This weekend we headed off to see the fine folks at the Great Dorset Chilli Festival. In its ninth year the festival celebrates everything Chilli and took place in the beautiful grounds of Wimborne St Giles. Home to generations of Earl’s of Shaftesburys, the ground compliment one of Dorset’s best days out. If you are into your food and especially the hotter variety, this event is for you.
Why a Dorset Chilli Festival?
If you were wondering why this festival takes place in Dorset then you need to understand about the Dorset Naga. The one time hottest chilli in the world was from Dorset. As we know, people from Dorset love their food and love to spend the day visiting events like this where they can walk round tasting hundreds of difference spicy sauces, chillis and more.
The Great Dorset Chilli Festival doesn’t restrict itself to purely chillis, there is a lot of entertainment and other stalls on display. Including classic Dorset Cider, Cheese and Gin Suppliers like Downton Gin and West Country Fudge.
Chilli Eating Competition
There are two highlights of the sday for us and they both involve a bit of interwction from visitors. The first is the Chilli competition whereby 7 people/families spend the day making their own chillis. A lot of love and attentiongoes into this as you can imagine and the judging is undertaken not by a panel of experts but by visitors to the show itself. You pay £4.50 for a small palstic spoon, the money goes to chairty by the way. The next half hour is spent walking around the contestants and getting a small plastic tub of their chilli to tatse. At the end of your round of 7 chillis you put your spoon in the pot of the one you want to win. As well as utting hairs on your chest you get to taste a mix of chillis including one chocolate one.
The second and by far the most popular is the chilli eating contest. Stroaght out of the local county TV news station comes the moment where thousands gather round for no other purpose than to see competitors experience immense discomfort as they try to eat the hottest chillis around. Starting with something quite mild, the chillies quickly hot up and contestants have the option of eating the chilli, puking in a bucket or drinking the pint of milk in front of them. If they head for the bucket or drink the milk then they are out. This is entertainment in its simplest best and well worth the visit to the festival alone.
How to get there?
The Chilli Festival takes place at:
Wimborne St Giles, BH21 5ND
Tickets start at £8.50 for adults, £3 for children with a family pass for £20
You can book in advance to save money on tickets.