Where: Alresford, Hampshire
£: Free admission. There will be a small charge for parking
What is it?
On Sunday 21st May, Alresford in Hampshire will play host to the annual Watercress Festival with a variety of family attractions and a range of watercress-themed treats ranging from traditional soup, cakes, and ice cream to beer and even watercress flavoured gin.
The day kicks off at 10am with live music and food and craft stalls selling their wares. At 10.30am Broad Street will be brought to a standstill as festival goers are given watercress, fresh from the farm, by the Watercress King and Queen. The King and Queen will be conveyed by traditional horse and cart along the street, followed by a procession of Morris dancers, musicians and local school children, all in carnival mood as they parade through the town.
Visitors will be able to ride on the famous Watercress Line steam railway, enjoy local food stalls, live music, and street entertainment. The main highlight in the afternoon will be the annual World Watercress Eating Championships, where contestants will be attempting to have their name listed in the Guinness Book of Records. Competitors will be able to register on the day.
There’ll be cookery demonstrations by local award-winning chefs, showing the versatility of watercress as an ingredient with some creative recipes developed for the festival.
Find out about the history, health benefits, and growing and harvesting of the humble salad leaf by visiting the Watercress Association stands. Visitors will also be able to take away some watercress and try a super healthy watercress smoothie, all for a donation towards the Joe Glover Trust.
The Alresford Watercress Festival signals the start of National Watercress Week and celebrates the start of the UK season.