“Made in Basingstoke” – Summer 2017


21st June 2017:  Basingstoke is set to become Hampshire’s cultural capital this summer, when the town’s creative talent is celebrated in its inaugural ‘Made in Basingstoke’ festival, a jam-packed extravaganza of events catering for all tastes and age groups.

Running from 14 July to 13 August 2017 and comprising four themed weeks entitled Create, Taste, Discover and Make, the Festival will showcase the town’s artists, foods, attractions and people through a comprehensive programme of daily activities to be staged at key attractions, shops, museums and shopping centres across the town.

It will also celebrate the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen, who was born and raised in the area, with themed teas during the ‘Taste’ week and a host of activities during the ‘Discover’ week. These will include a walking tour, an amusing musical recital at the Basingstoke Discovery Centre; and a new exhibition called ‘Retail and Romance: Jane goes to the Ball’ at the Willis Museum and Sainsbury Gallery. In addition, visitors will be able to view a new bronze statue of the author, which will be unveiled in the town centre on 18 July.

Also, coinciding with the festival, is a new ‘Sitting with Jane’ free public arts trail and associated app featuring 24 ‘Book Benches’, each designed and painted by a different professional artist.

One of the highlights of Create Week (14-20 July) will be ‘The Mystery of the Star Eaters’, an immersive gaming experience for would be detectives and adventurers.  This interactive game will turn Basingstoke’s streets into a life-sized game board in which participants follow clues, question witnesses, solve puzzles and embark on a discovery around the town’s landmarks to investigate a mystery.

Other activities include: ‘The Create Market’, which will take the form of an expansive arts and craft market in The Malls shopping centre during the weekend of 15/16 July, complete with live entertainment.  There will also be art workshops hosted by local crafters and businesses including Paperchase, All Our Own Crafts, Eco-Workshop and the Red Lion Hotel, with topics ranging from decoupage to chalk painting.  Plus, music lovers can participate in a series of events at Dawsons, from open jam session days to digital drum workshops.

Next comes Taste Week (21-27 July), which will feature free cookery demonstrations by celebrity chefs Phil Vickery and Jean-Christophe Novelli at The Malls Shopping Centre on Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 July.  There will also be a Taste Market focused on local produce and businesses as well as a Jane Austen cream tea party at the Red Lion Hotel.

Then, to celebrate Basingstoke’s historic past, is Discover Week (28 July-3 August) including a ‘Summer Raincoat’ craft session tying into the town’s heritage connections with Thomas Burberry, as well as an array of events celebrating Jane Austen (see above) and a Punch and Judy Festival. Visitors will also have the chance to experience a vintage makeover during a ‘Fashion in the 50’s’ masterclass, at the town’s Vintage Treasures shop.

Finally, during Make Week (4-13 August) there will be a range of free events for families, from the Summer of Literacy Reading Challenge, to Charlie’s story time and children’s crafts at the Basingstoke Discovery Centre. There will also be rides, slides and workshops and the opportunity to get artistic and create ‘selfie’ masks, perfect for sharing on social media, at The Malls Shopping Centre.

For more information and a full schedule of events visit www.madeinbasingstoke.co.uk and follow @inbasingstoke and use #LoveBasingstoke on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram

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Free Taste Food Festival at the Top of Town – Sunday 2nd August 2015

This looks very cool and includes the following:

  • Veg carving to make your own instrument with the London Vegetable Orchestra
  • Smoothie Bike – for families to make their own pedal powered smoothies!
  • Healthy Food painting and decorating workshops
  • Juice making workshop for Kids

Taste Food Festival at the Top of Town

Tott_Food_A4 poster_AW

Taste at the Top of the Town will be taking place on Sunday 2nd August 10am- 4:30pm for one day only.

This is a FREE event. Suitable for all ages!

A new food-themed kids theatre show taking place from within a market stall.

Local restaurateurs and food producers rub shoulders with celebrity chefs at Basingstoke’s Taste at the Top of the Town food festival.

The Top of the Town is the place to be for all foodies on Sunday August 2nd as local restaurants such as The Lime Leaf will be rubbing shoulders with celebrity chef Jean Christophe Novelli (voted as the world’s sexiest chef by The New York Times) in a bespoke Food Theatre in the Market Place. As part of the Taste at the Top of the Town food festival, many of Hampshire’s best food producers will be teaming up with Basingstoke‘s finest to create an artisan food market showcasing the best local and regional produce.

Some of the local delights hoping to tempt visitors with free food samples include, Basing Bakes with their Gluten free cake, Northdown Orchard vegetables and Belinda Clarke’s Gourmet Marshmallows, who will sit alongside the finest Hampshire cheeses, olives, chutneys, chilli products, New Forest farm beef, homemade fudge, wood fire pizza’s, paella’s street food and fantastic rum, gin and whiskey infused liquors.

Alongside Jean-Christophe, the Food Theatre will play host to live cooking demonstrations from award-winning chef James Durrant from The Plough at Longparish, voted the Good Food Guide’s ‘UK Pub of the Year’, and Andy MacKenzie from the  highly-acclaimed Lainston House Hotel.

Jean Christophe Novelli tweeted, “Looking forward to next week’s busy weekend … @TotTBasingstoke can’t wait to meet you all” 

Ross Harvie from Proteus Theatre Company said of the event “We are thrilled to have 25 local independent producers in the heart of the Top of the Town, through our work we want to improve the culinary offering in Basingstoke alongside fantastic free cultural and artistic experiences for the local community… who says that theatre and food don’t mix? This really is an event not to be missed and something we hope to see more of in the future” 

This event really does have something for all the family with a full programme of ‘Food-themed’ entertainment throughout the day to delight young and old alike. From a new food-inspired theatre show taking place from within a ‘market stall’ to making your very own pedal-powered smoothie on the ‘smoothie bike!

For those who want to get ‘hands-on’, join in with one of the fun and fruity art & craft workshops or have a go at carrot and courgette carving, to create vegetable instruments with the London Vegetable Orchestra before listening to one of their unique performances, played using only humble vegetables!

Lainston House will be showcasing their Hampshire cookery school for aspiring chefs and visitors can admire the creative talents of BCoT students as they take to the stage with a Food Dye Fashion show.

The Food Theatre programme kicks off  at 10.30am with a Kiddies juice making session, followed by  James Durrant at 11.30am, and Jean Christophe Novelli at 12.15pm and 3.15pm.

Be sure to look out for our Food trail flyers on the day which will be offering special discounts in many of the Top of the Town Restaurants, or why not sit back and relax with a cool drink from the Tea Bar’s pop-up Pimms and Prosecco bar, and enjoy this great day out for all the family.

The Taste at the Top of the Town event has been commissioned by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council as part of the Basingstoke Town Centre Programme. The organisation has been taken on by a joint consortium of Proteus Theatre Company, Big Adventures event management and Starfish Design and marketing and is one of 75 events taking place across the county as part of the 15th annual Hampshire Food Festival and supported by Hampshire Cultural Trust.

Visit www.topofthetown.org or call 01256 321 621 for more information.


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