The Sturminster Newton Cheese Festival is one our favourite food events in Dorset. Every year thousands of visitors’ flock to this small, but well-regarded festival, which has been held in the picturesque village for 20 years. The festival boasts over a hundred stands and showcases some of the best produce and crafts the region has to offer. Cheese is of course the festivals main attraction, so you’ll be spoilt for choice when selecting a cheese board to take home!
Food and drink
There are over 80 food and drink stands to visit during your time at the festival, each serving a unique and delicious offering. The festival is renowned for it’s array of award-winning cheese, with hundreds if unique flavours to sample. From personal experience we can highly recommend The Black Cow or the traditional Dorset Blue Vinny!
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To accompany the cheese you can also find a selection of tasty breads, pastries, chutneys and other food items, so you can craft a tasty picnic for tea on your return to our Dorset holiday park. If you’re feeling a little peckish during the festival itself, there are a range of onsite catering options including butchers burgers, stone baked pizzas, pancakes and ice cream.
If you like a boozy drink there is a great selection of real ale and cider on tap in the tents next to the live music stage. There is also always a number of great local wine and spirit producers with stalls at the festival. One of favourites is Fordington Gin who are a Dorset gin distillery based in Dorchester.
Arts and crafts
Once you’ve sampled the culinary delights, be sure to take some time to peruse the arts and crafts marquee and the other stands dotted around the festival. You will find an impressive selection of homeware, garden furniture and gifts that have been lovingly handcrafted by some of the best artisans in the local area. From metal sculptures, to pet portraits and everything in between – you’re guaranteed to fall in love with something, that you’ll just have to bring home!
Throughout both days of the festival the Mouse Trap Theatre will play host to an exciting programme of cookery demonstrations and talks. Organised by Dorset Food and Drink, celebrity chefs and some of Dorset’s best producers will come together to discuss an interesting range of topics, including cheese and beer pairing, curry and seasonal recipes.
Revellers can enjoy an impressive line-up of local bands on the festivals outdoor stage, with a range of artists and bands to suit all music tastes. Find a hay bale to sit on, fetch yourself a pint of local ale or cider and soak up the atmosphere as you listen to folk, blues, ska and reggae.
Younger members of the family will also like the Punch and Judy theatre show and pirates entertainment, which takes place on both days in the children’s activity area.
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Sturminster Newton is a picturesque village in North Dorset, within driving distance of South Lytchett Manor Holiday Park. The festival takes place between 10 am and 5pm on the 14th and 15th September 2019. Dogs on leads are welcome to attend but please note they are not allowed in the food tents.
There is free parking at the event as well as a park and ride service from Hinton St Mary.
Picture credit: Shawn Spencer-Smith, Flickr