See the chillies at West Dean Chilli Fiesta

Press Release: Join the party at the UK's original and biggest chilli festival

Chilli Fiesta at West Dean Gardens (nr Chichester, West Sussex) is a firm favourite in many people's diaries, with a wide range of activities all linked to Chilli. Taking place from Friday, August 9 to Sunday, August 11, 2019, this family-friendly festival has something for everyone, and with onsite camping with great facilities, it is a perfect weekend break!

Whether you want to dance to live Latin music with professionals from BBC's Strictly Come Dancing, to watch cookery with contestants from The Great British Bake Off, take in gardening demonstrations including a herb-inspired cocktail making masterclass, or escape to the outdoor cinema, there is lots to get involved with! Early Bird tickets are now on sale, with a 3-day camping pass for an adult costing £115 (£35 for a child) and children aged 4 and under are free of charge. Day tickets are from £18 for adults (£2.50 for a child).

Picked as one of the top 20 Food Events of 2019 by the Daily Telegraph, they described the festival as "Live Latin music, spicy foods from around the globe...and dancing give this festival in pretty West Dean Gardens...a distinctive flavour and a feel-good factor."

Cookery demonstrations

A variety of top chefs will be demonstrating their culinary expertise with creative chilli based recipes in the Cookery Theatre.

Miranda Gore Browne, finalist on the first series of BBC's The Great British Bake Off, and author of 'Biscuit' and 'Bake Me A Cake As Fast As You Can' will be hosting and demonstrating throughout the weekend.

Chetna Makan, author of 'The Cardamom Trail' and 'Chetna's Healthy India', and The Great British Bake Off semi-finalist (2014) will be demonstrating her cooking skills on Saturday and Sunday. Using ingredients from all over the world and ideas you can easily recreate at home, they're guaranteed to make your mouth water.

Live music and dance

Music on the front lawn stage plays from 11am until 9pm Friday, from 10.30am to 9.30pm Saturday and from 11am until 7.30pm on Sunday. Music continues in the Los Amigos Bar until 10.30pm Saturday and 9pm Sunday. Music for 2019 includes Kalison on the Friday. Enjoy Grupo Lokito and a musical/ firework finale on the Saturday. On the Sunday you can hear the Crawley Millennium Concert Band finale.

Dazzling dance acts include Strictly Come Dancing's Graziano Di Prima and his partner Giada Lini, who will be performing on Sunday 11 August, and Brazilian and Flamenco dance performances across the weekend. Timetables and details of more acts will be available soon.

Gardening talks and tours

Hear from a variety of experts with gardening talks and demonstrations in the Gardening Theatre. Mark Diacono will be hosting the Gardening Theatre this year and will be giving talks on his book 'Taste of the Unexpected'. Visitors can learn about unusual, delicious edibles that anyone can grow - everything from Szechuan pepper to Carolina allspice.

Mark will also be running Garden Cocktail tasting sessions, where he'll share his expert knowledge on how to grow herbs and incorporate them into delicious cocktail recipes.

Wildlife writer for The Guardian and author of 'The Wildlife Gardener', Kate Bradbury, will be talking about her passion for organic wildlife-friendly gardening, and Lia Leendertz will also be appearing in the theatre over the weekend and discussing the month of August from her 2019 Almanac.

There will be talks from chilli-growing experts throughout the weekend, and opportunities to see displays of a huge variety of chilli plants, in the Victorian Glasshouses on the daily tours with the West Dean Gardeners. Browse the plant sale at the Gardens Shop for chilli plants to take home and grow (and eat!) for yourself.

Children's activities

There is plenty to keep children entertained at Chilli Fiesta including: New slackline and circus skills workshop; a drop-in art centre; Outdoor cinema with popular family films each day; Vintage funfair including smaller children's' rides e.g. mini Austin cars and train ride; Face painting and Isabella's Story Cycle, which includes walkabout and storytelling, but also goodnight stories in the campsite!


In addition, there is a whole host of opportunities to taste delicious chilli foods 'til your tongue sizzles with over 140 shopping stalls selling chilli gifts, plants seeds and produce, plus there are five different bars to find refreshments. More details will be announced very soon.

Camping experience

Make the most of the family-friendly festival atmosphere and camp on-site with quality camping facilities (including showers, flushing toilets and pop-up shop) in the grounds of the West Dean College of Arts and Conservation and West Dean Gardens, in the South Downs National Park. A limited number of pitches are available so early booking is essential, tickets are available for the full weekend (three nights) or for one night (Saturday).

Editor's Notes

West Dean Gardens is part of the Edward James Foundation, a charitable trust, also comprising West Dean College of Arts and Conservation, West Dean Estate and the West Dean Tapestry Studio. Charity No. 1126084.

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For further information or high-resolution digital images, please contact:

Rachel Aked ([email protected] or [email protected])
Tel: 07790 732448