Graffham and the Chilli Festival

Friday night was a quick dash up to Graffham only an hour away from home but a world away in terms of surroundings. Graffham is a woodland site that we love because of the variety it offers, walks through heathland or woodland abound and the South Downs are within easy reach.

Jean-Luc and his travelling pal.

Jean-Luc and his travelling pal.

On the way to Graffham we noticed the signs for the West Dean Chilli Festival, we have been to this a event a few times and have even camped there once, however this was to be a one day visit only. We set off early on the Saturday morning and arrived at an already busy Chilli Festival, your senses are immediately under attack from the aroma of multiple vendors cooking up the delights that would be served throughout the day. Doing the first walk around at ten o’clock it was hard to resist and it felt only right to start sampling the many food concoctions on offer at every turn.

I love to see the testosterone driven challenges of the groups of people young and old vying to eat the hottest creations and not turn into a convulsing wimp wrything on the floor gasping for milk or anything else to relieve them of the heat of a Dorset Naga based ketchup!

The range of ages attending this event goes to show the popularity of chilli in it’s various forms. I remember as a child, curry was something of an unknown, but by the time I was into my teens it was everywhere but the popularity seems to grow with each new generation.

There is live music all day and into the night, various styles and without a doubt something for everyone, it all just adds to the atmosphere. There is something to be said for sitting on a hay bale armchair eating a spicy taco with a bottle of chilli lager in hand listening to a Mexican band bash out some Mariachi based number.

As expected Chilli based artefacts are in abundance from earrings to wall clocks,” T” shirts to bean bags it can all be bought and of course it would be disrespectful to not buy at least one chilli plant of some type or another.

We were sad to hear that camping with a motorhome or caravan is no longer permitted, in my opinion that is a poor decision and one I would like to see changed, to stay there for the day restricts your ability to sample the true delight of the venue, there is only so much you can eat and taste in one day, please rethink the decision Mr Organiser.

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