The inaugural Strawberry Fair here at Chessell Pottery Barns was a wonderful occasion thoroughly enjoyed by customers and staff alike. It was held on the 29/30th June in some lovely hot summer sun.
It all started with the jam! Whilst we were hulling an incredible one tonne of strawberries to make our own strawberry jam to serve with our renowned Island Cream Teas, we thought how lovely it would be to make an event out of it this summer for everyone to enjoy. And enjoy it they did!
Hundreds of visitors came to Chessell that weekend and took part in strawberry hulling, tried their hand at painting their own jam pot in the studio and stayed for a homemade strawberry tea or glass of Bellini in the sunny courtyard. We were very blessed with the appearance of some long awaited sunshine, which made it such a great event – the relaxed and friendly atmosphere was commented on time and time again.
The courtyard was literally humming with people enjoying lunch or tea as visitors cheered when they knocked down tins at the Food bank ‘tin shy’. We are delighted to report that we made approximately £250- for Foodbank, a local charity on the Island who help out families in crisis.
Our Café got quite carried away with strawberry themed creations – Bridget, our chef, made the most amazing strawberry tarts that melted in the mouth, as well as strawberry meringues and delicious strawberry cheesecake cupcakes. Sharon, our baker, made hundreds of beautiful strawberry scones, which were served with our homemade jam, and clotted cream from our neighbouring farm at Calbourne. As we are now licensed, we were able to serve Pimms on the lawn, and Strawberry Bellinis were a real hit..!
Lots of children, and some adults too, had their face painted with pretty strawberries, and staff helped customers hull a mountain of strawberries for this year’s Chessell strawberry jam.
There are some great pictures on our Facebook page for you to peruse, including father and son team, Don and Tom, who competed to see who could hull a 2Kg bag of strawberries the fastest! And if these pics don’t tempt you to come along next year, let’s just say we’re already excited about planning the Chessell Strawberry Fair 2014, and this time we’d like to add some live music…