Chilterns countryside - select your picnic lunch and head for the hills!

Saturday 18th March
9am - 1pm

Celebration of Chilterns Food & Drink

More events are being added

Ale trails, vineyards viewings, tastings and walks will be added over the coming weeks.


Interactive Map of the Chilterns

Interactive map featuring a host of things to do and places to visit

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